Puppy Play...too rough?
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Thread: Puppy Play...too rough?

  1. #1
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    Puppy Play...too rough?

    Our golden lab, Maggie died a couple of weeks ago

    We are a large family and although we loved her dearly and couldnt replace her, we wanted another dog right away. Well instead of one we adopted two!

    The first puppy we got from a man in an apartment who wasnt supposed to have dogs. She is a beautiful Catahoula/lab mix named Boo, about 5 months old.
    Not spayed yet but we are in a few weeks.

    A few days later we adopted Sparta from a rescue place. He is 10 weeks old, a black lab/cattle dog mix. Already neutered.

    They seem to be fast friends already, sleeping together in Spartas crate, on the couch, on the floor etc.

    They are awesome dogs and we feel very lucky to have found them both. We have 1/3 acre (fenced) and they love to run together in the yard.

    The only problem we have had so far is that we need to train them with the younger two children who are 3 and 6. They get a little rough and can jump in their face and nip. We know this is normal and have been reading on training them to sit, get down etc. Also on teaching the kids how to be seen as higher in the pack and not as puppies.

    Ok, sorry to run on, ill get to the point. The two puppies like to play rough with each other sometimes. To hear it you would think one is about to be killed. The younger male is particularly vocal and snarly. In watching them their tales are still up and wagging and we can break it up with a shout...where they just both stop and stare at us...most of the time.

    How much of this play is ok? In regards to teaching them to be gentle with the children I had two thoughts: I read somewhere one way dogs learn not to bite is by playing with each other as pups, and being reprimanded by mom etc. So is this play helping that? Or by letting them get rough with each other am I allowing play that will make it harder to teach them to be gentle overall?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    Here is a picture of them!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Puppy Play...too rough?-sparta-boo.jpg  

  4. #3
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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    Puppy play can definitely help with bite inhibition. If they try biting people though, a yelp or a no bite and walking away will always work. They'll learn biting hurts you and they get nothing from it (because you leave)

    I don't see a problem with the puppies playing as long as they're not hurting each other. If their tails are wagging, they're fine. It will help get some energy out of them too.

    Teach them not to jump, that way they don't have the option of nipping your kids' faces because your kids will be standing and they won't be able to reach their face. To teach them not to jump, any time they do so, stand still as a tree and don't say a thing, and don't look at them. Once they sit or walk away, praise and treat. If they start jumping from the excitement, start all over. Pups catch on to this really quick.

    You're going to have a real adventure ahead of you with two pups. Twice the money, harder to keep an eye on and housetrain, and probably harder to train. I never recommend getting two pups at once because of this, and they'll also likely bond to each other more than you, which is what makes training harder because they'll want each other and won't care much about you and what you want.

    They're very cute though, and good luck!

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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    Hopefully it isnt too hard on us! One thing to our advantage is there are 8 of us in the family, so someone is always with the dogs...and my husband is home full time right now too so that helps.

    The catahoula seems to be bonding to me at the moment. Although she is happy to sleep with any of the kids she can get to Sparta sleeps in his crate all night though.

    I guess what Im getting at is maybe with all of our interactions, and them not being left to just hang out with each other, they WILL bond to us and not just themselves....I hope!

    Thanks for the tips on jumping and biting!

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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    You're welcome, and that could definitely help with bonding, but with so many people, it could prove harder to train them, because you need to make sure EVERYONE knows the correct way to train them so that they aren't getting conflicting commands. A problem I've seen with this is one person will yell off when a dog jumps, another will yell down, and a third will do the ignoring routine. The dog will never learn that way, and it could also mess up the real down command for laying down.

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    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    Nothing to add other than a video of my girls playing. It's not unusual for dog play to get really vocal.

    Zoey is pretty snarly in this one.. mostly because Maggie had been biting at her ears for the last 20 minutes before I took the video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEH9rYflZEA

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    Talking Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    That was really cute! I love the way the older dog just walks through casually toward the end!

    My husband and kids got a good chuckle. What breed is that?

    I would have to say our two puppies do get a bit rougher than that though...I tolerate it for awhile and then the mom in me just HAS to break it up.

    Our little guy, who usually instigates and is the most vocal, walked up to our big dog at work and starting yapping and growling at her ankles. She stood there and looked around casually as if to say "do I hear something?" then just totally walked off leaving him looking the fool!

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    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy Play...too rough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plantmum6 View Post
    That was really cute! I love the way the older dog just walks through casually toward the end!

    My husband and kids got a good chuckle. What breed is that?

    I would have to say our two puppies do get a bit rougher than that though...I tolerate it for awhile and then the mom in me just HAS to break it up.

    Our little guy, who usually instigates and is the most vocal, walked up to our big dog at work and starting yapping and growling at her ankles. She stood there and looked around casually as if to say "do I hear something?" then just totally walked off leaving him looking the fool!
    Zoey and Maggie (the brown dog and the small white one that did all the biting) are Lhasa Apsos, Maggie may have some Bichon in her.. The old dog you see at the end is Chipper, we don't really know what kind of dog he is, but guess at Poodle/Schnauzer. I don't know why it's so fun to watch dogs play..

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