Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've tried the Sit on Your Dog and Capturing Calmness. Both times all Chewie (10 weeks) can do is constantly chew on his leash (same problem I have most any time he's leashed). I gave up both times as it seemed pointless since he was getting himself worked up just by playing/chewing on the leash and then jumping on me because that's where the leash leads.

I've sprayed it with Bitter Apple (which helps with most other things), but the desire to have it (or something) in his mouth is greater than his dislike of the taste when that's the only choice he has.

So how do I "capture calmness" during this? Is there another step I need to work on first? He is learning "leave it' but isn't reliable without rewards.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
You can try a chain leash. They're not fun to chew. Or, provide an appropriate chew. Laying down and chewing an appropriate toy is still calmness. If being on the leash simply isn't working, try just placing him in a pen, or even back in his crate, near you until he gains a bit more focus and mental maturity as he ages. 10 weeks is very young, and I don't find that behavior at all abnormal!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I do have a chain leash which I've been using. Sadly, he's just as enamored with it as he was with his nylon leash. I'll try having a chew toy handy next time although I suspect the leash will win his attention. If that's the case, I'll try one of the other approaches.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,296 Posts
You can do this exercise with him in a pen instead, if that is an option.
Or, use something else on the leash. Tiger balm, hot sauce, arnica....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Hot sauce may work better. Pups don't taste Bitter Apple until they swallow, but Chewie may taste Hot Sauce when he puts the leash in his mouth. However ...

Biting the leash may be frustration ... b/c he's comparatively high energy. When you use soft toys to play Fetch and Tug, is he relatively calm, like a Golden, or crazed like a Lab? I'm guessing that he's more Lab - like .... and I don't have calmness suggestions .... at this age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
My pup chewed on her leash a lot in the beginning, my solution was just to keep it on a lot, had it on in the house, just let it drag around behind her walking in the hallways of my building.
She will still bite her leash a little if she has no other options and gets overstimulated, but at that point she'll grab anything she can get her teeth on, she's 15 weeks old now. I don't punish, I just make the things as boring as I can, if you are tugging and holding the leash it will seem like a toy for her, so just let it drag around and be there while you two do other activities.
And as others said, toys work wonders too, I have toys stashed around the apartment, and always got something with me outside too. ^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,342 Posts
Capturing is fine as long as your expectations are low, your patience is high and you have a lot of time on your hands. :)

With such a young pup I wouldn't expect to capture much in the way of calmness outside of all-out exhaustion. Capturing really relies on the whole behaviour happening at once - and then reinforcement is applied. And at that point once you capture it, the state of arousal is heightened again, contrast is present, emotional conflict may arise, and you're back to square one. Almost like a vicious cycle.

I'd try shaping it. Shaping is accepting small increments toward the end-goal behaviour. Sort of like building Rome over the course of a month rather than a single day. Begin with simply ignoring the leash, that split-second moment when the dog stops chewing and looks to you, casually mark then reinforce for that, and expand from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,384 Posts
have you tried it with a toy or a tug toy. My other pup I used the tug toy as the leash since the pup was connected to it anyway.. we just play'd walking as if we were on a leash around the yard while doing chores.. and then let her have the tug when we got to our destination. my new pup is 8 months old now and still will grab for the leash , I still laugh stay calm about it and work on release and focusing walking trying to keep the lead over his back straight up from the collar, and out of the way of temptation.. Do feel they mature out of wanting to chew on the lead keep working together on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm not sure I can do this another week, much less multiple months/years. I feel like this pup (lab mix - Wisdom Panel says Lab, AST, BC, and Vizsla mix) is way more than I am capable of handling. The only time he's not into something is when he's in his crate. He has a variety of toys (none of which occupy him for more than 5-10 minutes max and most not even that long), several people (who used to be) willing to play with him, a fenced yard to run/play in, and his favorite thing is still to bite hands/legs/clothes/whatever he can find besides his toys.

Playing tug of war games with him is risky for us and we have to keep all body parts as far away from his mouth as possible. We've puppy proofed the living room except for removing our furniture. Obviously, that isn't possible, but when he tires of his toys, he turns to the furniture (which I spray with Bitter Apple frequently wherever I can). When he won't give up on the furniture or be willing to play nicely with us, back in his crate he goes. I'm feeling bad for the time spent in his crate, but I have things to do besides keep him from destroying our home all the time.

We can't pet him because that quickly leads to nipping which quickly leads to biting so we only do that if he already has a chew toy in his mouth. It's rare for him to stop nipping when told "leave it", but it depends on his current mood. Acting hurt just makes it more enjoyable for him. Walking out of the room (which I'm still doing) hasn't phased him. He just looks for something else to get into the second the human chew toy is out of sight.

He generally calms down in his crate, but within minutes of being let out, he can escalate to wild-man. We can be sitting quietly while he plays with toys or we can attempt to play with him and before long he's looking for trouble (chewing on furniture, wanting to chase the cats, biting at us because he can). I've been working on training sit, down, leave it and stay. He does great while I have his attention, but his short little attention span expires and he's off to something else. He will get so determined to do what HE wants, that even his favorite treats and toys will not distract him from it. When we take him outside to play, he's usually happy to chase a ball or "frisbee" and carry it back, but once he's tired of that, he's sniffing for something to eat/chew (which is fine because he's more interested in plant items (grass, pinecones, sticks) than furniture type things).

Even my vet who has seen him twice describes him as stubborn and difficult. She suggested puppy obedience class which would be great, but he still has several weeks before his final shots. I've taken him to my mother's house so he can play with her husky mix. Turns out the husky is too laid back to be much help (I offered to trade dogs, but Mom refused :wink:). Chewie lunges at him from head to tail and he rarely even reacts because he's not being hurt, just annoyed.

Frankly, we all are tired of the biting. I feel like he's too extreme for my training abilities and his bratty little attitude is making it difficult to have fun and bond with him. Maybe my expectations are way off, but he really seems very high maintenance even for a puppy. My fear is that we'll put in all this time/work/money and still end up with a dog that is a biter which scares me for my kids and my cats. And my husband will not tolerate the dog's mouth on him at all.

If I could possibly have known then what I know now, I would NOT have adopted him and would have kept looking. He was mouthy then (even to the point of being too rough), but I let my kids persuade me after they learned that "mouthing" is normal in puppies. This is beyond what I think of as mouthing and it's depressing to think I might always having a difficult dog that needs constant management so that he doesn't bite someone. I'm usually not one to give up easily, but he's pushing me to my limit and I'm having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
I'm not sure I can do this another week, much less multiple months/years. I feel like this pup (lab mix - Wisdom Panel says Lab, AST, BC, and Vizsla mix) is way more than I am capable of handling. The only time he's not into something is when he's in his crate. He has a variety of toys (none of which occupy him for more than 5-10 minutes max and most not even that long), several people (who used to be) willing to play with him, a fenced yard to run/play in, and his favorite thing is still to bite hands/legs/clothes/whatever he can find besides his toys.

Playing tug of war games with him is risky for us and we have to keep all body parts as far away from his mouth as possible. We've puppy proofed the living room except for removing our furniture. Obviously, that isn't possible, but when he tires of his toys, he turns to the furniture (which I spray with Bitter Apple frequently wherever I can). When he won't give up on the furniture or be willing to play nicely with us, back in his crate he goes. I'm feeling bad for the time spent in his crate, but I have things to do besides keep him from destroying our home all the time.

We can't pet him because that quickly leads to nipping which quickly leads to biting so we only do that if he already has a chew toy in his mouth. It's rare for him to stop nipping when told "leave it", but it depends on his current mood. Acting hurt just makes it more enjoyable for him. Walking out of the room (which I'm still doing) hasn't phased him. He just looks for something else to get into the second the human chew toy is out of sight.

He generally calms down in his crate, but within minutes of being let out, he can escalate to wild-man. We can be sitting quietly while he plays with toys or we can attempt to play with him and before long he's looking for trouble (chewing on furniture, wanting to chase the cats, biting at us because he can). I've been working on training sit, down, leave it and stay. He does great while I have his attention, but his short little attention span expires and he's off to something else. He will get so determined to do what HE wants, that even his favorite treats and toys will not distract him from it. When we take him outside to play, he's usually happy to chase a ball or "frisbee" and carry it back, but once he's tired of that, he's sniffing for something to eat/chew (which is fine because he's more interested in plant items (grass, pinecones, sticks) than furniture type things).

Even my vet who has seen him twice describes him as stubborn and difficult. She suggested puppy obedience class which would be great, but he still has several weeks before his final shots. I've taken him to my mother's house so he can play with her husky mix. Turns out the husky is too laid back to be much help (I offered to trade dogs, but Mom refused :wink:). Chewie lunges at him from head to tail and he rarely even reacts because he's not being hurt, just annoyed.

Frankly, we all are tired of the biting. I feel like he's too extreme for my training abilities and his bratty little attitude is making it difficult to have fun and bond with him. Maybe my expectations are way off, but he really seems very high maintenance even for a puppy. My fear is that we'll put in all this time/work/money and still end up with a dog that is a biter which scares me for my kids and my cats. And my husband will not tolerate the dog's mouth on him at all.

If I could possibly have known then what I know now, I would NOT have adopted him and would have kept looking. He was mouthy then (even to the point of being too rough), but I let my kids persuade me after they learned that "mouthing" is normal in puppies. This is beyond what I think of as mouthing and it's depressing to think I might always having a difficult dog that needs constant management so that he doesn't bite someone. I'm usually not one to give up easily, but he's pushing me to my limit and I'm having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
What you're going through is completely normal. Even lower-energy puppies can be that way! It DOES get better as the dog gets older. I mean, he's an infant. He has no attention span, little self-control, and stomps around like a toddler. The dog you see now is going to be vastly different from the dog you see in a year, in two years. He's vastly different from the dog you will see at 6 months, even. All those well behaved dogs you see have probably had lots of work put into them over the course of 1-2 years!

It is okay to take puppies to puppy obedience class, because typically all the dogs at the facility are required to be vaccinated, and most facilities clean frequently to avoid the spread of disease. Ask around.

Lots of time spent confined is normal, too. They need it at this stage in their life. Don't feel bad if you need a break from supervising and need to crate him or put him in his pen. To begin with, most puppies are confined for the vast majority of their day!

That being said, puppies are not for everyone, especially the land sharks that some breeds can be. If you decide to return Chewie and ever decide to get a different dog, pick an adult over 3 years old who is mature and past the "bite everything be crazy" stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the encouragement, Lillith. I also appreciate all the suggestions from everyone. I feel terrible at being a puppy-mommy.

Being a tree is resulting in bites that draw blood. This little pup has started "attacking" me. I'm sure he just wants to play, but it's startling when he runs up to me and puts his teeth on me trying to bite and barks. It seems that doing the 'bite inhibition" exercises (letting him mouth, but walking away when he's too rough) has just encouraged him to take it further. The first time he did this yesterday, he got the back of my leg real good while I first tried being a tree and then tried to walk away. The next time he had me backed into a corner and the only thing I could do was stand there while he barked and lunged (he didn't actually hurt me this time) and tell him "No" until I could get his attention. Then I had him "sit" for a toy. THEN I could slowly walk out of my corner. After it was over and i was "safe," I realized that he was playbowing when he was barking. That made me feel a little better, but the fact is I can no longer have my back to him AT ALL when he is out. If he goes for the back of my legs, he's biting as I try to move away and he does not listen if I'm not facing him.

We spend time multiple times a day doing our obedience training, as well as fetch (training to bring ball back and drop it in my hand), and I've now stopped tug-of-war because it's simply too exciting for him. I don't think he realizes there is a difference between our arms/legs/clothes and the toy rope. He also gets free time to chew/play with toys outside his crate. He loves to sit on our lap with a chew toy if we sit on the floor, but I've had to stop that for my safety because he is bigger and will go for the face when the mood strikes him.

I've noticed that about 40 minutes is the max time he is ever out at one time before he really starts to get out of control. Many times it's not even that long. Whether we spend that time outside or inside has been irrelevant. And at that point a few minutes to cool down isn't enough. I guess he's so wired that he tires quickly and needs that chill time? This is the only solution I can come up with. I don't know that it's teaching him anything, but it lets us relax until next time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
My puppy has a lot less energy than yours Its sounds like but to capture calmness I kept treats next to me the first couple weeks at all times and would simply wait till he got tired and layed down on his own then I'd throw a treat where he was laying he'd get up but I'd completely ignore him after a couple days of this he started to understand laying calmly means treat
I also worked with a leash after he was already tired so it was easier for him to be calm on the leash I don't know if that helps at all lol like I said sprocket was pretty calm early on for a puppy but that's how we worked on calmness


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
Thanks for the encouragement, Lillith. I also appreciate all the suggestions from everyone. I feel terrible at being a puppy-mommy.

Being a tree is resulting in bites that draw blood. This little pup has started "attacking" me. I'm sure he just wants to play, but it's startling when he runs up to me and puts his teeth on me trying to bite and barks. It seems that doing the 'bite inhibition" exercises (letting him mouth, but walking away when he's too rough) has just encouraged him to take it further. The first time he did this yesterday, he got the back of my leg real good while I first tried being a tree and then tried to walk away. The next time he had me backed into a corner and the only thing I could do was stand there while he barked and lunged (he didn't actually hurt me this time) and tell him "No" until I could get his attention. Then I had him "sit" for a toy. THEN I could slowly walk out of my corner. After it was over and i was "safe," I realized that he was playbowing when he was barking. That made me feel a little better, but the fact is I can no longer have my back to him AT ALL when he is out. If he goes for the back of my legs, he's biting as I try to move away and he does not listen if I'm not facing him.

We spend time multiple times a day doing our obedience training, as well as fetch (training to bring ball back and drop it in my hand), and I've now stopped tug-of-war because it's simply too exciting for him. I don't think he realizes there is a difference between our arms/legs/clothes and the toy rope. He also gets free time to chew/play with toys outside his crate. He loves to sit on our lap with a chew toy if we sit on the floor, but I've had to stop that for my safety because he is bigger and will go for the face when the mood strikes him.

I've noticed that about 40 minutes is the max time he is ever out at one time before he really starts to get out of control. Many times it's not even that long. Whether we spend that time outside or inside has been irrelevant. And at that point a few minutes to cool down isn't enough. I guess he's so wired that he tires quickly and needs that chill time? This is the only solution I can come up with. I don't know that it's teaching him anything, but it lets us relax until next time.
"Be a tree" isn't really recommended for bite inhibition. Letting him bite you isn't really going to fix anything. "Be a tree" is more for loose leash walking. Instead, when he bites you redirect to a toy. If he still insists on biting you, get up and walk away. Step over a baby gate, close a door, whatever, just leave for a minute or so. Puppy will learn that biting=happy fun time ends. All attention goes away. If he tends to bite you while you're walking away, try playing with him in a pen. That way, you only have about one step to take to get away from him. It's not forever, just for a little while until he starts to get it. It does take a long time for them to start to learn that they can't put their teeth on humans, but remain consistent and they WILL get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
I thought 'being a tree' was used for leash training but pup decided that was a bore and started using human as a chew toy?

He sounds infinitely distract able with an attention span of a gnat. Probably very normal puppy but your story is precisely why I've never been tempted to puppy raise. My young more or less adult rescue dogs just don't pay attention to me when they aren't interested in what's going on. I'd work on something like 'silky leash' and also simply follow him around as he explores being sure to keep leash loose as 'be a tree' is definitely not for young pups that find you lots of fun to chew on. I'd be calling to him periodically for a cookie and marking attention before he latches on and giving a cookie at that point as well. Getting your hand down with a treat as he is planning to grab you is probably what that would amount to!

I'd start with doggy zen now to increase attention span. Cookie in hand and let pup gnaw on hand. Pup is not using this as play, pup wants the yummy. The instant pup stops chewing open hand and allow pup to get the treat. Rinse and repeat. Really great treats and do this before meals so pup wants the treat not your blood! Even during the first session you will note the chew sessions getting shorter. My adult dogs get it first session and I can present closed fist, they look at it then I open fist as I give the cue to enjoy the treat. Susan Garrett calls this 'It's Your Choice' and it is an extremely powerful concept that applies throughout every aspect of raising your pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
I thought 'being a tree' was used for leash training but pup decided that was a bore and started using human as a chew toy?

He sounds infinitely distract able with an attention span of a gnat. Probably very normal puppy but your story is precisely why I've never been tempted to puppy raise. My young more or less adult rescue dogs just don't pay attention to me when they aren't interested in what's going on. I'd work on something like 'silky leash' and also simply follow him around as he explores being sure to keep leash loose as 'be a tree' is definitely not for young pups that find you lots of fun to chew on. I'd be calling to him periodically for a cookie and marking attention before he latches on and giving a cookie at that point as well. Getting your hand down with a treat as he is planning to grab you is probably what that would amount to!

I'd start with doggy zen now to increase attention span. Cookie in hand and let pup gnaw on hand. Pup is not using this as play, pup wants the yummy. The instant pup stops chewing open hand and allow pup to get the treat. Rinse and repeat. Really great treats and do this before meals so pup wants the treat not your blood! Even during the first session you will note the chew sessions getting shorter. My adult dogs get it first session and I can present closed fist, they look at it then I open fist as I give the cue to enjoy the treat. Susan Garrett calls this 'It's Your Choice' and it is an extremely powerful concept that applies throughout every aspect of raising your pup.
I found that using a glove is necessary to do this with a puppy that is already bitey. Then it doesn't hurt, haha. Leather work gloves are best, but make sure the pup never has access to the glove other than for that exercise or they think it's fun to chew!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
I thought 'being a tree' was used for leash training but pup decided that was a bore and started using human as a chew toy?

He sounds infinitely distract able with an attention span of a gnat. Probably very normal puppy but your story is precisely why I've never been tempted to puppy raise. My young more or less adult rescue dogs just don't pay attention to me when they aren't interested in what's going on. I'd work on something like 'silky leash' and also simply follow him around as he explores being sure to keep leash loose as 'be a tree' is definitely not for young pups that find you lots of fun to chew on. I'd be calling to him periodically for a cookie and marking attention before he latches on and giving a cookie at that point as well. Getting your hand down with a treat as he is planning to grab you is probably what that would amount to!

I'd start with doggy zen now to increase attention span. Cookie in hand and let pup gnaw on hand. Pup is not using this as play, pup wants the yummy. The instant pup stops chewing open hand and allow pup to get the treat. Rinse and repeat. Really great treats and do this before meals so pup wants the treat not your blood! Even during the first session you will note the chew sessions getting shorter. My adult dogs get it first session and I can present closed fist, they look at it then I open fist as I give the cue to enjoy the treat. Susan Garrett calls this 'It's Your Choice' and it is an extremely powerful concept that applies throughout every aspect of raising your pup.
I found that using a glove is necessary to do this with a puppy that is already bitey. Then it doesn't hurt, haha. Leather work gloves are best, but make sure the pup never has access to the glove other than for that exercise or they think it's fun to chew!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top