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So...my older daughter (15) and my hubby are super excited about wrestling with the girls when they get older (only 8 weeks now). However we have another daughter and son who I know want no part in wrestling/being tackled by the dogs. And another son who is indifferent. Can we teach them that only some people like to roll around? Or will this become a free for all and should be avoided ie not ok behavior at any time. Thoughts?
 

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I would say no wrestling period. My 5 month old spoo cannot handle excited play. Rough housing sends the wrong message. How is a puppy to know which human is wrestle buddy which isn’t. They need structure, rules, and manners. For what it’s worth that’s my vote. Good luck!
 

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Have everything on a cue/command. You want her to jump up on you, first teach her to sit nicely in front of you, then later add the cue for "put your paws on my shoulders/tummy/..." This way, she only jumps on those who wish it, and not when her paws are muddy. Do the same if they want to roll around on the floor. Use the cue, wrestle for a few seconds, then tell her "sit". When she sits, praise, then use the wrestle cue. Then, sit.
 

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I've always had a "no contact" rule with any play. No jumping on people, no wrestling. It is very hard for an excited puppy to remember when wresting is ok and whe its not. It's cute when a 7 pound puppy launches itself at you and falls over. It's much less cute when your 50 pound adolescent launches itself at Grandma and Grandma falls over.

When they are very young I will let them mouth me (as in the Ian Dunbar chapter on bite inhibition) but I taper this off very qquickly. I personally don't play tug-of-war, as I want the dog to keep a soft mouth. In your situation, however, I think tug toys might be a good compromise. You have humans that want to play rough and puppies that need rules. At least the puppy can generalize on rough housing only with tug toys. Humans that don't want to play can simply refrain from picking up a tug toy.
 

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I made the mistake of roughhousing with Mia. The trouble is that you have to work very, very hard to teach them that the only two people in the world they're allowed to play with like this are your husband and older daughter. I failed miserably, and Mia has scared a few people by playing too aggressively with them. My advice is to think of the girls as future poodle ambassadors and train them in a way that will help them get along in the world at large.
 

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I wouldn't allow it. Some of the kids may not mind it but when they have friends over you don't want the pups to rough-house with other people's children.
 

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I roughhouse with our dogs, I think it's a valuable skill. I definitely rough housed a bit with our mini cross as a kid (dragging her around with a toy over my legs, etc), and also with our collie cross. But it generally starts after they have learned self control and tooth control and are no longer jumping up on me spontaneously (8-12 months? ).

With Annie, we mostly do jumpy play. Jump, jump, jump, me hit her sides lightly with my hands and me bouncing, bark, bark bark. If she gets too riled up - "Annie! Down!", pause and wait 10s with her at a down, tail thumping, then I release her, and its back to jump jump, jump, bark bark bark. It is ALWAYS me who instigates it, if she tries, I won't play, and if teeth touch skin, we are done. She also doesn't jump hard , she bounces on the ground more than jumps, and rarely puts paws on me - if she gets too enthusiastic with paws, the game ends. We usually do maybe 20-30s of play and then are finished.

I (and my mom more so) are also deliberately not gentle sometimes with our dogs, we do a lot of "rough you up" sort of stuff from puppyhood where I scrub at her roughly, tug her tail, catch her paws or whatever, as a way of teaching I can touch you wherever/desensitizing her to rough touch. It's a game. We do this with the little dogs too. All of them have loved it, they get very excited/happy from hearing "I'm gonna rough you up!"
 
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