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2yr old mixed terrier pup has behavior issues

844 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Chris1948
We have two dogs, both are rescues from a shelter. One is a 7yr old miniature Schnauzer who is deaf. The other is a mixed terrier pup who is about 2yrs old. The pup seems to have an 'on/off' switch for misbehaving. What I mean is that one minute he's as calm as can be the next he's going after the older dog, grabbing his leg(s), head or wherever. Trying to calmly correct him with the 'NO' command doesn't work at all. In fact after several times he'll start barking at us and won't stop until he's ready to even though we calmly tell him 'NO' or 'Quiet'. He doesn't do this all the time it just seems like certain times of the day such as around 6pm when we're getting ready to eat. We're not really sure what to do with him. Most of the day he's really good, it's just at certain times it's like a switch is thrown and he goes from 'Good Ozzy to Bad Ozzy'. He does love his carrots and green beans. If we can get him to stop going after the other dog should I reward? We're also wondering if he's just bored and wants to play but is too rough.
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Is he going after him in a "I want to play!" manner or an "I want to eat you!" manner?

If he wants to play so pestered the senior (which it kind of sounds like), I would say that kind of sounds like a zoomie. If its only during a certain time of the day, crate him during that time, or have a quick play session. My dog always got zoomies at 8:00pm, so I would do a quick training session with him or play with him a bit to fend it off. When our yard was fenced I would simply call out "Go outside!" run up the stairs, fling the door open, and let him race around the yard while I stood in one spot "chasing" him to burn that last bit of energy because I'm lazy, lol.
I think it's 'I want to play', the reason being that you can hear them both making a sound that is not quite a growl more like heavy breathing. It's hard to describe. He will go out in the back and do 'Zoomies' for several times a day running around and around my greenhouses. Maybe I should try taking him out in the back around 5pm or so and see if I can burn off some of his extra energy? What we really don't like is when we try to get him to leave the other dog alone he'll decide to start barking at us and then he'll start poking us with his nose or even go so far as to nip at us.
I'm guessing this is play behavior that isn't appreciated by the older dog. I've got one of those situations here. Ginger is 9 years old and just plain doesn't play with other dogs. I cannot even get her to do a 3 way tug with me and Bucky. Bucky loves to roughhouse. We can plainly see it's play as he will often play bow to her but then ignores her turning away and bounces on her or tries to chase. This has been going on for 2 years so doubt he will stop. At first he got a time out. Ginger appreciated that and never has had to escalate beyond an irritated yowl. Now she knows to scrape him off by going under a chair or coming around us.

I call this the zoomies. It's happy or nervous energy buildup and I love it. All the rabbits, cats and dogs I've had will burst out with the sillies every once in a while. Even my tropical fish will get zoomies every once in a while! I suspect this is a rehearsal of escape behavior as the fish form schools and the cats rip around the furniture like they are being chased.

I will stomp my foot pretending to chase the dogs when they get that look in their eyes. They love it and scoot away and zoom around in circles. If Bucky is persistently bugging G then I move between them but cannot remember the last time that happened here. He regularly bugs her but only for a couple seconds at a time.

Do call him and the rule is if he responds then you must reward. Since older dog isn't a fan of his silliness you cannot allow Ozzy to bug him. An annoyed dog could have enough one day and these are terriers. Terriers are supposed to be scrappy. I don't like loud arguments with teeth flashing, suspect you don't either.
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I'm pretty sure he's just wanting to play but as you said the older dog, Charlie, doesn't want to. About all he does all day long is sleep. Sometimes he will stand his ground and even push back but of course that just encourages Ozzy to do more. So, if I do get Ozzy to stop most of the time he then goes into his barking at us mode. Do I still reward him? We've tried just ignoring him when he goes into barking mode and eventually he does stop when he's good and ready.
I've finally gotten good enough at dog handling that I can distract a dog in full zoomie with a toy. Since he wants to play see if you can get him to play with you instead. Get a squeaky tug toy, squeak it as you move it away from him. I'm sure you would rather be bugged to get played with than your old dog. I don't play for long. Zoomies only last a minute or so and I just stop when a play criteria isn't being met, he hits me with a tooth or doesn't bring the toy back or doesn't release on cue.

Barking. I hate barking dogs. I have two certified yappy dogs in the house. What can I say, they are cute and have marvelously floofy tails. If you are playing and he starts barking then freeze. The instant he stops wiggle the toy or throw the ball. The instant, no waiting for even a second. Bucky now makes the most amazing sounds that aren't barking when he is super excited by food or the leash.
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You could also get a slip lead, put it on, and lead him away from the senior. Perhaps encourage him to get a toy instead.
Ozzy tends to tear up toys even rope toys and I'm afraid to get him a squeak toy as I don't want him to eat the squeaker. I do have an indestructible toy I bought on-line for him that he likes to play with. I'll try that or get out their bowl of carrots and green beans that they get for treats. I'll also try what you mention in the 2nd paragraph when he goes after us for trying to get him to stop harassing Charlie.
Thanks Lillith, I'll give that a try also. It's scary that he's been good all day long so far. Not sure if he's up to something or not.
You don't have to leave toys down all the time. I keep the little tennis balls up because Bucky loves them and I want to use them just for fetch. Same for squeak toys. If I had one he was over the moon about and it was unique enough I didn't want it loved to death I'd keep it up and get it down when I want to play with him or was able to watch to be sure to interrupt him if he decided to dissect out the fun bit of the toy.
I bought Ozzy another rope pull toy today and saw a couple of tennis balls with squeakers on sale so I got him a couple. He was really excited when I gave him the rope and one of the balls. The first thing he did with the rope instead of letting me play tug with him is he starts pulling out the strands on the end. I gave him one of the tennis balls and he bounced it a few times, wouldn't let me get it to roll to him and then he laid down in his bed and started pulling the fuzz off of it. I had to pick it up. I guess the best thing to do with the ball is take it out back and try to teach him to bring it back to me and when we're done playing pick it up and bring into the house.
I'm afraid Bucky would want to chew the fuzz off balls too so they are kept up until I want to play with him. Try two toys. Wiggle or bounce one, maybe he will come over and try to take it away. Fetch with Bucky gets pretty strenuous as he will see the ball in my hand and drop the one he's got and try to take mine away from me. So I throw it and walk up to the dropped ball. Rinse and repeat. Did it 100 times a couple weeks ago and it took a good week for my knee to recover from all those mini lunges or squats or whatever I was doing to get the ball.

How is he pulling out the strands if it is in your hand? If he doesn't play tug then put the toy up. These are special toys he doesn't get unless he is playing with you. He cannot have them, they aren't safe the way he treats them!
Good idea about the two toys, I'm learning things here. I'll take both of the squeaky tennis balls out in the back tomorrow and see how it goes. As far as the rope I tried playing tug with him when I got home but he decided he'd rather keep inching up towards my hand so I just let him have it. That's when he began pulling out the strands on the ends. It is also now taken away and sitting on the kitchen table waiting for him to learn to play right.

I took him out this afternoon with his two squeaky tennis balls and we did have a good time. He actually would bring me back one of the balls so I could throw the other. Kind of wears you out when you're in your upper 60s though.
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