Hi everyone,
The following is a copy of questions Leah asked me yesterday, with my answers. But as my reply was in an older posting under someone elses heading of neutering, I wasn't sure if many people would see it hence this re-post - I'd be grateful for any advice right now.

Good question, because when I think about it I am probably not doing anything to train him not to bite. I am just distracting him - e.g. swap my hand for a chew, get him to sit and give a paw.
Is he biting in play? I don't remember exactly, but I was under the impression that he was nipping as a warning. Two very different behaviors, and two different ways of handling them.

There seem to be two situations. He nips my husband in excitement when he gets home (not me, when I come home he rolls on his back). And nips to get you to play which I ignore. That I put down to being a pup.
But then there are the situations when he doesn't want to do something. Consistent examples are getting him to come downstairs - he won't and if I attempt to lead him by the collar (he's way to clever to come for a treat or a toy) he will attempt to hold me with his teeth whilst writhing to stop me moving him. On occasion I have gone upstairs and put his lead on and got him down that way.

"Outside for a wee" is met with the same resistance, I sometimes have to almost drag him along the floor - he'll do the same again, onto his back to make it hard to move him and bite. He does show restraint with his biting it's not a snarl and a real bite but it still hurts and it's certainly not the right way to go on. And getting him to come off the sofa is met with the same.
Again, it depends on what exactly you mean by "stopped me with his teeth." Okay, which of these two statements ... his teeth on my hand, and stays still. 2. He's nipping all over the place, rolling around, waving his paws.

With the brushing (which I mentioned in my post yesterday), well all of it really, it's number 2. I had thought that he was trying it on, having a tantrum. But today we had a total disaster and I am now more worried than I have been.We went for a walk and in the past there have been occasions (more when he was very young) where he has recognised the walk is nearly at an end and nipped, tried to bite his lead, lay down, rolled over. Of course I know what he is saying, "I don't want to go home". But today about quarter of a mile towards the end of an out and back walk he went wild. He was on his lead and kept jumping up and biting me, my coat, the lead, my legs, breast, arms, hands.

He actually scared me because I did not know what to do and he would not stop. First off I tried to distract him with "lets go over there, whats that", but he carried on. I got him to sit and give paw, he did then we got a few steps further and it started again. He showed all his teeth and my hands and wrist are literally covered in bruises and welts and swollen - that's not right!!
It eventually passed, and again, I think it was a tantrum as his behaviour does follow the pattern I mention above - it's when he doesn't want to do something - but I haven't got a clue how to handle it I admit. He is treated so well and with so much love, yet at times treats me with such disdain it hurts!
Part of me thinks he'll grow out of it, the other part is not so sure? I might add that he is rarely let upstairs and only goes into the lounge by invitation though he does make straight for the sofa. On a walk where we do a circular route, I have no problems but somethimes it has to be an out and back.
Sorry if I've rambled, today has really upset me 'cos of the damage he's done to me and my lack of experience in knowing what to do next.
Lynda
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Hi everyone, The following is a copy of questions Leah asked me yesterday, with my answers. But as my reply ... wasn't sure if many people would see it hence this re-post - I'd be grateful for any advice right now.

I'll snip the whole thing. Basically your dog throws temper tantrums and nips you.I've worked with dogs like that in shelters. Generally speaking, what has worked best for me has been to grab them by the skin under their jaw, hold the head still (they get real attentive once you have a hold of their skin) and in a low, growly tone, say, "You do NOT want to go there" or something to that effect. Short, simple. I usually sort of let go of the dog in an "I'm *** off" type thing, not exactly throw them, but give them a slight jerk when I let go (not anything painful, basically any "pain" that happens the dog has caused himself as you are not pulling, you are just holding) and we continue on.

Basically you want to correct the nipping with a reaction that says to the dog, "I hope you don't THINK you're bigger or tougher than me, I'll be happy to demonstrate the stupidity in that theory." You also have to be very firm and not wishy-washy about it. Think the voice you use with your kids when they're being bad at the grocery store (if you have kids).
This is NOT something to do when you are trying to teach the dog something as those temper tantrums are usually out of stress over the learning experience. There are also many more positive ways to teach this, which all work out great as well if you stick with it, but if you want the problem solved quickly.

Emily Carroll
Fluttervale Labradors: www.fluttervale.com/kennel
Canine Biography: www.fluttervale.com/biography
Please visit CPG, The Oldest Cyber Animal Game on the Web: http://www.geocities.com/cyberpetgame
I've worked with dogs like that in shelters. Generally speaking, what has worked best for me has been to grab ... hope you don't THINK you're bigger or tougher than me, I'll be happy to demonstrate the stupidity in that theory."

And what if the dog says, "Yes, I am bigger and tougher?" This is a really good way to get seriously bitten.
IMHO, other than puppy playful nipping, whenever a dog's teeth connect with human skin, one-on-one evaluation is required.
Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
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I've worked with dogs like that in shelters. Generally speaking, ... I'll be happy to demonstrate the stupidity in that theory."

And what if the dog says, "Yes, I am bigger and tougher?" This is areally good way to get seriously bitten.

I've done this on over 50 dogs and not once had a dog take me up on the offer. Dogs that already think they ARE bigger and tougher don't throw this type of temper tantrum.

Emily Carroll
Fluttervale Labradors: www.fluttervale.com/kennel
Canine Biography: www.fluttervale.com/biography
Please visit CPG, The Oldest Cyber Animal Game on the Web: http://www.geocities.com/cyberpetgame
I've done this on over 50 dogs and not once had a dog take me up on the offer. Dogs that already think they ARE bigger and tougher don't throw this type of temper tantrum.

If you're not sure, don't try it but generally, dogs that really are bigger and tougher don't bother with the nipping scenario they bite your ***, hard, right off.
Dogs too know the value of a hard correction delivered quickly. But most dogs aren't really that dangerous/dominant and Emily's method is what I will use on my own dogs.
I've done this on over 50 dogs and not once had a dog take me up on the offer. Dogs that already think they ARE bigger and tougher don't throw this type of temper tantrum.

You're a dog person. You work with them, and apparently breed and raise them. So I'm sure you can read a dog very well. And that's why you haven't gotten bitten.
That may well be what a behaviorist would do with Jake, also. But to tell a JQP dog owner to physically challenge her dog? Too risky, IMHO.

Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html
Emily's method is what I will use on my own dogs.

Yes. I can use purely PetsMart-approved positive reinforcement techniques on Murphy and MacKenzie, and they work like a charm. However, Madigan now and then has to be told to CUT IT OUT in no uncertain terms.

But I wouldn't tell an untrained person to use forceful techniques on her dog, especially when the dog's problem is nipping too hard and inappropriately.

Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html
I've done this on over 50 dogs and not once ... bigger and tougher don't throw this type of temper tantrum.

You're a dog person. You work with them, and apparently breed and raise them. So I'm sure you can read a dog very well. And that's why you haven't gotten bitten.

Think about what you just said. Emily takes no crap from those dogs, and doesn't get bitten. Lynda is taking crap by the pound and is getting bitten on a daily basis.
That may well be what a behaviorist would do with Jake, also. But to tell a JQP dog owner to physically challenge her dog? Too risky, IMHO.

I must have missed the first part of this thread; I don't know how old this dog is, the breed, etc. I assume it's a Lab, based on your comments to Emily?
And I agree with Emily (especially if it's a Lab). It *is* probably time to "physically challenge" this dog, before it reaches a stage where some even harsher physical handling might be required. Again, I don't know how old Jake is, but he sounds like the typically spoiled brat that often develops when the owner thinks she'll get by with just lovin' the dog:
"He is treated so well and with so much love, yet at times treats me with such disdain it hurts!"
One could also use a leash and choke collar here (if there was a real chance of injury), and achieve the same results if one knows how.

It's time to change the dynamics here; it's time to substitute some firmness and discipline for some of that love.
Before it's too late.
If the OP doesn't feel up to the job, it's time to see a professional.

ASAP.

Handsome Jack Morrison
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I must have missed the first part of this thread; I don't know how old this dog is, the breed, etc. I assume it's a Lab, based on your comments to Emily?

Here's her post - Jake is a BC.
Jake, my Border Collie, is now 8
and a half months. He is from a very reputable (obedience champion) breeder and I have good background info. He is in a good home and is treated very very well. But he can be agressive, or certainly push his luck, with my husband and I. Mainly me.
.
Jake is pretty calm and chilled most of the time, more aloof than loving but the agression comes when he has to do something he doesn't want to do. He thinks nothing of biting us if he is displeased. He shows an element of control with his teeth, it's not a full bite, but it's a good sharp nip to try and show he is the boss. I say try because we have been consistently firm but fair with him and I still hope he will eventually learn it's just not going to work behaving like that. He has never nipped anyone else, he is an angel with other people. He nips when over excited too but obviously I would not call that agression.
I had Jake neutered last week. Of course he is still recovering but I have already noticed a difference regarding his obsession for marking his territory - it's stopped. And I fully expect him to be calmer in as much as he has no raging hormones racing around his body anymore - he didn't have a clue what to do the past few weeks other than try and relieve his sexual frustrations (quite forcibly) on us. That's stopped too. But so far, the nipping hasn't, not one bit. My only hope is that if I continue to be patient and consistent with his training we will get there one day and that this is a puppy thing, like a teenage tantrum that he will eventually grow out of.
Would very much appreciate any input on this and feel free to email me at my email listed below (after removing the words NOSPAM and removing spaces from my address below... :-)

I don't see a whole lot about what training he's actually getting. Or if he's been told to knock it off (doesn't sound like there's been anything but "distraction" - UGH).
I can't figure out when people decided it was KIND to let a dog become a total brat and are afraid to just say no!
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
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