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Dog advice contradictions

1088 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  wvasko
Posted here a while back about puppy selection (found a blacklab/mutt from shelter) and some bite advice (he was only 8 weeks old). Mostly going well, still working on the angry/sleepy/hungry snap or bite. It happens. Thanks for all the great advice.
Here are some contradictions I have seen, even on this website:
1. Maintain eye contact / look away when trying to stop biting.
2. Move to other room from biting dog / never leave dog unattended, not even a moment.
3. Say NO BITE / do NOT say NO BITE
4. Play tug of war/do NOT play of war
5. Try ONE technique and stick with it/List of 5 or 10 things to always do
6. Punish/don’t punish (I don’t need advice here – I will not physically punish the dog, no matter the opinions of many/few)
Also, a small loop I am sometimes in – dog eliminates in the evening, then wants to play, then has to drink…then has to go at 2am.
Or – dog eliminates, I refuse to give him water after 8pm, he becomes …desperate for a drink around 11, to the point of not sleeping/howling.
So – water, or no water, in the evenings? (Refusing to play after going out at 8 or so is not really an option – he’s wide awake and ready to romp.)
Thoughts? Thanks…
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1. For a Lab, Don't break eye contact... no reason in this case. Labs are playing.
2-3. Read the sticky: The Bite Stops Here, in the new owner section. If that doesn't work, then I have a set of tweaks that I published in Just Labs magazine a few years ago, that I can paste back here. You might also find by searching the Forums.
When you leave the room, you leave the dog for a few moments in a room that is boring.
4. If you can set the rules to keep the energy level reasonable, Tug is fine. Most people who have Labs like big dogs and like to rough house with the dog. Any time you rough house with an animal that can bite through a baseball bat, you need rules.
BTW, not only do I play tug, but it sounds like wolves fighting in the backyard...
5. Be consistent with one technique, try it for about a week, and if it doesn't work, then explore another method. Don't mix.
6. There are all kinds of non-physical, non-aversive punishments... I used to 'punish' my dog by making him Sit, while he was off-leash: freedom lost for a moment. You can also use a NRM - No Reward Marker, such as Opps (or Yelp! for bite inhibition)On the other hand, he started eating something disgusting off the ground, I popped him on the butt, and he looked at me, thinking I wanted to play....
7. Give the pup water to drink all the time...
8. Use a fixed length leash for walking. You lose control with a variable length.
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