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Puppy aggression & biting

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by drkatiekate, Jun 10, 2009.


  1. drkatiekate

    drkatiekate PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    New to the forum but am desparate for help. We have a 12 week old GWP (German Wire Haired Pointer), my first puppy to train (had dogs as a kid) and she is a nightmare as far as nipping, biting and scratching. So much so that my children (three girls, 6, 5 and 3) scream when she comes near them and I have resorted to the rolled up newspaper which I hate using and looking her in her cage (which is big and in the kitchen) but she seems to be ruling the house at the moment. It is at times when I can't give her attention, supper for the girls and it also coincides with times when she could really do with a walk. My other half doesn't get back until 6-7pm. I have tried to play with her but whenever I stop she starts nipping at my legs/trousers, catching my calfs. AT the supper table she nibbles the girls feet (she has by then had her food so should not be hungry), I know, probably for attention but what can I do? Any advice would be most gratefully received!
     
  2. bichonsrus

    bichonsrus PetForums Senior

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    ok , you need to show her who is pack leader here, no point waiting till hubby comes home as you are with her in daytime and sounds like she running rings round you a little. Dont know if you have a garden but i would remove the dog from the room while kids are eating, its not fair to have to put up with dog being naughty, they might relax around dog then. Once kids at school, take for long walk to wear out, hopefully will want to take things a little easy once home then. also good if you could repeat it before you pick kids up even if not for too long so again he would of had some attention and excersice, so when kids in and want dinner might not be so needy. then hubby comes in , and before bed maybe he would walk him, even if not too far. training is the key, i believe all dogs should be trained it makes for a happy home for all. letting the kids hold the dog on lead while you are walking it may help them to enjoy having a dog and not to be so scared. i remember my nans dog being very territorial and was the same breed as yours, i got bit and dont trust them because of it , so you need to win kids trust round by training dog , you can get some evening classes that do dog training if you want help and i dont think they are too pricey or buy a good book on training your particular breed of dog. I am sure there is nothing that cant be sorted out here so take lead and let him know you are in charge. i wish you lots of luck and let us know how you go wont you.:thumbsup:
     
  3. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Hi,
    Your pup is just displaying normal puppy behaviour,this link regarding biting is good The Bite Stops Here
    She will also be starting to teeth soon so will need something to chew on,frozen kongs are good,carrots,frozen rags etc

    It may be a good idea to give her time out in her crate when you can't supervise her and the children,you need to be firm,fair and consistant.
    Remember she is only a baby.
    Have you thought about training classes ?
    Also what food are you feeding ?

    As for the walks,the golden rule is 5 mins per month of age so a 3 month pup should be having 15 minutes,long walks are a no no with young pups as it can put pressure on joints and can cause damage.
     
  4. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    What made you buy a GWP? Did you research the breed before buying her? Just asking because these are not novice owners dogs and have a very high prey drive so in my opinion are not always suitable as a family pet, they need a job to do and even at her young age should be given training and guidance.

    You need to find yourself a good working dog trainer before she really gets her feet really under the table. How much exercise are you giving her a day? She not only requires exercise but mental stimulation, this isn't a dog you can take for a walk and leave, she needs to have that brain worked until she drops. The kids can be very involved in her training, just playing simple games with her like hunt the treat and toy will give them a bond, and stop them being scared of her. ALL puppies chew and bite it's nothing special and she's certainly not being aggressive, but the way you react to it now is very important. Do the kids scream and run when she nips them? If they do then she thinks 'woo hoo that's fun, I'll do more'. I hate crates but if you are using one, then while you are eating why not put her in it? Give her a kong with some treat smeared in it to distract her.

    I have recently had 2 GWP through our rescue, and I've noticed alot more of them popping up in other rescues. Unless her training is started now and handled correctly you have the possibility of asking for trouble.

    I'm a strong believer that dogs need a job, depends on the breed but if you choose to share your life with a working breed then it's up to you to give that dog the outlet it's nature requires. It's very unfair to expect a high energy working dog to live quietly in a home and be punished for just doing what comes naturally.

    Depending where you live I have the number of a working dog trainer who is absolutely fabulous!:thumbsup:
     
  5. drkatiekate

    drkatiekate PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks for all your advice. Yes, we did so our research before choosing a GWP and my husband does want to use her to shoot. A good working dog trainer would be brilliant, any around Salisbury? We feed her a mix of dried biscuits (Purina) and Natures Diet at the moment (with mince once a day). Its what the breeder recommended. Will try all your tips and look into training. Many thanks.:)
     
  6. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    Brilliant I love to see a dog doing it's job!!:thumbsup: The guy I recommend is called Jim Greenwood (google and his page will come up) but I suspect you'll be too far away cos he's North West area. If you email him I'm sure he'll happily recommend another working dog trainer.

    Good luck if she's anything like my friends GWP she'll be hard work but worth it...they are dotty beyond reason!!:laugh:
     
  7. rona

    rona Guest

  8. Clodge

    Clodge PetForums Member

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    Hi

    I have to say we have a GWP and no amount of research prepares you but we wouldn't change him at all! They are very hard work but well worth it.

    We had the exact same problem and we were struggling until we got proper training from someone who specialises in GWPs. We used to take him to puppy classes but he soon got bored and we didn't know why until our trainer said it's because they're so intelligent they need more than a puppy class although the classes are great for the socialisation side a the beginning.

    It got to a point where no amount of 'NO' would make him stop nipping and biting so we have a plant water spray and although we don't really use it and don't like using it we have sprayed Otto and said 'BAD' at the same time as spraying and then carried on with what we were doing so that he don't turn it into a game. My sister didn't like doing this but we used to have marks up our arms where he wragged our arms and it got to the point where we new it was us not him doing something wrong i.e we were not the leader (we're still not but we're getting there - they are reknowned for their stubborness!)

    I'm no expert but Otto is 10 months old and although they test you, keep going!

    Do you have any pictures of your GWP, I'm biased but I think they're great :thumbsup:
     
  9. GWP

    GWP PetForums Newbie

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    Hi
    Attention lovers GWP's definitely are - well ours is anyway.

    Our GWP was exactly the same with regard to nipping/biting and they have very large teeth and I was worried he was going to be an aggressive dog. It turns out it was play biting purely and simply because we had not established pack leadership.

    We are novice dog owners and I'll be honest whilst I had read the background on the GWP before getting one nothing can quite prepare you for how much hardwork is involved and particularly at the teething stage. These are a high energy and very time demanding breed.

    With regard to the chewing we regularly sit with him to get him chewing on rawhides as ours certainly needs to chew alot. I can honestly say we've had no damage at all though and ours is left during the day for a few hours at a time. Ours could be chewing on rawhides for hours when he was teething (and I don't mean chewing on the little rawhides - we buy the small double donut ring and now he can get through a large double ring in a few evenings).
    Could any of the children sit possibly and take it in turns maybe to hold a raw hide for him whislt he chews on it maybe?

    When we eat at the table we always give our dog something to occupy him with like a rawhide or dental chew and when came to the table ignored him and didn't say anything just gently pushed him away and told him to leave. If you are consistent he should learn to occupy himself and leave you alone whilst eating. Have you got plenty of different toys available for him to choose form to stop him becoming bored as when ours was that age he used to play with quite a variety of things.

    As far as using a rolled up newspaper I would not reccommend this as GWP's do not respond well to harsh corrective treatment. You need to be assertive and consistent in your training as they are very intelligent and can manipulate you each and every way if you let them.

    With regard to the training I would try finding one that specailises in HPR's if you can.

    They are a great breed of dog, hard work but well worth it.
     
  10. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

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    You've been given good advice already, but I would add - please don't use a rolled up newspaper - all it will do is teach your dog to not trust you, and if you want a gundog it will be totally counterproductive.


    In addition to the Gundog Club which has already been mentioned, Nick Coates at Gospelash Gundogs is good
    Gospel Ash Gundogs

    and Nick Gregory
    http://www.petforums.co.uk/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=719528

    I'm not sure if either train HPRs, but they will be able to point you in the right direction if not.
     
  11. rona

    rona Guest

    Ok this man is very good with GWP's, I believe that his dog Velia Von Andesheim was the first field trial winner in the uk. I had the pleasure of watching him bring Velia on by working her on a shoot at Haslemere that we both beat on. His methods then were exemplary.
    I'm not sure where you are in the country but he is in Lincolnshire

    BRYANTSCROFT GUNDOGS Rory and Jane Major
     
  12. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    Firsty!! dont get stressed!!! EVER! Make it a rule of thumb, if they see any kind of attention theyll get excited and do it more therefore getting more attention (like a game)
    second, it is a pup, and one that will learn well .... you want it to learn good behavior so dont punnish it because you cant handle it ... time outs are good though they have to be used appropraitely
    third, the nipping and biting is only their way of interacting - once you get a handle on how to control it this will die down, but expect it to be pretty regular ....... they dont see affection as affection they see it as play so only give affecetion either quickly or when they come to you, or when they are sleeping.
    fourth, make sure its on a decen kibble
    fifth....... whats with the rolled up newspaper ..... dont quite know what you mean but if it is what im thinking it it dont do it, theres no need.
    six, get some puppy lessons from a good trainer, we are travelling 30 minutes (there is one 5 mins away) for ours. Have a look around and attend a few before deciding on which you like and stay with it
    seven, dont over correct and dont give multiple commands .... no, down, off, oi, stop etc etc i used an "ah ah" i dont use it much now but is terrific fo when he strays into the road ... comes back insatant.
    eight, use the crate as a good thing ...... feed in there, put in there to sleep.. eve if they fall asleep on the floor just pick them up and put down in their crate, and dont praise when they come out - the outside is the same as the inside
    nine get a puppy book gwen bailey
    10 ignoring them works wonders ... it makes you interesting, if they have newspaper for peeing on in their mouth do some washing up (anything) then move it patentiently when they have forgotten it, never praise when you firt see them either.
    hope these few things help...... cracking dogs :)
     
    #12 james1, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  13. drkatiekate

    drkatiekate PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks for all your thoughts and tips. The Kong is working a treat (peanut butter) and a water spray is more effective when she is naughty.
     
  14. Rhiannan

    Rhiannan PetForums Junior

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    Hi there

    I can sympathise with you at the moment! I have a 15 week old Dalmatian puppy and she was similar when we first got her. I did months of research before we picked her up but still nothing prepared me for quite how much puppies bite.

    A firm NO just didn't make any difference with Bailey she thought it was all part of the game and it made her even more hyper. The best solution we have found is to immediately stand up and say "That's it, I'm not having this anymore (or something similar) you are a bad dog!!" then walk straight out the room and shut the door. Count 5 seconds, then back in. When you go back be calm and do not look at her. If she comes over to you gently then praise her softly, if she jumps and bites still, do the same, leave the room.

    The punishment here for biting is that the game stops.

    It can be really draining and must be extra hard with 3 children to take in to account too. But trust me if you are persistant it does start to work.
    We have had Bailey 6 weeks now and her biting is noticeably gentler although most days she will have a hyper time when she reverts back to being a little punk. So we still are storming out the living room on fairly frequent intervals!

    We feed Bailey after we have our tea so she knows that the pack leaders eat first, she actually now goes and sits in her crate of her own accord while we eat. We have never given her any tit bits or left overs from our plate so she knows what we eat is not for her.

    Do lots of training with your pup, the mental stimulation tires them out. A must buy is the buster food cube, you put their dry food in it and they push it around to get the food out. It keeps Bailey occupied for ages and it works her little mind.

    I find Bailey often gets extra nippy when she is tired so keep a track of how often your pup normally sleeps. If you think he is due a sleep pop him in his crate and he should settle and sleep. I always give Bailey a treat for going in her crate so she is very happy to go in, it should never be used as a punishment.

    Good luck, and don't worry, you will get there!
     
  15. Clodge

    Clodge PetForums Member

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    Hi - just wondered how you were getting along?
     
  16. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    dont use a water spray, its far to heavy and needless for a dog of this age.:eek:
     
  17. drkatiekate

    drkatiekate PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Clodge

    Thanks for enquiring. Kit is improving somewhat amd I am finding that ignoring her bad behaviour (turning away or shutting the door on her) is working. Also putting her in her crate saves my girls from their little nips at the supper table. My hubby has taken to taking Kit to work with him when he can (working out and about in the countryside). If I take her out for a walk I also take a toy for her to play with as she often comes back to me for attention which has lead to nips and scratches in the past. Until she calms down, I have resigned myself to the fact that she is my hubby's dog. I just find it difficult to handle her and my children!! I'm sure you know what I mean. I'm convinced she will be a lovely dog when she grows up a little. Thanks again for your concern. I did try and put a phoot of her on the pages but failed abismally!
     
  18. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the update. Must admit most of the GWP I know are one man dogs (or woman!), they seem to thrive on alot of one to one attention. Oh well just means when she's older you and the kids will have to get your own pup!!;)
     
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