How can I run a mysqldump without locking up the database?

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Database
mysqldump
I'm trying to copy a live production database onto my development database. Would there be a way to do this without locking up the live database? I've been using this:
mysqldump -u root --password=xxx -h xxx my_db1 | mysql -u root --password=xxx -h localhost my_db1
The only problem is that it's locking up every single time it runs.
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