Luna and Robin have been having a blast together. Maybe a little too much so.
It's fairly constant. They want to play all the time, and while I'm thrilled that their play styles match, I'm not so thrilled that the style is that of chew and gnaw on each other, sometimes until someone's (ahem, Robin's) skin is red and scraped up.
I should probably give the caveat that Robin's skin is sort of tender. She's constantly scraping herself up just running around the yard, so I'm not surprised that she looks like she's taking the bigger brunt of the play sessions. Plus, Luna is still losing baby teeth. So far, it's been nothing serious-- just nicks and scratches. Not puncture wounds.
And while they are all capable of chillin' on occasion,
they spend a lot of time grabbing each others scruff and trying to run away, gnawing on legs, and doing the open-mouth lips curled back fight or running, running, running, tackling. And stalking. It certainly all seems in play, and occasionally one would rather be doing something else, so I intervene. And I keep the toys up for the most part. Kongs are only allowed in the crate (part of our crate training).
I've never had dogs that really wanted to play with each other a lot and it's been 16 years since I had a puppy, so I guess I'm wondering if there's anything to be looking for other than the usual. I step in if one dogs looks like it's receiving unwanted attention, and try to foster breaks throughout the day, as well as keep the scruff grabbing from turning into biting, shaking and yanking. The first day or two, their play was not so rough, and I'm trying to keep it from escalating too much; if Luna gets to play with the other puppies in her practice session tonight, I'll be interested to see if her play style adapts to that of the other dogs. I'll try to implement some obedience training in with it...Anything else?
Now for crate training. I mentioned earlier, she's definitely turned a corner and runs to her crate every time we go in the room. I was able to leave her alone with a kong for 5 minutes earlier today without crying. She made it about 6 or 7 minutes before crying during the next session. I always wait until she's taking about a 5 second break in the noise to let her out, I offer her a new treat when I open the door, and then play some games going in and out, too, so it can continue to be fun.
My question is, how many of you just let them cry it out? We let her cry it out in the bathroom (though we didn't do ANY conditioning to that room with treats) and now she won't even go in there. We both have to work tomorrow, so she's going to have to stay somewhere, and I don't want to poison the crate right away while we're making such good progress... ugh. So far, 8 minutes is the max with her.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford