01-25-2012, 12:29 PM #1
Need help breaking a really bad habit, before someone gets hurt
I'm on here today looking for some advice and pointers for my best friends dog. He is an 80lb mutt (we think Saint Bernard/English Pointer mix) and about a year old. He is a great dog and very smart. Overall he has really good doggy manners. However he has only been back with my friend since right before Christmas. During his formative puppy months he was kept as an outside dog at a relatives house, with a bunch of other dogs. So they are having to play catch up with a lot of his training. Which so far so good. He is a very high energy and playful pup!
Except he is really mouthy when he plays and now he is leaving bruises on her and her boyfriend when they play with him. And the concern is that he tries to play with someone that is not them, family, or friends And he does this and well he bruise up one of them or he actually breaks skin. And it be percieved as a bite or attack. He is a very big and strong dog and a very happy and loving dog. But this 1 behavior needs to stop.
---------- Post added at 01:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:34 AM ----------
Any opinions at all how to go about this?
01-25-2012, 01:04 PM #2
Teaching bite inhibition to an older dog is so much harder, and in my experience never turns out as reliable as when it's done properly at a young age.The whole purpose of sharp puppy teeth, is to learn bite inhibition. The sharper the teeth, means the more sensitive to bite pressure the puppy becomes through playing with littermates, other puppies and their humans. Puppy teeth are gone or on their way out around 6 months so bite inhibition should be well understood by then. What's done is done though.
What are they doing now when he bites rough during play? What does the dog do?
How you go about it will depend on what's considered valuable to the dog. For example) If the best thing in the world to the dog is biting, I would correct. If the dog enjoys playing more than anything else, I would use that to my advantage. You bite too hard, I scream "OWWW" and we stop playing for a minute. Then engage in play again, repeat if he bites too hard.
No dog should initiate mouthing play with anyone, at anytime. If he does, I'd leash that bugger and put him in a down stay until he calmed, telling him off the whole time. If your friends can't keep this kind of rough play in check, they shouldn't do it, ever.
01-25-2012, 01:22 PM #3
Screaming "OWWW" always worked for me.. til we got a deaf dog.
01-25-2012, 01:24 PM #4
I know we did the "ouch" thing with our dog when she was a puppy and that worked, but with this being an older dog I didn't know if that was an option.
01-25-2012, 01:34 PM #5
It all depends on the dog.
A softer dog will dramatically respond to an "Ouch" or "Eek" it's whole life. Hades will shut down and refuse to play anymore sometimes if I "Eeek" an almost-re-grip-bite.
A harder dog might get worse, and more persistent if you yelp. That's why going to a trainer who can watch the dog in action is always ideal. There are so many variables as to why a behaviour is occurring, why what the owner is doing isn't working, why the owner is doing what their doing and how to change their mentality so that they can successfully use a method that will.
I've had a few bad mouthers, but in all honesty, most of the mouthers mouth because their owners don't mean business. I don't reccomend swatting a dog for nipping too hard, but the owners that do, often don't have mouthy dogs. Dog training has so much to do with the handlers confidence and "aura", if I'm pissed I show it through body language, Hades wouldn't even dream of crossing me. Other people laugh because even though it's annoying, it's cute or funny, or they tell the dog off but even another person can hear they aren't serious. Not advocating smacking a dog for this, just trying to show how an owner truly meaning business, whether they physically correct, or use a leash, or train or whatever is usually what fixes these kinds of problems. Not any one specific method.
Hope that makes sense.
01-25-2012, 02:00 PM #6
Yes it does and thank you for the advice. I'm going to try to get her set up with a trainer
02-02-2012, 02:12 PM #7
So the situation has gotten worse. And unfortunately all she does is make excuses for him. She was walking him 2 days ago and he stopped in the middle of the road and turned around and bit her on the leg. She said he barely broke the skin but bruised her up pretty good. I asked her what was going on in her surroundings that might have triggered it. (Thinking because once when Sash was a pup a car and bike both got a little too close to us at the same time and she nipped my ankle) She said a car was coming but he is not afraid of cars, he would chase cars if I let him.
She said "It wasn't that bad, and he was probably just playing".
Now I think she may think I am blowing her off because I didn't want to bring my dog out to play. But I'm going to have to distance myself from this dog. I don't want this to ruin our friendship, but I can't be bringing myself, my child, and my dog around a dog that bites. With her not being willing to do anything about it. I keep suggesting cl$#@! and she says she can't afford them and he doesn't need them. I've made some suggestions about some things to try but she doesn't take me seriously I don't think. I think she thinks I'm just harping on her. But I don't want to see this dog in AC about to be put down for biting someone because she didn't take the proper steps to correct this behavior.
I'm at a loss. I don't want our friendship to get strained but her dog is quickly spiraling out of control and she doesn't see it.
---------- Post added at 03:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:35 PM ----------
I'm starting to feel like its a lost cause. I don't want to push my friend away. But I feel I'm failing this dog if I don't get through to her.
02-02-2012, 03:32 PM #8
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She definitely needs to get him in with a trainer. Sounds he is going through very bratty teenage behavior. Keep us posted.
02-02-2012, 04:54 PM #9
Maybe you could..."dog sit" for a day or two :)
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02-02-2012, 07:44 PM #10
Don't blame yourself.
There are people out there who can have all the help, knowledge, experience and date right in front of their face and they will never change their mind. It's just the way they are, and I'm quite sure most of them have reasons for this whether it be conscious or not.
While it's nice to try and help, I'll be the pessimist to say that sometimes it's a complete utter waste of your time, brain power and gives you unnecessary stress.
At this point after all the talks you've had with her civilly I would just say; I do not want to be a part of what you are doing to this dog, I do not want to put myself, my child or my dog in harm's way. If you ever decide to truly change the way you own, live and work with your dog, I will be more than willing to help you, but until then we'll have to part ways.
Almost like an intervention, you create the crisis. :)
Pretty off topic but I had a friend with a billion cats. She usually had two litters at a time, so many of them died, it was just crazy. I tried to nicely talk about it and be understanding with her and she always brushed it off. Finally I decided I just couldn't look at it anymore, of have it on my brain. They had apparently drowned the last two litters. So I told her, I just can't hang out with you anymore. With what I do, responsible s/n is something I advocate and promote for those unable to prevent unwanted litters, cats are no different. If you want help getting them fixed, I'll help you, but otherwise, no hard feelings I just can't hang with ya anymore.
We ended up reconciling and I helped her get all of the cats she decided to keep fixed. :) Trying to be nice and smooth is always a good first approach, but some people need to be told, and even then, some people will never change no matter what.
YOU are in no way failing this dog, she is. She's grown and makes her own choices, you cannot blame yourself!
02-03-2012, 09:31 AM #11
---------- Post added at 10:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:24 AM ----------
I don't know why I feel responsible for this dog. I'm the one who told her to wait and I'd help her find a good "Small" dog that would be a good fit and would not exceed the weight limit. When she called asking for my help to find a dog. We were all set up to meet with some rescues. But she couldn't wait 3 days, she got on Craigslist and called me the next day saying she adopting a puppy. (A puppy that was obviously going to be huge and outgrew the weight limit within a month). Needless to say puppy got kicked out pretty quick and they were separated for 6 months.
I urged her against it in the beginning. I tried to get her set up with cl$#@! and the proper tools from the beginning. If I even suggest anything I'm "harping".
I think I am going to just step back and let nature take its course. Maybe when his behavior gets worse she will be ready to correct it, hopefully it won't be too late at that point. And she is just going to have to accept I can't be around the dog right now. (Really with him being as jumpy as he is I physically can't right now).
02-07-2012, 03:34 PM #12
Okay its official, I give up. Not my dog, not my problem
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