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Pups fighting

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Sked, May 8, 2011.


  1. Sked

    Sked PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    I'm new to the forums, so hello!

    I have 2 Northern Inuit Puppies (sisters), it is recommended that 2 are better than one because of the separation anxiety associated with the breed.

    The thing is, they play-fight much of the time, I have tried distracting them with toys etc but play fighting is much more interesting to them. Play fighting is not so much a problem but quite often they make a lot of noise, it seems borderline playing and fighting. They are just over 8 weeks old and are due their second injection next week at which point I will get them out running to wear them out but for now, is there anything I should be doing that I'm not?

    They get on well, but they do fight a lot, sometimes the only way to calm them down is by separating them for a bit but then they whine!

    Right now they are sleeping on each other, all is good! :)

    Edit: I should mention they are on IAMs puppy food for large dogs

    Thanks for the advice

    Sked
     
    #1 Sked, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Did the breeder suggest that having two sister litter mates was a good idea?

    The sled dog breeds do play rough, at a guess are they dumping each other on the ground pinning each other down and dragging each other around by any loose skin they can get a hold of, and then they reverse the whole process? Or have you got one thats on the bottom and being dragged around all the time? Ideally it would be even stevens. If it is I wouldnt worry too much its just normal play.

    You wont be able to take them out running, over exercising can damaged growing joints. Having litter siblings you are going to have hell of a job unless you work, train and bond with them separately, otherwise they are never going to listen to you and you wont be able to get them trained at all. They will become dog dogs only interested in each other.

    I would suggest 2 or 3 individual training sessions each a day, spending 10/15 minutes at a time teaching a few basics and mixed with a bit of play with you too, with toys. When they do play, and its starts to get over the top, stop it,
    get control, breather to calm down, then let them commence play. Otherwise the more they play and the more hyped they get you wont even get a look in.

    Hope this might help.
     
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    This slide show may help you see whether the play is even - YouTube - Zoom Room Guide to Dog Play Gestures

    Fostering a litter mate for short while, we found walking one each, and doing training seperately to reduce distraction essential. It's good to seperate playing pups, and getting them to focus on you, but you need cooperation of someone else to gain attention of other puppy.
     
  4. Sked

    Sked PetForums Junior

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    Hi guys

    Thanks for the replies.

    Sled Dog Hotel - No, it wasn't the breeder that suggested it, my reading suggested this was a good idea, although the breeder was happy I bought a pair of course. Its about even stevens for the fighting, ok good, separate play is an option, I can do that. By running, I meant they will do the running, I have many plantations I can take them to run wild :) - I managed to get them to "sit" "lie down" and "look at me" but when they fight they are a bit of a handful, so I'll deffo do the separate training.


    Rob D - Thanks for the vid, interesting watching, not sure if mine fit any profile other than they both try to "pin" each other as per the video. On the whole they seem just to be playing rough. The question now is, how do you interrupt? Whenever I try it they stop while i'm interrupting, then they start off again afterwards!

    On the whole I don't think its a problem, but it is frustrating when they won't stop and I don't want them to play "rude" with other dogs :s

    Any further input appreciated.

    Thanks

    Sked
     
  5. Sked

    Sked PetForums Junior

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    Just testing my signature, hopefully you will see my pups :)
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    You do realise they have a high prey drive/hunting running instinct, they may run wilder than you anticipate. Dont know where you are based, but if there is any livestock in the vacinity, then its going to be fair game, that goes for sheep,chikens, any small furries. They can be escape artists too, and when run off dont tend to have a reliable recall because of the running and hunting instincts.

    If worse comes to worse with separating them then just put them in separate areas, for the time being to calm down for 5/10 minutes, at least until you have done some individual training with them and bonding yourself when they get to the point they should listen.

    I would socialise them with other dog breeds as much as you can, so they get used to different breeds.
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    As gently and calmly as possible!

    It's just getting attention on you and then rewarding calmness by allowing play to restart. The other puppy handler interacts with other puppy. At the best local puppy romp, tug toys were also given to the handlers, for some calm tug play with their pups, so the pups were not learning that humans are boring, and dogs fun. With litter mates, rather than relative strangers, the jobs is much harder. Finding such sessions (at least it's peak time of year for puppies) will make your job with the pups much easier, and local networking means you just might find other play mates, that your pups can interact with independantly of each other.

    I found a pause very often changed the play, so instead of just wrestling, they'd perhaps change to bouncy running about, gentler game. When just left unsupervised, they'd wrestle and wrestle getting more and more excited until one of them got hurt and yelped. Obviously as you intervene and imipose a pause, when they're getting over-excited and they want to keep playing, it is training them to play at a manageable intensity.

    As these dogs have high prey drive, you might be on look out to for "predatory drift", the pair of them may initially be playing nice with say a smaller dog, but if it becomes fearful and flees, it triggers undesirable chasing. A collection of dog body language snaps in Flickr (from the sticky) shows a dog repeatedly trying to get another moving into flight, with it stubbornly staying put despite being afraid, because it has learnt to avoid being treated as prey. http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/162940-fear-aggression-versus-4.html#post2438437
     
    #7 RobD-BCactive, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  8. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    All great advice from Rob and Sleddog Hotel above.

    I would urge not to do loads of strenuous running at this age, due to their growing bodies. And whenever you are out, keep them on a lead. I know it's frustrating, but if you want this breed, and want to keep them safe, then this is the most sensible option.

    With controlling play, you can do more work with them individually on focus exercises like your 'Look At Me!' or 'Watch!'. It will take time for this command to build strength but if you practise it often and give the command when they're not too hyped up in play, then it will be easier for them too listen. Keep their play sessions very short- interrupt every 5 seconds for short periods and let them play again.

    You may also like to feed them in Kongs. So use their food in training throughout the day, but keep a little to fill in stuffed chew toys (smeared with peanut butter or marmite and frozen) so that, when you want them to settle, say 'Watch' and then 'Settle' whilst you give them the Kongs. Hopefully they'll be engrossed in the Kongs enough to relax.
     
  9. Sked

    Sked PetForums Junior

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    Ye all good info, thanks peeps.

    RottieFan - yeh I have a couple of Kongs with squirty kong filling as well as kong biscuits, they work quite well. I also use treat balls to keep them busy trying to get the food out as part of their diet. I'm on a steep learning curve but getting there with advice from peeps like yourselves!

    Thanks

    Sked
     
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