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Old 09-28-2010, 09:39 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: western Wa
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In the case of this dog biting when he's held, it sounds like it's not an issue of being held, it's an issue of not being able to do whatever it is he wanted to do. So that's worked through by teaching self control and raising thresholds and letting him learn that if he doesn't struggle and fight, he's more likely to get something he wants. If it was me, I wouldn't pick him up again in situations where I think there might be an issue except in training contexts where I can control the trigger.

I agree but didn't word it well. I see that he doesn't want to be held because he wants to run up the stairs (for example) to follow your Mom like you were describing. Or maybe he doesn't want to be held because he wants to go get a toy or see another puppy. So, yeah...if you make situations like that, except milder triggers when you can, and reinforce him for self control...for waiting just for a couple seconds, then you can release him as a reward for waiting nicely while being held or waiting on a leash or whatever. And avoid really strong triggers or making him wait for too long at first.

With some dogs, releasing would be enough of a reward. But since he's apt to bite the whole time he's being held, the addition of a steady delivery of treats while he's being held can make being held, (being kept from what he wants)... not so bad. But again, try not to make him wait for so long. And don't wait for him to start biting to give treats. Those two things shouldn't be paired. Waiting for your Mom to go all the way up the stairs may be too much for him. So, see if there are other practice situations that can be set up which are easier for him and then work up to that.

I always liked this article. Maybe your Mom and Dad can read it too. And if they're into this, you can show them some stuff on clicker training: 26. Zen
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776

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