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Toy and treat aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by dagny0823, Mar 24, 2011.


  1. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    We have two younger cardigan welsh corgi 1/2 brothers. Ragnar is now nearly 16 months old and Kelso is nearly 10 months. They are unneutered. We were going to get Rags done at 1 year, but then thought we should wait and have them done together so the are both recovering and not trying to play and ripping stitches etc.

    They get along fantastically most of the time. They cuddle, Ragnar cleans his little brother, they've finally mastered walking in tandem on the leash. They play, they share food from the same bowl--although each has his own bowl, they invariably share one, then move to the other.

    They especially like tugging toys and will rip any stuffed toy to shreds through tug of war. This where the problems seem to start, however. They will be playing happily and then one will want the whole toy. They get carried away and Kelso is bearing the brunt of it more and more. It seems to have really escalated in the past 2 weeks and today, Kelso had a large scratch on his cheek--it bled a lot which was upsetting, but it's not deep, just faces bleed a lot.

    I should also add that Ragnar is not an aggressive dog otherwise. Both are very sweet natured. They will let us take things out of their mouths and if we tell them to drop something vile, they do. Ragnar loves other dogs and always wants to play with them. He doesn't do this to anyone but Kelso. And 98% of the time, they're wonderful buddies.

    What can we do, short of not letting them ever have toys or chewies, to stem this? We separate them (we sometimes have to use the squirt bottle), and make them calm down. We take away the problem toy. But my hope is that they will learn to just play like normal dogs. Would neutering help? Are there behavioral exercises we should be putting them through?

    Please help!!!!
     
    #1 dagny0823, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  2. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    What do you mean you have to use the squirt bottle?

    You can't make anything calm down....it needs to be done willingly.

    Your puppies sound as if arousal levels get too high, as is to be expected in free-reign teenager play.

    Working on self control should be an adolescent priority firstly.

    Teach them how to play tug together where you are in control of the game.

    First teach them how to play tug with you so that they tug and stop on cue. Do this with the dogs individually.
    Then teach them to play together, still with you starting and stopping the games on cue.

    High energy, exciting games should be short and have lots of breaks. This is how normal dog-dog play would go on but often if puppies have not been taught to play properly then we have to step in, supervise and interrupt games.

    Have an obedience break at least double the length of the game and reward calmness with the op to play again.

    Lots in here on calming, self control and managing arousal levels: Crazy Canines | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!
     
  3. leashedForLife

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    why not get the elder dog desexed? - neutering is a LOT less invasive vs spay, the limited exercise period is short,
    & it does reduce overall aggression across the spectrum; the YOUNGER dog at 10-MO is actually spiking
    on his testosterone levels, they will never be as high again in his life; they drop from the 9th to the 12th month.
    [i'd just neuter both, if they were mine, & get it over with. :eek: ]

    separating them with baby-gates or closed doors is simple; it will also give YOU time to teach them better
    self-control individually, vs being lazy & letting the dogs exercise each other, and control each other - which is
    essentially what is happening now: they decide when to start the games, end the games, how intense the game
    will be, when the guarding starts, who OWNS the toy, who gets p*ssed off & starts snarking...

    it's all under THEIR rules; if they are separated for about 7-days except for on-leash walks, U can begin to
    teach some self-control, & put the self-control on cue: drop, leave it, settle, gently, etc.
     
  4. Rolosmum

    Rolosmum PetForums VIP

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    We have two half siblings as you will see from my signature, although one the younger is male the older female and came into the house second.

    We do let them free play rough and tumble, but step in at a point, although at the moment it generally settles itself down within minutes and mostly they are showing respect for the one that wants to finish the game.

    We were advised to make sure we only ever had two of anything and to limit access to toys and when they start wanting each others that is when we get ready to step in and if necessary take away the toys for a while.

    We are fortunate so far in that it is the older girl who is leaning towards boss in the house but the younger boy seems to accept this and they get along. But this does sometimes get reinforced by us taking things from her if she is giving looks or small growls if the boy walks near to her when she has something, it seems like it is happening less now.

    We do feed ours separately, they have crates and are fed all but the odd bone or treats in there, they do share each others water as one is slightly easier to get to as the door at the front is open, whereas the other door is on the side and the bowl tucked round!

    I think it is good advice for them to have you stepping in and controlling the end of games at the very least sometimes especially whilst they are adolescent.
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    They are playing like normal dogs! If one picks up a stick and they tug with it, or one thinks they have the right to it, they'll growl or bark, and compete for the resource. Having 2 of the object doesn't "just work", because one wants the one the other has. You've got 2 young males, and the younger one is competive with the other, the Corgi is bred to bravely nip at the heels of cattle & hooves, so it's hardly surprising if they're not shrinking violets.

    As suggested play needs supervision and resources, toys, treats, attention are the main flash points, I see.

    This clip shows that, lots of pauses & turn taking - 11 month olds playing - Dog & Bitch and the dogs are not getting massively over excited and growling or barking or escalating.
     
    #5 RobD-BCactive, Mar 25, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  6. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the link. I've been reading and trying some of the tips so far to keep Ragnar calm and the difference is pretty miraculous. Hoping to finish the first read through this weekend--it looks like there are specific exercises and the like. Thanks!!!!
     
  7. dagny0823

    dagny0823 PetForums VIP

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    And thanks to all of you for your excellent suggestions.

    I've never had this sort of problem or situation before, so I was letting them play the way they wanted. I see now they need more micromanaging. I didn't want to break their spirits or have them be bored, I guess.

    There's a definite difference already from just a couple of days of infusing a calm environment and distracting them when they even start to get rough. Pretty soon they're going to be nice, well-behaved happy dogs we can take anywhere. And Kelso's face will heal too
     
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