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Grumpy 16 Week old Viszla Growling and biting when he doesn't want to be moved

2502 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  doxiemommy
I have a very lovely but very naughty 16 week old male Viszla pup, who recently has started growling and biting when I try and move him from his crate or bed when he's sleepy. He's especially lazy in the mornings, and I need to walk him before work. So I wake him at 7am, I chat to him and stoke him (that's fine), I try and coax him out of his bed (no joy), so I try and pick him up, then he growls and more often than not bites me.

I figured it was a dominance thing so we've demoted him from the bedroom, he now sleeps in the kitchen in his crate.
I try and make sure I go through doorways first (but that's a bit of a battle).

He's a very bitey, attention seeking boy in general, and I don't want him to grow up to be nasty. I'm already weary now when waking him and he's just a pup!

He's constantly biting me and just does not understand no, so I normally have to separate him for a while. He gets two long walks a day, he's at work all day with my partner (all be it in his crate) and get lots of attention, but sometimes I just need to relax.. and I can't because he'll walk up and bite me or do something naughty so I tell him off - he seams to enjoy being told off!

I've tried not telling him off and removing him from the room, which kind of works after the 5th-6th time but by that time my evenings over and I'm far from relaxed!!

We will be castrating him when he's 8 months, but I'm so concious about his behaviour now. I would like some advice as to what else I can do.

Apart from that I adore him, and would not be apart from him but a bit more enjoyment and a little less pain would be lovely.

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It isn't a dominance thing. Basically, he's a toddler who doesn't want to get up. A kid would whine or cry or maybe slap at your hands but a dog will growl (whine/complain) and if you don't listen to his complaint he will bite (the kid slapping or hitting out).

Read the sticky on "The Bite Stops Here"

First, you need to train a command for him to exit the crate. You shouldn't have to reach in for him and bodily move him at all. You can try "Out" or "Move" or whatever simple command. Start during the day when you have an hour or two free. Ask him to go in the crate, lure with a treat if need be but don't physically move him. Then feed treats (small ones, you're going to be feeding a lot of treats; if he is food motivated, just use his kibble) through the crate at the top-back of the crate. Only give him a treat if he is calm and has all his feet on the ground (not pawing the crate sides). This is setting up that the crate is a good place. Then open the crate door with one hand and treat him (at the back of the crate) with the other hand. Shut the door. Open the door, treat, shut the door. Repeat for about 15-20 minutes.
Then, put a leash on him. Don't let him out of the crate yet. Continue to open the door, treat at the back of the crate and shut the door. 10-15 minutes.
Now, open the door and ask him to exit the crate with your command word. You can hold a treat out for him. When he steps out on command, give a treat. If you have to tug the leash to get him out, don't treat but don't make a big deal about it, just ask him to go back in. Ask him to go back in and give a treat if he steps back in on command. Shut the door, wait a minute, open it and ask him to exit the crate. Treat if he steps out on command. In and out. In and out. Treats for obeying the command, no treats if you have to tug the leash. Don't repeat a command that isn't obeyed, you don't want to teach him to ignore a command.

I've tried not telling him off and removing him from the room, which kind of works after the 5th-6th time but by that time my evenings over and I'm far from relaxed!!
Removing from a room works very well with consistency. The dog wants attention, "telling him off" is a form of attention. Like the child that acts up in class so the teacher will pay attention to him. Quietly and calmly remove him from the room for a minute or two each time he gets nippy, then bring him back out to play again. You might have to do this 20 times in a row at first, but he will catch on that he can either play nicely or be bored.

but sometimes I just need to relax.. and I can't because he'll walk up and bite me or do something naughty so I tell him off - he seams to enjoy being told off!
He wants attention. Being told off is attention. If he has had enough exercise that day (and being in a crate at work isn't exercise, although it is helpful for potty training to be around someone), then you can ask him to go to his crate and give him a Kong or nylabone to play with. If he hasn't had enough exercise, then you need to give him some exercise and a short training session (mental work is tiring)

In addition to 2 long walks a day, he should be getting several short training sessions daily. Try 5-10 minutes at a time of puppy push-ups (sit/down/sit/down/sit down), 5-10 minutes later of another command.

I try and make sure I go through doorways first (but that's a bit of a battle).
If you want to go through doorways first, then you can train him to let you go through doorways first. But if you want him to walk through first, train for that. It is 100% personal preference and the dog will not in any way see who goes through a door first as some sign of his "place"
I prefer my dog(s) to wait while I open the door and then step through the door first so I can pull the door shut behind be and lock it. If we are exiting the house, they go out, I pull the door shut and they stand and wait while I lock it. Reduces me tripping over them and reduces the storm door from slamming shut on their legs/tails if they were to try to come inside behind me (hard to hold the door open if you've stepped through it ahead of them)
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Hi Thanks for the reply, The thing is I think he's super intelligent. He knows just what gets us mad. if we ignore his bad behavior he will start destroying furniture, plants, floor etc. He gets a walk in the morning 30-40 mins and a walk in the evening 40-45 mins on and off lead. I spend time playing with him until he gets to bitey then that's when the disruption starts. Tonight I was training him for sit and down, but he gets bored and prefers to start biting me again.

Just to let you know he likes his crate, he goes in there with no problem we don't need to train him like it's a nice place to be, we've already established that, it's getting him out thats the problem! lol. He's not particularly a foody dog, so treats will work up to a point then he prefers attention/play etc.

He's lovely when he's calm, but we need more calm moments. I'll give him as much attention as he wants play or affection but it always turns into the same thing. uncontrollable biting!
Did you read the sticky "The Bite Stops Here" as Shell recommended?
Biting is super normal for puppies, and at 16 weeks, 4 months old, you still have a very young pup. Puppies bite when they play, and they chew on things, in part, to explore, the same way a toddler puts things in their mouths. So, it's normal, you just have to work on it. Being consistent is super important. And, remember, you're not just trying to get him to stop, you're actually trying to TEACH him a concept, and teaching takes repetition, patience, and consistency, especially since he's doing something that is second nature to him.

As for ignoring bad behavior, don't JUST ignore it, offer/suggest a substitute behavior. In other words, don't just teach him what you DON'T want, also teach him what behaviors are GOOD.
So, for instance, if he's chewing on something he shouldn't offer an appropriate chew toy, and praise when he plays with it.

Really, it's more about catching the bad behavior before it starts, that way, you prevent instead of correct. So, keep your eyes on him, see what he's doing, if he's heading for some trouble, head him off before it starts by distracting if with a command or a game or a toy. After you do that enough, the bad behavior he was headed toward will be forgotten.

You mentioned that removing him works after 5-6 times, but then you've had no time to relax. Well, welcome to puppy ownership. If you put in the time and work NOW, you will have a better behaved puppy with fewer corrections to make as he grows up, because you've gotten that out of the way. YES, it's a hassle. I know. I am a teacher. When we each of our dogs were puppies, they would go to work with my fiance, but, when I got home, I got puppy duty. Imagine trying to watch a puppy and train a puppy and supervise and manage a puppy after dealing with lots of kids all day. But, dogs aren't puppies forever.
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