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I am fostering a puppy that was found tied to a post. She lived in another home for a short while but was uncontrollable so was sent to a shelter. I've had multiple dogs (up to 5) for more than 25 years and i've never had a dog quite like her. When she arrived she was uber aggressive even though she was only around 3 months. I quickly learned NOT to say No to her--she hates that word and goes berserk. Instead, i usually say, can you be my good girl, please?, and she usually will stop whatever bad thing she is doing. However, sometimes she still goes berserk when she can't have her way. Unfortunately, she is super smart and quickly picked up on the fact that peeing in the house upsets me. So when she is mad, she pees in front of me. For instance, she has food aggression issues. She had a chewy and my timid dog Daisy, also had a chew. The puppy only wants Daisy's chew, so i separate them. Somehow the puppy got into the room where Daisy was eating her chew (i could hear growling) so i went in, picked up the puppy, put her down outside the door and closed the door without saying anything. She looked at me and then walked down the flight of stairs making sure she peed on all 12 steps. She and i had just been out for a half hour walk (i walk them every 3 hours in the day). I've never been a crate trainer, but i tried to use one with her in the beginning and she would not tolerate it. She howled non-stop and it made her very aggressive. I usually never let dogs sleep with me, but that was the only thing that kept her calm and quiet when she first arrived. Now, i use the crate only when i'm at my wits end (like she is biting me and barking furiously while i'm trying to fill the dog bowls with food). Usually, she will calm down after i put her in the crate, as long as i don't leave her in there for more than a few minutes (10-15 at the most.) She has learned that i won't take her out until she is quiet. If i leave her in for any longer she goes berserk. My question is, how do i break her aggression? She definitely does not react well to aggression in return, so i am very careful to be positive with her, but sometimes she is just awful and out of control. I know she has had a rough beginning, and i'm trying to turn her around so she can find a loving forever home. And i know most people won't have the patience i've had with her. Thanks for your advice.
 

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What exactly is she doing that you are describing as aggression? Just so we are all on the same page as to what behavior you are seeing.
 

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It sounds like she is training you and you are coming along just fine in her class. Is there a behavorist that works with your group/shelter? I would suggest working with one since you have never dealt with this kind of behavior before.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If she is doing something she isn't supposed to, like chewing an internet cord, if i say No, stop, she becomes very aggressive--jumps on me, bites at me, bites at the cords, bites at anything around, and barks loudly. Same if i'm eating and she tries to jump on my lap and take my plate. No just doesn't work for her, she gets into crazy dog mode. At that point, all i can do is pick her up (while she is still biting, and now she weighs almost 40 pounds) and put her into her kennel box. She was VERY skinny when she arrived and so i left food out for her all the time, just like i have always done for my dogs, so they can graze when they want. She plumped up fast, but it was interfering with potty training (she had many accidents, even though we were going out for walks at least every 3 hrs, more often when she let me know she needed to go out--which she learned quite quickly.) So now, she gets feed three times a day (just before we go out for our longer walks), and as a result has become quite aggressive about food. Sometimes she will bite my leg and growl while i'm dishing out food. (I pick her up and put her in her cage.) She has also taken to jumping on me when i'm eating and on the kitchen cupboards. My other dog (also a rescue i recently adopted after my two beloved dogs died) grazes, and its been a real problem to feed her. I've begun to feed her separately bc the puppy pushes her away from the food, but since she grazes it is hard. The puppy becomes aggressive (with me and daisy) about snacks, chewys, anything food like. If we are walking and she is bitting Daisy's leash or ear and i say No, she bites them more viciously. However, if i say, be a good girl and gently nudge her away, she stops. So that's why i've tried not to say No, bc honestly she turns into a crazy dog when i do or when i exhibit the least amount of aggression. I have to at all times stay calm and soothing to get her to stop (which isn't always easy bc she becomes hyper-active and growls and bites!) And i notice when i take her out of her cage she licks my face and more gently bites my arm (I just move her mouth away) which clearly is anxiety. She is slowly getting better, but has become more aggressive about food issues, and still has those times when she gets out of control (what i call aggressive.) I'm trying to help the dog bc if left in the kennel she would be unadoptable, which would be a shame bc she can be a very sweet girl (particularly when i pull her into my lap or let her lay next to me). . . And she is super smart. I've always fostered older dogs (at least 1 or 2 yrs old) so this is my first puppy fostering experience, and since i only adopt rescues, most of my dogs have been older. I'm in france now and they don't have the custom of fostering, so they had no one else to take the puppy for them, so i said ok. My vet has said she needs a comportmentalist (as they call them here) bc hyper-active dogs are very hard to correct, but the shelter is on a shoestring budget, and at the moment, can't pay for one. I was also wondering if the dog food could be making her aggressive. In the US, they've found that gluten makes some children hyper-active and aggressive, and i was wondering if it could be the same with dogs. In the US, my dogs were on high quality kibbles and then raw free-range meat. Its a little harder here bc there isn't the choice of kibbles and a good (non-supermarket grade) dog food costs over US$100 for 30 pd bag. . .I've been buying her royal caine which is about $125 per 15 kilo bag! But it has grain it it. I've been afraid to start her on a raw diet bc i thought it might make her more aggressive. (She goes insane over the peanut butter gluten free dog cookies i make, but then daisy does, too.) So i'm trying the best i can to help this dog. I am committed to helping her, so any advice would be appreciated.

Ps, the other thing she does when she is told no, or made to stop behavior is she walks away for about 1 minute, and then comes back and pees right in front of me. . . like she did with the chewy incident.
 

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@ Luv mi pets. People write on these forums bc they are seeking genuine help with a dog or pet problem. The shelters are full of pets that people couldn't cope with. I see that like me, you are new to this forum. May i suggest you refrain from commenting on posts unless you have positive things to say that could genuinely help. People who are dealing with problems with their pets feel bad enough as it is, that there is a problem.
 

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Well this is the internet and no one can really say without seeing the actual behavior, but... you mentioned you've never fostered a puppy this young, and I think it's possible that this is really just a crazy, but relatively normal, puppy with no impulse control or bite inhibition and you're just not used to it.

Some puppies are just plain bananas, and they jump and nip and bite and have tantrums when they don't get their way. Again, can't say without seeing the puppy's behavior in person but I think you and she would benefit greatly from a good puppy or basic obedience class with a positive method-based trainer. I'd also suggest reading a book called Control Unleashed and practice some of the impulse control games in it.

Edit: Also, read some of the stickied threads in the training forum, particularly stuff like NILIF, rev up/cool down, and puppy zen.
 

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Thanks! I just looked up the book on Amazon and unfortunately its not on kindle nor on amazon.fr. Bummer. Maybe i can get someone to send it to me. I will look at the other threads. She is actually pretty good walking on leash ect. . . And she sits and comes well. It's her impluse behavior that is the problem. thanks for all your help.
 

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Well foster mom I did work at our local high kill shelter for 4 years. I saw a lot of dogs with your dog's type of problems being destroyed. The problem was not addressed at a young age and when the dog got older, it was too much for the family. That is why I wanted you to seek the advice of a behavorist. Someone who could see first hand what was happening. There are things that you could be doing wrong. Yes, forums are nice to come to for advice but in your situation I think working with someone would be more of a benefit. I see you are in France. Do they have training clubs? If they do I strongly suggest you contact them for some lessons. As far as the food making her aggressive, there many reasons a dog can exhibit such behavior. Low thyroid levels, low vitamin b12 levels, and even diseased teeth can account for aggressive actions. I attended a behavior conference by Dr. Sophia Yin. Wonderful person. She actually went into shelters and worked with very aggressive dogs to do her master work on. Her website- www.drsophiayin.com I have used her methods on some foster dogs. The results fantastic. Good luck with the pup and I hope for the best that all works out.
 

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thanks, i ordered Dr. Yin's book bc i could buy it in ebook format. I also watched her excellent video. I live out in the countryside and there are no trainers close by and also, being less typical than the US, it is very expensive. In fact, all dog/cat products are very expensive here. Oddly vets are much cheaper. When i looked for intelligence toys for the puppy, i could find nothing, not even something basic like a kong toy. France in general, but areas outside of Paris in particular (i'm in the south) are just not as product oriented as the USA. When i asked my vet about piddle pads, she thought the concept strange and said they don't use such things in france. I even had to order my collars and leashes from the US, but they haven't arrived yet. The french postal system sucks.
 

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She is not that well known but those who have attended her conferences really like her. The hardest part was I was used to putting pressure on the rump and pulling up while saying sit. To remain quiet and only reward the behavior you are seeking is hard. But the dogs I have done this type of training to I can actually see them thinking of what they need to do to earn a treat.
You can make your own puzzle toys. Paper plates and bowls work well. The dogs have to learn to use their nose to find the treat. Take a hard plastic ball and drill holes in it. Fill with treats. When the dog rolls the ball the treats will come out. Make your own flirt pole. Buy a horse whip - one with a long line-usually they are called lunge whips- attach a stuffed toy -a cat collar around it neck helps attach to the line-at the end. Some dogs really like this game. I have a couple of dogs look at me like I was crazy. You could see on their faces it was above them to go chasing after some toy. Good luck with her and too bad she just can not be told you are just trying to help her.
 

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One thing to consider is that you are talking a lot about what you don't want her to do and not a lot about what you want her to do. Instead of saying "no" (which isn't working anyway), redirect her to a chew toy or something else you want her to do instead.

With the food, she gets it if she sits and not if she's jumping. I know others have worked with resource-guarding dogs, so I'll let them offer advice, but it's just a thought.
 

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How are things going? What kind of breed do you think she is? And what kind of breed is your other dog?
 
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