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Thread: Anyone with littermate issues?

  1. #1
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Question Anyone with littermate issues?

    Hi everyone,

    So far this website has been awesome helping me and my two bullies - but I don't see many references to littermates or anyone having some....issues.... with that? I have a boy and girl from the same litter. They are best friends, and sleep together and cuddle (and yes, we did crate train them separately, but out of the crate they are inseparable!). Most of the time things are great.... however, we noticed a definite shift in the last 4 months. The male was the "runt", and his "big" sister was pretty much in charge of things until they were almost a year. Then my boy had to have luxating patella repair as well as have his little pinched nostrils widened. During the 4 months of recovery, it was hard on Layla to be kept from her brother and she became quite destructive in very obvious protest. As Wilbur recovered, we very much had to keep Layla calm around him so he wouldn't re-injure himself. As a result, Wilbur was "babied" and Layla got a lot of discipline. I now have a bionic and oxygenated boy who is taller and bigger than his sister and he is now very much the dominant one. I laughed it off at first, because the same thing happened to me LOL. However, I am not happy with how playtime seem to escalate into something a little more aggressive. I always worried they played too rough, even when they were 10 weeks, but as my vet put it "they are not china dolls. If no one is bleeding or trying to get away, they are ok". So I let them rough-house, but when is it too much? And they are a little out of control, I have to admit. They have basic obedience, and they are pretty good otherwise. Maybe I am over-reacting, maybe it is their age (they are now 1 year 3 months - do they grow out of this hyper stage EVER???!!) Is this all the "littermate curse"???

    Thanks, as always!!!

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    Davidh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with littermate issues?

    Yes, just be patient with them and they will grow out of it. When they play and you hear them getting too loud, stop them. Let them know that is not acceptable behavior. They will learn, and figure out who is boss, and it should be you. Then they will figure out thief own pecking order.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anyone with littermate issues?

    @Momma2Bullies - first of all - lmao @ "bionic oxygenated boy"!!! That's funny as hell!

    As for when is play to rough - I understand how you feel. I worried about that also. I don't have littermates -- but I don't think it matters really. Put a couple of dogs together and you've got a pack. Your pack just came "ready-made" is all. At their young age, they've probably established quite a bond!

    Bea and Bo are noisy players. Well actually it's Bea that's the noisy one. For someone not familiar with bullies playing, they can sound scary. The "line" for me is when any of the following things occur (below). Then, I stop play completely and correct the one causing the escalation by making them stop playing and return the excitement level from ten to zero. Maintaining a play session at a 6, for an example, is the goal for me. If I can stop the play from escalating beyond that, no one gets in trouble eh? And they learn the appropriate level of play that I want. That "mouthing" thing they do -- where it looks like they are "arguning" with open mouths? Totally OK. That never escalates for my dynamic duo.

    1) Very Loud growling - some is ok - loud is not ok
    2) Holding skin with teeth - always gets Bea in trouble
    3) humping - a sign Bo has gone beyond a level 7, and headed straight for 10!
    4) "holding" - one dog "pins" the other - this will always create trouble so I don't allow it

    There's a lot of great information on line about dog play. Bark Magazine did an entire series on the topic that includes videos. Helped me!

  4. #4
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone with littermate issues?

    Thanks so much! Yes he is very much robo-bullie at this point!

    Hahahaha and the mouthing - I call that "gentle walruses" as they remind me of walrus footage on Nat. Geo. shows! hahahaha!

    Ok so this is totally my issue - holding skin with teeth. They do this with each other.... and do this stalemate circle dance where they each have hold of each other's neck skin. I have great difficulty breaking this up, and about 80% of the time it is Wilbur instigating, usually as a result of re-directed aggression (noise bothers him, fireworks, the blender, loud motorcycle driving by, etc...). Thank you for letting me know this isn't ok, because I didn't know if this was part of "normal" play and I have been inconsistent with ending it. I like your list of unacceptable behaviours - agreed!

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