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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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I think you just have to do what works, and what you feel comfortable with. All dogs learn differently, and different methods work. Consistency is what's most important with any of those contradictions. For puppies, I think it's best to go with the least aggressive or non-aggressive methods, this way the dog can build trust in you and not learn to be fearful. However, if it's been a long time and one technique isn't working, you have to try another one and stick with that for a while and see if there is any progress. You have to make sure once you make the rule (ie no tug of war, jumping, etc), you have to stick with the rule. Nothing is more frustrating than a confused dog, and this can lead to a bunch of problems. For the small loop you are in.... maybe you can give him a couple of ice cubes? It'll give him water very gradually, so it quenishes his thrist, but not enough to fill his bladder. What time is bed time? Do you take him out right before bed as well?
I personally HATE extendable leashes. I can see their potential in the right hands and a trained dog, but I have yet to see this happen (or at least where I live). I use just a regular 5ft leash, and a long line for outdoor fun (puppy not off-leashed trained yet, lol). I've used the extendable leashes for both small and large dogs, and they offer very little control. I've been pulled into the street before because of this. I don't like them also because they can cause rope burn, and really hurt if any body part (dog or human) gets tangled in them, worse if the dog is lunging and pulling. And for some reason, I just think it conveys the wrong message to the dog because there is always slight constant tension in the leash.

For me, I prefer harnesses for smaller dogs and collars for larger dogs, but harness for larger dogs is okay if the dog isn't hard to control.
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