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Old 11-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Urgent : Issues with 2 young GSD pups

Okay, so where to start...A little background info...
I do currently have two 8.5 week old GSD puppies. They are littler mates, and both boys. One is mine, and one belongs to my friend who won't take ownership until November 20th.

I like to start things on a positive note, so first, they have very amazingly mastered the outdoor pottying and sleeping in the crate. I get up with them every 2 hours at night and had only one accident in the house the first day they were home. I take care of them all but the 6 hours a day that I work (and then my friend or mom comes to take care of them). I have gotten them both to accept wearing collars. They eat out of seperate bowls but share the water dish and a crate at night.

Issue #1 : They fight...a lot. How much is normal? I read that puppies play fight to learn bite inhibition. They will bite each other until one yelps and walks away. Then they will chew seperately on toys and fight again later. There is a lot of growling involved when they play. Is this normal play or should I seperate them?

Issue #2 : I love my puppy. In my eyes he is absolutely perfect. He was also the pick of the litter, and the largest of the litter. Unfortunately, he seems to be largely uncordinated. He trips over his own feet and sometimes rolls head over heels while running. Should I be worried about this? Or is this just a growing thing? It only came to my attention because the smaller puppy does not have these issues.

Issue #3 : Related to the above, the smaller puppy (my friend's) is LOUD. He whines constantly, he whines to go out, whines to come in, whines at bedtime, whines in the car, and is constantly underfoot. How can I get him to behave more like his brother Ollie? Ollie only growls or barks when playing or when the neighbor's cat stands near the outdoor playpen and he never whines.

Issue #4 : Everytime I put the leash on their collars they either start chewing the leashes or they sit and refuse to budge. The books I have say that they will follow you while leashed or lead while leashed and that's how they start. But these two won't budge at all. They will walk with me when un-leashed. How do I get them to walk with the leash? (In FL they have to be leashed by law).

Issue #5 : They like to chew/chase/play with the pinecones. Is this damaging to them? I've checked and there are no cuts on their gums and they aren't swallowing any of it. They just like to tear them apart.

Issue #6 : Will they be worse off when they are seperated in 2 weeks? Or will coming down from a full litter to 2 then to 1 be okay?

Issue #7 : At night, they settle down in their crate pretty quickly for bed. (smaller puppy whines from 2-3 min and then is quiet). They sleep for about 2-2.5 hours and then I take them outside to potty. When they come back in they immediately want to play. Which I've been allowing for about 30 min and then they are ready to return to bed. Should I be not letting them play during this time? Usually after they return to bed they're out for about 4 hours, and then we go to the potty again, play outside, play inside, have breakfast, potty, play outside, around noon we nap again for about 2 hours, take a car ride to either my mom's to play with her dogs or to petsmart for human petting (they ride on a blankey in the cart). When we come back we work on 'sit', 'out', 'in', and 'drop it'. They aren't really getting the hang of them yet but it's only been 3 days. (They understand 'out' well though).

And lastly should I feel bad about not liking her pup? I'm trying very very hard to treat them equally...but I really do love my pup more. But then I feel badly and try to make up for it. After all...I've got two hands.
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Last edited by AerynAerie; 11-05-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to separate them and treat them as 2 individual pups for most activities, especially since they will actually be separated in a couple of weeks.
Wrestling is normal, fighting should be curtailed. I would allow them set play periods where you can be vigilant. Otherwise crate one and let the other out for play/training time, then switch. They don't generally learn great bite inhibition from litter mates (did you have siblings growing up? I know I played way rougher with my brother than my friends). They need some adults with good tolerance and temperament to learn BI from in addition to pups their own age.
Yes, they are clumsy, they trip and roll constantly when young. Those feet get in the way! As long as he doesn't get fat he will gain agility and grace bit by bit.
Some are just whiners, usually they outgrow it pretty quickly.
Don't leash and walk them together, the multiple leashes is way too much temptation. Get some treats and put one on a leash and lead them on a merry chase. Make them chase you for fun and when they get to you they get a treat. Don't jerk the leash, but a little pressure to let then know where the end is may help. I move backwards away from the pup calling in a sing song voice, use a squeaky toy or whatever will get them to follow out of curiosity.
Pinecones can be a problem if they swallow parts, also at some points in the year the pinecone sap or pine nuts can make them sick.
Separating in 2 weeks shouldn't be an issue if you treat them separately now.
Do not let them play during the night. I barely speak to mine when I get them out to potty during the night. I carry the pup outside, no talking, no unnecessary lights and set them down to potty. When they are done they get carried back inside and put back in the crate. Maybe with a chewy to help them fall back asleep, but NO playtime at all. Kind of like a baby in the night, feeding and diaper change needs to cause minimal fuss and sleep will overtake them more quickly.
I always like my pup better, when we've had multiples around I always find things about my pup that is just cuter or smarter. I think it's just a natural bonding response.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm no expert just a pet owner who has raised littermates.

Issue #1 Normal. Unless someone is getting hurt let them work it out.

Issue #2 Normal. My big Bud, the bigger of the two littermates is still uncordinated today at 10. It has been my experience the bigger they are the clutzier they are.

Issue #3 Normal. You won't change it. Just like people they have their own personalities. Some are more talkie than others.

Issue #4 Did you say 8.5 weeks? Too young. You can put the leash on them so they can get used to it and let them drag it around but they are going to chew on it, they are still babies.

Issue #5 My 1 year old still plays with pinecones. He hasn't had any issues. I wouldn't let him chew on them a whole lot but playing with them and tossing them around I think is ok. Some others might disagree.

Issue #6 non issue, they will be fine.

Issue #7 If the playing wears them out enough so that you can sleep 4 hours in a row go for it. This is really up to you. I would start cutting it back from half our of play to 20 min to 15 mins and so on. So they don't get used to a play session in the middle of the night.

and lastly if pup #2 was going to live with you forever it might be an issue but as long as you treat him fairly for as long as he is with you, it seems perfectly normal to me. You choose the pup you did because you liked him best.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Okay, so where to start...A little background info...
I do currently have two 8.5 week old GSD puppies. They are littler mates, and both boys. One is mine, and one belongs to my friend who won't take ownership until November 20th.

I like to start things on a positive note, so first, they have very amazingly mastered the outdoor pottying and sleeping in the crate. I get up with them every 2 hours at night and had only one accident in the house the first day they were home. I take care of them all but the 6 hours a day that I work (and then my friend or mom comes to take care of them). I have gotten them both to accept wearing collars. They eat of of seperate bowls but share the water dish and a crate at night..
Good, sounds about right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #1 : They fight...a lot. How much is normal? I read that puppies play fight to learn bite inhibition. They will bite each other until one yelps and walks away. Then they will chew seperately on toys and fight again later. There is a lot of growling involved when they play. Is this normal play or should I seperate them?

No, it is perfectly normal. 8.5 week old puppies will not hurt each other, and they will be fine for a few weeks until the one goes to its new home. Think about breeders. They do not ALL go home at 8 weeks exactly. Which means some stay together for a few more weeks or months. They will be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #2 : I love my puppy. In my eyes he is absolutely perfect. He was also the pick of the litter, and the largest of the litter. Unfortunately, he seems to be largely uncordinated. He trips over his own feet and sometimes rolls head over heels while running. Should I be worried about this? Or is this just a growing thing? It only came to my attention because the smaller puppy does not have these issues.
I wouldn't worry about it at this time. He is just uncoordinated at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #3 : Related to the above, the smaller puppy (my friend's) is LOUD. He whines constantly, he whines to go out, whines to come in, whines at bedtime, whines in the car, and is constantly underfoot. How can I get him to behave more like his brother Ollie? Ollie only growls or barks when playing or when the neighbor's cat stands near the outdoor playpen and he never whines.
They are all different, even though they are littermates. Yours could be a little more insecure (barking/growling), while your buddies seems to be a whiner. It gets better, don't read too much into it. They are just different individuals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #4 : Everytime I put the leash on their collars they either start chewing the leashes or they sit and refuse to budge. The books I have say that they will follow you while leashed or lead while leashed and that's how they start. But these two won't budge at all. They will walk with me when un-leashed. How do I get them to walk with the leash? (In FL they have to be leashed by law).
Are you trying to walk them separately or together? Training needs to be done separately. You can wait until your buddy picks up her puppy to start regular walks, safer anyway as neither pup is fully protected from diseases at this point. Sign up for a puppy class, and they will show you how to get started with the leash thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #5 : They like to chew/chase/play with the pinecones. Is this damaging to them? I've checked and there are no cuts on their gums and they aren't swallowing any of it. They just like to tear them apart.
I am not sure if pine cones are poisonous. They are teething, and need good chewy items. If you do not provide a variety of chew item, they will find their own, some dangerous to them, and some of them might make you less than happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #6 : Will they be worse off when they are seperated in 2 weeks? Or will coming down from a full litter to 2 then to 1 be okay?
They will be fine. It may take a few days of adjustment, but puppies do adjust to such changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
Issue #7 : At night, they settle down in their crate pretty quickly for bed. (smaller puppy whines from 2-3 min and then is quiet). They sleep for about 2-2.5 hours and then I take them outside to potty. When they come back in they immediately want to play. Which I've been allowing for about 30 min and then they are ready to return to bed. Should I be not letting them play during this time? Usually after they return to bed they're out for about 4 hours, and then we go to the potty again, play outside, play inside, have breakfast, potty, play outside, around noon we nap again for about 2 hours, take a car ride to either my mom's to play with her dogs or to petsmart for human petting (they ride on a blankey in the cart). When we come back we work on 'sit', 'out', 'in', and 'drop it'. They aren't really getting the hang of them yet but it's only been 3 days. (They understand 'out' well though).
You would not catch me in a petsmart with an 8.5 week old puppy, on a blankie in a cart or walking on the floor or in my arms. I would wait a few weeks and after the second or third round of shots, take your pup alone. Any socializing you do with the other puppy there is not really totally working as puppies get confidence from the litter, remove his buddy, and it is very possible that you will have to redo all this socializing anyway. So you are actually endangering your puppy by allowing people to pet your puppy in a place where there is high dog-traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerynAerie View Post
And lastly should I feel bad about not liking her pup? I'm trying very very hard to treat them equally...but I really do love my pup more. But then I feel badly and try to make up for it. After all...I've got two hands
My guess is you are working hard to not grow too attached to the other dog. That is fine. Try not to adjust for this too much. Don't worry about the equal-thing, so long as you are providing properly and giving attention to the other pup as well.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your advice!
I'll keep them out of PetSmart for the time being then and work on leashes separately.

Last night we followed your advice and did did not let them play after the potty breaks. They still slept just fine. (And I got more sleep!)

About the pine cones...they have Kong chewy toys, Kong Wubba, stuffed toys, rope toys, teething rings, teething bones, and fake sticks made for puppies. Somehow they still prefer to carry around the pine cones and destroy them on my carpet.
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