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Need Help Supervising Playtime

pennynikkel
May 4th, 2005, 09:20 PM
Hi there,

I could really use some advice on how cut-off playtime for my new 11 week old puppy and my 2 year old english bulldog. Because the puppy is so young, I don't like to see my bulldog get too rough with him, so I usually pull her off when it becomes too much, and say "easy", then let them put them in a sit few a few seconds and then say "go play" again. They usually remain just as revved up, though, and don't get the understanding to go easy. So after continuosly pulling them apart, I decide that playtime is over. But that is another challenge, because, then I pull them apart and say "no more play" and give them other things to do, like chew toys, but they just go back to each other, over and over again. So, basically they don't listen to me :( . Part of me feels that they are playing, and I'm not being fair to want them to play, but then pull them apart, part of me thinks that when I say enough, it's enough. How do I get them to stop playing without having to separate them via baby gates or crates. One knows her "go to bed" and stay command, but the puppy does not and just goes barreling over to her to play again.

Another thing I'm wondering...is it OK that when it comes to toys, that they usually steal each other's toys back and forth. This usually ends up OK, until it again gets revved up and ends up in a game of keep away. Just wondering if this is a setup for problems down the road.

Also, how do I teach the leave it command? That would be very helpful, too.

Thank you.

Prin
May 4th, 2005, 10:15 PM
Are these two doggies fixed? The bulldog playing rough back may be due to this if he isn't.

I wouldn't let them play until you have total control over both of them. You should think about obedience training. Two dogs are far harder to train than just one. They get into a pack mentality and you have to be willing to be more aggressive with them than they are together. Obviously, the puppy is not really acknowledging your authority and this could be a problem if the bulldog decides to really put the little guy in his place.

Personally, I don't allow my dogs to really steal toys from each other. The theory is, the dominant dog is the one who ends up with the toy in the end, and that dog will get it by any means necessary. I make it clear to my dogs that they should never be dominating each other in an aggressive way. I stop any behavior when there is one growl. Growling is a starting point for a fight. Sure, it may not always lead to a fight but it is a starting point and my dogs know now that I will not tolerate even that. That is my limit for aggression. I was told by a trainer that with two dogs you have to decide: will I tolerate all aggression or NO aggression? You have to be incredibly consistent with this.

Please talk to a trainer in your area. A trainer can teach you great tricks and tools to use. :)

tenderfoot
May 5th, 2005, 01:22 PM
Play is very natural and very important for all creatures to learn social skills. You as the leader of this pack of 3 (2 dogs - 1 person) teach them how to do it with good manners. It is as if you had an older teenager playing with your toddler - if the teenager got too rough you would step in. If he didn't listen to you - you would let him know, in no uncertain terms, that if he wants to play with your toddler he better do it by your rules.

So put the leash on the bulldog and teach him how to play nicely. Let them play at a low level of energy for just a few seconds, then direct your energy to the BD and tell him to 'quit' or 'be easy' or 'settle' - what ever term you want to use to get him to back away from the pup. Be firm in your tone. If he ignores you then you have to step up your intensity and get in "his face" so to speak and back him away and tell him to "leave it". The message you are sending is if you can't ease up on your own then I will insist you stop all together. Let them both settle down for a few seconds - wait until you really see a calming down - and then let them try again. Let them play for a few seconds and then break it up before they get too intense. You don't want to wait until they are crazy playing, but just until you notice they are getting a tad revved up. Then step in. You are teaching opposites – ‘let’s play’ and ‘easy’. Just like kids they will need reminders on how to play nicely – and when they can’t seem to control themselves they need to stop all together.

Always have twice as many toys as you do dogs. The alpha will dominate most of them, but hopefully leave a few for the pup. You might notice that the pup will lay in wait for the older dog to give up his toy and the pup will move in and steal it. This is part of relationship. Sometimes the older dog will hold his ground and other times he will intentionally let the pup think he’s stealing it. It can be fascinating to watch. I would not jump to correct a small growl – it is the first step in teaching a puppy to respect a warning. If a puppy doesn’t experience other dogs growling at him how will he learn about boundaries? But you know your BD and when he’s getting too up tight – that’s when you step in and stop it.

Prin
May 5th, 2005, 09:56 PM
The alpha will dominate most of them, but hopefully leave a few for the pup.
I don't know about that... This is a dog I kept last summer while her owner was in Cuba... She didn't share any and I have hundreds of toys... lol :)

Prin
May 5th, 2005, 10:03 PM
Here she is defending Boo's toys from Boo. I admit, she was special...

tenderfoot
May 5th, 2005, 11:44 PM
Great pictures - LOL :p
Okay, so this dog might have some issues - deprived as a pup? Doesn't share well with others....obsessive/compulsive?... hoarding?....down right greedy?....too funny none the less.
It looks like she would at least let Boo near the toys - that's a good sign.
I also am wondering about the 100's (?) of toys - 100's? We have five+ dogs in our home at any one time and there is no way they would let 100's of toys survive.

Prin
May 5th, 2005, 11:59 PM
BANG ON!! The landlords call the cops whenever the doggy moves so the owner never gave her any toys.

Maybe I don't have 100's of dog toys but at least 75... My doggies are spoiled and love NEW toys (or other dogs' toys). (More money than brains, have I...) This particular doggy would take out all of the old unused toys and scatter them all over the apartment. She ended up with a pile and then she dropped down on top of it. It was really funny. I sent those pics to her owner in Cuba. When she came home she bought a few toys-- after a week with us, she calmed down and was WAY less possessive. She could even play fetch with her (before she wouldn't give up the ball). :)