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training class + gentle leader

koda's Mom
September 22nd, 2004, 04:46 PM
Koda and I are in in basic dog training classes. Koda is still nervous around people that he doesn't know, but is getting better. This is one of the reasons that we put him in classes. Last week when we were at class I asked the trainer about his shyness, as she would take his lead from me to walk him around or try and show me something, and he is seems what she called "spooked". He has never bite anyone, but is a nipper to us. Her suggestions was that I come to class with a gentle leader next time as he tends to nip anyone if they get close to him. I have seen the gentle leaders before and often thought that the might help in this nipping problem we have in the house even. I know that other people here have used them, and woundered what your suggestions are - thanks ;)

Mysts38
September 23rd, 2004, 07:14 AM
I used one for Cujo..a 95lb dog that didnt always walk properly on leash..and as soon as you put the gentle leader on he was a diff dog..By pulling gently on the lead..the gentle leader slowly and gently closes the dogs mouth...so it inhibits its ability to bite.

Writing4Fun
September 23rd, 2004, 08:56 AM
Lots of people in our puppy class use a halti - is that the same as a gentle leader? I never knew this inhibited their bite, I always thought it was just for pulling. However, if the pup is fear biting, I'd be leary of putting anything on him that would remove that avenue of defense. He just might end up feeling completely helpless, and IMO that won't help his confidence issues at all. Talk to your instructor privately, call them instead of waiting to do it in class when they're more likely to be distracted. If you trust them, then take their advice. Hopefully, an actual trainer will get on here and give you some solid advice. :)

Mysts38
September 23rd, 2004, 09:09 AM
Are basically the same thing,they just go on the head differently..if pulled gently they will work to close the mouth of the dog..not enough to hurt just gentle pressure

I preferred the gentle leader because of the way it fit..Cujo was able to get out of the haltie..the gentle leader he couldnt..the leader fits around the dogs snout,and then around the neck with a snap buckle..if I remember correctly the haltie fits around the snout and then around the neck and head?

Copper'sMom
September 24th, 2004, 02:22 PM
Koda's Mom

Here are a few suggestions so he learns to not be afraid of people:

1) with his leash and halti on, have him sit and you kneel beside him
2) have someone the dog doesn't know well, approach the two of you slowly at first until he gets used to people coming up to him. You can have the stranger say "Hi Koda" and see how he reacts.
3) when somone approaches him, if he appears spooked tell him no in a firm voice and make him sit and stay. Remember, you are trying to teach him strangers are okay. If you let him back off and say things like "It's ok Koda, mommy won't let him hurt you" in a high tone of voice, you will actually be telling him "It's ok Koda, to be afraid." Do you understand what I'm saying?? A dog learns what is right and wrong from the tone of your voice and your actions. A firm voice lets him no that his behaviour is unacceptable. A high tone of voice means he is doing something good and when he does something good he'll want to do it over and over to please his master. Plus there is always a chance of treats and positive attention afterwards.
4) Be sure that when he does act well behaved with a new stranger to give him plenty of praise and/or a treat. Make a big deal out of the situation so he knows he has done a good thing. If he acts spooked be firm, to the point and try again. Be patient as it will take time with any new training.

I hope this helps. If you don't understand something about the above let me know. OK? Good luck!!!

Copper'sMom
September 24th, 2004, 02:45 PM
Me again!

For the nipping, let him know it is not acceptable. Give him time out (yes! time out). If you are playing and he nips at you, tell him frimly NO and walk away from him. Ignore his repeated attempts to play with you again. Give him sometime to wind down and then try again later. He'll soon realize that everytime he bites, no one wants to play with him. If he wants the attention, he'll have to play nice.

If he is gnawing on you for example, a firm NO and replace your hand or foot with a toy.

You can also grab his lower jaw behind his canine tooth (the largest tooth)and apply a little pressure underneath his tongue right up near his teeth. This works well for my full grown Pit Bull to get him to let go of anything he's not supposed to have in his mouth.

The top of a dog's nose(snout) is a sensitive area. If I recall correctly, it's like a pressure point. Apply a little pressure with two fingers and he'll let go or stop what he is doing. That's what the halti/gentle leader does. When they pull they feel the pressure on top of their nose and they don't like it so they won't pull!

I'm assuming Koda is a puppy. If he is make sure he has plenty of chew toys. They do make toys especially for teethng to help soothe discomfort they may be feeling. Just remember, giving him a stuffed animal or old shoe etc will teach him he can chew on any stuffed animal or shoe(new or used) as dogs can't distinguish what belongs to you or to him.

Good luck and keep us posted!

koda's Mom
September 27th, 2004, 09:41 AM
Thanks for everyone's suggestions. Koda is actually 2 years old this November. He was a rescue dog that we received July 1st of this year. In some ways I think that it is harder for us to break this behavior of nipping us, as I think that it must not have been corrected where he was living before us? Hard to know. We are trying the ignore thing with him right now. He knows at certain times that his nipping is not tolerated and he actually remebers which is a good thing. He seems to be worse when the kids are around. If I am petting him on the couch, and he is calm and not nipping, my daughter will come over to love him too, and then the nipping really starts. We right away just stop what we are doing and leave him, hard to say if this is working we have been trying this method for about 2 months? I think that mabye he wants me all to himself - Crazy guy :)

rexdoggieowner
September 27th, 2004, 10:17 AM
thanks for adopting... aww... do you have a pic of him ?!

i LOVE the gentle leader, rex likes to bark a lot, so its good for that too...its like alll in one package!! lol :p

Copper'sMom
September 30th, 2004, 09:24 AM
When he starts to nip at your daughter make sure to tell him NO. He must be taught your daughter is alpha over him. Put him on a leash and help your daughter make him sit. Give your daughter a treat to give him when he sits on command. Tell him "nice" when she gives him the treat. Hold him if necessary so he doesn't jump at her. It's likely the dog lived with children before who tormented him OR he's never been around children at all. It's important to teach the dog and children how to interact with each other. Children should be calm around dog until he gets used to them. It will take time but in the end I believe you can change his bad habits. Just remember to teach the dog the children are alpha over him. Good luck! If you have questions, ask away and we will all be sure to help you! :)

Writing4Fun
September 30th, 2004, 09:31 AM
Another way to establish you daughter's dominance over him: get your daughter to do all the feeding. Obviously, it's your job to tell her when and how much, but make sure he sees her putting the food in the bowl every time. Make him sit and wait, don't let him just jump in and start eating. Only release him when your daughter gives him the command. This worked very well for my sister. Good luck!