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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am so frustrated with him. He's an Australian Shepard (1/2) black lab (1/4) Chow (1/4) mix, and he is wired to be energetic. I've had him since he was 10 weeks. Last October I started looking for a young dog, and ended up with the last of the litter that apparently several people rejected because when I went to pick him up in the parking lot of a wal-mart the man just gave him to me, even though he was charging a fee. When I got him he had scabs every where from his mother and litter mates biting him, and I can understand why.

So, I kennel trained him, taught him to sit and lay down, and he house trained easy. But he has a biting problem, and I tried just about everything people suggested. I tried redirecting, shaking a can of pennies, slapping his nose, holding his muzzle, yelping and leaving the room, but nothing worked. So I just stopped playing with him as much to avoid it. He isn't mean, he's just very unaware of how much it hurts. When we're playing with a tug rope he never grabs the end, he aims for the spot below mine and almost always nips me. He's careless with his teeth. He gets so bad that I have to smack him to get him off. Mind you, he isn't head shy, he thinks its play.

That leads to several other problems. He's insistant. He expects me to constantly pay attention to him, and I don't want to be his entertainment the whole time I'm home. I tell him to go away, nope, he wont. He pushes and pushes and nips at me and hops all over me until I get pissed and have to pin him. Then it escalates, and he has to be put up. There's nothing else I can do. So he spends all that time I'm at work in his kennel, and then when I get home he does this and he spends more. He has no issue being in it, he has an issue getting in it. I have to chase him, pin him and drag him in. And he throws a fit just like when I wont play or put him in his harness for a walk and it escalates. But the whole time he's in? Perfectly fine. I don't have any problems with barking or bad kennel habits, no whining, very well behaved in his space.

Now that winter is over I can walk him, which isn't easy but we're making it work. I'm just... so frustrated with him and he's frustrated with me. Our bond is disintegrating. Hes my life, I love him, I hate having to smack him off me. I would prefer positive interactions over the constant negative ones. I don't want to hurt him or make him afraid but he's to pushy. And I think a lot of it has to do with not being able to release all that energy, but we cant do much if I'm constantly worried about getting hurt or him biting others. He loves people and dogs, he just doesn't know how to behave.

I love my dog, I'm committed to him, I will do whatever it takes to make the both of us happy. Next month a private trainer is coming over to help. She's expensive, but we need it. In the mean time I need help figuring out how to strengthen our bond and I need to know what to do with him so he can exercise.


I would like to.note that he has plenty of toys and bones to stimulate him. I rotate toys, he goes to the store with me, and he has a balanced diet. I should also mention that we work on his training almost everyday. In the last two weeks he learned touch, shake, stand and wait. And that even though hes not one of those dogs who will do anything for a scratch, he will come to ne, sit and let me pet him all over. He also likes to cuddle, but he isn't allowed on the couch and that leads to a fight.

Hes a good dog, we just have a lot to work on. Also, I know its the BOTH of us, not just him. That's why I opted for learning how to train him rather then just send him off to some one else.
 

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He sounds like a normal puppy that hasn't got enough exercise, attention or training. You need to get him exercise and lots of it. Take him for at least two walks a day, more if you can. If he isn't used to a leash let him drag it around the house and practice walking him around the house so he gets the idea before you throw in all the distractions of outside. Play games with him to get his energy out like fetch or tug.

Start training him everyday. Teach him the basics like sit, down, stay, off, leave it, drop it and come. These are the basics for a good relationship with your dog. After he knows at least one command implement Nothing in Life is Free. When he wants something you need to ask him to do something for you first like perform a sit command. Take an obedience class so you can learn how to be a better handler. Hopefully your private trainer will have some good insight on the situation as well. Teach him a command for going into his crate so you don't have to fight with him anymore.

How much socializing has he had with other dogs? If he's well socialized you might consider getting him into a doggy daycare so he can burn off some energy while you're at work. If he's not well socialized you can set up some doggy play dates with calm socialized dogs who will help teach him better dog manners.

As far as bite inhibition, pick a method and stick with it for at least a month. It takes some dogs longer to learn their lessons and consistency is key. In my experience the yelp and leave the room worked best but it did take a couple months for 100% success, don't expect any method to work overnight.

Resources for you:
Clicker Training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKHk-6nReTk&feature=plcp&context=C4c04f5bVDvjVQa1PpcFORisFDwDzm9ugmhgZg0Y9kVI5SrtfHaeY=
Stopping Biting - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU&feature=relmfu
- http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html
Crate Training - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUzF0g0PwY4&feature=plcp&context=C4ab370bVDvjVQa1PpcFORisFDwDzm9n1MepMofPk3VTKr5L6LEJY=
Leash Training - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFgtqgiAKoQ&feature=plcp&context=C4c1c2d8VDvjVQa1PpcFORisFDwDzm9oUd0BzdaqQdKtTXsy7Srlw=
Basic Training - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwh7_SjUVM&feature=plcp&context=C4ca435dVDvjVQa1PpcFORisFDwDzm9j9cocSlnIl6ky3-s5VO93A=
Nothing in Life is Free - http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/6856-nilif-nothing-life-free.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He's really smart and food driven, so the training is going great. Like I said we work on it every day. Ive started grating him kenneling as a trick, and he gets a really good treat, then I repeat it over and over, but he is still weary of it. I'll keep working on it. He knows to go to the door and sit when its time to potty, and he sits before I put his bowl down. He also sits at street corners. He knows he has to work for it, and he's more than happy to.

I got him an easy walk, which is why we're able to walk now, but I see that as only temporary. He still has to learn to walk with a buckle collar, which she will help us with.

As for other dogs, after he gets his rabies and I get him licensed (we're behind but will be caught up on distempter, rabies, heartworm, flea and something else next month) he can go to he dog park. I'll see if my boyfriend will let him play with his roommates dog. Shes very playful, but shes well trained and can teach him some manners and run off energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think I'll try teaching him off and take it, and calling a jerk and leaving the room. Maybe I should take the tug toys away and just give him things he has to figure out and toss games?
 

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He is intelligent and athletic. Look into Treibball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpH_WLC4qs

He learns positive things quickly... so he also learns negative behaviors quickly. When he's about to get on the furniture, block him, have a hidden treat ready, say "Off!" and when he gets off, give him a treat... If you can anticipate him, he will learn.

You also have to teach him Bite Inhibition - It sounds like you've read the methods, so shortcut: Don't Yelp, say: Oops! to mark that the bite is bad, turn your back, and then leave the room. Wait 15 sec. and return. If he nips a second time, repeat but wait 30 sec. .... Keep repeating until you're waiting 2 min. ... then stop interaction. This may take roughly 3 days of consistent Oops! to reduce his nipping and maybe 2 - 4 weeks to stop...

When you get a trainer... get one that uses positive methods - they're much more effective in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She does use positive reinforcement, I wouldn't have chosen anyone who uses.choke collars or shock. She was recommended to me by the store I.shop at for Walters food, and I trust them. They are really good with him and sell only good products. No IAMs there.

I'll check in soon to.let you all know how.hes doing. I really appreciate the advice and links.
 

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In addition to the good advice you've gotten, I would say pinning should be stopped. I know you feel like you have to because his energy just gets out of control, and then you feel that's the only thing that will put an end to it. But, here's the thing: dogs don't really pin other dogs. In the dog world, that's seen as bullying. A dog will voluntarily flop down on his back to show submission (to another dog or person) but another dog won't really pin a dog on his back unless they're fighting and he's planning on doing some damage.

So, when you pin your dog, you're damaging your relationship/bond. The puppy is basically playing, and it gets out of hand, and then BOOM, he's pinned to the ground. This doesn't help build trust.

The thing to do is to stop BEFORE he gets out of control. Learn his body language, know even the smallest, most subtle signs that he's getting too crazy, and walk away BEFORE that, so you don't get to the point where you feel like you have to pin him.

I also agree with picking a method and sticking to it, for at least a month. When you switch methods, like shaking the can of pennies, yelping and walking away, slapping his nose, holding his muzzle, it can be very confusing, because before it starts to sink in to the puppy, you've moved on to a new method.

I firmly believe in the noise/walking away. However, sometimes a high pitched yelp only excites an excited puppy more. So, you might try a different noise, as hanksimon suggested, "oops" our a loud/low "ouch!".

Good luck!
 
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