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How do I stop my puppy from playing aggressively?

asked 2018-08-30 21:36:47 -0500

Hi everyone. When my 15 week old hound mix puppy wants to play, he barks at my husband and me aggressively. So loudly that our neighbors actually complained. He bites us and snaps at us and refuses to even look at any toys when he’s in this mood. Food distracts him for a minute or two but then he’s right back at it. I know it’s playing because he bows and will eventually lick me. It especially happens if we try to stop him from doing something (such as digging at the couch). He might think out yelling is our form of barking (?) and thinks we want to play? I’m not sure but it’s starting to really hurt. One person suggested I put him in “time out” in a room by himself for about a minute for him to calm down. This works short term. He calms down but eventually ends up doing it again. I have tried establishing dominance (which I was also told to do) by standing in front of him and assertively saying no which sometimes works, but again, I think the yelling makes it worse some times. If I ignore the behavior, he either goes digging at the couch or follows me around the house trying to bite my legs. Again, toys do not distract him. Please don’t tell me we need to excercise him more because he gets PLENTY seeing as we live right across from a dog park. Even right when we get back from the dog park he’s done this. He also has a variety of toys with different textures, sounds, feels, brain stimulation etc. Please help, we’re getting desperate!!

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Hi! To be the leader, you've got to 1) heel walking puts you in front (dog park excites. Excitement gives more energy). 2) never give your dog anything he wants when he asks for it. You give in your own terms. 3) Correct him before he starts, body language is enough (visualise what you want).

Aurelie O.'s profile imageAurelie O. ( 2018-09-17 02:57:05 -0500 )edit

If you live near/in Minneapolis and are really desperate, I would love to meet you and see if I can help you in any way... but I don't know how to do this here. Will you find a way to reach out to me, if you wish? Ask Rover my details? Respond here maybe and see how we could do this?

Aurelie O.'s profile imageAurelie O. ( 2018-09-17 03:07:51 -0500 )edit

I am in the same boat. I have a VIP client and did all of the right things for the last 2 months. She is 6 months and still very aggressive. I took care of a puppy of the same breed and she was remarkably different. I do puppy day care for my client a few days a week and will do boarding too

Kytari C.'s profile imageKytari C. ( 2019-02-09 02:04:07 -0500 )edit

Before I have her here later this month overnight, I also have a few weeks of puppy daycare. I just want her mom to be able to love on her and not get bit by March 3rd.

Kytari C.'s profile imageKytari C. ( 2019-02-09 02:09:46 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2018-09-05 14:53:27 -0500

I would suggest looking into obedience classes and getting a professional trainer to give you some advice. It seems like you've tried most the positive reinforcement methods, and it's important to train this behavior out (if possible) as early as possible. Doggy classes can be amazing for that! It seems like your pup thinks he is in charge, and you need to teach him that you are the one in charge. It's possible the reason is something you never even thought of!

Check out what is available in your area and I wish you luck!

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It's a shame that so few people believe in having their puppies/dogs professionally trained. It is as much for training the fur parent/family as the fur baby. What I learned: make a high pitched yelp; simulate other puppies. And divert his attention with a toy every time he bites/mouths.

Sandy C.'s profile imageSandy C. ( 2018-09-14 05:21:46 -0500 )edit

I agree! I sit a few dogs who have been trained professionally and the owners are so glad they did it. They now have a roster of amazing tricks and behaviors they are equipped to deal with!

Casey R.'s profile imageCasey R. ( 2018-09-18 15:09:03 -0500 )edit
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answered 2018-09-04 17:32:03 -0500

Are you also crate training him? how big is the puppy - can you lift him and shove him inside the crate when he is behaving undesirably? I have two puppies at 4.5months (45lbs each). The vocal one gets aggressively playful with his sister and thats when I pick him up, shove him inside the crate. At this point, he usually likes to get vocal (bark and whine) with me; so I ignore him and when he quiets down, he gets a treat and I walk away (barking and whining continuing). I keep him in there for 10-15mins and if he continues with good behaviour he gets a treat and gets to come out. This is only successful, if the crate is also being established as a safe space and not just a punishment event. My puppies sleep in their crates just so they can sleep without getting woken up by the other one in the middle of the night because their foot was bitten. If the crating doesnt work, try the shock collar. Its not as bad as it sounds and you can teach a desirable behaviour fairly quickly. Just dont make it a crutch and use it for EVERY thing. Find one behaviour and work on correcting that. Then once thats set, work on another behaviour. Shock collars are not electrocuting the puppy, they are used for sporting and training and have plenty of advantages when used correctly. I am using this when the play gets mixed with growling and snarling. Another alternative is to hit him (firmer than a tap and gentler than a whack) on the nose with a FIRM "NO" and big eyes. Not the top of the snout, just the nose. Thats a sensitive area with a lot of nerves and he'll get the message. if you dont want to use your hand to smack him, use a rolled up newspaper. I promise I am not a horrible dog person. Positive reinforcement was only going so far before I lost my shizzle in the middle of the night. I talked to some hunting trainers and they guided me. Hope this helps - good luck!

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I read a clinical research paper about the results of shock collars and promptly returned the one that I had just bought (never used). Yes, they may become submissive and exhibit the behavior you desire, but at the cost of increased anxiety and fear.

Sandy C.'s profile imageSandy C. ( 2018-09-14 05:24:39 -0500 )edit

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