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I think we may have a breakthrough!

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  • I think we may have a breakthrough!

    This new puppy is quite the firecracker! We got her the week before Christmas from the shelter. Pretty sure she's a Lab/Terrier. She's almost 4 months old. She's fearless and fierce, but also seems to be pretty smart. But her overdoing the biting, growling, nipping and general torture of our hands, faces, knees, and any other thing she can get her little teeth into is becoming quite a challenge. There isn't much cuddling with her, and my poor daughter was beginning to get a bit discouraged. Every time you try to snuggle, she turns into a little shark mouth. And we were beginning to feel a bit desperate for our 13 year old dog who just won't tell her to KNOCK IT OFF!! Can't take her outside and run with her, because she immediatley wants to attack your legs! Not to mention loving chasing and barking at the cats. This little girl will look ya right in the eye and bark at you. So anyway, we've started absolutely ignoring her when she gets to biting...immediately putting her down if she's up with us on our lap or the couch. Also made a "time out area" as soon as she starts jumping all over our old lady, she goes into her timeout room. Only for a minute or two...but I think it may actually be working!!! They are both laying here on the floor next to eachother peacefully! My old lady Suzi can actually lay on the floor again! And one more thing!...we've been working on sit and come. Coincidentally...if she has a toy in her mouth and I tell her to sit, she drops it. So today, she figured out how to scale the baby gate, got into my bathroom garbage, and headed for the doggy door with her prize in her mouth. I said "Dee O Gee, SIT!" And she dropped her prize and sat...didn't even escape out the doggy door! I was soooo proud of her! I also had her off leash in the yard today, and she left a very enticing dead thingy alone when I told her to Come! I am so relieved! I think maybe we have a chance at having a well behaved puppy that we can love and snuggle and enjoy!

  • #2
    Sounds good

    Sounds like you have hit upon the formula for reducing/eliminating the mouthing. She is 4 months old and you have had her for a couple of weeks or so, and it would have been great if you knew from the start to stop touching/petting/holding if she got mouthy. They ARE quick at that age! "What you pet is what you get" is a good saying, and petting means anything the DOG thinks is fun or rewarding, including continuing to hold her while she is having fun biting your skin, lol!

    Glad you are on the right track now.


    • #3
      Yep, it sounds like you're on the right track. They learn so fast at this age, and the scarey part is that everything they learn right now is learned for life. So we have to be really careful not to teach them the wrong things, LOL. It's much easier to teach good manners than to correct bad ones.

      Now is a great time to start behavior marking. I'm sure you've noticed little cute things she does, and you wish you could teach her to do that on command. Well, you can. Just start marking that behavior.

      For example, I taught one of my Dachshunds to sneeze on command. I'd noticed that when I was teaching him "Speak" he'd always sneeze first. So it was simple. I'd get out the treats and use the hand signal for Speak, watch for him to screw up his nose for a sneeze, and say "Sneeze" just as the sneeze came. After only a few repetitions, he was sneezing on command like a pro.

      I've done this to teach "Take It", "Go Over", "Back", "Watch It" and "Watch Me". even "Sit" and "Come". It's a lot easier to teach them to do something they were already in the process of doing than it is trying to teach and create the behavior you want at the same time.


      • #4
        Sounds like you are on the right track. I love a pup with some real attitude,and a naughty streak. Just gotta tame em a bit! LOL Easier than getting a soft temperment pup to get confidence I think.
        "Everyone needs something to beleive in..I beleive I need another Poodle"


        • #5
          Thanks ya'll

          I'm feeling better by the day. The cats are calming down, my old lady is less stressed, and MY blood pressure is getting back to normal! We're working on "watch me" and "leave it" also right now. She picks things up very quickly! It's such a pleasure to see her learn new things. It also seems to help with her behavior. She's definitely fierce and fearless! I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.LOL!


          • #6
            She's fearless, you say? Have you considered something like agility for her? Or maybe tracking and expanding that into search & rescue?


            • #7
              You're reading my mind!

              I was perusing through the PetEdge catalog and the agility course set immediately caught my attention! Then I thought "Let's get her behaving first!" The "pause box" surely caught my attention!