Need help with this puppy.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lothiriel, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Our 5 month Aussie boy Riley is being quite bad lately. He has been very "sassy" and will bite us if we try to touch him when he doesn't want to be touched. He growls at my younger siblings when they pet him while he's sleeping (we have made a point of doing that on purpose to try and break that) and at people he doesn't know, he growled at the vet yesterday when all she was doing was touching him, and we are getting very discouraged. We've had a trainer out and she told us to teach him to be "gentle" when he tries biting, and to "leave it" when he takes something he's not supposed to. We've been doing that for at least a month and it has not worked! Before that we tried the puppy yelp, the ignoring him when he does it, etc. The vet said yesterday that when she sees a dog this young come in and do what he did, they usually end up being the kind of dog they have to muzzle when they get older. She suggested an obedience class.. which is a good idea.

    But what can we do to make him stop biting? Yes, he has broken my skin twice -- once was when I was telling him to "leave it" and he got sassy and started yipping and biting at my hand. The second time was when we were looking at his teeth because he broke one. (Vet says it was a baby tooth.) We are all of us wondering if Riley was such a good choice now. We don't want him to be a bad dog. Telling him a big, firm "NO" only makes him get sassy. I love him and I hate him at the same time.... [​IMG]

    Any help, input, encouragement, pointers, etc. would be greatly appreciated right now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  2. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, STOP bothering this poor puppy while he is asleep. Ever heard the old saying "Let sleeping dogs lie"? Well, it is based in fact. Dogs disturbed from sleep can be quite grumpy (wouldn't YOU BE?) and may bite.

    Second, how old was this puppy, exactly, when you acquired him? Puppies removed from their litters prior to 8 weeks of age can have issues with lack of bite inhibition, such as you are describing.

    Next, what training classes have you attended with this puppy? How has he been socialized outside your home? Where does he sleep? Is he crate trained? Does he have meal times or eat free choice? How much free time to run outdoors does he get? Do you have any support from the breeder of the puppy?
     
  3. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grab him by the scruff of the neck like his mom would and shake him and tell him NO!!
    Also hold him over on his back until he submits. Likely he will fight this, be firm.
     
  4. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OMG Glenmar, that is barbaric advice, and a great way to get someone bitten. I'm sorry, that is the most wrong thing possible to do to this puppy at this time. In particular without knowing any background information. I get the impression that this is a KID asking these questions!
     
  5. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:Yes, I guess I would be... Good point.

    Second, how old was this puppy, exactly, when you acquired him? Puppies removed from their litters prior to 8 weeks of age can have issues with lack of bite inhibition, such as you are describing.

    He was 6 weeks. The mom refused to nurse anymore and the owner had to sell. We have been hoping our older dog would teach him the bite inhibition... But he's rather brash with her and it doesn't do much good.

    Next, what training classes have you attended with this puppy?

    None yet.

    How has he been socialized outside your home?

    Not the greatest -- we have taken him to the feed store a lot, and he's gone to a couple friends' houses, and we have taken him to a local farm produce store and sat outside with him. He's played with another dog (the only other dog we know, aside from my aunt's toy poodle), and at that place the folks have 3 little kids, and he was good with them only after he tried lunging at the little girl (2). He was leashed though.

    Where does he sleep? Is he crate trained?

    He has his own space with a bed, and he will sometimes go to bed when we tell him. We don't have a crate for him.

    Does he have meal times or eat free choice?

    He has mealtimes, 3 or 4 a day.

    How much free time to run outdoors does he get?

    He goes outside whenever he feels like it -- we are out in the country and have a very large fenced yard for him to be free in, and every day we take him out on walks.

    Do you have any support from the breeder of the puppy?

    No, she was a hobby breeder, and according to all the questions she answered for us, the parents were super good with kids, livestock, other people and dogs, don't bite, don't roam, etc.​
     
  6. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:That was tried omce or twice back in August. Didn't work. [​IMG]
     
  7. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:Not quite a kid (18 this month), but I have ZERO experience with puppies, and my parents previous dogs never had issues like this.
     
  8. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is impossible to give the best advice without seeing you and the puppy interact.

    However, from what you have stated, if this were my puppy, here is what I would do:

    1) the puppy would be dragging a line anytime loose around me so that I could control the situation
    2) I would control every aspect of this puppy's life. He would be in a crate except for trips out to potty, supervised exercise periods serveral times per day for him to burn energy, and positive obedience training twice a day. He would be earning his food during clicker training lessons.
    3) I would be loading this puppy up and taking him off my property for socialization trips every single day.
    4) I would work constantly to find this puppy doing something, ANYTHING, right in order to reward him.
    5) I would be using the clicker to teach this puppy how to work positively to earn rewards
    6) I would prevent and avoid at this time any situations likely to induce him to growl. I would control him with a leash at all times to prevent him getting snippy or grabby with anyone.
    7) I would maintain a calm and quiet demeanor with this puppy at all times. It sounds to me like he is getting over stimulated. Herding type dogs can often get very excited by motion, waving hands, loud voices, etc. While this ability to get excited and focus on this type of thing can be useful and helpful in the herding field, it often is not so useful and helpful in a household situation. Help him with this by keeping a calm quiet voice and attitude when working with him.
    8) get in a training class IMMEDIATELY.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  9. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, if you have no support, that was not a hobby breeder, that was a back yard high risk breeder. This is again obvious because the person let the puppies go too soon at 6 weeks. I know you don't mean to, but don't make excuses for people that do stupid things like place puppies at 6 weeks of age. Most puppies are no longer nursing at this age. Responsible breeders keep their litters together until after the critical period that ends at 7 weeks. The people you got the puppy from have set you up for these issues with your puppy by letting the puppy go too soon, and not providing you with the information you needed to raise the puppy properly.

    GET A CRATE, and then use it. Start positively controlling this puppy's life and resources. Eliminate his chances to perform bratty puppy behavior by using the leash or drag line. Insist, in a positive but no nonsense way, on compliance. Ignore wrong behavior. Food Reward and praise all right behavior. Pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to socialization, and get in a class IMMEDIATELY. Get back in contact with the trainer who came out previously and find out where you can get into a class.

    I think you can turn this puppy around, but it needs to start RIGHT NOW, and it needs to be paid special and prompt attention to.
     
  10. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    I hope you get things sorted out with your puppy. My border collie/aussie/mix will go after strangers. But it's not so much aggression as it is nerves. But she hasn't bit my family once. I am not sure why your puppy would be biting you guys besides maybe he needs his space? Puppies sure are cute but they definatley need their space when they want it. Why not make it a rule not to touch the puppy while he is in his bed asleep?
    My hound mix is a little grump is anyone even steps on the corner of her bed while she is in it. And if you go around/over her when she is on the floor sleeping or relaxing forget it! But she is the sweetest thing to strangers, go figure. [​IMG]

    I wish you guys luck with your puppy. [​IMG]
     

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