Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently adopted a 1 yr old pit mix. Very sweet dog, but has started playing very rough and I'm not sure how to correct the behavior. When we go into the yard, he is less interested in fetching a ball or playing with a toy than he is trying to mouth my hands. He had a jumping up problem since day 1 and during our first obedience class last week, the trainer told me to turn and ignore his jumping for attention and reward when his paws are on the ground. We have been working on that.

When he is in the yard, though, it seems all bets are off. He gets excited and jumps on me A LOT more. In last 2 days has added nipping to that. His tail is wagging and it isnt aggressive, but not a way I want to "play." He's started jumping in the air at or near me and nipping for my hands or loose clothes.

He's been getting exercise (in yard with a ball and daily walks on the lease and play dates with another pit) I've never played rough with him.

Can someone help me with what I need to do to correct this? Specifically, stop the jumping and nipping at my hands and clothes and stop his mouthing in general. I've only had him for a week and want to get a handle on this quickly before it becomes an ongoing issue.

Your advice please...Thanks in advance. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
I'll address the jumping on you since I haven't cared enough about mouthing. So far, I've found that the best way to fight the jumping you is to lean forward or use a knee. When he jumps on you, quickly lean forward (step forward if possible) so that he loses his balance on the way down and stumbles a bit. Alternatively, you can use a knee to the chest (push, not hit) to put him off balance too. Supposedly, dogs do not like losing balance.

For the nipping/mouthing, you should read "the bite stops here" sticky. I don't care if my dog mouths me, but I was able to have her reduce the bite pressure. Basically, give a high pitched "OUCH!", make a overly dramatic pout, walk into another room & close the door for 10-30 sec when he nips too hard. Gradually extend the timeouts or even end play if she continues. Over many weeks he'll mouth less. Perhaps if you keep at it he'll stop all together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll give it a try. For the most part the mouthing is light, but still scratches my hands on occasion. Its the nipping that's really bugging me. if i have on a loose sweater he'll jump up and nip at the sleaves etc and sometimes pinches my skin underneath. Also a bit unsettling to be in the yard and have your dog leaping a foot in the air to your right and left and hear his teeth clipping together as he missing grabbing your sleeve.

I'll give the ""ouch" approach a try for the mouthing. Anything other ideas about the leaping/nipping. I've heard to lift your knee before but he's really lauching himself in the air and I don't want to hurt the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I don't like the knee method because there is the potential for injury if you misjudge. (For you and the dog. Your patella isn't made of titanium.) Just step back and ignore the dog. Don't touch the dog, don't look at the dog, don't say a word. The dog gets attention when he's on the ground, end of story. It does take a few days or even weeks of doing this consistently, but it does work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
I agree with Amaryllis. "Four on the floor" is another way to describe it. Ignore them, back to them, arms crossed in front of you. BUT, make sure you praise him and maybe even give a treat for good behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I also agree. I've had jumping, nipping issues in the past, and no amount of telling your dog(s) "No" or pushing them off will help. There are reasons for this, but they go into behavior and are beyond the scope here. I am firmly against the knee method. You really can injure your dog this way, particularly if you've just been pushed off balance and misjudge where your knee ends up. I also seriously want to counsel against quickly leaning into or stepping forward to your dog with the intent of knocking them off-balance. This yields a good chance to cause back or joint injuries. When dogs jump up, they usually need to place paws on you to steady themselves, as they're quadrupeds attempting a 2-footer. This is one of the main reasons the jumping is so irritating. If they need to push against you, and you step or lean into them, you can easily hyper-extend their back, particularly if you do it fast.

At first just ignoring the behavior wasn't enough in my case. My dogs got so excited, even when I turned my back to them, they'd run around me and keep jumping. I'd have to stand facing a corner with my body pressed into it to avoid this, and even that wasn't very successful. Instead, in the beginning I had to leave the room entirely. My dogs would start freaking out when I came home and jumping, and I'd walk through them without acknowledgement. They'd be jumping and freaking out, and I continued until I crossed into another room and shut them out. I'd come back out a few minutes later, but immediately go away again if they didn't greet me calmly. It took about 4 weeks, but now I can come home without getting mauled. It only took that long in my case because I had three dogs and a cousin that just couldn't seem to understand that I was serious about not petting the dogs when they jumped up. Everyone in the house has to do the same thing, or the dogs will jump all over you for their entire lives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
First of all, I'll defer to the senior members here. The lean forward/knee was actually the method my dog trainer demonstrated (repeatedly) for one of the owners in our class who's large dog would jump on people. He led me to believe there was little risk from that method.

Before that I tried the ignore it/stand still method. While it worked for most other behaviors, it appeared that the jumping on me was self rewarding as she used me like a spring board for sometime. Perhaps if I knew about the corner or leaving the room back then I'd have tried that instead of lean forward.

In any event, it's really about teaching them to manage their excitement. At this point Spirit will jump in front of me, jump next to me, but not on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK turning my back and ignoring is definitely not working. Its no longer for attention, he's just content to pummel me. Tried stepping forward but not sure if I was doing it at the right time because he just backed up and jumped again. Only thing that stopped it was grabbing his collar and putting him on his side. Thoughts???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
No grabbing the collar and putting him on his side. That will likely cause other problems, including your dog thinking he needs to defend himself from you because you are behaving in a threatening way.

The "pinning" or "alpha roll" that is similar to what you describe (grabbing his collar and putting him on his side) was part of a training philosophy that was based on "studies" of wolf behavior in the wild. The only problem was these studies (from back in the 50s, I believe) weren't really done on wolves in the wild, they were actually in captivity, AND, those studies were proved flawed in many other ways, as well.

This type of thing is turning a situation of excited jumping into a type of "bullying" situation, which is really what you are doing when you pin him on the ground on his side. A dog on his side/back is usually showing submission. When you force that, you are forcing submission, but also doing it in a way that the dog doesn't understand, thus he may feel like he needs to defend himself, and become aggressive.

So, try what the other person suggested, just walking right on past his jumping into another room, ignoring the dog on your way, and only coming back when he's calm. If he starts jumping, go away again, as many times as it takes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
I don't like the knee method because there is the potential for injury if you misjudge. (For you and the dog. Your patella isn't made of titanium.) Just step back and ignore the dog. Don't touch the dog, don't look at the dog, don't say a word. The dog gets attention when he's on the ground, end of story. It does take a few days or even weeks of doing this consistently, but it does work.
Agree with the above that knee thing is dangerous for dog and owner, it's the timing reflex stuff that cause injury.
OK turning my back and ignoring is definitely not working. Its no longer for attention, he's just content to pummel me. Tried stepping forward but not sure if I was doing it at the right time because he just backed up and jumped again. Only thing that stopped it was grabbing his collar and putting him on his side. Thoughts???
Ok Pierce had a humongous problem with the running around and jumping and the nipping, I also tried ignore and he did not care if I ignored him or not. Through the years I have had success with knee program but at age 75 with a young 70 lb brute not gonna happen as reflexes etc are not the same.

We have a huge fenced area and it's a great place for him to get his zoomies done, big problem is he does not mind getting near and knocking me down if necessary (twice) but I have been continuing home manners and lead obedience etc and when getting him out I walk with a white broom handle, when he starts the zoomie silly stuff the handle is used when he approaches, not to hit dog, it's a break focus distraction, as he approaches at full speed he sees the handle waving in front of me or wherever needed and he veers off. Protection from knock downs is important as healing is longer. Now when walking the waving of handle is not needed as he knows it can get in his way so his zoomies are in larger circles or straight dashes away from my body. Only problem I had was he tried to abscond with he handle but it's thin and he does not get a good hold on it, so I win.

Oh one last important piece of advice It's a "Not Hit Dog Device" It's a guide dog around body device only.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Try walking you dog always before playing....this means 30mins or more. Try and wear him out with a long walk so that when its play time he wont have so much excited pent up energy and maybe he will be more susceptible to your rules of play time. Also if your dog is excited and jumping around before you even gone out the door wait get him calm then invite him out to play. I think there are lots of various ideas and tips to try the biggest thing is consistentcy.dont allow him to jump or bite even once without correction
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info. I definitely don't want this to turn into aggression!!

I really do want to correct this as quickly as possible though. I feel like the longer it happens the more it seems like acceptable behavior and the harder it will be to stop.

Here is my main problem with turning my back. I did this the first few days I had him and it actually worked quite well. When he wasn't getting my attention from jumping he took it a step further and added the nipping at my clothes. So now he springs into the arm where his head is at my head level and grabs my coat sleeve on the way down. It doesn't matter if my back is turned he still gets my arm or sleeve in the process. I considered crossing my arms so he has less to grab onto, but i want to have my hands free to cover my face if I need to.

He gets daily walks and the whole point of being in the yard is to do his business or play and get some more of the energy out. He isn't interested in fetching a ball though. His main interest is my arm sleeves.

What am I doing wrong?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Another thing to try is a flirt pole give him something to chase other than you.
I'll give anything a try. One question though.....I have a cat and the two have been coexisting pretty well so far. I'll make sure I pick something that looks NOTHING like the cat, but just wanted to know if this would make him more inclined to chase the cat. My guess would be no, but deferring to the experts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,442 Posts
I read the thread on Luna. Nice to know I am now alone. How is she doing now?
Luna is doing amazing. Taking a training class with a good trainer has helped a ton in solidifying the training I do at home and has given me more tactics for training issues. You will find that at some point the dog starts to behave with YOU but still will need to learn how to greet strangers and guests nicely and class has helped that also. Lots of long walks and persistance on loose leash walking are paying off and making walkin nicer.
Try feeding meals by hand and giving kibble ONLY when thr dog is sitting and focused on you, take hand with kibble away the instant teeth touch skin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Luna is doing amazing. Taking a training class with a good trainer has helped a ton in solidifying the training I do at home and has given me more tactics for training issues. You will find that at some point the dog starts to behave with YOU but still will need to learn how to greet strangers and guests nicely and class has helped that also. Lots of long walks and persistance on loose leash walking are paying off and making walkin nicer.
Try feeding meals by hand and giving kibble ONLY when thr dog is sitting and focused on you, take hand with kibble away the instant teeth touch skin
My trainer suggested the hand feeding as well. Started that last night and plan to continue for about a week. He's actually pretty good on the leash so we go for a long walk around the neighborhood and park every day. Other than getting anxious / whining if crated alone, his only real issue is this jumping/nipping. Yesterday I crated him for about 45 minutes so I could run errands after an hour walk. When I came home and opened the crate immediately started jumping excitedly and actually head butted me in the chin (their heads are surprisingly hard and that hurt.) I've also noticed that no matter how long the walk, if its light out and im in the yard he jumps and nips. Oddly doesnt do this at night for his last bathroom breaks. I'll keep plugging along and update everyone on our progress. I am determined!!! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
I'll give anything a try. One question though.....I have a cat and the two have been coexisting pretty well so far. I'll make sure I pick something that looks NOTHING like the cat, but just wanted to know if this would make him more inclined to chase the cat. My guess would be no, but deferring to the experts
This could build up prey drive for the chasing of critters so might not be the thing to do. Did not read or if you said anything about cats. I was just looking for something to stream off some of the energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,405 Posts
Pits are great dogs. They are sweet and playful. They are also energetic, strong, and tough. Although they won't get 'aggressive' they can still be dangerous enough when they want to play, b/c they may not know when to stop. So you train them:

1. Look at the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here, in the new owner section to learn about Bite Inhibition.
2. Socialize the dog with lots and lots of people who understand dogs.
3. Socialize with lots more dogs that can handle the energy. And, when the play gets too energetic, stop it momentarily, then let them go back to play... This will help the dog learn to control his energy level as well as his biting.

Check out the free downloads: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

Pits crave attention! A 2 x 4 across the head is just another toy to a Pit :) ... but ignoring a Pit is the worst of punishment... But you have to communicate what you are doing. When the Pit jumps, close your eyes (not all the way), look away, and turn to the side. Pet him if he doesn't touch you, but make a little noise, like ouch! or a yelp! if he does jump on you. And, if you need to 'nuke' him, then leave the area, putting him into a time-out all alone. This is a strong punishment, and more effective if you can leave him alone.... 30 seconds should be fine. When you come back, he'll be excited (relieved) and may lick you and jump. Repeat the turn away activity and yelp! again if he jumps on you, and leave immediately. Still only 30 seconds. Repeat this a few times over 10 min. or so. You should see a little progress, maybe a hesitation when you yelp.
If he doesn't jump, if he does a play bow, if he barks, then he is apologizing. Pet and praise him for this. Don't expect a miracle and give him some time to learn... He'll learn better after each night's sleep.... so you should notice less jumping after 3 days.

(Normally, I write about Bite Inhibition first...)
Note the same process for bite inhibition:

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get him to stop biting when he wants to play):
1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound about like what the pup does when you step on its paw... don't step on his paw for a sample :). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. He'll bite.
2. When he bites the second time, Yelp. When he stops, praise and pet. He'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When he bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If he comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. This is important. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
4. When he bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing him in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving him. Then, return and interact. (He's still hungry...)
5. When he nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

Pups need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice signficant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method. Nipping is a form of play. Don't yell at the dog and don't strike him... He may think that your method of play is to play roughly. Let us know what happens... BTW, follow these instructions carefully, and ask, if you don't understand. Don't improvise.

If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication. I currently use the yelp when my dog plays tug, then runs with the toy, when he fetches and keeps it out of reach or when he takes a treat too quickly....

Let us know what happens with your new method of communicating...
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top