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My 16-18 week old puppy wont stop trying to dominate me

992 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  K9luv
Hello. My wife and I adopted a puppy a few weeks ago. We had cared for a family dog after her owner passed away, guiding her to the tip old age of 15, but this is our first puppy.

Meeting him, at the shelter, be was the sweetest boy. First night home, same thing. Loving, gracious. He was so proud of the big backyard he had to roam.

A few hours into day 2 we were outside chasing the ball, when he got the zoomies. He started biting at us, not puppybiting, but aggressively biting at arms and legs. The behavior then moved inside. We have plenty of chew toys that he likes to varying degrees but we are his favorite. We've tried not giving attention, walking away, positively re-inforcing good behavior, grabbing toys or giving kisses, and making very little progress. Our friends and family keep telling us he'll move past it, but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Are my expectations wrong? Is this normal behavior? Are there any techniques we can employ to teach him hes not in control of the situation?
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Some thoughts---

First, are you using the word "dominate" in the context of so-called pack theory, alpha type training speak? If so, its an outdated and outproven concept that it will help you now and in the future to scrub from your mind. Dogs are opportunistic, they do what feels good or what gets them something they like (food, play, freedom etc).

You have the opposable thumbs and control the food and toys and freedom so you are kinda already in charge by default. Puppy is not trying to take over.

"We've tried not giving attention, walking away, positively re-inforcing good behavior, grabbing toys or giving kisses, and making very little progress."

Are you trying these things when puppy is wild and zooming? Not gonna work at that time. Its like an overtired and overstimulated toddler who is running the house being asked to sit down and practice their ABCs.

Grabbing toys and giving kisses worries me. Grabbing toys away from a dog without prior acclimation and training to make it comfortable for them is setting up a possibility of resource guarding.
And few dogs actually like kisses (if you mean humans getting their face up in their face or neck)

If the dog has primarily played with other big dogs, he is most likely just overstimulated and lacks bite inhibition because he has not learned it. Many adult dogs will let a puppy get away with more biting than they would tolerate from another adult dog, its called a puppy license. Some adult dogs are better than others at gently correcting a too nippy puppy. But even then, he wont have learned about how fragile human skin is in comparison

If you have space to let the puppy run his zoomies out, just step away and let him run wild.

Then work on the trading game for taking and giving toys, work on a settle or go to mat command to give him a place to lay down and be calm for a bit, and work on using incompatible commands for when he is misbehaving; as in, if he is jumping then ask for a sit, etc
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