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Thread: Bob's A Bit Aggressive

  1. #1
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    Bob's A Bit Aggressive

    Bob was adopted at 7 weeks (I know a little young, but that was when rescuers put him up). He's 9-1/2 weeks old now. He' s really a sweetie, but he can sometimes react aggressively to touch or authority.

    Part of the problem I know stems from his rough-house play with Ginger (our 6 year old Beagle). They just play and wrestle for hours and would do it all day if we let them. Of course, in their play fighting, there is a lot of growling, mouthing and pinning - if you will, but they always seem to know their boundaries and what is "too rough". When Bob crosses the line, Ginger lets him know real quick.

    Lately, Bob has taken to growling when he is picked up. Especilly by Lizzie, our youngest girl (11 Years old). It is obvious that Bob sees her as another pup and wants to assert authority over her and has even nipped her. Bob is fine when he is separated from Ginger all day (as is sometimes the case - I take either Bob or Ginger to work with me often - but never both). These days he is perfectly sweet and will accept any and all attention with no effort to wrestle, bite or growl. When he is the "home" dog, Lizzie comes home from school, opens Bob's training crate, picks him up, plays with him and takes him out to do his business. Bob is "so happy" to see her and is not even the least bit aggressive.

    Recently Bob has even been aggressive when being touched (either to pat or pickup) when he is napping on rug. A hand on his back and he will awaken abruptly and do his best mean growl and sometimes snap. Then he calms down again usually.

    What's up? I usually only ever had a lone or singletary pup and am not familar with the socilaization and training of a pup introduced into a house with an already mature, but playful dog.

    P.S. Ginger never, ever nipped or bit and still doesn't/won't. She mouthed a lot and chewed on your fingers and sometimes mistakenly bit too hard but was trained out of it easily as she matured. To this day she is gentle and actually takes a lot of well intended over-loving ("Smothering" Hugs, Lying down with and overly close snuggling) from Liz. She does sometimes low growl to express her annoyance, but almost rolls her eyes as it is going on) and simply lays there.

    Last edited by BOBS DAD; 02-02-2006 at 01:28 PM. Reason: ADD PHOTO

  2. #2
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    You had the answer in your first paragraph. When the line is crossed the other aminal lets them know. You have to establish you and humans are alphas. Many people have different ways to do this . I always say no and slight tap on the nose.
    I've been boo'dMerlin my angel

  3. #3
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    I would rule out any medical problems since you mentioned it happens when he is picked up sometimes too. Has he been checked for worms or any other medical problems?

    Ruling out medical issues, take a lesson from Ginger.... when Bob gets too rough she lets him know it. This is only a 10 week pup we are talking about so it shouldn't be that hard to nip this in the bud now (no pun intended).

    BTW... Bob is really a cutie!

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Thanks Folks

    Yes, Dixieland... Bob has been to the vet twice now and got his final shots last week. Everything checks out well and Bob is fit as fiddle. You guys have already been helpful as we have started with your advice - just a little tap (enough to convey displeasure) on the snoot and if he snaps back - just a little harder. It has been working like a charm and we are seeing improvement in just days. I didn't know if this was acceptable as sometimes folks say "never" be physical. But it sure seems to be the cure. Thanks again.

    Dan

  5. #5
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    If you can rule out a hearing or other health problem, you can
    start right away to show Bob that being cute will only take him so
    far.LOL He must have an assertive & dominant nature.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOBS DAD
    Yes, Dixieland... Bob has been to the vet twice now and got his final shots last week. Everything checks out well and Bob is fit as fiddle. You guys have already been helpful as we have started with your advice - just a little tap (enough to convey displeasure) on the snoot and if he snaps back - just a little harder. It has been working like a charm and we are seeing improvement in just days. I didn't know if this was acceptable as sometimes folks say "never" be physical. But it sure seems to be the cure. Thanks again.

    Dan
    I'm glad it's nothing medical. I just want you to realize, I never said I agreed with the tap on the nose. I don't think Ginger taps Bob on the nose when he is bad. If she is typical, she shows disapproval through a yelp and then ignoring him so play stops. This is in human terms a way of saying NO in a stern voice with perhaps at most a finger waved in his face and then stopping play. Bob being a little pup still, he wants to play. When he realizes this kind of behavior stops the play then he will realize he can't nip.

    Unfortunately, with another dog in the house who can provide play anytime he wants it, your daughter is probably not going to be looked at as a playmate to Bob. You do need to work with her though in showing her how to communicate with Bob so he will recognize her as a higher ranking pack member. Perhaps getting her involved when you take Bob to puppy kindergarten classes (highly recommended) and having her feed Bob will help. Also letting her control the leash when you take Bob for walks.

    NOTE: I don't recommend puppy kindergarten classes for getting the dog to learn how to sit and down and all that stuff but more for learning proper socialization skills. Advancing to a basic obedience class is then recommended so Bob can learn proper manners at home and in public.

  7. #7
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    Also Good Advice

    I usually feed Bob, or my wife occasionally. Good idea to let Lizzie do it!


    Bob Getting Shower


    ... and Shakin' it Later

  8. #8
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    okay Bob is sooo cute!!!
    Do you have any idea what breeds are in him?
    EEp hes a doll, and Ginger is a beautiful girl too.

    I had this EXACT problem with my mom Shih Tzu, Oscar. We got him at 7 weeks too!!..
    When Oscar would play too rough with my siberian husky, or get outa line, she would nip at him then walk away.

    So When he would bite our hands or growl at us, we would get up and stop paying attention to him. He hated that sooo much, he would follow us around the house whining and wanting attention..
    So the next time he wanted to play and he acted naughty, we would ignore him for a few min, then come back give him a simple command (like sit) and then reward him like crazy..


    Let your 11 year old daughter feed Bob for a little while. When it is Bobs feeding time, (try to make it the same time everyday), make sure he is watching while she poors food into a dish, (its important that you dont let him eat till he does a command).
    Show your daughter that pushing lightly on Bobs bottom will make him sit, then once he does it for a second let him eat. This way Your daughter has control over the food proccess and Bob doesn't get to eat till he listens to her.. get it . This will help him learn that she is alpha over him.
    Rainbowbridge- Tikeya 'forever loved'
    Owned By Luna, Prudence, and Raven

  9. #9
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    Thank You So Much Tikeyas_Mom

    GREAT ADVICE... WE HAVE STARTED WITH LIZZIE FEEDING (MORNINGS - 6:30 ISH WHEN EVERYONE'S GETTING UP FOR SCHOOL) BOB. AND WE HAVE LIMITED THE ROUGH HOUSING WITH THE TWO DOGS. THIS KEEPS BOB FROM GETTING TOO HYPER. AND WE HAVE IGNORED HIM WITH HIS AGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR BUT WE HAVE COUPLED IT WITH A LOUD "BOB". WE ADDED THIS CAUSE GINGER DOES A REAL, REALLY LOUD YELP AT BOB, BEFORE SHE TURNS AWAY. SOMETIMES IF HE IS PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE, WE GIVE A SHORT TIME OUT IN HIS CRATE (LONG ENOUGH FOR HIM TO QUIET DOWN). IT ALL SEEMS TO BE HELPING AND BOB IS GETTING THE MESSAGE.

    BOB IS A RESCUE DOG. WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT HE IS. HE WAS ADVERTISED AS A COCKER MIX, BUT I DON'T SEE IT. SINCE WE GOT HIM WE HAVE BEEN TOLD HE IS EVERYTHING FROM A WIREDHAIRED TERRIER, JRT TO A PBGV. ALL I KNOW IS HE IS A CROWD STOPPER AND HE DRAWS ATTENTION WHEREVER WE GO!

    Last edited by BOBS DAD; 02-08-2006 at 08:57 PM. Reason: TYPOS

  10. #10
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    Boy, he's one you just want to hug the stuffin's out of, 'cause he's just too adorable! Have you growled at him when he's too "rambunctious"? A very growly "noooooooo," will often help stop some of that stuff, but, like Ginger, you want to ignore him when he's out of line. As many have already advised you.

    Taking your cues from Ginger is a good way to deal with Bob in "his language," and I, too, advocate lots of socialization in classes and at the office, especially if there's lots of folks he gets to meet there.

    When I used to teach puppy classes, I would do some odd things. lol Like bouncing a basketball around the puppies and then let them check it out. Had a 6' long kids tunnel that we'd work with them on, from each end, since the view is "different" from either end. These are things you can do with Lizzie's help (in fact, everyone in the family can participate) and will teach Bob (and Ginger if she wants to 'play') trust and where he belongs in the family.

    Teaching tricks, such as shake and high five can also help establish Bob's place, since everyone in the two-legged aspect of the pack can work with him on learning these things. Sets some of the "rules" of the pack--I give you a command, you obey, you get a treat and praise. Even simple things like sit and down can be taught at this age and help him understand that he is not the top dog.

    BUT, we have to remember that he's still a baby and will "forget" from time to time. So long as you are consistent, he'll learn it all and be a great dog. Sounds like y'all are doing a great job with him so far!

    Chris
    "Every creature is a word of God."
    Meister Eckhart, Animal Blessings
    Dog Potentials

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOBS DAD
    SOMETIMES IF HE IS PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE, WE GIVE A SHORT TIME OUT IN HIS CRATE (LONG ENOUGH FOR HIM TO QUIET DOWN).
    Be really careful in using his crate as a place of punishment. If it's not done correctly, it could backfire on you later if you need him crated later on in life for any reason. You want Bob to understand his crate is a great place and his santuary and good things happen in the crate.

    Keep up the good work! Remember to enroll him a puppy kindergarten class. He is the perfect age right now!

  12. #12

    Crate Punishment

    Does Bob like his crate? And have you noticed any change in his response to crating after introducing his timeouts periodically? Just watch carefully for any negative effects, but if used sparingly, your approach can foster the positive results you desire.

  13. #13
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    Bob And The Crate Thang...

    Yes Diane, Bob does like his crate. It is where he often get treats for doing good things. After an eventful and positive play session, Bob will often get a treat, but before he does, he has to sit or listen to a simple command, and then, he is told "get in your crate - or box as we refer to it". He scampers over to it and goes in and sits down in his bed, awaiting his treat.

    He easily retires to it at night now and goes in on command, and often wanders in himself at around 10:00ish - as he seems to wind down and call it quits at this time. As for the occasional time-out, it doesn't seem to affect him much with regards to "where he is at". It's almost like he understands that we want him to calm down. He just plops down into his bed, sits there and cocks his head back and forth, looking at us and seems to do just that - calm down. We generally don't even lock the cage. Sometimes we don't even close the door. He seems to administer his own self confinement and after a brief period, he stands up and comes out (pushing the door open with his nose if it is closed).

    Bob's a card when it comes to that crate. early on, he figured how to open it from the inside - setting himself free to roam the house and eventually visit us in our upstairs bedrooms about 4-5:00 ish AM. He would get out the top hatch door (this crate has one on those top hatches in addition to front door) of all things. He was so little, he could barely even reach the top while standing fully on his back legs. We couldn't figure out how we was doing this.

    Then one day Lizzie was home early from school and she watched him do this, and even had the presence of mind to photograph (as best as she could this endeavor). She called me at work, giggling and excited with her news, "Bob just escaped the crate!!! HOW HE DID IT? Well, he would stand on the edge of his bed (making him about 6-7 inches taller). Jump up and hit the roof hatch with his head. He did this until the lock latch would flip over to a mirror possition. Then he would stand on his legs and paw at it in the slide open direction until it slid far enough to disengage. Then it was easy but comical. He would jump up, hit roof with head. Roof would bounce upward slightly. He'd catch his paws on the ledge and hang. He'd then push his head up through, wriggle his shoulders up and through - all the while his back feet dangling, pawing and dancing in air. Then he'd pull the rest of himself up and through. Now standing on the top of crate, the hatch would fall back down in place, he'd shake himself off and jump down and off to some adventure.

    We watched him perform this task several times afterwards before outfoxing him by switching the latch lever position to a spot where no jostling moves it. He had bounced his head against the roof for a while till he figured out it doesn't work anymore.

    Pretty funny, we have a few decent pics of this escape maneuver and perhaps we will post sometime. Also funny because until we discovered his tactics, I was blamimg everyone and mostly kids for unlatching the lever and allowing Bob to escape at nights. Of course everyone denied doing this, but they've denied many other things in the past too! And so, I was somewhat suspect!!!

  14. #14
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    Bob sounds like he is adjusting well to his new environment. He's one very lucky pup!

  15. #15
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    He's also a very clever pup! What a thought process it took for him to figure out the overhead crate door! And people call them 'dumb' animals! Ha, I say again, HA!!

    Chris
    "Every creature is a word of God."
    Meister Eckhart, Animal Blessings
    Dog Potentials

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