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Thread: Geoff the Pirahna

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern Beaches, Sydney
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    Default Geoff the Pirahna

    Hi,

    Yet another Geoff question.

    When he plays with us, he will grab you with his teeth. This isn't a bite, and he only does it when he is excited.

    He has big teeth and it hurts.

    Our response up to now has been to shout 'Owww' and walk away from him, or make like a tree. He used to do it a lot more, especially with my 6 year old. We armed Will with a water pistol and after one or two squirts he stopped.

    Generally he is very gentle, but when he gets wound up he gets a bit sharky.

    Any suggestions on how to stop this happening. We can't all carry a water pistol with us all the time.

    and while I'm here, how do you get him to drop things. I have tried offering a trade for what he has, but he just looks you in the eye and won't let go.

    Thanks for all your thoughtful suggestions up until now.

    Regards

    Curly Girl.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

    Default

    Er, dont let him get to excited?
    We have a traffic light system for our dogs.
    In the home, they must be in green (sedate, well mannered, and led down basically).
    In garden, they can go to orange and get playful for time ltd periods with me. (moochin around, short bursts of fetch, find it, and obligatory water the plants and bernie's nose game).
    Off leash bush land - Red. go nuts! for time ltd periods
    Now adult, Bernie will still push to get a tad more excited. But we dont let him.
    He needs a constant firm hand, give him an inch...
    sneeky too.
    The water pistol seemed to work well. Maybe hit it for hrly stints on saturday and sunday if not at work?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Girl View Post
    Hi,

    Yet another Geoff question.

    When he plays with us, he will grab you with his teeth. This isn't a bite, and he only does it when he is excited.

    He has big teeth and it hurts.

    Our response up to now has been to shout 'Owww' and walk away from him, or make like a tree. He used to do it a lot more, especially with my 6 year old. We armed Will with a water pistol and after one or two squirts he stopped.

    Generally he is very gentle, but when he gets wound up he gets a bit sharky.

    Any suggestions on how to stop this happening. We can't all carry a water pistol with us all the time.

    and while I'm here, how do you get him to drop things. I have tried offering a trade for what he has, but he just looks you in the eye and won't let go.

    Thanks for all your thoughtful suggestions up until now.

    Regards

    Curly Girl.
    First, do NOT allow the dog to play like this with your child! Supervised or not, it is a disaster waiting to happen. He should not be allowed to mouth anybody EVER. This is what he believes to be acceptable because you are reacting AFTER he has gotten toothy. Find a way to play with him that doesn't involve him using his mouth. A water pistol will not be enough to stop him if he gets too hyped up.

    As for dropping it, you need to 'claim' the object he has. All my dogs leave whatever they have - bone, toy, food - when I approach and make to take it off them. If he absolutely refuses to give it up, hold the object (works well with rope toys especially since you'll have a decent grip) tightly and push his chest as you say 'drop it.' Reward him a lot when he gets it right. Making a sound to startle him out of dropping it also works - i.e. "CHH" like the sound Cesar Milan makes.


    like a rolling thunder chasing the wind...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I don't let the children play with him without either my husband or myself being there.

    I really like the traffic light suggestion.

    I will work on implementing it at home.

    Cheers

    Curly girl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    I know someone who manages with a travel pack sized deodorant mist bottle (eg from price attack?) - it makes a hiss noise and dispenses cold water, a good distraction. She uses it to discourage her dog from humping other dogs and it works, go figure. The bottle holds about 100mls of water and would fit in most people's pockets or handbags.

    When you're trying to trade for what Geoff has - obviously what you're offering is not as good as what he's got or the game of chase-me that he's trying to start. You need to offer something way better than what he's got (in his eyes) for trade.

    I do one of these things.
    1. I throw a small handful of treats nearby - ie little 1cm cubes of bread crust and roast chicken pieces. I say "thank you", my dog drops the baseball or bone to get the treats. And I give her some more treats. They've got to be really good treats and really easy to see if you throw it on the grass.
    2. If I can catch her, I say "give" and if she doesn't I push her lip onto her teeth slowly and gently until she lets go of what she's got, and then I give her lots of yummy treats and tell her how good she is.
    3. I practice "give" and "geddit" ie with a rope toy, I tell her to "geddit" and wave it in front of her until she grabs it, and we play a quick tug, then I say "give", she lets me have the tug, then I say "geddit", so she knows that "give" doesn't always mean she's going to lose her toy/food.

    You can practice this game with all sorts of things, including food. But if you do play with food, I think it's best to let the dog have the chew or bone in the end.

    However with my dog, it's not ok for her to chew bones (cause gut problems) or baseballs so she will trade for them. In fact she will seek them out in order to swap for metwurst (garlic salami?), or roast chicken or bits of steak dianne or whatever high value treat is going on that day.

    So if you need help clearing your back yard of bones for the lawn mower man, or finding baseballs in the hedge, or cricket balls that go behind the advertising signs, I have the dog for you.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 12-02-2010 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
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    Default

    As usual you have come up with some interesting homework to try out.

    I have been using skinless hot dog and chicken (I thought the skin wasn't good for them) Maybe I will try some cabanossi, which I think is similar to Metwurst.

    Thanks for your excellent suggestions.

    cheers

    Curly Girl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Treats lose their value with use.

    Food that I eat - has the highest value for my dog. She gets very excited if I ever get yiros, because I almost always share it with her.

    So if you use roast chicken this week - you need to change to metwurst next week, and maybe little bits of steak the week after. And fresh fried liver the week after that.

    I usually have a mix of stuff available. So current batch is promite on toast (eg what I eat and share with her - if she does a nice sit or gets in the crate etc), and metwurst. Last week was chopped left over garlic steak and lamb off the lamb chop I didn't eat (no bones). Week before was metwurst and liver and steak, and before that was chicken etc. I think metwurst keeps its value longer because I keep eating it.

    She will also go nutty for jatz bikkies, raw hide beef chips, roo jerky, smackos, someone else's good-ohs or nature's gift treats (which I chop into three slices for training) etc. And the skinnees double squeaky squashed ferret racoon squirrel is very exciting - although nearly completely dead now.

    I don't bother with cheese cos she doesn't get all that excited about it. She will sometimes eat it if I drop it on the floor. But some dogs love it. And I also use kibble in the mix, and sometimes kitten biscuits, and recently got some dried sardines from fido's fun house, which I chop into bits for training. She loves dried fish treats.

    But for getting the thing she picked up in the park traded - bread crust cubes seem best - mixed with something smelly like metwurst.

    She currently won't trade fresh sausage for anything which means I have to stay well away from the bbq area. And I have to reach down her throat to extract possum poo - so I'm thinking I should try adding these things to my treat bag so she gets bored with them. Ew.

    The airedale that comes to our park occasionally - only cares that I am willing to give him the food, and loses interest very quickly if I don't give him anything. Smart dog, I suppose.

    PS I get through a lot of those tiny zip lock snack bags and I also freeze stuff for later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Girl View Post
    As usual you have come up with some interesting homework to try out.

    I have been using skinless hot dog and chicken (I thought the skin wasn't good for them) Maybe I will try some cabanossi, which I think is similar to Metwurst.

    Thanks for your excellent suggestions.

    cheers

    Curly Girl

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