Posts filed under ‘Nipping’

Biting and Growling Jack Russell Terrier

Mayo is an English Jack Russell. He is 6 months old and has already snapped at 2 people. He often growls when someone goes to pick him up and he might growl if you try to take something away from him. The scary part is that he growls at the 2 little girls that he shares his life with. On the other hand he is adorable.

Mayo showing off the Fall Colors

Mayo showing off the Fall Colors

Loves to play games with the family and is very happy. The good part is that Mayo’s family is awesome. In fact I would hate to see if anyone else had him as I am sure he could be a big problem.

When he was very young around 10 weeks old, they hired me to do a puppy consultation. Mayo or should I say the family were shown how to teach him to walk on a loose leash, sit, sit-stay, down and come. The family really got on board and practiced all exercises. They were also very good at putting in place the suggested structures. Unfortunately, four weeks later I received a call that Mayo was starting to growl, so I went back. Upon arriving I was quite impressed that the family were practicing all the obedience exercises. In that regards he was doing great. The problem arose when one of the little girls went to pick him up. He would growl. So I told them about time out and discussed several other options. I also went over the calming or settle command.

The puppy is now 6 months old and is a little better, but will still occasionally growl. On top of it he tried to bite 2 people and is still struggling with housebreaking. So he went off to Bonny’s bootcamp.

When I went to pick him up, I could see he was very nervous about me being in his house. He would run around playing with his toys, but would always keep one eye on me. To be honest allot of his aggressive behavior is based on fear. Once again when a dog is afraid they will either flee or fight. Jack Russells for the most part don’t flee.

Once I got him home he wanted to attack and bite my dogs. Even my 15 year old Labrador Retriever (Eclipse). So I spent a good half hour acclimating him to my 3 dogs. He finally was okay with them, but still cautious. The funny part is that despite the fact that after several meetings and accepting them. When I let him outside at night in the dark. He once again tried to bite my dogs. Don’t think little kids are the only ones who think that there are boogie men in the closet.

I spent the first 2 days improving his obedience skills. I also worked on teaching him to ring the bell to go outside. The next step was socializing him by taking him places. Our first field trip was to Pet Supplies plus in Royal Oak.

Who is faster a Turtle or a Jack Russell?

Who is faster a Turtle or a Jack Russell?

He did great with the obedience exercises in this distractive environment, but we were also there to socialize him. So I started having everyone give him cookies. The good part is that he would run up to people to take the cookies, but as even one of the staff noted. “That he seemed very nervous.” I kept the visit very short as I didn’t want to stress him out. The next day I took him again to the store and now he felt very comfortable and greeted many people. The next trip was downtown Rochester and once again he was nervous. It wasn’t hard to have people give him cookies as he is so cute. After a while he relaxed and stopped trying to bark at everything that he perceived as fearful. The more I take him around people the more relaxed he gets.

Upon one of the visits to the pet stores we were faced with his aggressive reactions to other dogs. A dog came over to say hello and he tried to attack the dog. So off we went to get him socialized around other dogs. He seems very comfortable being around little dogs his own size as he can try to dominate them. Bigger dogs make him nervous. He is making progress. To be honest in the beginning he wouldn’t even play with my dogs.

Mayo with Coco and Bella a foster dog

Mayo with Coco and Bella a foster dog

His first friend was a more submissive Golden Retriever named Coco. He did try to snap at her first and after corrected quickly warmed up to her. Mayo and Coco now play very nicely together.

I have 2 more days with her. I plan to continue to socialize her and to work on some of her other issues. Such as when she has something in her mouth and you go to take it away from her. She will growl. Housebreaking is another. Yesterday she actually ran to the bell. Rang it and as soon as I took her outside she peed for quite some time. Of course the hardest part is when she goes home, but I have full confidence that his family will follow through

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October 2, 2011 at 11:07 am 1 comment

Working with a jumping dog and nipping dog named Maui

Maui is a beautiful sensitive dog who knows how to manipulate the situation for his own amusement. I know he is supposedly part Golden and American Eskimo, but part of me thinks that maybe he might also have some Australian Shepherd in him. The way his back legs look reminds me of the back legs of an Australian Shepherd and he has the tendency to try to nip at your ankles just like the other Australian Shepherd I have worked with.

He is a little of a challenge to train in the fact that he actually likes getting into trouble. He feels this is how to get your attention and to feel needed. Yet if you correct him he may submissive urinate.  Another problem that Maui has is that he is a very high energy dog. I am very glad that you signed up to take him to the dog park. I really think this or taking him to doggy day care a couple times a week is going to help. I know you have been taking him for 2 to 3 walks a day, but this still isn’t the same type of exercise that he will get by running full out for an hour. The good news is that he plays very well with my dogs. Occasionally he has to be corrected for trying to hump my girls, but they do a very good job of telling him off. Otherwise he does very well.

Jumping, manipulating or controlling the situation is one of his biggest problems.

You want Me to do What?

You want Me to do What?

As soon as you try to put a leash on him or try to tell him to do something he doesn’t want to (like come into the house after playing.) Lets Go, sit stay etc. He tends to try to control you by taking his paw wrapping it around the leash and or jump on you.

Maui jumping

Maui jumping

He also occasionally takes the leash in his mouth. As you know the first thing that I am doing is working on teaching him to walk on a loose leash. Now walking doesn’t mean that he can grab the leash or jump on me. Let’s Go means GO. If he starts to jump he is corrected and I of course keep walking. The good news is that he is jumping less and less. He is now really only trying the nipping at the ankles during the witching time 7:30 – 8:00 at night.

"Lets Go" means GO!

"Lets Go" means GO!

So I am making sure that I work him at this time. The reason that dogs act up around this time is a natural carry over from survival. If you think about it, when do predators hunt for food? In the morning and evening, so dogs are more energetic at these times.

On Friday I started walking him off-leash in the backyard and he is not doing to bad. At the same time we are also doing many sit & down stays.

Maui on a Sit Stay!

Maui on a Sit Stay!

This week is when he will be accompanying me to many of my clients. By doing this we are following the natural progression of learning. That is you first need to teach them, than use this in your day to day routine (Proofing it under many circumstances) and finally you expect it.  I’ll give you another update in a couple of days. He is coming when called 80% of the time now and I still need to teach him place. Place is where you send them to their dog bed and they have to lay down and stay. This way you can actually invite guests into your house and they don’t have to worry about being run over by Maui. After they have said hello to you and they are dog people, then you can released him.

May 11, 2010 at 2:17 am 3 comments


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