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Help with a nipping pup

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Cloudy Star, Jun 13, 2009.


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  1. Dudleydad

    Dudleydad PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry to come in late on this thread, but have only just joined the forum and wondered if anyone else had experienced quite aggressive reactions to "No", or even just walking away?

    Our 13 week old cocker is a nightmare at the minute. "Yelping" when he bites just makes him crave our fingers/wrists hands even more! I know this is as a result of the pain he's in from teething and is normal behaviour, but he's started growling at me when it happens and seems to be actively trying to bite me.

    Am I just being paranoid as this is our first puppy? Has anyone else experienced this?!
     
  2. leashedForLife

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    did U read the thread, DD?
    there are links, FREE on-line books and articles on reducing mouthing + teaching a soft mouth, AKA bite-inhibition.
    if yelping makes him more excited... don't yelp - read the resources listed for alternative ways to redirect the puppy.
     
  3. leashedForLife

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    hey, rob! :--)
    how would a rattle-bottle [which is a startling-device, and depending on the pup, a mild to serious aversive]
    re-direct a mouthing or nipping pup onto a toy?
    it seems to me that those are 2 separate things: startling the pup to stop the mouthing/nipping, and re-directing -
    why not skip the startle + just re-direct? a tug-game can be quite effective for this, just use a chew-toy as the tug... ;)
     
  4. Dudleydad

    Dudleydad PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice guys,
    I have read the thread and yes, the articles and links are useful; however my main concern was whether he is actually displaying aggresive traits or was simply behaving like a normal puppy?

    We do use food and reward based training, but have now started giving him time-outs by shutting him in the dining room for a couple of minutes when he is really confrontational. It seems to work in the immediacy and combining it with a game of tug of war when he comes back in definitely helps to tire him out, but I've also read that games like these are not advisable!
    I think I just want to know that I don't have a case of cocker rage on my hands!
     
  5. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    I have a cocker and he was a "mouthy" beggar, very nippy and didn't always like being told uh uh !!

    It does seem to be a bit of a breed trait, try and be consitent at sticking with the time outs and he will grow out of it by about 5 months (or it should be significantly improved) Time Outs worked best all round for us, anything else just provided further stimulation and more gnashing ;)

    Cocker Rage is pretty much extinct and is a very specific behaviour. It is unprovoked and owners who have experienced it talk about a "glazed" expression, it is an outright attack rather than just growly/nippy puppy like behaviour which to be honest is mostly rough play it's just as humans we don't see it like that.

    I would really do some research on the subject before you label the dog with it because it is very often misdiagnosed by vets and quite often results in perfectly normal mouthy puppies being put to sleep because people are so misinformed and paranoid about it. You would be very very unlucky to have a genuine case of Rage Syndrome because it is so rare and i would only accept the diagnosis from an expert in the field rather than just a local vet.

    Just a note that this breed can also be proned to resource guarding so be very careful about giving high value treats like bones and pigs ears etc and taking things off the dog especially in an enclosed space like under a table etc.

    I would recommend the book The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey :)
     
  6. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    Just to add i removed all tug games/high excitement games and worked hard on basic obedience until i felt Oscar was mature enough to understand the rules :)

    A good training class should help with this :)
     
  7. Doglistener1

    Doglistener1 PetForums Junior

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    I doubt very much that this is to do with "Cocker Rage" I have written and article on Cocker Rage questioning the fact that it is a syndrome or that it exists and is it a idiopathic aggression. Cocker Rage Syndrome Fact or Fiction

    CockerS are the worst of all the breeds i have ever treated for resource guarding this will sometimes guard anything from a tissue to a bed. One the common problems is they will resent control and will nip and bite as a result of you controlling the situation.

    Try the OFF command. I use a jingler but you should be able to set this control command without having this device it just takes considerably longer depending just how pushy and control complex you dog is. Read my article on The Alpha Myth and this will tell you also how to do time out I call it the Naughty Step for dogs. Dogs and the Alpha Myth a New Training Method

    This the "OFF" Command
    This is the most important of all the exercises and sets the scene for the rest of your work using the Jingler. You must do this first before you do any of the other exercises.

    Put your dog on its 5 + foot lead with the Jingler. Take a treat make the dog sit and holding the lead in your left hand and the treat in your right. Offer the treat and gently say ”Good” "take it" do this at least five times, then offer the dog the treat and do not say anything.

    When the dog goes to take the treat turn your head sharply to the right and bringing both your hands up to your chest removing the treat from the dog and making the Jingler tinkle at the same time, gently say "OFF" (It is much easier to follow all these instructions if you have purchased the DVD as it shows a step by step guide on exactly what you need to do, especially the timing and the gentleness of the actions.)

    What you are actually saying is “this is my bone and I am prepared to share it but only when I give permission”, the permission is “Good” “take it” You are training control of the greatest resource of all “FOOD” Repeat the "OFF" command until the dog turns his head away, Watch for the movement and the body language as soon as he turns head say "Good” "take it" in a praising tone and give him the treat, keep repeating the exercise until the dog naturally turns his head away when you offer him a treat. The “Good” is a target word and acts like a clicker. Then practice this off lead using only body language ie the turn and “OFF”

    Whenever he jumps up or tries to nip or bite say "OFF” for the bite and the jump, giving a slight corrective twitch on the lead at the same time, if he is on the lead, which can be left on for a few days. Do not praise the dog when he gets down after jumping up or biting and you have to issue the OFF command, you are only praising the bite or the jump. Repeat exercise until he stops jumping up or biting. Remember with all training gradually reduce the treats, to only 1 in 30 of the best responses.
     
    #147 Doglistener1, Aug 5, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  8. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Every other article I have read, and in practice, you praise when they have 4 paws on the ground and is Calm. This is praising the desired behaviour. Than treat as much as possible UNTIL the behaviour is solid, then begin to reduce treats, but praise every time. The dog needs a motivator! The behaviour if taught in a pleasent manner will become self rewarding. This is where a clicker helps as you pin point the behaviour you want. In this case 4 paws, ensuring you are rewarding the desired behaviour.
     
    leashedForLife likes this.
  9. Doglistener1

    Doglistener1 PetForums Junior

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    Perhaps I could have phrased it better. You cannot praise a dog if you have had to issue an command to stop something he should not be doing. If a dog jumps up and you have to say "OFF" then to praise when the dog gets off after the reprimand is praising for bad behaviour. You praise when he does not jump up not when he jumps up. Often we praise an reinforce the wrong behaviour this is a case when we would be praising bad behaviour.

    The good word is a target word and the general public will tend to continue this which they often do not with a clicker that is why I generally use a target word. Do not get me wrong I believe in operant conditioning and clicker techniques, it is just I have found that people timing is better if they use a target work rather than a clicker.
     
    #149 Doglistener1, Aug 5, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  10. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    I think this is very good advice :) I agree with the observations about Cockers too having owned one that resource guarded and definately did the whole resentment nipping thing ;) I do believe that Rage Syndrome is mostly misdiagnosed resource guarding or fear aggression. When Oscars resource guarding was at its peak he was guarding stuff like the bin in the kitchen which you would have had no idea about unless you could spot his body language therefore when he chased my son out of the kitchen it could easily have been interpretted as an unprovoked sudden attack for no reason (similar to how rage is described in its simplest form)


    OFF and Take It are very easy to teach and are extremely useful with a mouthy pup :)
     
  11. kath3kidz

    kath3kidz PetForums Junior

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    Hi,
    I have had the same prob with my 9 week old terrier pup. I was advised to put Vick on furniture to stop him chewing and it worked really well. As he goes to sniff things he smells the Vick and backs off; as he backs off I say 'AH AH AH' disapprovingly:D It has got to the point where he just needs the smell to back off, not the taste, and he often backs off other things when i go 'AH AH AH' without the Vick.I've been dabbin Vick on my slippers today and using the same approach and he has left my feet alone a:thumbup:ll day!!!
     
  12. leashedForLife

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    definitely :)

    this video-link was posted by ArwenLune -
    YouTube - ‪Motivation in Dog Training‬‎

    it's Donaldson talking about motivation in training, which equally applies to motivation in behavior -
    after all, every creature does what they do, in expectation or hope of a rewarding outcome: food, shelter,
    social contact, interesting activity, whatever the desired thing might or could be - even investigating novel objects
    while interesting in + of itself, is also potentially rewarding - there could be food, a toy, who knows?

    this is the post-source of the video -
    Pet Forums Community - View Single Post - My dog is stubborn

    an interesting thread in its own right, BTW - as it is all about motivation. ;)
    cheers,
    --- terry
     
  13. Doglistener1

    Doglistener1 PetForums Junior

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    I am sure it does not suggest rewarding bad behaviour, that would be the very worst thing you could do.

    People have the misguided ides that you reward every behaviour when the dog obeys. This would be a disaster if we did. You cannot reward a dog that you have to use a reprimand to stop the behaviour that is occuring at that time. If you do the dog will link the reprimand and the behaviour plus the actions that required the reprimand (in this case the jump up and the "OFF") with the reward.

    Common sense really! ;)
     
  14. leashedForLife

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    there is nothing wrong with using taste-deterrents on objects [altho i prefer to puppy-proof, re-direct + manage,
    all 3 as a combination depending upon the object; i cannot remove the sofa from the living-room, and i cannot smear it
    all over with Vicks :lol: so i teach the pup that sitting beside me is fine; but every attempt to chew the cushion-binding
    has Pup on the floor, without comment. ;) the light soon dawns...].

    however... kath, Ur timing is a bit off :eek: U make disapproving noises As Pup Withdraws - when he acts appropriately.
    may i suggest that instead, U pair his NEAR approach to forbidden objects, or actual attempts to lick or chew,
    with Ah-Ah-Ah...

    but don't be too quick to SAY that when he comes near U while wearing slippers :lol: or soon he will stay 6 to 8-ft
    away when U wear the slippers, leading to a whole new batch of potential irritants - chasing the pup around the garden
    in the Killer-Slippers, or trying to leash a fleeing pup in the Killer Slippers :scared: :p

    U can also PRAISE the pup for backing off from chewing :thumbup:

    timing is everything ;) happy training,
    - terry
     
  15. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Can I ask what you suggest for the "reprimand"?
     
  16. leashedForLife

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    i would disagree, rob - :)

    effective management precludes the pup ever developing a jumping-up habit, so that behavior
    does not have to be erased - i give pups who are excitedly greeting very-little leash, or simply STAND ON IT
    so the pup cannot get their forehand of the floor, and never get a paw on the person - they either stand on all fours,
    which i praise AND the person is now permitted to fuss them mildly - no squealing or rumpling ears, please!
    don;t maul the pup or jaw-wrestle with Ur hand, this is POLITE, thanks :) on both parts.

    or the pup with a short-leash may default to a comfortable SIT - when i praise + reward the freely-offered SIT.
    it is esy to shape a default for sit-to-greet: tell the person they cannot look-at or touch the puppy till the butt
    hits the floor - and just wait. sooner or later, BOOM - butt hits, warm praise, gentle petting, a treat :)
    what sort of 'restraint' does this refer to, rob? :huh: human hands holding him?
    pinning him? what exactly? thrashing risking injury does not sound as tho he was being gated, tethered,
    or crated, that's for sure. ;)
    tethering a wild-pup for just 30 to 45-seconds can work miracles -
    the puppy wears the nylon-coated 12 to 18-inch MAX-length cable as a drag, and when the pup becomes unmanageable, clip the tether to an eye-bolt screwed to the baseboard, around a newel-post, to the leg of a hefty handy sofa, or etc; wait just a few seconds, back or SIDE to pup, release the pup as soon as they relax a bit.
    see here for tethering uses -
    Tethered to Success

    being able to startle a pup out of an undesirable behavior should be used with caution -
    the very pups who are easily deterred by a startling sound, movement, etc, are the very ones who will likely
    be made inordinately timid of novelty or of OFFERING behavior - they become very conservative in their actions,
    doing only those things they know are 'safe', not exploring novel objects or environments, etc - they shut-down.

    notice how intense the STARTLE has to be to interrupt this pup, a confident + friendly Lab-pup about 11-WO -
    Platt's puppy problem - see what trainers say to fix bad behavior | WHAS11 Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana News | Top Stories
    the Bark-B[l]uster trainer has the F-owner shout Bah! + stamp her foot to get him to back-off from a treat
    deliberately placed on the floor - this is supposed to teach Leave-it or Dog-Zen... :p

    watch this version and notice how much less-drama and tension there is
    YouTube - ‪How to teach 'leave it'- without intimidation‬‎

    positive [happy] rather than aversive [unpleasant] interruptor -
    YouTube - ‪How to stop unwanted behavior- the positive interrupter- dog training clicker training‬‎

    much better! :thumbup:
    i rarely use kibble for rewards! :p i want enthusiasm, not ho-hum, here we go again...
    i only use kibble for CHEAP easy-to-motivate dogs like Beagles, :lol: the harder the work we are doing,
    or the younger the pup / the more-uncertain the dog -- like an adult dog who is utterly untrained, + a bit anxious
    besides -- the BETTER the quality of my rewards needs to be, IMO.

    i offer k9-caviar to puppies early-on; i want them hooked on training, loving every minute, willing to do handstands
    to get that incredibly scrumptious goody; for dogs who are struggling or very naive, i also want to make that link:
    U work, U get really good stuff.

    i will also reward based on how hard this is for THAT individual -
    i will reward my audience for politely watching, OR for waiting their turn to go get the fetch-toy or chase the ball...
    they are being rewarded for SELF-control, and that is way-harder for some than for others. ;)
    a terrier who sit-stays while the Lab goes barreling after the ball is WORKING - and deserves apropos rewards,
    IMO, way-better than the same stuff eaten 2x daily :lol: no matter how nutritious it is!
    rewards can be kibble for simple stuff - but IMO real-work should earn 'dessert'. :arf:

    SIZE matters, too - i give super-good but teeny treats; if they do something extraordinary, i give JACKPOTS -
    not a big-hunk, but a series of tiny-treats as fast as the dog can swallow.
    these mark leaps of comprehension, generalizing a concept, or other milestones; often i end the lesson
    or session immediately-after, to leave the dog to think about that as their final memory of our session.
    this leaves a happy-recall of training events, and the dog is very eager to work the next lesson...
    and for their lives long, too ;) learning + training are lifelong, not one-time - just as in humans.

    of course, i also use NON-food rewards:
    * real life rewards: walk, play, food, play with another dog...
    * toys to chase, fetch or 'kill'
    * tug-games, chase fun, a flirt pole...
    * praise, petting, massage, a half-hour relaxing on the sofa beside me...
    but this post is about early-training or teaching, where rapid delivery + speed of consumption matter. ;)
    U cannot throw a fetch-toy for every SIT, or learning would be very slow - Fun, but slo-o-o-w! :D


    cheers, and happy training,
    --- terry
     
  17. Doglistener1

    Doglistener1 PetForums Junior

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    Either you have not read what I have said or you have not understood what I have said. "OFF" is a reprimand I do not believe i could have made it any clearer?

    Perhaps I am not making myself clear and it may be me. However I am finding it difficult to make myself any clearer. DO NOT REWARD BAD BEHAVIOUR

    Stan
     
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  18. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    But off is a work, not a reprimand. Unless the dog has associated this word with an action it is not a reprimand. You could be saying Juicy steak, for all the dog knows. So what action do you associate "off" with? Do you throw a treat away from the person or object? Or do you use an adversary?
     
  19. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    This is probably going off topic as the thread isn't about resource guarding but is interesting, on the point of resource guarding i have challenged what i see as "rewarding" the behaviour on here before as a mistimed "reward" for resource guarding simply reinforces the behaviour IMO and is what i believe happened with Oscar when i tried to tackle it with positive R only.

    The only thing that turned his behaviour around was when he fully understood that his behaviour was unacceptable which involved a "punishment" (time out) and zero reward. This coupled with lots of work on commands like OFF and LEAVE etc and diversion tactics and being able to read his body language so that the behaviour did not escalate to growl or snap was the way it was resolved. This was very specific and individual to him and his personality and our specific family dynamic.
     
  20. Doglistener1

    Doglistener1 PetForums Junior

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    Leashedforlife.

    Would you do me a real favour and not keep adding smileys after every sentence, and please stop using plus or minus signs when putting sentences together as trained in colleges to describe behaviour of dogs. No one but nerds who have little if any understanding of dogs speak like that or understand what you are attempting to portray.

    The majority of people reading these threads will not understand taste-deterrents + repulsive/aversive odors... Timing and will just turn off.

    If you really want to explain something then explain it in real terminology not science gabble.
     
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