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My dog bit me hard!

June 11th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Today I was trying to get my dog back on leash after being free in the backyard and he went into his usual temper tantrum...growling, lunging, barking & biting. This time he really hurt me...didn't break the skin but I am bruised and it stings!

When he is attacking me I can get him to lie down for a few minutes but after that, if I try to reach for his collar he starts all over again. As soon as he gets inside he is fine & acts okay.

Is this normal behaviour for a 1 year old dog?

June 11th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Is it a game to him, playing keep away from you?

The first command Cider was ever taught was 'gotcha' meaning I'm going to touch your collar. I call her to my front, she sits, I say gotcha and I can grab her. Makes life 100 times easier. Sometimes I do it just to remind her of the command and keep it fresh and make it a game where I release her, so it isn't always a no more fun thing.

June 11th, 2006, 11:06 PM
sounds like your dog needs boot camp, and fast!!! :eek:
For obedience training to proceed smoothly, your dog must consider you its alpha leader. This means that it considers YOU the boss. There are a number of exercises you can to to establish and maintain dominance over your dog. Individual dogs vary in submissiveness. If your dog is very submissive, you don't need to worry about establishing dominance (in fact, you may need to tone down your own dominating behavior to help bolster its confidence). Most dogs are happy to be submissive: just be sure to show approval at the occasional signs of submission, and assert dominance if it tries to test you (most dogs will, in adolescence). A very few dogs may be dominant and continually challenge you for dominance, in which case you will actively need to assert and establish your position, but this last is exceedingly rare.
More often, people will misinterpret adolescent high energy or bratty behavior as ploys for dominance when they are not. Think of a two year human child testing her parents. She's finding out what the limits are rather than actually "challenging" her parents for leadership. Puppies and young dogs do exactly the same thing. Correct them firmly, but don't go into an all out "dominance battle" -- it's inappropriate and your dog will begin to distrust you. Returning to the toddler analogy, the most you might do is a sharp word or a small swat on the rear. You would not pick her up, hold her against the wall and scream at her. Remember that most dogs are still "young" (in human terms, under 20 years of age) until they are two or three. In other words, don't confuse physical maturity with mental maturity.

Never mistake being alpha with punishment. An alpha leader is fair. An alpha leader deserves its position. An alpha leader does not use fear, punishment or brute force to achieve and maintain its position. An alpha leader, instead, makes it crystal clear what behaviors it approves of and which it does not. An alpha leader expects its subordinates to follow its lead, it does not force them to.

If you get mad at your dog, or angry or furious, you've lost the alpha position. Dogs do not understand fury. You have to be calm and focused.

Always show approval at signs of submission
Praise your dog when it drops its eyes first. Praise it when it licks you under the chin. Give it an enthusiastic tummy rub when it rolls over on its back.
Be consistent and fair in your corrections
You must demonstrate to your dog that it can trust your orders. Do not ever correct the dog after the fact. Such corrections appear to be arbitrary and unfair to the dog, because it has no associative memory the way people do.
If your dog is still a puppy, socializing it is a good way to gain its trust.

If you decide that some action requires correction, *always* give a correction when you see that action. For example, if you decide that your dog is not allowed on the sofa, then *always* correct it when you see it on the sofa.

Consistency can be a big challenge with a family: every family member must agree on the basic ground rules with the dog; when and for what it should be corrected, what commands to use and so on. Families must cooperate extensively to avoid confusing the dog. It is best if only one person actively trains the dog; thereafter if the commands are given the same way, everyone in the family can use them.

Finally, always use the minimum correction necessary. If a sharp AH-AH will do, use that rather than an alpha roll. If a pop under the chin will do, use that rather than a scruff shake.

Correct the dog's challenges
Especially during adolescence, your dog may test and/or challenge your position. Do not neglect to correct this behavior. You don't need to come down like a ton of bricks; just making it clear you don't tolerate the behavior is sufficient. For example, don't let your dog crowd you through the door, don't let him jump out of the car until you've given him permission, don't let him jump for food in your hand. Don't let him ignore commands that he knows.
Learn how to display alpha behavior
You may not need to use all of these, but you should be familiar with them. They are listed in "escalating" order. Do not use any of these if you are angry or upset. The point is never to hurt the dog, but to show it who is alpha. They work best if you are calm, firm, and matter of fact. Again, always use the minimum correction necessary.
More important than knowing how to perform an alpha roll is learning to play the alpha role. That means having the attitude of "I am always right and I will _never_ let my dog willfully disobey me" without ever becoming angry or giving up. Picture a small two-year old toddler, for example. You're not in a struggle over who's "Mom" but over what the child is allowed to do, and there's a crucial difference in the two.

Using an alpha roll on a dog who is already submissive but disobeys because it doesn't know what is expected of is destructive to the relationship between you and the dog. Likewise, using an alpha role on a dominant dog but not using any other positive reinforcements can alienate it. Most dogs never need to be alpha rolled in their lives.

Furthermore, alpha rolls are one of the strongest weapons in dominance arsenal. Save it for the gravest of infractions.

Being dominant is no substitute for learning to read and understand your dog. Proper obedience (which should be a part of any dog's life, even when "only" a pet) is a two way street and requires you to be as responsible to your dog as your dog is responsive to you.

There are a number of ways in demonstrating dominance:

Timeouts: put the dog on a down stay or if not yet trained to do so, put it in its crate quietly and without fuss. Fifteen minutes is fine. No yelling is necessary, keep it all very quiet. This is often suprisingly effective, since dogs are such social creatures.

Eye contact: alphas "stare down" subordinates. If your dog does not back down in a stare contest, start a verbal correction. As soon as it backs down, praise it.

Taps under the chin: alpha dogs nip subordinates under the chin as corrections. You can use this by tapping (NEVER hitting) your dog under the chin with one or two fingers. Don't tap on top of the muzzle, not only can you risk injuring your dog's sense of smell, you may make him handshy.

Grabbing under the ears: alpha dogs will chomp under subordinate dogs' ears and shake. You can mimic this by holding the skin under your dog's ears firmly and shaking. Again, do not use excessive force. Do this just enough to get the point across. DO NOT grab the top of the neck and shake. You may injure your dog this way.

Alpha roll: Pin the dog to ground on its side with feet away from you. Hold scruff/collar with one hand to pin head down (gently but firmly) with the other hand on hip/groin area (groin area contact will tend to cause the dog to submit to you.) Not recommended.
Insist on decorous behavior
Feed your dog after your own dinner. Make him lay down while you are eating rather than beg at your lap. Don't let it crowd through a doorway ahead of you. Don't let it hop out of the car until you say OK. There are a variety of small things you can do that assert your dominance in a non-traumatic way. If you're clever about it, you can use them to get a well-behaved dog (one that doesn't shoot out of the front door or scramble out of the car or beg at the table). In particular, putting a behavior that the dog wants to do on hold until you say OK is a very good way to be the alpha and keep the dog well behaved.
Make sure your dog obeys everyone in your family
This is a fairly important point. If your dog seems to have trouble obeying a particular family member, you must make sure it does so, by always backing up the family member when he or she tells the dog to do something. If the family member seems to be afraid of the dog, or is very young, then you should supervise all interaction until the problem is resolved.

June 11th, 2006, 11:18 PM
I was going to ask if you've taken him to obedience classes so I agree with technodoll. :pawprint:

June 12th, 2006, 12:03 AM
I used to be able to grab a hold of his collar (always giving him goodies after) he won't let me.

We are working with a trainer...the trouble is he is a fearful & sensitive dog but is also super bratty & does one deal with that?

That article is great & I have tried being alpha from day one. I pretty much try to practice everything there except when time is very limited...I know, I know consistency...yet no one is perfect.

"For example, don't let your dog crowd you through the door, don't let him jump out of the car until you've given him permission, don't let him jump for food in your hand. Don't let him ignore commands that he knows"

Can someone elaborate on the above? How do you not "let" an animal ignore your commands?

June 12th, 2006, 07:35 AM
Please don't alpha roll your dog.

I would keep your puppy leashed - let him drag a light 'house line' when you are supervising, so you have a 'handle' to quickly get control if he blows you off.

I personally am not of the mindset that dogs are planning to take over in a dominance coup (although there are SOME dogs, that given half a chance, will do whatever they please and to heck with what you want, I don't necessarily call this dominance - see Patricia McConnell's "The other end of the leash" and Suzanne Clothier's "Bones would rain from the sky").

Sitting at the door, however IS polite behaviour and a safety measure - a sitting dog isn't one that's bolting out before you have him leashed. The exercise is an easy one to teach - have the dog leashed, put him in a sit-stay, and put your hand on the door knob. If he holds the sit, give him a reward. Then try again - sit, touch the door - till he's not moving at all. Then Turn the handle and open the door slightly - reward if the dog stays, if not, shut the door and start over.

Work up to you opening the door wide and the dog is not to get up until you release him. Depending on you and your dog, you may be able to get this in one 10 minute session, or after a few practices.

June 12th, 2006, 07:48 AM
Just don't allow him to refuse commands. If he ignores your commands, make him comply. Never repeat commands.

My Saint is stubborn, expecially when told lay down. I go to him and help him down if he refuses. If he doesn't comply now all I have to do is get up and he starts to lay down before I get to him. They are just testing the waters to see what you will let them get away with.

June 12th, 2006, 08:09 AM
Even if you don't have very much time, you can practice a non-confrontational dominance program, often called No Free Lunch (NFL) or Nothing in life is Free (Nilif).
Basically you are just making your dog work for anything it gets. It can be really helpful and doesn't actually require any extra time on your part. Here is one good link, but a search should come up with others.

June 12th, 2006, 08:47 AM
I used to be able to grab a hold of his collar (always giving him goodies after) he won't let me.

As Mafiaprincess suggested, I'd go back to the "Gotcha!" game. everytime you grab his collar, say GOTCHA! praise & release. practice this numerous times a day if possible.

"For example, don't let your dog crowd you through the door, don't let him jump out of the car until you've given him permission, don't let him jump for food in your hand. Don't let him ignore commands that he knows"

Can someone elaborate on the above? How do you not "let" an animal ignore your commands?

Use commands he knows, such as WAIT, SIT, STAY. When I am about to go through a door, I tell my dog to WAIT. To get to that point, I simply didn't let him go in front of me. Imagine yourself a hockey goalie... your dog is the puck. don't let him score!!! block! instruct WAIT. continue this training. You are the boss, you decide when he can go through. If he tries to go before you, he'll have to go THROUGH you, which you are not going to let happen.

same for food in your hand, if he jumps for it, step backwards and/or turn away. I have a rule in my house, "ALL FOUR ON THE FLOOR". my dog gets nothing if he's jumping up, not even attention. not until all four are on the floor.

If he seems to be forgetting commands, back up a bit. simplify the command. For example... If I tell my dog "on your blanket" which means "go lay on YOUR blanket over there" and he ignores me, or flat out refuses, I simplify....

Tucker, Watch me! (get his attention)
Tucker, let's go! (walk him over to the blanket)
Tucker, SIT.
Tucker, Down.
Tucker, STAY.

I break the command down into a series of smaller commands. It reinforces the other commands, gets the same end result, and reminds my dog he doesn't get to ignore me.

June 12th, 2006, 08:55 AM
I agree making your dog work for things will make your life and the dogs work in harmony. Buddy is obiedient 95% of the time but when he does not listen we go back and do it until he does. I am the boss and I don't want him to think he is. But it is constant reminders even when they are trained. Technodoll gave some great advice and the gotcha game is good. I would also keep the pup on a long lead so if he decides not to listen you are one step ahead of him. Then when a command is ignored you can get him to you to start reinforcing the training. Does he dislike you touching his collar any other time or just when it is time to come in? If so then when you are just relaxing with him play with his collar while patting him to desensitize him

June 12th, 2006, 09:48 AM
really, like everyone has said... it's the daily, constant "little things" that you do that establish you as Pack Leader, someone your dog looks up to and respects. A dog that respects you will not snap, growl or bite you. they may on occasion "push the envelope" to see how much they can get away with, specially adolescent dogs, but in the end a firm reminder of who's in charge will make life so much more pleasant for everyone. Being "boss" does not mean being "military style", it just means setting ground rules and enforcing them *all the time*. Consistency is key.

here is a great site to get you started:

A lesson in becoming Alpha

"My dog just tried to bite me! All I did was tell him to move over so I could sit on the couch next to him."

"My dog got into the trash can and when I scolded her, she growled at me. What's wrong with her? I thought she loved me!"

"Our dog is very affectionate most of the time but when we try to make him do something he doesn't want to do, he snaps at us."

What do these three dogs have in common? Are they nasty or downright vicious? No - they're "alpha". They've taken over the leadership of the families that love them. Instead of taking orders from their people, these dogs are giving orders! Your dog can love you very much and still try to dominate you or other members of your family.

Dogs are social creatures and believers in social order. A dog's social system is a "pack" with a well-defined pecking order. The leader of the pack is the alpha, supreme boss, Top Dog. He (or she) gets the best of everything - the best food, the best place to sleep, the best toy, etc. The leader also gets to be first in everything - he gets to eat first, to leave first and to get attention first. All the other dogs in the pack respect the alpha dog's wishes. Any dog that challenges the alpha's authority gets a swift physical reminder of just where his place in the pack really is.

Your family is your dog's "pack". Many dogs fit easily into the lower levels of their human pack's pecking order and don't make waves. They do what they're told and don't challenge authority. Other dogs don't fit in quite as well. Some of them are natural born leaders and are always challenging their human alpha's. Other dogs are social climbers - they're always looking for ways to get a little closer to the top of the family ladder. These natural leaders and the social climbers can become problems to an unsuspecting family that's not aware of the dog's natural pack instincts.

Some families encourage their dogs to take over the "pack" without realizing it. They treat their dogs as equals, not as subordinates. They give them special privileges like being allowed to sleep on the bed or couch. They don't train their dogs and let them get away with disobeying commands. In a real dog pack, no one but the alpha dog would get this kind of treatment. Alpha doesn't have anything to do with size. The tiniest Chihuahua can be a canine Hitler. In fact, the smaller the dog, the more people tend to baby them and cater to them - making the dog feel even more dominant and in control of his humans.

Alpha dogs often seem to make good pets. They're confident, smarter than average, and affectionate. They can be wonderful with children and good with strangers. Everything seems to be great with the relationship - until someone crosses him or makes him do something he doesn't want to do. Then, suddenly, this wonderful dog growls or tries to bite someone and no one understands why.

In a real dog pack, the alpha dog doesn't have to answer to anyone. No one gives him orders or tells him what to do. The other dogs in the pack respect his position. If another dog is foolish enough to challenge the alpha by trying to take his bone or his favorite sleeping place, the alpha dog will quickly put him in his place with a hard stare or a growl. If this doesn't work, the alpha dog will enforce his leadership with his teeth. This is all natural, instinctive behavior - in a dog's world. In a human family, though, this behavior is unacceptable and dangerous.

Dogs need and want leaders. They have an instinctive need to fit into a pack. They want the security of knowing their place and what's expected of them. Most of them don't want to be alpha - they want someone else to give the orders and make the decisions. If his humans don't provide that leadership, the dog will take over the role himself. If you've allowed your dog to become alpha, you're at his mercy and as a leader, he may be either a benevolent king or a tyrant!

If you think your dog is alpha in your household, he probably is. If your dog respects only one or two members of the family but dominates the others, you still have a problem. The dog's place should be at the -bottom- of your human family's pack order, not at the top or somewhere in between.

In order to reclaim your family's rightful place as leaders of the pack, your dog needs some lessons in how to be a subordinate, not an equal. You're going to show him what it means to be a dog again. Your dog's mother showed him very early in life that -she- was alpha and that he had to respect her. As a puppy, he was given a secure place in his litter's pack and because of that security, he was free to concentrate on growing, learning, playing, loving and just being a dog. Your dog doesn't really want the responsibility of being alpha, having to make the decisions and defend his position at the top. He wants a leader to follow and worship so he can have the freedom of just being a dog again.

How to become leader of your pack
Your dog watches you constantly and reads your body language. He knows if you're insecure, uncomfortable in a leadership role or won't enforce a command. This behavior confuses him, makes -him- insecure and if he's a natural leader or has a social-climbing personality, it'll encourage him to assume the alpha position and tell -you- what to do.

"Alpha" is an attitude. It involves quiet confidence, dignity, intelligence, an air of authority. A dog can sense this attitude almost immediately - it's how his mother acted towards him. Watch a professional trainer or a good obedience instructor. They stand tall and use their voices and eyes to project the idea that they're capable of getting what they want. They're gentle but firm, loving but tough, all at the same time. Most dogs are immediately submissive towards this type of personality because they recognize and respect alpha when they see it.

Practice being alpha. Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Walk tall. Practice using a new tone of voice, one that's deep and firm. Don't ask your dog to do something - tell him. There's a difference. He knows the difference, too! Remember that, as alpha, you're entitled to make the rules and give the orders. Your dog understands that instinctively.

With most dogs, just this change in your attitude and an obedience training course will be enough to turn things around. With a dog that's already taken over the household and has enforced his position by growling or biting and has been allowed to get away with it, you'll need to do more than just decide to be alpha. The dog is going to need an attitude adjustment as well.

Natural leaders and social climbers aren't going to want to give up their alpha position. Your sudden change in behavior is going to shock and threaten them. Your dog might act even more aggressively than before. An alpha dog will instinctively respond to challenges to his authority. It's his nature to want to put down revolutionary uprisings by the peasants! Don't worry, there's a way around it.

An alpha dog already knows that he can beat you in a physical fight so returning his aggression with violence of your own won't work. Until you've successfully established your position as alpha, corrections like hitting, shaking, or using the "rollover" techniques described in some books will not work and can be downright dangerous to you. An alpha dog will respond to these methods with violence and you could be seriously hurt.

What you need to do is use your brain! You're smarter than he is and you can out think him. You'll also need to be stubborner than he is. What I'm about to describe here is an effective, non-violent method of removing your dog from alpha status and putting him back at the bottom of the family totem pole where he belongs and where he needs to be. In order for this method to work, your whole family has to be involved. It requires an attitude adjustment from everyone and a new way of working with your dog.

This is serious business. A dog that bites or threatens people is a dangerous dog, no matter how much you love him. If treating your dog like a dog and not an equal seems harsh to you, keep in mind that our society no longer tolerates dangerous dogs. Lawsuits from dog bites are now settling for millions of dollars - you could lose your home and everything else you own if your dog injures someone. You or your children could be permanently disfigured. And your dog could lose his life. That's the bottom line.

Canine Boot Camp for Alpha Attitude Adjustment
From this day forward, you're going to teach your dog that he is a dog, not a miniature human being in a furry suit. His mother taught him how to be a dog once and how to take orders. Along the way, through lack of training or misunderstood intentions, he's forgotten. With your help, he's going to remember what he is and how he fits into the world. Before long, he's even going to like it!

Dogs were bred to look to humans for food, companionship and guidance. An alpha dog doesn't ask for what he wants, he demands it. He lets you know in no uncertain terms that he wants his dinner, that he wants to go out, that he wants to play and be petted and that he wants these things right now. You're going to teach him that from now on, he has to earn what he gets. No more free rides. This is going to be a shock to his system at first but you'll be surprised how quickly he'll catch on and that he'll actually become eager to please you.

If your dog doesn't already know the simple command SIT, teach it to him. Reward him with praise and a tidbit. Don't go overboard with the praise. A simple "Good boy!" in a happy voice is enough. Now, every time your dog wants something - his dinner, a trip outside, a walk, some attention, anything - tell him (remember don't ask him, tell him) to SIT first. When he does, praise him with a "Good Boy!", then tell him OKAY and give him whatever it is he wants as a reward. If he refuses to SIT, walk away and ignore him. No SIT, no reward. If you don't think he understands the command, work on his training some more. If he just doesn't want to obey, ignore him - don't give him what he wants or reward him in any fashion.

Make him sit before giving him his dinner, make him sit at the door before going outside, make him sit in front of you to be petted, make him sit before giving him his toy. If you normally leave food out for him all the time, stop. Go to a twice daily feeding and you decide what time of day he'll be fed. Make him sit for his dinner. If he won't obey the command - no dinner. Walk away and ignore him. Bring the food out later and tell him again to SIT. If he understands the command, don't tell him more than once. He heard you the first time. Give commands from a standing position and use a deep, firm tone of voice.

If the dog respects certain members of the family but not others, let the others be the ones to feed him and bring the good things to his life for now. Show them how to make him obey the SIT command and how to walk away and ignore him if he won't do as he's told. It's important that your whole family follows this program. Dogs are like kids - if they can't have their way with Mom, they'll go ask Dad. In your dog's case, if he finds a member of the family that he can dominate, he'll continue to do so. You want your dog to learn that he has to respect and obey everyone. Remember - his place is at the bottom of the totem pole. Bouncing him from the top spot helps but if he thinks he's anywhere in the middle, you're still going to have problems.

Think - you know your dog and know what he's likely to do under most circumstances. Stay a step ahead of him and anticipate his behavior so you can avoid or correct it. If he gets into the trash and growls when scolded, make the trash can inaccessible. If he likes to bolt out the door ahead of you, put a leash on him. Make him sit and wait while you open the door and give him permission - OKAY! - to go out. If your alpha dog doesn't like to come when he's called (and he probably doesn't!), don't let him outside off leash. Without a leash, you have no control over him and he knows it.

Petting and attention:
Alpha dogs are used to being fussed over. In a real dog pack, subordinate dogs are forever touching, licking and grooming the alpha dog. It's a show of respect and submission. For now, until his attitude has shown improvement, cut down on the amount of cuddling your dog gets. When he wants attention, make him SIT first, give him a few kind words and pats, then stop. Go back to whatever it was you were doing and ignore him. If he pesters you, tell him NO! in a firm voice and ignore him some more. Pet him when you want to, not just because he wants you to. Also, for the time being, don't get down on the floor or on your knees to pet your dog. That, too, is a show of submission. Give praise, petting and rewards from a position that's higher than the dog.

If you or anyone in your family wrestles, rough-houses or plays tug of war with your dog, stop! These games encourage dogs to dominate people physically and to use their teeth. In a dog pack or in a litter, these games are more than just playing - they help to establish pack order based on physical strength. Your dog is already probably stronger and quicker than you are. Rough, physical games prove that to him. He doesn't need to be reminded of it!
Find new games for him to play. Hide & seek, fetch or frisbee catching are more appropriate. Make sure you're the one who starts and ends the game, not the dog. Stop playing before the dog gets bored and is inclined to try to keep the ball or frisbee.

Where does your dog sleep?
Not in your bedroom and especially not on your bed! Your bedroom is a special place - it's your "den". An alpha dog thinks he has a right to sleep in your den because he considers himself your equal. In fact, he may have already taken over your bed, refusing to get off when told or growling and snapping when anyone asks him to make room for the humans. Until your dog's alpha problems are fully under control, the bedroom should be off-limits! The same goes for sleeping on furniture. If you can't keep him off the couch without a fight, deny him access to the room until his behavior and training has improved.

Dog crates have 1,000 uses and working with an alpha dog is one of them. It's a great place for your dog to sleep at night, to eat in and just to stay in when he needs to chill out and be reminded that he's a dog. The crate is your dog's "den". Start crate training by feeding him his dinner in his crate. Close the door and let him stay there for an hour afterwards. If he throws a tantrum, ignore him. Don't let your dog out of his crate until he's quiet and settled. At bedtime, show him an irresistable goodie, tell him to SIT and when he does, throw the goodie into the crate. When he dives in for the treat, tell him what a good boy he is and close the door.

Graduating from Boot Camp: What's next?
Just like in the army, boot camp is really just an introduction to a new career and new way of doing things. A tour through boot camp isn't going to solve your alpha dog's problems forever. It's a way to get basic respect from a dog who's been bullying you without having to resort to physical force.

How long should boot camp last? That depends on the dog. Some will show an improvement right away, others may take much longer. For really tough cookies, natural leaders that need constant reminders of their place in the pack, Alpha Dog Boot Camp will become a way of life. Social climbers may need periodic trips through boot camp if you get lax and accidentally let them climb back up a notch or two in the family pack order.

How do you know if you're making a difference? If boot camp has been successful, your dog should start looking to you for directions and permission. He'll show an eagerness to please. Watch how your dog approaches and greets you. Does he come to you "standing tall", with his head and ears held high and erect? It may look impressive and proud but it means he's still alpha and you still have problems! A dog who accepts humans as superiors will approach you with his head slightly lowered and his ears back or off to the sides. He'll "shrink" his whole body a little in a show of submission. Watch how he greets all the members of the family. If he displays this submissive posture to some of them, but not others, those are the ones who still need to work on their own alpha posture and methods. They should take him back through another tour of boot camp with support from the rest of the family.

Obedience Training:
Once your dog has begun to accept this new way of life and his new position in the family, you should take him through an obedience course with a qualified trainer. All dogs need to be trained and alpha dogs need training most of all! You don't have to wait until he's through with boot camp to start this training but it's important that he respects at least one member of the family and is willing to take direction from them.

Obedience class teaches you to train your dog. It teaches you how to be alpha, how to enforce commands and rules, how to get respect and to keep it. All family members who are old enough to understand and control the dog should participate in the class.

Obedience training is a lifelong process. One obedience course does not a trained dog make! Obedience commands need to be practiced and incorporated into your daily life. In a dog pack, the alpha animal uses occasional reminders to reinforce his authority. Certain commands, like DOWN/STAY, are especially effective, nonviolent reminders of a dog's place in the family pack order and who's really in charge here.

A well-trained obedient dog is a happy dog and a joy to live with. Dogs want to please and need a job to do. Training gives them the opportunity to do both. A well-trained dog has more freedom. He can go more places and do more things with you because he knows how to behave. A well-trained dog that's secure in his place within the family pack is comfortable and confident. He knows what's expected of him. He knows his limits and who his leaders are. He's free from the responsibility of running the household and making decisions. He's free to be your loving companion and not your boss. He's free to be a dog - what he was born to be and what he always wanted to be in the first place!

good luck! and have FUN! :thumbs up

June 12th, 2006, 07:40 PM
Thanks for the advice. I've been extra careful today with making sure that I don't let him go inside ahead of me...this seems to take forever since we have such a windy stairwell...lots of sit - stays!

Anyway, I don't let him get away with much...he has to sit-stay for anything he wants - food, treats, water, going out, toys,etc. He is not allowed on our bed or on the couch...I move him out of my way sometimes and pin down his ears (not sure if that is a myth but I do it anyway).

I think keeping him on a leash is a good idea - inside & out. I notice that any freedom I give to him now - he abuses it! I will do the collar thing again too..will try inside and out. He only gets mad when I grabit outside as he doesn't want to come back in.

I think my dog is always in boot camp! :) We really do enforce all stated in that article. The only things I might be guilty of doing is giving him too much free attention (how can you resist when they come to you with ears flopping in the wind and a waggy tail?) & not be patient enough by waiting for him to come inside after me....just need to go sometimes!

He has been trying to get on the bed a lot lately and he also threw another tantrum today....trying to bite me because I told him to go outside of the room (he was chewing up things as I was packing). He's out of control! Totally rebelling. I'm starting to really worry about this now.

The puzzling thing is that he always comes to me in a submissive posture...never dominant.

June 12th, 2006, 08:47 PM
How much exercise is he getting? (physical and mental exercise, that is)

June 12th, 2006, 10:41 PM
How much exercise is he getting? (physical and mental exercise, that is)

I have been taking out for about an hour a day (2 x 1/2 hour walks) + 1-3 hours on the weekend however, recently I have cut down to just one 1/2 hour walk a day as I have been preparing to move (reminds me of a question I need to ask). He is VERY high energy...actually come to think of it I've rarely seen him pooped out after a walk...well maybe after the 3 hour hikes when he is off-leash!

Could it be that simple? That he just needs more exercise??

June 12th, 2006, 11:04 PM
Could quite easily be part of it. I need to rollerblade with my cocker spaniel every other day, and do things that require more mental stimulation on the inbetween slower days along with walks and often jogging, and fetch. And even then she's not always fully zonked. If I'm not vigilant I get extra nipping, growlign while zooming like the pony express running through the house, and lots of above and beyond the norm of not listening.

June 12th, 2006, 11:38 PM
I hope that is it! I'm lovin you for suggesting it...I know others have before...sometimes it takes a few times to set in.

"If I'm not vigilant I get extra nipping, growlign while zooming like the pony express running through the house, and lots of above and beyond the norm of not listening."

Sounds like my guy!

I could use the exercise as well. Thanks for this!

June 12th, 2006, 11:44 PM
No prob. I was bad we took a low key walk yesterday. When we went to excercise today I got the pony express with the full on vocals.. lol. We had to run at top speed around the yard to get enough calmness to do some agility.
I never knew how much excercise my girl needed to be a 'good dog' until maybe 2 months ago. Would have been a much easier last 12 or months if I had known that I needed to get out and make my butt smaller by playing with my dog :rolleyes: :p

June 13th, 2006, 07:54 AM
Sometimes its just that easy - I know my labrador gets very naughty if I'm not giving him his walks, and he's seven.

Does he like to play with other dogs? 20 minutes of rough housing is worth an hour's walk.

June 13th, 2006, 09:08 AM
pin down his ears (not sure if that is a myth but I do it anyway).

huh? pin down his ears? ok, explain that one please. :confused: what purpose does it serve?

I will do the collar thing again too..will try inside and out. He only gets mad when I grabit outside as he doesn't want to come back in.

he thinks you're playing with him. My dog does the same thing, and he knows "gotcha". When outside, I don't even attempt to grab him, instead, I give the command HOUSE! I said HOUSE everytime we went inside the house, and now, all I do is point to the door, say HOUSE, and he comes right in. no chasing around. of course, REWARD when he does come in on his own.

He has been trying to get on the bed a lot lately and he also threw another tantrum today....trying to bite me because I told him to go outside of the room (he was chewing up things as I was packing). He's out of control! Totally rebelling. I'm starting to really worry about this now.

I'd correct the biting and/or chewing right then & there, in the moment, with a STERN "NO BITE!" then ask for a down/stay. dogs are "in the moment". correction & training must be in that same moment. additionally, if you are trying to pack and the dog is getting into stuff, give him something to occupy himself. I keep some extra fun things around for times I'm too busy for my dog. (i.e. a new nylabone, a real bone, a stuffed kong, a treat ball, etc... )

If you are in the process of moving, and it's hard to get in multiple walks a day, I suggest multiple short training sessions, daily. Training can really tire out a dog too. (and improve those manners! ;) )

June 13th, 2006, 11:32 AM
huh? pin down his ears? ok, explain that one please. what purpose does it serve?

I'm not sure & that's why I mentioned that it didn't know if it were a myth or not. I found it a long time ago on a humane society's webpage:

Look 3 up from the end of list. I can't see that it would do any harm...I'd probably do it anyway since I can't resist playing with his ears!

I give the command HOUSE!

Will try this though I am doubtful about it's effects. The command "come" was turned into "now"...with chicken giblets, peanut butter & all the yummy things as a reward! It has lost it's power as the pull to be outside is stronger for him. He will stop and look at the door but then he is off to do his own thing. I think a leash is the only option for now. Good idea to reinforce every time going in though...will give a whirl.

dogs are "in the moment"

I couldn't agree with this more! My guy knows my dad, "Grampa". As we are getting in to the car to go see him...I will tell him we are going to see Grampa. Everytime he will stop and look around for Grampa in a frenzy right then & there. :D

June 16th, 2006, 06:33 PM
Please don't alpha roll your dog.

. Yes, Im no expert, but everything Ive read of late advises not to do this. A friend of mine tried it with Rocky years ago, in our case it was quite commical cause Rocky thought they guy was playing with him and had a great time slipping away as the guy was trying to demonstrate the "alpha role" so no harm done. The guy was the husband of a dog trainer, so I tried to take it seriously, but I knew I couldnt physically do it and luckily didnt try, since everything I now hear says "no roll"
I did adapt that and sometimes make him lie on his side but usually I just do a down. I dont think it makes much difference, its just that youve given a command with a stern voice and that puts you back as the "alpha" where you belong.

June 16th, 2006, 06:46 PM
One thing you want to avoid is having him view the grabbing him by the collar as a negative experince, if each time you go to grab him and he acts up and he gets scolded, he may not associate the scolding with his misbebehaviour but instead knowin it what following the act of you grabbing him collar, so you may infact cause him to avoid you even more

Cut off the handle of an old leash and clip that to his collar when you head out to the yard, , it allows you to get hold of him with less risk to yourself and possible worry to him, when you need to get hold of him get hold of the leash end and stand quietly and ignore if he acts up when he settles down and only then then reach for his collar, he should be more will to accept and he should be rewarded at the moment you successly get hold of his collar