Two pug puppy sisters with very rough play... Help!
We have an adorable little girl pug 13 weeks old who for the most part is a delight. My parents also gave a home to her sister of the same litter. Both have lovely cheeky natures separately and for the most part are typical heathy and active pug pups.
We would love nothing more than for them to get along especially as we can have them stay together when needed . We have tried to reintroduce them to each other several times but each visit they literally just jump each other and are constantly rough playing to the point where I am concerned they'll accidentally hurt one another or scratch an eye.
There doesn't seem to be much let up in the manic play fighting until you can see that they're both getting over heated and need to take some water and then immediately it starts up again chasing each other around and pinning each other down. They won't be distracted from fighting.
Is this normal behaviour for two pugs of the same litter? I've heard that siblings can sometimes play a bit rougher but I just haven't managed to get them to a point where they will settle with each other and I'm worried because myself and my partner are going away for a night next month and my parents will have to look after them both.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Will they ever get along? Any advice would be very welcome!!
I have heard littermates - esp 2 girls - can be a handful... that being said (and I have no "hands on experience" with this scenario), I hope given time (years), and consistent training in their separate lives, they might mature to be tolerant buddies. For the short term, consider an expen between them during visits??
Ayleash ... Sponsor of the Pugs: Captain and Niko, and Pack leader of: Tigger (2005-2016), and ...My SECOND rescue Terrier... a girl for Tigger... Ohna... and now... DECKER!! (The Dog Formerly Known As (TDFKA) Batman!)
This is extremely typical of litter mates, and that rough play very often becomes fighting when they're older.
But you can make it better! :) Firstly, are you going to a puppy school? If not, I'd really suggest it. Find a good one that uses clickers or treat-reward positive training, and if at all possible, put them in separate classes (truly, this is important, get them in separate classes).
Then, at home, they're allowed to interact, but only up to a point - when the play gets too rough, have a helper and each of you calls a puppy away from the fray with a very good reward for coming. If it doesn't work, each helper can take a pup very gently, get their attention with a toy, pick them up and pen them or crate them separately for a while. Maybe one can go for a walk, then nap while the other has their walk?
It would really help if each puppy could get a 'human' - one primary caretaker that is different from the other ones, and if you could do a lot of their caring and play separately. Give them each time to become their own dog - they'll get along better for it over time.
Thank you very much for the responses. We have signed Lola up for classes as has my mum with her pup, both separately, however they don't start until January as we seem to have very limited puppy training classes in our area so they seem to get filled quickly. In the meantime we have been using a treat reward system for some basic training which works well with Lola on her own but she is completely immune to any outside action as soon as they are together.
We have been gently separating them if we think it's going on too long or if we can see them getting tired or too rough. We have tried gentle introductions in arms which starts off nice but descends into chaos when they are put on the floor.
Lola will be able to go for walks outside as of next week which I think will help further with socialisation in general. We've been doing some general 'in arms' walking to get her used to sights and smells but other than her sister she hasn't really had any interaction with other dogs which I hope isn't detrimental.
I'm probably stressing too much about it than I should be. I just had this lovely image of me and my parents being able to go for walks with our pups but at this rate we just want them to get along!
Don't be too worried about keeping them apart for the mean time. They get older and calmer and things improve. Gentle, gradual and pleasant exposure to as many other dogs as you can find would be great for them long term (do them individually, so they don't overwhelm the poor other dog!).