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Thread: How to teach the dogs when to play and when not to?

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  1. #1

    How to teach the dogs when to play and when not to?

    So Loki is your typical puppy who wants to play ALL the time. Zeke will tell him when enough is enough but Clover won't stick up for herself. If she walks past he'll bite the back of her legs and continue to nip until she plays. She enjoys playing with him but I think sometimes she wants to be left alone. I feel sometimes the only reason she's playing is so she's not getting bitten. (most of the time she doesn't mind) Also, sometimes I'd like to sit and be quiet and watch a movie. I can't when they're non-stop playing. I end up separating them just to give them (and me) and break. However I feel it's not really fair to the one who is by themselves. I'd really like them (Loki) to learn ok that's enough. I've tried telling them all to lie down on beds and reward them but that only lasts for like a minute before Loki is back at it. Zeke and Clover seem to understand what "that's enough" means but if Loki is nipping at Clover she usually won't stop unless he is pulled off. Again, I think she doesn't want to get bitten if she stops it herself.

    What can I do? He really doesn't seem to get it. He gets exercise so I don't think that's it. He just wants to play.

    Zeke, Clover, Loki and Shadow

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Pups like Loki seem to have endless energy & that's pretty normal. Does he know the "stay" command? Does Zeke & Clover?
    When you want to sit to watch a movie or whatever, put Loki in a sit/ stay or down/ stay. When he "stays" in a sit or a down, reward
    him with a good chew toy. Something to keep him busy while you can sit & be with Clover & Zeke for some quiet time.

    He may need to be reminded he is expected to stay in one spot with his reward, but he should know you are serious about it.
    See if that works for you.
    I've Been Boo'd

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    You raised a few different issues.

    Clover plays to avoid getting nipped. Um, this is between THEM, you do not step in. Clover will learn how and when to deal with Loki.

    They play all the time - yep, that's doggies for ya!

    I want some peace = NOW you are talking training! Teach the 'settle' command and it takes lots of time and patience to build this up to 10 minutes. The younger the dog, the harder it is for the dog to learn this - just too much energy! Don't worry about separating them, or feeling sorry for the singleton. That's life and they don't see it the same way we do. You can also rotate who is off alone. Or set up a crate near you so the singleton is close to you - a GREAT thing for the pups, to be close to their pack leader! Finally, you can pull out the Kong or other long lasting chew to keep them occupied for quiet time. Still may have to keep one separated, that is fine.

    They also will learn if quiet time is about the same time daily. Growing up, when we had a puppy, Mom would sit with classical music on for an hour 1 to 2 in the afternoon. The puppy soon learned she was NOT going to do anything so may as well nap. If you tend to want quiet time btween 7 and 8 PM that will work.

    If you want quiet time the same time daily and that happens to be when you first get home, after having been out 6 hours daily, not going to work well. They have been resting, they are now ready to GO with their Pack Leader!!! Time for walk, run, or just time outdoors so they can play. (I don't remember your schedule, just tossing this in as an example of what will and will not work easily)
    I've been BOO'd!!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Oklahoma
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    1,752
    I know exactly how you feel. Towser gets a lot more exercise than any other dog I have owned, but still relentlessly tries to play with Sala... and it always seems like he decides to suddenly play when I want to sleep. Sala gets fed up with it quick, and even if she snaps and snarls at him he doesn't perceive it as a threat and continues to pester her. I feel mean commanding him to stop playing (I'm a softy), so I just find a way to distract him with something he thinks is equally entertaining. Like mentioned, I get Towser's attention with some basic commands (so Sala can take refuge) then distract him with his favorite chew toy. A good chew toy can keep that boy entertained for hours. You said Loki goes right back at it, though, right? When Towser is in a mood like that I typically tell him "pssst" (which is the command he learned to basically stop/leave something alone) any time he even looks at Sala. He usually catches on then. On the rare occasion that he continues to be a holy terror I usually just end up letting Sala go in the bedroom by herself.

    Good luck! I know puppies can be a bit difficult at times, but once you find something that seems to work a bit just stay persistent and he should catch on.
    The Minions:
    {The Dog: Towser & Raiden} {The Cats: Khaith, Martha, Adelaide, Snowball, & Floki} {The Bird: Gir}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casper View Post
    I know puppies can be a bit difficult at times, but once you find something that seems to work a bit just stay persistent and he should catch on.
    And try to remember, they won't be puppies for ever!
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  6. #6
    Clover will tell him where to go if she really didn't want to play. Crate training is fantastic for teaching pups and dogs to settle down at certain times, or baby gates so they can see one another but not annoy you.

    They are dogs, dogs thrive on playing, its what they do.
    Rhi *Hooman* Clover *Rottie x ACD* (RIP to my BRD) Elvis and Tinny *The BCs* & Harri *JRT* Luna *BC x*

  7. #7
    I really don't think Clover will tell him when to stop. They play for really not periods of time without her doing anything. Sometimes she'll try to hide under someones legs if they're sitting near by. She's pretty submissive. If I pull him off, she doesn't go after him to try and keep the play going (maybe sometimes if she's really in the mood to play) mostly she'll lie down or try to play with a toy. Also, ANY time she is playing with a toy he comes and grabs it out of her mouth and runs off with it. If she picks up a different one, same thing. Again she won't put him in his place. I feel bad for her...

    Clover and Zeke know sit/stay and even "go to bed" but it's pointless if the puppy isn't going to listen. He's slowly learning but play time is much more fun then treats.

    Zeke, Clover, Loki and Shadow

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