We are taking puppy training classes at our local humane society (which is very well regarded, well funded, and the training department is run by a nationally known trainer - I feel good about the quality of the program). Tonight was our 2nd class, but the first one with the puppies, and we were doing supervised play time in the beginning.
The instructor kind of separated the dogs based on their general tempermants - one side was super mellow dogs, the other side more playful dogs. We were on the playful side. Given the dogs on the other side, I think our placement was appropriate. Our puppy has not had a lot of other dog experience (although she's had a ton of people/kid interaction), and I haven't gone to a dog park. But she meets other dogs on our walks, and my mom's dog is around a lot, and she is bouncy and playful but there hasn't been any aggression or growling or anything.
So tonight there was one other puppy who is a bit bigger than she is, and they were at each other the whole time. The other puppy was definitely stronger and kept pinning Zoey (our puppy) down on the ground. There was a lot of somewhat gentle biting and rolling around, but the other puppy definitely had the upper hand. Zoey didn't seem frightened - she wasn't tucking her tail or trying to get away - in fact she kept wanting to go back for more. But it just seemed so violent to me! The instructor did have us stop it at one point because she pointed out something about the fur on the other dog starting to stand up which indicated over-excitment? I'm not sure I heard right, because there was a lot going on.
Apparently the puppy play will be at the beginning and end of every class, and I just want to make sure that I'm not subjecting Zoey to something inappropriate. I'm new to having dogs, and admit that a lot of dog play seems violent to me, so I need some experienced perspective. Is this something I just need to get comfortable with?