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  #31  
Old December 20th, 2009, 11:11 PM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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By putting your hands in his dish and taking his bone away from him - you are inadvertantly teaching him that his food/bones NEED to be protected. Stop. Take a deep breath and lets look at this from a slightly different perspective. Please bear in mind that I have a very confident, well bred 17 week old rottweiler puppy in my house and we are going through many of the same issues.

First off - it takes your puppy about 5 minutes to eat a meal. Leave him alone to eat in peace. If you must, walk by and drop a bit of something yummy in the dish. Teaching your pup that good things come when you walk by his dish is much more productive then teaching your pup that the dish will disappear, or your hand will go in it. If you have young children in the house to worry about - feed your puppy in his crate or in a closed room.

Your bone issue, this one is going to take a bit more work. Again - if you have small children to worry about, bones should only be given in a crate or closed room. If you want to take a new bone from your puppy - you need to teach it that this is not a bad thing. I use string cheese. If your puppy lets you have the yummy bone - he gets a yummy piece of string cheese in return. And in a few seconds, he can have the bone back. Remember - don't do this too often.

It really is ideal for your puppy to be able to chew on a bone in peace. After all, I am sure you don't like other people taking away your bowl of ice cream or sticking their fingers in your dinner.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 12:10 AM
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I just want to add how adorably cute this little guy is! Oh my goodness... those wrinkles, that sweater... and how he is sitting the last picture too cute! You must be so proud!

I think you have received a ton of great advice on here and I wish you the best of luck! I think if you are persistant, stay calm, and have calm-assertive energy, your pup will respond favorably.

Another suggestion... as soon as he is old enough, I would strongly encourage you to get into obedience classes! I know for myself, when I got my girl Brynn we took 2 classes and it was a huge help in establishing that I am the alpha of the pack and helped strengthen our bond!

Stay patient It's hard I know, but no one ever said puppies were easy! As I am sure anyone whose ever had a pup on here can agree with!

Keep us posted with his progress!
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  #33  
Old December 21st, 2009, 12:13 AM
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Excellent advice from Luckypenny and LavenderRott .

Remember also that patience and a calm, quiet attitude are great helps with puppies. Whenever I got really frustrated with Riley the best thing often was a short time out for us both .
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  #34  
Old December 21st, 2009, 12:27 AM
Beauceron Beauceron is offline
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Everything you describe is normal puppy behavior.

As you may know from the breeder, Viszla's are often called Velcro dogs, though this is not uncommon behavior with a pup.

Pushing a dog has the opposite effect of what's intended. It's called the opposition reflex or oppositional response. This is also why you get a more intense response with the biting on the pants.

I would simply say NO and then walk away from the game and leave him alone. To a pup, that's one hell of a consequence. Come back 30-60 seconds later and play again.

As far as the resource guarding, it's entirely normal. I would follow Lavender's advice and in addition teach the dog to trade items for higher value items - this later transitions into equal value, lesser value (the dog's idea not yours) and eventually into a 'give/leave'
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  #35  
Old May 19th, 2010, 09:53 PM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Hi

I'm just dying to know how you are getting on. We have a 13 week old Vizsla girl puppy who has been behaving very similarly.

We've had a few bumps along the way, since we got her (most confident puppy of her litter) at 8 weeks. She growled at us softly if she didn't want to be brought inside for example after playing, right from day one. I didn't think anything of it. But at about 10 weeks she got ear infections, that we're still trying to get on top of. The growling rapidly increased after the vet pinning her down on the table, and instructing us to do that twice a day to the put the drops in.

Since then we've realised that the aggressiveness has increased. We do the drops with food, and on our knee in a relaxed position, she's much better. But the growling and occasional warning bite (no skin punctures) have not gone completely. So on Tuesday I had a trainer come out, she promised she would only do gentle methods. She pushed her with some commands on a lead, Ayla didn't want to comply, so she snarled, growled.... A few minutes later she has my dog restrained accross her knee, head under he arm. She lets her go when she relaxes and gives her heaps of treats and praise.

We're to do that once a day to get her to accept us as leaders. The trainer says she is dominant aggressive.

But what i find is that when I am positive with her, use NILIF, massage her to help her like my hands, use a lead for time out.... she improves. But if she is bad, then I get stressed, she gets worse.... and then she's growlign again, and this time for new things. At the end of a long walk today she lost it, started growling and snarling at hte leash. Was that directed at me, I have no idea, or is she just over tired. I put her inside for a nap.

Anyway, because of the similarities I just wondered if you had some good news for me - how is your dog now? Need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Regards
Michal
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  #36  
Old May 19th, 2010, 11:05 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Didn't realize this was an old post at first and was about to respond with advice.

Wonder if these people kept the puppy since they never posted again?

Just for educational reference for everyone that might read the thread though, what was described was pretty normal puppy behavior and I agreed with LavenderRott and others. Owners escalated the situation by taking stuff away with no reward for the items being taken and hassling the puppy around feeding time. The nipping during play was normal behavior. My hands had puncture wounds all over them when Walnut was a puppy, she was a ROUGH player and it took awhile to get through to her that she was hurting us. It's also normal behavior for a puppy to do that to test the owners and see if they can get away with it.

I really do hope the people kept the dog though and worked through the problems

Michalguy, I would be concerned about a trainer that uses the methods you described. Giving tons of treats for being relaxed and submissive is ok, but getting her to that point by restraining her under the arm until she does so can cause aggression issues in the future. I might ask how much experience this trainer has and where she learned her methods? What you describe is similar to an alpha roll, where you force the dog to physically submit, and that is often a bad idea. It's not even a necessary tactic to teach dogs to behave or show submissive behavior. The dog shouldn't respect people because they can physically overpower them. What happens when you try to do this with a very large breed like a mastiff? It may work while they're small as a puppy, but what about when they try to challenge you in their "teenager" stage when they're much bigger? Other methods need to be sought.

The dog needs to be taught respect by not being given any leeway when they misbehave or want their own way. You should stay calm in all situations (as you said, when you get stressed, she gets more stressed. Or more likely she sees you get frustrated and sees it as a good time to challenge you). If you start to get frustrated take a time out. Put the puppy away for awhile and go get your head together and calm down. Trying to train and solve behavior when you're frustrated or angry is going to make things worse.

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  #37  
Old May 20th, 2010, 12:32 AM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Hi

Thanks for your advice, I'm gutted that I haven't heard from the Vizsla owner to say that things are all rosey now!

But you have been definately reassuring. We have made a mountain out of a mole hill I think. She is a confident dog, and can be aggressive, but I guess we just need to steer her int eh right direction and not get adversarial with her.

The trainer is pretty much the only trainer in my area, she has worked with dogs for 30 years and reakons the restraining till they relax is the way to go while they are small to change their personality or behaviour while we can.

My head is so overwhelmed with stuff, I've done nothing but read up on dog stuff every spare minute to try to figure out what to do. Thats why I got the trainer, thought it would be better if someone with some experience could tell me in person what to do after they assessed the situation. She saw her growling & snarling and then could make her assessment on what the cause was.

I think though that I'm going to stick to my postive methods, not give Ayla anything without a sit first, going to time her out (nicely) for misbehaviour. I've been so frustrated wtih her at times, at first I was pickign her up and hiffing her in her crate for time out. Then I was told to use a lead because she was growling when I touched her (good advice I think, cut down on teh association with my hands and time out). But now I still find myself so angry and also a little bit scared when she is aggressive that I drag her to the door (don't use the crate for time out anymore, also good advice).

So i'm going to work on my calm aura like you said. Will be good for me anyway, and for the kids, 2 1/2, 4 and 6, who are finding life a lot more stressful with a dog int hehouse because I'm so much more stressed.

Oh and my name looks like a guys name, but its not, I'm the mum of the house.

Kind regarsd
Michal
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  #38  
Old May 20th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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I have had dogs in my life for 30+ years and while I might not be a professional trainer, every one of my dogs has been trained to some degree. I can remember in the 70's when the method of choice was a choker and you drug your dog around by the collar until it figured out what you wanted it to do. Aggression in a dog was met by aggression from the owner/handler/trainer. Now - I am not going to say that these methods didn't work but the relationship between dog and trainer/owner certainly suffered.

Your dog doesn't know "time out" from the moon. The minute you start feeling like you just can't deal with whatever your dog is doing - give it a bone and put it in the crate! You sure aren't punishing her - you are keeping both of you safe.

As for dealing with her aggression - if that is in fact what it is - think of it like this: You are mad at your spouse so you yell at him - he yells back. Do you calm down or get more angry? And the more the yelling goes back and forth - the angrier the two of you get. Finally - you slap your husband across the face (this is a pretend argument!)! That certainly isn't going to make him suddenly calm!! Chances are he is going to slap back! The same thing with this aggression with your dog.

Your puppy is just a baby! At 13 weeks old - the only way it knows to tell you of her displeasure with anything in her life is a growl and a snap. I highly doubt that she is really aggressive - but she can become that way if rough methods of training are used.
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  #39  
Old May 20th, 2010, 04:30 PM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Thank you so much for your advice.

Her ears have flared up again, despite the fact I've been putting drops in, maybe I haven't been using enough. Last night I felt sorry for her and let her sleep on the couch. The first time she growled so I used peanut butter on my hands to help get her off (she licked my hands while hubby lifted her), worked a treat. Then (I know this is silly, shouldn't have let her back up to rehearse the same situation) she snuck up again. This time the peanut butter didn't work. So lesson learned, I just shouldn't let her on the couch, especally when her ears are bad.

This morning she was mouthing my hands, then she grabbed my jumper sleeve and wouldn't let go. Got back on her haunches and starts growling. I think this is her wanted attention from me and also tryign to play a game. She only does it with me. So from today on I have vowed to not let her mouth on my hands unless I offer, she can practice her soft mouth on my hubby. And I'm just going to have to be tougher on the grabbing at my clothes. Not mean, just tougher as in as soon as I've got her off I'm going to remove myself from the situation, or her, nicely like you said, put her in her crate. I've been watching her with my six year old, she is so gentle, never mouths, never grabs her clothes, never ever would growl. I think its because my daughter has never been anything but gentle with her.

I think I need to change the script between her and I, she needs to find more positive ways we can interact, it tummy rubs, licking etc. I'll make it my mission for the weekend.

Oh and we have upped the exercise. More gentle walks and more play dates.

I've been practicing gentle restraint, so I have treats in my hand, and hold her on my knee in a cuddle - her facing away from me. She relaxes and I give her treats. Do you think this is a good idea?

Comments on my strategies greatly appreciated. I need to believe in her that she is a loving dog with a gentle nature, not the snarling evil dog I see her flip into occasionally. And it makes me scared - not of her, but of what if she was big. Always been quite dog phobic, so I guess this might be part of the problem. Perhaps she senses my issues.

Kind regards
Michal
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  #40  
Old May 20th, 2010, 04:49 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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hey michalgry,,i am going to say that most definately the pup can sense your fear. Going to make a couple of suggestions. First thing NILF is an excellent idea,add to it umbillical training..attach the leash around your waiste then hook it to the pups collar. You move she has to move, you sit she sits. Feeding of course make her sit/stay. Now for your fear. Is she doing things like standing in your path, blocking you just in general getting in the way. When entering the house at the end of the day, don't ooooh and aaaaah her,,walk right past her and do what you have to for a few minutes before you make any contact with her. If she is blocking your path,,continue walking straight at her, don't step around her, don't look at her just keep walking. LR and MBIE are giving great advice as i'm sure a few of the others will too.
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  #41  
Old May 20th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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michalgry, sorry I didn't mean to imply you were a guy. I misread the latter half of your name!

I think your fear is definitely hurting the situation. People that don't have a lot of experience with dominant dogs tend to get fearful when the dog tries to challenge them. Just know that the dog isn't doing this maliciously and may not even know that they're hurting you. Puppies can be ROUGH. I think what happened is the first time the puppy showed this type of behavior you probably overreacted out of fear and now the puppy thinks it can challenge you or is a bit confused as to how to react themselves because you've shown fear of their behavior.

What you're doing now seems like an ok strategy. The big thing is to not react fearfully or angrily, and sometimes you may be doing this without even realizing it, so always keep in mind how you're acting when you react. You may want to have someone else watch you and point out when you seem overly frustrated or fearful.

Lavenderrott's scenario about getting into a fight with your spouse is a good one. When you react angrily a dominant dog will react back. A submissive dog would either become fearful or grovel at your feet in appeasement, but a dominant dog sees your anger as weakness and instability, so it makes them want to take over the situation. You should appear as calm and stable at ALL times, even during corrections. You never need to use an angry or loud voice, just firm. When you tell your kids to do something do you scream? (well maybe you do, but you shouldn't ) or do you just firmly tell them to do it?

Also keep your body language in mind. Stand tall and appear sure of yourself. You don't need to take an aggressive stance as if you're ready to strike back, just hold your posture as if you're not worried, you're confident, kind of like a businesswoman or something. And don't be wishy washy about your rewards and corrections. If the dog bites play stops IMMEDIATELY. No ifs ands or buts. And work on getting the dog to bite toys. While the dog is biting and playing with a toy everything is a-ok. As soon as he goes for your hands no more play.

Hopefully you'll keep posting as you try things out and we can give more advice. I know it seems overwhelming at first because there is A LOT to learn, and so many different training strategies that people tell you you should use. and some dogs can recognize subtleties with emotion, body language, etc. better than others. You may want to start your own thread so more people will see your post and be able to give you advice.

Just a suggestion. When you're asking for advice on a message board you may want to stick with just this one for now. I don't say this because it's better than others (though I think it is obviously otherwise I wouldn't be posting!) but because a lot of the regulars here have similar training methods and there are a lot of people experienced with dominant personality dogs. So it will cut down on confusion if you don't post here and then go to another message board where someone will give you completely different advice about what to do. If you're confused the dog will be confused because you're switching back and forth between one training method and another. Dogs THRIVE on stability and routine, so owners often make the mistake of trying several different training methods at once, which is just confusing for both owner and dog.
Often people make this mistake because they don't see progress IMMEDIATELY. Progress is almost never immediate with training and it takes a lot of repetitions. So when you switch to another method you may be starting all over again which makes it just seem to take longer to get results.

Last edited by MyBirdIsEvil; May 20th, 2010 at 05:30 PM.
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  #42  
Old May 20th, 2010, 07:10 PM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Hi

Thanks for the advice. Remember though my main problem is the growling and snarling when she doesn't want to be moved - not so much the mouthing. She went for a play date this morning was havign a good time with a mature dog. But I needed to take her and put her in the car. All was fine until I lifted her into the car (its too far for her to jump). This has been a problem area before. And today her ears annoying her, she's shaking her head and scratching, so they're obviously annoying. Plus I'm taking her away from her friend, and I had no treats in the boot. So I pick her up, talking calmly which normally seems to help. But she still growls and snarls at me. I just put her in, say nothing, just do it.

Is that the best thing? Obviously in future I should try not get in that situation. Maybe I should have had a treat in the boot or a toy she wanted. And work on my over all stategy of being firm and assertive with her like you say, so she doesn't walk all over me in general. Might try the umbilical idea. I'm a stay at home mum - so it would be exhausting, but I could do it for some time.

This the only forum I'm on - don't worry. But I do read DogStarDaily as well, but don't post. It seems to be full of great advice, that I shoudl have followed. I thought we were playing tug by the rules, but then I discovered I wasn't training her to let go on command (with trades). It had been 4 weeks of playing bad tug. So ofcourse now she thinks she can play tug with my clothes from time to time. She is so smart too. She knows that if I say "off" and am within arms reach of a good treat, shell get off, but if I'm not near a treat or only have an average treat, she won't get off. Then I end up prizing her mouth open, which she actually seems to enjoy! So - just can't get in those situations.
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  #43  
Old May 20th, 2010, 07:30 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Tug can definitely be an issue if you don't play it right. This is why we do it different ways depending on the dogs personality.
For instance, a dog that's insecure and submissive, you might allow to win tug of war games to build confidence. A dog that's already dominant or confident is the opposite, you don't want them to learn that they can constantly take the toy away.
Personally, the release command is one of the first things I teach my puppies and anyone elses dog I'm working with. Not only is this important so the dog knows they must release possessions, but also important if they get a hold of something dangerous and you need them to drop it. If your dog somehow gets a bottle of pills for instance, you don't want them to run off with it and play keep away. I teach release by having the dog bring items and then giving a treat and saying "drop it." In time you'll find that the dog if it gets a hold of something it shouldn't have, such as socks or anything else it might find, will happily bring you the item and drop it. My new puppy does this with shoes. She picks them up gets really excited and brings them to me and drops them. She does this just for praise and belly rubs though, as some dogs are motivated just fine by that kind of stuff. At first when I got her from my sister in law she would grab items and run off and try to hide, because they'd been scolding her for having items she shouldn't have, instead of keeping those items away in the first place.

As far as the snarling when you pick her, up I do wonder if the ear infection isn't aggravating it. I've found dogs that have severe ear infections to be very unpleasant and turn into completely different dog when the issue is taken care of.
Regardless, you probably want to avoid picking her up for now. When loading her into a vehicle could you maybe make a ramp and lead her in, giving her a treat once she's in? Right now it seems like she's assuming every time you pick her up it's a bad thing and you're going to put her somewhere she doesn't want to go. Don't pick her up to put her anywhere, get a treat and lead her there voluntarily. You will want to teach her that being picked up or handled isn't a bad thing, so you don't want every time she's picked up to be a bad experience.

Try not to pry her off your clothes since it's non-effective in your case. With my 90 lb puppy it's not even a CHOICE, as she has such strong jaw strength my 220 lb husband can pry at her jaws to no avail. Physical manhandling rarely gets you where you want. As I said, start teaching the release command. ONLY give treats once she fully releases. It will take awhile for her to become consistent, but eventually you won't need treats all the time. To avoid her looking to you for treats you can throw them. When she releases throw the treat AWAY from you and let her get it. You could even have someone else give the treat to her so she's not constantly looking for you for the treats. She needs to realize the treats aren't a product of you, but a product of her response. The treats could come from anywhere, but she only gets them if she obeys the command.

Remember that training dogs is simply getting them conditioned to doing certain things.

I mentioned something about this in another thread, concerning recall. When an animal hears a can opener or a food bag,etc. they will respond as if they're going to be fed. Do they have to be fed EVERY time for them to respond this way? Nope. They've simply been conditioned that those noises = good things happening. Once they learn they will always have that response to that noise because they know a high value item COULD appear, even if it doesn't every time. Do you need to put a lot of effort into getting this response? Nope. The animal figured it out just from consistent repetition and reward. You don't even have to do it over and over and over again daily. You can feed twice a day and the animal will develop this response.

Training shouldn't be frustrating and aggravating for either of you. It should always be fun and light. If it turns aggravating or frustrating it's often because the owner expected too much at once or didn't give the dog a clear order. If the dog doesn't respond it's because they don't UNDERSTAND or they don't have a reason to respond. The whole point of training is trying to give the animal a reason to respond to what you ask and get them to repeat with consistency.

It really sucks that there's not a really good trainer in your area. It would go much smoother if someone with a lot of experience, that doesn't use negative reinforcement training, could show you how to interact and assess your own behavior. You're on your own trying to find answers online, and don't get frustrated and impatient, just realize it will take a long time and a ton of mistakes to figure out what you're doing. Don't dwell on the mistakes you've made, they can be corrected though consistency and patience. What matters is that NOW you start being consistent, patient and reasonable, and eventually the dog will catch onto that attitude and start to understand what you want.
Certain days it will start to seem like you backslide and you may get frustrated, but eventually the good days will outnumber the bad.

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  #44  
Old May 20th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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Please remember - at 13 weeks, she is just barely 3 months old! That is very young! You did EXACTLY the right thing putting her into the car - ignore the "bad" behavior and go on with what you need to do with her.

Try this exercise - (we do it in Stark's "puppy" class every week, he is 9 months old!) : Get your puppy and sit comfortably on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Maneuver puppy onto her back on your legs and gently hold her there until she stops trying to get up. Trust me, it may take a few minutes, but she will settle down. Talk to her in a normal tone of voice (no high pitched baby talky voice) as you tell her to settle. Don't get aggravated - remember that this is a very submissive position for your little hellion! Once she settles down, rub her tummy, handle her feet, look at her teeth - stuff like that. Start out slow - the first night you might just settle for her submitting and a little tummy rub. DO NOT LET HER UP UNTIL SHE HAS DONE THIS AND RELAXED FOR 30 SECONDS. She needs to learn that she can trust you and that it is safe for her to submit to you.

There are two rules to this exercise - the first is that you have to stay calm. The second is - no treats except calm, soft words and gentle touches. It helps if you do it after some exercise - a long walk or a game of fetch in the yard.

If you do this every evening while you watch a favorite t.v. show - by the end of a month you should be able to do this with no problems and it comes in very handy for nail trimming and ear drops.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 07:57 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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Not sure I agree with the holding on the back thing. It doesn't work with all dogs and I've seen it cause more aggression than less because they don't understand why they're being forced down. Mainly I don't even think it's a necessary tactic when you're trying to teach the dog that handling is a good thing It can especially turn counterproductive when someone doesn't have a lot of experience with dogs. You're talking about a scenario where the owner is already getting frustrated, and what happens when the dog simply refuses to submit? Dogs will lash out aggressively sometimes when put in an uncomfortable situation, and holding them on their back can be one of those situations. What we're trying to do here is PREVENT an aggressive response, not encourage it.

Not to say I disagree with the tactic altogether, I just don't think it needs to be physically forced, as in putting them on their back immediately. This is akin to an alpha roll in a lot of respects. I think it should be done in steps, such as getting the dog to lay calmly on their stomach first. Then calmly on their side, etc. Where trust hasn't been established holding a puppy on their back by force is counterproductive. You just can't establish trust by FORCING trust through physical means. You can force a desired response, but are you really building trust here? And I think this is the case here where the puppy is already lashing out aggressively just by being handled in general. Being handled needs to be made a GOOD thing, not a thing where the puppy needs to completely leave their comfort zone by force.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:06 PM
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In other words, I err on the side of caution. Is there another tactic that can be used that DOES NOT require physical restraint? If yes, then use that other tactic, even if it is a bit slower, because it doesn't have a chance of causing the opposite reaction than you were looking for.

Taking things one step at a time and slowly is more consistent and effective in the long run, IMO, not to mention easier and less frustrating for someone that is just learning about dog training.

Michalgry: You mentioned you'd been reading dogstardaily. I dunno much about them since I've never read it, but here's an article I agree with on alpha roll and why it's not the best tactic:
http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/al...-or-alpha-role

I also agree with the writer as a 5'1" woman myself that has worked with large dogs (I have a 90lb+ 10 month old puppy right now) that there are much better means to training than physical force. Physical tactics that are SUPPOSED to work aren't an option for me in the first place, especially once the dog has outgrown ability to use physical restraint in that manner. Try rolling my greater swiss mountain dog onto her back by FORCE? Yeah right, if you want to get kicked in the face by a huge paw.

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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:13 PM
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Personally - I think we are giving this very young puppy, who is reacting to what it doesn't like with temper tantrums some "aggression" issues that it just doesn't have. Sounds very much like a confident young pup who doesn't know what is going on or what is expected but has learned how to get what she wants - to be left alone.

Ok. While I don't agree that the exercise I described is even closely related to an alpha roll (which is something that is done as a correction for an aggressive act and certainly not something I would EVER in a million years tell a novice owner to attempt!) working up to laying her on her back by getting her to lie quietly on her side and going from there would work.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Ok. While I don't agree that the exercise I described is even closely related to an alpha roll (which is something that is done as a correction for an aggressive act and certainly not something I would EVER in a million years tell a novice owner to attempt!) working up to laying her on her back by getting her to lie quietly on her side and going from there would work.
Whether the alpha roll is only SUPPOSED to be used for aggressive behavior or not, what you describe is still the physical act of alpha rolling. Because you are physically restraining the dog on the back until they submit.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just giving reasons I'd choose not to use that tactic.

I agree the puppy probably not dangerously aggressive, and may not even be going in that direction (dunno, can't observe the dog myself), but it's a great idea to make sure it doesn't turn into that.

I agree with getting her to lie quietly on her side or back, just disagree with the means of getting to that point. I think physically forcing her on her back may be too quick too soon. Especially when I've seen that methods fail or cause bites/aggression on their own.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:29 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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So
When this pup struggles from being placed on its back... what do you recommend they do?
This could far too easily become like an alpha roll, while getting the pup to lay calmly is ideal I just think before offering up advice that could far too easily turn into an alpha roll type situation all bases should be covered.
You lay a rambunctious puppy on its side and firmly but gently hold it there until it relaxes it is going to fight you.
If you let it get up, you have taught the pup a very poor lesson, but if you use too much force or let frustration get in the way, it could easily resemble an alpha roll.
this pup is definately far too young to be going this far with. It needs to know boundaries, not be forced into submission physically

Just my 2 cents
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Thanks erykah, explained better than me.

Alpha roll, and the definition of it aside (it really doesn't matter), I think the act of forcing onto the back just has too much room for error and issues to arise.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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I do not believe in any form of physical restraint to curb or redirect a behavior. I dont use them, each of us has our own methods and just having both mentally and physically tired out dogs and pups works well enough around here to deter even TM's from being "aggressive"
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Old May 20th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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You are all great - thanks so much again for all the advice. Got a bit confusing there for a while - but I know you all mean well.

I'm playing "off" (or release the toy) game right now, I've been doing this for a week, she's getting pretty good. I play it iwth random household objects. Today she is doing it well, except she decides the empty balloon is more fun than teh treats I was trading with, so she hangs on to it. What do I do in this instance? In the end I reached for her bone in her crate and we traded that. Is that good? Should I just go and find a higher value reward? When I first got her I used to do what worked for my kids, just leave her with it and in a few seconds when she realised I didn't want it anymore and it wasn't tug she would get bored with it and move away. But now I see that is not good because she is winning and able to end the game, which should be my role.

So I should upgrade the treat? If I get firmer with my "off's", and get more affirmative she gets more resistent - she's a toughy!!! And loves to battle with me. So I'm not doing that anymore.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 09:07 PM
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You do need to trade for a higher value item. She decided the baloon was a higher value item than the treats you were giving. In this instance you can either find a treat that she's more interested in or a toy she's more interested in. If she's really toy motivated then you can maybe save her favorite toy for when she releases something.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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Hi

Just thought I would add that since I have stopped doing the holding down under the arm tactic I have been encouraging her to sit on my knee, head up on my shoulder, her legs all out the front. The trainer (some credit to her) said this was another option. Sometimes I'm just rewarding her for relaxing like that and once or twice I have even held her head still and she was fine with it. I think I need to enourage her to relax in my arms - pushing it too far with a restraint seems to make her go backwards.

The trainers theory was that I should physically dominate her now, regularly while she is young, so that she doesn't question my physical strength later when she is bigger. And she supposedly doesnt believe in alpha roles or wolf pack theories! Its so questionable. I also think she should have specifically said don't use this as a punishment, which is what I did that silly day this week went she growled at my boy when we were walking. Can't remember if I shared that with you. But it really broke down on the trust!!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
The trainers theory was that I should physically dominate her now, regularly while she is young, so that she doesn't question my physical strength later when she is bigger.
This is a fallacy. You don't want the dog to have a REASON to question your physical strength. If you're making the dog submit through physical strength you're turning training into a physical battle. Once the dogs gets older they may challenge you again, and then what do you do? Many dogs will test begin to test boundaries again once they hit adolescence, so you don't want them to obey you simply because you're physically stronger.
Even the tactic that LavenderRott mentioned, that I didn't agree on using, was not a method to make the dog respect you because you're stronger, it was a method to make the dog realize that not struggling = good things will happen and that submitting to people is not a bad thing.
Teaching a dog that they should obey because people can overpower them is simply counterproductive and as soon as they encounter someone that isn't physically stronger that method will fail.

Ask wolf trainers if they regularly use physical domination to get the wolves to respect and obey them. They do not. They use body language and a praise/reward based system.
While dogs are not nearly as touchy as wolves behaviorally, they do often exhibit certain traits such as challenging the pack leader for dominance if you haven't already used the correct means to establish respect. Causing the dog to think that getting into a physical challenge with you (which is what forcing them onto their back can do) is an ok means to communicate is NOT what you want. It should pretty much be taken out of the equation. The dog needs to know that physically challenging humans is never ok, and not because you're bigger than them. Children for instance can't overpower a dog, yet we can teach dogs that children, too, are to be respected and not physically confronted. We don't teach this by having children hold down dogs and teach them that they're stronger, which isn't even possible in many cases, we teach it through mental manipulation and a praise/reward, based system where all high reward items belong to the human and are only given when the dog complies.

Quote:
I also think she should have specifically said don't use this as a punishment, which is what I did that silly day this week went she growled at my boy when we were walking. Can't remember if I shared that with you. But it really broke down on the trust!!
I understand. You can move past this though and regain trust, it just may take a little longer.

Your trainer may or may not know how to work with dogs (maybe she gets results when handling them herself, but I don't agree with her methods), I don't know her, but she definitely doesn't seem to know how to relay easy to use and effective advice to the owner, which is a problem. She's giving you advice that is just way too easy to make mistakes with when left on your own. It probably works for her because she has the experience of handling dogs and can forsee what to do and what not do with really specific situations, but giving her training tactics to you and expecting them to work is a recipe for failure, IMO.

I see this with trainers like Cesar Milan. His tactics in a lot of ways aren't necessary, but he gets results through knowing how to manipulate the dogs on his own and how to handle them through experience. When people that watch him try to use his tactics though they fail miserably because they are just not useful for the average dog owner that doesn't have the same hands on experience with a ton of dogs like he does. In other words, he makes a lot of handling mistakes, but makes up for them through other subtle factors in his communication with the dogs, that the run of the mill dog owner just can't grasp and doesn't recognize.

Last edited by MyBirdIsEvil; May 21st, 2010 at 02:05 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 03:22 PM
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Old school methods of having your dogs fearing to do something wrong for the beatings worked too... however no one recommends them any more right?
Mybirdisevil said it best, physical manipulation may work for more experienced people who know exactly what they are 'telling' their dogs and what they are in turn 'telling' them however it is just too risky for average people to be relying on physical strength/dominance right away.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:19 AM
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Just thought i would share that we have had two days of an angel dog! I have been nothing but nice with her, spent heaps of positive time with her, and she has responded really well. She hasn't growled at me since yesterday morning when picked her up to put her in the boot.

She has been so patient, and calm, and obedient! Its amazing. I am positive now that I do not have an aggressive dog. Like LavenderRott said, any dog would get snarly at rough training methods. I'm glad she got snarly with the trainer, I would to! I'd hate to see her blatantly put up with lead jerking and bum pushing from a woman she doesn't know. She needs to stand up to that sort of treatment!

The toy and object trading has been going really well. She played the game for 1/2 hour with two five year olds yesterday. And a three year old visitor fed her most of her dinner, piece by piece for a sit or a down! She never jumped up at him or grabbed at his clothing!

So - thanks for the advice on here, to believe in my dog, and my original belief that I shouldn't have to be rough with her.

Thanks a million - you've given me my dog back!!!!

Kindest regards to all of you.

Michal

PS - I'll keep posting if I have any more issues for sure.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:24 AM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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I'm so glad to hear she's doing better!

Remember though that there can be a grace period. You've changed so it's a new thing for her right now. She may try to challenge you bit again after awhile, but just don't get frustrated and keep doing what you are doing, knowing it will pass!

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:46 AM
michalgry michalgry is offline
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Hi - I'm not fooling myself that this will ever be easy!

Tonight she got a bit silly and grabbed my clothes three times, not releasing, me having to drag her over to where I could reach a toy/treat/bone to bribe her off me. But atleast I know this is not some serious misdemeanor or flawed temperament. Just a stage, and if I keep working on training, she's going to grow up to be a great dog.

She was limping tonight! I'm thinking, oh no, I just dont want her to have to go to the vets for any more treatment! She's going on Monday for her ears again, which is bad enough with out her leg being examined.

We have been truly unlucky, if it wasn't for the ears I never would have gotten so off track, the vet nurse would never have described my dog as "aggressive" and got me in this spiral of demise that we're just getting out of.

What are your thoughts on Halti colars? I got one the same week that she was described as aggressive, it was during that visit to the clinic to fit the halter than she growled at me as we tried to put it on, and thats partly why the nurse said that. I had been having difficulty with her on a lead and thougth the halti woudl be a good temperary thing, like a bandaid to get her walking.

But when she had that on, she would get overwhelmed and growl when her foot would get tangled in it, or when it just all got too much. So after about 4 days I tried her harness with a lead, and she's been amazing on that, loose leash practically the whole walk and she is able to respond to my sit commands every few minutes. On the Halti she was so worried about that she was completely out of touch with me and any commands.

I think it was too much for a 11 week old puppy.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 03:15 AM
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I love the halti. I use haltis and gentle leaders on my dogs, but they have to be trained to willingly accept them. Some dogs will freak out if you just stick them on. I had my dogs wearing them from a very young age, so they got used to them just like a collar.

If she's doing good with the harness and is comfortable in it I'd just stick with that.

Next time you take her to the vet try giving her a bunch of treats so she looks foward to going there. Every time my dogs go to the vet the vets always give them lots of attention and treats so they're excited to go.

I'm surprised the nurse described your puppy as aggressive. It sounds like maybe she's not that comfortable with dogs, which is odd for a vet tech, so I'm sure she gave your dog a bad experience, being uncomfortable and all.

The pulling on the clothes thing will just take time. You think your puppy is bad, trying breaking a herding breed of that . They LOVE to chase stuff and nip and grab at ankles and clothes. When walnut was little I swear I had puncture wounds all over my ankles for awhile from her nipping. Once she learned it wasn't ok and got older she never even nipped anyone at any time. Little kids would run up to her and hug her and she'd just sit there. She could see little kids running around and just follow them without nipping or trying to herd.

I kind of wonder if the growling isn't just vocalization. Is there any way you can take video? Some puppies can seem very aggressive when they're just trying to be vocal and communicate. Malamutes especially are like this. I have a little half malamute puppy right now, and her and her sister growl CONSTANTLY, which seems aggressive to some people but it's just the way they talk. My puppy's sister runs around making growling noises loudly and it sounds very vicious, but she intends no aggression at all. They're also very nippy, which we're working on breaking.
Not sure if vislas tend to be vocalizers because I'm not familiar with the breed, but even if they aren't I'm sure some individuals can be.
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