Need puppy help

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by racingfan, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    OK ... I won't call it an " alpha roll " . Many very young pups don't like being put on their backs . I spent at least 15 minutes with each pup at bedtime , with a baby brush I groomed then on top , both sides and their tummy's . Then I'd place a sleeping pup in their bed . Please don't high jack this thread to " get me " / Start a new thread ! Add : Corgi , it's called early socializing .
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Its also done as part of a super dog socialization thing. Grammy is right. You hold the pup in the supine position for a minute or so when they are young. Theres also placing them on a cold towel, holding them with their heads up toward the ceiling, tickling them with qtips and applying light pressure to their feet.
     
  3. racingfan

    racingfan New Member

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    Will he at some point outgrow these moments where he won't listen or perform his obedience tricks (like "sit") and start listening regularly? I'm watching him have one of his biting fits now and we're all getting tired of these wild moments where we can't get through to him.
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Yes. He will eventually learn. It takes awhile, and with a difficult puppy it can seem like them end is never in sight. But it will get better, as long as you consistently apply the training and make what is right easy for him and what is wrong hard.
     
  5. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Racingfan,
    Have you considering enrolling in a good obedience course or taking a few private lessons with a good trainer?

    I do a lot of in-home puppy sessions to help people with problems such as yours and the lesson often gets the owners and the new pup on the right track and quickly. You may want to look into finding someone in your area that does the same. However be very careful who you get........
     
  6. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Can you predict when he is about to get into one of his "biting fits"? If so that would be the best time to act on it, before he really starts with biting but is just beginning to act revved up. That's when you want to get out a toy and PLAY with the dog with the toy, that way he learns what to do with those urges. Up until now when he wanted to play he started biting his littermates, how should he know it's any different with humans? So from now on when he gets playful urges a toy needs to be right there, right away.
    Rotate his toys so that he does not get bored. Have 9 or so toys (or more if you can find a place for them) of different types and leave out three or so at a time, after a couple of weeks those toys go away and the next three come out.
    Tug is a fine game, I don't know how to play with toys without playing tug actually. I mean fetch works for some dogs, if they bring it back...but it doesn't get out that biting and feisty predator behavior like tug does, which is what he sounds like he is using you for instead. So play tug, just remember that if his teeth land on you instead of the toy-game over.

    If you fail to predict that his biting is coming until it's too late get up and leave immediately. Time outs in a certain area can work for many dogs but it has it's down sides and does not sound right for your dog. One reason is that it is not immediate, you have to waste time bringing the dog to time out. Another reason is the dog may try to avoid being brought to time out, which I think is already happening with your dog. Some dogs may dig in their heels, some may try and run away and some growl (like yours). Any dogs who hates the time out enough may progress to this point, or even to biting. Being brought to time out is confrontational, much like dragging a dog off the couch (much better to teach an "off" command using positive reinforcement, so he gets off willingly) and can cause serious problems if the dog has decided he really doesn't want to go. So we'll have respect for his body and not try taking him to time out, this will keep him from becoming aggressive about it. You can't expect him to not try his best at getting what he wants, that's what dogs do, yours just does it through growling.
    So don't bring him to time out, get up and turn your back, completely ignoring the dog. If he pulls at pant legs then leave the room instead or quickly loop his leash to a stationary object so that he cannot get to you while you stand on the other side of the room ignoring him completely. This way he learns that his method of playing doesn't seem to be working. You still must teach him the right way to play though.

    after 30 seconds to a minute (so long as he has stopped trying to get you to come back) go back and pay attentions but remember he is likely in the same mood as before (playful and rambunctious) nothing has changed that. So set him up for success by immediately engaging him in play with a toy. Try all sorts of toys. You can make a small flirt pole (a stick, thin rope and a stuffed animal toy-basically a large cat toy) and use that is he really like to chase. or play tug with a large enough tug toy that he won't accidentally get you instead of the toy.

    As for the growling when he's being "disciplined", from what you described it is a normal dog trying to avoid unpleasantness (getting valuable things stolen from him, getting punishment). so the first thing to change is the amount of punishment. Try not to give so much by setting the dog up for success. any punishment you do give should not be confrontational such as yelling, scruffing, alpha rolling, dragging into time out, hitting, pinching, grabbing, popping the collar, jabbing the dog with your fingers, etc. All these things will make the dog feel he needs to defend himself from you. from what you have said so far, if you do not stop threatening your dog (just because you don't think it's a threat does not mean the dog agrees) he will not stop trying to defend himself from you, I fear he may become aggressive when you push him too far. Some dogs just go to their happy place and try to make the punishment end as fast as possible, some dogs tell you that they have had enough.
    So stick to punishment that looses him things. He bites he looses the fun game, he jumps up he looses attention, he pulls on the leash the walk stops, etc. and also focus on prevention. Teach commands that can be used for fixing bad behaviors (dogs can't jump up if he's sitting, can't bark at the dog is he's staring at your face, can't eat the garbage if you tell him to "leave it", etc.). Also use blocking to teach him that some things don't work. If every single time he tries to steal something from the table you step in front of him and don't let him get to it (don't touch him, just block him) he'll eventually give up. This also involves prevention, if you are not there to work on training something he needs to be prevented from rehearsing the bad behaviors. use crates, gates, leashes and doors to restrict his access. A leash on all the time when you are home will also help to prevent the biting. You are quickly able to remove him from whoever he is biting and can prevent him from getting to the people he wants to use as toys.

    It's also important that he succeeds as much as possible. That gives you more things to reward, and trust me you'll need to use something better than "good boy" and some petting. Use food, yummy food. Carry it around in a fanny pack or something similar so you are always able to quickly reward behavior you like. Too often we forget to notice the dog when he's doing what we want (like picking up a toy instead of grabbing a hand). In the case of playing with toys you may want to reward him by playing with the dog using the toy as treats may distract him, but only do this is he actually enjoys playing with you using the toy.

    As for the "dominant" behaviors you describe, that's all bull poopy. Dogs don't walk through doorways in front of people because of status, what dog would have an instinct involving a doorway anyways? They walk through doorways because they are excited to got through and are faster than you. They pull on the lead because they are faster than you, they stand in your lap because they want to be near you, he growls during punishment because he doesn't like punishment and he feels growling might make it stop (if that doesn't work he'll try something else, maybe biting, maybe not), He is not a wolf, eating after you means nothing to him except that he might really want to steal your food cause he's hungry and sees yummy stuff on the table, when a dog sees food a dog eats food. None of this is dominance, it's logic. so stop trying to assert dominance and just try to teach the dog to do certain things. You can train your dog anything he's physically capable of, so use that. If he's doing something you don't like try to train him things to do instead that prevent him from doing the unwanted behavior (like teaching a dog who wants to attack other dogs to look at their owners whenever they see another dog, they can't kill the dog if they have to watch their owner).

    I agree with no longer taking things from your dog. Think about it. Whatever the dog has is awesome, you walk up and steal it which makes him really sad. dogs don't like being sad so he wants to make sure he doesn't feel sad again. Next time you come near his toy he needs to do something to keep himself from getting sad, at first he may stare at you, cover the object with his head, run away, etc. all very clear messages that he'd like if you would not make him sad again. You don't listen and grab the fun things again and he is sad...again. so he has to be more obvious, you are obviously a stupid creature who just doesn't understand him so he makes his displays more obvious in hopes that you'll be able to understand him this time. This is when growling and snapping occur. you missed the more subtle request that you go away so he revs it up. Next step is often really biting. He doesn't understand why you just won't listen. I mean, why should he loose this awesome thing, he has no idea that it could be dangerous. So every time you ignore him and take things from him you are going to make him feel a need to get more forceful with his requests that you go away. so instead teach him it's fun to give you things (using food rewards and returning the object over and over until he stops worrying about it, after all you are going to give him something more awesome and just give the original awesome thing back) and also teach him it's okay if you are near his things. For instance walk up to him while he eats and add some of the meat from your dinner.

    So just remember to predict, prevent and if necessary respond in a non-confrontational way that tells him this method of playing just isn't gonna get you what you want (a fun game). I would also start desensitizing him to things he might be uncomfortable with, like leading him by his collar, brushing, checking teeth, ears and eyes, or being lifted up. Do these things periodically through EVERY day and if he already dislikes them give him a treat afterwards. Perhaps he gets carried to the food bowl every night or gets his teeth brushed before every walk. life rewards like that work well for these things, they create a positive association, the dog welcomes the uncomfortable thing because it means the fun thing is gonna happen soon. make sure this dog gets loads of socialization (playing with other dogs, meeting leashed dogs, meeting TONS of people of all ages and going to TONS of different places with different noises) so he does not find many things threatening.

    So I hope this helps, sorry it's so long :p
     
  7. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Maxy,
    Excellent ^^^^
     
  8. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Bravo Maxy!
     
  9. BoxMeIn21

    BoxMeIn21 Yeah. So?

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    Brilliant post, Maxy.
     
  10. racingfan

    racingfan New Member

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    That was really helpful, Maxi! Thanks for the thorough post! We'll sure give these methods a shot, cause what we're doing now obviously ain't working! Thanks to everyone who has posted -- I'm actually relieved to hear that the dominance theory isn't accurate -- all of our alpha dog techniques weren't getting us anywhere and I was tired of always trying to race my dog out the door. So I'm guessing the Dog Whisperer techniques aren't everyone's favorites here? :)

    Now one last question for the moment -- do I need to correct the dog when he chases the cats? They're instigating a lot of the chasing, teasing him by hopping him on the head when he walks by them, etc. Should I just let the four-legged family members work this out by themselves? BTW, they are all declawed, so they can't do much to him unless they bite, but I am worried about him hurting them, even accidentally. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I would have to say that for the most part we are not CM fans. As for the cats, I would manage the situation until you have more control on him. Then work on 'leave it' where the cats are concerned.
     
  12. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone, I'm glad I could help :)


    You will need to stop the chasing, even if he doesn't want to catch and kill he may harm them simply by trying to play with them like they were other dogs. I personally like all pups to have a leash on in the house when someone is home with the dog. This prevents SO many bad habits from forming. Chasing cats is fun, each time he does it he gets a reward, even if their is also a punishment. The best thing you can do is help him to forget how fun chasing cats is, it's like quitting any habit, the longer it's been since you did it, the easier it gets to resist. So use the leash to prevent him from chasing. Also practice self control games with the cats.
    For instance teach him to look at the cat for a treat. I like to use a clicker so you can reward him the moment he glances at the cat, long before he starts to chase. So sit with the dog on a leash, leash loose (he needs to be controlling himself, the leash is just in case he doesn't) and have the cat in the room too. If he looks at the cat click the clicker (or if you are not using the clicker say "yes", or some other short word to mark the desired behavior) and then give a treat. Do this over and over. If he knows what the clicker means the click will stop any progression towards chasing, when you click he will look at you because the treat is coming. He would not go chase the cat because then he won't get the treat he knows is coming.
    So basically teach him to enjoy looking at the cat and then looking at you. He'll see the cat as less of a chasing object and as more of a training prop. If the cat comes close reward him if he sniffs AND stops sniffing. All calm, non-obsessive interactions with the cat should be rewarded. He needs to see the cat in a new light.

    Eventually give him new freedom. use a long or retractable leash and let him walk around the room with the cat. Again click and reward when he looks at the cats, he'll most likely come to you after you click so he can get his treat. That is a good habit because it teaches him to notice the cat and then be able to walk away from him. Again click for anything calm around the cat. If he lies down you can reward, basically anything besides trying to chase or straining at the leash towards the cat.

    If at anytime a cat runs by and he resists chasing, even if he looks really, really interested and gets all excited, as long as he keeps himself from running reward him. Later you can require him to stat more calm but for now he just needs to work on not chasing.

    If for some reason he doesn't have the leash on and he takes off after the cat try blocking him if you are fast enough, if you need to break his attention when you block one foot stop or "hey!" might get him to look away from the cat. Don't do it over and over though or he'll learn to ignore the noise. Stopping the fun chase is really the best punishment for this scenario, cat chasing is wicked fun. If you need to grab his collar you can but remember he does not seem like a dog who would be a-okay with that. You would hate to create a negative association with collar grabbing so do your best to PREVENT the chasing using the leash. Also provide a gated off room for the cats which contains their food, water and litter box. This way they are able to jump the gate to escape the dog and can feel safe while they eat and relieve themselves, if a cat gets interrupted or feels unsafe while using the litter box it can cause all sorts of potty problems.

    Letting him watch the cats move behind a gate is also very helpful in stopping chasing. The dog gets to watch the movements of the cat (which may make him want to chase) but the gate prevents him from doing so. Eventually he will get used to the cats movements, they'll be part of his everyday world and will not longer signify a chase.

    And, as Adojrts said, teaching a leave it would help tremendously, you'll be able to interrupt him if he seems too interested in the cat.
     
  13. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    May I suggest that this thread be Stickied? :)
     
  14. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Done. :)
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I just wanted to add, first of all, that behaviors are only "bad" if YOU see them as bad. Like bolting through the door - a lot of people think that humans should always go out the door before the dog, but to me, as long as the dog will truely wait until I tell him he can go out the door, that's good enough. But with that one, the trick is making sure he's listening for MY cue, not just going out when the door opens.

    Mouthing, too, is only bad if you think it's bad. I recently dog-sat a spaniel who had been taught that a fun way to play with humans is to mouthe at their hands. He didn't bite hard, had excellent bite inhibition in fact, and the owner didn't see any problem with the behavior so neither did I. With my dog, on the other hand, that would not be acceptable because I don't want her to EVER mouthe a stranger... she does a lot of demos and plays a lot with kids, and mouthing kids is NEVER acceptable, IMO. So for the spaniel, that behavior is ok, but for my dog it's not.

    I agree with the above advice about cats, and just want to add: Declawed cats give you unique challenges, in that the cats have a harder time defending themselves. Yes, they can bite, and yes, they can claw with their back feet; but no matter how you look at it, declawing takes away a huge defense mechanism. So, while right now it may be a good idea to let the animals work it out, if your puppy gets more rough in the future - or if he becomes aggressive toward cats, which could happen as well - it would have been very helpful for the cats to have claws. I'm not saying this to pick on the OP personally, but more for the lurkers who are thinking about declawing their cats who now or in the future have to live with dogs.


    Back to the subject - I HIGHLY also suggest finding a trainer to help you out. I think you will enjoy a puppy class, because you will be able to see and interract with other puppies and learn that your puppy is really being typical for his age; in fact, there ARE much more difficult puppies out there. :) You can go to Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources or Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers for a trainer serch.
     
  16. Camirab

    Camirab New Member

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    Hope you don't mind me putting in my two cents.

    What I would do about the biting:
    You'll want to reduce the amount of time your puppy uses his teeth for play with humans. What that means is games like tug-o-war or wrestling should be temporarily put on hold. Those games, along with your excitement whilst playing them, can actually encourage puppy biting, as well as future aggression.

    If your puppy bites you while you're showing it affection, it's best to give it a calm yet authoritative "Stop" or "No". Some people use "Ouch", but I don't recommend it because it tends to naturally take on a different tone, which in some breeds may actually encourage the puppy biting you to continue, and can lead to dominance issues in the future.

    Remove yourself from the situation for 30 to 45 minutes. You don't physically need to leave the room. Just ignore the puppy. He'll associate biting with lack of attention, and will try to avoid it.


    What I would do about the dominance issues
    If your dog is biting because of dominance issues, you will need to do a few things.
    1. A daily brisk walk/run of 30 to 45 minutes to get out aggressive energy
    2. A set of techniques used to quickly establish dominance. Here they are:

    A. 2 to 3 ten minute obedience training/practice sessions daily. The dog must listen to you and this will reinforce your dominance.It's best to focus on one command per session, unless the dog listens to you 100% of the time.

    B. Until the dog is behaving appropriately for at least a month, it should not be allowed to be on couches/laps/etc. Those things heighten its dominance.

    C. Along with the ten minute sessions, the dog should be fed after the humans eat. The dog should not be allowed to eat until you say so. Put the bowl down, but do not let the dog eat right away. If it tries, push it gently away and say "No", calmly but firmly. Repeat until it stops trying to get the food. Wait 10 seconds to start, and gradually work up to a minute or two. Food is a major thing to dogs. He who controls the food controls the pack, and alpha dogs always eat first. No table scraps either.

    3. Muzzle the dog when working with his aggression. Induce a scenario that typically results in biting. If he shows signs of aggression, a sharp, but calm (don't yell) "No" or "Stop" and a quick tap to his hip area (flank) should stop him. If he tries to bite, which he won't be able to because of the muzzle, flip him on his side and hold him there unitl he's calm (no struggling or squirming for 30 seconds). Let him up. If he is calm when once he's up for at least 30 seconds, you may pet him.



    As for the cat chasing, it should be fine. My cat loves to play chase with dogs. Just make sure he's not too rough. If not, let them have their fun. =)




    Resources
    How could i stop my Shih Tzu from Biting? - Yahoo! Answers

    How to Stop Puppy Biting | eHow.com
     
  17. saarachee

    saarachee New Member

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    Hi racingfan,

    I think you are getting irritated.I must tell you that handling a pet is difficult than handling a small kid.I have read that you have tried most of the techniques but nothing is working.
    You can play various games because games teachs control and discipline in a way that's fun for you both and, as an added bonus, playing with your puppy helps to strengthen the bond between dog and owner.

    There are some basic rules which sholud be followed to make them disciplined and playful.
    Always be calm, focused and fair.
    Never correct your dog with anger or frustration.
    Food is a powerful enforcer , be careful how you use it.
    Only enter a situation when the dog is Calm, submissive and not in a reactive state.
    Wether it is approaching a person, meeting a dog, entering your home or your car. Do not let the dog lead you into the situation or it will try to control that situation. Only proceed to the stimuli when the dog is collected, calm and you are in control.
    Get a solid foundation in obedience to have control over your dogs will. The more your dog listens to you, the more you will trust it, this means more freedom for the dog because you are confident, you always have control in any situation.Remember, If your dog doesn't listen to you, chances are it does not respect you.
    You choose when to give the dog affection, make your dog work for it and only give affection to the dog when it is in a good state of mind, never in panic, fear or aggression.

    Regards,
    Saarachee
     
  18. dogman427

    dogman427 New Member

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    There are so many training methodologies it can make your head swim. I used to work with police service dogs. Specifically, I did the 'bite suit' work, which is a lot of hard, hard work. With PSD's, there's a lot of physical application to the training. Most people don't understand that these are the alpha's, and they have the personality to go with it. For those of us with family dogs who just want good behavior, aggressive, physical training is not so necessary. I've read a few books on training and found good and bad. When we purchased a Rat Terrier, we found out that training was more than just trying to make him obey a few commands. A fellow officer recommended a video dog obedience training system. Having worked with high-caliber dogs, I have to say I was very impressed with the simplicity of the program and the results. Hopefully this can help a few people.
    ____________________________________________
    Dog Training Made Easier | Dog Obedience Training
     
  19. Gisella

    Gisella New Member

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    You are absolutely right, this animal is trying to dominate you. If he is growling and biting when told "NO" he is certainly not playing. I own a brazilian mastiff ( Fila) He acted the same way,only he was younger, I hired an animal behaviorist to train him when he was 12 weeks old. And I will admit, I was horrified by how she handled my puppy, I wanted to take him and run. He refused to behave on a leash, she put a "prong collar" on him, and when he refused to walk, she drug him, when he bit her, she pulled up on his leash until he stopped the behavior, when he did walk for her, if he was getting "rude" ( ie, pulling, chewing the leash, running etc ), she tugged the leash and told him "HEEL" in a firm voice,when she stopped moving and told him to "sit", if he refused she tugged the leash (which tightens the prong collar) until he sat. Then she would give him a simple " good " and a pat on the head. After 20 minutes of this she handed me his leash and wanted me to do what she had just done,I was horrified ,and almost in tears, but I did it anyway-then she told me that with any dog, especially an aggressive dog or a Guardian Type breed, the only way the animal will respect you is if you completely dominate him. Not by abusing him, but by letting him know in no uncertain terms, that you are the only thing that stands between him and death and making him aware that at any moment you can end his life. I was horrified, but at the end of that one hour training session, my 12 week old puppy would not even so much as pee without me giving him permission. I never have had to raise my voice to him, he is now 17 months old and is 125 pounds and walks like a champion show dog on a leash, my 9 year old son can walk him on a leash without a problem,he is polite at the vet, the groomer, the flea market, all the places I was told I could never bring him to because of the breed, he can go without incident and without a muzzle,he is a wonderful animal, and it is because I showed him I am in charge. If it weren't for my trainer giving me that advice, I have no doubt that my dog would have been an out of control lunatic and would have probably already been put down.
     
  20. Gisella

    Gisella New Member

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    I do believe that the poster was talking about the mother dog, grooming the 2 week old puppy. And Alpha absolutely works, in every mammel species the parents dominate the babies, that is why when a puppy is running off the mother picks him him up and moves where she wants him, because she is the boss, and why when a puppy is being rough while nursing the mother will get up and refuse to feed him until he calms down, or why the mother will bit, slap with her paw, or growl at an over zealous puppy, that is rammy and biting at her, she is the boss, not him, she teaches him that from the start,just like human children-if the parents allow the child to do whatever he pleases the child goes from spoiled brat to bossy, to dominating and becomes a rigid, impossible adult with poor ppl skills if any. As for the ppl scoffing at the idea that a puppy can try to exert dominence, think about it, dogs by nature are pack animals, there is always an ALPHA, if the pack leader (ie the human family) does not exhert the dominance, the dog, by instinct will, he needs order in his life,and a dog understands "rank". That is why a dogs owner is called his "Master",the animal is to serve the person, not vice versa.
     

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