Young dog too rough

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Young dog too rough

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Old 10-13-2017, 08:40 PM
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Young dog too rough

I have a 12 year old dog that's recently been diagnosed with myelopathy. It's not degenerative myelopathy - right now we're unsure of exactly the cause. She's under the care of a neurologist but she presents with back left leg weakness and mild instability.

I also have a 2 year old lab. She's 80 pounds, still very much a puppy, and she's very rough. I try to control the environment as much as I can to keep my older dog safe but the puppy is so rough. She tries to initiate play, bumps passed the older dog, cuts her off - and all of these things can make her fall which could potentially worsen her condition. It's beyond frustrating to me because the older dog is my heart and soul and I feel myself getting angry at the puppy.

Aside from exercising the puppy - what can I do? I try to keep them separate in situations that cause excitement. For instance I let the older dog outside first before I even let the puppy out of the crate. I hold the puppy if they're in tight spaces that could cause collision. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:06 PM
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There is definitely a wide range of energy level, natural impulse control, and general body awareness/sensitivity within the breed, but the typical 2 year old Lab is a pretty exuberant dog. Things like playing, bumping past the other dog, cutting her off as she runs- they're not necessarily a matter of lack of exercise. Yes, increasing her exercise may help, but you're not going to get her tired enough that she no longer runs when excited and bumps uncaringly past obstacles.

Get some baby gates, maybe even make a tie down or two in your house, and start setting it up so the young dog has less opportunities to be loose with the older dog. Tethering the younger dog to you and/or furniture to restrict movement may help as well.

In addition, it may be helpful to provide more enrichment type activities to keep her busy. Make sure to have an assortment of chew to choose from (Nylabones are a safe bet. Antlers are good, though they can break teeth). Some stuffed kong type toys would be a good idea too.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:55 AM
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I kind of figured that was my best option. Both dogs have Nylabones and they do keep them occupied well. Puppy is a power chewer so they're really the only toys she can have.

I do feel sorry for the puppy because she gets pushed to the back burner and she's on the receiving end of my frustration sometimes. I keep telling myself to practice patience and she's not doing anything to be malicious. But regardless of intent, if she further injured the older dog it would be devastating on many different levels.

Its just stressful and I feel stretched very thin. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:26 AM
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I agree with Moonstream.

My Dad used to say that a 6 month old Labrador is like an Exocet missile. It's a phase they go through, it lasts until they die.

Management would appear to be your best immediate option and all the options suggested are likely to help.

Whilst physical activity will have an effect, mental activity is more draining.

I would suggest that you look at teaching her "Sit", "Down" and "Wait" (or stay).

Take 5 minutes, no more, go into a room where there's only you and your pup, have a LOAD of treats ready** and teach using hand signals only (if you need help on that, let me know). No sound. No cues, no commands, hand signals only.

If you can't verbalise, you can't raise your voice, you can't shout, stress levels have less of a chance to rise. If you're getting nowhere, walk away, give it an hour and try again.

Later in the day, next day, whenever, do it again.

Get her to do it inside, on her own; inside, with your older dog in sight (starts to be closer to your older dog, but is learning to restrain herself), outside on a walk, anywhere, any situation, etc.

You can achieve a few things. Management sorts your immediate problem. Sit and down puts your pup in a situation where it's not possible to be rough. Stay means that in tight places, one dog goes through at a time.

**NB When using food treats like this, before you start, weigh them and adjust the next meal so that overall daily food intake is the same.
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