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Two weeks ago we got a 3 month old Australian Shepherd (Lucy) from friends who found out their daughter is allergic. 2 weeks before, we had out a deposit on a Mini Aussie/Yellow Lab puppy (Gabi). In the two weeks, Lucy has gotten better at staying calm around new people and biting/nipping a lot less and was close to 75% when asked to sit.
We got Gabi two days ago (Just over 7 weeks old). Since then, Lucy has lost her mind. Any time Gabi is around, all Lucy wants to do is "wrestle." This includes soft biting, jumping/tackling, but also standing over the smaller puppy. On rare occasions if Gabi barks back they will get into a more aggressive barking wrestling. When Gabi is around, Lucy is more likly to bit, rarely listens to commands and is almost entirely concentrated on Gabi. Gabi has never gotten to the point where she yelps in pain or anything.
Its becoming too much. I'm worried Lucy my hurt Gabi, but also that this will make it harder to train Gabi. When apart, Lucy is mostly under control.
Will this get better? What can I do to reduce the "wrestling"? How do I break up the aggressive play without getting physical?


I know having two puppies at once isn't a great idea, but we did. We love them both and we just want them to be happy.
 

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It doesn't sound like they're doing anything wrong to me, but please let others weigh in. They're both pups. I'd let them play and wrestle with one another, it'll help teach them great bite inhibition. I don't think they'll seriously hurt each other. 12 weeks vs. 8 weeks doesn't seem that large of a difference.
 

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Can you record a play session, that would make it easier to pitch in. Generally, puppies will let their play mates know that the play is too rough, either by yelping, growling or snapping. Your job is to help the older puppy understand these signals. Say the older puppy has the younger puppy pinned down, that is totally fine. The young puppy will lay motionless to signal that the old puppy won this round. If the old puppy continues to stand over the young puppy after several signals have been send, you go in and gently remove the older puppy by the collar, a treat in his face and a brief time out. This is not a punishment per se, but the older puppy will understand that "the fun stops if I don't listen to my play mates signals". Likewise, if the younger puppy yelp, and he just keeps going, remove him gently by the collar and make him sit and calm down, then treat him. If you give him 3 time outs within 15 minutes - I would terminate the play session and separate the dogs until next time. Also, when they play, remember to give them many short breaks with water and treats. They don't know their own boundaries and will keep going if you don't intervene. I'm sure if you are consistent with the above mentioned, they will get a lot of joy from growing up together. My puppy was a bit rough from time to time, but now he is such a good player, and reads other puppies signals very well. And if he slips up from time to time, a little time out usually does the trick.
 
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