Indoor wrestling.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Indoor wrestling....

This is 100% my fault. I've allowed Sitka and my mutt, Ruger to wrestle indoors since day one with Sitka. Ruger is a great, and is so very patient with Sitka. I love their relationship. Anyways, it dawned on me the other day that Sitka won't always be a tiny 30lbs pup. In a few months he's going to be rivaling Ruger in size and weight. So I'm working to break this habit of indoor roughhousing. When they start playing, I've been calling Sitka to me, and rewarding in a sit and calm state. Then I have Ruger sit. Sitka and I then walk around him a couple times, the goal is to ignore him. He does well and this usually settles them both down, so the both get rewards. Then we play a more calm game indoors to burn the energy or go outside for some soccer. Does this sound like an effective way to teach a pup to have some manners inside? Is there a more effective way I could be doing this? I've never had to teach this, and if I continue allowing these two to wrestle, when they're both 75+lbs, there will be nothing left in their wake.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:26 AM
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Sounds like a good plan, and definitely good timing before he gets bigger. We have never allowed roughhousing inside, just out in the yard. Even then I stop it if they get too excited or rough. It takes a lot of patience to enforce the discipline but it will be worth it. Now I just have to say stop it, and they settle. When Dell was young I would sometimes separate in her crate to settle her.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:45 AM
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My dogs are only allowed to play together in one room where they can't destroy anything.It's become an ingrained habit now.When they're feeling playful and the weather is horrible, one dog goes into that room and begins tossing a toy around.The other one shows up a few seconds later and of course I have to go watch them have fun and play a bit too.
If I toss them a toy in a different room they immediately take it to "their" room to play.It's just creating a habit/routine.If I say Play they trot to the room.You could also create the same routine and they would trot to the door to be released to play outside if your yard is fenced.
That's our routine anyway.Others don't ever allow play indoors.You could just separate them behind a gate and give them something to chew or otherwise engage them.Just a couple of ideas.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 12:40 PM
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I can't allow it indoors. 3 kids 2 dogs 1550 sq foot home lol Nice yard though. They are allowed to play out there, though I supervise. I have a Ruger too

I have been training them separately and crating rotating lately as they were getting too "doggy"..taking cues off each other more than me, and showing some separation anxiety when going in different directions etc

It has been working well and OB and focus is progressing faster for both of them now.They still get free time and play time, just not joined at the hip anymore.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ksotto333 View Post
Sounds like a good plan, and definitely good timing before he gets bigger. We have never allowed roughhousing inside, just out in the yard. Even then I stop it if they get too excited or rough. It takes a lot of patience to enforce the discipline but it will be worth it. Now I just have to say stop it, and they settle. When Dell was young I would sometimes separate in her crate to settle her.
I don't remember any of my dogs roughhousing inside, granted I have a senior and she is very well mannered when I rescued Ruger, so the behaviour was just never there. Adding Sitka to the mix was like WWE, all day everyday. I thought it was cute. Now I'm like "WHOA! What am I doing!? We need to nip this. "Lol. I allow them free reign outside to wrestle. If it gets too serious, I intervene, and when they fly up and down the deck stairs, I step in and make them walk up the steps, as Sitka is still a bit clumsy on them, and we already had a broken leg scare.
I've only had to use the kennel 2 or 3 times. When he just wouldn't respond and would try to get me involved in the wrestling. He's smart, and he catches on fast. I really started working to correct this behaviour yesterday. He's already doing better, but its a constant redirection and intervention!

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Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
My dogs are only allowed to play together in one room where they can't destroy anything.It's become an ingrained habit now.When they're feeling playful and the weather is horrible, one dog goes into that room and begins tossing a toy around.The other one shows up a few seconds later and of course I have to go watch them have fun and play a bit too.
If I toss them a toy in a different room they immediately take it to "their" room to play.It's just creating a habit/routine.If I say Play they trot to the room.You could also create the same routine and they would trot to the door to be released to play outside if your yard is fenced.
That's our routine anyway.Others don't ever allow play indoors.You could just separate them behind a gate and give them something to chew or otherwise engage them.Just a couple of ideas.
That's great your dogs have their own playroom! I actually have began creating the habit of going to the door to play. If they're still antsy, after my redirection, I walk to the backdoor and hollar "let's go play" and they're usually hot on my heels. I let them play until they're both laying in the yard. Or I'll bring Ruger in and do some one-on-one with Sitka. It seems to be working over the last 2 days, they're getting the hint.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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I can't allow it indoors. 3 kids 2 dogs 1550 sq foot home lol Nice yard though. They are allowed to play out there, though I supervise. I have a Ruger too [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

I have been training them separately and crating rotating lately as they were getting too "doggy"..taking cues off each other more than me, and showing some separation anxiety when going in different directions etc

It has been working well and OB and focus is progressing faster for both of them now.They still get free time and play time, just not joined at the hip anymore.
I totally understand! I've got a similar living situation. Ruger is a great name. :-)
I'm really shocked I let it go this long! It's like my brain just didn't make the connection that it wasn't appropriate behaviour!
I also separate them to do obedience most of the time. Sometimes I allow the distraction to keep Sitka's focus on me. In the house, he's about 98% responsive with and without distractions. Outside he's about 85%. In public, he's like 30%. Ruger and Sitka are close, but Sitka' s focus is typically mine, even when they're playing. I've worked so hard to make sure I'm his world, and since I'm the holder of all the treats. I'm pretty dang important, lol!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 07:14 PM
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It caught me off guard too. At first it seemed good habits were developing over the first few weeks. They were listening despite having the other as distraction. One would "stay" while the other did a few commands. But then they started to check with each other more and started acting as a unit. Then they hated not being right next to each other on walks with 2 handlers, etc. It was kind of insidious. Apparently it is common with 2 young pups, and you can loosen the rules later once both are well established (when that happens, not all dogs will imprint on each other I hear).

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:22 PM
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I have allowed gentle wrestling, both dog on their back, mouthing and showing a "heavenly smile". They usually did this while we were having breakfast. If it got too rough, I broke it up with down stays. Worked great.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:32 PM
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I have allowed gentle wrestling, both dog on their back, mouthing and showing a "heavenly smile". They usually did this while we were having breakfast. If it got too rough, I broke it up with down stays. Worked great.
As it often happens in life, a certain knee jerk sound becomes a command. My official command for "too rough in the house" has become......OY!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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It caught me off guard too. At first it seemed good habits were developing over the first few weeks. They were listening despite having the other as distraction. One would "stay" while the other did a few commands. But then they started to check with each other more and started acting as a unit. Then they hated not being right next to each other on walks with 2 handlers, etc. It was kind of insidious. Apparently it is common with 2 young pups, and you can loosen the rules later once both are well established (when that happens, not all dogs will imprint on each other I hear).
I'll have to watch for a in change is behaviours together. Ruger is pretty well established. Which is why it may seem like training is one sided. My focus is getting a handle on the new little beast. Even with the wrestling, its "boys, enough!" Ruger will just sit or lay down and stop. SITKA keeps instigating, which why I call him to me and make him sit.

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I have allowed gentle wrestling, both dog on their back, mouthing and showing a "heavenly smile". They usually did this while we were having breakfast. If it got too rough, I broke it up with down stays. Worked great.
I wouldn't mind this at all. Their wrestling starts pretty rough and escalates quickly to tearing through my house, and running into stuff. They often run over my poor old dog who just wants to sleep. They're totally blind to everything around them when they really get going. A little mouthing and rolling around would be fine, these two just get too involved. Thankfully Ruger responds to "enough" consistently. Sitka is learning.
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