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Old 06-17-2006, 03:54 PM
Elly Elly is offline
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Unhappy Big Problems Ahead

Zoe was having some snapping issues not long ago. I have followed the advice on here and also from reading etc. She is doin a whole lot better.

When she was playing with my son(he is 20) while we were visiting him she did get rough and bite him and break the skin. I think on his part he maybe got her going a little too much. He did do the exercises for showing he was dominant over her though.

Also she jumped a lot and when I moved my foot over the leash to shorten her down so she couldnt jump she lunged up and bit my leg before I could do it.. Didnt break the skin but I felt the pressure of that bite. I held her muzzle for a time and said no bite in a very stern voice.

The other thing I noticed is that when she runs around and plays a lot of times the hair on her neck and back raises up a lot now.

We were at a yard sale today and it happened to be a lab breeder there and I got talking to her about Zoe. She told me that I have a potential biter and an aggressive dog. She said also that I could have a dog that would initiate dog fights.

She said that she shouldnt be trying to grab our hands or pants at all and I better be really tough with her or I will have big problems. Also gave me advice on what to do.

I am feeling a little down about it as I always thought of labs as the most gentle breed around and never thought that it could be possible to have this problem.

I am now looking into some obedience classes for her as she was too young before. She is 14 weeks old now. If all our training plus obediance doesnt help I am not sure I can keep her.

I never wanted a dog I would have to worry about being aggressive . She is very sweet in so many ways and I would have a very difficult time parting with her even with the way she can be.
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:07 PM
mjb mjb is offline
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I have heard from trainers that it is very unusual to be able to tell that a dog is aggressive at the young age of 14 weeks. When our dog was a puppy, we were having similar issues. We were trying everything to get it to stop and having people, trainers and non-trainers alike, telling us we had to get it under control. I think that made us nervous. We tried all the different methods of getting the biting to stop, but I think it was overwhelming and scaring our puppy. We finally got a behaviorist to come in. He was a no-leash, positive reinforcement trainer, and he came to our house for 6 weeks. He reassured us that everything the puppy was doing was normal play, and that he was unusual to see a truly aggressive puppy that young. He also told us that he was not trying to be dominant....just play. That made us much more comfortable, and we began immediately to see a change in our puppy's behavior. He had been playing, but he had not gotten comfortable with us and could sense our nervousness, too, I think. We did use, with the behaviorist's instruction, cans with pennies in them thrown in his direction when he would jump and grab our clothing or skin. It took 2 or 3 times of tossing them towards him without warning when he did this, and he quit. We really had no more trouble, but we could just show him the can after that, and he would quit before he got too carried away. He is the sweetest fellow, and we thought we were goin to give him up
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:46 PM
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A puppy this young should not being showing any signs of aggression. Zoe is the lab in your signature, yes? Labs are a VERY mouthy breed, it has nothing to do with dominence when they grab at you in play. It's just part of the breed. Now if you try to react like she's being overly dominent, you can inadvertently cause those same problems you are trying to fix. Grabbing the muzzle and telling her "no bite" over and over has the potential to cause you grief when it makes Zoe hand-shy, because she won't know when you're going to pet her and when you're going to grab her muzzle. Most dogs, unless they've been acclimated and gently trained to accept it, hate having their faces messed with.

What exercises was your son doing? I don't know what books you've read, so be specific.

I'm guessing that her raising her hackles while playing is coming as a result of her not knowing when she's 'overstepping' her bounds and she's not sure when you're going to suddenly grab at her.
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:12 PM
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I don't know about the statement, about not being able to help her or do anything for her...

Roxy was very nippy as a pup. She'd grab my pants and rip them with her razor sharp pin teeth! Now what I should've done with her is the "bonding exercise", but I hadn't gotten into formal training classes yet.

Your pup should still be young enough to do it with. THIS IS NOT THE ALPHA ROLL!

1. Get the pup to lie down and straddle her, keeping most of your weight on your knees but allowing some pressure on her back and shoulders. (If she tries to get up say firmly "Brutus, lie down, your fine"

2. After she stops resisiting, begin to rub her shoulders/neck. Massaging them. Move to her eyes (open them say eyes), nose (touch nose) teeth (look at her teeth) ears (look inside the ears etc) If she tries to move during any of this, authoratatively tell her to stay put and that she is fine.

You can do it on either side of her too, examining for any lumps or cuts that you might not normally see.

This is asserting your dominance in a physical way, but your not hurting her, or being overly aggressive. Because she's so young she should get used to submitting to you, and allowing you to examine her. By placing yourself on top of her and not allowing her to move, your showing your dominance.

Many people told me that Roxy was aggressive. And she was. I did not do this exercise with her as pup. I did with my pit. He was unsure and nervous at first, but by the third time, he laid still and allowed me to touch him all over while straddling him. Because your dog is so young it should be very easy to curb this habit quickly. If she ever breaks the skin again, "firm no, flick on the nose! Maybe even make her have a time out, no toys, no treats...

Also, if No isn't working perhaps your using it too much. Like a kid that always gets told no the word loses it's meaning. Either cut back on "no" any only use it for serious situations or make up another corrective word, "Ah!" is what I use.

Don't get too discouraged she is still very young, it's good that your admitting there is a problem though, now you can do something about it.

Instead of stepping on the leash give her a quick pop, or leash correction.
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:40 PM
Elly Elly is offline
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Yes Zoe is the pup seen on my signature. She is a lab.

The exercises my son was doing was to lay her on her back and straddle her .. He was not rough on her or anything. I do the same thing with her much like advised here ..

I have been told to hold the muzzle and say no bite to her when she was nipping and snapping at us so this is what I have done. The snappiness is not as bad as it was.I was also advised when she bit our hands to instead of pull the hand away to push the hand forward into her mouth. That seems to stop her as well without hurting her..

I am mainly concerned about her quick reaction to bite . My hubby had her for a walk one day on the leash. She ran to grab a butterfly and it got away on her. She turned and jumped up and bit his arm and left a mark. It came out of nowhere. He hadnt done a thing to bring it on. I worry that she is just too quick to bite . .

The breeder I talked to told me to take her by both sides of her face and pull her up so her front paws came off the floor and tell her no. I thought that was a bit too hard on her.

Anyway I really appreciate all your help and advice.
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:52 PM
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What does she do if you freak out, like "AHHH! NO ZOE! WRONG!" like really mad... usually if I freak out my guys will bugger very quickly... I take on a very strong standing position, very confrontational towards them...

You have to be serious though, they can tell if your not, and they think its a game and whatever behaviour your trying to stop usually gets worse!
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:37 PM
mjb mjb is offline
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Alot of people say they have had success with yelping as if it hurt (and it probably does) and then leaving the puppy isolated for a couple of minutes. Come back after 1 or 2 minutes, but leave her again if she nips again. This is supposed to work if you do it every time she nips, but it might take a couple of weeks. It's so natural to playbite.
Before we got the behaviorist in and we used to cans with the pennies, everything we had tried just made it worse!! Of course, sometimes if it's ignoring them and not giving them attention, it will get worse first. They seem to have to try even harder to get you to play or get your attention before they realize that you're not going to give them attention when they do the behavior.
She probably just got very excited when she saw the butterfly and was trying to initiate your husband into playing the game, too.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elly
Yes Zoe is the pup seen on my signature. She is a lab.

The exercises my son was doing was to lay her on her back and straddle her .. He was not rough on her or anything. I do the same thing with her much like advised here ..
This is what is known as an "alpha roll" and is considered to be an outdated and potentially dangerous method of training. I'm curious as to who advised you to do this, as most of the trainers here abhorr this technique.

Your best bet is to find a good, postivie-reinforcement oriented behaviorist or trainer in your area. The advice you get on here and out of books is a good place to start, but is no substitute for a hands-on session with a good trainer. We can only tell you what to do based on what you tell us, and you may be missing some key signals that your dog is giving off.
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:11 PM
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To me the alpha roll would do nothing but frustrate a dog unless introduced at a very young age.... I always did this from 2 weeks on... it wasn't an aggressive move , but a conditioning move. I believe maybe 1 out of 8 may have lightly fought for a second or two. This was done gently and none of my pups left their litter without loving to be put on their back and stroked . Folks... look into the breeders !!!! There are no reasons for aggressive pups !!
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:25 AM
Elly Elly is offline
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Thanks all. The breeder or actually breeders that told me to roll her on her back was her breeder who did it to all the pups since they were really little and also the lab breeder I ran into at the yard sale.

I can try the freeking out on her as . I did that one day quite some time ago and she ran into the corner with her tail down. I felt rather sorry for her but it did look funny.

It is wierd cause one day I was so busy painting in the other part of the house I had little or no time for her at all. That day she was so gentle and sweet and did nothing but lick my hands and legs and didnt even jump when I finally did spend time with her.

It is like the more you ignore her the nicer she is. Maybe I am spoiling her I dont know. Maybe she needs to be on her own more.. I love to be with her so maybe that is the problem.

LIke I said though she has improved with me more on the snapping and biting except for that day with my son when she bit my leg.. I feel I dont know how to control her when with other people too well though. I am afraid she will grab someone or nip or chew on them.

I warn people that she does try and chew on hands and can be rough.I am working on making her sit when people do come over to her.

I am going to call some trainers tomorrow (mon.) and try to get into a class with her. She go's nuts when around other people and dogs so I hope she will be able to settle down long enough to learn something.
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