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Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Daniel Palfrey, Aug 29, 2019.
Thats good news. Thanks for the update.
I will let you know when we are booked in (still waiting for a response) and I'll let you know of any progress throughout. Just took him for a quick jog, no more than five mins, he started to get bitey due to over excitement so I had to tire him out a little. We use the correction spray as a last resort. Mostly at bed times to be honest. We limit its use as I like most here disagree with correctional teaching of dogs bit I also agree that sometimes a for now fix is better than none. Any how, without kicking up a stink, I am looking forward to the classes and hope it helps with Jasper.
I think you have just got some really good evidence that doing exciting activities leads to your dog being wound up and bouncy and doing calm activities or limited exciting activities with lots of calm in between leads to a calm dog.
Do you use kongs at all? A stuffed Kong or other long lasting chew will help with the calming. Dogs can have the zoomies especially in the evening so redirecting that before it starts with a chewing activity somewhere calm and quiet can help.
The pet corrector may be apparently stopping unwanted behaviour but it adds to the dogs stress and doesn't indicate what alternative behaviour you want so in the long term it wont help.
You want to be teaching a behaviour that you do want that is incompatible with the unwanted behaviour rather than just telling the dog that you dont want a particular behaviour.
Scent games, chewing activities and mental activities like food puzzles can all lower excitement andmake the dog use their brain which is more tiring than physical activity.
I suggest you keep a dairy of activities you do with your dog and their subsequent behaviour so you can begin to spot which activities are calming and which are arousing.
Am sorry but he's just being a normal dog.. Who if has anxiety is a big no no with something like correctional loud noise. It might stop the behaviour but he also might fear loud bangs in the outside world, be terrible at times of fireworks etc.
Please don't jog with him either he's 9 months old labrador and from your posts probably hasn't come from a breeder who has tried to put the odds in his favour for his joints... Labradors are a known breed to have hip and elbow problems. The damage is thought to be caused by both bad breeding and formative years. 5 minutes is way too long.
You have been given good advice here but seem to be missing the point that no decent training that's worth it's weight works quickly, or is an easy ride. You can't just tire a dog out to stop unwanted behaviour, a dog needs to learn alternative behaviour that is acceptable, or fun stops when things get over exuberant. A teenage dog will push boundaries and test people's patience. It's normal
I agree with you on the cleaner activities lead to a calmer dog but in the begging they were not working, they seem to do the job now though. As for correcting, I only do that on the night, both me and the Mrs work, so a peaceful night's sleep is a must, Bence using the corrector, only on the night, I really do believe on raising a dog positively but I know as a lot of you might, there are times where a short term bandaad are better then nothing. I do agree with you on the calmer activities though. Tonight he is doing a lot of biting and jumping and despite my efforts and the mrs' are in vein at the moment. I have just opened the stair gate to let him get comfortable upstairs before we go to be. I am hoping he calms down a bit knowing it is nearly bed time.
He is definitely pushing my patience lol. Trust me, I weight 16 stone and he has pushed me to joging, that isn't an easy task. I have taken in the advise and have used much of it, but when a dog doesn't respond I feel the need to try something else, the short jogging session has now left him biting on his bone happy as Larry, I know to limit the excersise, but I give him what he can take and that is it, I would sooner carry him home than make him do more than he can. As for long toys, we have the giant Kong toy that you stuff with treats and the Kong ball too
It's incredibly normal for dogs to have a "witching" hour around bed time. I have an 11 year old dog who to this day gets silly and playful right at bedtime. I give him a chew or a toy, read my book, do some yoga, and he's ready for bed in about 20 to 30 minutes.
Anyone raising a puppy is familiar with puppy demon hour. Give him something constructive to do in a safe area, pop him in his crate with a kong, or a puzzle toy and you'll find him 20 minutes later asleep. Taking him for a run will just teach him to amp up instead of calm down.
Ditch the pet corrector. You have an anxious pup who's default behavior is to escalate. The pet corrector is not teaching him anything other than to startle and possibly fear loud, surprising stimuli. That's the last thing you want from a family dog.
If you’re having to use the corrector every night then it’s clearly not working.
I don’t understand your insistence that it’s ok to use a corrector spray as a short term fix when everyone has recommended that you don’t.
I stepped away for the week to work with Jasper, I apologise for those I offended with the use of the correctional spray, I have followed the advise I have been given here and stopped using it. I have managed to get better behaviour out of him slowly as the week has gone on. He is actually living next to me relaxing at the moment. My main take away in terms of activities is the a combination of walking and scent games are really calming for him. On days where he doesn't fancy a walk (this doesn't happen very often) I hide his retrieval dummy in the house and he sniffs it out and brings it back to me. I do this a few times and he just plonks down and relaxes. For the most part the biting is still an issue, but I have noticed an improvement. Again, I apologise to you all and thank you for the sound advise you have given me. A combination of two separate bits of advise have worked to get him behaving better and have started to reduce the bitting. Redirecting has been a little more complex as when he does get amped up he is hard to control, but I have literally taken to keeping treats in my pocket and use the treat to lure him away and then put him into the sit to earn the treat. This method has worked and to an extent I can now get him to sit without the lure, though sometimes I do still need it.
Ok, I have another update now. Jasper had calmed down with his biting towards me, I have been rewarding the calm and settled behaviour which has worked, if he does decide to bite me I ask him to stop and he does. The Mrs on the other hand still seems to fall prey to his biting tendencies and she is trying all the same methods that have now worked for me. Not really sure how to advise her other than to just keep trying with him
Ok, the Mrs had a break through yesterday, after what seemed like hours of redirecting bites for her ended with him putting his teeth on her then moving away, this then turned into licking. It's not perfect yet but this is how it went for me, biting to bad biting to touching with teeth to only licking, he still tried a play bite with her from time to time but she can usually ask him to stop and he usually does, she just needs to enforce this training a little bit more and she should be at the same stage I am, ultimately we just want his teeth never to touch us, but progress is still progress
Good news, you are getting there. He will calm down eventually with you being consistent (we have gone throught this too).
It did start getting to me dealing with the biting and the anxiety at the same time, mostly because a couple of my neighbours started to moan about his barking, our choice was to let him sleep in our room which has dramatically reduced his barking, he never barks over night or in the morning now and we asked our one neighbor who claims he only lets off an occasional bark while we aren't there now, so that's helped, and everyone here who kicked me. Back onto the right path helped and he is once again, my best friend and been really good. It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago I was so mad and looking for solutions that just masked the problem for him to now be so good and loving again.
I suppose the only thing I can say at this point to anyone going through this themselves is have a read of this thread, I was the same but everyone here has offered some very good information and over time, it does work. We are coming up on three weeks to a month now and Jasper is very intelligent, so sometimes it may take longer. What worked for me was a combination of retrieval games and scent work. I have a scented retrieval dummy that I hide around the house on a regular basis and when he gets bored he actually goes and finds it then we play some retrieval games before I hide it again, it may just be that anyone having this issue needs to teach there pup something new and something that encourages there dog to use there gifted sciences such as finding things for retrievers and labradors, endurance games for collies. That's all I can think of right now but you get the idea thanks again to everyone who has helped
I have a 1 year old shihtzu and he is still very much in his biting phase. We have tried everything we have been told, we tried putting a toy in his mouth, bought him a king with treats but he gets bored of that, tried making noises when he bites to stop him, we have tried the cage. I could go on forever with all the things we have tried, he is very stubborn and nothing works. He isn't phased by any of it. I just don't know what else to do, it really hurts when he bites and it's even got to the point where I have actual bruising from his bites. He even tried it with the window cleaner and my friends 7 year old son (my friend did say he might of been playing) I don't think he is playing though, as he seems to get a bit aggressive. Someone told me to try a soft muzzle as this might work, so when he bites I just put the muzzle on him. I have ordered one and it's coming next week, but to be honest I don't have any faith that it will work and I just don't know what else I can do. Getting a trainer will be the Very last resort as its not cheap. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts that could help me? I would very much appreciate it.
In the past the Mrs had a little dog, not sure on the breed, bit she found out he had some form of anxiety that pretty much caused him to bite and chew everything in site. She got him a thunder
Shirt and that helped with his anxiety and in turn his biting and chewing reduced. It may be worth talking to someone about your dog, a vet maybe, to see if there is a possibility that it has anxiety
@Natasha Cullerton king there are a few things in your post I'd like to pick up. One is that you say you have tried several different things and none seem to work. You may have thought that but actually seeing something called 'extinction burst'. This is when a behaviour that used to get attention no longer works for the dog so he tries it all the harder and it seems like things are getting worse, not better. This is good, because it means that what you are doing is in fact starting to work.
So, pick one thing and stick with it. Some people find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands. My preferred method is to teach him that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as he makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - he will learn. You could use a house line to draw him away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.
The muzzle may not be a bad idea, especially as he is doing this to other people. However - you can't put the muzzle on 'when he bites' - that's too late to stop the bite and it's using the muzzle as a punishment which he likely won't understand. If you want to use a muzzle, you can't just put it on, you need to train your dog to accept it. That is going to take time, there are videos on YouTube that will help. You also said it's a soft muzzle - do you mean a fabric one? If so, please send it right back and get an open, basket type. Soft muzzles are for very brief usage like vet visits, not for wearing for longer periods (which is what you will need). They restrict panting and on a dog like a Shih Tzu could be very harmful.
You said getting a trainer is a last resort - please reconsider that. If your dog bites someone or even makes someone fear that he might, he could be destroyed.
And also, I don't want to leave this without considering he might not in fact be playing. It is still likely that at a year he sees this as a part of play but it is possible too that he is acting out of fear/anxiety. Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) he won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so he may go straight to the bite. So it's important never to ignore the early signals. As a friend says, she would rather be told verbally to sod off than be smacked in the face with no apparent warning. If your dog has previously given warnings that have not been heeded maybe he is escalating. If thats the case, you probably do need some professional help (especially as he has nipped a child). Your insurance might cover it.
Thankyou so much for your advice. I will definitely speak to his vets about it and see what they say. I think he does get separation anxiety as he doesn't like it when we leave, he starts trying to but us. I just don't know how to help his anxiety, so maybe the vet will know. Thankyou.
Thankyou I'll speak to the vet to see what they say, and if there's anything that can help, thanks
If it is anxiety then a thunder shirt can help with that, though I would look at a long term solution as well as helping with the symptoms through the use of thundershirts or chemical difusers