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Old October 18th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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Irocetan Irocetan is offline
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Location: Alberta
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Puppy snarling and growling when disciplined.

We have a 12 week old Bullmastiff cross that is starting to show a few issues. We've been working on training him to not pull while walking on a leash or pickup random pieces of trash. He's now getting frustrated and biting at the leash when he's held back or corrected.

It has now gotten to the point where he will snarl and growl when we try to take the leash out of his mouth. He gets extremely over excited while doing this and once we get the leash out he runs laps around us and trips all over himself, grabs the leash again once we have forced him to stop running.

Today was the first time he really started snarling at me, it was quite the surprise. Staring him in the eye and pinning him down only seemed to escalate it, I ended up carrying him back to the car and taking him straight home.

Last edited by Irocetan; October 18th, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 03:47 PM
webbdogs webbdogs is offline
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Smile Puppy Problems

Your pup is still quite young and a pup is much like a child. New stimuli = interest. As he is going to be a very large dog I would suggest to have as much fun with him as possible in as many new surroundings as you can find. Pups don't understand people etiquette and therefore must be taught that biting and snarling are wrong through assertive yet calm corrections. Just like a child, though, perfection cannot be reached without perfect leadership. Hope this helps. Have fun!
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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Irocetan Irocetan is offline
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Looks like my original post got deleted for some reason

Basically, we have a 12 week old neo/bull mastiff cross that we believe is getting frustrated with us on some walks and biting the leash. When we attempt to take the leash out of his mouth he actually starts snarling and flipping around as if he's never been on a leash before.

This morning when at the park I removed the leash from his mouth and pinned him down to try to get him to calm down a bit and he actually snarled at me.

This has all started in the last two days after several weeks of amazing behaviour and great results in training. We're hoping that the snarling isn't a sign of things to come when this guy is eventually 130+lbs.

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Old October 18th, 2009, 08:26 PM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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Is this basically what your puppy is doing with growling? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-srtL7420I
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do

The Spirit Lives As Long As Someone Who Lives Remembers You - Navaho Saying
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Old October 18th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Originally Posted by Irocetan View Post
Today was the first time he really started snarling at me, it was quite the surprise. Staring him in the eye and pinning him down only seemed to escalate it, I ended up carrying him back to the car and taking him straight home.
These aren't "issues" you're describing, it's perfectly normal puppy behavior. However, if you choose to continue with the pinning and staring, it may very well turn into something serious. He's acting defensively towards the aggression he perceives from you.

Please remember, he's only 12 weeks old. You can start light training but it should be incorporated into your daily routines and in playtime. He's only trying to discover his world, he's not pulling on leash to misbehave . At this point, walks should be short and sweet.

I strongly recommend you read this book, available as a free download, as soon as possible.


In regards to leash biting, simply purchase a taste deterrent such as Grannicks Bitter Apple available at most pet supply stores. Put the leash in a bath tub or sink, spray it down thoroughly, and let dry. Make sure you wash your hands afterwords because it really does taste .

Your pup is adorable. Remember, be patient and kind, reinforce good behavior, and keep your cool. You can look into joining positive reward-based training classes where you'll learn to teach him what to do rather than punish what you don't want him to do (and in turn, avoid any defensive/aggressive behavioral issues he may develop in the future).
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
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Old October 18th, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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When a puppy is learning to walk and follow you on a leash, there is a lot of confusion there and sometimes, frustration.

If you expect your puppy to walk beside you or follow easily, you're expecting him to understand what the leash is all about, which is not quite fair for him.

Generally leash-walking is fairly easy concept for pups to learn. But they are also learning that when the leash is on them, you control their speed and their movement, and often times this is not something that every puppy enjoys.

Make walks enjoyable. I don't think you need to make the walk short by any means - but you don't have to go a far distance to make a walk 'long'.

Change your pace. Have you tried to jog a bit with him, or run? Does your puppy put on the brakes when he gets a hold of the leash and start to pull back on it? Try moving more quickly, jogging a bit and then stopping abruptly. (Stomp each foot firmly but gently on the ground as you stop, putting his attention on your feet/legs/movement instead of the leash.)

Walk forwards, and then backwards. Zig zag. Walk ten paces, crouch down and call your puppy to you. Praise him when he comes and ignores the leash. Repeat.

Remember to change things up for him when he's outside - don't just expect him to want to walk forward on the sidewalk like all the other dogs you see, or even dogs you've had in the past, at this point in his leash training.

Bring along one of his toys and when he starts to bite the leash, innterupt that behavior by giving him his toy.

In the house, attach him to you on umbillical for at least an hour a day. Get him used to YOU directing his movements in his 'territory', and it will be a lot easier for him to make that transition outside.
"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater. . . suggest that he wear a tail."

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