Dax is out of control

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Dax's mom's picture
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Let me start off by saying I love Dax dearly. I devote my life to this darling boy. BUT he is causing me a lot of stress and frustration.  I understand all puppies do this but Dax seems to be so out of control with me. Not anyone else, just me.

Dax is 5 months old and he is half way through his 6 week course of puppy class. He loves going to class and the trainer thinks he is an amazing dog and always uses him as a demonstration and always stays after class with us to work on things.

He is very good when we play ball. He loves fetching the ball and bringing it back then he likes to play keep away with me. We are working on "drop it". That is part of our week 3 puppy class lesson. He does great in our training sessions at home. He has "watch me" down perfectly and knows how to shake. He know sit and down by hand signals. I am very proud of him in that regard.

Number one issue is biting. Dax is relentless.  A male friend of mine who has a very large yellow lab and is very good at handling large dogs nicknamed Dax the "Raptor".  He jumps up and bites a lot and it hurts. I have lots of battle scars all over my body.  He is very spastic.  I hardly ever can get his harness on to take him for walks because he tries to bite me and his harness.  I live by myself and it is really hard without any help to get him properly hooked up for his walks.

The chewing is a big problem. He has tons of chew toys, bones and treats. He has taken a big interest in chewing the carpet lately.  I am in a rental and would not like to have to pay for carpet so I am trying to keep him from chewing it.  I tried Eucalyptus oil which worked for one day and I tried cayenne pepper with water and that did not stop him at all.  I know he is teething but does anyone have any ideas how to deter him from biting the carpet?

babyoss's picture
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Hi Dax's mom,

What has helped us with the biting or any unwanted behavior is putting our boy in time out...we would tell him "No bite" and put him in the bathroom or bedroom with the lights off and say "time out" and shut the door.  We'd only leave him in there a few minutes...maybe five mintues at the most and when he wasn't barking or whinning we'd take him out and just ignore him for a while.  Time out worked wonders for us :)

Dax's mom's picture
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I am usually the one that walks out of the room but my friend told me I should put him in a time out.  I will have to try that.  I can use my guest bathroom.  I am glad it worked for you. :)

astewtru's picture
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How much exercise, and I mean full on running, wrestling, playing with other dogs etc is Dax getting?

Harlow is 7 months and it was around 5 months we noticed that if she didn't get to expend all her energy, and I mean, till she was panting and exhausted, we had all the same behaviours.

So, I get up an hour earlier...5am comes early, so I can run her at the park for at least 45 min. She will fortunately chase a ball with all her might, so that is good running if there are no other dogs to chase and be chased by and we do the same every night for at least an hour or two...

My motto, a tired puppy is a happy puppy...

also check out the 5 golden rules of pack leader online. Some good info there!

 

Good luck!

AresMyDobie's picture
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I've been using the re direction technique it works most of the time but I know where you are coming from teething is the worst. My puppy will be 3 months this month and Im pretty sure the only time his mouth isn't open is when he's sleeping lol. Someone on the forum told to freeze a wash cloth and it really works, Ares will chew on that and be much happier after. Also my other dogs wear him out so he hasn't been to much of a handful lately. I've used ice cubes as well and he finds those fascinating. I think my next trick to try will be chicken broth Popsicles for him to chew on :) 

 

Dax's mom's picture
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As for exercise, I play ball with him in the morning before I leave for work and then the pet sitter visits him for an hour at noon and runs and plays with him then when I get home from work I try to get the harness on and if I am successful he gets at least a 30 minute walk and we run around the back yard and play ball for another hour.  I get him to the point where he is panting and tired but he is still quite destructive.

I wish he had other dogs to play with but I have not taken him to the dog park yet and Dax is an only dog right now.

As for the teething, he eats a lot of ice cubes and he loves them. I will try giving him a frozen wash cloth.

AresMyDobie's picture
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Yes the wash cloths works wonders, but I am very happy I have my other dogs to wear him out as well. Plus they teach him how to play in a much better way they also help correct how hard he is biting or how rough he is playing. 

AresMyDobie's picture
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If he's neutered with all his shots maybe give doggie day care a try so he can play with other puppies and dogs while you are at work :) 

 

Dax's mom's picture
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He is not neutered yet but has had all his shots.  I have considered doing doggie day care once a week and my pet sitter the other days. When I move into my new house later in the year I am going to look to find a sibling for him.

AresMyDobie's picture
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That's a good idea! Try the doggie day care and see how he is after that:) 

Hi , I feel for you . Dax will get better . 5 mnths is a hideous age for them. & I thought mine didn't even like me ! Excesrise him as much as u can & is safe to do . Start being a lot firmer ... Take no nonsense . It will take time & patience . Boys are more challenging . I had to give Mina a shake at scruff of neck & give her firm NO a couple of times . IDE never hurt her , it was just to let her know I was serious . I was bruised all over too ! Good luck xx 

SIDPUPPY2014's picture
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hi, im going thru the exact same thing with my dobie. he is 10 months old and is a handful. he is getting better but not there yet. i had a trainer out 2 months ago and she said he is bored.  time out really works. also using a spray bottle helped too

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Maybe this can help ?http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/blog/pack-leader

At 5 months the dog should know heel, sit, down and stay and have a real good concept of come (recall). This is your foundation. You can't build a sturdy home without a solid foundation. I'm not saying he should be perfect at this point but should know these commands verbally. Hand signals, although useful, are taught after he learns verbal commands. This is why. When you give the command "sit" for instance and use a gesture with the verbal command, the command becomes the word and your body movement. If a time comes where you have to sit your dog at a distance, because a oncoming car lets say, he does not have to see you but he will hear you. Assuming that he knows these commands, you only give the command "once". The command is "sit" not "sit" "sit!" "sit!!"....until he sits. (I'm just using "sit" as an example. All commands work this way). When you give a command and the dog does it, reward the dog. Food is the great motivator. When you give the command and he doesn't then you offer a correction. Not a annoying correction but a sharp undeniable "I messed up" correction. The dog will not break. He's not made of glass. When the command is followed he is rewarded immediately upon doing it right. Timing for reward or correction is very important. You have no more than 3 seconds to offer either for the dog to get the connection. You need to have a marker, a word (I use "yes") or a clicker http://www.clickercompany.com/Blank-Translucent-Tabbed-Clickers_p_12.html These are the good ones. The instant the command is followed you reward and use your marker at the same time. "Yes" reward or "Click" reward. This marks a moment it time so that the dog will make the connection for doing it right. Over time he'll understand that the marker means he's done it right and knows a reward is coming. If you get his foundation right, alot (not all) of his behavior problems will disappear.

You said you have problems putting a harness on him for walks? Good, put a training collar on him. A 3mm prong is perfect. Attach the lead to both rings on the collar, the one with the swivel and the other ring. This is called "dead ringing". Just using the one swivel ring will make the collar spongy. Using both makes it quicker. The collar is placed high up on the neck just behind the ears and tight enough to stay there. Get your treats and dog then go for a walk. He walks in position he gets rewarded ALOT. He gets out of position, he's corrected (the direction of the correction is sideways toward you for heeling), when he's back in position, he's rewarded and marked (yes or click). Using "sit" again, you give the command (Try to entice him into sit  with a treat), he sits, reward and mark. He doesn't, the correction is up. When he sits reward&mark.

I spoke alot about corrections. I'll say this, if you can bribe the dog into doing something, that is all good and bribes will work very well without distractions. This is great, your teaching behaviors. Where the corrections come in is when there are distractions. You're now teaching him to pay attention to you and not the squirrel. This is Training. Another thing to remember is NEVER give a command you CAN NOT enforce. So if you're going to give him a sit command you have to be sure that he'll do it. If not he's just learning that he doesn't have to obey the command. Something else to think about, if you give the dog a command (sit or down) you cannot let him break (get up on his own accord). He's either given another command or is released by command. If you let this happen the dog will figure he can get up whenever HE feels like it. Not a good avenue to solids sits, stays and downs. I don't personally use "stay". If I say sit, sit means to stay there, sitting. If I think they have to stay there for any length of time, I down them. It's more comfortable for them and I know they won't go from a sit to a down without a command. This is how you have to think when you're training. The little nuances make a big difference.  

With his jumping on you and biting. Have his prong on and attach a 2 foot lead to it. When he jumps up on you grab that lead and correct down toward the floor with "OFF" then rewarding when he's got all four on the floor. When or if he comes up to you and does not jump on you, reward the dog. He'll figure out quick that he gets the attention he wants by staying on all four instead of jumping on you. The biting isn't the problem, the jumping is. The bite is part of the jump. Eliminate the jump and the biting should go away. The chain of events will be broken.

Playing "fetch" is a fantastic way to burn up dog. You just have to teach him to play the game right. First off never play keep away. Secondly, use two balls. Throw one ball, hiding the second, when he returns with the ball and gets kinda close, the second ball magically appears. When he drops the first, throw the second, pick up the first and repeat the process. Over time get him to get closer to you before the second ball appears. Never let him stop the game, When you see you're running out of dog, stop before he quits. whether it's two throws or two hundred throws, you stop before he does. You bring him in wanting more. When he's going out and he gets the ball in his mouth, put a command to it. I use "Bring". You can use whatever you like. This is how "Retrieve" is taught. In time you could put the dog on a sit, walk out a few feet, place the ball, walk back to the dog and command the dog to go get it and "bring" it back then play fetch for a few throws and repeat. There are NO corrections with fetch. It's either done right and rewarded or tried again. Too add, keep the balls put up until you want to play fetch. Don't let them lay around the house. This keeps them special.

(Side bar) stop teaching him "drop it" pertaining to fetch (that's how I understood it). You want him to eventually hand you the ball (or what ever he's told to retrieve).

Try this with his chewing. When he has something in his mouth that he shouldn't, snatch it out of his mouth with a very firm NO or whatever you've been using as a correction word then replace, putting it in his mouth, with something you know for sure he'd rather chew on and praise him like he just invented sliced bread. Chances are the toys laying around the house ain't it. They're boring. You'll have to find whatever that is but it's there. 

Now about this "time out" thing. I don't get it. Most importantly, the dog does not get it. Remember, you only have 2 or 3 seconds for the dog to make the connection for a behavior, whether it's good or bad, to a stimuli. Let's say the dog is getting rowdy and you take the dog to a bedroom, crate or whatever for "timeout", you've spent at least 20 to 30 seconds to give this correction. The dog will never put two and two together. He has no idea why he's just been banished from your company. You'll get better results by correcting by whatever means, I use "stop", during the offense then reward/praise when he stops. It may take a time or two but he'll get the idea. He'll learn the command "stop". If the dog just happens to be in the way, you can teach "place". Lay a bath towel (the dog will think it's a down filled mattress) somewhere in the den and coax the dog on it with food using the command "place" when he gets there then feed him his bribes and praise him. Given some time, when you say "place" the dog will go to his spot and lay down.

And all this stuff I talked about take 10 15 minutes twice a day.

The things that have to be remembered when training are Patience, Fairness, Consistency, Repetition, sometimes Trickery and....

Whenever you interact with your dog, you are training.  

Gunny

 

    

astewtru's picture
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once again, Gunny is spot on. Your advice is like having my own personal trainer in my back pocket (on my laptop in this case). Thanks Gunny for sharing your experience with us newbies!

I need to add something to my last post that I neglected;

Dax is 5 months old. Old enough to handle a physical correction. Again, assuming he knows his commands.

A puppy younger than 5 or 6 months should NEVER be given a physical correction. Everything at a young age is positive reward based and redirection. You do it right, you get the goodies. You do it wrong, no goodies and try again. The puppy will make the connection and will do it to be fed. At this age you are TEACHING not training.

Another thing I missed was "grabbing by the scuff of the neck". What this will do is teach the dog to NOT trust your hands. You want your hands to represent nothing but good things. Makes it easier to grab a collar if need be. The dog will not be ducking your hand.

Keep in mind, The little nuances make a big difference.

Gunny

 

Dax's mum try not to use a prong collar . Horrible things & if you unsure how to work them you can hurt the animal & make them very unsure in the future .  He will be fine just keep going . Everyone has their own ways that they think are so great . You just need to find yours . 

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I like Gunny's advice.

 

I always prefer to teach a dog what not to do as well as what to do. Once they know what you expect them to do in certain situations or when you give them a command, bring in (fair...) corrections for disobedience.

 

Every training tool has it's place, whether it's a harness or an e-collar. As long as you know how to use it, when to use it and what "type" of dog to use it on (my other Dobe would crap herself if I put her on a prong) there's no reason not to use it when you're dealing with a problem the training tool would fix.

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Thank for all the repsonses guys.  Dax knows all his basic commands very well.  Sit, Down, Stay and Come. Have not mastered heel yet.  He responds very well to verbal commands and hand signals. The only hand signals I use are for sit and down but I am working on using my hand to the side to make him heel while we are walking.  I have to use a treat for that currently but it seems to work.

Honestly, he would be a perfect dog if he would just stop trying to bite me and jump up.  I am trying hard to be pack leader but he is currently winning.  I am not giving up though. ;)  Maybe I am just a bad pack leader.  idk.

I have looked into prong collars but have not decided yet. He has been letting put his harness on fine since this past weekend and he walks better with it on. But I think a prong collar will give him the "discipline" he needs.  Which by the way my trainer told me not to use the word "discipline".  hmmm not sure what else to call it.  I was also told that I am babying him. Well I am nice to him because I love him and yes he is my baby BUT I am firm with him and let him know when I am not pleased.  I understand this is going to be a work in progress.

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Im having the same problems with my 5 month old Jax. People say to fold your arms and turn your back when they jump up but Jax just jumps on my back leaving long scratch marks. Im hoping persistance pays off. He is also very mouthy, ive been holding his muzzle closed and saying " NO" in a firm voice which seems to be working

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Aw Jax and Dax. :) I named Dax after Jax from SOA- my favorite show.  I thought about calling him Jax but decided on Dax since D is for doberman. LOL.

Yes, Dax will just jump on my back too or my side and cause awful scratch or bite marks. I have been using "NO BITE" and he seems to be responding to that better than anything else I have tried. Holding his muzzle never worked for me.  My trainer taught me how to put him in a submission hold by placing my hand on his face and holding him down on the floor and I tell him to calm down. That actually calms him when he is on a biting rampage.

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Hi Dax`s mom, havnt been on here for awhile and just seen ur last comment. 

I named Jax after Jax from SOA lol. His biting has calmed down some, he now has adult teeth so they arnt pins anymore:-)  his jumping up on people is still a big problem, quiet embarrasing when i have visitors! He just turned 6 months. Im going to try the spray bottle but think im going to need a gun holster to attatch it to me as he is constantly doing it lol.

How is Dax going?

astewtru's picture
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What worked for me rather quickly with both my dogs who liked to jump up on people from the front and the back.....I initiated a "jump up", grabbed the front paws and squeezed hard enough to get a yelp. Did it a couple of times, by about the 3rd or 4th time, it didn't matter what I did to "encourage" them to jump up, they wouldn't do it. Some may not agree with the method but it was effective and quick. A 6 month old doberman jumping on you is one thing, a full grown is another. Someone can get hurt and they are considered a big nuisance.

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Thank you i will try the paw squeezing, i will try anything!!

My boy is massive for a 6 month old and almost knocks me over, so i feel really bad when he does it to my kids friends