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Thread: My dog bit me...

  1. #31
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    Honestly, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply
    Hyacinth I tried to send you a personal note but it won't allow me to send due to your inbox being full (Full of thank yous no doubt!)
    Reading through my thread today I can see I was definitely stressed and probably a little emotional and I appreciate the effort you have all made

    Had a really, really good weekend with Gracie
    LOTS of play, lots of cuddles and adventures

    From the moment I got home on Friday evening things changed. It's kind of funny really, I thought I was being strict (too strict) but with a few small changes and additional rules, even after the weekend I can see a HUGE difference in her overall behaviour already.

    Any sort mouthing, nipping or curious biting is being met with a stern reaction - a yell and a quick smack to the nose or more effectively being dragged outside and only let in again once she is calm and earns her way back in (sit, shake, roll over, whatever). If she tries it again she's straight back out there whereas recently we would usually have given her a chance to stop the incorrect behaviours before punishing her. How silly we now feel! We've also decided she's no longer allowed on the couch, something that will take a little while for her to get used to but as I said we can already notice a difference. Instead of walking inside and jumping up on the couch and all over us all the time, she will come inside... sniff the couch and look around at me for approval/disapproval. All of this seems to be helping with her general 'hanging out' with us. Instead of jumping up every few minutes for attention etc. she seems quite happy to lay on the floor and have a nap or chew on whatever toy smells the worst. I must admit, my nights of watching football into the early hours of the morning won't be the same without her sleeping on my chest but I'm sure we'll get to the point where I can invite her onto the couch for Everton games.

    As for her feeding, I see a few people disagree and say I should leave her be, but I truly believe I should be able to walk in and take whatever I want from her. What if she's eating something dangerous? (Allah forbid, a toad!) I've been hand feeding her as suggested. Giving her a handful, holding the food bowl, hand feeding her more, putting the bowl down and sitting with her. I even got a pat in this morning while she chomped away. It seems to be working a treat

    I do have a couple of further questions if I may...

    While ignoring behaviours we want her to stop (pushing her toys onto us, attention seeking and so on) she is beginning to bark bark bark bark at me, At the moment I'm ignoring her entirely, folding my arms and looking away but she can carry on for quite a while before she gets the idea... am I doing the right thing by ignoring her? Or should I be reprimanding her immediately for this as well? I sort of thought we'd work on one or two things at a time, stop her from biting and jumping all over the couch and then work on the barking but she is a very smart animal and can surely handle numerous lessons?

    At the dog park yesterday while drinking from the dog bowls - an older dog came up to the tap to try and either take the water bowl from her, or share the bowl. This lovely old dog was met with a growl, a snap and being chased away (a rottweiler cross no less!) by Gracie. Should I put an end to this or should I let the dogs work out their hierarchy for themselves? Neither seemed bothered after the fact and she is often put back in her place by other dogs at the dog park
    I just worry because I saw her trying to guard the water bowl with her body, shielding it and looking at the other dogs from the corner of her eyes, seemingly waiting to snap - obviously not something I want to bring home


    Again, thank you guys! I can see the change in her already!

    photo_zps96691187.jpg

  2. #32
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    Any sort mouthing, nipping or curious biting is being met with a stern reaction - a yell and a quick smack to the nose or more effectively being dragged outside and only let in again once she is calm and earns her way back in
    You've had quite a selection of different advice from us. Nekhbet is the professional trainer. The rest of us are amateurs. I follow Susan Garrett and Bob Bailey methods mostly and like to avoid reprimands - mostly because my dog completely fails to connect me being angry with her with anything she did. She just rolls over and acts like jelly or avoids me - so it's not good for our relationship. Some dogs handle it better than that. But often the dog doesn't figure out what they need to be doing instead. Hence my option of pushing - because the dog gets very clear idea that putting their mouth on me isn't fun and doesn't get what they want. It's more direct. If you could slap the dog on the nose while their mouth was on your other hand - that might work but it might hurt you too.

    I tried it once with my dog and she didn't come near me for days. And I didn't slap that hard either. Any dog that is violent towards her - she also avoids. That's how she deals with it.

    You've worked out already that putting her away from you is more effective. I would also do that for the barking. It's good to have a sequence that warns her that if she doesn't stop - then outside is where she's going to be next, ie she will work out that barking makes you turn away and ignore her - then put her out. So she will either become harder to catch or she will stop barking. If she does stop barking - that has to be rewarded to help her make the connection - praise is probably the best reward option - food reward in this situation - with my dog will lead to her barking - then stopping in expectation of the food reward.

    So I did teach her to bark on command. which helps teach her to bark quietly because I started marking (yes) and rewarding the pre-bark growly thing the dog does just before it barks... so now I have a (happy) growl on command, which I can up to a bark by saying "louder"... and then I can say "enough" when she stops... and if she barks more I ignore and she knows the game is over. If she keeps barking then she's in the crate and I cover it up. I don't wish her barking on the neighbours and there are lots of fun things out there to bark at - so the barking becomes it's own reward in the back yard.

    Of course that's my dog. Your dog might need you around to feel the joy of barking. And just stay by the back door doing nothing much until you let her back in.

  3. #33
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    Any sort mouthing, nipping or curious biting is being met with a stern reaction - a yell and a quick smack to the nose or more effectively being dragged outside and only let in again once she is calm and earns her way back in
    You've had quite a selection of different advice from us. Nekhbet is the professional trainer. The rest of us are amateurs. I follow Susan Garrett and Bob Bailey methods mostly and like to avoid reprimands - mostly because my dog completely fails to connect me being angry with her with anything she did. She just rolls over and acts like jelly or avoids me - so it's not good for our relationship. Some dogs handle it better than that. But often the dog doesn't figure out what they need to be doing instead. Hence my option of pushing - because the dog gets very clear idea that putting their mouth on me isn't fun and doesn't get what they want. It's more direct. If you could slap the dog on the nose while their mouth was on your other hand - that might work but it might hurt you too.

    I tried it once with my dog and she didn't come near me for days. And I didn't slap that hard either. Any dog that is violent towards her - she also avoids. That's how she deals with it.

    You've worked out already that putting her away from you is more effective. I would also do that for the barking. It's good to have a sequence that warns her that if she doesn't stop - then outside is where she's going to be next, ie she will work out that barking makes you turn away and ignore her - then put her out. So she will either become harder to catch or she will stop barking. If she does stop barking - that has to be rewarded to help her make the connection - praise is probably the best reward option - food reward in this situation - with my dog will lead to her barking - then stopping in expectation of the food reward.

    So I did teach her to bark on command. which helps teach her to bark quietly because I started marking (yes) and rewarding the pre-bark growly thing the dog does just before it barks... so now I have a (happy) growl on command, which I can up to a bark by saying "louder"... and then I can say "enough" when she stops... and if she barks more I ignore and she knows the game is over. If she keeps barking then she's in the crate and I cover it up. I don't wish her barking on the neighbours and there are lots of fun things out there to bark at - so the barking becomes it's own reward in the back yard.

    Of course that's my dog. Your dog might need you around to feel the joy of barking. And just stay by the back door doing nothing much until you let her back in.

  4. #34
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    I'd love it if pushing worked with her. If I push her away she thinks it's a big game and gets excited. Much like the water bottle method.
    With the nose smacking it's not so much a smack to punish but more a call to attention to accompany the yell. Not hard, just a *bop* on the nose with a few fingers and a NO!!!
    Which is strange that it works because that is the method I used when I first brought her home and it had little to no effect at her on all and led me to trying anything and everything else
    I guess now that she's a little older she can better grasp the concept. But yes, getting up and putting her outside at any sign of teeth achieves the best results
    Just sucks I'm forever up and down up and down up and down!

    I'll work on the barking. It seems to be a last resort for her thankfully.

  5. #35
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    We may be amateurs but lots of us know what works with dogs we have or have had so to my mind it is good to get any input then you can choose or discard any ideas that you feel may or may not be useful in your unique situation.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  6. #36
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    Definitely
    One thing I have learnt (and wish I discovered much sooner) is to do what works best for you and the animal
    Not necessarily what the masses say you're 'supposed' to do - hell, that's what got me into this bother in the first place!

  7. #37
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    If I push her away she thinks it's a big game and gets excited.
    That's not what I described. I meant when she's got her mouth around your hand, you push your hand very slowly and gently deeper into her mouth towards the back of her throat.

    Every dog I know who has grabbed me, will spit me out when I do this. I don't think I'd do it to a dog that was fighting, well I might depending on what other options I had.

    Push back and run is a recall game for dog training so I can imagine she'd get excited about that. My dog does too. Ie I start with her next to me and push back on her chest then take off running forwards... very excited dog. Helps to have a tug for her to grab onto when you're playing that game. Ie something that is ok for them to grab instead of you.

    I found yelping and taping and saying no - did not discourage my dog's biting at all. Just got her more excited - because it was attention.

    I think your dog might be a super fast learner so the more consistent you are now about it the faster she will learn and the longer she will remember. Just try to be as boring as possible (no talking to the dog, no eye contact) when you put her out so that doesn't become part of the fun for her.

    I suppose my comment about amateur and professional dog trainers wasn't quite right, cos Cesar Milan is a professional and I've got no respect for his methods at all, especially when other people with less skilful timing try them. All I see is a frightened and shutdown dog.

    I agree with Di Dee - you have to pick and choose from our advice and be totally consistent in applying your choice.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    That's not what I described. I meant when she's got her mouth around your hand, you push your hand very slowly and gently deeper into her mouth towards the back of her throat.

    Every dog I know who has grabbed me, will spit me out when I do this. I don't think I'd do it to a dog that was fighting, well I might depending on what other options I had.
    Ahh I see, this makes sense! Sounds like it would be more effective than when I used to push my thumb down underneath her tongue, which made her bite harder

    The last thing I want to do is break Gracie's 'spirit', that is what I'm most concerned about and why we tried less forceful methods to begin with
    100% positive reinforcement just seemed to give her an inch so she would take a yard, as they say

    Thanks guys!
    (I'm now addicted to this forum)

  9. #39
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    Sorry I am late to the party here but everything has already been said by others
    smarter and more experienced than I am.

    Just remember some "principles" for want of a better word

    Do - be firm and consistent (your partner also)
    - have a routine for her
    - reward good/calm behaviour at every opportunity
    - speak quietly (she will listen even more attentively)
    - control her access to certain areas/rooms at given times of day (routine)
    - feed by hand whenever possible (teach a "soft mouth")
    - be aware of triggers for nutjob behaviour. Distract her
    - get an old/cheap lead and cut it very short, tie 2 knots in it
    (she can wear this all the time and easy to grab if need be)

    A dog with a Good Leader is happy and feels secure, she does not need to
    make her own decisions as you will make them for her.

    I would leave the dog park off the agenda for the moment.
    Just walk her around town, can you play running or jumping games in your yard?

  10. #40
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    Thanks chubbsecurity! (your name reminds me of my childhood on the Sunshine Coast)


    Quote Originally Posted by chubbsecurity View Post
    - speak quietly (she will listen even more attentively)
    - control her access to certain areas/rooms at given times of day (routine)
    I particularly like these two points
    Speaking quietly works great, she does pay more attention - as though she's waiting for a command which I've not often seen from her

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