Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Andy, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Our young Chewy is working on learning the ways of our family. At 12 weeks old, she knows "Sit" and "Kennel".

    We are working on discouraging growling and nipping. Those don't happen very often and are usually when she is in an intense play state of mind. They do worry me since I can not have neighbor kids come in to help take care of her when we are gone if this will develope into adult hood.

    One suggestion we were given was when she bites to give a loud screaching yelp and turn away from her. difficult child is so good at this. He sounds just like a puppy when he yelps so I don't know which of them was hurt.

    My challenges come with skirts and shorts. Chewy likes to nip at those. Again, I feel they are just her way of trying to get me to play.

    The worst is her actively taking control of her leash. When she realizes that I do not want her to have it, then she goes into "I am in control of this, leave me alone" stage. Like we do with difficult children, I work on avoiding those situations. Just like with our kids, getting into a power struggle is way not good and when no one wins, the puppy thinks she won.

    I feel that when she does these behaviors that she really is bored and looking to play. Diva has diva puppy much of the time and when diva puppy is home she spends more time being annoyed with Chewy than playing with her. Chewy is trying to play with us like she would her brothers and sisters.

    So, we are trying to find ways of playing with her and watching for cues to keep her from getting into the more aggressive stage. The laser game helps wear off energy. We are starting a Puppy Dynamics class on June 20th so hopefully have more ideas on ways to work with her.

    A co-worker's boyfriend is coming about once a week or so to work with difficult child and Chewy. He has already shown us how to get her to sit and lay down without verbal commands. ("Kennel" is easy, just shake the box of kennel only treat and she goes right in. LOL!)

    Other than that, Chewy is a great puppy. Quiet, confident, content. She is so smart! It is fun to watch her. My co-worker said Chewy is ready for the 4 - 8 mo. puppy class even though she is only 3 mo. Her boyfriend said that he does not see any signs of aggression in her (at our next meeting, I am going to have him watch me take Chewy on a walk with her leash. I am sure he can tell me what I am doing wrong so we can get past this leash control issue without Chewy getting frustrated with it.)

    For Chewy's safety, I have decided that she has to be on a leash when I am home alone with her. I just can not be running after her when she wanders off the yard. I can not keep up with her and besides, when I do follow her, she takes it as a sign of "Oh, we are now on a walk and I can keep going". When I do catch her, it is getting harder for me to carry her all the way home and if I do put a leash on her, the chances of a leash power struggle on the way home increases. So for now, we do walks around the yard and if I don't have enough time to help her through her leash control issues, I can pick her up and carry her into the house. By then, she has forgotten the leash and has started to give kisses. That is a good sign that we are being positive in our redirecting of unwanted behaviors. I don't like puppy/dog kisses but I am tolerating them as they are much better than bites. :)
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Bubbles was already an adult dog when I came on the scene, but he will not lick my face. I don't like it. And he learned, within a couple of weeks.

    Say "no" firmly and turn your back on Chewy. Seriously - if you struggle with the leash, she wins - because she sees it as play. No attention at all = bad, while bad attention OR good attention = good. (difficult children, too??? LOL)
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good that you're getting someone experienced involved... but in the mean time...

    The nippy/chewy stuff is mostly PUPPY. The "yelp" trick DOES work - its how they learn in the pack - play too rough, and no one wants to play with you - make a mistake, and you'll get another chance later, but ... just make a BIG deal about it every time. If you don't want puppy nipping at your clothes, then you need to yelp every time she bites those too (only works when you're wearing them LOL). We had one like that...

    The leash stuff... what combo are you using? collar and leash? harness? no-pull harness? nose harness? something else? Is the leash fabric (standard stuff), string (think retractable), or chain? It makes a difference. Nose harness helps if the dog wants to be in control - the more they pull ahead, the tighter the harness gets; when they back off, it loosens. So, THEY control their comfort level. It also helps with "nose in the dirt" syndrome. No-pull harness also helps with the pulling tendency... you clip onto the harness on the FRONT of their chest - if they start pulling and especially if they "take off", they end up spinning around to face you.

    If your yard isn't fenced, then puppy must always be on-leash until you have mastered reliable recall (come = come 100% of the time). there is nothing wrong with using a tie down if puppy is supervised. You definitely do not want to be chasing puppy!
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Our friend is coming tomorrow afternoon.

    We have a standard collar (fabric) and leash. Our vet recommend a "gentle leader". I just can not picture special "harnesses" for a puppy this young.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Gentle leaders work really well - Bubbles has one, and it's like night and day.

    He's pretty well behaved, but when he gets to "go bye bye" - eek! So the gentle leader comes out.

    Great suggestion!