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I'm struggling

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by MrsCoultas, May 15, 2017.


  1. MrsCoultas

    MrsCoultas PetForums Junior

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    Hi everyone, a while ago I posted about my tamaskan pup and his constant biting and mouthing. Fast forward to now, he's six and a half months old and it's not getting much better. I absolutely hate to admit this, but there are times where I'm scared of him. There is no aggression in it though, it's just pure playing, but when he gets into one of his play moods, I just want to cry. I'm getting to the point where I just hate myself because I'm clearly failing him. He is getting big, 30kg, and has all of his adult teeth now. When he bites he doesn't break the skin anymore but I'm bruised all over. He mainly goes for my hands and wrists, and when he grabs hold he twists and pulls. If I pull my arms away quickly he bites faster and harder. We have been consistently just crossing arms and turning away from him, trying not to make a sound. This works most of the time but when he's very excited be starts nipping my bum or legs, and I can't help but make a sound because it really hurts. I'll leave the room for a couple of minutes and he'll settle or take himself outside, when I come back in he'll be fine but then a it'll all start again. Training is almost none existent right now, it was something we were really working hard on but the biting and mouthing just makes it impossible. We'll start on basics, sit, down, stay, come, but after a minute or two he gets excited and starts biting. He has lots of toys and I try to rotate them, but again, we'll start playing fetch or tug of war and after a few minutes he'll forget about the toys and start going for my arms. He gets through unfrozen kongs very quickly or gets bored of frozen ones when he can't eat it quick enough. He has treat dispensing cubes and again just gets bored. He is doing really well on walks, he tends to listen a lot better and he doesn't pull as much as he used to since we stopped using a flexi lead and changing to a Julius k9 harness. He is still super interested in people and dogs though, which is hard work sometimes. Then occasionally, he'll go crazy on a walk, he'll start jumping at me, biting me and not letting go. Its scary as I'm worried someone will see and think he's trying to actually hurt me. He gets two walks a day, 30-40 minutes each time, I would happily go further but I worry about his joints as he is a large breed. He is becoming more destructive too, taking chunks out of the sofa and he's ripped up a blanket that I was using as a "defence" as he never used to bite me if I had the blanket on. He only does this if we're in the room though, if I go to the toilet or kitchen he'll either follow or just go outside. I use bitter apple spray on the sofa and it works for a shirt while. I think his hormones are kicking in now as he has started cocking his leg but he is also humping me a lot. Its mainly in the evenings after he's had his tea, this is when his behaviour is at its worst. If he isn't allowed to jump me, then he bites me. If I walk away to stop him biting me, then he starts destroying something. I go to stop him and he tries to bite me. I care less about my stuff being destroyed (it's just stuff) and more about him hurting himself, either swallowing something or cutting himself etc. He exhausts himself and then takes himself away for a bit then it all starts again. I sit down on the sofa, he comes in, starts humping, starts biting, starts destroying. I try so hard not to shout at him because it makes him worse. I feel like I'm painting him as a devil dog but I know it's my fault he is like this. I just don't know what I have done to make him like this. I'm sure he is just bored and frustrated but I haven't found something that can prevent the boredom and frustration without ending in him wanting to chew my hands off. He's such a beautiful boy, so full of love and is so friendly. But I'm failing him and I don't want him to be sad because I'm doing the wrong thing. He spent a week in kennels where they did training with him each day but they couldn't understand the mouthing and biting, they said that just folding arms and turning away is the only thing that worked. It just doesnt seem to be sinking in. I've read the bite stops here and the sticky. I'm just at at a loss.
     
  2. PixieSpoodle

    PixieSpoodle PetForums Member

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    It sounds like you need to contact your local dog Behaviourist, not Dog Trainer. Someone needs to come in and observe the scenarios to best give you some advice. Is he crate trained at all? Have you tried any clicker training. There is a very good book called Don't Shoot the Dog which I found very useful. If you say where you are located: country and county maybe Pet Forum members can make some suggestions.
     
  3. MrsCoultas

    MrsCoultas PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for your reply! I agree, I think a behaviourist is the only next logical step. He has a pen, he is happy to go in there when we go out, he doesn't make a fuss at night. I usually put him in there for a couple of hours during the day, after his lunch, just so I can have a bit of a break. He is in his pen from about 10pm to 8am too. It is in our living room but if we put him in there and we stay in the room he gets very upset. Do you think I'm keeping him in there too much? I don't work and have anxiety, I only leave the house without him when my husband is home at weekends so I am with him all day.

    ETA I have tried clicker training but he kept trying to steal the clicker. Its something I haven't tried in a while though so I may give it another go! And I'll look into the book, thank you :)

    I live in South Kirkby in west yorkshire.
     
  4. ShibaPup

    ShibaPup PetForums VIP

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    Biting can be a PITA - quite literally!! You have my absolute sympathy!

    A behaviourist requires a vet referral from what I have seen. Is he insured? - some insurance policies will cover the costs of some behaviourists.

    http://capbt.org/findabehaviourist.php
    http://www.apbc.org.uk/help/regions
    http://www.apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers
    http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/kcai/list-of-accredited-instructors/#behavioural

    The four websites can help you find a reputable behaviourist or trainer in your area.
     
  5. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    In all honesty he sounds like a 8 month old puppy, but at 30kg he is a big puppy lol

    Do you have a puppy safe place you can put him when he gets over excited and starts biting or humping?
     
    MiffyMoo and kimthecat like this.
  6. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    I don't have any experience with these dogs but Ive read of similar problems on forums and its seems it's not unusual or abnormal behaviour .
    But as already said, if its causing you such problems then its best to consult a trainer/behaviourist, hopefully one who is experienced with this type of dog .
     
  7. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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  8. MrsCoultas

    MrsCoultas PetForums Junior

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    Sorry for delayed reply, your advice has been greatly appreciated! Yesterday seemed like a much better day, we went on a longer morning walk (I got a bit lost lol), fed his lunch and tea in a kong, played indoor fetch. He still mouthed a bit but not as much, minimal humping and only picked at the sofa a few times. I've got a pet remedy plug in, started it yesterday, when he was in kennels doing training they used the spray on their hands to help calm him, thought a plug in was worth a try. He seems to be a fair bit calmer this morning, he's currently just settled himself in the conservatory after having some cuddles with me on the sofa! I've missed the cuddles so much. I'm going to give him a couple more weeks of this consistent ignoring of mouthing, making sure my husband does exactly the same at the weekends (he tends to react more out of frustration).

    With regards to boredom, what else can I give to him to do other than kongs? As mentioned, training is very difficult right now as he gets over excited so I'm wondering if he's a bit more mentally tired then training will be easier? I'm going to give clicker training another go as well. He is so clever and I know he is capable of so much, he just doesn't seem to understand that mouthing isn't the good thing to do.
     
  9. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    At the moment, you sound rather overdogged.

    I would really urge you to take the advice above and consult a Behaviourist.
     
    Jenny Olley likes this.
  10. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Whether he understand or not , I expect he finds mouthing so enjoyable and rewarding that he continues to do it .
    I do things like hide treats or toys and get my dogs to search for them .
     
  11. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    I don't wish to be rude but it's quite hard to read a huge paragraph of text like that.

    He sounds like a normal 6 month old that has been given no boundaries. As others have said you need help in person.

    If he were mine it would be a case of management 100% of the time. I don't know why you are leaving the room when he starts biting, it should be the other way around. I'd have a drag line on him at all times and the moment he connects with you, grab the line and frog march him out of the room, or to his bed. Rinse and repeat. He'll soon learn. Right now it's all one big game to him that gets him lot's of attention, something you need to nip in the bud now before he's even bigger (a dog of that type could top out at 45+kgs) and still biting you.
     
  12. Biffo

    Biffo PetForums Senior

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    Have you decided whether to speak with a behaviourist? As you say he's still such a young dog and growing and changing, it might be easier getting ahead of any other potential issues by seeing a behaviourist now, so that you'll have the confidence and training to help him?
     
  13. MrsCoultas

    MrsCoultas PetForums Junior

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    I'm sorry I haven't replied, poor admin on my account!

    So this last week has been crazy but in an amazing way. I honestly feel like I have a different dog. In just this last week the humping has completely stopped, the destruction and 99% of the mouthing. I have taken a zero tolerance policy on the mouthing, even if he just lightly put his mouth on me I just turned around and ignored him. We've started doing basic training again, and whilst he still gets too excited, I feel like I'm being heard. He's self settling now, not constantly begging for attention and I can get things down without him whining.

    I realise that it isn't the end of him being a puppy and I'm not going to become complacent. I'm so grateful for your support and I hope no one is annoyed at me for not going down the behaviourist route just yet. I know how annoying it is when you give advice and it's not followed. But I honestly think my change in attitude has made the difference.
     
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  14. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    That sounds really good. Well done you!
     
  15. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Good for you! Keep up the good work. The thing about advice is it's there as a suggestion/suggestions to help you, but ultimately you know your dog and your situation better than anyone else and you have to weigh things up and decide on a course of action. I highly doubt that anyone is annoyed with you.
     
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