How to Train Your Dog to Not Play Aggressively

Medium
2-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You’ve just settled down to watch this week’s episode of your favorite show, but your dog is demanding attention. He’s had had his walk for the day, but still wants to play! Perhaps he’s a puppy or just particularly energetic, but whatever it is, he won’t take no for an answer. But their idea of playing can often lead to aggression, such as growling, nibbling and even full on biting. Everyone wants to be able to play with their dog, but a dog that displays aggressive behavior when playing could potentially be a risk not just to you, but children, strangers and other dogs too.

Training your dog to NOT play aggressively could save you from a world of future problems. Not to mention it means you can play with him without the risk of losing a finger. Thankfully, with patience and a proactive attitude, you can nip displays of playful but aggressive behavior in the bud relatively quickly.

Defining Tasks

Training your dog not to be aggressive can be done through a variety of methods. You can try and encourage them to play with toys instead of your body, you can ensure they have a cool off period when they start to show signs of aggression, plus you can let them know when you are dissatisfied with their behavior.

The key to training aggressive behavior out of your dog is consistency. You need to keep up the training until all displays of aggression have gone. Combating aggressive play is seriously important, otherwise, their aggression could manifest itself outside of play and could lead to serious injury. It is not a straightforward and easy road to tackling aggression, but with persistence, in several weeks or months you could have a transformed dog. While training aggression out of puppies may be easier, even graying dogs can respond to this sort of training too.

Getting Started

Before you begin tackling aggressive behavior, you’ll need to get a few things together. It is firstly worth getting a toy for your dog that will be used instead of your hands and arms. You may also want to get some treats to reward your dog for playing gently. These could be actual dog treats, or their favorite food, be it cheese or some lean meat. The only other thing you need is patience and a proactive attitude.

You’re now equipped with the knowledge and some tasty treats, it’s time to get to work!

The Toy Substitute Method

Most Recommended
8 Votes
Toy Substitute method for Not Play Aggressively
Step
1
Begin playing with your dog gently
Try to keep play gentle, soft and strictly friendly. You don’t want to get them too worked up, but if they do...
Step
2
Introduce a toy into the mix
Encourage your dog to chew and play with the toy instead of your hands, arms and legs. Try to keep your hands away from his mouth and on the toy only.
Step
3
Tug of war
Encourage the dog to pull the toy with its mouth while you pull at it too. But always let your dog win so they feel encouraged and want to play again in future.
Step
4
Stop when a line is crossed
If your dog gets too aggressive and starts growling, barking or biting, then it’s time for a cool down period. Leave or ignore your dog until he has calmed down.
Step
5
Praise your dog for gentle play
If your dog has behaved well during play, be sure to praise him or give him a treat – he will then associate gentle play with rewards in the future.
Recommend training method?

The Distract & Discourage Method

Effective
9 Votes
Distract & Discourage method for Not Play Aggressively
Step
1
Exercise, exercise, and more exercise
If he is well and truly tired out, your dog won’t have the energy for aggressive play. If you can’t walk him anymore than you already do, throw a ball for him regularly while walking to tire him out.
Step
2
Teach tricks and obedience commands
Teaching your dog to ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’ and ‘roll over’, will all help you control your dog’s behavior. It will help him respond to your commands promptly, making it much easier to stop aggressive behavior quickly when they start to exhibit signs of it in play.
Step
3
Use positive reinforcements only
Never punish your dog when he is aggressive, it may work your dog up even more. Instead, focus on praising your dog with words or treats when he is gentle and well-behaved. This will encourage him to repeat that good behavior again.
Step
4
Discourage aggressive attention-seeking
If your dog does get too excited and starts to growl or bite, move your arms behind your back, lean away, and look away to show him you will not engage with them if he is going to be aggressive.
Step
5
Stay off the floor with an excitable puppy
Puppies can get overly excited very quickly if you’re down at their level. Instead, stay above them, this will help them to see you are the pack leader and prevent them exhibiting signs of aggression.
Recommend training method?

The React to Behavior Method

Least Recommended
7 Votes
React to Behavior method for Not Play Aggressively
Step
1
React
Say ‘NO’ in a firm voice if your dog displays aggressive behavior and bites you. Also ensure you relay that you are unhappy by walking away and ignoring him until he has calmed down.
Step
2
Use taste deterrents
Dogs that have a habit of biting when playing can be deterred with unpleasant tastes. These deterrents can be bought online and from pet shops and once your dog associates biting with a horrible taste, they should soon stop biting.
Step
3
Keep your hand away from his mouth
If your dog has a habit of trying to bite when you playing, then stick to stroking their body and handling their toys only, don’t play with their mouth or head. This will reduce biting and direct their attention to the toy instead.
Step
4
Never play roughly
It sounds obvious, but if your dog has a habit of aggressive play, then don’t allow him to get worked up by also roughhousing with them. Remain quiet and soft so he can’t get overly excited and aggressive.
Step
5
Don’t be afraid to use a muzzle
If your dog consistently bites and you cannot stop him getting aggressive, then it might be time to consider a muzzle. This will prevent him biting, and when he plays gently you can remove the muzzle to signal to them they have behaved well and should continue to play in the same manner.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Amy Caldwell

Published: 09/21/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Charlie
beagle pug
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Charlie
beagle pug
5 Months

We have a 4 year old cat and adopted a rescue puppy in October. I think that our puppy believes that the cat is a moving play toy. But my concern is that he always tries to jump on the cat and nip or chew on his ears. The cat will tolerate this up to a point and then get to higher ground. I would like to know how to stop this behavior so that they can play gently and become friends and companions to each other. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carolyn, Don't expect the animals to play together, instead teach the puppy to respect the cat's space, then if the cat decides she wants to play, she can initiate it when the puppy is more mature and calmer - but very few cats ever initiate play with dogs so don't expect it. If it happens it will be a pleasant surprise. A more realistic goal for the animals is for them to be able to calmly hang out in the same room and simply get along without getting rough or scared. Just because they do not play, that does not mean that they will not enjoy each others company though. Our cat growing up simply liked to lay near our cat-friendly dog - even though they didn't play or touch usually. When Charlie starts getting rough with the cat, get between the animals, tell Charlie "Out" (which means leave the area) while you point to where he should go to (away from the cat), and walk toward Charlie until he moves to where you have pointed to - away from the cat. Pretend that you are a goalie or a herding dog, trying to herd him away from the cat using your body. Be calm but firm when you do this. You don't want to add even more excitement to the scenario by being excited or angry. When Charlie is "Out", then stand in front of him and block him from going back to the cat until he stops trying to get back. When he stops trying to get around you or fixating on the cat, or leaves completely, then walk back toward the cat yourself. If he tries to follow you back, then tell him "Ah-Ah" and repeat walking toward him to get him out of the area again. Practice walking him out of the area, standing in front of him to block him from returning to the cat, going back over to the cat yourself, and walking him out of the area again if he tries to follow you back. When you are ready to let him come back, tell him "Okay!" in a cheerful tone of voice and encourage him back over - he does not have to come back over though. Be consistent and don't let him go back over to where the cat is unless you have told its "Okay". Expect to have to repeat walking toward him and blocking his way a lot at first. He will not understand what you are doing at first, so needs to practice this. He also will likely not want to obey, but should learn to obey if you are consistent and show him through your consistency and insistence that obeying that command isn't optional. Also, when he is calmly hanging out by the cat, laying down while the cat moves around nearby, or obeys your "Out" command when first told - without you having to walk him out of the area, then reward him with treats and praise. By doing that, you are teaching him to continue to love the cat but also to be respectful toward her and calm around her. Your cat will probably appreciate Charlie's new manners and might choose to be closer to him if she feels as if she can trust him more. I also recommend teaching a "Leave It" command, so that you can tell Charlie to leave the cat alone when you know that he is thinking about bothering her but hasn't yet. Check out the article that I have linked below and use the "Leave It" method. When Charlie can do the "Leave It" training with food and objects, then practice with moving things, like yourself, other people and the cat walking by. Block him from getting to the cat if he disobeys - by getting between him and the cat like you did with the "Out" command. When he stops trying to get to the cat, then you can reward him for leaving her alone. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lucky
Labrador Retriever
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucky
Labrador Retriever
10 Months

My family isn't cooperating with the advice you've given me so far. Since I can't find a wag article about family cooperation for dog training, and I've tried by best to train Lucky on my own (he's not tall, he is a Jack Russel mixed with Labrador and maybe some boxer), he only listens to me and only me, and he also "fears" me as well.

Since cooperation is basically non-existent, Lucky will not listen to anyone in the house, and even so, he barely even listens to me at all. He's older now, and he learned that if I'm there, he'll listen, but if I'm not there, and no one does a thing.

He'll misbehave to everyone else, and he also runs from me, knowing if he has the chance, he can escape me to go to wherever he wants in the house and misbehave. If I do catch him though, I have to drag him by the collar otherwise he'll bite (not playfully) my hand to try to make me let go of him and make his escape.

If all my family members train him (4 members, including me), will Lucky learn to behave aorund everyone, or just with us?

How do I get my family to cooperate with the advice you've given me?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kien, If everyone is consistent, with time, practice, and a bit more maturity age-wise Lucky should improve. It can be hard to be the middle-man and reiterate advice you have been told. I suggest hiring a trainer to come to your home and work with Lucky while the entire family is present. If your family can hear the advice directly from a professional instead of through you that may help. If they can try the training for themselves and see improvement in Lucky's behavior, that might also help. As a trainer, human cooperation is often the hardest part of the job. People have to believe it will work and choose to do it for themselves. At the end of the day you cannot force a person to do something. It's their choice. Look into local obedience clubs to see if there are dicounted classes you can attend together or see if there is a local trainer who will come to your house and give your family one-on-one attention. A well qualified trainer with a good reputation for success and teaching that comes to your home will probably be the most effective but a class will be cheaper. In the end the family members have to choose to participate. Neither you nor a trainer can force that, but a good trainer might be easier for them to listen to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lucky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Norman
Labrador x Greyhound
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Norman
Labrador x Greyhound
7 Months

Our dog Norman has become quite aggressive whenever it is outside of play time. We've defined play time in the respect that he plays when we are ready, but there are instances in which he will almost bow down as if he is about to be chased or he is in a playful mood, he will then bark continuously until one of us either gets up and leaves (which only stops him barking sometimes, definitely not foolproof), or we've had enough and we will ask him to go outside (he will rarely come willingly).

We are busy professionals but we do find time to take him to the dog park every other day, where he gets to run around and expel some of that extreme puppy energy. However with a child who has just started school, we find it hard to be able to accommodate Norman's insane amount of energy every single morning and afternoon.

Even when he does go to the park, there will be an attempt to be playful when he gets his energy back up, which includes the barking.

I've looked up everywhere and I can't get a consistent message on how to deal with a dog who barks not only for attention (even though you're looking right at him) but also to goad you into play time. We can only walk, throw and tug with him so much!

Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lachlan, Dog parks are fun but they do not teach a dog how to be calm. It sounds like Norman is trying to play with you the way he would with the other dogs. I suggest working on structure and boundaries with him, spending time teaching him commands like Place, crate training, and Stay. It is normal for him to have a lot of energy at this age, and he definitely needs exercise, but he also needs mental stimulation - which tires a dog out twice as much as physical exercise alone. Practicing commands, new things, and working on current obedience at a challenging level can stimulate him mentally. Some games are also mentally stimulating. Check out the video below for addressing boundaries with him and helping him to calm down and focus better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 When he is in the crate, you can also give him food stuffed toys - which will stimulate him a bit mentally and give him something to do. You can feed him his meals this way so that he has to work for food. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Norman's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
Australian Cattle Dog
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
Australian Cattle Dog
9 Months

Hi!
I adopted this little one yesterday. He's 9 months and had never been socialized with other dogs before. We have another australian cattle dog who's 2 years old at home. He's really calm for his breed, and he loves other animals. He can also be really playful. Thing is, Max can be really intense : when he sees Kenai, our other dog, he will bark a lot which will most likely make Kenai bark as well. They haven't really played together yet because Max seems too intense. Also, Max bit my thigh while they were barking at each other. What could be the best way to make him relaxed around Kenai?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ariane, First, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you with this because pup redirected the bite to you while aroused. You may also want to introduce pup to a basket muzzle using treat rewards. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Check out the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods. I suggest recruiting someone to walk the calmer dog while you or a trainer walk the new dog. Start with the passing approach method, and once pups can pass by each other closely and stay calm, switch to the walking together method, starting from further again and working toward closer again. When the dogs can walk together calmly, work on teaching pups Place and working on structured, calm activities with them together. As the other dog becomes more normal through obedience and calm activities together, gradually give supervised, low-key opportunities to simply hang out in the same yard or space without having to interact too much directly. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Maggie
Australian Shepherd
8 Years
3 found helpful
Question
3 found helpful
Maggie
Australian Shepherd
8 Years

I need help with my parent's older dog being overly aggressive with our two year old female Austrailian Shepherd. Initially, Maggie will play well with Ruby. However, after she gets tired from chasing a dog that's 6 years younger she will begin getting snippy and noticeably aggressive. Can you provide any thoughts on how we might be able to avoid this from happening?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tyler, It is fairly common for older dogs and younger dogs to disagree because of the differences in energy levels. Maggie is probably getting tired and feeling overwhelmed after playing for a bit because Ruby does not let up when Maggie is giving her signals that she is ready to stop. Maggie may be resorting to aggression because she feels like she has to to get Ruby to give her space. You will need to do a couple of things. The first is supervise their play and be Maggie's advocate. When you see that she is getting tired and not having fun anymore distract Ruby away from Maggie. Perhaps have Ruby do something with you, or go lie down with a toy, or even have some quiet time in her crate, if she is use to being crated, with a fun toy, like a Kong chew toy stuffed with her kibble and a little peanut butter. If you separate the two dogs before Maggie feels overwhelmed she will begin to feel like you are handling the situation and that she does not have to be the one to control things. The second thing that you can do is to reward Maggie with something she loves, such as treats or a favorite toy, whenever Ruby comes near her. When Ruby is away keep things boring for Maggie and when Ruby comes close give Maggie something special so that she will associate Ruby's presence with good things and begin to want Ruby around. I would suggest doing both of those two things, as well as rewarding Ruby for leaving Maggie alone when you interrupt their play. Teaching a "come" or an "out" command can be great for Ruby. An out command is simply a command that means get out of the space you are currently in, that space being wherever Maggie is. Best of luck with your dogs, your girl is beautiful in the photo. Thank you, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Maggie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
Border Collie lab mix
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Border Collie lab mix
4 Months

How do I get her to actually respect me? All she does is want to play and when I try to be firm she will not listen. She will listen to my parents but when I come home she will not listen to anyone. I am having a hard time training her not to bite and jump. I’ve tried treats and smacking on the nose but nothings worked.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, Respect is generally earned by putting in extra time and effort ahead of time. First, spend time training her in general - it doesn't matter as much what you teach but being the one to teach her commands can help build respect. Down, Heel, Watch Me, Sit, Place, and Come are all good commands to help with calmness or focus. Second, when you give a command, insist on it, helping her be able to do it if it isn't something she knows yet (don't assume she knows what you want because at this age she probably doesn't most of the time - she just knows you are mad for some reason or want SOMETHIING). For example, if you tell her to Come, and she normally doesn't, keep a drag leash on her around the house, and when you call her and she doesn't come, calmly go over to her, pick up her leash and walk her back to where you called her from. When she focuses on you and stops trying to get away (or sits), then praise her and tell her "Okay", then let her go. Only tell her to Come for pleasant things and emergencies while she is still learning to come around distractions and in general so that she will want to come more often. - If you need her for something unpleasant, keep the drag leash on her, go over to her and calmly bring her to where you need her to go. If you tell her to Sit and she has learned that command before and isn't doing it, hold her leash tight enough that she can't leave and wait until she gets tired and finally sits - this can take up to 30 minutes the first time! It's all about being calm and persistent though - so that she learns that you mean what you say but she isn't too afraid to listen. You can also gently pull up on your puppy's leash and at the same time press two fingers on either side of where her tailbone meets her back - touching that sensitive area will cause most puppies to tuck their bottoms under into a sit. Do this only for puppies that already know the Sit command from methods like lure reward training - using treats and fun to teach it. Think about the people in authority who you respect the most - they are probably calm but when they say something they actually mean it. People who yell a lot or are inconsistent often don't earn respect, only fear. For the biting, she probably thinks you are roughhousing right now. Check out the article linked below and follow the "Leave It method".This will take practice for her to learn it so practice regularly. You can use the bite Inhibition method in the meantime, but the Leave It method should be your end goal to teach at her age. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite For the jumping, check out the Step Towards method from the article linked below. When you practice this, you should be very calm and business-like. She will likely try jumping even more at first to test out how you will respond. Simply stay calm and step toward her again with your arms behind your back until she decides this isn't fun anymore and calms down. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tucker
Australian Shepherd
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tucker
Australian Shepherd
9 Months

Tucker likes to play with my 2 year old cat. The problem is he is playing too rough with her and has pulled out her fur and will grab her and pull her down on the floor. Kitty refuses to take her claws out to hit him. She will even initiate chases with him by walking by very slowly and swishing her trail to get him to run after her. I enjoy that they like to play with each other but I want him to stop biting her so hard and pulling her down. The last time she started bleeding. I'm at a loss of how to fix it and was hoping that there was a way to use the clicker to teach him to not do those things. (We've clicker trained Tucker since we got him).

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, I suggest teaching Tucker the "Out" command (which means get away from where you are). Use the out command to make Tucker leave the area any time that he starts roughhousing with your cat. Gently play and snuggling is fine but watch for him getting aroused and interrupt him at the first sign of arousal and over-excitement. If you give the animals consistent boundaries he should also calm down a bit with age. Out command - check out the how to teach the out command section, and also the how to use out to deal with pushy behavior section. I suggest at least quickly reading over the entire article though. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tucker's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Plato
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Plato
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

WE adopted Plato when he was 11 months old. He is house trained and has had four accidents in the past month. He understands sit, thats it. How do I train him in other simple commands?
He is very energetic, I take him for AM and PM walks, I and my boys play with him. But, There are days when he seems low on his energy levels and rests/sleeps a lot, that is my first concern.
Second: He thinks of running away with a shoe and one of us running after him to retrieve it as a game. I have tried scolding him, saying no and being firm with him about this but he continues to display this behavior. I have to grab his upper jaw and make him let go of the shoe. What do I do about this behavior? How do I train him?
Third: How do I introduce him to my neighbor's dogs so they can play? I do not have a dog park nearby.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chhavi, For the obedience I suggest either joining a Basic Obedience class with him in your area, or finding how to videos or articles on for each command you want to teach, such as: How to teach Sit https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit How to teach Down https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ How to teach Come https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall How to teach Drop It https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it How to teach Heel https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel How to teach Leave It - follow the "Leave It" method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite How to teach Fetch https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ For the running away, keep an 8 foot leash on him while you are home to supervise. When he gets a shoe, calmly walk over to the end of the leash and pick it up, take the slack out of it (so he won't pull you over), and tell him to "Drop It". Since you will have the other end of the leash he won't be able to run away with it. Practice Drop It with his toys at other times so that he becomes good at that command when he isn't excited about a shoe and can then perform the command when you tell him to. To introduce him to another dog, first make sure that that dog is someone he should be playing with and is not aggressive. It's better not to play with any dogs than meet an aggressive dog. If the other dog does well with dogs, then follow the Walking Together method from the article linked below, to gradually introduce them in a calm way on a walk before letting them play in the yard. If they are super excited, then you can use the Passing Approach method, then the Walking together method, then introduce them up close. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs While playing, pay attention to their energy and if both dogs are still having fun. If one starts to get overwhelmed or the play starts getting too intense, have the dogs pause the play and calm down. When both are calmer, let the most timid dog go first and if they want to play, you can let the other dog go play as well. By giving them a break you are keeping them from getting as aroused (lots of arousal is more likely to lead to fighting), letting both catch their breath, and keeping the game fun and not overwhelming for the more timid or tired of the two dogs. For the general tiredness on certain days, I would ask you vet. That could just be his personality and normal for him since he is getting a bit older, but it could also be something medical and I am not a Vet so can't give medical advice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Plato's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ulysses
German Shorthaired Pointer mix
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ulysses
German Shorthaired Pointer mix
5 Years

Ulysses is extremely chill in the house and gets along with pretty much all dogs on walks and one-on-one play. In a dog park, his tail is wagging the whole time but often the hair on the back of his neck is standing on end the moment we walk in there. About 80% of the time he plays great with the other dogs, but occasionally he will get on top of a dog, forcing them onto their back on the ground and growling, refusing to let the dog get up. Whenever this happens it's fairly easy to pull him off and regain control, but we'd really like this not to happen in the first place. Do you have any advice? Thank you so much! We adopted Ulysses from a shelter 3 weeks ago, and know very little about his history.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, when his tail is wagging, does it look relaxed and loose or stiff, possible high, or short quick wag? If the wag is stiff, that's not necessarily a sign of friendliness - that's a sign of arousal, which can be paired with friendliness or aggression, but doesn't mean pup is necessarily happy, just tense and on edge due to aggression, nervousness or excitement. Dogs in that state are far more likely to get into a fight. Many dogs don't do well at the dog park because arousal levels are so high there among all the dogs. To be honest, I would stop going to the dog park with pup. It sounds like pup does well one-on-one and pursuing one-on-one lower key play dates, structured calmer activities with other dogs - like walks and hikes together, or classes in canine sports or obedience would be much better ways to exercise, stimulate mentally and maintain socialization for your dog. If pup is a dog who struggles with the environment of the dog park, the incidences of aggression and stress of going could actually create dog aggression that's not present yet, making all interactions with other dogs a big issue in general. Choose interactions that facilitate less competing and arousal, to help pup improve their social skills. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ulysses's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Walter
black mouth cur
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Walter
black mouth cur
7 Months

My pup is semi-trained - meaning he is completely housetrained and can sit, leave it and stay and come but only does these when he wants to -- nothing consistent. We have gone to a summer home now and he has completely regressed. The only thing consistent is his biting and jumping from 7-10pm every single night; this is mostly when company is arriving and staying. This past weekend I was constantly taking him "out for a walk" every half hour so he would not bite the company. Please help me - I am at my wits end! I run and walk him 4-5 times per day but his energy level is super high still. At home is he calmer and used to a back yard and roaming; at this house there is no yard or safe place for off leash running. A little background, we had hired an inhouse trainer in the Spring that did not work out at all; the methods were to bark or growl back at the dog in order to "have him understand us" - apparently this method states dogs cannot understand words just dog sounds -- so much money and time wasted there
Any advice would be helpful.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, I am so sorry for your experience with the other trainer. I suggest teaching the following commands to teach him calmness. Even though he has tons of energy he should be able to learn how to be calm inside but it is a skill that needs to be taught and you will need to find ways to stimulate him mentally and physically also - but the stimulation times should be when you decide and he should be more relaxed at other times...this takes practice to teach so try not to get discouraged and stay consistent. To help build calmness I suggest teaching the commands from the videos and articles linked below: Place - he should practice being on Place a lot. Work up to 1-2 hours. You can give a food stuffed chew toy for him to work on while on Place. He can stand up, sit down, and lie down while on it but he cannot get off it until he is told "Okay", "Free", or whatever release word you use. Place is a great command for teaching him self-control and how to simply BE instead while inside. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo For the jumping and biting: Out command - which means leave the area you are in. Also be sure to read the sections on teaching the Out command and using Out to deal with pushy behavior: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It command from Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Jumping - Step Toward method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Spending time training every day can actually help with the energy too. It you are teaching things that are a bit challenging for him - and self-control is very challenging at this age for him, then it can help wear him out mentally. Mental exercise being combined with physical exercise has been proven to tire a dog out more than physical exercise alone. To cope with my own high drive dog's energy when he was young we would have 30 minute training sessions every day in addition to regular walks or games of fetch. Without the training sessions he tended to get into mischief. You also may want to invest in a 30 foot leash and padded back clip harness to work on some off-leash work such as Come using the Reel In method from the article linked below, or teach a structured game of fetch using a long leash, and incorporate sit, down, and wait commands into the game to make him work harder to tire him out sooner. You want him to be working for you to help him calm down and get tired. Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Fetch: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Walter's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gunner
Cocker Spaniel
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gunner
Cocker Spaniel
17 Weeks

When sat at the dinner table he will jump up and bite, when we are in the garden he will jump up and bite, we are restricting the amount we play with him because he bites. We have tried the ouch approach and the no approach as well as moving away from him but nothing seems to be working. We exercise him twice a day for 20 minutes and complete training sessions throughout the day too. He is absolutely fine on a lead and walks really well, we know that we need to work on heel with him. He is timid around other dogs but does not bark or bite them.

Please help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elisabeth, Check out the Step Toward and Leash Pressure methods for the jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump For the biting, I suggest teaching the Leave It command from the Leave It method. I also suggest teaching Out and paying special attention to the sections on How to Teach Out and How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gunner's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dexter
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dexter
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

We've had Dexter for the last five year, he was adopted from a shelter at 12 weeks old. He know basic commands (sit, stay, down, etc.) and has had positive interactions with dogs at the dog park and in other homes. We just adopted another dog this week from a local rescue-she's a two year old German Shepherd/Husky mix named Sienna. Dexter is displaying a lot of jealous behaviors ranging from shoving her out of the way or squeezing in next to her any time she is receiving attention from me or my boyfriend. He's also growled at her when she tries to play with him with certain toys-they'll play tug with a rope toy and then he quickly begins to growl. They've done some playing and can be alone together, but he's not sharing attention or toys very well. Are there any strategies I can try to help Dexter more comfortable with living and playing with his new housemate? At what point does it make sense to seek professional help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jenny, If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a bite, then I would seek professional help. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the below suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough - you need someone who has a lot of experience with behavior issues to address it with the dogs and teach you how to manage it in real time). The growling during tug play could actually be a sign of play - if both dogs are tugging on the rope and their body language is otherwise fine - happy and relaxed, most dogs will growl while playing tug - but it's the rest of the body language that tells whether the intent is aggressive or play-mock-fighting. For the jealous behavior, pushiness, and resource guarding, work on taking the pressure off of both dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behavior in a calm but firm way. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If Dexter pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell Dexter Out and enforce him leaving. When he is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Dexter over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If Dexter growls at pup, make him leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give Dexter a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for Dexter - treats stop when pup leaves. When Dexter is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting matcho and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog, but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dexter's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jude
English Bulldog
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jude
English Bulldog
2 Years

Jude is very stubborn. He knows commands like sit, come and to go to his spot when told, but only when he wants to. We have had him in training and have a buzz collar that helps when he is not listening, but it is not feasible to have it on him, or the clicker on us all the time as we have an infant child as well. At home he can be a bit much, but the real problem is at his daycare. He goes to daycare 2-4 days a week and recently they have had to pull him from group play and keep him isolated due to aggressive play. He charges the other dogs to get them to play but obviously this is not okay as the other dogs may not like this and then get aggressive themselves. Is there anything we can do to get him to play nicer so he doesn't have to be alone at daycare? Thanks!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ryan, You can teach him the out command - which means leave the area, and use it to tell him to give the other dogs' space when needed. If the issue was happening during doggie play dates with friends and you were present this is something you could work on. Since it's happening at the daycare and the workers likely can't be training him while there, you may not be able to do anything about the situation because it would require someone who knows how to work with him being willing and able to work with him in real time around the other dogs - daycare workers are supervising so many dogs that they can't give that much attention to a single dog, all they can do is manage by separating. A trainer at a group obedience facility, who specializes in aggression (even though this isn't exactly aggression but those skills are similar) and behavior issues and has access to well behaved dogs to practice the training around is what you need. This will be a private training session at their facility most likely - even though it would involve other dogs your dog would be the only one being trained. Not all places are set up for this so you would have to ask facilities a lot of questions to see if they could accommodate your needs. If a group training facility where they can work on this isn't an option, then I suggest spending the daycare money on something like a structured walk with a dog walker, possibly walking with other well-behaved dogs for the social experience - but in a calm, structured way to help with behavior around other dogs. You want low-arousal activities around other dogs, opposed to things like wrestling and unstructured play to improve interactions. Finding a daycare that has activities like hiking, agility, treat finding, swimming, doggie massage, ect...and choosing activities that are safe for his breed would be another good option if such a place exists in your city. He would be somewhere having fun and being mentally and physically stimulated, plus around other dogs, but the environment wouldn't involve rough play and high arousal - but more mentally stimulating activities instead. This is actually better for a dog in general. Teaching Out - After Out is taught it can be enforced with the remote training collar using a long leash. You would give the command - which he knows and has practiced at that point, wait two seconds. If he starts to move away from the area he is in, praise and toss a treat to him. If he disobeys and doesn't move away, buzz the collar while saying "Ah Ah" and reeling him in with the long leash. As soon as he starts to move away from the area because you are reeling him in, stop buzzing the collar - this is to help him connect that moving away is what stops the correction, so he will learn to move away on his own when told to. Using both corrections AND rewards, instead of just one of the other, can help him learn faster. It's super important that you show him what to do with the long leash when you start using correction - you don't want to just buzz him without also showing him at first where to go with the long leash, even though he should know Out before beginning. The verbal "Ah Ah" or "No" is also important because he will learn to associate that with the correction so that he will respond to just "Ah Ah" later and not need the correction as often. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ You mentioned that you don't always have a clicker with you, teaching pup a verbal "Ah Ah" and a verbal positive marker (a clicker is a marker) like "Yes" or "Good!" can also be useful. This is done just like a with a clicker. Say Yes and reward, or Good and quickly reward, practicing over and over until pup associates that word with a reward, then the "Yes" or "Good" can be used as a marker. Right when he does something good, without having to carry a clicker around. The main thing is just to try to have good timing with your Yes or Good so that you say it right when pup is doing the thing you want to help him learn, then follow up with a treat for new commands. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jude's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
Whippet
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
Whippet
3 Years

Hi there,

my dog max is a 3 year old whippet and he is very playful - he just loves other dogs, other people and definitely children. He has always been a loud dog, he whines when unhappy, barks when excited and when he plays he sounds so aggressive. He really isn't - I have watched him do the play bow, he takes in turns, he backs off when needed and I can almost always call him back- he is cheeky and always wants to be chased so he does tease a little, but he doesn't and hasn't ever harmed another dog.

My issue is that other dog owners, who don't have a whippet, don't understand that just because he SOUNDS aggressive, doesn't mean he IS aggressive. When our dogs start to play, I will warn them that Max SOUNDS aggressive, but he isn't going to harm their dog. they then start playing, and after not too long the other owners tell me that I'm wrong, and that my dog is aggressive. we call the dogs off (which is easily done, because they aren't fighting), and their dog is actually often coming back for more because they were having fun! but the owner remains insistent that is was bad.

I would like to know if there is a way to get Max to SOUND less aggressive when he plays. I know he isn't being aggressive, but I do come away from all of these instances feeling bad about myself when actually nothing happened!! So I think if I can train the 'noise' out of the interaction, then everyone will be much happier? cause as it stands, I don't like to let max off and meet other dogs if they don't seem understanding.

Thank you for your help
Stacey

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stacey, Check out the article linked below and follow the Quiet method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark At first, this method will teach no barking. After pup has learned Quiet means stop barking, to teach pup to also stop growling when you say "Quiet," practice Quiet in scenarios where pup play growls too - like while playing tug of war. Whenever he growls while playing, tell him "Quiet". Reward him when he gets quiet when you say "Quiet" and stop the game if he doesn't stop growling - until he calms down, then resume playing again. Practice this on/off, red light/green light type training during play with just you and him until he can control his growling better. Honestly, for the next part of training you may need to pair the quiet command with a remote vibration collar and teach him that the tone from the collar means Quiet, and the vibration is used as a mild form of correction - to interrupt him enough to "snap him out of it" when needed - rewarding him well when he responds correctly so that this is a pleasant exercise for him when he chooses to obey. I believe E-collar technologies has a vibration collar with a tone setting, that might be a good place to look for a high quality one first. Once he has learned to become quiet when he hears the vibration collar tone, and understands that the vibration is a correction for disobeying Quiet - so it's not a scary thing just a reminder, practice playing one-on-one with a friends' well mannered, obedient dog. Remind him verbally or with the tone to be quiet when he starts growling, reward with continued play or treats (call the dogs apart and reward separately so there is no competition for food), and use the Out command (which means move away from something) or his recall to separate them when they are so aroused pup is really struggling to obey quiet. Once they are calmer again, you can continue the play and training. Pay attention to their overall energy and arousal level and end the play and training for the day when they are starting to get rougher and rougher and have less control as they get tired. Have regular training/play practices until pup is doing really well playing quietly with that dog, then you can recruit other friends with dogs to practice with, and finally let pup play with other, well socialized dogs in general. For this behavior pup may always need a little bit of a reminder occasionally to stay quiet however...but once pup has learned the lesson well, it should just be a reminder needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Doobi
Rottweiler Mix
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Doobi
Rottweiler Mix
1 Year

I adopted Doobi just over a week ago. He loves playing with other dogs, and knows to back off when other dogs don't want to play, has been friendly to every person he has come across, and is a sweetheart 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time occurs when he wants to play and I (or other humans) don't comply. This usually happens in one of two situations - when he's being asked to relax or go to sleep at home, or when he suddenly gets overly excited on a walk and starts tugging on his leash as if it is a toy.

In the first situation, I separate myself from him, to teach him that barking and running around like mad will not win him the attention he wants. On the walks, however, I can't just let go of his leash and ignore him, and because he's so big and strong and not aware of his strength, his bites often hurt me. There have been times where I've tried to stop him by getting him to sit where I was no longer sure the bites or the behavior was playful anymore, and it's a little scary. Are there any particular methods to stopping him without getting injured in these situations, until he learns more commands and becomes more obedient?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

It's good that you are inquiring about this behavior now. I think you may want to take Doobi for some one on one training. Because the situation is a little scary, it's better to do that. If you are unable to do that right away, at the very least take Doobi to obedience classes. The structure and mental stimulation will be very good for him. Rottweilers were once working dogs and I find the breed still has that innate desire in them. Agility or flyball are fun activities that would tire Doobi out and perhaps make him more docile. Learning his commands will benefit you because your energetic pooch will know his place and respect you. Remember, not knowing your dog's past can make the training a challenge, too because you don't know how long he has acted like this. So, make some inquiries about training right away. In the meantime, there are good tips here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-rottweiler-to-not-be-aggressive and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. All the best to you and Doobi.

Add a comment to Doobi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Huey
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Huey
German Shepherd
4 Years

Hi There,

Huey is usually pretty easy going while playing with other dogs but once in a while he gets that "pack mentality" and will gang up on a dog while playing with multiple dogs. He gets quite obsessive with becoming the dominant dog and will pin a dog down until it yelps. Today he really latched on and wouldnt let go. This play aggression is getting out of hand and would appreciate any advice on how to stop it. It seems like an instinct that is hard to train out of a dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julia, Quite simply, he needs to not be allowed to play in an unstructured way with a group of dogs anymore. Not only is it doing harm to the other dogs physically and tempermentally, but the more he practices bullying behavior, the worse it will get for him. Instead, see if you can set up a dog walking or hiking group or join an already existing one (if you are in the US space everyone out). Practicing obedience commands outside around other dogs doing the same thing can also be a good way to socialize him while encouraging calmness, a more respectful attitude, and better listening with you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Huey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Andrea
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Andrea
Chihuahua
3 Years

Hello! I feel like a bad owner for not being able to properly socialize my dog, but I don't understand why she gets incredibly defensive when it comes to me, she barks at people if they get to close or visit and I don't know how to fix the issue, she barks at other dogs when I walk her and dosen't like new dog friends, but adores being around my grandmas dogs and family friend dogs, she even plays well with my two cats and they get along well. What am I doing wrong?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nathalia, I suggest working on desensitizing pup to strangers and strange dogs using positive reinforcement, while also increasing pup's overall respect for you because of the possessiveness she may have of you, and to build her trust. Check out the article linked below for some details on socializing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ Check out the articles and videos linked below for ways to increase pup's trust and respect for you: Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Thomas from the Canine Educator on YouTube has several free videos online talking about leash reactivity, aggression, fear, and reactivity as well. Reactivity is defined as a dog acting aggressive from a distance but not when actually introduced to what they were reacting to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Andrea's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Felix
Australian Shepherd
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Felix
Australian Shepherd
5 Months

Inside Felix has a perfect fetch and will generally be the model puppy citizen with good manners but inside fetch only does so much for his energy. When we go outside he gets very excited and when I ask him to let go of his toys he will, but then immediately decides to use my leg as his new toy. I tried ignoring him or walking away but biting my leg is the tug that he's craving. So I've switched to picking him up to have mini air timeout till he calms down and can sit for play. Is this the best way to communicate that this is the only way he gets to play or should I be doing something different?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Charlie, First, for fetch, try playing with two balls. Work on teaching Drop It if he doesn't already know that command, and when he drops the first ball, have a second ball behind your back that you throw - so that he learns to let go of the main ball and forget about it - instead of wrestling to get it back or transferring to your leg. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Second, what you are doing about the biting isn't necessarily a bad thing to do, but I would suggest a bit different approach to help him learn faster. Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good at the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely (which it's time for him to learn at this age). The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. When he does bite you leg, use Leave It, then if he continues, ignoring leave it, and he is simply too wound up to respond to the training, instead of lifting him - take it a bit further, and place him in a crate or an exercise pen for five minutes with a chew toy - give the chew toy, because the purpose isn't really to punish him but to give him a break to calm down where he can learn to redirect his over-excitement onto the chew toy until calm enough to play. Wait until he is calm before you let him back out of the crate, even if that means you have to crate him for a while at first (unless he truly needs to go potty, then deal with that). Another thing you can try is, teach him the Out - command, (which means leave the area), following the section in the article linked below on How to Teach Out. Once he knows Out, use the section found in the same article on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior to enforce him giving you space when he isn't listening - expect him to get more excited at first while he doesn't understand what you are doing, but stay consistent, calm, and keep taking steps toward him until he backs away and gives some space. Your goal is to be "Spock-like" (serious calm, character from StarTrek) and show as little emotion or reactivity as possible while doing this, to help him calm down also. Finally, know that mental exercise can actually tire a dog out even more than physical exercise alone; this tends to be even more important for intelligent, working dogs like Australian Shepherds. As a general rule, try incorporating training commands into daily life for pup, practicing things that are a bit challenging for pup and require concentration from them, or teaching new tricks regularly - simply as a fun way to keep pup mentally engaged, happy, and calmer overall. These things don't have to take tons of time, just a bit of creativity to incorporate them into other activities like fetch, walks, daily life, or 10-30 minute training sessions at some point in the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Training

Add a comment to Felix's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gunnar
Plott Hound
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gunnar
Plott Hound
1 Year

Gunnar (almost a year and a half) and Meeka (7 year old black lab mix) constantly want to play when we just want to sit down on the couch or sit down for dinner. Their play includes biting legs, necks, ears, growling, barking, etc. Neither of them are aggressive but they get overly excited and rambunctious. We ultimately would like this type of playing to be done outside only or not at all. Is there any way to train them not to play so wild/aggressive inside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelly, I suggest teaching both pups Out - which means leave the area, Leave It, and Place. Make not playing in the house a rule and when they start to, calmly tell pups "Ah Ah", then give them a command to leave each other alone, like Out, Leave It, or go to Place. When they are most riled up, use Place so they have to actually be in separate areas and are less tempted. While they are on separate Place beds, you can also give each dog a food stuffed chew toy to keep them entertained instead. It will take time and a lot of consistency for them to stop playing inside completely, but stay consistent and play attempts inside should gradually lessen and those commands also help you manage the attempts until then. When outside, begin giving a command like "Go Play!" And say it excitedly so that pups know it's acceptable outside and the rule is just for inside the house. Out - leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave it method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gunnar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rex
American Pit Bull Terrier
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rex
American Pit Bull Terrier
8 Months

We just adopted a pitty mix 3 days ago. He is relatively calm until he wants to play, except when he plays it can be aggressive. He wants to bite at us. I have tried ignoring this behavior but it eggs him on and makes it worse. We’re not sure if he was ever socialized as a younger pup. He does not bark or growl at people or other dogs, he just gets very excited and when he gets excited he gets mouthy and I don’t think he knows how hard he can bite. We have also started to try and teach him basic commands. When I give him a command he growls a bit, doesn’t show any teeth or anything like that but he definitely doesn’t like not getting what he wants. He also gets jumpy and mouthy when he wants our attention. I’m just not sure where to start with the jumping and biting, especially since ignoring the behavior makes it worse. HELP we want a well behaved dog!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madeline, Check out the video linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rex's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Barkley
Bully mix
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Barkley
Bully mix
5 Months

Hello,

I am fostering two sweet puppies from the same litter. They play well together with or without toys except when it comes to tug. If there’s a rope or something of the same caliber they get aggressive instantly. When tussling gets out of hand they stop with a command. I haven’t attempted it in a game of tug, I’ve avoided them playing tug together until I have an action plan. I would hate for them to find a home and be sent back over it. What can I do to help them play tug without aggression?

I should also mention they play tug with me and other people well. No growling or any aggression.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lulu, First, know that growling and rough housing during tug is normal. They could be acting fierce and it be a 'pretend sort of aggression, meant as playful'. It that's not the case however, and they are truly fighting, practice teaching both puppies to stay on a Place bed and calmly watch while you play tug with the other puppy. Have someone reward the waiting puppy with kibble or small treats for staying calm while watching the game. Be sure to include the rewards! You want pup to associate the other puppy having the toy with good things for themself, not just feel jealous watching. Also practice Drop It with both puppies, one at a time, with you holding the tug toy. When they can both obey Drop It well playing with you, hold a long toy in the middle and encourage each pup to grab a different end, then practice Drop It with both pups on either end of the toy while you hold the middle. Reward with treats when they obey and keep the game boring and still if one pup doesn't let go - until they get bored and let go. When both pups can do that, encourage more tugging and play while you all three hold the toy, then practice Drop It while pups are a bit more excited. Gradually work up to pups getting more and more excited before commanding Drop It, and still being able to stop on cue and calm down to receive a reward. Finally, practice this with both pups but let go of the toy while they both have an end. At first, command Drop It while the game is still calm, rewarding for obedience. Wait until they get a bit more excited before commanding Drop It as they improve. It's important to include the rewards here, to build trust and create a positive association with playing tug with the other pup in a calmer way. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you! This helped tremendously. One of the pups was adopted and we ended up keeping the other :)

Add a comment to Barkley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Frieda
German Shorthaired Pointer
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frieda
German Shorthaired Pointer
11 Weeks

Frieda is really obsessed with food. She will bark and growl while I am dishing her food out. When she finishes, she will run to our other dog's bowl to eat his food too. She will do anything for food

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Patrick, First, at this age pup can be fed all of his meals via dog food stuffed chew toys (which slows his eating down and can be given in a crate or exercise pen to help with alone time), and as treat rewards for all the training and socializing you are doing at this age. When you do feed the dogs, feed them in separate areas, such as their own locked crates, so that no food competing can begin - which can lead to resource guarding between the dogs if left unchecked. Work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Work on hand feeding, and when you do feed in the bowl, also practice feeding him his meals in sections. Feed 1/4 of his meal, practice making him wait before digging in by holding onto the bowl, pulling it back whenever he tries to dive in (without letting go of it first), and calmly saying Wait, then after a few repetitions of this, when he hesitates and doesn't dive in while your hand is still on it, let go of the bowl and say "Okay!" in an excited tone of voice, and let him begin eating as a reward for waiting. As he eats, when he isn't growling, toss treats next to his bowl as you walk past him. Practice this from a few feet away until he begins to look forward to you approaching. As he improves, decrease the distance that you pass from. When he finishes the first serving, toss a treat behind him and pick up the bowl while he is distracted eating the treat. Give the next portion, have him practice waiting again, then do the treat tosses while he east again. Practice this until he has all of his meal kibble portions at that mealtime. Do this at every meal as often as you can. As he becomes relaxed and begins to like you approaching him during meals, get closer and closer, so that you are eventually placing treats into his bowl while he eats. Ease into this so that he stays relaxed during the process. When pup does great with your presence right by the bowl, you can give a gentle pet and feed a treat as you do so. Pet and feed a treat, then give space and go back to tossing the treats to avoid stressing him too much. Expect this progression to take weeks, not hours or days. Do NOT stick your hand in pup's food, take the food away while he is eating, or pet him while he is eating without making the experience fun for him also - via giving better rewards in exchange each time. Messing with a dog while they are eating without the right protocols and rewards to prevent stress around mealtimes, can actually cause food aggression, rather than prevent it. The goal is to build pup's trust with you when it comes to meals - so he doesn't feel the need to guard it, but learns that your approach and taking things like bones, results in something even better happening - like a treat or new bone. Finally, check with your vet on how much pup should be eating. Many young puppies have such high metabolisms that they will eat an adult-sized portion by the time they reach 4 months old, even though they are so much smaller than they will be. You do not want to overfeed either, so check with your vet to get an idea of how much pup needs. My own retriever eats a 3.5 cups per day as a 6 year old dog. When she was 4 months old, she ate between 3-3.5 cups per day still. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Frieda's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Milo
Golden Retriever
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Golden Retriever
8 Weeks

Milo is our new puppy, my mother’s boyfriend brought him. Now because he’s a golden retriever I assumed he was a very sweet dog. But he is too aggressive, understand puppies bite and all but I feel like it’s a bit too much he’s always wanting to bite and when he does he does so aggressively; I say this because he seems to treat my hand like a chew toy shaking his aggressively while biting he also occasionally growls. I really need some help in taking this aggressive nature away from him because I truly want him to be a sweet dog and I don’t want to further encourage this aggressive behavior even more. I have tried several tips to end this behavior such as shaking the can with coins, saying no firmly, if he’s biting excessively I put him in the cage for a few minutes, I’ve tried squealing whenever he bites to see if he’d let go.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, does Milo have lots of toys to play with? When he wants to bite, replace your hand with the toy. Maybe a tug of war toy will do the trick. Young dogs are often teething, so be sure to have a teething toy on hand. Take a look here at the Obedience Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-be-calm. It is not too early to start teaching Max the commands he needs to know and the mental workout may calm the behavior as he will be mentally tired. Make sure that Max gets lots of exercise every day, too. Puppies do bite - it is how they communicate and play with littermates so please be patient as you train. These are good articles on what to expect from a puppy.https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/. Good luck!

Add a comment to Milo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
FIona
American Bulldog
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
FIona
American Bulldog
2 Years

Hi
My Fiona (american bulldog) lately has becoming very anxious. She use to car rides but now she trembles. we use to take her to the dog park at least once per week but winter was supper cold/rainy here in Atlanta and then Covid came to place that we havent been able to take her to the dog park to socialize. During quarantine a street male dog appeared and she went crazy. We thought maybe she was been territorial and protective. Then my cousin came by with her dog and she did the same but the more he was around she was not completely ok but she calm down a bit. two days ago my neighbor got a female puppy (Husky) and we tried for them to meet and she was very aggresive and trembling around the puppy. We tried to walked her and get her all worn out to see if this will help a little but it didn't. Any tips/help please! She is normally a good dog, she like to play,tug and run. We have another dog she is older (13). they tried to play but of course its harder for the older dog to keep up. Fiona is not fixed yet. She will be in the next two weeks. Please help?!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, yes covid has been hard for many people - and pets. She used to be socialized? If this is a new behavior, please take her to the vet to rule out a medical problem (especially with so many things now making her anxious). I would try to get her used to the dog park again - go when it is quiet so that she is not overwhelmed by a ton of other dogs. If your cousin is willing to help, ask her to come often to give Fiona a chance to get used to other dogs again. As for your neighbor, go for walks often with her and have Fiona and the Husky puppy walk together (not closely) and gradually move them closer together after you have walked several times and Fiona is used to the pup. Of course, your neighbor will have to make sure that the new dog does not jump and frighten Fiona. Call a dog trainer in your area to set up classes, explaining that Fiona is a bit anxious. As for the car, let Fiona sit in the car with a treat a few times. Then, take her just around the block a few days. Gradually, over a few days, make the ride longer and so on until she is calm about it again. Take a look here for tips, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/get-along-with-other-dogs. All the best!

Add a comment to FIona's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Basil
Cocker Spaniel
15 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Basil
Cocker Spaniel
15 Months

I’m having trouble with aggressive play. Basil will bark and nip to get my attention to play resulting in bruises. He will even run around the house then lunge at me. I’ve tried distraction with a toy, saying no firmly & time out. He has bags of energy, gets a good walk and plays ball in the garden plus running around with my 4 1/2 year old boy. My worry is if he gets too aggressive during play with my boy. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Belinda, If the biting is rude, playful biting for attention, and not aggressive in nature, check out the articles linked below. If the biting is aggressive, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person. Always take precautions with true aggression to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Step Toward method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Listening: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Teach pup the above commands to build respect, make communication clear, and teach calmness. Reward times of calmness and when you catch pup doing something you want. When pup continues biting after being given a command they have already been taught, like Leave It, spray a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer at pup's side, then make them leave the room or use a drag leash that's kept on pup while you are home to supervise (to make sure it doesn't get caught on things) to enforce your command (such as by leading pup over to Place if you told them to go to Place and they disobeyed). All of this should be done as calmly as possible. Anger or excitement can make it harder for pup to respond, but being consistent, calm, and insistent with training and rules gains respect best. Only use unscented air canisters, don't use citronella - it's too harsh and linger too long, and don't spray pup in the face. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Basil's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Betsy
Cocker Spaniel
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Betsy
Cocker Spaniel
3 Months

When mysef or my daughter interact with our pup about one throw of a ball in or 2minutes off the lead a d she attacks us. It doesnt feel like play. She rips through clothes, she draws blood through Jean's, shes pulled apart my daughters welly that she wears for protection. Shes really relentless with it. We tried the tree standing still but she keeps going for ten minutes. I'm co.pketely chewed, scarred and bitten. Her biting hot worse during that two week period. We have reverted to saying no in a strong voice and again it's not working and her outbursts are increasing in frequency. It feels like she gets over excited to see us and cannot control herself. We exercise her brain and physically every day. We have done a lot on this and its exhausting but we hoped it would make a difference. He attacks have increased in frequency. We have had to cage her when she will not stop and my husband has had to pin her to the floor when she is going berserk to stop her injuring my daughter. She is less ferocious with my husband and son. She does bite them and sometimes it's not controlled, but with my daughter and I it's like she has completely lost control and my husband and son cant even stop her. Shes very loving when she is scared or tired and she does have moments of being loving, but she is very difficult to control. She has learnt several command already as she is clearly intelligent, but she doesn't listen to any when she is in this hyper state. If I tell her off and she is controllable , she usually responds dwith howl barking at me as if she is telling me off. This is normally more controlled, but sometimes nothing g stops her. Its generally two or three times a day where she goes completely nuts and generally she is much worse between 3-6pm.
Please help we just cant see a way out of this and are miserable and considering getting rid of her already. Shes a working cocker.

Add a comment to Betsy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Archer / Luke
Lab, Husky / lab, shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Archer / Luke
Lab, Husky / lab, shepherd
4 Years

When Archer and Luke are let off leash they instantly go crazy on each other. Archer will run over Luke and Luke will run after archer and snap at them. Archer is a very vocal dog and sounds very scary when they’re playing like this and will get other dogs worked up by them “playing”. It’s only these two together when they play like this. They don’t act like this towards any other dogs.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is hard to assist with over a quick message; I would recommend having a trainer come in who can work with them at your home. Are they otherwise friendly and well-behaved when on walks? Do they listen and walk along with proper leash manners? If so, they may just have developed a noisy and extra rambunctious way of playing. There are tips here that may help you calm them down: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-play-aggressively and helpful videos here: https://robertcabral.com/ If you are concerned, I would call in a trainer as mentioned. Good luck with your active pair and happy training!

Add a comment to Archer / Luke's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Fincher Mae
hound mix rescue
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Fincher Mae
hound mix rescue
4 Months

We have an 8 yr old husky/shepherd mix Monkee, that is skittish, submissive but super loving. We rescued Fincher Mae when she was 8 weeks. When we put them together Fincher constantly jumps up on Monkee and biting her all over. Monkee won't put Fincher in her place.
Also, Fincher Mae will just attack us out of the blue, latch on and not let go. Full on shark attack.
Monkee refuses to come downstairs or be anywhere near Fincher Mae. We are a house divided with one dog upstairs ando the other downstairs.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I can understand Monkee's position and support his actions 100%. If Fincher Mae bites Monkee all over, then the atmosphere is most unwelcoming. I could make suggestions to help the two get along, but based on the fact that Fincher Mae attacks you without provocation is concerning, and there is no point in having the two dogs together (it could be dangerous) until Fincher Mae is trained. If you think she is socialized enough to try dog training, that may be an idea but you will have to explain the situation to the instructor who will make a decision about her being in the class with other dogs. It may be best to have a private trainer used to working with aggressive dogs come to the house to work with you and Fincher Mae. You really have no choice because the older she gets, the more difficult it will be. Good luck with everything and please don't delay!

Add a comment to Fincher Mae's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Mu
Mutt
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mu
Mutt
5 Years

We have two dogs, Zeta (she came first) and Mu. Both pit-bull mix, but Mu definitely has some stafforshire bull terrier in her as well. When we got Mu (the second one) they interacted okay in their initial meeting at the adoption center but when we brought Mu home they fought several times pretty bad in the first couple days. Blood was drawn several times. Our vet gave us lots of good advice and the fighting got better and stopped all-together pretty quickly--as long as we keep toys out of the house and feed them at the same time on opposite ends of the room. We are thrilled at how well they get along day-to-day now, they even play/wrestle nicely without toys, frolic outside together, and nap on each other. But we still cannot let them have toys or chew on bones. We cannot go to the dog park anymore. We cannot have friend's dogs over for playdates. We really wish we could get a cat, or even rescue a special needs animal. We are nervous to just get another dog though (unless it is extra laid back and 80 or 90+ lbs, Mu weighs about 50). The vet did tell us when we got Mu that it surely does not help that she was likely bred and raised as a fighter and was not fixed until she was rescued at age three, well after puberty. She is smart enough, learns commands well and very quickly, and is especially responsive to training with treats. She is almost always very sweet and loving and gentle. She just has this switch that goes off that I can only describe as the dog version of blackout rage, she compulsively has to viciously attack pretty much anything that's not bigger than her or anything she doesn't like. Is this social aggression just the way it will always be, or can we potentially train her to play nice with toys and smaller dogs and animals?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, based on what you have told me, I think that the progress that has been made is very fortunate. I really would not attempt to rock the boat in any way. I think getting a cat or a special needs animal is potentially only putting them in danger and I don't think you want that. I would not add another dog to the mix. You are lucky that these two get along as they do. But I think the fact that you cannot have other dogs over for play dates only cements the fact that you would most likely regret trying to add a third dog. And do you want to put a dog into a risky situation with possible injury? I would hold off on other animals until after Mu and Zeta have crossed the rainbow bridge. Instead, invest your time, money, and energy in a trainer that can come to the home and work with your dogs. They can assess them and see if there is a possibility that they can be trained to associate with other dogs so that you can have canine company come over once again. Good luck!

Add a comment to Mu's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jax
schnauzer
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jax
schnauzer
6 Years

test

Add a comment to Jax's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Iska
Labrador Retriever
13 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Iska
Labrador Retriever
13 Months

Done a lot of training with her plus gun dog training. Mostly good recall & plays well with dogs her size. However when she comes across a small excitable dog she chases it & is far too boisterous. Won’t come to recall, owner gets annoyed & I literally have to ‘catch’ her. How do I get her over this excitable unacceptable behaviour

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Retrievers often have an innate sense of wanting to retrieve and it could be that Iska wants to retrieve the little dog and bring it back to you (not in a malicious way, but as a fun activity). Labs often remain quite playful into adulthood and may be overexuberant with animals that are smaller than them in particular. Prey drive is another possibility, and does not mean aggression. You will have to channel these drives into other actions if Iska continues to chase small dogs though, as problems could develop when she gets older. It is good that you have trained her a fair bit so far. I would continue with the obedience, and if you have not taken her to classes, now is a good time to start. This will expose her to small excitable dogs in a controlled setting and the trainer will be able to give you pointers for working with her. In the meantime, work on the Leave It command as described here (it's a biting guide but the Leave It Method works well in all situations): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. Once Iska has learned the command, she should stop what she is doing when you say "leave it." Also, work on solidifying her recall: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall. Good luck!

Add a comment to Iska's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Mayhem
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mayhem
German Shepherd
5 Years

Very aggressive to thepoint that he broke down a wooden fenceand ripped off another dog'stesticle. I don't know what to do. I can't even take him on walks cuz if wesee another dog he over powers me. After igot him neutered at 3 when my boyfriebd died I thought it would calmhim Down but made him way worse. In the house he'snothing but a calm big love but outside very unpredictable

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello. It sounds like you have your hands full! I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. You can also apply the same methods for inside your home when you have visitors, or if there is anything else that triggers him. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

Add a comment to Mayhem's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Paxi
American bully
1 Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Paxi
American bully
1 Year

My bully started playing aggressive recently. She is Not an aggressive dog; she is friendly with dogs and people alike. When she plays with our other dog, a border collie mix, she will go for the legs and sometimes ears. She started to bite and sometimes she will pull. Mostly she will nibble. Her breed is very strong and may not be aware if it. Our other pup is starting to pick up the same behavior. Do you have any tips on how to modify this behavior?

p.s. I'm not sure if this information is relevant, but the bully was attacked by a dog 3 times her size about 2-3 months ago

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, When the two dogs start telling rough, you can help them learn to keep their play calmer by teaching them both an "Out" command. "Out" means: get out of the area. It's a bit like telling two human boxers to go to their corners for a minute. First, teach each dog the meaning of "out" individually: by calling that dog over to you, tossing a large treat a few feet behind her (so that she moves away from you), while you say "Out" and point to where you toss with your treat-tossing hand. When she goes over to the treat, praise her. After she eats it, tell her "okay" and encourage her to come back. Repeat this exercise until the dog will move away from you when you say "Out" and point, before you have tossed the treat. Once she starts moving to where you are pointing then toss the treat to her as a reward for obedience. Practice this, until she can do this consistently too. Once the dogs both understand what "Out" means, use it in other areas of life, like when you want them to leave the kitchen or not bother a person. If the dog obeys, give her a treat. If she disobeys, get between her and whatever she is supposed to leave alone and walk toward her until she backs out of the area and goes where you pointed to. Once she is out of the area, block her from coming back in until she gives up trying to go back. Once she gives up, go back into the area yourself. If she follows you back, repeat walking toward her to get her out of the area again. Imagine yourself as a linebacker, soccer goalie, or brick wall. You should be calm, but very firm and business-like when you do this. Now, once the dogs understand the "Out" command and have learned that you will enforce it, use it when they start playing too roughly. If they disobey, grab a pillow, put it in front of your body at the dog's level, and block the rough-house instigator and walk her out of the area, like you practiced at other times. Only do this if there is no true aggression, but just excitement. If there is real aggression during the fights, this needs to be handled differently, with more preventative measures to keep everyone safe. Your description sounds like normal dog rough play. Give the dogs a few minutes to calm down, practice some obedience like sit and down, and when both dogs are focused on you and calm, if you want to let them continue playing, you can tell the less excitable dog (usually your Border Collie) "Okay" first -- to see if she still wants to play. If she does, tell the second dog "okay" also. I also suggest teaching both dogs a "Place" command or "bed" command and really working on their obedience with that. You can use that command when they just need to leave each other alone. They do not need to be wrestling all the time, but since they are young they are going to want to without other constructive things to do. Teach a "Place" command and give each dog a fun chew toy on her bed -- one that won't cause fights and jealousy if that's ever an issue for them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Paxi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
Belgian Malinois
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Belgian Malinois
12 Weeks

I just rescued a Belgian Malinois mix puppy and she’s very smart. I taught her all the basic commands and she’s doing really good. I got her as a protection dog. I go on hikes alone a lot and I already own a boxer lab mix but he’s too much of a cuddle bug to protect me in dangerous situations. I love how my Malinois mix, bella, is very protective and vocal when she’s cautious. However, I’ve noticed an issue that might be aggressive behavior. When I attempt to play with her she likes to give me kisses but when I’m playing with my other dog Pupper she aims for his feet and neck. I understand this is a form of play. However, even when we’re not in play she’ll go nip at Pupper. I can’t tell if this is just a herding type of behavior when they use to herd livestock or just simple play. I invite other dogs over to the house and while they’re playing Tug with each other Bella is lurking in the corner watching the other dogs ready to pounce on one of them aiming for the neck or legs. Bella has no interest with dog toys just herding other dogs. I’m afraid that I’ll take her to the dog park and one of the older dogs might not find her play acceptable and attack her. How could I correct this issue? I love her with my heart and I have a fear of other dogs attacking mine. Because my older dog, Pupper, was brutally attacked at the dog park as a puppy.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Thank you for all of the information. She is displaying typical puppy play biting, which is actually pretty rude in the canine world. She needs exposure to other dogs so they can nicely tell her this isn't ok. But that is tricky because you have no idea what the temperment of other dogs are. Often, older dogs will give a growl or even a little snap back and that is completely acceptable. That is where she learns what is ok and what isn't. Anything further than that is where you could potentially have to step in. So for now, just encourage as much play time as possible. If she does start to get a little out of hand, there is nothing wrong with removing her for a "time out" until she calms down a bit. But she will get it! With consistent trips to the dog park, or playful interactions with other dogs, as she approaches 6 months of age, she should be pretty well rounded.

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Millie
Welsh Sheepdog
16 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Millie
Welsh Sheepdog
16 Months

Every time she is off lead she does not listen. She has gone for people not bitten but I am scared she will. She does not respond to anything commander come back. Her brother is the opposite he does not run away. She is scared of traffic true I do try to reassure it ok but she tries to chase cars. Any help will nice, these are out fourth and fifth dogs, brothers and sisters from same litter. We have never experienced anything like this before my dear is she bits and I would have to put her sleep. Regards Karen

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! So I am going to give you some tips on teaching recall. It is something you will have to practice to ingrain it into her so she is responsive in those settings. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

Add a comment to Millie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Luna
Pitbull Husky
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Pitbull Husky
1 Year

She is very energetic
She likes to play
She likes to escape a lot from the house and from outside on her leash.
She killed most of our chickens.
When I discipline her,she lays on the ground,which means I have to pick her back up , but she bites my arms when I try to pick her up.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! It sounds like she has the intensity of both breeds she is mixed with. And that is ok! We just need to work with her to become more balanced. There isn't one specific thing that corrects this type of overall unbalanced behavior. It is a combination of adequate exercise, routines, training, and conditioning. Making sure she gets plenty of heavy exercise daily. This can come in the form of walks, or even runs. Long games of catch if walking or running isn't an option. Time with toys like a Kong or Buster Ball will help also. Refreshing learned training commands. Making her perform commands like "sit" and "stay" before feeding, before giving affection, before leaving the house for a walk. That will teach her some control, and it puts you back in charge. People often stop training commands after a dog grows out of the puppy stage. But it is something that should always continue. It is one of the few ways we can actually communicate with them.

Add a comment to Luna's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Maya
Pit bull
14 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maya
Pit bull
14 Weeks

She is very mouthy. She wants everything in her mouth and she always bites when she's playing,not hard, but if we tell her no or walk away, she thinks we're playing and she gets even more worked up.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting. While this is a "normal" puppy behavior, it is something you want to put a stop to now before it becomes a learned habit. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Maya's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
B
Mixed
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
B
Mixed
5 Months

Hi - My 5 month old mixed rescue dog (mostly australian cattle dog) is super smart, but he will NOT stop biting us aggressively. Most of the time it's while we're playing with him, but other times it's out of the blue. For example, we can be playing fetch with a tennis ball and he'll be doing great, but then if I throw the ball again, he'll look at the ball, start to run after it, but turn around, run back at me and start chomping on my arm, hand, feet, legs, clothing while growling. Other times we can just be standing at the sink or sitting on the couch and he'll run up and bite the backs of our legs hard or jump up on the couch and start attacking arms or legs. We have had 2 trainers in the home - neither methods worked (time outs, water bottles, air compressors, yelping, stern NO, getting up and leaving/ignoring him, etc). I'm just kind of at a loss and don't know what to do to fix the issue.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I check out the article linked below and work on teaching the Leave It command from the leave it method first - work up to practicing with things like gloves and socks and clothing, then doing it while wearing the clothing after that, like the method outlines. Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark My guess is that the person pup bites often vocalizes when he does it or reacts strongly - because most people do when something hurts a lot! Since pup seems to be doing it to gain attention or when highly aroused, that type of response likely encourages pup even more - they feed off of the excitement of a big response. As annoying as if is, try to wear shoes and thick pants while inside for a bit too - since pup is most likely to grab at those areas first when you are not low, to keep the pain to a minimum to save your skin and decrease loud startled responses pup may like. Keep a drag leash on pup when you are home to supervise to help you enforce rules better also. Work on the methods from the articles linked below to build respect and self-control calmly with pup - calmness is super important it sounds like. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Also, practice working up to a 1 hour place command with pup to build those things as well. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s You do need some type of consequence for the biting, but it a good leave it command needs to be practiced first so that pup develops self-control as a skill, understands what you want from them, and is given a chance to obey first, and doesn't just get more aroused when given a consequence due to not having enough self-control to be able to obey or understand what you want - right now pup likely thinks the consequences are you playing roughly or it just arouses pup even more. The consequence might be something you already tried but it also might be something like enforcing an Out command or drilling pup - which is when you clip a leash onto pup (or pick up the drag leash they are already wearing) and run through 20 commands in quick succession - like quick heel work with lots of turns and little praise or rewards, then sit, down, stand, stand, down sit, more heel, watch me, stay, ect... Working pup like this quickly and calmly without treats (think cadet drills without the yelling) can help pup calm back down, get pup into a working and calmer mindset, and encourage respect without being harsh. You can tell pup good when they obey, but the good should be an extremely calm almost matter of fact praise while doing this, not adding energy, just to let pup know they did it correctly. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Heel - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Down and Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Stand: https://wagwalking.com/training/stand-and-stay Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to B's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
rudy
Golden Retriever
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
rudy
Golden Retriever
3 Months

Hello,

My dog bites us and our clothes a lot. He does not want to go for a walk. When we take him outside, he immediately wants to go back. He never pays attention to me. What can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Omer, For the biting, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make her leave the area as a consequence. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The Out method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just playing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use if pup is biting guests or kids who don't know how to enforce no biting themselves. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. A class can help with the fearfulness of new things too. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. For the walks, it sounds like pup needs more socialization. I suggest taking pup outside and simply spend time relaxing, playing games, and training with treats outside. Pick a calm area like your front yard, then gradually choose other spots to take pup to and also spend time. Increase the amount of exposure pup is getting, rather than decreasing it to help pup overcome their fears, but work on calmer locations first, bring lots of pup's kibble or small healthy treats like freeze dried meat or liver treats, and practice fun activities outside to help pup like being there. Pay attention to any noises or specific things in the area like a dog barking that might be scaring pup and need extra attention making a fun experience. Reward pup for their curiosity and bravery outside especially. To get pup to listen better, use pup's meal kibble. Call their name and toss a treat each time you do so. When pup starts to expect a reward with their name at these times, then surprise pup throughout the day, periodically saying their name, then waiting until they look or start to approach you before you toss the treat. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to rudy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cartier
Jack-Rat Terrier
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cartier
Jack-Rat Terrier
8 Weeks

Overnight her playful nibbling has turned into biting! This is something I do not want. She is too adorable to have this trait. Not only people but anything she encounters. She was scared at first when I brought her home now she’s like a firecracker.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Cartier's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Milo
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years

Milo is about 80 lbs and when I take him to the dog park he gets too excited and chases after dogs and knocks them down. In addition, he nips at their necks and barks at them. It doesn't seem like he's attacking them, but more like he's playing way too aggressively. What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello, It sounds like pup is becoming over aroused. I suggest teaching the Out command - which means leave the area, and recruiting some friends who have dogs that he gets along well with, going to a fenced in area (not the dog park where other dogs are around too), and practicing recalls and Out around the other dog(s) one other dog at a time. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Milo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lily
American Pit Bull Terrier
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lily
American Pit Bull Terrier
6 Years

My dog is extremely high energy. The issues that get hard to redirect happen when people come over, she jumps on guests, barks, tries to play but is also kind of aggressive. She doesn't bite but does the nipping like when she was a puppy. We redirect with toys but she struggles with relax play, she gets way too excited very quickly. Also, she doesn't let people pet her. She will just bark and then try to play immediately. She's not necessarily aggressive but like she has ADHD.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, I would in general work on several commands that increase impulse control - this will take repetition and working her up to distractions gradually. Pup essentially needs an off-leash level of obedience to help with self-control, even though she is inside. One benefit of this, even though it will mean some work and time on your end, is that it should help pup learn better calmness and self-control in general and the training practice should stimulate her mentally, which can wear her out more. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Leash method for jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump I would work up to pup doing a 1 hour place command, gradually adding distractions like toys and food being dropped, family entering and exiting the front door, and you dancing around silly, start with the basics of Place and gradually make it harder as she improves, consistently returning her to place when she breaks command due to distraction, and keeping sessions frequent but short. You want to work up to pup handling all kinds of silly things when guests aren't there, including the front door opening, then recruit dog friendly friends who are willing to practicing entering and leaving your home over and over again to work up to pup being able to handle that distraction also. Once pup has stayed on Place for long enough to become calm and bored, then let pup get up to greet guests with a leash on to practice the leash method from the article linked above. I would instruct guests who want to greet pup to command pup to sit, then feed pup a treat under their chin (not holding it above their head or that encourages jumping), so that pup starts to expect to automatically sit to greet guests and has a go-to behavior that they can't do at the same time as jumping. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lily's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
CeCe
Yorkiepoo
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
CeCe
Yorkiepoo
10 Months

I adopted her a month ago. She nibbles and bites when I’m petting her. First time in morning she lets me after that she pretty much thinks I’m her play toy. She has lots of toys and plays a lot with them. Whoever had her before me didn’t train her so..... lots of puppy in her! She is adorable and I do love her. But that biting gots to go! Thank

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to CeCe's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rambo
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rambo
German Shepherd
1 Year

My dog is very aggressive with other dogs and i don't know how to walk with him in leash ?? Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ramia, I recommend looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. Which is a class for dog aggressive/reactive dogs, who are intensively socialized together in the class through structured obedience under the guidance of the trainer, while all wearing basket muzzles for safety. If pup is aggressive toward you at all, I recommend getting professional help with the muzzle introduction too (pup should be in the crate when a trainer arrives). Go at the pace pup can stay relaxed at - expect the muzzle introduction to take 1-2 weeks going slowly, not just one session, if pup is nervous about the item. You want to go slow and calm so pup doesn't mind the muzzle ultimately. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rambo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Roxy
Siberian Husky
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Roxy
Siberian Husky
7 Months

This puppy’s first few interactions did not go well and us as humans probably over reacted making it worse and now she is reactive to other dogs inappropriately and if she is close enough will pounce on them. Socialization was not available in the dog training classes and because of this I am now fearfully trying to keep her from other dogs. I continue to attend dog classes to keep her around other dogs and continue to work on desensitizing her. I reward her when she is calm and continue to keep her focused on me. She is super smart and a superstar in obedience classes. She is usually the head of the class. She is extremely food motivated which works for training but does try to guard things around her and her crate! We also have another new dog in the home who is super sweet and submissive that I am training as a therapy dog. They do not get along and I continue to keep them next to each other but separated by gates. I do walk them down the road on opposite sides of the street but as soon as I get them close she pounces. I also have a trainer coming to the house to try to help just hasn’t yet (only two sessions)......any other thoughts 💭...I’d appreciate the help!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I think you are doing an amazing job with your efforts. You are right to be patient with the in-home training. Sometimes the training will take quite some time depending on the dog, and as you are seeing first-hand, some dogs do not get over their tendencies until months of training. Can you seek out group training where socialization is part of the package? Or group walks organized by a trainer who works with the group to have all dogs in the walking group socialized with each other by the end of the session of classes? Read this guide here and consider the Passing Approach Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Work on teaching Roxy to heel as part of her training in respect for you and it will carry over to obeying you in other instances:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. All of the methods described are excellent! But yes, keep working with the classes and the in-home training. You could also consider agility lessons or flyball where Roxy can get some of the energy out that is building up - as you most likely know and do, she needs long walks a couple of times a day. Good luck!

Add a comment to Roxy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jd
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jd
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

My dog has a problem with jumping on people and acting aggresive to everyone except a small handful of people and is worse with other dogs. She has been attacked by a human but I stood in front of her and blocked most of it but she hasn't been the same since. Any tips to help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kendra-Rose, I recommend working with a professional trainer for this in person. Certain safety measures will need to be in place and you will need a group of people who can practice counter conditioning pup around people safely, one person at a time. Look for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, works with a team of other trainers or training staff - so that pup can get used to multiple people to help generalize what she learns to people overall, and not just with the one person - the trainer, and who comes well recommended by their previous clients. It sounds like there is likely fear aggression happening, but even though the aggression may be fear based, safety measures like a basket muzzle and leash need to be in place most likely. I would work on desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle. Look for a silicone basket muzzle because it will be the most comfortable and let pup open their mouth still for comfort and to receive treats while wearing it. Introduced correctly ahead of time, the muzzle can become something that doesn't cause pup any stress. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle her meal kibble around it. Do this until she is comfortable eating around it. Next, when she is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward her with a piece of kibble every time she touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed her her whole meal this way. Practice this until she is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that she has to poke his face into it to get the kibble. As she gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that she has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until she is comfortable having her face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while she holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until she can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when she can hold her face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while her face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed her a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until she is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while she is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As she gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long she wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give her a treat, until she can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. You can see the process done quickly with a dog who is already comfortable in the video below. Expect this process to take a couple of weeks with a dog who isn't used to the muzzle. Some dogs take to it quickly, some take longer. Go at your dog's relaxed pace. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jd's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Koda
pitbull
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Koda
pitbull
4 Months

When my two puppies are in the same room with each other they want to play very roughly the entire time. They both get hurt by the other. It’s like a constant wrestling match until we decide to separate them and put them in their cage for the rest of the night. That’s no fun we need help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, Know that wrestling at this age is normal, it's how puppies often learn social skills with other dogs; however, you do want to be able to separate them and teach them not to wrestle when you don't want them to be doing it. Check out the following articles for some commands you can teach to enforce pup's giving each other space when its not play time. Out - which means leave the area. Pay attention to the section on How to Teach Out, then also on the section on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s I also recommend keeping a drag leash on each pup to make calmly enforcing commands easier for you. You will probably have to practice your leave it command with the leashes so both pup's don't grab the other one's dragging leash. At this age this will simply take repetition. A Place command can save you a lot of frustration once puppies get good at that, so both can simply practice hanging out in the same room with each other out of the crate, but with the clear boundary to not get off their own Place bed, which means no going over to the other puppy on theirs. Don't keep a drag leash on a puppy when you aren't there to supervise in case it were to get caught on something. When you are not there, I would recommend crating them separately at this age anyway, which I am guessing you do now already. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Koda's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
beagle cross
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
beagle cross
7 Months

Sometimes he become aggressive while playing or cuddle time

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Asavari, Could you please include more details about what he does when he becomes aggressive, how you are playing with him, and whether he becomes aggressive in other situations also. It could be that pup needs to be desensitized to touch. Pup is getting too aroused and that's turning into aggression. Pup is fearful. Your play is challenging him in some way. He may be responding defensively due to a defense drive. A number of things can be related to a dog becoming aggressive during play. A dog may also seem aggressive when they are actually just acting like a dog - such as play growling and soft mouthed bites. In the case of a dog who is playing, play would need to be adjusted and pup taught some directional commands to help them be gentler, opposed to addressing true aggression in a different way. Pup's body language would need to be observed to help determine if pup was playing or not if that's suspected, like the presence of absence of a play bow for example. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zoey
Mix
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zoey
Mix
4 Years

Since Zoey was a puppy she was always a bit more aggressive while playing. I thought it was just a phase but to this day she will still go for my hands and sometimes my feet or legs while playing. Outside we have her on a lead because she has previously run away. Whenever I (or my family) go outside she immediately jumps on me and starts to bite my arms. It’s not enough for me to just turn my body and tell her “no”, even when trying to grab her collar she will still be trying to bite. I can’t tell if she’s getting way too excited while playing or trying to harm at times. She is super sweet besides when she gets overly riled up during play time inside and outside. What can I do to help stop this aggressive behavior?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Zoey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
LB
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
LB
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

We have two black labs. One is going to be three and the other one will two. I do not know how to explain the problem. They get along and then it is like someone turns on a switch and the three will turn timmed and act like he is afraid of the two year old. The two year old will play with the older one outside. They both jump and bark and show teeth at each other and keep playing. My room mates said that the two year old is too ruff with him. Please help me with this, because I am not giving my dog away. The two year old is my and the three year old is the room mated. Thank you so much. P.S. neither of them are fixed.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello June, Since they are both unneutered males its possible that the more dominant one is getting too aroused while playing and the play is turning into competing and aggression. I cannot say for sure without observing the interaction though. Is the issue primarily just happening during play, or at other seemingly random times - like when one dog walks past the other, too? If the issue is simply happening during play, I actually recommend not having them play together. That doesn't mean one needs to be re-homed though. Instead, teach obedience commands that help you encourage calm interactions inside, and don't put them outside with each other without supervision. Exercise them individually in other ways. The following commands can help teach both dogs to simply be calm around each other and give each other space. As dogs get older they don't need to play roughly with other dogs anymore. They do need companionship though, but that can be as simply as going on a walk together or just being in the same room as each other. Generally this happens more naturally as dogs approach 4 years old, for some a bit later. So you would be starting that early for both, 3 and under is still a puppish age. Here are several commmands that you may find useful, but I specifically recommend Place, Out and Leave It to teach them to spend time on their separate Place beds without bothering each other in the same room, and to give each other space. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall It's very possible that the behavior you are seeing is simply a part of their play style, in which case I recommend having a trainer who specializes in behavior issues observing them and their body language in person, to discover exactly what's going on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to LB's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chase
Kokoni
18 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chase
Kokoni
18 Months

Hi there,
We rescued Chase when he was 4 months old. Basic training went really well however we are having a couple of difficulties.
Firstly, he can be too much when playing with other dogs... he is a very noisey player (grrrrr noises mainly). My parents have a dog and they have grown up together however when out on walks with them, Chase often lays down ahead of the other dog and waits and then ‘pounces’, running over to the other dog and wanting to play fight, biting his ears etc. Although the other dog likes to play like this at home, he doesn’t when out on walks and it can make walks stressful and in enjoyable and also strangers think there is a problem!

Secondly, Chases recall is perfect, apart from if he has a scent or is in a forest. He will take ages to come back, regardless of how high value the treats are and we worry he will end up getting lost!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, Its natural for a young energetic dog to want to play, so that isn't always a problem, but you will want pup to respond to your commands when its time to leave another dog alone, so I would focus on teaching commands to give another dog space, such as Leave It, Out, Heel, and Come. Once pup knows the basics of those commands, use a long training leash and practice the commands with pup on a long training leash so that you can enforce the commands when pup isn't listening around distractions, and teach consistent obedience. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Chase's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ronin
Plott Hound
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ronin
Plott Hound
3 Years

Ronin is a very sweet tripod dog. We rescued him about 5 months ago and he had a lot of medical issues (amputation) early on so we didn’t train very much m. He’s now been happy and loves to play but likes to lunge for the toy while we go to pick it up and he’s been getting our hands. I don’t think he is trying to hurt us, he just gets really excited. He has learned sit but doesn’t seem to like sitting on anything but soft flood like carpet so he doesn’t like to sit outside. He is very sensitive and I think he has abuse issues from his past but has never shown actual aggression,m. He growls when he plays but his tail is always wagging and it just seems that is the noise he makes when he plays. Any ideas how to get him to not lunge at our hands? Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Assuming pup is just excited and not aggressive, which is what it sounds like, lunging for a toy while playing fetch is very common. I recommend working on Drop It and Leave It with pup, and stepping on the toy before you reach down to pick it up so that your foot blocks pup from grabbing the toy up before you - which can be a fun game that encourages more lunging - like keep away, that you want to stop. Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Drop It section of the article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Out - which means leave the area and can help pup back up enough to not be tempted to lung for the toy before you grab it. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ronin's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cali
pitbull
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cali
pitbull
3 Years

I have a 3 year old Pitbull who is such a sweetheart! My boyfriend and I got her when we were young, 17 and 19. We didn’t know how to train her when she was aggressive towards people or jumping up when people came over, so we would put her up. She got isolated a lot as a puppy. So now, she is still okay towards people never aggressive towards them really just wanting lots of love. She gets really hyper when someone comes over. Her issue is towards dogs. She has an aggressive play style, and will often break out into fights with some dogs that are hard to break up and lots of times resulted in bloody scratches. She’s very possessive towards toys, and will grow deeply and even snap if any dog tries to take it away. She will let me or my boyfriend take it away if we yell at her enough but I know this isn’t right. She is super super super smart, and very trainable, we as owners just need trained on how to fix this behavior!! Thank u!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cayla, If you are currently going to a dog park with her I recommend pausing those outings. Instead, look for structured activities with other dogs that promote calmer interactions and more self-control. Things like a structured heeling or hiking group with dogs on leash, obedience classes or creating your own obedience practice with friends and their dogs, joining a G.R.O.W.L. class which is a class for dog reactive or aggressive dogs, and practicing obedience with you in locations where there are other dogs in the distance, like the park, to help condition her to be in a calmer mindset around other dogs. Some dogs are get over threshold more easily than others and when aroused and full of adrenaline it's easy for them to switch into that other gear and get into a fight. For those dogs, activities that encourage that arousal in that type of setting may never be a good idea. You can teach commands to help manage pup around other dogs in general, which I do recommend, such as a solid Recall, Leave It, and Heel, but their main social interactions with other dogs need to be structured activities. For the over-excitement with people and managing dog interactions, I recommend working on the following commands with her. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Sit method for jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Drop It: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Cali's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lex
German Shepherd and Malinois
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lex
German Shepherd and Malinois
3 Months

Lex doesn't want to stop play (even cusses at me!) When I think I've tired him out with a 2 mile walk and tennis ball chasing.
I sometimes carry him to crate, for a break...quite stubborn! I treat reward him for good behavior (use kibble or Cheerios). He knows sit, lay down, even shake!
He's a fantastic walker too!
still he doesnt take NO well - Any suggestions?

Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paula, I would work on stimulating pup mentally also to help with the energy. I would also enforce breaks through quiet crate time with a dog food stuffed chew toy even though he may protest at first - puppies often need time to wind down or they can start acting out when overtired. I would begin teaching pup the beginnings of commands like Place too to help pup learn self-control as they mature and have a pretty high drive. To stimulate pup mentally you can have short training sessions where pup is learning something new or something they already know but a bit of challenge in the duration, distraction or distance involved in that command. You can add in training commands in games of fetch, walks, and throughout the day, to have pup do things like Sit before a meal, Down before you open the door for a walk, Wait before you toss a toy, Come to bring the toy to you, Heel, Down, Sit, Stay periodically throughout the walk, ect... You can feed pup part of their food via dog food stuffed toys like Kongs, kong wobbles, puzzle toys, automatic treat dispensing devices, or hide treats in a room or yard (pesticide free, safe area only) for pup to search for. Because of pup's breed he probably needs structure, physical exercise, mental stimulation, rest breaks to practice downtime, and consistency. Daily training practice, starting with easier things and progressing as pup learns, can accomplish a lot of those things, especially in combination with what you are already doing. Surprise method - for quietness in the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Some additional commands pup could benefit from over the next 6 months: Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lex's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Roscoe
shepard
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Roscoe
shepard
1 Year

Jumps gets way to excited when family comes but plays to rough. He was a rescue that was always kept in a cage. He is very affectionate but when anyone gets excited he wants to jump on them and bite. I love him and I have only had him 6 months and he has came a long way. He knows that he can’t jump and bite me when he wants to play. He weighs 78lbs. He sometimes jumps on me but when I say get down he does it right now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mickey, I recommend working on a few commands to help build pup's self control. Leave It method for biting: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Jumping article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump I would also teach pup to go to Place, and gradually work up to pup being able to stay there longer and when there are distractions, so that pup can eventually be told to go to Place when people arrive, and stay there until pup is calm to greet. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Roscoe's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tutu
Scott American Bulldog
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tutu
Scott American Bulldog
6 Years

Tutu is really social and kind but I noticed after one experience with some possibly less caring people she has issues when other dogs want to enter a closure she is at. I have less experience on how to correct the behavior than coming into a situation that is new and can use treats to help her understand the expectations. Now when dogs approach she is more defensive. Tutu is a loving dog and I would like to learn to help her just relax when being social.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Theresa, First, if you are visiting somewhere like the dog park right now, I recommend pausing that while addressing this. Recruit friends with well mannered, friendly dogs, to help you practice the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method from the article I have linked below, to help her gain a calmer response to other dogs approaching and teach her skills to cope. Practice with just one dog until she does well with them and has relaxed body language after several sessions with just that dog, then switch to another friend and start the process over again; repeating this with several different dogs gradually. Passing Approach and Walking Together Methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tutu's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kipper
Lurcher
12 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Kipper
Lurcher
12 Weeks

My son has brought his 12 week old Lab/Lurcher puppy, Kipper, to live us. 3weeks ago now. I am concerned about his aggression levels with our 2 year old schnoodle, Betty. As soon as he engages in any play with her he gets very pumped, snarling, barking in her face and biting. He bumps her and gets underneath her, knocking her over and holding her down with his front paws - I notice that he never play bows with her. He kind of fixes on her and goes mental at her. He is much better when he is outside but that can be a struggle too as he is getting stronger and more athletic every day. Betty is a balanced self confident dog, popular and at ease with other dogs, familiar and strangers alike. She is doing her best to cope but she is reaching the end of her patience quicker and quicker with each encounter and is starting to snarl and snap back. I know what rough puppy play looks like, but this is too too much, really uncomfortable to be around.So far, he is showing no aggression to other dogs or puppies and is curious and funny as normal. He had a bumpy start in life - born on a farm where they breed polecats! His siblings left at 6 weeks but we insisted that he stay till 8 weeks - to be honest, I’m not sure he saw his mum in those two weeks;anyway, which can’t be good for his development! I will be caring for them both when working from home stops and my son goes back to work. I want a harmonious home back and to enjoy the dogs. I have been distracting, separating and rewarding good interaction- using a light house lead to control him when they are in the same room, so Betty can go about her life -I’m feeding separately and sleeping them separately of course.
Please help, the tension between us humans is rising too!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anna, I would start by building pup's respect for you, since pup's respect for your other dog will likely need to be an extension of their respect for you and your rules about how they can interact with the other dog. I would also work on a lot of impulse building since pup may need extra help learning to manage their own arousal. Gentle respect building methods - as well as a calm, confident, consistent attitude tends to earn a dog's respect most easily. This requires a proactive patient response, but is worth it. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Good impulse building commands - I would start by teaching Leave It, Out, Place, and Quiet first, since those are not only good practice at self-control for pup but can also be used to advocate for your older dog. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Drop It – Exchange method: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it I would also consider enrolling in a puppy class where pup can learn some of those social skills they missed out on from the breeder sending their litter mates to their homes so young, during moderated off-leash play with other puppies. I suspect the poor breeding practices from their previous home, and possibly some neglect in breeding for a balanced temperament could be contributing to some of the extra challenges pup needs help overcoming socially. Puppy class information: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Finally, when puppy enters the room and/or you catch your older dog being especially good around pup, reward them with a treat when puppy isn't looking or can't run over (you don't want pup to rush over and start a food fight), to help your older dog stay in a more confident and pleasant emotional state around puppy, as their patience is being tested. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Kipper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Thumper
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Thumper
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
1 Year

Just some background, we have 3 dogs: Kairo (left, 4yo male) and Bentley (right, 7mo male) (none of the 3 have been neutered). Thumper lives with me during the school year and we’re home for the summer. We visit occasionally on the weekends, so he’s not unfamiliar to the others. I got him at the beginning of the summer last year, so he grew up with Kairo and has known him since he was 8 weeks old. Kairo is the alpha of the 3 and Bentley is the gentlest and most passive animal I’ve ever met.

Thumper is also a sweet dog, but since we’ve been home this summer he has been showing some serious signs of aggression. He has this different bark that sounds scarier than the one he used when he “speaks” or when we’re playing alone. It’s more strained, high pitched, and manic sounding. Its like a switch goes off, his eyes go blank and he’s instantly a Tasmanian devil. The worst about when this happens is he will try to bite us and is successful sometimes. This happens most frequently when one of us is playing with all of them at the same time, or Kairo instead of him. He has not yet done that when any of us play with Bentley. He did this to my mom while I was out of town and he bit her hand while she was holding the ball and later that week he bit her calf. She was playing with Kairo and Thumper drew blood both times.

I think this could be due to a couple of reasons. He’s used to be an only child in the apartment, so he would consider himself alpha. I don’t think Thumper understands that he isn’t the alpha here because it’s ultimately Kairo’s house. I think it could also be due to Thumper being jealous. He loves being the center of attention and doesn’t like it when we focus on Kairo, but it’s weird because he doesn’t have a problem with Bentley.

For example, today all 3 of them got dried trachea treats from my mom and were laying in the yard. Kairo was uninterested so my mom started to play with him. Almost immediately Thumper got up from laying down to bark his manic bark, with his treat still in his mouth, and chased Kairo. When my mom went to pick up the ball again, Thumper was there ready to bark and bite. We try to sternly tell him no but 90% of the time it doesn’t do anything.

At first he had only bitten others in the house, but last night he tried to bite my arm while I was playing with Kairo. I was holding the ball up about to throw it and he jumped up to bite my arm, nowhere near the ball. Immediately I told him no and he ran away from me as a tried to catch him. I had to take the ball and play with Kairo again for Thumper to get close enough for me to grab him and I then took him inside to the crate.

Whenever he does this, we make a scene to show we got hurt or don’t approve of how he’s acting and put him in a crate inside the house with a blanket over it. I’m not sure what else to do to get my point across. The only thing I can think of at this point is getting him fixed, and I don’t want to do that unless I absolutely have to.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, I would start by desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle. Pup is likely to protest anything new in training with a bite based on how often they tend to bite right now, so precautions like muzzle need to be taken. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw I would have pup wear a basket muzzle and drag leash right now when you are home. I would have pup work for everything they get by having to obey a command like Sit - before you give pets, food, treats, toys, play, or even things like opening the door to go for a walk. I would work on commands that help with management, build respect, and teach pup to give space, such as Leave It, Out, Place, Down, Sit, Stay, Quiet, and Come. Because pup is biting frequently, seems like they are possessive of you, resource guard, and there are multiple safety concerns, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, will come to your home for at least part of the training, and comes well recommended by their previous clients for aggression related training, to work with you in person. Pup's entire attitude likely needs to be addressed, along with teaching more impulse control, addressing the resource guarding specifically - which involves desensitizing pup to others being around something they are possessive of, and using obedience commands for directing pup's actions to help with management. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Thumper's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Demon Haze
American Staffordshire Pitbull
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Demon Haze
American Staffordshire Pitbull
3 Years

My Pit gets so excited when he sees people that all he wants to do is jump all over them n play but he plays too rough. All the time while remaining on his Hind legs.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on jumping. Jumping: Teach your dog that they receive no attention for jumping on you or anyone else. Teach your dog to do something that is incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting. They can't sit and jump up at the same time. If they are not sitting, they get no attention. It is important to be consistent. Everyone in your family must follow the training program all the time. You can't let your dog jump on people in some circumstances, but not others. Training techniques: When your dog… Jumps on other people: Ask a family member or friend to assist with training. Your assistant must be someone your dog likes and wants to greet. Your dog should never be forced to greet someone who scares them. Give your dog the "sit" command. (This exercise assumes your dog already knows how to "sit.") The greeter approaches you and your dog. If your dog stands up, the greeter immediately turns and walks away. Ask your dog to "sit," and have the greeter approach again. Keep repeating until your dog remains seated as the greeter approaches. If your dog does remain seated, the greeter can give your dog a treat as a reward. When you encounter someone while out walking your dog, you must manage the situation and train your dog at the same time. Stop the person from approaching by telling them you don't want your dog to jump. Hand the person a treat. Ask your dog to "sit." Tell the person they can pet your dog and give them the treat as long as your dog remains seated. Some people will tell you they don't mind if your dog jumps on them, especially if your dog is small and fluffy or a puppy. But you should mind. Remember you need to be consistent in training. If you don't want your dog to jump on people, stick to your training and don't make exceptions. Jumps on you when you come in the door: Keep greetings quiet and low-key. If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. Turn and go out the door. Try again. You may have to come in and go out dozens of times before your dog learns they only gets your attention when they keep all four feet on the floor. Jumps on you when you're sitting: If you are sitting and your dog jumps up on you, stand up. Don't talk to your dog or push them away. Just ignore them until all four feet are on the ground. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Demon Haze's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rosie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rosie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

I recently bought a new amstaff puppy and it is currently 8 weeks, we are attempt to get them introduced but our lab doesn’t know when boundaries are met, the puppy doesn’t want to play and becomes aggressive when played with by the older dog, how can we safely get them to be together

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Arda, First, I would teach the puppy and adult dog Place, Leave It, Out, and crate train. I would utilize a crate and exercise pen to give the puppy time to himself when you can't enforce boundaries between the two dogs. I would also enroll the puppy in a puppy class to help him learn confidence around other dogs by playing with puppies who will have more similar play styles as him. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Surprise method for crate training - if not already crate trained: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate In this situation you will need to intervene and call your older pup off the other dog using obedience you have taught. I recommend teaching an Out command and Come command for that part also. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Once pup has learned those commands, practice them often using a long training leash, 15'-30' long and a padded back clip harness. Gradually work up to more and more distracting locations. You can even practice pup's recall at places where the are other dogs that can't get to your dog, like regular parks or outside a dog park (don't go inside the dog park area though since having pup on leash in there isn't safe and could lead to fights). Once pup is really good at Come and Out on the long leash, recruit a friend and their friendly dog, or if the puppy enjoys playing for a while and you have two people in your home who can manage each dog, you can practice this with the puppy and your older dog together. Have the dogs play in a controlled, fenced area without other dogs around, while they are wearing a back clip harness and drag leash. Periodically call the dogs away from each other when they are not entangled wrestling. Have each other call their dog from different areas of the yard so the dogs go in different directions when they disengage. Use the drag leash to carefully and quickly reel pups in to each of you if they don't obey when you call. Once your dog gets to you (because they obeyed or because you reeled them in with the leash), have each pup obey a couple commands like Sit or Down, and gives high value treats - this is why the dogs are being called to separate locations; you don't want competing for the same food while aroused from playing). After both dogs are focused on their people and calm from the obedience practice, allow the more timid of the two dogs to go first, tell them "Go Play" and releasing them. If they still want to play, let the second dog go also, telling them to "Go Play" as well. Practice this for 10-30 minutes a training session, often, until your dog will obey Out and Come consistently while in the middle of playing without having to be reeled in. While doing all of this, I would keep some strict boundaries between the dogs, to give one another space, using Place commands, Leave It, the exercise pen, and crates. Once pup is very good at obeying while aroused, then you can use the new commands in real life to help pup manage their behavior while playing with the puppy. Learn how to read the body language of other dogs if you do not already, so you can easily spot when the dogs are getting too aroused or one dog wants to stop and isn't being allowed to, and you can intervene before things get tense, giving them a break to let them calm back down again. Be aware that some dogs need the play to end for the day when they get to that point because their ability to control themselves will decrease the more tired they get, even though they seem to be getting wound up instead of tires. For those dogs, it's best to end the play for that part of the day, and if you find they still need exercise, use some structured obedience practice to wear them out mentally too, which can also get their minds back into a calm state, rather than letting the dogs play more again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rosie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Maisy
cockapoo
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maisy
cockapoo
11 Weeks

She will growl then bite me and not stop and bite harder
I have tried everything pretty much

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
906 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anne, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make her leave the area as a consequence. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The Out method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just playing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use if pup bites the kids. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, she probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Maisy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd