Posts filed under ‘Solving Dog behavior problems’

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

October 2, 2011 at 11:07 am 1 comment

Second Training Session with Buster, Gus, Nina and now Mattie

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Wednesday training session:

It is amazing how each dog (just like people.) have there own individual personality and how this affects how they learn. This is why it is so important to socialize and train a puppy right from the start.

Buster is an absolute gem. He is loving, wants to please, but afraid to do anything. He would rather just lean on you if you are close. Control you by putting his paw on your foot. If he can’t be right next to you than he would rather lie down in a corner or run from you. If you go to him, he will show you his belly (submit) and than not want you to leave him. He is very needy of reassurance and love. So I spent most of the session working with Buster. Because of his insecurities and fear he has a problem with sit stay. He will now sit, but stay! Buster thinks, “If I have to stay and Bonny leaves me, than I can’t run away.” I call these dogs Henny Penny dogs. They think the sky is going to fall on their heads and so they want to run and hide. If you can get these types of dogs to do a sit stay with you away from them. Then they start to trust you, trust the circumstance they are in and trust themselves.

Buster doing a sit stay

Look at me I can Sit and stay with out you by my side!

By the end of our session I was finally able to, not only get her to stay at the end of the 6 foot leash but; have the leash on the ground and be about 10 feet away.

Gus on the other hand decided that he didn’t want to do anything. Last time he would sit and stay. This time when I said told him to sit he acted deaf. He even struggled with stay. His session was short and we quit as soon as he completed this simple task.

Nina is making remarkable improvement.  She seems to have gained more confidence. She is more trusting and more willing to sit on her own. We worked on sit stay and she did great. We also worked on having her come to me and sit. She was very receptive.

Today I also had a session with Mattie. Mattie is an Australian Cattle Dog mix. Who is about 7 months old and is all puppy.  She is just one happy go lucky dog who wants to run, play and JUMP.

Can you come out and play

Can you come out to Play!!

Mattie was spayed last week so my training was short. She was taught to walk on a loose leash by my side (heel) and we worked on her jumping. Of course I had to yell at the people who are taking care of her as they will pet her while she jumps on them. Dog training often involves more people training than dog training.

April 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm 1 comment

Meet TUCKER a Rescue Dog in Training

Meet Tucker, a rescue dog in training

Continue Reading March 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to Alternative Canine Training’s Blog (A.C.T.) Here you will find useful tips on how to achieve the perfect dog and how to solve behavior problems once and forever! Behavior problems such as housebreaking, jumping, barking, digging, stealing food, running away, aggression, separation anxiety and much more. As an added bonus you will learn how to speak to your dog in the language they understand. The exciting part is that you can follow along specific cases. See how individual dogs went from terrorist to loving members of society. Of course we always appreciate your comments and feedback.

My own personal mission statement has always been that all I ever wanted to do is train dogs and help people. Alternative Canine Training’s mission statement is that we want you to have a well trained dog that you can take anywhere, under any circumstance.Through this blog we hope to accomplish both missions.

A.C.T.’s blog will be both entertaining and educational for every dog owner. Look for upcoming posts!

February 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm 2 comments


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