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Periodic visits with littermates – what is normal?
Our puppy Maestro is 13 weeks old, and when we brought him home a couple weeks ago, my parents also brought home one of his littermates – a darling little girl named Willow.
We had told the breeder that the two puppies would see each other often, as my parents live fairly close and we see them weekly, if not a couple times a week. So from about 8 weeks on, Maestro and Willow were kept in the same area by the breeder – and the other two remaining puppies were together as well but separate from our two.
During the last couple weeks, we have gotten the pups together a couple times each week to have puppy play dates. It seems that when we get together over at my parents house, they play/puppy fight – which I consider very normal – and then eventually settle down and start playing with their toys and occasionally interacting with each other. However, when we are at our house, it's a very different situation. The puppies play much more aggressively together, and they do not settle down after a bit of time, nor can they be distracted with toys. We've had them together 3 times over my parents' house, which went well; we have been together 2 times our house, neither of which went well. The same 6 people were at all 5 gatherings, and there aren't really any other glaring differentiating factors, aside from the location. We do have a cat, but she keeps out of the way – and thus far, Willow hasn't even noticed her when she's been over because the pups have been so engaged in this overly aggressive play.
The breeder said they would always recognize each other and be canine friends their whole life long. They certainly do seem to enjoy each other's company when were at my parents house. But not so much when they're over at our house.
So I guess I have two questions: first, does anyone know why they would act differently at one house versus the other? Is there some situational factor that makes them more aggressive or uncomfortable, resulting in more aggressive and longer-lasting play? Secondly, is there any reason to be concerned if the aggressive play goes on and on when they are over at our house? We will be watching Willow for seven days at the end of September, and also keeping her over two weekends in October while my parents are traveling. So I'm really trying to figure out how to handle this so it doesn't end up being a very long week for us with both puppies here.
Thanks in advance for any insight or advice!