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Karina is biting and growling

August 25th, 2005, 06:48 PM
I first tried a stern NO. Then stern No with walking away or turning my back (she kept on biting the back of my legs and even jumped up to my backside!) I was told to use a newspaper and slap it against my hand to make a loud noise followed by a NO. That did not work...she gets even more aggressive. Then my husband said to tap her nose. Did that didn't work either. I tried to roll her over on her back and she went ballistic on me. I have had puppies before and never experienced this aggression. On reading replies to other posts with same problem on your message board , I realize I should not have been agressive with her (newspaper/ tap on nose)Can I reverse the damage I've already caused with my 2 1/2 y month old femal lab?.

August 25th, 2005, 07:43 PM
hey Dina glad i'm not alone. I'm going to see a trainer at 11am tomorrow i'll fill u in on any sound advice she gives me. I do think trinitie is on the right track with my dog having some trust issues as well as some alpha dog tendencies.Maybe it's the same with yours. Hopefully this trainer will give some ways to turn it around. I know almost all dog behavior can be fixed it's just finding the key to that dog and some patience. And DON"T let anyone make you feel guilty about the dogs behavior. You did what you thought was best. When we know better we do better.take care :thumbs up

August 25th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Make that three! My 9 week old Golden is getting nippy (and also jumping towards me) too! I wouldn't say we are at "problem" stage yet...but I'd be curious to hear what you were told too!

August 25th, 2005, 08:28 PM
try this site:

August 25th, 2005, 09:20 PM
Your puppies need to get enrolled into puppy classes. It is not only dealing with the behaviour you see but several others combined. I have my students do a series of exercises from teaching about mouthing, jumping, give, take it, leave it. What to do for attention getting behaviours etc. After you yell ouch, you need to leave the room, somewhere where puppy can't get to you. Go into another room and close the door, step over a gate. You only need to stay out 30 sec. The ouch was only to get your puppies to stop for a second. If you stay, they say what was that and then, oh you want to play, ok. If you try this 3 times and when you return your puppy goes right back at it, time them out. It may be good to have a lead attached so they don't get attention by you touching them when you are trying to time them out. If you return after the 30 sec and puppy doesn't do it again, give them something that is appropriate to chew on.

August 25th, 2005, 09:22 PM
Whatever you do, don't shove a toy in their mouth when they do this to you.

August 25th, 2005, 09:47 PM
thanks stacey i can go back to trying this with goku. I left the room but we have an open concept house. I can try going into a bedroom. I will tell you however my puppy never followed us just found something else to do and when we went back in tried to bite hard again. BY THE WAY fellow biting puppy owner try bitter apple on the back of thehands this has seemed to help today. it's been 24 hrs with out a bite. Still alot of mouthing but that i can stop in time.

August 26th, 2005, 06:34 AM
Thank you Stacey. Would you know of a good puppy school here in Montreal?

August 26th, 2005, 07:08 AM
Mine does the same thing. I leave the room....but then she just starts to chew something else that she's not supposed to!

August 26th, 2005, 09:42 AM
If your puppies are just chewing things when you leave the room, then put your dog in a puppy-proofed room instead. Have one room that has nothing you're not willing to lose to chewing. If puppy starts to do bad behaviour, gently place puppy in the room and close the door. Just stand outside the door for a minute, or until puppy starts to calm down. Don't talk to puppy, or tell it to hush. Just stand there. Eventually puppy will learn that bad behaviour will cause you to put puppy in a situation he'd rather not be in.

Persistance is the key here. Don't give in. Don't ever tap puppy on the top of the nose, that can damage their nasal passages. If you must physically restrain puppy, gently put your hand around it's mouth, place your other hand behind it's head (so it can't pull it's head away), look it straight in the eye and tell it NO. Hold puppy like this for no more than 5 seconds. Don't squeeze! If puppy yelps, you're holding too tight. That is the only type of physical reprimand you should need to ever do to puppy, other than placing puppy in another room.

I hope this helps!

August 26th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Puppy proof the room and only leave items out that puppy is allowed to chew. It is best to do a rotation of toys so your puppies don't get bored of them.
I don't know any training facilities in the Montreal area but there are many here that live in that area that will have suggestions for you.
Do your research on the training facility and the trainer. They are not all equal. Watch a class to make sure that this place will be suitable for you and your puppy.

August 26th, 2005, 12:24 PM
I went to the trainer and so far trinitie is right on the mark. My puppy has trust issues and dominace issues and some fear aggression. She also felt the breeder should have kept the puppies till they were at least 8wks, but being as it is to late now. So she felt that withsome work and patience the dog could easily be turned around. she felt he was very willing to please just very unsure of himself or what we wanted.
#1 NO MORE ALPHA ROLES OR ANY PHYSICAL CORRECTIONS. If the dog had just dominace issues this would be fine
#3 This was a big one for me; when he growls and shows some fear aggression i had been trying to reassure him with it's ok be calm. She said it just reinforced that it was ok to act like this. When it growls at a toy,new dog, etc ignor the behavior(show a leader role of "what no need to be afraid of that) till he starts doing what u want then praise praise praise.
#4 She did the OW and the puppy stopped and then kissed her better. I was stunned. She told me accept no puppy mouthing at this point and do my OW higher and louder and advised to put him in a puppy time out room if he does decide to go in for a second attack. No toys no fun. she also felt giving him a toy to chew instead of a hand at at this age would now make him think if i nip them they will give me a toy to play with. thats fun
# She also felt at this young of an age it is to earlier to know if your dog has any serious genetic behavioral problems. She told me some dogs can have mental problems and it would be awhile before we would know for sure (she felt however this was not the case) She felt that with some new strategy and find out what work as a punishment.
So all in our house hold will be taking puppy training classes so we can get trained The classes aren't the cheapest but the investment to me will be well worth it if I can have a great buddy like we did with our previous dogs
I can get into more detail of what she said if u want to e-mail me. I hope this helps maybe take your dog to a trainer

August 26th, 2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks for sharing all of that! I will give it a try too! I might be guilty of the "giving another chew toy" when she nips at me. I am not sure but I will pay attention now! I will also put her in her pen if it happens again. We are registered for puppy class but it doesn't start for another week and a half so I want to get some of this somewhat under control before then! (yeah, right!) ;)

August 26th, 2005, 12:40 PM
I'm so very glad things are going to start working out! It sounds like you've found a trainer with a good head on their shoulders!

Please keep us up to date on how things are going for you and puppy. And, in case nobody's mentioned it yet, WE LOVE PICTURES!!! :D

August 26th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Here's a photo of my girl from last week. It's the only one that is small enough to post!

August 26th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Oh, how adorable is that face?? :grouphug:
She is such a cute little butterball!! :pawprint:

August 26th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Just so I don't do this wrong...I was playing with Indy before and trying to get her to "drop" her toy. She started growling and playing "tug of war"...what's the best solution for this? She tried to bite my hand so I put her in her "time out" area and she started barking. (that's a first!) Did I do something wrong??? How should I have handled this differently? this the right thing and then what do I do about the barking?

August 26th, 2005, 03:28 PM
At such a young age, playing tug isn't a good idea. Pups of that age don't know the difference between the end of the toy and the beginning of your hand. To them, the toy you're holding is just an extension of you. That's why leash biting must be stopped before it gets out of control. Not to mention, it's not good for their developing teeth. Tug-o-war shouldn't be played until the adult teeth come in, and the dog should never win. The pack leader ALWAYS wins the prize.

If your little pup is growling and biting at the toy, get another toy they love even better and trade. While the pup has the toy in her mouth, while you're holding it, tell her a stern NO as soon as she starts to growl. As soon as she stops, even for a second, give her the other favorite toy and show her how pleased you are! Fuss her up big time.

At this age, giving things and taking them away, and giving them right back, shows the pup that you're the leader, you want to see what they have, and then you give it back. If you don't give them something in return, or give back what they originally had, they'll learn to be possessive because they're scared they might not get their prize back. If the pup learns to trust that you'll give it back, or something just as good, the growling should stop. Growling, while you're playing with the pup, is not acceptable. It's different if the pup is growling while playing by itself, as that's a kind of "talking".

I hope this helps!

August 27th, 2005, 06:11 AM
OK..I am starting to go out of my mind! We went outside this morning for her "walk" in the backyard after she ate. She kept biting the leash, so I would tell her "drop" and step on the excess leash. She would then start growling and doing the "tug of war" thing. The instant she would drop it...I would praise her...but then she'd go right back to biting on it again! This went on and on! Then...she started trying to nip at me. So...what do I do in this case? I tried the "Ow" thing, and it worked for about a second...but I can't put her in a "time out" outside!! I couldn't bring her in because she hadn't peed yet. Sigh. I am so worried that I am doing something wrong and making my golden a dominant/aggressive dog which I KNOW that they aren't supposed to be! That's why I got her! I don't know if I am going to last another week until puppy school! The thing is...she plays so well on her own (she's in her little pen playing now) but it's like we don't know how to play together. Any ideas???

August 27th, 2005, 11:44 AM
personally i would make the biting u thing the first priority and worry about the leash later. Thats what i'm doing with goku. so far we've had 2days with no hard bities. Also i recomend bitter apple sprayed on the leash u have to remember to re spray everyday. It has been working for me. Also try and remember this dog has had several weeks of thing being a certain way and now your changing the rules. it WILL take awhile to get it to sink in. Not sure what to do with an outside time out but i know a short quick leash tug works with goku when outside when he A. won't come or B doing something bad. Also i recommend a short leash till u get her under contol. It's hard 4 her to bite at it if ther is no slack. Hope this might help :)

August 27th, 2005, 12:14 PM
Thanks...I'll give it a try! I am working on trying to get her to focus on me when I say her name and working on the biting. I would like to stop the leash tugging...but I guess you can only do one thing at a time! I was working on the leash thing inside this morning. She was tugging on her leash and I would play with her favorite toy and make a really big deal whenever she'd come to get the toy. Hopefully it will sink in soon! Man...puppyhood is tiring! :)

August 27th, 2005, 01:04 PM
The ouch should sound like it hurts, high pitch, nice and loud,

August 27th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Here is the Tenderfoot take on puppies and their attempts at biting, mouthing, tug of war. IT'S ALL NATURAL! just teach good manners and there shouldn't be any problems.
Some pups are taken away from mum & litter so early that they don' t learn good manners. So it is now your job to teach - just like momma would.
We aren't keen on time outs, high pitched "ow's" etc. Pups/dogs are very in the moment. Watch a mother with her litter - she will tolerate normal attempts at play and then lay down the law if things get too rough and then go right back to normal play. This gives the puppy a chance to make a better choice. "oops bit mom too hard, maybe she will play with me if I lighten up." The puppy gets to choose better behavior and is rewarded instantly for it.
So we start by teaching things like "let's play" and "easy". Then we move on the "drop" & "take it". This allows us to control the interaction in the moment and stay with the dog until he makes a better choice. This can happen in seconds not days.
If a puppy has learned 'drop & take it' there is no reason you can't play a little game of tug (just be gentle), heck puppies play tug all of the time. Just be sure that you win most of the time because the puppy has learned to drop things to you when you say so. It's not a matter of sharp teeth or strength. It's a matter of manners. A six week old pup is totally capable of having respect for his mother and good manners.

August 27th, 2005, 06:24 PM
How do you teach "drop" and "take it"?

August 27th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Teaching 'drop it' and 'take it' is one of the very first things we teach. It is a matter of respect when it comes to dropping things to you on command. He needs to learn that all things belong to you - even if he found them first.
First, put your dog on the leash (for control) then get a stick or stiff toy at least 6 inches long - not a soft toy he can get a grip on or food he can break off and swallow. Start with an object that doesn't have high value to him and work towards an object that does have high value. Food will probably be the toughest challenge as it is easy for him to just swallow it and win.
Offer it to your dog and say 'take it' in a happy tone. let him chew on it for 15 seconds - do not let go of the item. Say 'drop it' short, sharp and firm in tone. Almost startle him with the command as you point quickly at the item and his nose. The startle alone should impress him. If he lets go then praise him and gently stroke his face and head. If he does not let go - ask again and vibrate the item in his mouth moving towards the back of his mouth. This should be strong enough to make him want to let go, but not so strong to hurt him. When he releases be very pleased and praise & pet.
Repeat this - holding the item and sharing it with your dog for longer times each round. As he gives willingly then allow the item to be his for just a few seconds, keeping your hand close by and then move your hand in and ask him to 'drop it'. Again increasing times until it can be his for five minutes and he still drops it nicely to you. Working him in his normal obedience commands just before you do this can help. It places him a submissive role and makes him more agreeable over all and ready to be more cooperative.
Practice a lot when you are just hanging around the house - get him to drop dozens of things throughout the day, don't wait to teach it when you need it.

August 28th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Thanks tenderfoot! I will work on that!