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Discussion Starter #1
I mostly registered to ask some advice from others on persistent nipping and biting (not my first puppy but this one takes it to another level) but I learned I can't post to that board and figured I'd better come introduce myself and my girl and treat ya'll to a pic or two...

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
She finally settled down for the night I think. She's soft and cute and smart as all heck but she must have got an extra dingo gene or two.

Yeah unless I make a pen or introduce a crate she is basically in my office with me or in the yard with me all day so it's kind of hard to leave her (for a while she couldn't bear being alone while I filled her water but she's acclimatized a bit) I'm doing time outs in the bathroom when she gets over-hyped and while she will calm down usually when she comes out she either uses it as an opportunity to get to a semi-forbidden area of the house upon release, goes immediately back into insanity or simply looses her desire to play and settles down (which is nice but I don't really want to criminalize play and I think that is her take away sometimes). I keep trying to warn her when the mouthing gets to be too much or she nips at body/clothes/face/etc. "You're going to get a time out" but for a dog that learns so quickly, this is tough for her...

I don't mind a little mouthing and with my other dogs they always took queues on when to clam down but she does not in the slightest. If you turn your back on her for nipping she will nip your body/heels, no off switch at all (and she's not even a teenager yet). Physical corrections are like pouring gasoline on a fire. The spray bottle stops the behavior for a moment but I fear she'll eventually become de-sensitized (and my kids tried to ruin the whole water spritz as a disciplinary tool with some squirt guns while I was working the other day). Twice today she was playing fetch, got too excited/distracted, 'forgot' to bring back the toy and simply barreled into me and chomped down (first time was a killing shake on my arm, drew blood.) She's been great with the older dogs she's met thus far and not too bad with the cat all things considered but she hasn't had much time with other puppies.

I taught her 'kisses' and she gets shaping rewards for licking my youngest. Also working on distraction stays for kid chasing/nipping which she does pretty well on in exercises but not real life yet (though again my oldest daughter is intent on undoing all of the progress we make by 'playing dog' and basically encouraging all the chasing I'm discouraging as soon as I'm busy).
 

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Atlas, my aussie, was a total land shark for probably the first six weeks after I brought him home. He was also non-stop nipping and biting and drawing blood on more than a few occasions. He went to 'doggy daycare' at my parent's house during the day and got to play with their dog - I think she taught him a lot of helpful things. Admittedly though, I kind of knew he would grow out of the biting so just kind of rode it out - if he got too insane I would retreat to the couch where he couldn't get me until he would get bored and go take a nap or find something else to play with. After the six-ish week mark I noticed his biting was a lot more gentle and it was much easier to get him to stop. He then really did grow out of it, and now you wouldn't know he terrorized us for weeks on end! (Now he is just a big hairy monster who loves to get wet then roll in all the dirt he can find, every time he can find it...)

If I had a suggestion, it might be to have your puppy crated or put in an x-pen when you can't be right there to help manage the interactions with the kids. I know it doesn't sound like fun, but the less chance she gets to practice bad behaviour (like chasing and nipping the kids/you) the easier it will be to train her not to. And then make sure the kids know and respect that when she's in there, they cannot bother her or try to play with her. It gives the pup some down time, and probably won't hurt the kids either to know the pup isn't always available to play and that she needs time to chill out too. I probably should have done more of this with Atlas, but he was exceptionally good about not getting into things he shouldn't and taking naps when he was tired, so I left him out of his crate quite a bit. But he still doesn't love his crate, and I wish I had done more of it.

I know this isn't much help, but more of a 'keep at it, it WILL get better'! Your little girl sounds like quite the handful though - welcome to the world of aussie puppies! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I know this isn't much help, but more of a 'keep at it, it WILL get better'!
That's actually what I need to hear, if it's just a phase we will survive. I just don't want to miss some correction window and end up with an adult dog who pushes everyone around but me (and especially not with her teeth).

Yeah the kids need more rules, it's a discipline problem with my 6 year old more than the dog for sure w/ regard to chasing especially. The most I can do with that is the stay training and putting the dog on a lead/keeping her from the kids when she nips or sending them packing when she gets nuts but I'm also hoping that the nipping subsides enough that she can run and play with the kids. My wife also needs to engage more if she ever wants to the dog to take her seriously.

The pup does get plenty of nap time and mostly hasn't been too destructive (w/ the help of some bitter spray and lots of okay chewables) but yeah I might have to bring the other side of this long gate out and make it into a dog 'airlock' if she begins to get more destructive.. it's not going to stop my eldest from hopping it though (and probably not a teenage Aussie either), I just have to straighten them both out.

He went to 'doggy daycare' at my parent's house during the day and got to play with their dog
She's had 5 long exposure interactions with 3 different adult dogs (an elderly beagle, a two year old goldendoodle and my parents middle aged lab mix who got PTSD after being attacked by another dog and who is able to get past it with the puppy and has been acting like a great role model for her which I'm hoping I can make last into adulthood by arranging frequent play dates for them) but none of those adult dogs wanted to play with her too much. I need to get into a puppy class (called a place but never got a call back, might just go to the box store...I need access to other people's puppies more than obedience anyway :wink:).
 

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Look for 'puppy play' classes too... no obedience, just a lot of play time with other puppies (although it totally backfired for mine... she hated it when it wasn't her turn and turned reactive when restrained).
 
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