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Desperately seeking advice -- very agressive pup

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Gordo, Jul 5, 2009.


  1. Gordo

    Gordo PetForums Junior

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    Lily is a nearly 6 month cocker.

    We've been having a few problems with her recently with increasing agression, so much so we took her to the vet to be checked over and have now been referred to a dog behaviourist, who's coming to see us on Thursday this week.

    However, we're very concerned how we are going to get to Thursday.

    She has bitten hubby twice and me once -- bought blood to hubby and I've got a bruise on my thigh (thank goodness I was wearing jeans).

    Last night we took Lily out for a walk, and when we got home went to take her lead off to which she did growl to warn us off but then still went for me, hence the bruise. We left her lead on last night and this morning, I've taken it off her no problems. However, she doesn't always warn us off and will go straight for the bite, this is how hubby got his bite on the leg which made him bleed.

    We have tried so many different things as advised on here, one being ignoring her, but then she behaves like a naughty kid trying to get our attention by any means possible and it's impossible to ignore when she's chewing our ankles, jumping up etc.

    There are other things that she has done, but the fact that she is biting agressively, snarling and lunging at us are the most worrying. We've been in contact with the breeder, and she was so shocked and had no reports of any of the other litter being this way. Mum is also very laid back.

    How are we going to get to Thursday without one of us being seriously hurt? Any advice or suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated as we're really desperate. Hubby's at work this week so it's going to be me mainly that will have to cope with her behaviour diring the day.

    Also, any ideas what to expect from Dog behaviourist and what his visit will entail?
     
  2. nicephotog

    nicephotog PetForums Junior

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    Sounds alike a problem called "imprint", that would mean she does not have much comprehension that she is a dog because there is no exposure of her to other canines in real terms of time for rationalisation in her mind.

    That problem comes about from them never contacting other dogs consistantly and commonly through their puppy year(hour or so a day).

    That always requires allowing another dog / pup to be present with it for play consistantly during her puppy year.

    To start that acclimatisation, you go to a dog freindly park while many others are present to show them to it.
     
  3. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    This seems to be a common affliction with cockers. Theres been a few members with the same problem on here.

    Did you teach bite inhibition as a puppy?
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Nicephotog - Lily has had lots of interaction with other dogs. We took her to puppy socialisation classes when she was younger and now go to training calsses with her. My mum has a dog which she has seen on numerous occasions and really loves him. We take her to the park everyday for a walk and she meets loads of dogs (she is great with other dogs) -- we let Lily off the lead from about 14/15 weeks so she's met them off the lead since then too.

    Nonnie - we did teack her bite inhibition and even though she nipped when she was younger, she did stop. Unfortunately, the 'nipping' has got so much worse now (now biting). She has started nipping again and we use all the tips in an article we read about bite inhibition, and it still works with the nipping, bit it's the actual biting that is causing a problem and the agression that is involved.
     
  5. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Do NOT trying pinning/alpha rolling your dog. Its a sure fire way of getting bitten, and getting bitten badly. Plus it is NOT an affective training method.

    Im not sure what to suggest, and i think its best for anyone on here giving advice, to be very cautious, as you could end up seriously hurt.

    I hope that its just a phase some dogs seem to go through, and that the behaviourist can help you sort out this problem.
     
  6. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Hi, bit of a different situation but I'm with what patterdale lover said.
    My Dave bites Dixie all the time while playing and she will not tell him off. I am trying to discourage it as I like hem to play calmly but sometimes he just won't leave her so I grab the scruff of his neck and growl No at him. It does work.

    In the meantime I would leave a lead on her in the house so you can just pick up the end of the lead and remove her if you need to.

    x
     
  7. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    This is INCREDIBLY irresponsible advice to give someone when you have NO idea what the dog is like or why it is biting.

    OP, I strongly advise you NOT to try any methods such as these - you risk your dog becoming much worse.
     
  8. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Oh and "laying them down makes them submissive" - rubbish.
     
  9. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your problems.

    When was your puppy born, dd/mm?
    How many in litter?
    How many weeks when you picked her up?
    Did you teach bite inhibition?
    How much socialisation has she had in puppy kindergarten/classes?
    What are you feeding her?
    How much do you play with her?
    What sort of training are you doing?

    Sorry for all the questions, but your feedback would be helpful.

    Also for brief overview of what a behaviour consultation should entail, read this:

    Dog Behaviour Problems

    Hope this helps
     
  10. Gordo

    Gordo PetForums Junior

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    Thanks again for your tips and words of wisdom.

    We wouldn't try pinning her down as we feel this would escalate the problem and there is the fear that we would get bitten even harder than we have.

    DPT - in response to your questions --
    born 7/1/09, 5 in litter, 3 girls 2 boys and we picked her up at 7.5 weeks.
    We did teach bite inhibition which she picked up really quickly and still knows.
    She went to puppy classes for 4 weeks, an hour at a time, with 5 other puppies, where they were given time for supervised play and structured activities. As soon as those classes finished, she started dog training. She's working towards the good citizen award - she can sit, down, wait, stay, come and stand, and is very good in her group.
    She has Purina Pro Plan puppy, 3 times a day which will be reduced to twice once we've seen the behaviourist (don't don't want to change her routine before we've seen him).
    Regarding play, she plays fetch and will bring toy back but not always drop it!
    We play with her as much as possible, but also give her independent play with treatball etc. We also sometimes leave her to just amuse herself.

    She is also a very loving dog 90% of the time and very responsive to us and eager to please most of the time.
     
  11. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    You have your own opinion, but could you please not be so rude next time, thankyou :)
     
    #11 Patterdale_lover, Jul 5, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  12. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    It is not my opinion - it is fact. Any PROPER behaviourist, and anyone who has studied dogs properly will tell you that in the wild, dogs do NOT pin each other down in the way that Cesar Millan and his followers claim.

    A submissive dog WILL lay down when interacting with a more dominant dog, to avoid potential conflict, but it is not the case that the more dominant dog FORCES it to lie down.

    Advising someone with a possibly aggressive dog to force it to lie down is asking for trouble.
     
  13. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear, I hope the behaviourist is able to sort this out :)
     
  14. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    Well it has worked for my friend and other people, I do not follow Ceasar Millan, what he does with dogs is great but again that is his own method of training, I also didn't say pin down, I said lay down, I do not believe in holding a dog down, as yes you are right it just aggrivates the situation...Anyway, I'm near here to critisize you, i'm sure you are a nice person, and wouldn't want us to start off on a bad tone. But i believe what i believe and i just don't like the tone you are using. Enough said.

    Gordo good luck in whatever you decide, and let us know how things get on with the behaviourist
     
    #14 Patterdale_lover, Jul 5, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  15. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Just curious, but can you groom her, touch her ears, etc easily? Also is she food orientated at all?
    Im a total dog amateur but I always make sure mine sit for their dinner and treats. Oh, and I use lots of treats !! Treat for recall and just about any good behaviour.
    Maybe save a really good treat (cooked chicken for eg) for when you go near her neck/lead, so she associates you touching her lead with good stuff.
     
  16. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    Quick tip: I'm not sure if you do this or not, but don't giver your dogs cooked bones, only give them raw :) The cooked bones splinter
     
  17. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    If you believe that your dog knows bite inhabition and he has been socialised correctly (the optimum period is between 6-12 weeks) and you still have a problem. My reply is.... Your dog does not see you as the boss or pack leader.

    You need to take steps to retake this position, so that he learns respect and does not act like this.

    There are many things you can do, if you are interested then PM me.

    Good luck x
     
  18. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I stand in the middle on this one.... I have used the alpha role technique, but I am not convinced now that it has worked. Instead, I have used alternative methods to deal with problems. The alpha role is controversial, I believe that it needs to be done by the right person. It can work, but then again it often does not.

    As to fact or fiction.... there are little facts when it comes to psychology, just a load of opinions. which everybody is entitled to.

    The trouble is by advocating the alpha role, it could end up with someone getting bitten. I myself, used to recommend it, but I now believe that there are other methods :)
     
  19. Luvdogs

    Luvdogs PetForums VIP

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    I think if it was me i would see a reputable behaviourist who will use kind positive methods :), I don't think we can say what the problem is over the internet. :)
     
  20. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    Good post, why have i never spoken to you before! :D
     
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