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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys!
So for the most part things have gone really well with my English springer spaniel Roxy who is 6 and our Golden Retriever puppy Cleo who is about 7 months old now. They play constantly and are really close, they snuggle together and have really bonded. But we had an incident on Christmas where Roxy was resource guarding over a toy. I think that it happened because Cleo doesn't always listen to Roxy's signals. We've just been letting them play since everything was going well.

But since then I've paid more attention to each of the dogs signals and I realize that sometimes Cleo we'll try to initiate playing, play bite Roy's legs or continuously pounce on Roxy when Roxy does not want to play. So lately I've started telling Cleo a firm no if she's pouncing on Roxy and Roxy isn't giving any signal she wants to play. Things seem to be going a lot better now that I've started doing this.

Another problem is that now that it's gotten cold outside whenever Cleo comes in from outside she immediately runs to play with Roxy as soon as she gets in from outside and she's really overly excited and Roxy isn't always ready to play. Even when she is that level of excitement is a bit much! My mom noticed that having Cleo sit when she comes in and then petting her for a minute and letting her calm down a little before letting her go has brought the excitement level down a little.

They play really well for the most part. They will take turns on their backs and and they will even play tug of war with a toy well. But there is a little bit of stealing toys from one another which I don't like and try to prevent but both dogs do it.

I read some articles on resource guarding but most have advice based on human guarding and we don't have that problem. I have started making both dogs work for everything they have, we did this for some things before, but not to the extent we are now.

Basically I'm looking for advice on how to teach both of the dogs manners and how to play and share nicer and any advice on how to manage dog play when it gets too rough or too much.

Also the problem we had on Christmas was over a squeaker toy. We don't have any squeaker toys in our house because Roxy rips out the squeakers as soon as she gets them. It's like she wants to kill the squeak and I wonder if the squeaker makes her aggressive or if she's just over excited? I'm not sure if we will bring any more squeaker toys into the house because we don't want any more resource guarding. But regardless I think both dogs could use some more training/reinforcement of skills. Do other people have problems with squeaker toys with their dogs getting too excited or resource guarding?
 

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Kristy
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Sounds like your mom does a good job watching the dogs and picking up on clues. Heading off Cleo's antics is smart. So is doing some separate hiking, retrieving, kicking a soccer ball around etc. to get her some exercise and build your relationship with her apart from Roxy. Being smart about what kind of toys or chew bones etc. are higher value, exciting or cause problems is important. If something causes a problem, simply throw it in the trash and don't buy those toys anymore. Obedience training so that the dogs recognize the people are in charge is a big piece of the puzzle also. It's not too late for Roxy, enroll in classes or if they aren't offered in your area, check out kikopup on youtube and do a search here for recommended videos and trainers online for help. Keep watching the dogs closely, in the next couple of months Cleo will lose the "puppy card" that has given her a pass for some of her bratty behavior and Roxy may really try to tell her off. You really need to keep an eye on making sure they aren't left together unattended if you think there's a chance that things could get serious.
 

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We had a similar issue and we solved it by creating a safe space for the older dog. Essentially there's one room in our house that our younger pup (Maeve) knows she's not allowed in. The door stays open but we've trained Maeve not to cross the threshold. The older dog (Tula) uses that room as a safe haven either when she doesn't want to play or if Maeve gets too wound up. We still can call Maeve off verbally but it's helpful if she can get the immediate feedback from the other dog directly if she's being too rowdy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like your mom does a good job watching the dogs and picking up on clues. Heading off Cleo's antics is smart. So is doing some separate hiking, retrieving, kicking a soccer ball around etc. to get her some exercise and build your relationship with her apart from Roxy. Being smart about what kind of toys or chew bones etc. are higher value, exciting or cause problems is important. If something causes a problem, simply throw it in the trash and don't buy those toys anymore. Obedience training so that the dogs recognize the people are in charge is a big piece of the puzzle also. It's not too late for Roxy, enroll in classes or if they aren't offered in your area, check out kikopup on youtube and do a search here for recommended videos and trainers online for help. Keep watching the dogs closely, in the next couple of months Cleo will lose the "puppy card" that has given her a pass for some of her bratty behavior and Roxy may really try to tell her off. You really need to keep an eye on making sure they aren't left together unattended if you think there's a chance that things could get serious.
I agree that I think we should just get rid of the squeaker toys we bought for Christmas. Obviously they make Roxy over excited and cause issues. They seemed to really stress Roxy out.

Roxy is really smart and picks up new commands easily so I definitely don't think it's too late for additional training. Thanks for the YouTube recommendations I will have to check that out! We are looking at local trainers as well, but in the meantime I like to have a solid plan. I think you're right, Cleo does seem to be losing her "puppy card". While I don't think things will get serious Cleo is crated when they are home alone. To prevent resource guarding I've been focusing on teaching Cleo manners, not letting them steal from one another and have both dogs work for everything, but don't really know what else I should be doing. It's hard to find advice for dog to dog resource guarding.

I've been keeping an eye out for their signals and correct the dog who is in the wrong or praise them both for fair and nice play. I also have noticed that Cleo seems to need more exercise lately, so we're working on that. But what I think she needs most is really learning self control. Roxy has a great off switch, but Cleo needs some work in that department. In the middle of rough and wild play I have brought out the treats and made both dogs do some tricks and that seems to help a bit. I read that giving them treats together helps so that they learn when something nice happens to one dog something nice also happens to the other, but really this is something we have always done. Is there some way that I could train them to play at a lower level of excitement? Or should I just keep up with the corrections for inappropriate play, praise for good play and treat/trick distractions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We had a similar issue and we solved it by creating a safe space for the older dog. Essentially there's one room in our house that our younger pup (Maeve) knows she's not allowed in. The door stays open but we've trained Maeve not to cross the threshold. The older dog (Tula) uses that room as a safe haven either when she doesn't want to play or if Maeve gets too wound up. We still can call Maeve off verbally but it's helpful if she can get the immediate feedback from the other dog directly if she's being too rowdy.
There is a room that only Roxy is allowed in, but it's basically just for bedtime. We have to keep the door closed otherwise our third dog Sophie (an 11 year old cavalier) gets into stuff she shouldn't. Basically Roxy runs to me to defend her when things are too wild. Or my dad. She never goes off by herself when it's too much, ahe just jumps on my lap or dad's kinda like she's saying "help me! The puppy is gonna get me!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone else have any more advice? Obedience training was mentioned and we are reinforcing skills. But how do you work on an off switch? Especially with a 7 month old Golden?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Without adequate exercise there may not be an off switch.
We've increased exercise a lot without seeing a big change. Actually funnily enough after my last comment I tried some more mental stimulation and that actually did it! We used to resort to a lot more mental games when she was a land shark, but we kind of stopped doing them as much. So I'm thinking she needs more mental stimulation. Going to try teaching "find it" to Cleo as that game works really well with Roxy when she has too much energy, plus it can be played in house.
 
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