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Old 03-26-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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I'm afraid she has to go

Oh, I spent the night crying. But my new doggie has for some reason taken against my husband. After two weeks of near-perfect behavior, she's started trying to bite his face any time he gets it within biting distance (she's only 15 lbs, but can really jump). I've talked to everyone I know, and my mom came closest, given all the symptoms, that she thinks she's defending me (she only does it from 3-4 p.m., and only when I'm at home. I help out with some elderly friends a couple days a week during that period, and hubby says she never bugs him at all during that time, and in the mornings, when I let her out of the crate, she jumps up on the bed (I'm and early riser, he isn't) and just gently sleeps with him after a lick or two. But long about 3, she attacks him and I cannot figure out why. But it cannot go on like this. My husband is not one of those dog teasers, not mean. It's just when he lies down on the couch to watch a movie, she attacks him ... specifically, his face. I guess she's going to have to go, but my heart is breaking. I don't know why this started.

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Old 03-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #2
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Have you tried puppy training? Some of the bigger pet supply chains offer classes right in their stores (We have PetCetera up here). Another idea is to contact your vet and have them check her out. Sometimes a vet will give the first visit free if you haven't already gone for shots, etc. I really hope that things can work out for you and your puppy, but husbands are a little more important!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
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How about talking to a good dog trainer?

I feel for you. I would hate for you to have to give her up.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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Yes, I'm looking at both those options. My main concern is that at 8 mos old, she might be more adoptable than at an older age (my husband wants to wait until September). A friend who always sends her (huge; the latest is a mastif) dogs to obedience training quoted me a price of $600. Huh? not gonna happen. Yes, we did get a coupon from Petco so maybe I'll price them. I've tried everything I've known and researched, that is to say, no tug-of-war games. Our last two dogs loved to lick my husband's face, and he let them do it, but I trained them to stop by saying "no kisses". So I told him he just couldn't let Rosebud lick his face at all. That broke his heart, but he took it to heart and started saying "stop" or "sit" or "no" or "Down", which works most of the time. Then she goes and bites him (for any other thing shes very, very obedient. He can literally feed this little chow hound, tell her to sit and stay down while he doles it, and she will. But at 3 or 4 p.m., when he is sitting (lying actually) on the couch, she attacks him.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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Is it a mean "bite" or a play "bite"? She might be trying to initiate play with him. OR Do you let her on the sofa where he is laying down? Could she be upset because he is in her spot?
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:34 AM   #6
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Is it a mean "bite" or a play "bite"? She might be trying to initiate play with him. OR Do you let her on the sofa where he is laying down? Could she be upset because he is in her spot?
Dave may have hit on the problem.

We found a real simple solution to many puppy behavior problems. It sounds silly; some friends have said it's mean; but it doesn't hurt the dog one bit. What it does accomplish is is stops the behavior right in its tracks.

Buy a bunch of cheap squirt guns and keep them handy all over the house. As soon as the pup starts, grab the nearest gun and give her a good squirt, preferably in the face, while speaking a firm "NO". They don't like it - but it doesn't hurt them. Be careful to never use the guns as a toy or squirt them in any kind of playful game; they will not learn if you do. After a few times, you don't even have to use the gun - just picking it up does the trick.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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Hubby has to let the puppy know he's the top dog (the ALPHA DOG) in the house. He has to assert his position so the dog learns its place. I'm not talking about hitting the dog or anything like that. If he plays with the dog, play has to end with hubby holding the dog down and not letting him up for a minute. Make the pup wait until you all go through a door before you let him go through.

If there is something you want to make an issue of with the dog, be firm and consistent so it knows where you stand and that he can't get away with it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:48 AM   #8
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Everyone has some wonderful ideas for you Claire. I highly recommend you read Cesar Milan's books. They don't call him the Dog Whisperer for nothing.

For what its worth, I find that Interrupt, Correct and Redirect work wonders. If the issue is with your husband, then he needs to be the one to implement the training. If she is getting violent or trying to bite him he needs to immediately Interrupt that behavior with a firm "No" (Correct) and a physical reminder like a poke to her ribs or a tap. Ideally, if you can Interrupt just a moment BEFORE the behaviour occurs this works best. Then give her a chew toy and tell her that "Name" is her toy. That's the Redirect portion.

It would also be helpful if your DH were to take her for a walk everyday and be firm with her training then. It will help her figure out that HE is boss and she needs to mind her place.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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There's a book some people I know have used to break unwanted behavior in their dog that came on suddenly, territorial behavior like what you are describing, I believe it is called Breaking Bad Habits in Dogs. I know nothing about the book except it has worked for some people who decided to correct the problem themselves rather than geting rid of their pet.
And BTW, your dog is not defending you unless your husband lying on the couch is posing a threat to you. I don't recall you saying where you are during these attacks on your husband. Only that you are home, so I don't think you're being threatened. Maybe if he is talking in a loud voice and waving his arms... maybe, but not if he is just lying there.

From your earlier posts and what you have said in this one, your dog has become quite comfortable in its new setting and has advanced its position in your "pack". It now rules the roost.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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Claire-I hope you can find a solution to the problem with the dog. Sounds like you really love her. I think it would be worth a talk with your vet. There are certainly dog obedience classes that don't cost $600....I would have a problem putting out that kind of money, too. Good luck!!
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:42 PM   #11
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Yes to just about everyone. First of all, it started as a play bite. Just what I call mouthing. missing the toy and catching an arm or a finger. Heck, human children do that, sticking everything in their mouths. It is simply curiousity or mistakes. No, we haven't had her long enough for her to have a "spot", if anything she'd rather sit by me (I have an over-sized lazy-boy from when we had two doggies who'd sit there), on the floor, on a crochetted afghan behind the computer chair if one of us is working on the computer, or even in her crate. Husband walks her just about every day. It isn't that she doesn't like him .... I wake earlier than he, and she knows (we live in back of a church, he gets up when the bells chime at 8 a.m., and feeds her, and she behaves perfectly through this, sitting on the bed while he does his morning toilette, will sit and stay (yes, we'd already started training) while he feeds her. When it is too cold to walk, he uses an exercise bicycle upstairs and she will sit and wait for him to come back down the stairs. Then, after her dinner (2 p.m., give or take), she starts getting adversarial, for lack of a better work. And not every day, but often enough that it can't continue. She will jump into his face and snap at it. Husband is hoping that better weather (and hopefully my foot healing) will enable us to walk her more, but she is getting plenty of exercise (and yes, we quit any tug-of-war and only do fetch and chew toys, giving her the latter anytime she mouths either of us). But she isn't just "mouthing" him, she is jumping in his face and snapping, for no reason we can ascertain. And this is after 2 weeks of behavior that can only be thought of as perfect.

I've been told maybe she thinks she is protecting me from my husband which is ludicrous. But that is what it seems to be. He hasn't hit me, argued with me, yelled at me. What I'm wondering right now is ... should I be encouraging her attachment to me, or start being a little more indifferent to her? Our two previous dogs (JRs, which have horrible reputations) were much easier, and attached more to him than to me, so this seems puzzling.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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...Then, after her dinner (2 p.m., give or take), she starts getting adversarial, for lack of a better work...

Try a different brand of food.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:00 PM   #13
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Try a different brand of food.
Or maybe after her afternoon meal, she could have quiet time in her kennel??
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:04 PM   #14
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Claire, there is no substitute for a walk. She needs to get out and have a walk. From what you describe I'd bet that she has a ton of pent up energy by 2pm and is trying to let you know she needs to get out. Puppies typically need not one but two or more walks per day. Some breeds need more than others. I know its cold and slippery out but she NEEDS to go out for a walk or two everyday. Exercise is the first priority. Feed - walk - play. She isn't going to get better until she gets what she needs.


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Old 03-27-2011, 03:15 PM   #15
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Haha! Seriously, that is a part of the problem. In her first 24 hrs here, my husband decided she didn't need to spend the night in her crate (where she'd prefer to be), so she slept with us. She got up needing to go at about 6 a.m., husband dead asleep, and slipped on a steaming heap at the foot of the stairs, and re-broke a foot I broke last summer. Husband is being excellent about getting a walk in right after dinner (at 2), but weather hasn't always allowed. I can only give her a limited walk, but to take her out (large yard for her size) and get her running. It is just that around 3 or 4 we'd like to relax a bit before I start dinner and that's when she gets rough (and most days, that's after she's had a good long walk).
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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Try a different brand of food.
Yes, you aren't feeding her any KRAFT products are you? That food gets some people worked up, let alone canines whose taste and smell is uber times better than ours.





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Old 03-27-2011, 05:08 PM   #17
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Buy a bunch of cheap squirt guns and keep them handy all over the house. As soon as the pup starts, grab the nearest gun and give her a good squirt, preferably in the face, while speaking a firm "NO". They don't like it - but it doesn't hurt them. Be careful to never use the guns as a toy or squirt them in any kind of playful game; they will not learn if you do. After a few times, you don't even have to use the gun - just picking it up does the trick.
This is EXACTLY what we did with our 2 yr old adopted bichon cross. He came with a lot of bad habits and one day I was trying to get him out of the kitchen and he wouldn't obey. I have a comdiment bottle with a pointed tip full of water for use in cooking and grabbed it and squirted it on Joie. He right away left. We started using the squirt when we did it and had lots of bottles all over the house. Now all we have to do is say the word "squirt" and he runs for cover! And I think this would be better than a water gun.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:07 PM   #18
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Don't give up Claire, it's not something that can't be corrected with a dog at any age or size.

We brought home a 15 pound cutie from the vets office. I saved her from going to the pound. Animal Control was on the way to get her. Not while I was alive, was that going to happen to her.

She seemed to get along just fine with my Golden Retriever. so we brought her home. Hubby had to do the intro's with our other 2 a Shepard and a Lab. Everything was all fine. He's the Alpha. Bossman to the dogs. So they let him think. ;)

Within a week that 15 pound Cutie was a 15 pound Terror! She got testy with anyone. Dog or human. That came near me.
Just like your girl she was snappy with my husbands face, unprovoked, out of the blue.

My Shepard " Shadow" was one wise woman, she was 15 at the time had 2 litters of her own and raised our Lab, Hannah. Hanny was adopted from a shelter when she was 8 months old. Had a few bad habits we didn't like either.

Shadow didn't appreciate the 15 pound terror taking control of the house and everything in it. She coaxed Sophie out the doggy door after an incident. Right to the back yard behind the shed. Sophie was rolled! Gentle enough but tough enough for Sophie to get the idea " No snapping!"

We saw Shadow do that. The next time Sophie went for my husband or the other dogs unprovoked. We put her on her back and held her for a second, just like Shadow did.

Next time she pulls that you need to pull her off and put her on her back. Tell her NO!. When she submits and they do when in a position like that. Let her up. Wait 5 and give her love.

Your not helping her or yourself to let her continue with that kind of behavior. Don't encourage that. Next time it could be some kids face that gets bit.

Poking as Ceasar whispers, didn't fly with this 15 pounder. But the quick SHHHH! Snapping of a finger will set her straight. He should have been whispering to his wife.. :) j/k...

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Old 03-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #19
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Yes, you aren't feeding her any KRAFT products are you? That food gets some people worked up, let alone canines whose taste and smell is uber times better than ours.





Way funny.
The green canister of parmesan or the plastic/wallet american cheese?

The squirt bottle or spray bottle will work if you are consistent in using it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #20
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Dave may have hit on the problem.

We found a real simple solution to many puppy behavior problems. It sounds silly; some friends have said it's mean; but it doesn't hurt the dog one bit. What it does accomplish is is stops the behavior right in its tracks.

Buy a bunch of cheap squirt guns and keep them handy all over the house. As soon as the pup starts, grab the nearest gun and give her a good squirt, preferably in the face, while speaking a firm "NO". They don't like it - but it doesn't hurt them. Be careful to never use the guns as a toy or squirt them in any kind of playful game; they will not learn if you do. After a few times, you don't even have to use the gun - just picking it up does the trick.

this has worked well for me with any of the cats i have had. charlie runs like crazy if he even sees the squirt bottle. might give it a try. or during the time she would bite, just put her out. she'll get over it soon.
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