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So a little over 4 weeks ago, I got a 6 week old puppy. I'm not sure what kind he is, but he looks a little like a samoyed/golden mix. We got a DNA test for him, I'm just waiting a few days for the results.
Well, ever since I got him, we've been having issues.
First issue: He bites. I know puppies bite, and that they're supposed to learn, but we've tried EVERYTHING. My dog has been trying to teach him to back off, but he doesn't get it. He just barks at her and goes to attack.
First we tried the yelping thing, and that worked for a little while, but eventually he began to see it as a challenge to determine how much he could get me to yelp. After eventually walking away with a scarred face and bloody arms, I decided to try the squirt bottle trick. That worked, but not for long. He likes to drink from the squirt bottle now... So alas, we are forced to spank him. Bare in mind, I love animals, so I hate doing it, but he is quite horrid in that he enjoys seeing our pain. The more we try to yelp and walk away, the harder he bites and more frequently.
At 8 weeks, I started seeing a little food aggression.
When we pick him up, he will randomly snarl and attack our face. He started this at 7 weeks. My mother was watching him a few days ago, and he attacked her face and ripped her face open. 10 weeks and he's a monster! I'm not talking about cute puppy playing, I'm talking about viscous aggressive behavior. I'm to the point where I just want to beat him, just to get his teeth out of my arms and legs, as nothing else seems to work.
He has plenty of toys and chew things, plus we are normally quite sweet to him (unless he's biting), but he's just not a great puppy.
Any idea on what I should do? Is this normal puppy behavior?
My other dog was adopted at 12 weeks and had never had these problems... I just don't know..
 

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All these problems stem basically from the fact that you got the puppy FAR too young. You should never get a puppy under 8 weeks and that's because they learn all of the doggy fundamentals from their litter mates and mother - essentially they learn basic manners for dealing with other dogs (only dogs can teach each other how to be dogs) and a very important one - bite inhibition.

Spanking is only going to make matters worse - especially since your pup will be (may have already) going through a second fear imprint stage. Puppies taken too early from their litter/mother are always worse because they lack the things they needed to learn and now you are forced to try and teach.

(Trust me the dog doesn't "enjoy" seeing your pain)

As for what to do - I'd say for biting you could "trade up" which would be every time the puppy tries to bite - put a toy in his mouth and praise (verbal, food, toy etc) for him biting the toy. If you don't want to do that - you can resort to time outs. The puppy bites you get up and leave for a few seconds until the puppy settles then go back. The puppy will learn biting = loss of attention/play time which usually no puppy wants.

the "food aggression" - all meals by hand. no if ands or buts.

Basically - it's entirely about your level of commitment to the training method and how often/how long you work on these things. Lots of time and effort needed on your part.

No puppy is "great" and since you got him at 6 weeks old everything you're describing is pretty normal for a puppy taken from it's mother/litter so early.
 

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I agree with that the puppy was removed too young from mom/littermates. :-(

I also wanted to mention we didn't (still don't but now they're just too heavy!) pick up our puppies much. Neither one of them really liked it, so we respected that.

It does sound like normal puppy behavior, but it also sounds like you might not be sensitive to the needs (training, personal boundaries) of this puppy.

It also seems to me that you don't stick with one method for a sufficient amount of time. It took about 3 weeks for Bob and Sacha to 'get it' and we still, at 10 months, have to work with them regularly- like weekly we have to remind them of where a bite is too strong. it sounds like you may have cycled through 3 different ways of training in less than 3 weeks...is that right?

There are ways to teach puppies who are not with their litter until 8 weeks how to behave- for example, when there's a maternal death or a puppy is abandoned it is done. But it's going to take work and commitment.

Food aggression is also normal, so you need to train in that area, too.

Have you read the free downloads from Ian Dunbar? They were a real life saver to me.

1. Is someone able to be home all day and commit to helping this puppy grow-up healthy w/o violence?
2. Are you taking him for 2 30-minute walks each day?
3. Are you training in 5-15 minute sessions 2 or 3 times a day to tire him mentally?


So a little over 4 weeks ago, I got a 6 week old puppy. I'm not sure what kind he is, but he looks a little like a samoyed/golden mix. We got a DNA test for him, I'm just waiting a few days for the results.
Well, ever since I got him, we've been having issues.
First issue: He bites. I know puppies bite, and that they're supposed to learn, but we've tried EVERYTHING. My dog has been trying to teach him to back off, but he doesn't get it. He just barks at her and goes to attack.
First we tried the yelping thing, and that worked for a little while, but eventually he began to see it as a challenge to determine how much he could get me to yelp. After eventually walking away with a scarred face and bloody arms, I decided to try the squirt bottle trick. That worked, but not for long. He likes to drink from the squirt bottle now... So alas, we are forced to spank him. Bare in mind, I love animals, so I hate doing it, but he is quite horrid in that he enjoys seeing our pain. The more we try to yelp and walk away, the harder he bites and more frequently.
At 8 weeks, I started seeing a little food aggression.
When we pick him up, he will randomly snarl and attack our face. He started this at 7 weeks. My mother was watching him a few days ago, and he attacked her face and ripped her face open. 10 weeks and he's a monster! I'm not talking about cute puppy playing, I'm talking about viscous aggressive behavior. I'm to the point where I just want to beat him, just to get his teeth out of my arms and legs, as nothing else seems to work.
He has plenty of toys and chew things, plus we are normally quite sweet to him (unless he's biting), but he's just not a great puppy.
Any idea on what I should do? Is this normal puppy behavior?
My other dog was adopted at 12 weeks and had never had these problems... I just don't know..
 

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It does sound like normal behavior, but it also sounds like you might not be sensitive to the needs (training, personal boundaries) of this puppy.

It also seems to me that you do't stick with one method for a sufficient amount of time. It took about 3 weeks for Bob and Sacha to 'get it' and we still, at 10 months, have to work with them regularly- like weekly we have to remind them of where a bite is too strong.

There are ways to teach puppies who are not with their litter until 8 weeks- for example, when there's a maternal death or a puppy is abandoned. But it's going to take work and commitment.

Is someone able to be home all day and commit to helping this puppy grow-up healthy w/o violence?
I felt these things should be quoted for emphasis!
 

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You haven't had him long enough to have tried "everything". Or, if you have, no wonder it hasn't worked! You need to pick a method and stick with it.

And "spanking" will probably cause him to be aggressive. Even if it doesn't, the problem with physical punishment is that eventually he'll stop paying atttention to a soft slap and you'll have to keep escalating, until eventually you'd be hitting him upside the head with a 2x4 and he still wouldn't pay attention. Then what?
 

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I say get rid of the puppy. It doesn't sound like you want to put the work in and by "spanking" it you are only going to take a puppy who can learn and make it an adult dog who is aggressive and needs to be euthanized. Do you and the puppy a favor and either get into puppy classes or find it a new home quickly.
 

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If you truly believe an infant dog enjoys your pain and needs to be hit, please rehome him ASAP. Find a rescue and call them tomorrow. It doesn't even have to be a rescue for his breed, just call until you find a taker.

PS- he's being aggressive because that's what you're teaching him.
 

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Well, I agree he was taken young from his litter-mates and mother, but the people who surrendered him to the shelter did so because one puppy in the litter got parvo, and they were filled with worms, covered in fleas and ticks and were just in horrid condition due to the lack of funds from the owner. They wanted to keep my puppy, Thatcher, but the humane society told them that due to the puppies condition, they were legally obligated to take him.
Lately I've been stopping with the spanking, and feeding him from hand.
I wouldn't have to pick him up so often if he would just listen to me when I tell him no, or when I tell him to come. Sometimes removing him from situations where he becomes stubborn is quite effective.
Yesterday I tried an exercise where I used one of the slip-rope leashes from cesar millan's line of dog products in order to keep control of him while he was walking around the house. He was adamant about eating my other dogs food (a few times while she was eating, which in his case, is very dangerous) so I held on to him and sat on the ground while he pitched a fit over the fact that I said no. That seemed to work okay...
What I think I'm going to do is bring him to a dog park so he can run amuk and learn from the other dogs. My dog isn't much of a play mate, since she's 9 and doesn't really play with dogs anyway... plus, if he won't lean bite inhibition from us, his own kind will be better able to explain to him
As for the time devoted towards him, I work a few hours a day, and when I do, sometimes he goes to work with me or sometimes I have someone in my family watch him while I'm gone. I take him for about 2 walks daily and hover around him daily to make sure he doesn't eat anything he's not supposed to and go potty on the floor.
 

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Oh, and he was displaying aggressive behavior before we started spanking him
Spanking can exacerbate aggression, whether it was there before or not. An adult dog that bites out of fear (fear they will get hit) will be euthanized.

A 10 week old puppy in a dog park is bad too. Puppies are small and can be hurt easily, especially if the other dogs in the park are bigger. One bad experience at the park can injure your puppy or get him even more fearful around other dogs. Find friends or neighbors who have puppies around your's age and set up play dates. Watch them constantly. Find a puppy kindergarten class in your area (Petco and Petsmart host some, so do some local dog stores).

Keep a leash on your puppy and tether him to you. He can't get in trouble if he is attached to you and you are able to see him 100%. Keep treats on you at all times and a toy in your pocket (something he can chase and is appealing). If he is doing something you don't like, just redirect him. Clap your hands to disrupt the behavior then give him a toy to chase, practice a "sit" and give him a treat. If you can't watch him he needs to be in a puppy safe room or area (playpen) that has toys and stuff to keep him occupied. Give him stuff to do. Stuff a Kong with some food and freeze it, give it to him to chew on.
 

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And yet it appears he is still displaying what you call "aggressive behavior." So stop hitting him.

Don't take him to the dog park -- those dogs can have their own issues, and turning loose a baby animal with no manners into a group of adult dogs and expecting them to fix him for you is a terrible idea.
 

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Dogs don't speak English - they don't come already knowing what "no" means or what "come" means so of course he won't listen.

If you're following cesar Milan's training you're going to end up in a bad way with this dog. You're restricting him from something he wanted to do - of course he was unhappy - but why in the world didn't you redirect his attention to play with a toy instead of letting him sit there focusing on what he can't have and having a fit???

Dog park is a terrible idea as has already been stated. They are unknown dogs of unknown temperament. What would you do of your dog was trampled by bigger dogs running and severely injured or even killed? Or if your dog was killed because he picked up an illness from an unvaccinated dog or he ate something he shouldn't have?

Just because he didn't learn the foundation for inhibition doesn't mean you can't teach him it. Puppies learn the basics from their mother and littermates but the humans have to constantly reinforce the behaviors that are acceptable. They wont just learn it and retain it without reinforcement.

Basically - you're failing the puppy. Instead of setting him up to succeed, you're setting him up to fail.
 

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This is an awesome resource for puppy owners, in my opinion. And it's free. Under the heading "training textbook" are free training/puppy raising articles and information.

Dog Star Daily
 

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+1 on the Dog Star Daily....seriously check it out.

You are setting up an adversarial relatioship with your dog. It really isn't that fun. But do you know what is fun? To be on the same team as your dog, where you teach them what you want, rather than what you don't want.

For example, teaching 'Come' is really simple. You can cut a hot dog into 100 pieces, and say 'come!' throughout the day. Maybe use 1 hot dog every 2-3 days. Do this for 2 weeks, and come is cemented in your dog's head as "Come?! That's something good, I'm gonna go!". I've called my dogs away fron chasing birds, taking off after a doggie pal, and away from a human friend they were very excited to see.They are approaching 80% success with 'Come', meaning I am really close to trusting them off-leash in a park.

Remember, Cesar Milan says over and over he is not a dog trainer. You puppy is at an age when you could train A LOT of fun stuff. I had my puppies working on: jumping through an old bicycle tire, rolling over a 5-gallon water jug, sit, drop-it, jump up, roll over, high five, etc- sometimes for praise, sometimes for a treat, sometimes for a game of tug. Some of the tricks- like with the 5-gallon jug- they would do with each other while playing! I also turned over some buckets and taught them to jump up and pose. My BIL thought it was hilarious!

I actually trained with their kibble for months and months- no worries about weight gain or overfeeding that way.

Good luck!
 

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Did you train "no" or "come"? My pup is 6 months old, we've had him from 8 weeks, he's halfway through his second training course, and we've been actively training "come" for several months, and it's still hit and miss. WILL he come? Sure. But what if there's something more interesting where he is? No thanks!

Regardless of what we did, and we were really consistent, our puppy bit like a maniac for the longest time, then it just got less and less. He still mouths, but doesn't ever break the skin anymore, and doesn't chomp down anymore. It takes more than a few weeks for some dogs. He used to lunge at our faces too. That freaked me right out. It took a long time of catching him mid-lunge and putting him down and ignoring him before he got it. He still will jump in your face to lick it, but the teeth part is out of the equation.

I'm guessing your pup hasn't been trained to "leave it" either -- so why wouldn't he be going after your other dog's food? Why are you feeding them anywhere near each other? We have three cats and the pup. One cat eats in the bathroom, door shut, one eats in the dining room, one eats in the office, door shut, and the pup eats in the living room behind a gate. NO ONE gets anywhere NEAR anyone else's food bowls EVER.

I would exercise the puppy a lot, mentally and physically, hire a trainer for private lessons, start puppy classes, and try to find a puppy play group in your area. Your dogs gonna get hurt or sick at a dog park. You want it to play with other pups in a controlled environment with someone supervising and making sure all the dogs are playing nice.
 

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Stop smacking your dog. If you get to the stage where you want to smack the dog, hit yourself on the head, not the dog. That's because you are failing as a trainer, not the dog's fault.
You do absolutely need to stick to one training method for more than a week to see if it works - and they do all work if done consistently and with love and cuddles - not smacking.
 

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Oh, and he was displaying aggressive behavior before we started spanking him
He isn't aggressive - he's a puppy. He has sharp puppy teeth. And hitting him will cause only fear and true aggression. Haven't you noticed that hitting him isn't getting you anywhere?

If someone hit you, would you like it?

And taking a 10 week old dog to a dog park is not only dangerous because the dog has finished his shots, but because he will probably be terrified of the other, larger dogs.

You're doing and excellent job of creating a dog that will be a nightmare and end up in rescue.
 

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On the other hand, the fact that he drinks from the squirt bottle is an excellent sign. samoyed don't like water, but Goldens LOVE water, and Goldens are easy to train if you know the tricks.

Download and read these two free books, and it will answer every question that you've had and will have:
http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
 

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You got thr pup too young, plain & simple... I also have a dog who was separated too young from mom (4 wks) but she was dumped, not my choice. I have lots of experience so she turned out 'ok' more or less but she still is pretty clueless in dog appeasement behaviors/ calming signals. But Izze, my old dog was a great surrogate mom & teacher about what was ok. If anything Izze was a little 'too' tough lol she never yelped (i had to do that part lol) to tell her she was biting too rough. Buddy does tho, & he will 'time out' her if she gets too rough & not play with her so she has to play nice wih him.

She was also rough with bite inhibition & I thought she was never going to get the 'yelp & leave' method it will work just give it time & you will experience some extinction burst behavior where the dog tries harder with a behavior that previously for them before they stop & with a socially stunted pup it may take longer.

Under NO circumstances should you HIT the pup EVER it will only teach him you are not to be trusted & inconsistent emotionally also a squirt bottle will only piss him off & doesn't teach him anything, just use thr help & leave method coupled with inserting a toy when he goes for you or your clothes. He will get it trust me just pa PATIENT.
 
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