How rough is too rough?

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kcobean
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How rough is too rough?

Postby kcobean » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:00 pm

We've had our boys for a week and a half now. They're getting comfortable in their environment and are growing every day. They turned 9 weeks today and tonight while they were rough housing with each other, it got to the point that both were growling and snarling and teeth barred...i.e. it didn't look like playing at that point. We separated them for a quick timeout and they finally calmed down and are now sound asleep. I'm just wondering how far we should let them go at this age. Should they be left to "sort it out themselves", or should we be intervening to prevent overly aggressive play?

Here they are when they're behaving themselves:

Image

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Nickdawg
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby Nickdawg » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:05 pm

they are adorable. imo, intervening and seperating when things get too rough is key... do NOT let them sort it out. sounds like you handled it well :thumbsup:
also give high value objects, eg. bones seperately

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GoingPostal
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby GoingPostal » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:09 pm

Don't let them sort it out, you will get good quick at telling the difference in sound and body language when it changes from play to pissed off. For now teach them to break it off while it's still happy play and go to you when called, they need to know they still have to listen even when amped up. Although with two same age same sex pups it may come to a point where they no longer tolerate each other at all once they start maturing and they may have to be kept separated. Make sure to do lots of one on one bonding and training and keep food/toys up if it starts issues between them, those are common fight triggers that can be avoided.

kcobean
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby kcobean » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:18 pm

Thank you guys/gals. We do treats, toys, blankets, everything in two's (actually in threes because there is a 3rd dog in the house, a 6 year old Shih Tzu) so that there's no contention for such things. I genuinely hope we don't run into a situation as they mature where they can't be in the same room together. That would be a real bummer, but we're prepared for it if it comes to that.

Should we crate them when we have to 'break it up', or is that using the crate as punishment and should be avoided? They all three sleep in separate crates at night.

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Nickdawg
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby Nickdawg » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:24 pm

even though you give toys, bones etc. so that everyone has one I would still make sure the dogs are a good distance apart and under supervision - sometimes things can happen quickly when one thinks the other one's toy looks better -even if it is the same one :) ....

I don't think you need to crate after you seperate if they are able to chill out lying away from each other for a bit...

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GoingPostal
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby GoingPostal » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:26 pm

I wouldn't use the crate as punishment, you want them to feel safe there. Usually what I do is call them to me, treat, if they are playing nicely they can go back to it, if I feel it's getting rough then we do some basic obedience or they have to lay down on their beds. Also often dogs will "hoard" they don't really care if they have one, they will still try to steal all of the toys. Some dogs are ok with toys and the like out and others aren't. Both of mine are possesive and will guard from the other dog so they are crated or given treats/fed in separate rooms and not allowed to approach the other during that time.

kcobean
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby kcobean » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:48 pm

Nickdawg wrote:even though you give toys, bones etc. so that everyone has one I would still make sure the dogs are a good distance apart and under supervision - sometimes things can happen quickly when one thinks the other one's toy looks better -even if it is the same one :) ....

I don't think you need to crate after you seperate if they are able to chill out lying away from each other for a bit...


They definitely have that terrier tenacity. Separating them once they get going requires consistent hands on during the timeout or they'll get right back into it. We've been using the baby gate, putting one of them in the kitchen, the other in the family room. Once they settle down, we'll allow them back in the same room.

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Sarah
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby Sarah » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:44 pm

Your puppies are adorable!

I have to tell you that you are really going to have a job on your hands, and I wish the breeder of your pups had advised you against getting the pair as you did. Raising littermates is always going to be exponentially more difficult than raising one puppy at a time, and a pair of APBT males are of high likelihood to not get along as they mature. You aren't going to like this advice, but if you can place one of them with someone else now, I would seriously consider doing that.

If you are committed to keeping them both, you are going to need right now to start working extra hard with them. Yes, separate them if they have a disagreement, never leave them to settle it themselves, they probably won't. You'll want to separate them a large portion of the time anyway, and have one on one time with each pup. Each pup will need separate training time and play time with the humans of the family, but since you want them to get along, you will need to let them have some supervised play time together. Separate when you can't watch them like a hawk.

I'd also recommend neutering at the youngest age your vet will do it. It won't necessarily prevent same-sex aggression, but it would reduce one trigger point that might cause conflict between them.

Good luck!

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pblove
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby pblove » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:02 pm

I second everything that Sarah has posted above.
They are very cute.

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BrokenAquarian
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby BrokenAquarian » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:06 pm

It's important to learn to stop the wrestling before it gets to that "Too rough" stage. By the time they are at that stage, they are already angry. You will be able to tell when it starts getting close to that point.

It's also important to give them 1-on-1 exercise/play time with you. Seperate time from each other and a LOT of bonding with you. There are times when littermates bond to each other and not so much the people because not enough time is spent building the relationship between the individual dog and human.

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Bustersmama
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Re: How rough is too rough?

Postby Bustersmama » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:09 am

Sarah wrote:Your puppies are adorable!

I have to tell you that you are really going to have a job on your hands, and I wish the breeder of your pups had advised you against getting the pair as you did. Raising littermates is always going to be exponentially more difficult than raising one puppy at a time, and a pair of APBT males are of high likelihood to not get along as they mature. You aren't going to like this advice, but if you can place one of them with someone else now, I would seriously consider doing that.

If you are committed to keeping them both, you are going to need right now to start working extra hard with them. Yes, separate them if they have a disagreement, never leave them to settle it themselves, they probably won't. You'll want to separate them a large portion of the time anyway, and have one on one time with each pup. Each pup will need separate training time and play time with the humans of the family, but since you want them to get along, you will need to let them have some supervised play time together. Separate when you can't watch them like a hawk.

I'd also recommend neutering at the youngest age your vet will do it. It won't necessarily prevent same-sex aggression, but it would reduce one trigger point that might cause conflict between them.

Good luck!


Great post, and again BEST of luck.


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