Biting and Demonstrating Authority

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TheAristocrat's picture
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Joined: 2011-09-09

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Hi,
My 11 week pup has come a long way over since we got him, but he is getting into these two hour periods of extreme hyper activity. He goes for hands and feet during this time, and it is very rough. I try what I usually do during the rest of the day. I'll brush his head aside and say no, directing him to a toy to chew. Specifically I tell him, "No bite!", and "Chew toy" when directing him to the toy. It doesn't work. He is quite literally like a ferret, you push him aside and he comes back vigorously. I don't even think he hears me saying 'no'. How should I handle this? He gets his 12 week shot this Wednesday, will it be appropriate to take him for a walk thereafter? My guess is that it's excess energy that cannot be burnt off easily by playing with toys and such.

Aside from the above issue, I would also like to ask for tips concerning dominance. I want to ensure that my pup gets a clear message that I am the alpha, so too my family members. I always make sure that I enter a room first, never letting him brush past me, I make him sit before giving him his food. I don't let him rip toys from me. I make sure that he is calm and I make it clear that play ends when I say so, and that I let him have the toy. I also don't greet him when I come home until he is calm and on my terms. What else can I do? I do not wanty to give the impression that there is competition for leadership, so I want to avoid things like rolling him over or grabbing the muzzle.

Again, any advice or help gratefully received,
Regards

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

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No, he's not ready to go outside until his final shot.  As for as the biting, they all do it and yelling "Ow" or redirecting him isn't working, he's over the top with his excitement.  I understand you not wanting to roll him, but you could grab him by the scruff of the neck like mama would and say "NO".  You don't have to lift him or hurt him or anything like that, just mimmick what mama would do.

bbroyles's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

I have this thing about photos. Do you have some pics you could put up? And two hour times of hyper activity? How long are the down times in between the hyper times? I never considered timing the active periods. Very interesting...tell us more.

Joined: 2011-06-21

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Is there a safe place you could run him, just to let him get out that energy, like your backyard? Try running around with him & engaing him as you run. Let him get his excitement out then. Like Happydance suggested, if he ever puts his mouth on you, gently grab his scruff, tell him "No!", if he doesn't let go, give him a scruff shake. Don't shake him so hard you make him dizzy, just hard enough to get his attention. Redirect his chewing to an appropriate toy. Praise him lavishly when he starts chewing on the toy. As for dealing with dominance, I highly reccommend dogbreedinfo.com. If you click the link that says "Understanding Dog Behavior", you'll find a myriad of helpful articles. Here are the ones I reccommend most:

"Establising & Keeping Alpha Position":

http://dogbreedinfo.com/topdogrules.htm

"Teaching Dogs to Respect the Kids":

http://dogbreedinfo.com/articles/kidsdogsrespecting.htm

Proper Way to Walk a Dog": (this one really helped w/ my Dobe pp, who liked to pull like a mule!)

http://dogbreedinfo.com/articles/dogwalk.htm

There are others I reccommend, just spend an afternoon or even just an hour reading the articles.

If you have any other questions, please let us know, we'll be be happy to help you:)

 

PBT

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Aristocrat - if you are talking about him biting you on the hands and feet, simiply take two fingers and when he bites, pop him on the top of his muzzle when you say no. This is how mama disciplines the pup and it will reinforce the word "no" so he will learn it's meaning a little faster.

But, also remember that an 11 week old puppy has a very short concentration period. It will take a while to get him fully convinced that you are not a littermate but his new alpha. You will be challenged by an intelligent pup who is probably smarter than a 5th grader. You have to get up early to stay ahead of him, but in six months or so, you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion. I have been though this many times and am about to go through it again.

BTW - it would be helpful if you would tell us his name and complete his profile. We also like to see pictures of the pups.

TheAristocrat's picture
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Joined: 2011-09-09

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Profile and pics added :)

Though, for some reason the age is wrong. If you work it out on the calendar he is in 11 weeks, not 15.

TheAristocrat's picture
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Joined: 2011-09-09

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When you say pop on the nose, you mean a simple bump on the nose with the underside of the two fingers?

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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Very pretty puppy.  Thank you for posting and telling his name.  I especially like the #6 photo....very nice.

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

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I agree with ZD, great pics and a beautiful pup!  Thanks for sharing!

bbroyles's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

Onyx has a very handsome face. Glad you shared

TheAristocrat's picture
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Thanks for all the kind comments :). I won't pass them onto Onyx though, it'll only go to his head! lol. H

KevinK's picture
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I think alot of people over-analyze "becoming the alpha" type stuff.  Instead of trying to think about all the things you have to do for your dog to respect you, think about it in more general terms.  It's simple.  Be fair, loving, and consistent.  That's it!  Where most people fail is with being consistent.  If you don't want your dog to do something, he should never do it.  Dogs, and especially puppies, do not generalize well.  So never allow behaviors you don't want.  Here's a few pointers.

You say you push him aside, and he comes back vigourously... Of course he does, that's playing!  He loves it!  He wants more.  If you get rougher, I bet he would get rougher as well.  If you started really pushing him, I bet he would go bonkers.  He goes to bite you, you push his head, that's fun!  He will never stop if you do this.  Next time he nips you, scream, and walk away in a place he can't get to.  He'll probably get upset.

Do you know anything about dog drives, and what your dog's drives are like?  Would be helpful in giving better advice.  Also, what training methods if any do you use?

Don't put so much emphasis on being alpha, and going through doors first and such.  Put your emphasis on being fair, loving, and consistent.  Lead by example.  Don't let your dog get away with things.  If you give a command, make sure it is followed through.  Never give a command you can't or won't back up.  That's a huge one!  I can be (really, really kills me, I have what I call mild ADD and not a very big attention span! ) more stubborn than any dog, and it doesn't take long to get the point across.  Give a command, dog doesn't listen, I will sit there as long as it takes for the dog to do the command.  I was playing fetch with a dog recently, and I wanted him to sit before I tossed the ball.  This is a dog with almost non-existent training.  So, I would hold the ball up, ignoring his barking, running around, and jumping.  Sat, instantly the ball gets tossed.  Doesn't bring it back, so I went to get it.  Held it up till he sat, second his butt hit the floor the ball got tossed.  When you mark behaviors like this, your dog will begin to understand that his actions make things happen, and he will associate the good behavior and listening with good things happening.  After a few throws, he got quicker and quicker with the sitting.   This was all without any commands, I never told him to sit.  He doesn't bring the ball back?  I walk away, and we're done.  That's it.

Most of earning a dogs respect (it's the only way to get it.  it must be earned through love and trust) comes from being confident, and knowing you can do something, even if you think you can't.  Learn your dogs drives, and use them to your advantage.  I can't tell you how many people use the wrong rewards, and then don't understand why they don't have a motivated dog.  My girl will work for a treat, but if I toss a treat, and her bite sleeve on the floor, she won't even notice the treat.  So, why would I use a treat instead of the bite sleeve?  Learn your dog, (it will take time) and use the highest value rewards for training only.  Dakota loves tug, it's one of her favorite games, and I work it into training.  When I found out how much she loves to play tug, my training workload was cut significantly.  I can now achieve better results, in less time, with less effort spent.  I get the results I want, Dakota plays her favorite game, win win.  That's how I like to think in terms of training, and teaching a dog to do what we want them to.  Make it fun, make yourself fun, and the rest will fall in place!

HarleyBear's picture
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Great advice Kevin! I know it wasn't directed at me, but I really took it to heart. We don't try to be Harley's alpha, but he seems to respect us, because he sees us as a source of direction (obedience training) and love. Although I maybe speaking too soon. We haven't hit the doberteens yet. Hopefully we can keep the momentum through the doberteens and into adulthood. Thanks again for the Excellant advice.

jeshykai's picture
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Lillian, they will always challenge you at certain points - no matter their age.  But if you just keep moving forward, so will they.  Kevin always gives very insightful pointers.

Joined: 2011-06-21

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Kevin- wow, that's fantastic advice! You should become a dog trainer:) I really could've used your advice w/ my Dobie when I had her.

KevinK's picture
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Thanks.  I wrote that all by myself, p.s.

TheAristocrat's picture
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I appreciate your post Kevin, that is very true. I am guided by my past experiences and observations when asking these questions. I'm mindful that Onyx is a dog, and will never be a human. I want to be sure that I am treating him as a dog, and ensuring that he is well adjusted and comfortable with his place in my pack. I often see dogs that are very confused as humans impose their human behavious and thinking on their dogs, which must be very confusing and awkward for their pets. Tag a hug for example, they mean completely different things to each participant. So that's where I am coming from. Most of what you prescribe I do, I just want to build on that.