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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Exclamation 11 week old female puppy - aggression issues

    Good morning! I'm coming here because we are out of solutions locally. We have been working with a trainer to socialize and soon start officially training our GP puppy. However, we have had no luck teaching her not to bite. She is literally out of control with biting. We have tried:

    - teaching her bite inhibition with a treat (holding a piece of her food in our thumb and forefinger while she licks, closing our fist when she uses teeth, opening again when she licks and rewarding) (this doesn't work after a couple, she starts biting hard and all the way up your arm if you don't open your hand)
    - yelping when she bites (she literally ignores this and keeps going)
    - a firm "no" when she bites (she literally ignores this and keeps going)
    - growling when she bites (she literally ignores this and keeps going)
    - ignoring her when she bites (she doesn't care one bit about our attention and keeps going)
    - a tap to the nose when she bites (bites back hard after)
    - curling her lip under so she bites her own lip instead (doesn't deter her, she keeps biting)

    nothing so far has worked! She only gets more upset and bites more and harder. She flails around while making an aggressive noise (not a growl, a different type of noise) and tried to bite anything in sight. She gets very angry and bites very hard. We are at our wits end. I know this can be a stubborn breed and have worked with stubborn breeds before, but this behavior is all new to me. I want to work on correcting it before it gets even further, especially since I'm worried it's gone too far already.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Look to my post in this thread describing the "peanut butter method"
    http://www.greatpyr.com/forum/showth...to-stop-biting

    Many pyr pups do not respond to voice corrections. Physical corrections can also backfire badly with pyrs. When they are engaged in an excited action, such as biting, physical correction can simply stimulate the pup more. It sounds like that is what is going on w your pup. The peanut butter method is completely non-confrontational and it teaches a pup how to engage with you in a different way. Hope it can work for you.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you! This is essentially what we are doing with a piece of food (the method recommended by our trainer so far), but I didn't think to use something that NEEDS to be licked like peanut butter does. She does love peanut butter so I will try tonight.

    Also, we've heard physical corrections backfire with GPs which is why we tried from the start not to use any and I REALLY do not want to resort to it at all. It's noticeably true with our puppy for sure.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    beside the peanut butter trick...and I would definately try it!

    it sounds like she could be teething & her gums hurt....ice cubes....an old washcloth soaked with water & frozen might help her as well.

    when my pups got that out of control...(I can almost see her flailing...!) I tried to stick a toy in their mouth & walk away...the inattention got them to settle down & play nicely...but it also helps to have another mature dog around to teach the pup bite inhibition...it will end...then she'll go on to the next antic!

    and I don't think you are dealing with aggression...just pure puppy behavior!

    Nancy & Rudy

  5. #5
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    We are going through the same thing with our puppy. Shes now 4 months but has been terrorizing my kids since 8 weeks when we got her. Peanut butter kisses helped so much for a few weeks. Starting tomorrow we are going to do some more because she's back to her old ways. She's constantly constantly biting. I think we've done damage though because my kids hands all looked cut and scratched so I started telling her once verbally, then flicking her nose ( which resulted in scrunched nose, exposed gums, snapping), and then alpha rolling her. This has been my approach for a week. I thought her hostile reaction was her challenging my dominance but now I'm worried I've made her my enemy. I just felt like I had to put my foot down and end the behavior. She has so so so many chew toys and hooves, and kongs and pig ears. We would redirect but after 2 months of constant biting I resorted to the afore mentioned methods. Now after more research I'm catching that it's the wrong approach for the sensitive pyr and has potentially damaged the trust in our relationship? I love this dog. I want to help her be successful. But my children are hurt every time they interact to the point that they don't get to enjoy her. I try to take her for a good walk every day and let her out to exercise but if she isn't exercised she's biting.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcie View Post
    We are going through the same thing with our puppy. Shes now 4 months but has been terrorizing my kids since 8 weeks when we got her. Peanut butter kisses helped so much for a few weeks. Starting tomorrow we are going to do some more because she's back to her old ways. She's constantly constantly biting. I think we've done damage though because my kids hands all looked cut and scratched so I started telling her once verbally, then flicking her nose ( which resulted in scrunched nose, exposed gums, snapping), and then alpha rolling her. This has been my approach for a week. I thought her hostile reaction was her challenging my dominance but now I'm worried I've made her my enemy. I just felt like I had to put my foot down and end the behavior. She has so so so many chew toys and hooves, and kongs and pig ears. We would redirect but after 2 months of constant biting I resorted to the afore mentioned methods. Now after more research I'm catching that it's the wrong approach for the sensitive pyr and has potentially damaged the trust in our relationship? I love this dog. I want to help her be successful. But my children are hurt every time they interact to the point that they don't get to enjoy her. I try to take her for a good walk every day and let her out to exercise but if she isn't exercised she's biting.
    You never alpha roll a dog, that is compounding the issue. You never do dominance training with a Pyr. They do not respond well to it and you could well make her aggressive. The sweet kisses needs to be ongoing. Did your kids learn to talk in a few weeks? Dogs are like fuzzy children, they need constant reminders, they need to be praised to the moon and back for good behaviour and the bad doesn't get punished, you redirect to good behaviour. You should never strike a dog, especially a pyr. If the biting is hugely out of control a squirt bottle works quite well. My boy was a terror with the mouthing. We did sweet kisses, we had tons of chew toys and when he went out of control a single squirt with a squirt bottle was enough to stop him in his tracks.

    At 4 months old she needs several short walks a day, you can also get her a flirt pole to help drain her energy and a few days at doggie day care a week would really help her to drain that excess energy and remind her that biting hurts. It sounds to me like she is a typical puppy and just needs to learn what to do.

  7. #7
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    Thanks Christi. We are going to take ALL this advice as a household and eliminate any negative interaction with our girl. I am very grateful for your wisdom!

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    I really understand, ,my boy was hell on wheels and the mouthing and chewing was horrendous. We have scars on our hands from him, then he lunged at my face and got me on the jaw. That is when the squirt bottle came into play. That way it wasn't me doing the negative act, he could be mad at the squirt bottle. I also made a time out area in a corner of my bedroom using the walls a dresser and a huge suitcase and if it went too far him and a frozen rope toy went into that area for 10 minutes more so I could calm down. I am no saint and plenty of times I wanted to smack him for biting. Time out was more for me to regain my cool than for him. I promise this is a stage, and she will grow out of it. Teething is rough, and that is what is going on.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    The Alpha roll explains a lot. To a dog, the Alpha roll is a death threat. By doing this to your puppy, you aren't training her, you are terrifying her. It is such a Violent Act that the Monks of New Skete, who originally popularized the technique in the 1970s, have come out as being against it.

    Sebastian was a very high energy puppy and loved my nephews more than life itself. I understand your frustration. Part of the solution here is finding ways to drain your puppy's energy without getting her overly excited to the point that she becomes a Sharknado. Christi's ideas are all very good in that respect. You also need to teach your kids how to interact with the puppy in a calm manner, so as not to get her into Sharknado mode.

    I would again advise having a force-free, rewards-based trainer come to the house to work on healing your relationship with this puppy and building trust. Be honest with this trainer and tell her that you have been using aversive techniques including the Alpha roll.

    On another thread, I recommended the book The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. It is available on her website patriciamcconnell.com. She offers it both in paperback and electronic form. If you have Apple Devices, it is also available on iBooks.

    Dr. McConnell also has a wealth of information in the learning center portion of her website.

    Also, check out drsophiayin.com. It also has a wealth of information about training and behavior modification without the use of aversive techniques. Many of her articles even have videos imbedded so you can actually see what she is talking about.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  10. #10
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    We are taking all of this to heart! I downloaded the book and we're all on the same page of positive reinforcement and praise and draining her energy. The thing we do need to really work on that's new for us is calmer interactions from the kids. I definitely came on here with my tail between my legs after reading that aversive training is not the way to go. So so so many sources told us this was necessary to eliminate the behavior early on. But I wouldn't have come to the experts and admitted past mistakes if I didn't want to do right by our dog. Thanks again. I can't wait to get all I can out of this book.

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