When dogs play tag, is a herding dog ever "it?"

I remember being amazed when I first saw/remembered that cute Queen Elizabeth’s corgis are awesome designed in herding dogs: when I saw one merrily speeding in a chase around the dog park (even holding back on its speed) flanking, not chasing, the winding rope-bullet (just made that up, I kinda like it).

Of course you see that with Aussies and Border Collies too (you even hear them doing a special bark). So today I wondered if they are naturally not into play being-chased.

Obviously if something serious was after it, it would be a speed demon in the lead; but just even anecdotally I’m interested.

Different dog breeds are said to have their own tendencies, likes and dislikes - and I think there must be a bit of truth in that (for example, Spaniels almost universally like water - slim-built racing dogs generally don’t)

But a lot of it comes down to training - most of the collies I encounter when walking my dog don’t seem to be interested in chase play, but it’s clear that this is because their owners have formally trained them for obedience, agility etc. My little Manchester Terrier wants to chase them, or be chased by them, but both the other dog and its owner stand there sort of rolling their eyes, waiting for us to move away so they can get on with the serious business of precise obedience.

I was at a dog park today with my daughters’ Goldendoodle and we were just watching this for about an hour. I agree that different dogs engage in different styles but their Goldendoodle definitely plays real tag with rudimentary rules. She picks another dog she wants to chase her and then deliberately tags it with her front paw. That apparently means ‘chase me’ and she takes off running. After she gets caught, they switch places and she does the chasing. Most other dogs seemed to understand some sort of tag rules as well although some of them prefer to do the chasing almost all of the time and a few of them are aggressive and don’t seem to think of it as a game at all (they want to fight or at least chase the others away for good).

Our beagle/Australian cattle dog mix has no problem being chased. She’s lightning quick and can turn on a dime, so she is seldom caught.

I had a German shepherd at one time that took turns at being “it” with my cat. She figured that if the cat could use under the sofa and over my lap as part of the route, so could she.

If you want your lamps, tables, and ashtrays overturned, and animals using your lap as a launching pad, and a German shepherd getting her head stuck under the furniture, this is definitely the game you want.

:slight_smile: Sounds nice. Funny image of the dog muttering how it isn’t fair as he waits for rescue.

My mom’s Malinois does this with my mom’s cat. It’s interesting to watch.

They also partner up on other things. The cat gets on the counter in the kitchen and knocks things to the floor, which the dog eats.

My dogs and cats get along. They even sleep next to each other. Nothing even close with what buddies my mom’s animals are though.

As far as chase games go, depending on the dogs involved, I’ve seen many a rousing game with the herding dogs being chased. On the other hand, dogs that don’t like to play chase might not come to the dog park often.

My Golden goes daily, always has, to see and be seen. Ran maybe twice in nine years.

I have a BC and a shelter mutt (I am told she looks an awful lot like a Wheaton) and they play tag like no one’s business. But usually there is a ball involved. As in \

“Imma gonna steal that BALL!”
“No, you gotta chase me to get it!”
“OOOOh I got the ball, whatcha gonna do?”

Laughingly cheered on by me.

The BC will usually bring it to me, so I can “reset” the game. I throw it, and whoever gets it first sets the tone for the next few moments.