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Old 01-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default I don't think he likes me

Well, I'm starting to convince myself that Tater Tot (12 wks.) doesn't like me but just tolerates me when it suits him. He'll lay on my lap in the evenings when he's lounging and does fine but any other time he's wanting to play he gets way too aggressive and just wants to bite me. I'm not talking about nipping/mouthing but growling/biting. I just want to be able to play with him without coming away with scratches all over me. What am I doing wrong ?

BTW: He does not do this to my hubby and he doesn't spend NEAR as much time with Tater Tot or do any training or feeding whatsoever.

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #2
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It sounds like he is just getting too rough. When he is getting too rough, tell him no and stop playing. When my girl was a pup I would "ow" and stop playing, now if I say ow, she lets go of whatever she was biting, and waits till I invite her to play again. Perhaps this method will help! I also use puppy time outs. If she gets too excited in play, or jumpy she has to sit stay till she is relaxed, though I can't see that working with a 12 week old!

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:24 PM   #3
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For starters, the "ouch" method totally did not work for him, I swear it has just made it worse. He thinks it's a game and how do you just not play with him when he's attacking you without crating him. I don't want to have to put him in his crate as a punishment but anything else I try seems pointless. There certainly is no way I could get him to sit at that point either.

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Boy you've got your hands full! Some dogs enjoy playing rough and terriers are among the worst as far as that goes. If you can possibly get yourself to freeze, cover your face with your hands and be as boring as possible to him, and at the same time watch for when he calms down so that you can fuss over him the split second he does, I think you stand a chance of reinforcing the behavior you want and extinguishing the behavior you don't want. It won't happen overnight, figure at least two weeks before you see any change, especially since he got used to the game of chase he used to enjoy with TJ. I wouldn't use the crate as punishment because you'll open up a whole can of worms by doing that. The crate should be a safe place and a place the dog enjoys.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
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He either just keeps on chewing away at me even if i'm not paying attention or he walks off to play with someone else. I don't think he cares if i play with him or not. What can I do to bond with him? You would think since i'm the primary caregiver (and treat giver) that he'd love me. Has anyone else had this problem?

As far as the crate goes, he's never had an aversion to it but has only went in it on his own a couple of times. He doesn't really whine hardly at all when he's put in there and whines to let me know if he needs out to potty. I keep the super good bones in their and they aren't to be taken out. I also stuff his kong once in a while and put it in their with him. He's only had two accidents in there and it was probably only because i slept too hard and didn't hear him right away.

Anyway, I'm getting real discouraged...

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Old 01-25-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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I don't think he doesn't like you, I think you had said he is only 2-3 months old--he's just a baby and still needs to learn limits. That loud ouch does work and I would follow that by immediately stopping play and ignoring and walking away from him until he is calm. It would help a great deal if you could get the rest of your family to react the same way so that he learns a consistent pattern. If he is chewing at you, you might want to get a nylabone for him and hold one end to play with him as play is a great way of bonding.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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First off...all you've got is a normal puppy. You're expecting WAY, WAY, WAY too much out of him for his age. Did you see all those WAYs? I mean it. Relax.

It takes me usually a YEAR to bond with my dogs. A YEAR. Got that too?

Great! So relax. You've got 10 months to go. Puppies just don't bond the way you're wanting unless they've got some emotional issues. Be happy. You've got a normal puppy.

Now for the biting. This is also EXTREMELY normal. And, you're right. The "ouch" game does NOT work with all dogs. Some dogs get much more excited when you say ouch or "yelp". These are dogs who have the potential to be quite high drive as adults.

So what to do? I'd try this first. When the pup bites you, your clothes, your hair or anything on you...game over. He may act like he doesn't care, but he does. He's just a puppy. He will care for just a second or two (although you will not see that he cares), but the punishment by removing his "toy" (ie. you) has been administered. So when the pup bites, you can just say "ouch" and stand up (if you're on the floor). If your standing, turn your back on the puppy. Ignore him for just a few seconds. No matter what he does, ignore him. If he jumps on you, bites your shoes, barks, etc. and you turn around to either laugh at him OR to tell him no, what have you done? You've rewarded his bad behavior. He's LEARNED from YOU that if he bites, barks, jumps, etc., he gets what he wants. YOU.

So when he bites you, you say "ouch" in a normal tone, stand up and turn your back on the pup. You do this EVERY SINGLE TIME he uses his teeth on you. I mean EVERY time. And EVERY one in the house uses this technique EVERY time. Just consider it the rule of "EVERY." "EVERY"one "EVERY" time. If a person doesn't do it once, what has the puppy learned? That he CAN bite people and get away with it.

Also you'll need to do this rule of EVERY for two weeks before you may begin to see results. What you'll be looking for is the pup inhibiting his bite...ie. his bite will be mainly mouth with no pressure.

From what you've described, you've got a pup that is going to really be a dog with loads of personality AND loads of stubborn/high drive. And, you have extremely unrealistic expectations of what this pup should be like. My ARDENT advice is that you get to a puppy obedience class ASAP. I suspect you may be doing several things wrong with your body language and voice that we cannot see. When you go to class, EVERYone in the house hold should go with so that everyone is on the same page.


I'm a bit worried that if you avoid classes or have excuses not to go that this pup will quickly grow into something you find difficult to handle. Get a good control on what to expect and how to train now, and the ride with this pup will be much easier.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGLI View Post
That loud ouch does work
Actually, it doesn't work on a small, select number of dogs. Asher was one. But of course, I KNEW Asher was going to be a monster when I got him, and it's the very reason I DID get him. My "ouch" would get him even more worked up. For him, it was sort of like saying, "Yipee!!" If I remember correctly, I stood up when he bit too hard, and after a few sessions of that, I was able just to drop the toy I was playing with and stop the play. But any vocalization on my part was just an encouragement to him. What a great dog!!

BTW, one more thing to add to my post above, EVERY time you play with your pup, you should have a toy in your hand. In other words, you may NOT rough house with the dog by pushing him with your hands, turning your hands into what the dog will view as toys. With my pups, I always used toys to play tug, chase the toy, fetch, etc. This kept my pup from viewing my hands as toys. If you don't, then IMO, your hands deserve to get bit.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agilityk9trainer View Post
Actually, it doesn't work on a small, select number of dogs. Asher was one. But of course, I KNEW Asher was going to be a monster when I got him, and it's the very reason I DID get him. My "ouch" would get him even more worked up. For him, it was sort of like saying, "Yipee!!" If I remember correctly, I stood up when he bit too hard, and after a few sessions of that, I was able just to drop the toy I was playing with and stop the play. But any vocalization on my part was just an encouragement to him. What a great dog!!

BTW, one more thing to add to my post above, EVERY time you play with your pup, you should have a toy in your hand. In other words, you may NOT rough house with the dog by pushing him with your hands, turning your hands into what the dog will view as toys. With my pups, I always used toys to play tug, chase the toy, fetch, etc. This kept my pup from viewing my hands as toys. If you don't, then IMO, your hands deserve to get bit.
I believe you may have misunderstood what I posted, the use of the ouch was not recommended in isolation:
"That loud ouch does work and I would follow that by immediately stopping play and ignoring and walking away from him until he is calm", the removal of 'something good', (attention and his playmate) to reduce the undesired behavior. To discourage biting and nipping of fingers I have also used peanut butter on my fingertips to encourage licking instead of nipping and coupling the licking action with extensive verbal praise.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:31 AM   #10
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JGIL,

I understood. It's the use of the voice in a loud manner that is the problem. And, how you remove the play. For some dogs, the use of the voice is a stimulator, not an inhibitor. Also, for some dogs just stopping play doesn't mean the toy is removed. What I mean is, you can stop playing and just sit there, but for some dogs, you're still a toy. You can still be bit, licked, jumped on, etc., even if you don't respond.

So my suggestion was just to say ouch in a normal, even quiet tone (or even say nothing) and stand up and give the dog your back. If the dog still thinks you're a good enough toy standing (ie. shoe laces to chew, pant legs to bite), then you have to remove yourself from the situation by walking into another room and closing the door - all without emotion.

That was the difference.

Even then, I've known dogs who STILL don't stop (so no, it doesn't work on ALL dogs). This then requires an added punishment, which if the OP needs after weeks of working with this method, I will describe. I've had a few of my students' dogs need this method. I prefer to avoid it, although it is not adversive. It's just not the best method.

As for the peanut butter, do be careful what you reward. If you don't want a dog licking you, this method may not be good either. After all, if later the owner doesn't want licking but the owner used this method, it is the owner who have created the licker. Can't blame the dog.
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