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How to get a puppy to stop biting you when you grab them by the collar?

asked 2016-07-17 15:42:12 -0500

Hi,

I'm boarding a female 1 year old GS puppy who is "overall well trained" as her owners put it. She doesn't respond to commands from me so whenever I need her to go somewhere else in the house I'm left only with taking her by the collar and walking her in or out of the house. Sometimes she rolls over and gnaws on my hand, just now she got frightened and bit me hard enough to puncture my skin.

How do I discourage this? I'm afraid to promote this biting behaviour and know that it is common in puppies and frightened dogs but now that she is old enough to injure someone I find myself unprepared.

Thanks you for your response.

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For now whenever I need to move her I will put her leash on.

Riccardo A.'s profile image Riccardo A.  ( 2016-07-17 15:45:36 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2016-07-17 17:55:36 -0500

I would continue with the leash. Luring with food might be good to, to keep things positive.

It's really hard to comment without knowing more details, like what frightened her. When I hear of a 1 yo biting, I think the dog probably dominates the owner, hasn't been trained, and is only going to get worse... But, the way the owner described her (to you), it could be the dog is only obedient to people it respects as a pack leader. It may not have reached the same level with you that it has with its owner.

The best way to deal with that is as you're doing: use a leash. Be formal. I do that with most dogs I board, until I trust them with more freedom. The first hour or two. It also helps establish that position that she might see in her owner, but not in you. Some dogs are hard to impress. You might have some tall shoes to fill (in the dog's eyes).

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I haven't thought of it that way. Thanks!

Riccardo A.'s profile image Riccardo A.  ( 2016-07-17 21:25:51 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-07-17 18:51:45 -0500

I agree with everything Mark says. If you have stay with this dog again, I'd ask what words are used for commands. Sounds simple, I know, but many clients and many trainers have a different verbiage for common commands. For example, my last dog who was a professionally trained hunting dog responded to "HUP" instead of "SIT". My whole life I always trained my own dogs to "SIT", and then come to find that it's common for hunting dogs to sit when told to "hup". "DOWN" AND "OFF" seems to be used interchangeably as well.

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I have, but I get a vague response. I'm dealing with the spouse of the alpha. Thanks for your response!

Riccardo A.'s profile image Riccardo A.  ( 2016-07-17 21:27:11 -0500 ) edit

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