Puppy to Puppy Playdate - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy to Puppy Playdate

I have a puppy playdate scheduled this morning for socialization. Both pups are about four months old, with mine being a couple weeks older.

I had a playdate last week with a pup from the same litter as the dog coming over today. Overall it went well, but my dog got a little rough with the other puppy at one point. Initially I thought it was just them sorting things out but then I read the post about Axle being bullied at the dog park and I wondered if my dog was being a bully and if I should have intervened.

Any tips on puppy to puppy socialization? Do you step in if one dog seems to be playing too aggressively? Also, my dog tends to bark a lot at dogs she doesn't know. This only lasted a few minutes while she got to know the puppy from last week but it's kind of annoying if we're out somewhere. Any tips for correcting that behavior would be great too. I've been starting to make progress with it when she's on leash and sees dogs but when I'm introducing her to another dog like today should I just let her bark at the dog while they meet, or take some action to correct? I wasn't planning to put her on leash for their meeting today because I wanted to see if being off leash changes her reaction (though, it didn't last time.)

The playdate will be at my house in the back yard and the last puppy was a female, this one is a male.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 10:21 AM
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I think a lot depends on if she is barking out of fear/uncertainty or excitement/frustration. Either way I wouldn't allow her to interact unless she can pproach without barking. That may mean she doesn't get to interact with the other pup at all, only watches from whatever distance she can be quiet at and slowly works closer. Personally I really don't like barky dogs or owners that allow their dogs to nuisance bark at others. I am so glad Finn never barked once in any class I've had him in, even with other dogs barking up a storm nearby. I did reward heavily during classes whenever another puppy or dog barked. He learned to focus on me and ignore whenever there was another dog(s) barking.

Are far as playing with other puppies or dogs I like to call my pup away or step in and remove them after a few minutes of play, ask them to do some basic commands, sit down, ect... and make sure they are being thoughtful about it reward, then let them go play again. Helps break up the play session before things get too intense and teaches them to switch between rough housing and focusing on me and following commands. If they can listen then they get the reward of resuming play, and you can turn it into a game of calling them away then letting them play again. If my pup seems to be getting to intense I will step in and remove them from play.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Bramble View Post
I think a lot depends on if she is barking out of fear/uncertainty or excitement/frustration. Either way I wouldn't allow her to interact unless she can pproach without barking. That may mean she doesn't get to interact with the other pup at all, only watches from whatever distance she can be quiet at and slowly works closer. Personally I really don't like barky dogs or owners that allow their dogs to nuisance bark at others. I am so glad Finn never barked once in any class I've had him in, even with other dogs barking up a storm nearby. I did reward heavily during classes whenever another puppy or dog barked. He learned to focus on me and ignore whenever there was another dog(s) barking.

Are far as playing with other puppies or dogs I like to call my pup away or step in and remove them after a few minutes of play, ask them to do some basic commands, sit down, ect... and make sure they are being thoughtful about it reward, then let them go play again. Helps break up the play session before things get too intense and teaches them to switch between rough housing and focusing on me and following commands. If they can listen then they get the reward of resuming play, and you can turn it into a game of calling them away then letting them play again. If my pup seems to be getting to intense I will step in and remove them from play.

That is all great advice, thank you! I'm with you on the barking dogs, I absolutely do not want this behavior to continue and I'm trying to learn how to correct it but I have not had a dog with this issue before so I need the guidance. I'm usually pretty good at "reading" dogs' behavior since I've had them my whole life and done some training for a guide dog puppy, but I'm not sure yet why she is barking at other dogs. She will usually hackle, but as I understand it, hackling is not *always* aggressive. My old lab pup was the friendliest dog you would ever meet and she hackled at other dogs but it was not aggressive at all and she got along well with all dogs. My current pup will hackle, bark, then sniff, and usually wag her tail.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 12:30 PM
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If your pup is barking to display anxiety he is rewarded by the other dogs moving away from him.Hey,it works!If he's just excited and you allow him to greet and play it's a reward also.Correct the bark and don't release him to greet until he's calmed down.If you believe it's anxious behavior correct the bark,have him focus on you,and reward for that.
Hope your play date went well today!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 12:42 PM
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My dog is a barker but once he's off leash with another dog in a safe area, he is fine. He barks a bit and if the other dog doesn't respond, he stops. If he is too barky, I will step in. Otherwise I only stop them if they are getting too agitated or out of control and if it escalates. Usually when they start to get tired, their play calms down and they end up lying down. I try to sit someplace where my dog can run and hide under my legs when he's done playing.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 12:50 PM
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4-5 months can be where the play begins to be serious. I think especially with females. When we'd let my dog and his litter mates play, that was right about the time the sister was too much for all the brothers.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 02:16 PM
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for the most part, you have to judge by how the dogs are acting toward each other. are they playing equally? it's normal for them to get a bit rough and one of the pups back off. after a second, the puppy who backed off should come back and re-engage with the puppy who got too rough on his own.
However, if one puppy is always being too rough and seems to be over-powering the other, remove him for a couple seconds to calm down. In many cases that is all that is needed. If one puppy seems to be more "hyper" you can also try tiring that puppy out a bit before the playdate.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Success

Well, the play date went well.

I took the advice of not letting Ripley engage with the puppy until she was sitting calmly and not barking (genius, I wish I had thought of it myself.) They played really well together and we separated them quickly if playing escalated. I also had her break a few times and do some basic obedience.

Really appreciate the advice, everyone!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripley2016 View Post
Well, the play date went well.

I took the advice of not letting Ripley engage with the puppy until she was sitting calmly and not barking (genius, I wish I had thought of it myself.) They played really well together and we separated them quickly if playing escalated. I also had her break a few times and do some basic obedience.

Really appreciate the advice, everyone!
Excellent!Glad it went well and you're feeling good about your progress
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2016, 03:54 PM
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I have the sweetest, littlest, mild-manneredest 5 month old puppy. Not quite five months old, I don't think. Her name is Ramona and she is sweet, and gentle, and easy, and good.

Now I also have the werewolf who is 9 months old. She has been to the pool party with a couple of Ramona's littermates, and some older puppies, and one of her littermates, and she never showed any negative anything.

So yesterday morning, I thought, what the heck?

See, both bitch pups are inside and have doggy doors to the outside. When I am not there, I put Babsy in with the werewolf. And Ramona is in with her mother. The room has two doggy doors, and between them a 6'kennel gate with some shower board, keeping them apart. But Karma and Ramona jump up onto a counter that is about 36" high, and you can see them quite well from the other side of the room, and hear them and smell them, so Quinnie knows them.

I let the werewolf into the living room where she immediately started playing with her toys. Then I went and snagged Ramona.

She plowed into Quinnie and the two of them started chasing each other. That might have been ok, but her mother did not want to be left behind, and climbed over the x-pen, and the baby gate to get into that mess.

She sniffed Quinnie all over, but Ramona kept charging her and acting crazy. Several times I pulled her back and let her know to STOP that crap.

No one was hurt. They were chasing each other, and playing hard like GSDs will. Karma wasn't sure if she should eat Quinnie or not. But she seemed to relax quite a bit, and we took a break to get some cheese out of the fridge.

Then my contractors showed up and I skivvied Quinn down stairs, and then I got the other two in their place.

But it was that little, mild-mannered, baby pup that was the Tasmanian Devil. She was the bully, if any. And there was a good 4 months between them. And yes, I did not allow too much insanity. Mostly, I want my critters to exist in the world with other dogs. They do not have to play with them, sniff butts, exchange communicable diseases, share fleas. They just can't be maniacs toward anything on four legs while we are walking down the street, at class, at shows, or at the vets.
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