dog wont play with me but will with others?

I own a 10 month old border collie. I got her from the pound and have had her almost 4 months. She is a great dog follows me around and sits at my feet. When I see her after being in school she gets really excited and runs around going crazy. I bought her toys but she wont play with them when I am around. My friends can get her to play tug of war and fetch but if I was to walk outside she would stop. I'm not for sure if it is something I have done or a previous owner? Thanks

1 Answer

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

Is she very submissive to you? It could be she sees you as different than others. In her mind you're a strong alpha who is treated differently than the average human she can play with?

I notice something like that with a rott/pit mix I've been caring for recently. It seems like he has a respect (deference) for me that he didn't have when we met. I find he opens up when I lay on the floor and play with him (so he's the same or higher level than me). After we play (and we're sitting up) he'll want to put his head under my head, like an act of submission again.

That just developed from him bonding with me, not any dominance on my part. He came from a history of unstable living arrangements, isolation, etc. So, I think he just values what he's been getting from me, and developed a deference like that.

Also, I notice he looks at me when visitors play with him, etc. He'll get into it, then look to me as if maybe he shouldn't be doing that. I've never discouraged him from playing. It seems to be a natural deference. (What you described reminded me of that.).

If your rescued girl put you on a pedestal, you could try doing what I do and lay prone on the floor and play tug, etc., so she feels invited to be at your level (actually has no other choice to be). With the typical puppy we have to work (be patient) as they learn their place lower than us. But, dogs suffered abandonment need encouragement to be a little higher than they've learned to be?


She is not as submissive as you are saying but she does look towards the door when she is playing with others to see if I am at the door. She did have 4 owners/fosters before I adopted her. With me she never jumps on me unless I ask her to she never chews on anything but with them she does all of it

For example with my friend she will mouth on their hands and jump on them but with me she is a very respectable adult dog. It might be with what you said that she sees me as more dominant than them and "respects" me more?