Sep 4, 2003, 4:03 AM
Post #4 of 4
Re: [dieselthepup] My puppy is aggressive
[In reply to]
Thanks for responding ... ...
Okay ... here goes ...
Without being able to see the pup or you guys ... or your interaction one with the other ... am going to have to make some assumptions and guesses ... will do best I can...
Dog aggression: Dogs become aggressive & bite for a whole host of reasons. It can be brought about by anxiety and/or fear (real or even just perceived by the dog) ... when a dog thinks it is threatened ... it bites.
But in your case ... it does sound a lot more like the pup is trying to assert dominance rather than fear aggression ... but at 10weeks, it's a bit early for that to happen (could the pup be older than you think?) ... but it does sound very much like dominance ...
Dominance aggression is a complicated process that occurs in dogs - female or male, but most often with male dogs ... being the runt in the litter may have aggravated the situation. Now, free of older bigger dogs - the little fella is flexing his muscles ...
But your situation does sound a little serious ... and really needs immediate attention.
Start training immediately.
Get a good training manual ... Will suggest you do not use the "clicker" method of training for now ... think you need a more hands on method ... using leash and slip collar ... Delegate one person to do training (need to get the pup to recognise one master quickly) in the beginning but as soon as possible - for all members of family to take part ... Take the dog through the usual standard sit, heel and stay routine. Be extremely diligent with training ...
Have little discussion amoug family and follow recommendations in training manual and for all family members to be consistent in method of command, praise, reward & reprimand ...
Training is often recommended by experts as a means of reestablishing "pecking" order in a reasonable way without resorting to physical punishment.
Cautions: Together with the usual commands & training ... you have to deal with the mouthing, biting & growling in a consistent manner ...
(a) No mouthing 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 pup 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, bite or growl ... emit a low growling sound from base of your throat ... and go "NOOOOOOOOOOO" ... keep tone low and fierce ... immediately hold the pup by the scruff of its neck and hold pup place ...
Keep a firm grip, strong enough so that dog cannot beak grip. You must show dog that you are stronger.
(Do not shake the pup or hit the dog ... just grab it by the scruff and hold ... you can lift pup slightly off the ground to reduce struggling ...)
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.
(Also remember, it is not repeated "NO NO NO" but one long "NOOOOO" just like a growl a mother dog would do when displeased with pup ...)
If the pup responds by stopping unacceptable behaviour. Praise & treat ... At this stage - the only praise is a cheerful "good dog" and a pat ... or a little biscuit ... but no playing with the pup ... do not go overboard with the praise ... there is still a long way to go ...
But if the pup continues to misbehave - then your reaction must be immediate - take the pup to a corner of the house and leash him on a short leash - just enough to sit or lie down but not to move. Leave him there alone - everyone is to ignore him. If he cries or struggles - leave him there ... until he is quiet.
Once he has been quiet for a while - put him through his sit, heel & stay routine ... and then release the pup ...
This ought to be the routine for the pup until he learns that the whole family is "above" him in the pack.
Please watch the younger children - kids can get over enthuiastic over disciplining a dog - that may not be good - you do not want to frighten the pup either.
You have to be firm - don't feel sorry for the pup - don't give in ... be firm but fair - above all everyone must be CONSISTENT.
General: Until the misbehaviour is undercontrol remember the following points
(a) Not not 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 pup responds consistenly to commands and signals.
(c) When feeding the pup. Feed yourself and family first then feed pup. Let the pup see you guys eat. Let him sit and wait. No treating at your table.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) Some experts say to avoid all tugging games ... I am not so sure - I think tugging games is okay but if you do play tugging games ... win more often than you lose. But no playing until pup learns to behave reasonably.
(g) Do not let him try to hump you or any other member of the family. Humping is rewarded with an immediate growl from you.
(e) When one person reprimands - the others keep quiet. Let one command be the general nature of things.
(f) Keep your low growl handy always and be ready to use. Expect and demand immediate cessation of bad behaviour.
I know it can be hard but don't feel sorry for him now ... you have to train him first. Your training is done with love - you are helping him become a good member of your family. Feeling sorry for him makes him worse.
Do not underestimate the difficulty of your situation. A Rottie/GSD cross is going to be a big dog - and if it thinks its the pack leader - you will have problems.
There are more severe and harsh methods for controlling dominance aggression - but I'd rather you try the above first ...
But please remember - cannot tell or 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.
not sound like anxiety o
(This post was edited by surchinmy on Sep 4, 2003, 4:05 AM)