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  #1  
Old 04-22-2008, 01:26 PM
Nanuq's Mom Nanuq's Mom is offline
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Default Puppy Trouble! Any Advice?

Hello all!

I am a new mommy to a wonderful little american eskimo, whose name is Nanuq! He is 10 weeks old, and I've had him for 3 weeks now, but I'm noticing some problems, and want to seek out some advice!

1) When we are playing he often abandons his toys for biting you. He;s becoming quite the little zombie-flesh eater, and my hands, arms, ear, feet and chest are quite sore. When he bites I give him a strong "NO!" and replace the flesh with a toy, but he doesn't seem to want it. I've tried the "ouch!" technique and sometimes he will stop and look at you, but most times he just bites harder. I've tried looking him in the eyes and telling him "NO!" but this is breeding a disturbing habit... snapping. He has started snapping or lunging at me when I tell him he isn't allowed to bite me/friends/cats or random objects. The rest of the time he is a little sweetheart, but this is definitely not a trend I want to see continue.

Any advice on how to stop this? I joke that he is just going through his terrible two's, but it's getting slightly out of hand. He has also gone from rolling around and pawing one of my kitties to outright jumping on top of her and biting her head!

2)Ignoring me. He used to come when I said "Nanuq, come!" But now he just pretends he hasn't heard me and refuses to listen. When I go to him to get his attention, he looks at me and then runs in the opposite direction. Do I just need to restart the entire recall training all over again, or is he just ignoring me now because he wants to continue doing the naughty act he is doing?

Is this normal?
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2008, 01:44 PM
RedyreRottweilers
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Issue one: Search BITE INHIBITION. STOP saying no, because the puppy does not know what that means. The list of what to DO is much shorter than the list of what NOT to do, so tell the puppy what to DO. SIT is a good start. You are dead in the middle of the worst puppy mouthing period. It will dissapate over the next 6 to 8 weeks, but you can moderate it by using several different methods. Look for Shirley Chong's article on bite inhibition. If you can't find it, post here and I will get it for you.

Issue 2 - STOP CALLING YOUR PUPPY UNLESS HE IS ALREADY COMING TO YOU. You are TEACHING him to NOT come when you call. Control the situation. Use a light drag line in the house so you can HELP him come when you call. REWARD him with tiny food treats EVERY time he comes when you call. Call him to you to play games, tug, fetch, etc.

What advice does your breeder have for you in raising an Eskie?

These are very smart active dogs, I would recommend you get in a puppy training class as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, start teaching the LOOK GAME. Here is how I teach it to my students.

Step one, have a pile of tasty treats cut into small bite size pieces. Pieces should be half the size of a nickel, or smaller for tiny dogs. Use tasty smelly bait. Cheese, hotdogs, left over table meats, etc.

To begin attention training, take some treats in each hand, and show the dog you have them. Don***8217;t let her have any, but let her see that you have food in each hand. Then stand up straight and naturally, and let your hands with the food in them hang normally at your side.

Ignore any bumping, sniffing, licking, nudging, nibbling etc. of your hands. Stand still, and be quiet, but keep a close eye on the dog. You are waiting for her to look at your eyes. The SECOND she does, say YES!! in a very happy voice, and immediately feed her several treats, one right after the other from alternating hands. Each time you pop a treat in her mouth, say YES (treat) YES (treat) YES (treat). Give at least 4 treats. Remember to SMILE and be joyful when praising and treating the dog.

Then stand up again, making sure you have food in both hands, and wait on her to look again. Many puppies ***8220;get it***8221; after the first time. Many also need more time for the lightbulb to come on, but sooner, or slightly later, it will ***8220;click***8221; for the dog that looking at your eyes turns you into a treat machine. Hmmm. Now she thinks this is a MARVELOUS GAME. Look what I have trained this poor human to do. All I have to do is look at his eyes, and I get goodies. Yahoo.

Once you get to this point, it is obvious, because the dog will begin ***8220;throwing***8221; eye contact at you. In other words, she will very obviously come up to you and make eye contact in order to get a reward. When it gets to this point, then when she looks you start saying her name each time. This is also the time when the rules of the game will change a bit. You will treat for longer looks. Looks in heel position. You can also introduce MILD distractions. If she looks away, you move away so she has to move to come find you to make eye contact and get treated.

Most dogs pick this up very quickly, so it***8217;s a good way to introduce yourself and your dog to hands off operant conditioning.

Try it, and see how long it takes YOUR dog to figure out she***8217;s training you.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2008, 02:21 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Redyre's advice is great, just wanted to add something for biting you and kitties. When he bites he is trying to play, saying no is not going to help because the pup does not know what it means and because he can just ignore it and continue eating you, it's more fun to ignore that command. So from now on when he bites you are going to stand up and ignore him so he CAN'T bite you. I would let him nip as long as he is not applying pressure Once pressure is applied quickly stand up, cross your arms and look away from him with your back to him. If he hurts you all the fun goes away. Wait until he sits or plays with another toy then go back down and pay attention with him, use a toy to try and play. Remember as soon as he applies pressure again stand up. He'll learn biting wrecks his fun so he will eventually stop.

For the sake of your kitties I would try to interrupt him before he starts going at them. So if you see him showing interest in them make a noise so he looks at you and get him to chase a ball or play with one of his toys instead of kitty. If he is already starting to nip or get rough with them tether him (leash him to a stationary object like a chair so he cannot get to them or you, it's like time out). Once he is calm (like 1 minute) let him off and show him a toy to play with. Do this every time and never leave him unsupervised with the kitties until this is completely resolved or you are risking their health and potentially his if they finally decide to give him a kitty correction in the face.

Overall he sounds like a normal puppy Good luck with him!
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2008, 02:23 PM
RedyreRottweilers
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AND work on the RECALL GAME:

The Recall Game

Having a dog who will reliably come when called is one of the best things in life. This means FREEDOM for your dog. Here is how to teach your dog to RUN to you each time you call it.

1) NEVER call your dog unless you are CERTAIN you can enforce the command. Each time you call your dog and he does not immediately come to you to receive a food reward, you take a step backwards in his learning to come when you call. It is important not to make mistakes when teaching the recall. DO NOT CALL YOUR DOG if there is ANY chance you cannot enforce the command. EVER.
2) NEVER call your dog to you for anything unpleasant. If you need to interrupt a play session, or you are going to trim nails, or if you are about to do anything to your dog that he does not enjoy, GO GET THE DOG. Do not call him to you.
3) FOOD REWARD every single recall. EVERY SINGLE ONE. This means keeping treats in your pockets at all times.
4) Smiles are required equipment when calling your dog. NEVER EVER call your dog in anything but a praise tone of voice. Correction will NEVER help a recall. Your dog must WANT to come when you call.

To play the game you need at least 2 people, and several is great. Each person is given a handful of very small soft treats. I prefer tiny pieces of hotdogs or string cheese. Pieces should be VERY small, even for a larger dog or puppy. I slice a hotdog in half and cut the pieces the size of a nickle. Once people have their treats, they should take a seat around the room with as much room between them as the room will allow.

One person takes the puppy or dog and points him towards the person who is going to begin the game. This person may do anything to get the puppy to come towards him except say the word COME. Clap hands, smile, laugh, show the treat, call PUPPPY PUPPPPY PUPPPPY, or the dog***8217;s name. When it is CLEAR that the pup is committed to going to the person, and ONLY THEN, say the pup***8217;s name, and come. For example, Bailey, COME! It does not matter if the puppy is almost to you, as long as the pup hears his name and the word COME while he is going TOWARDS the person calling.

Hold the hand with the food right up next to your body so that the puppy has to come all the way up to you and touch you to get the treat. Do not feed the treat until you are holding the puppy***8217;s collar. This prevents the ***8220;snatch and run***8221; game. Praise and pet the puppy cheerfully while he is getting his treat. Once the pup has had his little tiny treat, it***8217;s time to point him towards another person who does the same thing.

It is extremely important that the participants understand they are NOT to say the word COME unless the puppy is already doing just that.

Play as long as the pup is interested. Main rules, Do not say COME unless the puppy IS coming, hold the treat up CLOSE to your body, and you must be holding the collar to feed the treat.

This simple game does more to build a reliable recall than any other training you can do. Your pup will quickly learn that his name and the word come means TREAT. Each time you call the pup and reward him for coming quickly to you, you build a more ingrained and reliable response. If you are consistent and train this game at least 2 to 3 times per week, you will have a dog who will ALWAYS come when you call it. Most owners list this as a top priority for their dogs. Here is a fun and simple way to attain this goal.

Practice often! Your pup will love this game, and so will your friends.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2008, 03:33 PM
Nanuq's Mom Nanuq's Mom is offline
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Thank you for the great advice! I've searched bite inhibition in the past, but I will specifically look for Shirley Chong's article.

The reason I was still calling him to come was he was previously coming to me when I called him, it was only in the last week or so that he stopped listening and instead chose to start doing other things. I will try with the puppy recall game that was suggested!

As for the breeder advice: I didn't get him from a breeder. He came from a farm. They had 3 moms, 1 dad, and he was the last of 2 litters of puppies, all of who lived in the barn. The kids on the farm told me that he spent most of his time playing with the horses.

What exactly should I use for a drag line? That's an interesting idea!

I do plan on getting him into puppy classes once he has his full vaccinations. (Vet visit #2 comes next week!)

In response to Maxy about the kitty:
I will definitely try that. I already prohibit him from going to play with 1 of the 2 cats, and stop him when he gets rough with my 2nd cat. My second kitty (Ree) likes him a lot, and follows him around, and often comes over to him to play, but will run away when he starts getting rough. (She has started acting like he is her baby!)

Thanks again for all the advice and I will try these out ASAP!
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2008, 03:48 PM
Dekka's Avatar
Dekka Dekka is offline
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If you wait for your last set of vaccinations he may be to old for puppy classes. I would check. I get mine into classes as early as I can. If its a good class the chances of getting sick are very minimal. (they sterilize stuff and keep things very clean) An under socialized puppy is more at risk of living a shortened life than one that goes out and gets socialized before all the shots are done.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2008, 04:40 PM
Nanuq's Mom Nanuq's Mom is offline
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My vet recommended that I not socialize Nanuq with any dogs that I don't know are completely healthy. I was told to avoid parks at all possible, and to not enter the puppy classes until the last vaccination which she told me would be at 4 months.

One problem I have as well is he was diagnosed with Giardia. Luckily we are on the last week of medication, and we have play dates with my friends dogs (and kids!) set up for late next week.

Should I look into the puppy classes anyways now?
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2008, 04:40 PM
RedyreRottweilers
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You can buy some very light nylon cord and a small snap at any hardware or home improvement store. If you like you can make several of different lengths. A longer one for outdoors, and a shorter one for indoors.

And here is the Shirley piece of bite inhibition.

http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/archives/bite.txt
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2008, 04:56 PM
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Dekka Dekka is offline
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The cut of age for most puppy classes is 4 months. 4 months is the age when the prime window for socialization closes. Of course vets are going to say that . I totally agree with the parks and things. And carry your puppy in and out of your vets office (thats the most likely place to pick up things)

Would you keep your child locked away from the world till they are full vaccinated? No you just be careful.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2008, 10:12 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I agree with Dekka - I'd definately get my puppy into a class by 9 or 10 weeks old if possible.

And the person who owned the dogs who are the parents of your puppy ARE the breeders - they bred the dogs, intentionally or not. They might have some breed-specific advice, but a trainer will be your best bet.
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