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Puppy tantrums

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:01 am
Let me start by saying that I am not new to dogs. I have raised several gentle, calm, well behaved dogs. Being the pack leader is not a problem for me.

Or it wasn't until now.

Diamond, who is now 10 weeks old and has lived with us for about three weeks, was most definately the alpha dog of 10 puppies in his litter. I wasn't really worried about this because, like I said, I have some experience with dogs.

Everything was great until after Diamond's first vet visit when I started taking him out to socialize with other dogs where he quickly learned that other dogs did not like being dominated. That's when he started trying to dominate at home.

Most of the time he's fine but once in a while he has these tantrums where after being corrected he gets snarley and snappy and out of control. I usually grab him by the scruff, roll him over and hold him down -- sometimes I get in his face and growl. The tantrum only lasts a minute or two at most. Once he calms down he's fine and lovely.

I don't want an agressive puppy so I know I need to nip this behavior right now. Despite my "mamma dog" technique, Diamond continues to challenge me, my family and my other pets.

Any advice?

Thanks!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 6,375 • Replies: 50
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:35 am
I think you just need to be a bigger bitch....
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:55 am
Ha!

I totally should have seen that coming!
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 10:19 am
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/puptrain.html

Quote:

(Long article, this is an excerpt)

Dominant-aggressive dogs
Some training methods utilize training techniques such as "neck scruffs" and the "alpha rollover." If a dog is "dominant aggressive" and forceful training methods are used, he may submit to the individual training him. If other family members challenge him and force him to do something against his will, he may not submit to them and they could be at risk of being bitten. If he growls or snaps at an individual and makes them back down, he has elevated his status over that particular individual or family member. He may then use threats in an attempt to be in control. If this aggressive behavior escalates, he may eventually become an unacceptable pet. Euthanasia or the animal shelters is often the fate for a dog with this type of behavioral problem.

A puppy that is trained using humane, fun training methods, where he has to submit to you for everything he receives, has a better chance of becoming a well adjusted adult dogs that knows that all family members are higher ranking than he is. His life will be made easier for him because he will not have to continually figure out his rank. If someone feeds him, plays with him and is kind to him, life is pretty easy. If an adult dog has to continually try to figure out where he fits into the family, life is a lot more stressful and he is more likely to develop behavioral problems.


http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1743

Quote:
THE CANINE BEHAVIOR SERIES
By Kathy Diamond Davis
Author and Trainer

Puppy Aggression

(long article with lots of good tips)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 10:36 am
Cesar Milan's new puppy 01

http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/tips/newpuppy01.php

Lots of regular exercise. Nothing the puppy wants before he gives you what you want (sit down/stay, whatever). Everybody in the house following the same regimen with him - he has to understand he is low man on the totem pole throughout your entire house.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 12:05 pm
Ha! I was in watching the Dog Whisperer right before rechecking the thread. I love that show!

I hope nobody thinks I'm thinking of getting rid of the puppy because really he's still a baby and learning and this agression has just started.

I've never had a puppy this young nor have I ever had a male puppy and I'm not really sure how normal this might be.

A scratch on the head or belly is what I usually use for a "treat" so I'll have to think a bit on using some other type of reward.

Interesting advice about not using the "alpha rollover" on dominate dogs because that really seems to calm Diamond down pretty quickly. I only use it when he's being snappy and snarley.

I'm curious about what others think of this method.

I'm wondering if not getting enough sleep might be part of it. Today he is zonked out. Most week days it's just me and Diamond at home and he spends a good chunk of the day asleep. Last week was nutty with the roofers finishing up and Mo home from school for two days and Mr. B home for one day then there was the weekend where everyone is here and lots of running around and playing.

Maybe he was just grouchy?

How much time should a 10 week old puppy spend sleeping?
0 Replies
 
TheCorrectResponse
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 12:53 pm
What breed of dog is it?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 01:14 pm
Diamond is a mutt.

Border collie, Australian shepard, maybe a little something else.
0 Replies
 
TheCorrectResponse
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 01:14 pm
"snarley and snappy" says you have an aggressive dog whether you want one or not. But by your description of the limited nature of this behavior he just sounds like a normal male puppy. A couple of minutes of bad behavior is not out of the ordinary.

As I'm sure you know some dogs are just more aggressive that others, period. This should not be a problem for you as you are bigger and badder and so can ALWAYS win!

A ten week old puppy of any kind is, as you know, a bundle of energy.
Some things you might try. When aggressive behavior starts, give him a time out in his crate. Don't try to correct him then. Train him when he is a little tired, puppies are less aggressive when worn out. Be incredibly consistent during training and keep distractions to a minimum. Use food as a reward. Ten minute sessions for his age a few times every day and expect him to get it all wrong for a while.

Give him plenty of exercise during the day. At ten weeks old he should nap a lot and only wake up during the night to go to the little dog's room.

In my opinion instead of "showing him who is boss" per se. He will learn his place better as he learns to sit, stay, and lay down rather than through dominant posturing when he is being aggressive.

As dogs are SUCH social animals time in the crate vs. dominant handling is the best solution. He WANTS to be with the pack! If he learns dominant behavior means I'm alone he will tend to try to do what you want just to be around you.

All of the above can be very dependent on the breed, however; which is why my first question.

Lastly you will be taking him to the vet for a well doggy visit or shots. Ask your vet these questions. If it is a larger practice they may have a vet that has a behavioral background as a specialty. That is the best place to get specific answers to your specific pooch.

NEVER use force or aggression, especially in dominant tending dogs, as they can see it as a challenge or a threat.

ANY dog removed from the bitch BEFORE 7 weeks of age or so can be VERY difficult to socialize.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 02:29 pm
boomerang wrote:
A scratch on the head or belly is what I usually use for a "treat" so I'll have to think a bit on using some other type of reward.


Cesar'll tell you that the scratch on the head or belly is a 'treat' that should be withheld unless you get the right behaviour. Getting Mo and Mr. B. in on this consistently is really important.

Diamond came to you very young, so you've got to socialize the little guy in so many ways.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 03:16 pm
The time out thing sounds good.

I haven't done that before because on the rare occassion that I've had to be away for a few hours I leave Diamond shut in the bathroom. I haven't wanted him to associate being alone with being punished. Maybe I could put him in the litte travel kennel thing when he acts agressive though.

He actually is very social. He walks to the school with me every day to pick Mo up and he is pet by a lot of kids. He has never acted agressively towards any of them. Weather permitting most evenings we walk back up to the school in the evening for the neighborhood dog meet and greet - sometimes there are up to 30 dogs. He has a few special puppy playmates there too. Sometimes he acts a bit agressive there but really only in a playfull way. In addition we always go out for a bit of soccer or fetch or otherwise romp in the mid-morning. I think he's getting plenty of excercise and socialization.

He's mostly respectful of our other dog, Bird, who is 13 years old and he's developing a relationship with our cat but he enjoys bouncing and barking at both of them.

So far he has only been snappy with the humans in my family but it's seemed to have escalated over the last week. He is really pretty smart and learns quickly -- that's one of the reasons that this has me wondering what's up.

He goes in for his next puppy shot later this week so I'll talk to the vet about it then.

Thanks!
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 03:24 pm
Does he try the Alpha Dog act equally with all two-legged members of the pack?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 03:37 pm
Mostly it's towards me -- but then I'm the one he spends the most time with.

He tried it with Mr. B last night when Mr. B took him out to pee before we all went to bed.

He's tried it a couple of times with Mo -- both times when Mo tried to pick him up while Diamond was sleeping. Mo doesn't flinch or back down but I usually step in right away to let Diamond know that such behavior towards Mo is COMPLETELY unacceptable under any circumstances (and no, I don't hit, kick or otherwise abuse the dog).

Mo has been around dogs all his life and he's very good with them but as he's learning -- puppies are different from dogs.
0 Replies
 
TheCorrectResponse
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 04:10 pm
He sounds like a neat little guy with the usual puppy issues. I'm sure your vet will give you good advice.

If you don't have a doggy kennel (crate) for training I really advise you to get one. Leaving a puppy alone a in room can get in lots of trouble as you know. Especially as they get older. I have a beagle now (16 months) and they have been know to take out a HUGE section of dry wall in an hour if bored or afraid. The dog can get very sick and repairs can get expensive.

Have fun with that furry little critter! Smile
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 04:18 pm
I second the dog crate idea. Herding breeds do tend to be nippy, everyone is just sheep to them. It's in their DNA to herd the creatures around them and sometimes that means using aggression. They also tend to be smart and will eventually acknowledge someone as "master" and behave, getting them to acknowledge the whole family as "master" is not so easy.
0 Replies
 
TheCorrectResponse
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 04:19 pm
Funny story; my friend had a full-blood border collie. They lived in the country but their road had a bit of traffic. I was at their house one day and we heard a car horn blowing. My friend gets up and heads outside. His wife took me to the window. The dog had figured how to get off his leash if he was out in the yard and bored. When a car came down the road he would try to "herd" it into the yard.

The drivers could not see the dog well as he ran circles around the car and didn't want to hurt him so they would sit and beep the horn until they were "rescued" from the dog. My friends eventually got a leash he couldn't remove but had the scenario happen about a half dozen times before then. It was too funny!
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 04:30 pm
Both of his breeds are shepherds, they tend to be nippy. It's how they control sheep. Or the ones I've known have been. Giving the dog constant commands might help. Make him sit if he wants something, but also make him sit just because. Rolling him and growling at him should be used sparingly I think - he may just get used to it.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 06:03 pm
Diamond herds the leaves falling from the trees. A windy day can keep him really busy. He's hilarous.

Other than this new snarl and snap, he's an amazingly good puppy. He hasn't destroyed anything and mostly chews on the designated objects. My bathroom is made of cast iron, porcelin and plaster -- I don't think he'd get very far trying to chew on any of it!

I've heard all of the arguments in favor of crate training and, while I'm not opposed to it, I've never done it. I did have one dog that had a mildly destructive puppy-hood but she got over it pretty quickly.

I don't use the roll very often and have only growled a few times. I would never hurt him but I want him to know when I'm serious.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 06:06 pm
Once I rolled my Boo, growled at her and I was so mad, I nipped her ear. ha!

Diamond is a VERY young dog. My feeling is that he'll get over it, especially if you keep doing what you're doing. It may take 3 years (grin).
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 06:27 pm
boomerang wrote:
A scratch on the head or belly is what I usually use for a "treat" so I'll have to think a bit on using some other type of reward.

My mother raised two dogs who came as 8-week puppies. Her magic trick consisted of small pieces of Salami that she carried around in her pocket. Whenever the puppy obeyed a command or otherwise behaved well, my mother would give her a piece of Salami. I like this strategy because they permanently smell the Salami, so they're permanently aware that they want some, which in turn makes them permanently aware that you're the boss controlling what they want.

boomerang wrote:
Interesting advice about not using the "alpha rollover" on dominate dogs because that really seems to calm Diamond down pretty quickly. I only use it when he's being snappy and snarley.

If it works for you, I say go with it. I think he's just checking out who's boss. It doesn't matter too much how you show him it's you, as long as you show him. Be consequent about it, make sure Mo and Mr.Boomerang are consequent about it too, and Diamond's tantrums will be gone in a matter of months. Checking out who's boss is normal for a puppy.
0 Replies
 
 

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