Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Herding or aggressive/dominate behaviour?

puppy4ever
September 4th, 2005, 05:52 PM
I mentioned this before somewhere but was hoping to get a few tips before we start formal training. My puppy doesn't have his 2nd set of shots so we can't take him to school yet.

We are having what I see as potentially serious problems with our 10 week old puppy (??GSD/Corgi/Aussie??). Sometimes he just seems to go balistic and starts biting, growling and running around me in circles. :evil: Besides the broom and a tennis ball, he only does this to me! He also jumps up on me (never my husband) when I'm eating and barks. I've never fed him once while I was eating.

What I've tried so far without any luck is...

1) When he bites and growls make a high pitched ouch and walk away. It seems when I do this he just grabs onto my pants and I end up dragging him with me.

2) Walk away (with him attached to my pants) and give him a 3 minute time-out with the leash attached to door knob. He gets really sulky after this and usually calms down but I don't think he associates his behaviour with the punishment.

3) Do nothing (become very still, don't jerk, make fist). This is the worst option because he keeps going and sometimes his bites hurt!

What is going on with him? Is this herding behaviour or aggressive/dominate behaviour? Is he just playing or is this for real?

I spend more time with him than my husband does and feed, play and walk him more. I'm confused. :confused:

StaceyB
September 4th, 2005, 10:46 PM
How much exercise has he been getting.

puppy4ever
September 5th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Hi Stacey - we take him out for a walk usually only 2 - 3 blocks max. as we heard that we weren't supposed to walk him much at this age & without vacinations. We usually play fetch many times inside the house and then I take him out the front yard (back is only for potty) for some walking/short stints of running. Is this not enough? What else should I do?

He was at it just now before 9 AM and I had to give him a timeout already. I noticed just now that he was in the play posture so he is playing I guess. Last night he was barking and growling at a baby. As I write this I am in another room with the door closed and he is outside crying. It seems I have to entertain him 24/7 or he is into trouble. It has been 2 weeks now and I need more time to myself (my house is in shambles and I've been turning away clients for business). Please help - I love this puppy and he is a member of the family already but he is taking up all of my time!

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 10:00 AM
It sounds like he is not getting nearly enough exercise. Everyone will have opinions about how many vaccinations a puppy must have before you begin walking, socializing, etc. There will always be some risk even when your puppy is fully vaccinated. In my opinion I would start to do a little more, remember no running on hard surfaces. You don't need to be going to busy places yet but I would find a place that you can exercise your puppy a little more. If your puppy is running laps around the house he is not getting enough. Games of fetch, hide and seek work well. These games will also help with cues like come and give.

puppy4ever
September 5th, 2005, 10:15 AM
I really want to take him for longer walks...there is a great park close by (it's up on a hill) that I've been wanting to go to. I think for my sanity I will need to walk him more so I tucker him out.

I guess the risks are pretty minimal really. He would have to come into contact with some sick dog or his waste and then get bit or eat the waste. Then it's not even certain that he would get the disease. I'm going to walk him more...thanks Stacey.

BTW- should I stick to the time outs you think if he isn't listening?

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 10:19 AM
Yes stick with them but you need to get out of the room and somewhere where he can't get to you. Rotate his chew toys so he never hets bored of them.

Gazoo
September 5th, 2005, 10:24 AM
It seems like he has "respect" for your husband but not you.

Perhaps ya need to kick his little puppy ass and let him know you're the boss?

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 10:41 AM
Each of you will have a different relationship with your puppy but you may want to watch to see what differences there are between your interactions. Does he play with the puppy much. It could be his voice.
Your puppy wants you to play and get your attention. It doesn't matter to him whether it is positiive or negative attention so long as he gets something. Be firm and consistant with your rules. The increase in exercise is going to make a huge difference.

tenderfoot
September 5th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Sorry to disagree Gazoo (by the way, love your name - he was one of my favorite cartoon characters). Kicking puppy ass is not the answer.
This pup has a total lack of respect for you - he just thinks you are a littermate not a leader. More exercise is good for almost anyone, but it will not change what he thinks of you. Do not over exercise this pup as you can cause damage to his joints that could last a lifetime - try to replicate the amount of exercise he would get playing with his littermates around the den.
Exercising his mind and impressing him with your leadership will make far greater changes faster.
We don't do time outs as we would rather correct the bad choices and reward the good ones in the moment and get right back to having fun. We aren't keen on the high pitched squeals either - as that makes you the submissive pup and him the dominant one. We would say correct him like mom would and get firm but not mean. Make your point and then go back to what you were doing. He will challenge you 3-5 times if he respects you and you are consistent. But he will stop challeging and submit, and then you can reward. Right now he might challenge YOU more than that because you are still trying to earn his respect. Be very clear and firm in your tone and body language and you might be surprised how fast his attitude changes. Then reward with a soft tone and soft touch.

Gazoo
September 5th, 2005, 11:26 AM
Sorry to disagree Gazoo (by the way, love your name - he was one of my favorite cartoon characters). Kicking puppy ass is not the answer.

.


I was speaking metaphorically as the puppy doesn't seem to know who's boss.

Good advice tenderfoot.

Abbey
September 5th, 2005, 11:31 AM
I have a Malamute Husky X, she thinks she rules over my other dog, the cats and all the people here ... She is wrong because I DO !! Every now and then I have to remind her that she is not the boss here. I have found the easiest way to teach her not to do something is to act like her Mama would. She is a big girl and I am not so big but I scruff her and get her on her back, sit over top of her and growl (low and gutteral) like her Mama would. I adopted my 2 cats just a few months back ... The Mal and Husky have strong prey instincts... in fact ... they kill cats. Believe me, she tried too ... my house was a total circus!! Furniture flying, animals running for cover ... it was just awful ... Bailey didn't back off those cats until I started "flipping" her... now the cats are her 'puppies' and they snuggle up together. Just an idea hey ... but it could work for you too ...

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Please don't start alpha rolls. They are the cause of more aggression than they help. Are you prepared for him to challenge you this way. Some dogs will submit but many won't.

Abbey
September 5th, 2005, 12:48 PM
StaceyB wrote:
"Please don't start alpha rolls. They are the cause of more aggression than they help. Are you prepared for him to challenge you this way. Some dogs will submit but many won't".

I don't agree with you. My Mal X is over 5 years old and for us it works like a dream. She may get "flipped" once or twice a year ... depending on what is going down .... eg. new cats joining the family. It absolutely does not create more aggression than it helps.... far from it, it doesn't create any aggression at all. I think we, whether we are senior members or not, need to remember that it is a case of different strokes for different folks... bit like saying all kids can be raised the same way. But thanks for your reply .... that is what's great about these boards ..... all the differing opinions that give people many different avenues to try until they find what works for them and their precious pups.

tenderfoot
September 5th, 2005, 02:07 PM
Gazoo - sorry, I tend to take things too literally at times. Someone was once advocating biting your dog and they meant it! so I tend to err on the side of caution.

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 06:43 PM
Well I am glad it worked for you but as a trainer I have had to deal with the results of bad choices made with dogs. Many people make choices that they think is for the good of the dog but in fact was the cause of many of their dogs behaviour issues.
Good intentions are not always good decisions.

Abbey
September 5th, 2005, 07:53 PM
Well I am glad it worked for you but as a trainer I have had to deal with the results of bad choices made with dogs. Many people make choices that they think is for the good of the dog but in fact was the cause of many of their dogs behaviour issues.
Good intentions are not always good decisions.


That could well be true .... but it is a simple case of being in tune with your animals and treating their training and discipline individually, (as one does with children). My Border X is nearly 8 years old and has not once required a 'flip', not in her whole life. She responds well to other forms of training. I too have a training background so I am not a novice to the many different forms of training and discipline ... some I approve of, some I don't but I always try to keep an open mind and look at each case very individually.

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 08:15 PM
Well about 50% of all of my students are either 1st time dog owners or the first one they have had to train. So with so many inexperienced, uneducated persons with dogs suggesting they do such a thing will more than likely get them into trouble. I don't teach my students to do anything to their dog that may potentionally cause more severe behaviours. There are other ways of training and gaining respect w/o a physical correction.

Gazoo
September 5th, 2005, 08:18 PM
Gazoo - sorry, I tend to take things too literally at times. Someone was once advocating biting your dog and they meant it! so I tend to err on the side of caution.

probably not a bad thing :)

StaceyB
September 5th, 2005, 08:34 PM
Most of us seem to take everything literal around here. Hard to know the difference sometimes.

puppy4ever
September 5th, 2005, 10:23 PM
There are always many different opinions, especially on controversial topics such as discipline. They are all appreciated - many thanks!

I loved the Great Gazoo too! He was the best!

I do think I need to show him who is boss (kick his butt metaphorically ;) ) but be very careful about it, maybe leave it to the more experienced. He is still a really timid puppy with strangers but a maniac with me. I guess I will wait for puppy school because I'm not really sure what to do.

My husband once did what I now know as the alpha roll on the puppy as a test when we first saw him. A book that we got suggested that we do this. It was a test to see what his personality was like. According to the test he was a passive pussycat.

mars
September 12th, 2005, 12:58 PM
wow!! do you have any other animals in the house? my ben is very bossy. his first 8 months of life were spent living with me at my sister's house. my sister has a german sheppard who was about 7 years at the time. my dog's behaviour was so unbearable. anytime i'd go in the backyard with him, he bite the cleeve of my coat/sweater whatever i was wearing and would latch his teeth onto it. i remember enrolling in obedience classes and the instructor telling us at enrollment that we were welcome to call him at anytime during the week before we started classes with questions. i'll never forget this one time i came home and from the minute i walked in the door ben was all over me. growling, blocking my path, wouldn't let me move, latching his teeth onto my sleeves. i immediately phoned the trainer whose voice i could hardly hear over what sounded like a rabid dog in the background! things calmed down a bit once we started classes, but the real change came when ben and i moved out on our own with no dogs to share his space. the training class i went to wasn't particularly fabulous though. so make sure you find a good one.

puppy4ever
September 12th, 2005, 04:38 PM
the training class i went to wasn't particularly fabulous though. so make sure you find a good one.

What wasn't good about it? What should I look for in a class?

We don't have any other doggies. I am counting that days down before his 2nd set of shots and puppy classes. He is getting worse. I have bite marks all over my hands and last night he bit my nose hard! I know he is a puppy but is this normal puppy behaviour? Sometimes he kinda snarls...it frightens me...do you think he is picking up on this?

He was such a sweet confident puppy with his littermates. :angel: What happened since then? I remember he was the last puppy to be picked up and apparently he was really unhappy being alone for 2 hours without his brother.

He was only 8 weeks when we got him but he seems to love other doggies much more than people. He gets really excited around them...jumping up and ready to play. We have introduced him to about 30 people so far and he is still sooo afraid of strangers. He will take the treat from them hesitantly and then run off. Everyone thinks he's abused but that isn't possible.

I'm frustrated and feel cheated. I've devoted so much of myself to him since I got him and nothing works...sorry needed to vent.

mars
September 12th, 2005, 07:16 PM
well i guess i would just have liked it cover more ground than sit come stay. but i suppose those are necessary foundations. one thing i did like, which i have been thinking i should maybe try again, was this excercise where you stand up with your dog on one side of you. you look at him and everytime he makes contact with you you give him a little treat. when i'm outside with ben i have a hard time getting him to pay attention to me. i'm trying to make a decision on training too. my dog needs it but i'm not sure what method i should go for, especially since there are a few out there who say they'll spend a few hours with you but don't tell you what method will be used. i actually have an appointment with one of them this weekend, but i've made up my mind to cancel it tomorrow morning. i suppose what i'd like to look for is a trainer that can tell me how to deal with the specific problems of my dog. when he was younger he also showed dominance. that one time i described as an example, and i remember another time he grabbed a piece of pizza i had bought and when i went to take it from him he bit my hand! little bugger. he's not that way now, although i do have issues with him pulling on the leash, with children and things like that that i think if his aggression was dealt with, or if i had trained him properly from an early age could have been avoided. i'm trying to find a trainer as well. i'll let you know if i have any luck.

puppy4ever
September 12th, 2005, 09:59 PM
i'm trying to find a trainer as well. i'll let you know if i have any luck.

Please do! Good luck!

mars
September 13th, 2005, 08:27 AM
thanks!!! ok, i have some leads. i talked to a lovely woman last night for over an hour who works for the mississauga leash-free parks. she's also been a dog-walker for the past 11 years and gave me recommendations for training schools she's heard good things about from some of her clients. i don't know if i can post numbers up here so i'll tell you how to get to them. oh wait, i can't remember where you live! well these are in the west. hopefully it'll help. the first one she mentioned is angel dogs training academy. i tried looking them up in the yellow pages online but there was no listing. i had to call info to get the number. they're in mississauga on mclaughlin road. another is "campaign" in georgetown http://www.campaigndogacademy.com/ who on their site recommends "tri-mark", you can get to the number if you click to look at one of the courses. another one she recommended was McCann's http://www.mccanndogs.com/intro.htm in dundas ontario. i'm going to look into angels as it's the closest to me although it's not that close. someone in my neighbourhood recommended to me this morning a place in scarborough called "who's walking who". there's one location in toronto, one in scarborough and one in ajax. and this guy has his dog off-leash and walking right beside him. he says it was great. the website for that one is http://www.whoswalkingwho.net/locations.html hope at least one of these is near your neighbourhood!

mars
September 13th, 2005, 08:30 AM
i'm on a roll here. hope you're not on the other side of the city! http://www.caninefriends.com/merch_services.htm

mars
September 13th, 2005, 08:32 AM
if these are totally out of your area, i would recommend calling the three i gave you before, angels campain and mccann, and asking them for recommendations close to where you are. most places will know of others with similar methods in different locations.

puppy4ever
September 14th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Thank you but I'm actually in another city and province. Will look around here for someone here. Appreciate the thought.