Periodic visits with littermates what is normal? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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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!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 08:12 PM
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Make sure that any anxiety you may feel about their interactions at your house are kept well hidden. Dogs are masters at picking up on our extremely subtle cues.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Make sure that any anxiety you may feel about their interactions at your house are kept well hidden. Dogs are masters at picking up on our extremely subtle cues.
Fairly confident that I was just fine ... my dad might have been anxious, though. I'll see if I can get my mom to bring her over one day without him. Thanks for the idea.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 09:22 PM
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Very interesting. Maybe Maestro doesn't feel as comfortable as Willow sharing his house and his toys with her. If things don't improve soon, maybe you can go to your parents house that week instead of staying at your house. Good luck.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 09:45 PM
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If one didn't yipe or try to run and hide somewhere, it was most likely all good fun. At that age they sound like they're trying to kill each other sometimes, but unless one yiped and the other one didn't stop immediately, I wouldn't worry about it. By the way, I've never seen one not stop when the other one caught a tooth by accident. It'll ease off some as they age.

There might be some guarding of toys and place, but they'll work it out.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 08:46 AM
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I would think that Willow is not that interested in being Alpha at her home, but Maestro wants to be sure the HE is alpha in his own home.

Like Tom said, if they are not yelping with one running and hiding, I would let hit go. Maestro will eventually make it clear to Willow that he is alpha, and it should calm down

UNtil that happens, I would supervise them at your house until this behavior stops. Keep in mind that puppies of that age, do play rough!!

What a joy for you that those two get to stay "connected"!!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 06:13 PM
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Arousal may be higher when the male is at home or vice versa but the why is not as important as the how! We are now dealing with two litter mates just coming into adolescence. It is better that they are not the same sex but still these two are likely to be quite similar and there fore there may be some issues. When dealing with two siblings that are destined to live together it is really important to put resource guarding prevention and management in place - here's a link ... http://pawsitivedawgs.wordpress.com/...urceguarding1/
The next thing important for all youngsters, especially adolescents is good play management by shaping dog play; an excellent video from Drayton Michaels:
It's good for pet owners to develop a basic understanding of canine play too:
These puppies need to get to puppy classes ASAP and to interact with lots of other dogs too so as to develop healthy play behaviour.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input.

We observed them together at my parents' house again tonight and noticed a few things:

1. Play, overall, is balanced.
2. Both pups, at different times, willingly rolled over onto their back in submission to the other pup. There was not one dog who did so more than the other.
3. It look them roughly 1.5 hours of pretty active, vigorous play before they were willing to be distracted by a toy and play with it together.
4. When one yelps or yips, they immediately separate and quiet for roughly 3-5 seconds before beginning again. It happened roughly perhaps 5 times over the course of a couple hours.

I'm assuming all those are good signs and/or normal? The only thing that I don't see as positive is that they are overly excited/aroused when together ... when we tried to hold them for a "time out," they squirmed and squirmed until they could get down and play again. But I think we needed to be more firm -- only letting them down once they settled and were quiet. Lesson learned for next time.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsymac4721 View Post
Thanks for all the input.

We observed them together at my parents' house again tonight and noticed a few things:

1. Play, overall, is balanced.
2. Both pups, at different times, willingly rolled over onto their back in submission to the other pup. There was not one dog who did so more than the other.
3. It look them roughly 1.5 hours of pretty active, vigorous play before they were willing to be distracted by a toy and play with it together.
4. When one yelps or yips, they immediately separate and quiet for roughly 3-5 seconds before beginning again. It happened roughly perhaps 5 times over the course of a couple hours.

I'm assuming all those are good signs and/or normal? The only thing that I don't see as positive is that they are overly excited/aroused when together ... when we tried to hold them for a "time out," they squirmed and squirmed until they could get down and play again. But I think we needed to be more firm -- only letting them down once they settled and were quiet. Lesson learned for next time.
Sounds pretty normal to me.

My Hav Tyrion is really happy to play gently at his breeders house but when one of the breeders dogs stays with me Tyrion isn't as submissive. He is more likely to assert himself in his own home.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 06:07 AM
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That is totally 100% normal and needs to be allowed!! the yelping and separation for a few seconds is teaching them. When either of them puts their teeth on human skin, for any reason, you should also yelp. This way they know not to ever put their teeth on YOU.

I would not separate them for "time out" = eventually they will be exhausted and just go to sleep. What they are doing is learning boundries with other dogs. YOu need to allow it as it is part of the learning process!

We would love to see pictures!!!

Lily, Lexi ,Logan, Laila & Lizzie's Mom
www.HillsboroughHavanese.com
(Gigi, Lucas, Dugan, Madeline,Reo,Alvin, Lucky, Lukey, Punch, Colby & Ben-(we will always Love you!!)
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