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Thread: Should I intervene in puppy play? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2012 07:10 PM
Ziltoid Guess I'll just have to make sure i spend a lot of time training them seperately. They'll be spending the rest of their lives together so i do want a strong bond between them... but not so strong that they can't function apart.
12-16-2012 05:43 PM
Dainerra I have friends in my training group who own littermate brothers. The dogs don't live in the same house but on the same street. They see each other every day and when 1 owner goes out of town, the other keeps both dogs.
These boys are STUCK to each other like glue. In public, they turn to each other for comfort if something startles them. If 1 leaves the group, both of them howl and scream until they are together again. It's taken a lot of work to get them able to even function away from each other. At obedience trials, the dog not in the ring has to be taken out of the room before the other can work. Otherwise, the dog will leave the ring to be with his brother.
12-16-2012 05:38 PM
Dainerra 2 dogs that are well apart in age will each bond with their owner more than each other without a lot of extra efforts.
2 dogs that are at the same "stage" will bond more easily with each other, sometimes to the point of ignoring their owner when the dogs are together and panicking if they are away from each other.
I think it's because that, being close in age, they have so much more in common with each other and can meet each other's need for play and socialization. Where an older dog will already be firmly bonded with their owner more than other canines. Kind of like the different relationship between siblings who are a couple years apart vs a set of twins.
12-16-2012 04:57 PM
Ziltoid I'll have to keep an eye on that. At this stage it is very much all about me. As i said I've had 2 dogs before, my parents, sister and friends do and in every case the dogs have got on really well but were more bonded with us than each other... but it's worth watching out for.

And yes, it's hard to remember how young she is sometimes. She'd have to be pretty close to full grown and was generally quite sensible before he turned up... watching them get into mischief together has highlighted that she's still a puppy though.
12-16-2012 04:21 PM
Dainerra the reason that people encourage you to wait is that you want to keep young puppies as separate as possible. Otherwise, they bond more strongly with each other than with you.
So it would be encouraged that you limit their playtime together anyway and keep them away from each other for all but a short period every day.

Also, you have to remember that she is a baby herself. So what she is willing to put up with is going to be a lot rougher than an older, more settled dog might want to do.
12-16-2012 04:16 PM
Ziltoid Maybe she's just being a bit more subtle about it than I expected. It'll be interesting to watch the change as he gets a bit older.

The behaviour you described is more what I was expecting to see now... but as you said maybe it will start in the future.

Now I think about it, I can remember a moment from my last dogs that was similar to what I'm seeing now - The puppy was hanging off my females cheek and she just looked at my and gave a very human like smile and shrug of the shoulders and let him continue. She definitely did teach him the boundaries, so that must have started a bit later on.

I think I am just being a bit paranoid about the whole thing. Everyone advised I waited until Heidi was at least 2 before getting the second pup... but of course, I knew better =). So I've been keeping a very close eye on them to try to make sure nothing goes wrong.

I really don't mind them playing rough... as long as they are both comfortable with it and it doesn't escalate any further than play.
12-16-2012 08:41 AM
Dainerra what you don't see is that she IS teaching him! When she has enough she stands up and changes the game. Teaching him how far that he can go. She knows that he is a baby "if he's on top of me, all I have to do is stand up and *poof* he falls off" The fact that she continues the game just signals that he hasn't been annoying enough that she wants him to quit.
Kind of like when a toddler starts banging his toy car on the floor and you say "like this" and show him how to roll it on the ground.

When he comes back at her like you described, that means that she ISN'T being a bit much for him. He's just escalating the game.

At his age, he isn't "more dominant" than her. She is being tolerant of the baby. Just because you let a 2year old take a cookie off your plate doesn't mean that he's going to rule the house when he grows up. It means that he is a baby and you don't care that he takes a cookie. Later, when he is older, you might say "Kid, this is my cookie. get your own"

it's pretty easy to teach them if you don't want them to play this way. Just step in and distract them to something else. They soon learn what is appropriate and what is not.

I'll use my dogs to illustrate even though Rayden was 7 when we brought Singe home. Rayden let Singe crawl all over him and bite his ears and play rough. If it got out of control, he would stand up. If he had had enough, he would simply walk away. If Singe followed, Rayden would pick him up, bring him to me and drop him on the floor. Of course, being an old bachelor, Rayden carried him by his head

When he got older, the game changed. Instead of standing up, Rayden would take a paw and push him to the ground, hold him there for a second and Singe would play nicer. If Singe didn't get the hint, Rayden would look at me and grumble and if Singe still didn't take the hint, he would take it a step farther and bark and tell him off.
There was never a doubt about when the game had gone too far. Rayden was just more tolerant of a baby than he was of a teenager.
12-16-2012 01:17 AM
Ziltoid Haha!! Yeah, my sister has a couple and the neighbours came round one day to tell her that that her dogs were trying to kill each other while she was at work. While that conversation was happening, the dogs were playing and the neighbour says "see, they're doing it now!".

My sister pointed out they were playing and neither of them had ever had a mark on them.

I'm sure mine will be fine. I just might take over the teaching of what is too rough because my females not doing it. She's obviously not taking offense to it because she can't get enough of him... doesn't even like going for walks without him.

2 young dogs is a lot of work... but it's a lot of fun at the same time =)
12-16-2012 01:02 AM
Dainerra my boys will pin each other. body slam. jump on each other. I mostly posted that for the sound effects - my neighbors are always convinced they are trying to kill each other!

if he gets too wild, just give him a little time to calm down. maybe even burn off some energy another way before letting them play together. I've never had two dogs that close in age - too much work for me! lol
12-16-2012 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by Dainerra View Post
even the youngest of pups will let playmates know if it gets too rough.
you can calm it down if you want - I never let mine play rough in the house.

Otherwise, this is what my boys have always sounded like
Nice video. That's obviously friendly play though, I'm more worried about the way he attempts to pin her down... I dunno it just seems a bit savage. I wouldn't want to see an adult dog do it.

Most of their play is nice... Both lying down, with a quiet whine going while they softly mouth each other.

As I said, maybe I'm worrying about nothing. I'm just after a few opinions on whether I should be watching it, or if this is pretty standard for a puppy of his age.
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