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Old February 26th, 2009, 11:34 AM
puppymom puppymom is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Behavior issues and raising two puppies at once

Good morning. Feeling a little overwhelmed and tired and wonder if perhaps folks have some advice that might make the task of raising two pupps at once a little bit easier, and more joyful. I have two, 9 month old puppies. Tulkas (male doberman mix) and Honey (female viszla? mix) are both incredibly sweet and loving puppies, and in the process of training (have to restart - as a result of the holidays - their obedience classes next Tuesday.) I hike with them every afternoon (every now and then i have a day when i cannot) for about 2 or 3 (often 4) miles of wooded and paved trails (off lead, if i can) and we'll sometimes rollerblade for a mile or 2 (individually.) Whenever we visit the park, they also have a chance to run together in an open area of hills and also often play with their best friend, Abbie, the 3 year old boxer - though even she is feeling slightly overwhelmed by them lately.) They have a fairly large fenced in area behind my home which is surrounded by peaceful rolling hills...until the barking starts. (We're investing in citronella collars this weekend, btw) They also have a 1300 foot unfinished basement (well lit and strorage items gated off, though we get frustrated that they always seem to figure out a way to get their teeth around something - even a garage door down there!) with all sorts of toys, various bones and even a leather couch to lay on. We give them a marrow bone daily (small enough to not be too rich) and they get lots, and lots of love and individual attention; though they are almost always together. They are crate trained, and sleep in their crates (in our room) at night, and occasionally retreat to crates to rest (not often, though.) They really prefer to cuddle up on the couch or cuddle up next to me if I'm sitting on our bed working on my computer during our waking hours. Their food is premium and they are very healthy, spayed/neutered and weigh 60 and 50 lbs, respectively.

SO these puppies, maybe because of the fact that I work from home and do not have children yet, are living lives that are almost like children (really!) I know that I am primarily to blame that they seem to always need attention, but I'm also ready to pull my hair out. They really never give me a break because they 1) wrestle constantly, 2) will not stay outside without barking up a storm or scratching my basement door off (we have a protective plastic shield on it now) in attempt to be let in and 3)are everywhere i am -all the time. When I put them in their crates during the day when I am actually home, I feel so guilty, but I do make use of them when I am out (otherwise they tend to be a little destructive in their puppiness.) I'm either loving on them (because I really do love them to death) or frustrated with their restless, rambunctious energy, but I simply cant wear them out! The problem is that the evenings are especially stressful and i feel like my husband and I cant ever relax. We both work very hard, but its tough when he has to come home after a 13 or 14 hour day and play in the basement with them (which Honey loves, but Tulkas is much less interested in balls and not at all interested in retrieving.) while I make dinner, just so that we can sit down and have one hour of peace before we go to bed.

Okay...to my questions: First, I just need some counsel in terms of how much time is humane and appropriate to crate/spend with them each day. Next, is this normal when raising two puppies at the same time? (The shelter we rescued them from said, "Two puppies are so much easier than one because they keep eachother busy!" Yes...I'll admit...they keep eachother busy. What one doesnt think of, the other one does! Busy mouthing and wrestling and competing over whose getting my attention at any given moment.) How should my behavior change - it simply must change, but I just dont want to do anything wrong by them. Is this a 9 month old issue? The Rottie I lost 10 months ago was hyper when young, but grew into a literally perfectly trained and tempered adult dog (just like the Carl dog from the books!) I just dont know if it was this hard back then.

Also, are there certain dogs more predisposed to fetching? Tulkas especially is not terribly interested in either playing with ball or frisbee or coming when I call him if he's outside of his fenced play area.

One last thing, as I'm training them not to jump I do exactly what the books say and ignore when they do and reward when they sit and ask for attention, but Tulkas will every now and then nip at my shirt or even at my backside when I ignore his jumping and pushiness. I dont think I can handle the no-correction philosophy because this little sweetheart just isnt getting the point. He's super sweet and gentle with others, and I am definitely the alpha, but it's an ideosyncracy that I need to end.

I know this is a lot, but I just really, really need some good advice so that I can have some balance in our lives!

Last edited by puppymom; February 26th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.
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attention, clingy, jumping, puppies, wrestle

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