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  1. #11
    Young Dawg (Member) a601mom's Avatar

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    One of the reasons I take Ike to the dog park is part of his training. I can teach him proper behavior around people, in the house etc. but only another dog can teach him proper behavior around other dogs.

  2. #12
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    We also have a four month pyr/gsd who has been a whole lot of rough energy. Some of you have already helped me immensely with ideas for draining energy AND tips for the healthiest way to react to mouthiness. She's gotten a lot better but I have one son that she instantly goes into rough play mode the second she lays eyes on him. Maybe it's because he's a soft spoken push over. Maybe it's because he invites her to sleep with him. Maybe it's his loose, baggy Jammie pants. Maybe it's because he's tolerated it in the past. Maybe it's pheromones. She treats him like a chew toy that's she's excited to see. . Most recently we've been trying "be a tree" and look away so she knows you're not interested in playing this way. She persists trying to get a rise out of him while he squeaks in pain but attempts to remain stoic. He's also started carrying around treats so he can reward her for obeying "leave it" when she starts to gnaw on him. Poor guy is her biggest fan but often ends up in tears. Any thoughts? It's definitely playful, not aggression but it's rough (latching into his ankles and shaking her head, leaping up to land a nip on his face, chasing him when he walks through the house). And it's always directed at him.

  3. #13
    Road Dawg rx4bills's Avatar

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    Hi Darcie, sounds like your pup is treating your son just like our pup treats our older golden retriever. Sometimes the golden does speak up, other times he just gets tired and I swear he cries or whimpers as she chews on his ears or head. Again, this is boisterous play, not aggression, but she only does it to our golden, no other family members, or other dogs that she has met.

    Kali has tons of energy (5 months now), but we do tire her out at times, but not often enough. She may nap a bit, but like the energizer bunny seems to recharge quick. The peanut butter kisses helped some, "leave it" command somewhat ok, but not yet dependable. Honestly, as much as I strongly favor positive vs. negative training, I am ready to implement the water spray bottle response when Kali pounces on poor Kobi's head. His ears have lots of small red spots from the nibbling by Kali. Not hard biting, but with needle like teeth, it doesn't take much.

    I can't put peanut butter on Kobi's ears to teach "kisses", but perhaps you could have your pup and son do the peanut butter exercise for kisses? Around a few rounds of practice, when she sees and approaches your son, have him stick out his had, palm outward, say "kisses", maybe stop her in her tracks, licks his fingers, give her treats.

    Kali also has had a few pee accidents this week, after weeks of being clean. I am guessing this is due to teething and drinking more water, hopefully is only temporary. Not sure why all of a sudden she can't tell me she needs to go out before peeing in front of the back door, she was so good pawing at the door, barking, up to now. Been good for 4 days now....

  4. #14
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Darcie,

    I would encourage you to check out this website: http://www.ispeakdog.org/how-to-speak-dog.html

    It's a fairly new site, and the information on it is pretty basic, but what I like about it is that it teaches people to put the dog's behavior into context in order to determine what is really motivating the behavior.

    Without knowing your family or seeing your puppy's behavior it is hard to know for sure, but from what you describe, I really think that context is going to be the key in understanding and redirecting your puppy's behavior toward your son. When you describe him as "squeaking in pain", it leads me to suspect that your son's response to the puppy playing rough with him is inadvertently encouraging the puppy to continue and escalate her behavior towards him.

    If I'm not mistaken, in a different thread, we encouraged you to read The Other End of the Leash, and you downloaded it. It's a long book, and I fully understand if you haven't had time to read it all. In the book, Dr. McConnell talks about the research she did for her Doctorate degree, focusing on the speech patterns that handlers use to communicate with their animals. She studied handlers of both horses and dogs (I believe), who communicated with their animals in languages other than English, and discovered that the patterns of speech were similar across the board. Think about an old Western movie - when the guy on horseback wanted his horse to move faster, he would say "Giddyup Giddyup, yah, yah, yah" - short syllables in rapid succession. When the guy wanted his horse to slow down, he would say a long, drawn out "Whooooooaaaaah!" - a single, drawn-out syllable. This translates directly to dogs, although we don't always instinctively talk to our dogs that way.

    Sebastian was a high-energy only dog as a puppy, and as Jewel mentioned to rx4bills, it made my job of raising him more difficult, especially since I hadn't read the book, yet. His favorite game was one I called "Kill Mommy", and it was exactly what it sounds like. He would jump on me and mouth me to the point that innocent bystanders thought that he was actually trying to maul me. What I didn't know at the time was that my response to the behavior was feeding into it. I would usually say something like "Ow ow ow ow OW!" or "Sebastian, Sebastian, No!" - all short syllables in rapid succession that encouraged him to keep going. I also got pretty frustrated with him, which made the game all the more fun.

    In addition to the website and the book, I think it would be very helpful to keep a journal of both your puppy's behavior around the kids, and your kids' behavior with the puppy. Try to figure out if the puppy is more likely to be too rough at certain times of day - for example first thing in the morning, right when the kids are getting home from school, before bedtime, etc. See if the puppy tries to play rough with the other kids, and if so, how exactly they respond. Talk to them honestly about their emotional response to the puppy's behavior - it is believed that dogs can actually smell the chemical changes in our brains related to our emotional states. Our emotional states have a more profound effect on our dogs' behavior than we know, sometimes.

    Keeping a detailed journal of their behavior is a lot of work, but it can help greatly in establishing a predictable pattern to her behavior. Once you can predict her behavior, it will be much easier to redirect and manage.

    Also, you may want to see if puzzle toys interest her. They can be a great way to drain mental energy, by making her problem-solve for food or treats. Some dogs love them, some can't be bothered.
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  5. #15
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    Thanks rx4bills and SebastiansMom. Peanut butter kisses was a godsend and gave her a new way to interact with us with that mouth that wants to explore the world. The Other End of the Leash has been FASCINATING! I haven't finished it yet but do remember the part about slow calming sounds so I'll recommend that to my son. I'll try to pay close attention to the times of day, triggers etc. ill also talk to him about trying to control his emotional response. I'm feeding her a lot of her meals from kongs and have taken her to dog daycare and borrowed a friend's dog for play time. Today I made a flirt pole which she loved! And I got a kick out of it, too. Seriously it was so entertaining, and all I had to do was flick my wrist around. She can get really play bitey with all of us when she's excited but when she sees him she goes instantly into that mode. We have just been having him take the fun out of it (he holds still and ignores her) and separating her from him when she gets that way. I also take it as a signal that I haven't done enough to drain her mentally and physically. I think in the past he's made it fun for her with his quick noises (attempts at puppy yelps were eerily similar to a squeak toy) and trying to run away, even swatting her off-not at my recommendation, just his instinct. As always I'm grateful for the community of pyr lovers for all the great insights and wisdom. My poor puppy would be with a gang of ignorant fools otherwise!

  6. #16
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    When Sebastian was a puppy, draining his excess energy was a struggle for me, and I didn't have a house full of kids to raise. I don't think I could have handled raising Sebastian and children at the same time. For the first two years, any time Sebastian was around my nephews, I had to keep him leashed. He loved them so much that he could not control his excitement around them.

    Another thing that you may find helpful (depending on her personality)is teaching her a distraction word. This is something I learned while trying to treat Sebastian and Chester's dog aggression, but I think it could be of benefit in your situation, as well. I had more success using this method with Chester than I did with Sebastian. Chester is far more biddable than Sebastian is, and he is more food-motivated, as well. Sebastian would respond to the distraction word as long as there was nothing more interesting going on, while with Chester, the distraction word was like a remote control.

    The distraction word is easy to teach. You pick a word that you are not likely to say in normal conversation around her (I used "quick"). When you are with her somewhere without distractions and have her attention, say the word and immediately give her a treat. Say the word, and give her another treat. Say the word again, and give her another treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat. For the next session, move to a different distraction-free part of the house. Word, treat, and repeat. Continue having sessions in different areas of the house, and gradually add in distractions as she can handle them. It is important that she learns to associate this word with her getting treats, so while you are teaching this, don't use the word around her unless you can back it up with a treat.

    Hopefully, this will help!
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  7. #17
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Another thought I have is instead of always drawing the pup's attention away from your son, maybe you have your son become the puppy's trainer? Let your son be the one to put down the puppy's bowl, but have him make her have to wait for it until he releases her to eat. Have him work with her on obeying commands. You can leave a leash on the pup when you are helping your son become the little dog trainer so that you have the ability to physically control her if necessary. I think it's difficult to ask a child to be calm and assertive when a pup is determined to bully, jump and use those needle teeth to get a reaction. By assisting him with physical control her and then teach him to become the trainer, he may gain confidence and she will learn to behave differently with him. If she exhibits some of her GSD side, it would help tremendously with training (my pyr mix was easily 10 times easier to train than my purebreds).

    One command I thought might be useful is "leave it!" You should be able to find detailed instructions by googling it.

  8. #18
    Road Dawg rx4bills's Avatar

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    Just an update: Kali is now about 5.5 months, and doing very well. Finished puppy class, started intermediate class this week. Learning commands very well, needs better response but she knows what I want, just gives it at her pace. Fortunately her nipping at people is mostly stopped, maybe her teething period passing. Never can tell when those teeth are changing. Still a chewer, digs pretty moderate. The biting/chewing on our Goldens ears/legs is still happening, although less. Annoying to see our Golden take a stance to pee, only to have Kali go running up to him and jumping into the poor fella, just trying to finish his pee. We leash Kali and Kobi our Golden enjoys his pee and poo much more. She seems ok with sitting on leash until he finishes his business, but hope we don't have to leash her for long, although I swear Kobi looks to see if Kali is on leash before he goes outside.

    Been reading something in another thread, thought I would mention here because it seems worthwhile. When Kali pounces on Kobi's head I am going to try the 5 minute timeout in the crate idea. Some have had seemingly good results over the course of a week or so. Might be going in and out of the crate 10 times in a day, but I am willing to give this a try. Kobi really does want to be around Kali, but so sad to see her jump on him and then decide better to go upstairs to rest (where she can't go). Kobi doesn't put up enough of a growling response to Kali, and she is hitting about 45 lbs now, I want to work on this before she gets much bigger.

    Seems like 6 months is a magic age for many pups, and Kali is not far from that. Others behave more, calm down some, we are ....hoping!

  9. #19
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    rx....glad to hear that Kali is maturing....however....what she does in puppy class now....in about 6-12 months she will look at you and you will swear she has forgotten everything you practiced & she seemingly learned....she will be considering your "requests" making sure that is the proper action at the time...they actually do "think" before they act.

    I like your idea about putting her on the leash when Kobi needs to have some peace & quiet for his elimination time....but, I wonder about giving her a time out in her crate...I think I would continue doin what you are doing now. When she pounces, quietly get your leash, calmly put it on her & make her stay with you...sit quiet for a couple of minutes (like your 5 minute idea)....you might give her a quiet, calm command to let her know that pouncing on Kobi is not accepted.

    You are working so hard to get Kali to be the polite girl you want her to be....good work team!!

  10. #20
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I agree with Nick's Spirit about being careful when using the crate for a time out. The last thing you want to do is have her associate her crate with "punishment". If you DO decide to use the crate for time out, make sure that she has a high-value chew or favorite toy in there with her. I would also suggest staying in the room with her during time out sessions. Otherwise, you could be setting her up for anxiety issues that are often costly and difficult to treat.

    As for six months being a "magic" age, well...maybe. If she takes after her Pyr side, it could be the beginning of a long, frustrating, bratty adolescent phase. When Sebastian was that age, taking time to consider my "requests" was just the tip of the diabolical ice berg. He thrived on challenging me at every turn, and was openly defiant. It was during his adolescence that he ripped the seat out of my favorite pair of jeans - while I was wearing them. I also learned not to take him out wearing sweat pants, because trying to pants me in public was a really fun game for him.

    Now, Sebastian fell at the extreme end of the naughty spectrum, but it is fairly common for first time Pyr parents to write a panicky post, wondering what on earth happened to their sweet puppy, when adolescence hits. The only good thing about adolescence is that it is just a phase - albeit a phase that can be seemingly endless while you are in the throes of it.
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