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Felix is a 15 week old pup. Wonderful baby. He's sweet, bold, bright, etc. He has no resource guarding issues with humans, strange dogs, and hasn't shown aggression towards strange dogs under circumstances where they weren't warranted (if he's being barked or growled or lunged at, he barks back, but he'll stop upon greeting the dog or it walking away, which to me sounds somewhat like insecurity but I'll get there)

So we're watching his littermate, female. She's a very sweet puppy, somewhat shy but they get on great. What I've noticed is that he definitely has a tendency to bully her. She'll stand up for herself most of the time. He's a very very independent puppy, which has been both a blessing and a curse.

When they're playing, he refuses to be the puppy on bottom and will correct her, which I wouldn't normally worry about, but it is my understanding that a well adjusted dog should be willing to be the pup on top and bottom. Secondly, he'll resource guard some edible chews from her, mostly walking away from them or growling. I keep all the chews picked up if I can.

I've noticed siblings can be rougher and meaner to each other and Felix never has issues with other dogs. But his behavior is something I would classify as "dominant". I wanted him specifically for his independent personality and he doesn't have any other behavior issues and this isn't a problem that affects my life in any way, it's more an observation.

Is this something that I should work on? Prevent him from getting into situations where he can be the strong, bully of a puppy to his sister? I'm not sure what my interfering in the sibling dynamics would do.

My bitches from other breeds are almost always this way towards their littermates and it's not something I've bothered to correct or worry about before. What do you guys think?
 

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I would redirect him if he's being to much of bully and always "on top". Most of the time you can let dogs work it out, but you definitely can intervene if you don't like the level of play.
 

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I would redirect him if he's being to much of bully and always "on top". Most of the time you can let dogs work it out, but you definitely can intervene if you don't like the level of play.
That's what I was thinking. I do usually intervene when he's being too much of a bully and he's quick to calm down. I just don't want this to become something he thinks he can do to other dogs. When he plays with others he rolls around and plays well, but he's never met a dog as laid back as her. I'll just keep an eye on him I guess, I just don't want him to grow into a dog that thinks it's okay to bully timid/laid back dogs.
 

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It kind of just sounds like play to me. The descriptions of their personalities match the way they are playing. She is standing up to him so she's not letting him push her around too much. If you feel it's getting out of control, stop them. I would get him into a puppy kindergarten class. Most puppy classes are more about socialization than training. Don't allow chews when they are together.
 

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It kind of just sounds like play to me. The descriptions of their personalities match the way they are playing. She is standing up to him so she's not letting him push her around too much. If you feel it's getting out of control, stop them. I would get him into a puppy kindergarten class. Most puppy classes are more about socialization than training. Don't allow chews when they are together.
I signed him up for classes at petsmart but their puppy classes don't allow the puppies to interact and their puppy socialization days don't allow not neutered puppies. I'm having a hard time finding classes that will let him go if he's not neutered :/

It does look like play, and normally I wouldn't be too worried, I'm just hoping it doesn't become a habit. I want him to be a well behaved puppy around other dogs, not the dog that has no idea how to play well because it needs to be on top all the time.
 

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I signed him up for classes at petsmart but their puppy classes don't allow the puppies to interact and their puppy socialization days don't allow not neutered puppies. I'm having a hard time finding classes that will let him go if he's not neutered :/

It does look like play, and normally I wouldn't be too worried, I'm just hoping it doesn't become a habit. I want him to be a well behaved puppy around other dogs, not the dog that has no idea how to play well because it needs to be on top all the time.

Look into training clubs. They are much more affordable than PetSmart and the training is often better. I don't know about other places, but where I teach they allow a short play period during the class time. They learn dog language during that time. Don't let them bully you into neutering too soon! At this stage in life, he's just a puppy like ALL the others.
 

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Look into training clubs. They are much more affordable than PetSmart and the training is often better. I don't know about other places, but where I teach they allow a short play period during the class time. They learn dog language during that time. Don't let them bully you into neutering too soon! At this stage in life, he's just a puppy like ALL the others.
We plan on showing him, so hopefully we won't have to neuter him any time soon! I'll try a club, I've been looking into a club that has handling classes near me anway
 

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I signed him up for classes at petsmart but their puppy classes don't allow the puppies to interact and their puppy socialization days don't allow not neutered puppies. I'm having a hard time finding classes that will let him go if he's not neutered :/

It does look like play, and normally I wouldn't be too worried, I'm just hoping it doesn't become a habit. I want him to be a well behaved puppy around other dogs, not the dog that has no idea how to play well because it needs to be on top all the time.

First, I would run far and fast from any so-called training facility that requires puppies to be spayed or neutered. There is so much research nowadays to show the negative impacts of very early neutering, and there is really no excuse for a facility that requires four month old puppies to be spayed or neutered.


Second, your pup, at 15 weeks, is too old for puppy classes. If he hasn't done them already, he probably wouldn't benefit from them now.



Third, in any case, in my experience the best way to ensure that your pup grows into a dog that behaves well around other dogs is to arrange occasional one-on-one play sessions with a well-behaved, polite adult dog that will educate him and teach him how to play nicely. If you let him play frequently with random groups of unknown pups or young dogs, he's more likely to develop problem behaviours. Better to limit his interactions to adult dogs you know will play properly.



Last, honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about his behaviour with his littermate. They are pups who haven't learned to play politely, and they're not going to learn it from one another. I'd tend to limit their interactions and only intervene if things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.


It's a myth that dogs need to be able to play nicely with every single dog they meet: you're never going to achieve that. There will always be dogs he doesn't like/that don't like him, and that's ok. With a confident puppy, however, I'd strongly recommend obedience training, sooner rather than later. Much better IMHO that your pup learns to focus on you when other dogs are present, than on the other dogs - especially as you are thinking of showing him. Training class will help you achieve that.



Best of luck!
 

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First, I would run far and fast from any so-called training facility that requires puppies to be spayed or neutered. There is so much research nowadays to show the negative impacts of very early neutering, and there is really no excuse for a facility that requires four month old puppies to be spayed or neutered.


Second, your pup, at 15 weeks, is too old for puppy classes. If he hasn't done them already, he probably wouldn't benefit from them now.



Third, in any case, in my experience the best way to ensure that your pup grows into a dog that behaves well around other dogs is to arrange occasional one-on-one play sessions with a well-behaved, polite adult dog that will educate him and teach him how to play nicely. If you let him play frequently with random groups of unknown pups or young dogs, he's more likely to develop problem behaviours. Better to limit his interactions to adult dogs you know will play properly.



Last, honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about his behaviour with his littermate. They are pups who haven't learned to play politely, and they're not going to learn it from one another. I'd tend to limit their interactions and only intervene if things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.


It's a myth that dogs need to be able to play nicely with every single dog they meet: you're never going to achieve that. There will always be dogs he doesn't like/that don't like him, and that's ok. With a confident puppy, however, I'd strongly recommend obedience training, sooner rather than later. Much better IMHO that your pup learns to focus on you when other dogs are present, than on the other dogs - especially as you are thinking of showing him. Training class will help you achieve that.



Best of luck!
Thank you so much! His experiences with other dogs have been very positive and controlled (I'm a bit of a control freak lol) especially because I didn't want him to experience anything negative during his early fear period.

The female puppy is definitely more laid back, but won't let him walk all over him. When he's around the adult dogs from the breeder, he's very polite and respects them. So I'm unsure what to make of this.

As for his confidence, it definitely threw me for a loop when I began working with him. Getting him to willingly give me eye contact was very difficult. I've put in a lot of time in building a working bond with him where he wants to work for me and is eager to please. Reading the breed standard calls for a solid temperament without any undue aggression towards dogs or people and I guess I'm just paranoid that this will develop into something that will not make him an asset to the breed.

He's my first golden and I'm not sure what to expect, so I'm just worried. You guys are awesome though! I've learned a lot about the breed attributes.
 
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