|Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 5:56pm PST |
|“Telling them "sit" or "down" in mid-fight: They both listen well, though it takes Connor a little longer. But right after the "training session" they rush into the fight again.”
Can I suggest you try looking at it as play, rather than *fight. This will go a long way to easing your anxiety, which in turn, your dogs will pick up on. Great that they are both breaking off the game when you ask. This isn’t going to change in one or two days..it is a process...so what you have done is take the first step. And got results!
Decide what your rules for indoor play are...break the game as soon as one of them breaks a rule. Use your strategy of sits, downs, etc.
“Tossing them treats during resting period: The problem is that this is a very hard one to catch and reinforce, because they will fight continuously for up to an hour before resting for a couple minutes. Which they recover from in 2 minutes. They appreciated the treats, but the wrestling continues just as it was before. “
OK..sounds like they are setting the rules. You decide when the game starts & when it ends. I (myself) set a 10 minute limit on indoor wrasslin. I do appreciate it can be tough to catch those quiet times, but you need to create them, also. If a dog gets up & looks like he is going to start something, immediately ask for a known behavior, like sit..then reward that. Again..it is a process..takes time.
“Today, I tried a different tactic. Might be offensive. When the play became too rough, I physically seperated them. Grabbed Connor by the collar and said STOP. I scolded both. Avalon's sensitive to scolding so doesn't need the forced grabbing. Berated both of them pretty harshly for a minute. Av walked off and Connor rolled over and tried to kiss up to me. They stopped wrestling for about 20 minutes, which is the longest yet.”
I strongly advise you to not physically separate them. An aggressive response like that *could result in an aggressive response.
Everything you describe sounds like play. If they go at it for an hour..with no injury..& go back for more..it is not a *real fight.
There is nothing wrong with separating them if that is what it takes for them to learn to be calm in the house. Don’t give up. The next year or so may drive you nuts..but provide the boundaries & rules, be consistent, and you can have 2 dogs freely roaming for as long as you want.
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