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  #31  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by racingfan View Post
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!!
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.
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  #32  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:16 AM
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Thanks everyone, I'm glad I could help


Quote:
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!!
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.
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  #33  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:28 AM
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May I suggest that this thread be Stickied?
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  #34  
Old 12-27-2009, 12:01 PM
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Done.
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  #35  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:13 AM
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racingfan View Post
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!!
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.
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  #36  
Old 02-27-2010, 04:00 AM
Camirab Camirab is offline
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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
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  #37  
Old 04-05-2010, 05:00 AM
saarachee saarachee is offline
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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,
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  #38  
Old 07-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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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.
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  #39  
Old 07-11-2010, 12:22 AM
Gisella Gisella is offline
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Hi, I'm new to the forum, and obviously in need of some puppy help. I apologize in advance if this ends up being a little long.

My husband and I got an English Springer Spaniel puppy about a month ago. Charlie is 13 weeks now, and we're having some issues with his training. He has no problem learning tricks, and he can be a very sweet, obedient dog. But he only cooperates about half the time. Other times, he is stubborn, completely ignores words like "no" and "sit," and he goes on biting sprees and even shown bits of aggressiveness. I know some of the nipping at our hands, feet, faces, etc. is meant to be playful, but he is relentless and has drawn blood. We want to break him of this behavior while he's still young and manageable, and nothing we've tried seems to work.

We've tried offering him toys as alternatives to our skin; he throws them down and lunges back for us. We've tried walking away and ignoring him; he follows us and chews our ankles. At that point we usually put him in "time-out" in our bathroom (not his crate, we save that for night time and when we need to leave the house). That calms him down, but rarely for long. Our vet suggested we grab him by the scruff of the neck and do the alpha roll. This was only a brief experiment and we quickly decided to quit using it when a) it didn't work and b) I read it can be harmful to his mental health. I was blasted in another forum for having used that technique, so please note that we are no longer using it. We've also tried grabbing his mouth when he bites, but that just makes him angrier. Tried the squirt bottle in the face technique, but this dog likes water and I just ended up with a drenched and disobedient puppy. And we tried putting coins in a soda can and rattling it when he started biting, but loud noises don't scare this dog.

In addition to these little playful -- but painful -- "attacks," I also have reason to believe he might be trying to dominate us. He likes to climb on our laps and stand over us, I suspect to assert his alpha status. He always tries to run out the door ahead of us, he "sasses" us when we correct him, and he sometimes growls when we put him in timeouts. He hasn't shown any food aggression, but he has with his toys, recently snapping at my father when he tried to take a bone from him. We always push him back so we can get out the door ahead of him, we stand over him and use low, firm voices to try to correct him, I make sure we eat before him, and we've made sure he's got plenty of toys to play with and we've started taking him on short walks. He does ok on his leash, but by the end of the walk, he starts biting the leash and trying to play tug of war -- which reminds me, we also never play rough and tumble games with him like tug of war or wrestling. Also, we recently started giving him a supplement that's supposed to have a calming effect on hyper dogs, but it doesn't seem to be working.

I feel like we've tried every training technique I've read about that we can try, and I'm looking for new ideas to stop the biting and the dominating behavior. And how do we get through to him when he keeps attacking and doesn't seem to hear us? I realize some of this is just part of owning a puppy, but our punishments and positive reinforcements (which include treats and/or praise, btw) aren't having any effect on his behavior. Also, we have four cats and even though they like to tease him until he chases them, so it's partly their fault, he chews on their heads when he does catch them and I'm afraid he might accidently hurt them. Our vet said not to worry, that the cats can take care of themselves, but I still wonder if this should be a concern. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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.
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  #40  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:15 AM
Gisella Gisella is offline
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Wow.

Um.

What grooming does one do on a two week old puppy??
And why on earth would you need to alpha roll a pup who isn't even standing up yet??
Wow.
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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