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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you might know, I have two three month old female Maltese. I know we need to have pups bond to us and not just each other. Seeing as there's two of us and two of them, it works out pretty well. We both bond with both of the pups but each of the pups has their lil "preferred" mommy as well.

A couple of issues with this. Our pups love each other to death and they are together most of the time. Occasionally, one gets "extra" attention, like a car ride alone while the other stays at home but usually, when they get their individual time, it is at the same time, one with each of us. If one pup is out and one is not, they will cry and whine and bark and break my heart, pretty much, cuz they feel left out... so it's easier to have them both out.

The other issue is that when they are out and playing, sometimes they get really rough with each other. I know it's normal to play and wrestle, partially because they are playing and partially because they are learning how rough is too rough. But how do I know how rough is too rough? I want to separate them when necessary but I know they like to play together and I know they need to learn and stuff. Also, if they are playing rough and we do separate them, they will want to be together again... crazy things.

Does this sound good, normal, bad....? Any input on either issues?
 

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I think you need to put a huge emphasis on getting these puppies separate. Separate crates, separate walks, separate training time, separate car rides.

Here's why...It is bad for their mental health to be so bonded to each other. It creates unnecessary anxiety when separated. Your dogs will never always be together. One of them will get sick and go to the vet. One of them will be recovering and need to be crates alone. Dogs who do not learn to be alone can make a vet stay into a massively stressful event. They are panicked at being separated. This makes them harder to treat and is not helpful to their recovery. Your dog, hopefully many many years away, will not die at the same moment. Do your dogs a favor and set them up for long-term success. Make them each secure in themselves and capable of staying alone without you or another dog.

I would let them handle the play thing unless one is screaming and the other doesn't back off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really, really appreciate your response. I know that is what I have to do but it's hard because I am super soft hearted and I hate hearing one of them cry. :( But I want them to be well adjusted, well behaved dogs so I'm going to have to suck it up!!

How much apart time do you recommend? Easier to answer, I suppose, would be the flip of that question... when should/could they be together? I will tell you what it's like in our house. They sleep together in a crate. During the day, when I am not able to hover over them (still house breaking!) the spend the day in a large enclosed play-yard in their room. They also eat at the same time. When they are out, they are usually together, playing on the floor, or separated, cuddling in our arms.

Dang it, this is going to be hard. I'm such a pushover! So seriously seriously separate them? It's ok to let them cry and bark? I know the answer to that.... :( They will be three months old this weekend. We have had them for about a month. It's not too late to start separating them?

I really appreciate your response. It's one thing to read random articles online, it's entirely different to talk to someone who knows first hand and can answer my questions. Thank you so much.
 

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I really, really appreciate your response. I know that is what I have to do but it's hard because I am super soft hearted and I hate hearing one of them cry. :( But I want them to be well adjusted, well behaved dogs so I'm going to have to suck it up!!

How much apart time do you recommend? Easier to answer, I suppose, would be the flip of that question... when should/could they be together? I will tell you what it's like in our house. They sleep together in a crate. During the day, when I am not able to hover over them (still house breaking!) the spend the day in a large enclosed play-yard in their room. They also eat at the same time. When they are out, they are usually together, playing on the floor, or separated, cuddling in our arms.

Dang it, this is going to be hard. I'm such a pushover! So seriously seriously separate them? It's ok to let them cry and bark? I know the answer to that.... :( They will be three months old this weekend. We have had them for about a month. It's not too late to start separating them?

I really appreciate your response. It's one thing to read random articles online, it's entirely different to talk to someone who knows first hand and can answer my questions. Thank you so much.
Rebecca - I know you haven't been here long but Jackie (JMM) is amazing. She really knows her stuff, her pups compete in agility and she's great with obedience and training tips. We're so lucky to have her here, so heed her advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
:) I was planning on heeding her advice, even before your glowing recommendation. I have never talked with her but I have seen a few of her postings and she does seem really informed and educated about what she talks about. It does seem like she would be a terrific asset to a forum such as this, where many new owners are looking for information. I really do look forward to reading what she has to say... seeing as this (the separation issue) is the thing I have been struggling with the most.

But of course, I welcome any input or advice from anyone else who would like to offer it as well!
 

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Sandi-- w/Kitzel (Kitzi) & Lisel (Lisi)
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Discussion Starter #8
I have read that article... it seems a bit discouraging. I have mentioned it before but I researched everything I could think of about puppy care before I brought them home. It wasn't until I had both girls in my house that I thought, oh wow, should have researched two pups at once. So I did and the results were very disheartening. Almost everything I was reading was saying how difficult it is, how much of a bad idea it is. :( Of course, at that time, I already had both puppies in my possession and there was no way I could choose between them!! I knew I wanted them both and I knew it would be extra work but I was ok with that. My wife and I agreed that we would do our best to separate them... which was working for a bit but... urgh. It's hard, because it's one of those things where doing the best thing for the pups is clearly not what they want at that moment. ;) (When is that not the case? lol) We tried them in separate crates at night at first and they would just be miserable without each other. In retrospect, I am thinking I should have sacraficed a good night's sleep or two and made them stick it out, instead of giving in and putting them back together. I'm wondering if I can start this now? I'm sure it will be a longer adjustment period, given the fact that they've been together for an additional month, but it has to be done.

Along the same lines, what do you guys do when you separate your dogs? If I were to have one pup out, the other would be in their room. There are options... a crate or a play yard, lights on or off, door open or shut, music on or off... What works best? I don't want to stress her out more than she already will be!!
 

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I got two at once thinking they wouldn't be lonely but worried they'd bond to each other instead of us. Emily and Sasha seem to have no trouble being apart from each other,maybe since they've been held and loved on by us so much. I hold one,Al holds the other and we switch,so maybe that helped. Sasha will nap in the kitchen ,while emily naps on the couch w/ me,or vice versa,so they seems to be fine apart so far.

They get into their little fights sometimes but not often.

Do what you can to get them to bond w/ you ,it's best for them, since chances are one might get sick and have to be part from the other or someday,one might go to the bridge before the other.....

Yours are young yet so it might be a little battle but I'm sure it can be done. You have family members that can help too. Maybe try one family member playing w/ one in another room and giving treats ,while another does the same thing in another room. That way they can associate being apart w/ play and treats instead of anxiety.
We did that,especially when I wanted to watch one tv show and Al wanted to watch another,we'd each grab a fluff,so I think they got used to it that way.
 

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Your puppies are only three months old so it's certainly not too late to start separating them, training and socializing them separately, etc. You real want to start now before they start the dreaded "teenage" stage in a few months.
 

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it sounds like your pups might need some basic separation training if they are crying and barking. jackie has recommended a good book in the past called "i'll be home soon"....this book could help you with both pups being separated from you and each other.
 

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I would start crating/penning them separately. Put the crates right next to each other for the first few days. Slowly move them apart until the dogs are in different rooms (or if the room is big enough, across the room and unable to see each other). Leave one pup inside with another person and take the other one out. Sign them up for puppy class and take each puppy alone. If you are going to have them out hanging around the house, let them play! If you have them put up hanging around with you, split the difference - let them play for a while and then put them up.
Make a written schedule and stick with it. The dogs will adjust much more quickly if they know what to expect.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is all great advice, thanks, and I will look in to getting that book. At this very second, I have them crated separately and all I am hearing is whining and crying from two sad lil pups.

I really want what is best for them and I thought we were doing a good enough job separating them. I might have to draw up a schedule of set times for them. Being a stay-at-home wife (and pup mom), I am home with them most of the time. :)

Thanks again!
 

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The schedule will also help you with housetraining. Consistency is the key to so many things with our dogs. Write it down and put it on the fridge.
Feeding them in their separate crates can also help them enjoy being in there.
When you let the dogs out of the crate, they must come to you before greeting their playmate. If the dog comes out and runs off, back in the crate, wait a little and start again. It is important for them to acknowledge you. I do Crate Games with my dogs so they all come to me first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
:) I love those ideas! I want the pups to get along with each other but they have to love me and my wife the most!! I will definitely try those crate games and I will start feeding them in there, too.

I really, really appreciate all this advice! It's hard... they cried and barked so much last night and we woke up to it again this morning. That's terrible... it means they are far more spoiled than we thought!!

Definitely going to set up a schedule and get strict with them. :)
 

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Hi Rebecca,
Congrats on Tinker Bell & Tiger Lily!
They sound like they are bringing so much joy to you and your wife.
Pups really add so much love to our lives, eh?

I have read the posted article about 2 pups previously.
And allthough it is correct, it is not all doom and gloom.
I imagine in some case it can go bad, but others are good.
And some would be tolerable, lol.

I have Paris & Coco who are the same age. Turned one in August.
And both girls, like yours, so we have a lot in common.

To us, and my family they are a dream.
They are on a schedule, in that they know what to expect when.

For example, if i say to Coco: "Yeah! It's your walky time!"
Paris will go slink into her xpen as she knows she isn't going first.

All classes have been seperate (JMM's advice) except for the first puppy classes as I couldn't get seperate without waiting forever.

There are many things I do not do perfectly, but some things I do well enough.
And I keep striving to learn more and be a better puppy parent. (Dog, now!)

I think you will find a happy medium of together time & individual time with both of them.

I feel doubly blessed to have my two.
I would love to add a third one day when it is right.

It might also depend on what your girls' temperments are.
Allthough the experts can guide you more on this, than I.

As for the "how ruff is too ruff" when playing.
You will probably just know in your gutt.
My two play wrestle like loons.
They have never went from playing to fighting.
The only very few dissagreements were people attention or high value treat related.
 

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Rebecca, it sounds like you and your wife are on the right path. I know its so hard to listen to them whine and cry at first, but eventually they will settle in and the crying will stop. Just hang in there and continue what you are doing! You are a great fluff Mom!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I appreciate all the advice, really... especially thanks to Canada. It does sound like we do have a lot in common! I might come to you with more questions!

We started heavily enforcing a schedule today... They have slept separate the last two nights but today was the first day we REALLY kept them apart all day. It was a looooooong day but I would say it went really, really well. And tonight, on the third night, they went down without a peep. I put them in their side-by-side crates, there was less than thirty seconds of barking and now... silence. Maybe they are learning this is how it is going to be? Well, it doesn't matter why but it's wonderful to have them being so behaved!

I noticed I got to spend much more time with them today now that they are separated and I combed and groomed Tinker for a long time and made her look just gorgeous! Without the distraction of her sister around, she pretty much just laid on my lap and let me do whatever I needed to do without much fuss.

My wife did most bathroom breaks today but she works most days so I will have to take it over eventually. And yes, we are housebreaking, in addition to separating and that is actually going really well, too!!

What a good day! Thanks to all of you for your help and advice and encouragement!!
 
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