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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
Sena
 
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Need advice on rough puppy play

Sasha is 10 weeks old now. Fedja is still mostly ignoring her and doesn't want to play with her except when he gets very excited and playful,like after being outside for a walk. He then tries to play a chase game with her. The problem is that she keeps jumping on him, biting and nipping him and hanging in his hair. Sometimes it looks very rough and I have decided to give Fedja a haircut so there will be less hair to hang into. I know that Fedja is not happy with this wrestling kind of play, it's too rough for his taste. But I also know that's just how puppies play.
I have learned that you best let the dogs sort it out on their own if possible, but here comes the problem...Fedja is failing in properly correcting her behavior, and she is getting more bold and obnoxious with him. She is becoming a real brat, and I can see Fedja isn't happy with this situation. He snarls, growls and snaps when Sasha gets to bold, but she is just not getting it. Sasha just goes on and on . She obviusly needs stronger correction, and Fedja is too soft in his manners to provide it. It feels like he is being bullied by her.
I really need some advice on how to protect Fedja, and learn Sasha that this is not how we play with each other.
Do puppies usually outgrow this kind of play, or do I have to intervene? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 07:08 AM
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Dexter and Jack went through this too. Sometimes Dexter would jump up high so Jack could not get him. Other times, they worked it out, but it was very scary. Sometimes, I broke it up because it was too scary for me.

Keep puppy occupied or exercise him to tire him out. A tired puppy is a good puppy.

The older Hav is just teaching the younger one manners and sometimes the little ones can be a little hard headed.



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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 10:28 AM
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Arrow Over-arousal

I have a slightly different view on this, having learned the HARD WAY!

When Sasha goes on and on like that, it's an indication she is over-aroused - AND overtired.

Indeed, I think it's wise to protect Fedja - and to help Sasha settle.

The over-rough play is very typical of 10-week-old puppies!

Off-the-cuff, I can think of two possible solutions.

1) This may not work, as Sasha may be too aroused to respond to treat-lures, but you could try it, just in case it does work.

I'd use the technique I call "One-for." Have especially desirable treats available at all times - go get them - a really good handful.

Then approach the dogs, and lure their attention to you with the treats.

The first few times you do this, I'd take one treat in each hand, and feed both dogs at once, one treat at a time. Pause between treats for a few seconds, if you can. When you have their attention - including Sasha's - feed again.

See what happens. If Sasha renews her play-attacks after that, she remains over-aroused, at Fedya's expense.

By the way, I think it's good that Fedja doesn't scare Sasha, because that kind of scaring can backfire and cause some trauma to the pup.

Do you have or use crates? If so, I would crate Sasha at this point, assuming you've already taught her to like her crate. Of you could use a non-exercise pen, as I call them. I'd confine Sasha until she settles, ignoring any outcries. It shouldn't take longer than about five minutes for an over-aroused puppy to calm down and perhaps begin taking a nap.

I'd let her out after ten minutes, if she's calmed down.

About the One-For technique, when the dogs settle quite quickly and easily when you bring the treats out, you can gradually begin asking them to take turns. Since Fedja is the Senior Resident, he gets first treat.

Here's the sequence, done fairly quickly, so the dogs don't feel as though they're waiting long:

One for Fedja (give treat).

One for Sasha (give treat).

And continue for some ten treats each.

After that, Sasha may still need some confinement - if you don't have crates or non-exercise pens, perhaps behind a baby gate - anything to keep the dogs apart for a short time.

I like your idea of clipping Fedja short; that should help a lot.

The other technique, which I like a lot less, is to pick Sasha up and put her into some kind of confinement. I don't like this as well, because it involves serious force on our parts. Still, sometimes we need to pick up our dogs, and I don't think it will hurt Sasha to learn that sometimes she gets picked up (for whatever reason).

She could bite, being so over-aroused, and if she does that, I'd wear gloves.

Please keep us posted on how things go!

And do remember that dogs can easily get over-aroused, and in my view, INCREASING the stress hormones that have invaded the body during over-arousal is asking for more trouble, because it takes from two to six days for those to return to base level, and the return to base level only occurs if MORE arousal isn't added in the interim!

With such young puppies, though, there will be more arousal, maybe even the same day; this is a stage puppies go through .I hope it would settle some by the time Sasha is about 14 weeks old.

Reducing stress is generally, in my view, the way to go, and I like your instincts on this!

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 08:24:32 (PST)

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Last edited by CarolWCamelo; 02-20-2012 at 02:08 PM. Reason: fix typos
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 12:26 PM
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Wonderful advice, Carol! I don't have two, so didn't have a problem with Kodi beating on an older dog when he was a puppy. But he had a very distinct "witching hour" in the early evening when he would get TOTALLY out of control, barking like crazy, running in circles, jumping on people, teasing the cat (something that backfired a few times!) and tearing things up It was mostly directed at us, probably because he didn't have a "doggy sibling". I just didn't know what to do, and was at my wit's end.

A good friend who is also a wonderful trainer had me do pretty much what you have outlined here. First trying to distract him, (which didn't work at all, BTW) and then if that didn't work, putting him in his ex-pen until he calmed down. I noticed that after a few minutes of screeching and carrying on, he almost always fell DEAD asleep, and took an extended nap. (of course, we didn't wake him)

I realized that it was a lot like the phenomenon you see with young children, where they don't want to leave off playing, even though they are tired, so they get more and more manic as they try to fight off sleep. They are almost WAITING for someone to step in and get them to settle. After his nap (during which we'd try to get dinner done!) he was Pleasantly playful, without that manic edge, for the rest of the evening.

(funny how these "problems" that seem so big when we are in the midst of puppyhood are really fleeting in the scheme of things!)


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 12:59 PM
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Sena, Sasha's behavior sounds a lot like what we have been dealing with since Finn came into the family. Now I am no doubt going to learn, after the fact, how I should have handled it differently! Although it sounds like Sasha is starting earlier than Finn did. We brought Finn home when he was 10 weeks. Augie acted like a protective big brother in the beginning. When I threw toys for fetch, Augie would go get it, and then let Finn take it from him, and they would wrestle, but it wasn't anywhere near the point where I was worried about it getting out of hand. However, it was very clear that Finn could hold his own against an older and larger dog. I probably should have cut Augie's hair, as Finn did the same things you are describing, hung from Augie's face and head hair mostly. When Finn was young, Augie would leap up onto the couch or to the back of the couch to escape the little pest. Out in the play yard, Augie was faster and could run away when they did their RLH's. These past few months have been sort of a blur and I don't remember exactly when the tables turned, when Augie figured out that Finn didn't need a protective older brother who gave up his toys to him. Finn got bigger, stronger, and faster and learned to jump so if they were in the same room, there was now no escaping.

I will not leave them alone in the house together. When I am not there to supervise, Finn is crated in the kitchen, and Augie has run of the rest of the main level. When they are getting rambunctious in the family room area and it is obvious that Augie has had enough, we open the gate to the living room so Augie can get away from him and Finn can settle down. Sometimes Finn goes into the kitchen and takes a nap and we gate him in and let Augie do his thing in the rest of the house. When Augie is removed from the scene, Finn usually settles right down and is good about entertaining himself with toys.

Augie is a very laid back, mellow dog. Finn is an in-your-face, squeaky wheel dog. I try to give Augie one-on-one time - he especially seems to enjoy going on walks with me, without his brother, and going to our Rally training classes and 'working on our skills' as I call it.

Finn has gotten better, with age, about backing off when it is apparent that Augie has had enough. Finn always has to have the toy that Augie has. He will not take it out of his mouth, but he will get in front of him - about 8 inches away - and stare intently, and the minute Augie drops it, he is on it. If he gets too close, when Augie is not ready to give it up, Augie will growl and he backs off. But I am not at the point where I would go anywhere and leave them alone together.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:56 PM
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When we brought Nellie home,Dizzie was allowed and able to get on to our bed,and he used this as his safe haven,we also had our walks on our own,and when we came home Dizzie was a little tired and having a rest,I would have a good old rough and tumble with Nellie,teaching her what was acceptable behaviour,and what was not.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:18 PM
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Nice advise all! I have this problem with Atticus and my elderly cat Boo. As you can see they get along sometimes but other times he is just too rough. This won't work in the short run but if you teach a strong happy "leave It" You can use it for lot's of things,poop eating,rough play etc. I start "leave it " as a trade,object for treat,toy for different toy,etc. Now Atticus actually love "leave it" as it usually means something else fun for him. He brings me pens and drops them at my feet happily waiting for a trade as pens are a "leave it" item. Who is training who???? He will stop attacking Boo when he hears "leave it" and come to me, he used to always get treats for that but now it distracts him and we move on. How ever I never leave him unsupervised with Boo,and clip her claws regularly. Good luck and hang in there, the puppy crazyies will die down, at least that what everyone tells me HAHA 11 months and counting! Jody
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:35 PM
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Arrow over-arousal

Quote:
Originally Posted by krandall View Post
<snip> But he had a very distinct "witching hour" in the early evening when he would get TOTALLY out of control, barking like crazy, running in circles, jumping on people, teasing the cat (something that backfired a few times!) and tearing things up.
This behavior is very, VERY common among dogs - and, as you pointed out, children, too. My friends on various dog-lists have called it having the Zoomies - now I can call it Hav-ing the Zoomies [deadpan]

Quote:
<big snip>
I realized that it was a lot like the phenomenon you see with young children, where they don't want to leave off playing, even though they are tired, so they get more and more manic as they try to fight off sleep. They are almost WAITING for someone to step in and get them to settle. After his nap (during which we'd try to get dinner done!) he was Pleasantly playful, without that manic edge, for the rest of the evening.
As has been said, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Very wise.

That's a great description, and, in my view, an excellent analogy. It's the nature of the being. It's physiological in origin.

I have a few elaborations - just little ones - stuff I omitted, as I wasn't paying attention to certain details usually associated with clicker-training.

TREATS - what to use? any food that's safe for your dog is fine; the smellier or stinkier, the better - use stuff your dogs REALLY like.

Keep the treats VERY small, because it's the smell and the symbolism that matters, and you will, if you are teaching regularly, use a lot of treats, in order to meet the criterion of having a high rate of reinforcement. Treats the size of a very small pea are good.

Of course, don't forget to reduce your dogs' regular feedings by the approximate amounts of calories you deliver with treats.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT SHARKING!

At times when the dogs are quiet and relaxed, teach them, gently, to take treats nicely, without biting your fingers. You can start by laying the treat in the palm of your hand, and offering it that way, but eventually, you'll want to be able to hold the treat between your thumb and a finger, to make delivery fast and accurate.

You could hold a bunch of treats in one hand, and pick them up, one-by-one, with the other, between thumb and finger. If the dog grabs too hard, tuck the treat into your palm, and close your hand into a fist, so the dog can't get the treat. Dog is likely to sit back or stop, shocked. Then offer the treat again. Keep tucking it away as long as the dog bites.

This technique may be varied as necessary to keep your hands whole and unbloodied!

Best done not too long after the dog has had a full meal; that will help with the sharking problem.

CONFINEMENT

When you confine the dog, it's by far best to do so where you can see the dog, and the dog can see you. I don't go for any kind of abandonment.

Toss a couple of treats into the confining area when you confine the dog.

Best, teach the dog beforehand to enjoy its crate or ex-pen. Best article I ever read on this is here:

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/crate.htm

So there are a few things I forgot to mention. Please, anybody, elaborate and add to this; thanks!

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 12:30:13 (PST)

And again, I forgot something. When you confine Sasha (this would be for any over-aroused puppy) - ignore the puppy completely once it's confined. Otherwise, it will have a very hard time settling down. I've found it's quite typical for a puppy to take about five minutes to calm down; We get a sensation as though the dog is giving in, finally, to its actual need for rest and/or sleep. The dogs I've handled this way typically heave an audible sigh at the moment they actually settle - then they lie down and sleep.

And, as Karen suggested, don't go wake them up! Let them awaken on their own. If you've shut a crate door, by all means open it, but if opening the door will awaken the pup, I'd leave it closed till you see and hear the dog has awakened. (This is only one of the reasons I like the confinement area to be in human view, under supervision.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 12:44:14 (PST)

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Last edited by CarolWCamelo; 02-20-2012 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Add info
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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Hahaha Jody - 11 months and counting!! That is where we are too! Yes, 'leave it' is good, and we use 'off' - humping has been a big thing here. Finn will look my way, and if he thinks I am not looking, Augie is fair game. Usually, all I have to say now is 'Finn' and he gets off. And he is not doing it as much.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 03:49 PM
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Best, teach the dog beforehand to enjoy its crate or ex-pen. Best article I ever read on this is here:

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/crate.htm
That's a good article, and will certainly make the dog feel more comfortable about the crate. If you want to have a dog who LOVES his crate, to the point that you can use the crate itself as a motivator, buy Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" DVD. Even if you never get past lesson 3, you will have created so much value in the crate that the dog CHOSES the crate over other options.

Susan is rabid about "no punishment" training, and about setting things up to allow the dog to make the "right choice". While she is mostly thought of as an agility trainer, ALL of her basic training is just as relevant for companion animals, as competitive ones. In fact, she makes a big point about the fact that most "foundation training" for agility dogs is just plain good house dog training.

I certainly could go back and work on more of the Crate Games lessons, and Kodi would benefit from them. But we worked on them just his first winter, from about 6-11 months, as a way to take the edge off him when it was too nasty for much outdoor play. People are always amazed at the way he will BLAST into his crate at the end of an agility run, turn around and sit, with this very pleased expression on his face. In fact, he was SO attracted to his crate for a while that I needed to put it up off the ground and turn it so he couldn't see the opening while he was on course. Otherwise, everytime he was on that end of the course, the crate would just "suck" him right in!

The end result is I have a dog who LOVES his crate. It's his spot to relax. I have one in my office for his use without a door on it at all. He spends a large part of each day snoozing in it, out of choice. The benefit is that The crate calms and relaxes him. So it doesn't matter where we take him, as long as his crate is there too, he feels at home. I am sure this is one of the reasons that he doesn't get stressed out at shows. When he's in his crate, he REALLY relaxes in there. So he comes out fresh and ready to work. Likewise, when he is left home alone, he doesn't have a problem with separation anxiety... he's happy to hang in his crate until we return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolWCamelo View Post
And again, I forgot something. When you confine Sasha (this would be for any over-aroused puppy) - ignore the puppy completely once it's confined. Otherwise, it will have a very hard time settling down. I've found it's quite typical for a puppy to take about five minutes to calm down; We get a sensation as though the dog is giving in, finally, to its actual need for rest and/or sleep. The dogs I've handled this way typically heave an audible sigh at the moment they actually settle - then they lie down and sleep.

And, as Karen suggested, don't go wake them up! Let them awaken on their own. If you've shut a crate door, by all means open it, but if opening the door will awaken the pup, I'd leave it closed till you see and hear the dog has awakened. (This is only one of the reasons I like the confinement area to be in human view, under supervision.
That reminded me... and this might not work for a puppy who is not learned to be content in their crate, or one who suffers from real separation anxiety, but we found that if Kodi could see us, he didn't settle as fast. In fact, he'd make an unholy ruckus. Since his ex-pen with attached crate were within full view of the family, I found that this was helping him maintain his state of arousal. So in his case, it worked better to put a light sheet over his crate. He could still hear us, and knew we were right there, but he couldn't see us. He settled much faster this way.

Also, while we definitely didn't wake him up, we DID try very hard to keep an ear out for him waking, and go to him BEFORE he started barking. We didn't want to encourage demand barking. (he was bad enough about that as it was!)


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Last edited by krandall; 02-20-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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