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Adolesence Aggression?

620 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  3GSD4IPO
Hello again,
My dog, approaching 6 months old, is going quite crazy. Whenever I take her out for a walk, everything is fine and dandy. But, whenever an object or place interests her, she pulls on the leash to try and get it. If I refuse, she will start yelping as if I am torturing her and bite her leash. Whenever I sit on the sidewalk to let her calm down, (this trick usually works) she starts playing tug of war with her leash. I am quite a distance from my home now, so I try to drag her back home, and carry her the rest of the way. When I carry her, she goes crazy, biting the hand that I use to hold the leash. I have several injuries now, and it is getting unbearable. Her leash is almost totally in shreds, and I've tried spraying her with some water. She stops, but only if she sees the water sprayer. I don't want to depend on the water sprayer, and I've stopped giving her walks now. If I don't want my dominant hand and leash to be ripped into shreds, what do I do? One of my friends told me to go to a shelter if it goes too far, and I don't want her to be one of those sad souls in the kennel. Also, some other things, (I don't know if this is important) she is not spayed, and she calms down immediately after I bring her home.

Edit: I've tried holding her still, she still bites me and rages on and on. She is such a little demon that my neighbors give me and my dog concerned looks when I walk her. I've tried ignoring her, she calms down but immediately starts the cycle again as I stand up and walk.
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Oh, yes, those fun 6 month olds! I remember those days. This is fairly normal, though inappropriate behavior.

First, I would try out a light chain leash. The chains are less fun to bite and tug on. Once she's ditched the habit of leash biting, you can go back to whichever leash you prefer.

Next, try carrying lots of tasty little treats on walks with you. My favorite method for leash training was the "Be a Tree" method. When the leash is slack, the walk goes on. When the pup puts pressure on the leash, you stop, stand still, and be a tree. Movement only continues when the pup stops pulling on the leash. I used the treats to reward my dog for "checking in", which meant him pausing in his sniffing and walking to make eye contact with me. It helps to practice this in a boring place like your yard or living room so they get the idea, first.

I also had a puppy who liked to flail and scream at the end of his leash when he didn't get his way. I would be a tree and ignore him until he calmed down. When he decided he wanted to be calm, I would give him a treat and we would continue our walk. The behavior ended when he realized he was not going to get where he wanted to go behaving that way.

It's okay not to take really long walks until you're more confident in your puppy's skills. They'll be burning a lot of energy learning about proper manners, anyway.

Don't feel too bad, because your dog's behavior really isn't that unusual for a 6 month old. They are terrors. They're like little baby puppies, but they're bigger, stronger, and sharper than they realize. The trick is to gently remind them that you have the thumbs and the resources and access to all the fun things, and that them behaving the way you want is the key!
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