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Discussion Starter #1
So we’ve recently got a puppy. About 5 months ago so he’s about 7 months now. He and my border collie play wonderfully outside the pool but if they both jump in for a toy they start to get a bit rough.
Does anyone have an experience with this or advise to stop it? I don’t want to stop the playing but I’m a bit worried about the wrestling in the pool.
 

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When I had two dogs who were both toy crazy and would have conflict over toys, I used two toys to play with them if they were out together, or played with them separately if using toys. Eventually my older dog became less interested in playing with toys, and I would more often have both out while playing, but she surprised me one day by also jumping into the water (we live on a creek, so dogs swim often) after I threw the toy. She was a better swimmer, so despite my other dog's brief head start, they got there at the same time and both grabbed the same toy. I watched in dismay and eventually concern as they wrestled over it, then both sunk. Thankfully both popped up seconds later, as did the toy, which one grabbed and brought in while the other followed. Needless to say, I made sure to ONLY play ball in the water separately after that :eek: .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I’ve played with them separately before but they have so much fun together. I’ll try separating them again and see if that helps.
 

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but I’m a bit worried about the wrestling in the pool.

Because it might escalate or start to take place outside the pool or all/none of the above ? I only ask because I have a low threshold for "spirited" dog/dog interaction. I get crap from some of my friends to the tune of " oh, just let them sort it on their own" but I generally intervene.


FWIW, having a pool which your dogs get to enjoy is bigger than they'll ever know hence I appreciate the question you posed so as to continue the privilege they don't even know they have but deserve.


I'm curious; is the 7 month pup the instigator or your trusted BC ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The 7 month old puppy is a much better swimmer than my border collie. I don’t want it to escalate and I don’t want either to be turned off my the pool because it’s a constant competition. The 7 month old tends to be the starter. If my BC jumps in for the toy he’s goes in after and trys to get the toy and my border collie holds on the the wrestling begins. On the other side of the pup jumps in first my border collie loses interest and waits outside the pool.
As soon as they get out of the pool no more wrestling and whoever has the toy is the “winner” I guess. Once out of the pool they go right back to playing beautifully.
I don’t believe it’s toy possession but I would just rather not have to worry about them wrestling so hard in the pool.
 

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The 7 month old puppy is a much better swimmer than my border collie. I don’t want it to escalate and I don’t want either to be turned off my the pool because it’s a constant competition. The 7 month old tends to be the starter. If my BC jumps in for the toy he’s goes in after and trys to get the toy and my border collie holds on the the wrestling begins. On the other side of the pup jumps in first my border collie loses interest and waits outside the pool.
As soon as they get out of the pool no more wrestling and whoever has the toy is the “winner” I guess. Once out of the pool they go right back to playing beautifully.
I don’t believe it’s toy possession but I would just rather not have to worry about them wrestling so hard in the pool.

The best I can offer is; perhaps the pup is at that age where adolescence is starting to kick in and past boundaries are being tested and possession for one reason or another takes on a different twist in the pool. I'm probably wrong but from reading some of your other posts you take a pretty gentle approach overall to your dogs and take a truly benevolent method to tackle any problems which is fine of course. However, I might assert your authority as the "sheriff" and regulate your pup's overzealous moments when your BC has possession of the ball in the pool. I could see at least a few ways of accomplishing this. One would be a long line on the pup and using verbal cues with steering pressure on the long line when the pup is being a bit of a jackass or getting into the pool and managing the pup in a similar fashion. I also liked @busannie idea of " I used two toys to play with them if they were out together ". Maybe tossing another ball near the pup just before the behavior escalates might help.


I greatly appreciate your thoughts regarding " I don’t want to stop the playing but I’m a bit worried about the wrestling in the pool". Yes. it would be a shame to quash the fun and great exercise your two dogs get from the pool.


I'd train for what you want tomorrow today and keep a keen eye on keeping the fun alive. Obviously, you've done a great job with your BC's "manners" and it seems your pup is pushing previously respected boundaries. There can only be one "sheriff" and it's neither of your two dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree that it’s the pups adolescence is kicking in and the rules and boundaries are going to be more heavily enforced. Thanks
 
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