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Sep 20, 2003, 8:25 PM

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Re: [Baileyboy] Agressive puppy...I need help

Hello ... Smile ...

Doggies bite or threaten to bite for many reasons ... sometimes it's anxiety, fear, sometimes it's dominance ... or can even be brought about for medical reasons ... or a combination of reasons ...

Without being able to see/watch the dog or you, or your interaction with the dog ... it's awful hard to say why you poodle is acting as it is ...

So will assume that you are right and it's an issue of "dominance" ... and not any other reason.

Your situation does sound a little serious ... and really needs immediate attention.

But it is a good sign that you do not mention any biting ... and so far the poodle seems to only be snapping air ...

Start training your dog immediately.

Training against dominance does not just mean reprimanding your dog when it tries to dominate.

Training against dominance is most effective if you are able to re-establish your relationship (and leadership role) with your dog.

This is most effectively done by spending time and training your dog. Experts often recommend training as a means of re-establishing "order" in a reasonable way without resorting to physical punishment.

Get a good training manual ... Will suggest you DO NOT use the "clicker" method of training for the moment ...

I suspect a more hands-on method will be better under the circumstances ... using leash and slip collar ... Train your dog to do the usual sit, heel and stay routines. Be extremely diligent with training ...

Cautions: Together with the usual commands & training ... you have to deal with the mouthing, snapping & growling in a consistent manner ...

(a) No mouthing or snaping is to be allowed at all.

(b) For sure no biting at all.

(c) No growling either ... whether at you or family or others or other dogs.

Reprimand: Even as you see the dog is about to (try and catch it before it misbehaves, catching it as it is thinking of misbehaving is best and most effective ... not easy to do but can be done) mouth, snap or growl ... emit a low growling sound from base of your throat ... and go "NOOOOOOOOOOO" ... keep tone low and fierce ... (It's not repeated "NO NO NO" but one long "NOOOOO" just like a growl)

I am (personally) not convinced that the Alpha Roll (rolling dog over on its back) does much good - unless you are experienced and can execute the Alpha Roll effectively in one quick movement ... executed wrongly - it can makes things worse, 'cos the dog then learns you are not as strong or quick as he is.

If the dog responds by stopping unacceptable behaviour - praise & treat ...

But if the dog continues to misbehave (and you ought to keep a collar on your poodle) ... then your reaction must be immediate - take the dog to a corner of the house and leash him on a short leash - just enough to sit or lie down but not to move about or play. Leave him there alone - everyone is to ignore him. If he cries or struggles, leave him there until he is quiet and calms down.

Once he has been quiet for a while - put him through his sit, heel & stay routine ... and then release the dog ...

This ought to be the routine for the dog until the dog learns to respect your position.

You have to be firm - don't feel sorry for the dog - be firm but fair - above all everyone must be CONSISTENT.

General: Until the misbehaviour is under control remember the following points

(a) Not to pet the pup when he comes to you. You decide when he can be petted. You have to establish yourself as pack leader. You lead he follows.

(b) Restrain all over-affection until the dog responds consistently to commands and signals.

(c) When feeding him ... DO NOT let him become possessive over his food ... Check the training manual - most manuals will have a chapter on "food possessiveness" ... apply and practice. Let pup learn you control his food.

(d) When walking him ... use a slip chain ... if he even thinks about growling at another dog or person ... jerk the slip chain quick and sharp - shock him ... (remember to jerk & immediately release) ... Emit low growl "NOOOOOOO" ... and get hand on his scruff and hold tight ... he is not to be released until he quiets down. Trying to protect you from other dogs is a sign of dominance - he's the protector. You need to reverse the role.

(e) Do not let him try to hump you or any other member of the family. Humping is rewarded with an immediate growl from you.

(f) When one person reprimands - the others keep quiet. Let one command be the general nature of things.

(g) Keep your low growl handy always and be ready to use. Expect and demand immediate cessation of bad behaviour.

But please remember - cannot explain everything over this forum ... please look for (a) good training manual and (b) a good book on dog behaviour ... it will be worth every cent.

Good luck

PS ... sorry cannot help with trainers in Canada ... Unsure

(This post was edited by surchinmy on Sep 20, 2003, 8:27 PM)

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