Need help with Lily

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by juliefurry, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    Ok we have been doing puppy school with Lily at Petsmart and I am sad to say she is failing miserably:( . She is very smart but doesn't want to be told or made to do anything so if you say sit and she doesn't sit and you go to push down on her butt she will bite at you. She is very dominant over our little girl, my main concern, she doesn't feel Emily should sit or play with anything. If Emily is playing with a toy she will grab it viciously from her and run away with it. Emily was on the couch and Lily ran over and growled and was biting her. Not bad but did leave marks. We have been having Emily give Lily treats but since Emily is too small she can't help with the training (she can't talk). My husband is very mad at Lily, which in turn is making me very mad at him. He has a very short temper for things like that and he is now rethinking her. He bought her for me and this is the dog that I have wanted for a long time and he is not going to take her away. If I have to fight him like I did when we had Shelby I will. Does anyone have any suggestions for her please. The other husky mix puppy we had was also really dominant to her and bit her as well, should we maybe just cover our daughter in bitter apple spray or something:D ?
     
  2. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    Are you doing Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) with her? If you're not, I'd start it. You could also try having you and your daughter hand feed her her meals.
     
  3. Dixie

    Dixie The ***** idiot

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    What breed is Lily? Given your avatar photo, I am assuming she is labrador??? Correct me if I am wrong.

    Also how old is Lily? You said 'puppy' so Im assuming b/t 6-12 mos of age. (most schools wont accept pups less than 6 mos for formal obedience.)

    If shes having dominance issues, then you need to step up to the plate and make yourself the dominant one. You and your hubby are the pack leaders. You need to be consistent with pup and there needs to be consistency between the two pack leaders, you and hubby.

    I would suggest starting off by grounding her from toys and playtime for a week. She'll figure out why shes not getting playtime, she's too aggressive.

    Also if the biting is leaving marks then that needs to be dealt with otherwise your setting yourself up for an all-out between the two dogs if things continue to escalate.

    After grounding her for a week, start off again with one-on-one playtime between you and puppy with just one or two toys. If she shows aggression towards you, grab her by the muzzle and command "NO!" If she continues to be aggressive with you, "pounce" on her, roll her on to her back and let out a deep growl. With you being bigger than her this sends the message that your the boss. Then put her in her kennel by herself with no toys and have her stay for the remainder of the day/evening/night. She'll know she did wrong. Once she's no longer aggressive with you, bring in your other dog for some playtime. If shes aggressive with the other dog, seperate them, "pounce" on her again and let out a mean growl. She'll learn from this that aggressiveness towards other pack members will not be tolerated. Send her back to her kennel, no toys, for the reamainder of the day/evening/night. Again, she'll learn.

    If shes no longer displaying aggressiveness towards you or other pack members you may try to work on obedience without distractions.

    Command "sit" pull up on her leash, down on her bottom. When you have a hold of that collar you have control of the head. If she attempts to bite, pin her down, grab her muzzle, and command "NO!" (Dont body slam or put all of your weight on the dog, just enough to hold her down). Once you get this aggressiveness out of her system you may safely re-enroll her in obedience classes, until then I would suggest pulling her from the class as a safety precaution for you, other people and other animals, as well as Lily, a bigger more dominant dog can and will tear into her.

    Also work on handling her. Try a daily grooming, this is soothing and they learn to like being handled. Then once they are comfortable with that, start messing with the feet, ears, and tail.

    If things escalate to the point of drawing blood, its time to turn it up a notch. A dog has three handles, two ears and a tail. Give an earpinch, but remember to always reach around behind the head to the opposite ear in case the dog decides to take a bite out of you. Put your thumbnail behind the ear and put your pointing and index finger over your thumbnail on the opposite side of the ear, and pinch just enough to get her to back off, and command "NO!" while doing so.

    If she does attempt to take a bite out of you during this process, its best to get with a professional trainer in your area that deals with aggressiveness. They may recommend keeping a muzzler on her when she is out of her kennel to ensure that she wont do damage. If the trainer makes the assessment that she cannot be controlled due to the aggressive nature, you may have to put her down as aggressive dogs dont normally get adopted out too well. But only consider this after all other means have been exhausted.

    Good luck,
    Dixie
     
  4. yuckaduck

    yuckaduck Guest

    Lily is her poodle and I think she is 4 maybe 5 months old! Julie will have to verify that though but defanantly a standard poodle.
     
  5. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    whoa, whoa, whoa. pleaseeeeeeeeeeee - that's just a great way to get bitten and completely break any trust between dog and handler. we are about 30 years past having to resort to stuff like that.

    julie - a strict NILIF program will definitely help. make the dog work for everything, from being allowed to go outside to pee to getting their food bowl at dinner time.

    i would kick up exercise a notch. a tired dog is a good dog and less prone to cause problems. and i don't mean just playing fetch for a while in the back yard, but a good brisk walk.

    also, stop attending classes at petsmart, trainers there aren't really well qualified. you can find a good, certified trainer through http://www.apdt.com or http://www.nadoi.org - these are trustworthy people who are dedicated to training dogs and to continuing education in regards to training.
     
  6. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    While your methods may work Dixie (and I am not trying to push you down, at all - everyone has their own ways), I think they're a good way to get bitten. Most dogs won't tolerate being attacked, pushed onto onto their backs, and pinched.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I'm sorry to hear this !!! I know how much you wanted Lily ... I do hope you can work these out.. it's scary when there are kids involved. You may have to consider muzzling.
     
  8. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    We do do the NILIF with all of our dogs, we've done it since we have had Mack. Hannah has adjusted quite well to it. I will look into another trainer for her too, but I figured we were short on money so petsmart is atleast a start. Yes Lily is a standard poodle and she is almost 5 months old. Emily gives her treats a couple times a day but I should consider letting her help feed her too. At first I was ready to roll over and let my husband take over this decision but I have changed my mind. She is my dog I wanted her and I am going to keep her. It's been a long time since we've had a good fight. I actually did buy her a muzzle until she can stop growling at my daughter and trying to bite her. I'm also going to have my daughter, have some supervised petting and "brushing" time with Lily too. Lily is just trying to test us still and I'm not going to let her get what she wants. Sorry I have been doing a lot of thinking since I posted this and Lily is just being stubborn and childish and we will get through this.
     
  9. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Stick it out Julie! You've got an alpha on your hands and she's going to take more work than Hannah, as I'm sure you've already found out. You were able to handle Mack for awhile, Lily should be at least a bit easier. Find a better trainer...maybe invest in a squirt bottle filled with a mild vinegar/water solution? (Just enough to smell, not enough to sting should you accidently get it in her eyes) Then when she growls or snaps at your daughter, she gets squirted. Won't hurt her in the least, but does get the point across.
     
  10. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    Julie, I too don't recommend that you follow Dixie's advice - while it may work for a select few dogs & trainers in my opinion it is a method that can create many more problems than what originally was there.

    As you said Lily is still very young and still has alot of learning to do but not with Emily being hurt. I would suggest for a while to keep Lily on a leash while her and Emily are together. That way you will be able to have a much quicker response time to give Lily a quick correction when she gets too rough with Emily.

    You could also make up a few penny bottles (plastic soda bottles with a few pennies in them) and have them all around the house so one is always handy. When she starts being rough give one a good shake while saying NO. The penny bottles are used to quickly get their attention & at least momentarily stop whatever activity they are doing to give you a chance to give a command.

    I truly think you will be successful in training Lily to understand that she needs to be gentle with Emily and play nicely with her. I am willing to bet that they will grow up together as best pals.

    While I think Petsmart training is OK for puppy class for beginning socialization I don't think it is a good resource for obedience training. Lily is at the age where it would really be good if you could get her into a class with a more qualified trainer. Then you will have an ally to help you figure out the best method to reach into that smart poodle brain of hers and turn the lightbulb on. I know even with my 2 what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the other and I have to fine tune and adjust my training depending on which one I am working with.

    I have no doubt that you will work through this and your hubby will no longer feel his little girl is not safe with Lily and peace will return.
     
  11. Dixie

    Dixie The ***** idiot

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    This is not attacking the dog, this is just making yourself the dominant one. When I said to do an earpinch and I said to reach around behind the head to the opposite ear so that if the dog decides to take a bite, his head will turn out away from you.

    If I were to attack the dog, I would probably do much worse. This is corrective. I you watch packs of dogs, usually the leader will discipline the pack members by using the pouncing method. The leader is not attacking is pack member but rather disciplining it. If it were an outright attack the leader/instigator would go right for the throat and take out a chunk.

    An attack in my book woul be a hard blow, a harsh punishment for a small crime. Also shooting the dog, excessive use of the e-collar, calf-tying the dog (Ive seen some "trainers" do this so they can administer "discipline" usually a through beating.), also certain methods of debarking (pipe in trachea, wire around the muzzle).

    I do not hit my dog, I do not use excessive punishment. The crime must ALWAYS fit the punishment, in my book biting is a felony offense thus must constitute a serious punishment.

    Im not going to berate you or chastise you, again, everyone has different methods, you just have to find what works. And I do agree that there are outdated training methods still being used by certain trainers. Obviously Im not going to pin down a 2 month old puppy, but I will pin down an 8 month old, as they grow they learn what is acceptable and what isnt. By age 4-5 mos, I want them to know that biting is unacceptable, and by 5 mos, they know what is acceptable behavior wise.

    What we dont allow in my house-
    Jumping, (misdemeanor)
    Biting,(felony)
    Excessive Barking,(misdemeanor)
    Excessive whining,(misdemeanor)
    digging,(felony -holes are hard to repair and make the yard look bad)
    chewing on furniture(felony), chewing on dog toys is fine.
    Urinating, pooping indoors.(misdemeanor - accidents can happen due to health problems)
    growling, (felony)
    command refusals,(misdemeanor)
    aggressiveness.(felony)

    any unwanted behavior is nipped in the bud. By age 5 mos, theyve learned whats acceptable.

    I apologize to those who think my methods are bit harsh.

    Good luck with Lily.

    -Dixie
     

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