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Old 04-02-2013, 01:35 PM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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Default Teaching bite inhibition towards other dogs?

So, I'm a little confused about how to proceed with my foster puppy and I could use some advice. I do not have a lot of experience in this department and don't want to ruin anyone. I will be talking to my boss (dog trainer) about him tonight as well as emailing the rescue, but wanted some more ideas/thoughts to process and consider in the meantime.

I'm fostering a ~5 week old pit, boxer, or bulldog mix. It's hard to tell and everyone has a different guess. Anyway. I have my dogs around for socialization of course and we're working on basic handling without biting people because that is ALL he wants to do right now... understandable, he is still bringing teeth in. The work with people is getting better, however it is obvious that he does NOT enjoy being handled whatsoever and the biting is more aggravated than mouthy... still, getting better. I have a feeling this is the first time he's lived with/interacted with people on a daily basis and I'm sure it's confusing.

What I'm having the most trouble assessing, is his behavior towards other dogs. I've seen plenty of litters interact and fight, play, harass, wrestle with each other and know what is normal in that context, but I have no experience with very young puppies and adult dog interactions. What Tug will do, is harass the dogs and chew/bite on them relentlessly, until they tell him off (which none of my dogs do very quickly, they are all very tolerant and this is the first time I've actually seen Sir tell another dog off about ANYTHING) and when they DO, he puts up a fight and comes back snarling, snapping, growling, and biting harder to the point where my dogs are put in the position of RUNNING from him, or pinning him down, which Recon almost did two nights ago, because he wouldn't stop. Typically I remove Tug from the situation and redirect with a toy, but I don't know if he NEEDS that kind of correction as a littermate/mother would do to learn, if it's a worthless battle, or if redirection will stop it and a correction would mak eit worse?? I needed to see how far he would let it go, which is why Recon got to the point of jumping into action. I don't think that's fair though. Occasionally, if they snap/bark at him as a correction loud enough, he will give up and walk away. If he's wound up though, he will not.

From what I can tell, it is not appropriate and needs to be redirected/stopped, but I'm unsure how to handle it in this context. I don't want to put my dogs in the position where they feel threatened and have to react OR correct him, but I don't want him to think the behavior is OK, either.

I keep thinking, well, he's a bully/terrier so he's going to be more tenacious, more active, etc. and he's teething and adjusting to new dogs, new people, new surroundings, but I don't want to let anything get out of hand before I can stop it or understand it. He's already showed great improvement with people and biting, so I'm hoping it is something he will grow out of/learn not to do.

It's just a little bizarre to see a 3 pound pup so young pinning down my Border Collie and growling in his face.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:42 PM
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I need to reread your post but the first thing I noticed was how this sounds similar to our daytraining pups. We have three dogs in our program right now with similarly rude, inappropriate behaviors and one is a standard goldendoodle, one is a lab/border, and one is a golden. With all three we have been working with xpens and using calm to invite play methods. Basically xpen the training puppy around the other dogs/pups while they play freely and click to calm. When we see appropriate relaxation we invite the pup to play. We break up play repeatedly with rewards and if we see inappropriate play we remove the dog to the xpen and wait for them to offer calm behavior (sit and look at us) before inviting them back out.

Given this wont work with all dogs but its working well with these puppies who all entered our program more violent than any puppy should be.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:13 PM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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I was hoping you'd chime in! For some reason I felt you'd have a really good idea/take on this. And your method sounds reasonable and effective so I think I will start giving this a try tonight!
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:50 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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I hope that helps a bit, I use set ups like this:
dog to the left is too hyped and thus flys over his tolerance level very easily, he's only allowed out when he sits and waits calmly. To the far right he's working on reactions, click for calm reactions when the other dogs approach. Dog in middle is brand new and I'm assessing his interest lab in the main area is my control subject, lol. With puppies it's set up a bit differently and ideally only one "problem child" at a time but the xpen system is similar.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:46 AM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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Awesome set up! That helps a lot. I started integrating it last night/this morning and I already see a difference. Hopefully this keeps up.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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Default Kris

I have the same problem with Kris, my Dobe pup. She is alright with the older dogs as they tell her off when she gets too rough but with Lucy, I have had to just keep them separate as Kris will grab her by the tail and drag her around if I do not stop her. She just will not respect her even though she snaps and growls at her.

I have tried to keep Kris on leash when Lucy is in the house but that becomes a constant battle. I know she just wants to play but have not figured out how to have her play not so roughly. Lucy is just over a year and Kris is almost four months old.

I know Kris is just a puppy but I would eventually like to be able to take the two of them for a walk together as right now I take them on alternate days when we go for our walks off leash out in the valley.
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