Toby is my first dog ever who absolutely LOVES fetch.  He runs like a little freight train up and down the long hallway in our house. 

I worry for his joints since he is so young so we only play 5-10 minutes or so at a time.  I'm assuming that's ok because it's not for a super long time?  He also takes little breaks in between when Riley steals the squeaky toy to wrestle a bit.  I'm going to ask the vet about it at his next visit in a few weeks.

Riley doesn't play much fetch since Toby is around, he's too quick on his feet and she just sort of stares at him incredulously as he zips around her lol.  

Obligatory dog picture.  They had just eaten so I didn't want them to play and they had to wait their turn to go outside, Riley was NOT pleased.  Every time I let them out at the same time it results in a wrestling match.  

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  • Such a cute pair of dogs.  Wrestling or at least what I call wrestling is okay.  You are good to limit fetch to 5 to 10 minutes.  Tigger and Murphy love to fetch but I limit it also because Tigger is nearing 13 years old and I think 5-10 minutes is about all he needs at one time.

    • "Wrestling" with these guys mostly involves Toby full-on launching himself at Riley and tugging at her various body parts.  I often see him with little clumps of hair hanging off his teeth, poor Riley.  Either that or both of them with their mouths open playing the "bitey game" as I call it (it almost looks like they are comparing the size of their teeth) while Riley makes silly wookiee noises.

      She occasionally squashes him like a bug with one of her big paws but she basically just turns around and around trying to protect her sensitive areas from the little shark.  She has scabs all over from his bites, I really wish she'd just tell him to simmer down.  We separate them if Toby is just being completely relentless, but often if I do that (by tethering him and leaving Riley free) she will go see him and let him attack her again so I guess she likes it lol.

  • LOVE the photo!  You are doing all things right!  I wouldn't worry about Toby's joints.  You are limiting the stress but giving him a chance to develop stronger muscles etc. 

    • He is so FAST!  I don't remember Riley ever being this quick on her feet, I think he's going to be a very athletic dog. DH was just commenting this morning that he seems awfully well-coordinated for a 3 month old pup.  

      Maybe Riley was hindered by her gigantic paws lol.  Who am I kidding she is still pretty clumsy, it's like she can never quite keep track of where she is relative to other things because she is bigger than she thinks she is. :)  She is clumsy but very powerful, just yesterday she leapt into the air and sailed about 8 ft to go play bow to Toby (they were outside), I was worried for him that she might land on him but she is pretty careful around him.

  • Ha ha!  Love the photo.  I can imagine the sulking look on Riley's face.  It's funny that she tolerates the little guy biting her.  hmmm......will she let him be top dog when he grows up???  Toby might get hiimself in trouble if he thinks he can do that to any other dog!

    • We've been wondering about that too!  Riley doesn't have any dominant tendencies so maybe she will just allow him to be top dog.  I don't think she'd ever allow him to take a yummy special treat from her but she lets him take her place at the water bowl and sneak a kibble or two when she is eating if I'm taking too long to put hers down.  

      I've been thinking about his play style too, we need a less tolerant dog to play with him and tell him off but without starting a fight :p Luna would have been perfect for that, she never hesitated to put a puppy in their place but she only ever defended herself and never escalated.

       Riley just seems to have endless patience for him.  We've found numerous scabs on her that we're sure are from Toby and she only yelps when they are playing extremely rarely.  He backs right off when she yelps though so he does get the social cue when it's given.

      • I worried about that when Willow was a puppy. She spent half the day hanging off of Maggie's face, and Maggie just let her. I wanted her to tell Willow off a little bit, teach her some manners. And I made Willow leave her alone sometimes, but for the most part I let them do their thing. Willow grew out of the obnoxious stage and Maggie never fussed at her and now they are buddies. They wrestle and race around sometimes, but mostly they just hang out. My poor furniture. They would both bank off the couch and the couch would rock back and hit the wall - sometimes while I was sitting on it. Then they would bounce off the bed and repeat. It was a madhouse when Willow was a puppy. But they were having fun, and that kind of thing doesn't bother me. 

        Someone asked me recently who is top dog. I looked around at them, and I honestly don't think there's any sort of power hierarchy between them. Or if there is they haven't told me about it. If I had to pick I would say Katie. She sometimes growls and makes one of the big girls move. Or maybe it's me. Maybe I'm top dog and they don't have to be. Mostly I think we have a benevolent democracy. 

        So, I wouldn't worry too much about Riley, if she's not telling you that she hates the puppy. I think some dogs do just have endless patience with their annoying little siblings. Toby will probably grow out of being annoying and they will be besties. Maybe no one really has to be top dog. It's not like they live in a world with a scarcity of resources. There's no survival of the fittest. 

        Or maybe I'm just really really lucky. I feel like I'm not supposed to be able to have a happy pack of all girl dogs either. But I really do.

        • When Picco was 6 months old he had a beautiful 120lb malamute "Griz" to play with.  He let Picco do anything to him!  Such patience.  It was so fun to watch them - teeth gnashing, Picco rolling over him, grabbing & pulling his legs!

          • Riley was SO TIRED this morning after their play session.  Toby is relentless.  Riley went and hid from Toby in this little "nest" my daughter had made for her and my son, haha.  She looked so comfy but very tired.

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