Posts

Review: Puppy Biting

My name is Julie and we are the Parsons family.  We have a 9 month old miniature schnauzer named Carli.  We’ve had Carli since she was about 4    months old.  While she is very cute, her typical puppy behavior soon became quite annoying and in some instances painful.  Since we have 2 young daughters we knew we had to get the biting, jumping, and wild puppy behavior under control.  Besides that, we wanted to have a dog we could all enjoy as a family.

We started working with Jim when Carli was 8 months old and we’re happy to say we’re well on our way to a well-behaved and enjoyable Carli.  Working with Jim it soon became apparent that we, as the owners, were the ones who really needed the training, even more so than Carli.  Jim helped us see how critical it is to establish our role as leaders and through his techniques helped me in particular develop confidence in myself to take that leadership role.  In just one lesson Jim was able to help us solve some problems such as running out the front door when someone arrives or going upstairs into the girls’ rooms to get their toys to chew on.

Jim helped us realize that part of being a leader is establishing boundaries, actual physical boundaries defining where Carli is and is not allowed, as well as boundaries for acceptable behavior.  His techniques and what I call his “bag of tricks” are effective, safe, positive, fun and easy to implement.  Even our 3 year old can get Carli to sit and wait before receiving a treat or her food.  It’s so much fun to see Carli want to do things to please us.  Thank you, Jim, for training us so we can train Carli.

chew

Is Your Dog Chewing You Out of House and Home?

Maybe you have a new puppy who chews or gnaws on everything in site? Typical right? Yes, but it’s also not necessary. Or maybe you have a grown dog that still chews everything. This can get rather expensive.

Puppies chew initially because of teething but very rapidly they chew because they’ve LEARNED to chew your stuff. Adult dogs will chew because they’re bored and also because they too have LEARNED to chew your stuff.

The best way to not have a dog that chews is to teach an alternative behavior from the very beginning of your dog’s life with you.

  • As a puppy you must teach your dog to differentiate between his stuff and your stuff. When your puppy grabs something of yours and begins to chew, do, a simple, non-emotional, no yelling, NO, OFF, remove the object and replace your object with something that is ok for the puppy to chew. But I’ve done that you’re saying and it doesn’t work. The secret is to not make a big fuss over the puppy or dog chewing the wrong thing, but make a big fuss over the puppy or dog chewing the RIGHT thing. Never, never hit a dog for chewing an inappropriate item. The more emotion and interest you put on the wrong item, the more interesting it is to the puppy or dog.
  • Set your dog or puppy up to succeed, not fail. Puppy and dog proof your house until they learn not to chew your stuff. If you leave shoes, tv remotes, kid’s toys all over the place before the puppy or dog understands not to touch, then you are continually setting the dog up to fail and you are consistently promoting learned behavior you do not want.
  • Look at how you are managing your dog’s energy. If you don’t walk your dog and the only way the dog gets rid of it’s energy is by playing in the back yard or being rowdy in the house then you get out of control behavior. If your dog uses up energy outside with no one out there to supervise behavior, the dog does not know that the outside behavior is not okay inside. Walking is important to dogs, a great way to constructively manage the dog’s energy AND if you do your walk correctly, a great way to practice your leadership role with your dog.
  • Leadership role is crucial in having a well balanced dog. Lack of leadership can cause anxiety in your dog and anxiety is handled by your dog in chewing, barking etc.. Chewing takes their mind off their anxiety.
  • Also what your dog or puppy is allowed to chew on must be interesting, fun and taste good. Not a dry bone, a rubber toy without any type of treat stuffing or interactivity that intrigues the dog.

Dogs are very much like children, they have to learn to behave appropriately. Good leadership, patience and setting your dog or puppy up to be successful takes work, but in the long run a lot less work and aggravation than not teaching your dog.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!

 

puppybite

Puppy Biting – What Not to Do… And Why

 

There are many suggestions on how to stop  puppy biting. One is that an owner should “come down hard on the puppy” and give the puppy, among other things, a “strong blow to the nose!” This sounds like something out of the dark ages. Here’s an example of how that out of date training would work. The example is based on a daughter who decides to share some fat scraps from her dinner plate with the puppy and the puppy bites her.

Behavioral science teaches us positive methods to train, correct and redirect our puppies allowing us to leave behind forever the old “school of hard knocks”. Nothing is mentioned here about setting the puppy up to succeed – not fail by simply crating the puppy during mealtimes so that you can work with the puppy in a positive way during a controlled training session, thereby avoiding physical punishment. Kids, like dogs need behavioral counseling as well, as a puppy owner you must teach the children in the household how best to interact with the puppy, i.e. “no table scraps are to be hand fed to the puppy thus avoiding the need to physically punish altogether.” There is also the added concern that if this physical punishment happens during a puppy’s critical fear imprint period, the owner could seriously compound problems that could have long term negative affects on the puppy.

Normal puppies should play-bite as they interact socially with their litter mates. But since we remove them from their litter mates too early, and bring them home, they become isolated from opportunities to continue to fine-tune their bite inhibition. We, as dog owners can allow our puppies to continue to work on bite inhibition during their very very early age (7-12 weeks) by allowing puppies to bite us ADULTS under controlled circumstances as they interact with us. Allowing puppies to bite gives them some idea of their bite strength. You use positive methods to redirect the biting. This critical information gives them a point of reference from which to work to soften their bite and then finally only lick human skin.

There is a process to go through with your puppy to stop puppy biting. . Most trainers familiar with positive reinforcement training can take you through this process so that the learning is positive for both the owners and the puppy. Puppies should always be supervised on leash around children. Here’s another interesting thing revelation from dog behaviorists. “Kids get along well with dogs when parents provide gentle and enlightened guidance to both.

When emotional and/or physical parental excesses take place, children and dogs both tend to react according to the Be-Like Act-Like (allelomimetic) principle. If a dog owner gets angry and punishes a child quite often, the dog may start getting edgy when the youngster is around him. If an owner does the same to the dog, the child may take on the role of punisher and get into trouble when the dog defends himself.” Based on this theory, if the daughter in the example, sees the parent physically punish the puppy, then she, at some point takes on the role of punisher, there is a high likelihood that the dog (being forced into defense drive) may bite the child. There are simply better positive ways to approach correcting a puppy.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your puppy, as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!

 

Jeri Wolff

Review: New Puppy Training

 My name is Jeri Wolff and I have a Bischon puppy.  I had a Bischon for about 12 years and he passed away recently so we got a a new Bischon puppy.

I called Jim because everyone I spoke to, including my vet,  said he was the best person to call for training.
I was very desperate because I was not used to having a puppy and our new puppy Budge, was quite a handful.
I called, as I said I was very desperate.

They got me in, Jim trained me, and he just worked wonders with Budge.  Jim was so calm with him and Budge responded to him and I didn’t hink Budge would respond to anybody.  He taught him how to sit, how to come,
how to stay down and he helped me with the biting issues and the nipping issues.  Budge is doing much much
better and I highly recommend Petiquette.

puppy biting girl

Puppy Training: Puppy biting what you need to know

A typical puppy biting scenario: A young child decides to share some of her food with the family’s new puppy and, with the yummy smell of food in the air, the puppy takes the food biting the child in the process.

Now my guess is that this senario plays out all too frequently in homes with new puppies. Some trainers would have you “pop the puppy on the nose!”

Compared to positive training methods used today by many mainstream trainers, this is a crude, ancient technique from days gone by. Fortunately, current behavioral science allows us to leave these antiquated methods behind forever while giving us positive methods to train, correct and redirect our
new puppies.

You should also be aware that if physical pain like popping on the nose happens during a puppy’s critical fear imprint period, such trauma can cause problems that could have long term negative effects on the puppy.

As the above example illustrates, children also need “behavioral counseling” as well. Kids should be taught for example, “no table scraps are to be hand fed to the dog.”

So using the example above, what could have worked in this example instead of setting the puppy up to bite?

The puppy could have been crated during mealtime avoiding the incident altogether. You could also ask yourself, “what would you prefer your puppy to do during mealtime?”

Would you prefer perhaps for the puppy to go to his dog bed and lie down while you eat dinner? While this may be a lofty goal for a young puppy, it is a reasonable goal and one that should be worked on early.

Remember, while puppies can learn fast, reliability only comes with maturity and experience. So you will have to do your homework and practice. Always set your puppy up to succeed.

Another school of thought on puppy biting is that if puppies are never allowed to bite at all, they never have any idea of their bite strength.

It is normal for puppies to bite as they interact with their littermates thus giving them the opportutnity to work on bite inhibition and begin to read body language and communicate with their littermates.

As new puppy owners, you can, during their very very early age (7-12 weeks), work on and fine tune your puppy’s bite inhibition by allowing them to bite us ADULTS in supervised exercises to work specifically on no biting.

This critical information based on how you react during the exercise,  gives them a point of reference from which to work to soften their bite to where they only lick human skin.

There is a process for this that allows you to keep the exercise positive for both two and four legged pack members. Most trainers with positive reinforcement training experience can take you through this process.

But one thing is certain: You will have a more harmonious outcome supervising your puppy in the house around children if you teach “no bite”. And, it’s not a bad idea even if you don’t have kids.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your puppy as you are with the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Jim Burwell

 



Bookmark & Share

Puppy Biting Too Hard?

Puppies are generally taken from the litter at 7 to 8 weeks of age. This time with its litter mates is critical as it is used to help puppies learn to read body language and signals with it’s littermates through play and interaction. Signals like, let’s play or too rough or back off please!

Good breeders do not take their puppies from the litter too soon because they are aware of the importance of this time needed for socialization and puppy training so that prospective owners don’t wind up having puppy behavioral problems.

Responsible owners wait until the optimum age to get a puppy and then immediately begin their puppy training in the home. Smaller dog breeds like terriers or toy pups should stay in the litter until 8 to 12 weeks. A little research along with the following note worthy facts and you may have a better understanding of why your puppy is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

* Fact: It is common to frequently see aggression develop in dogs that were removed from their mother and litter mates between the ages of 2 to 6 weeks.

* Fact: A lack of experience in the socialization process with littermates and other puppies can lead to fearful behavior and possibly defensive aggression. Puppy training and socialization with other puppies is critical.

* Fact: This same aggressive behavior is also seen in dogs that are brought home at 8 weeks of age but are never taken out for environmentally rich experiences like meeting and playing with other puppies and dogs, walks in parks and the neighborhood and proper training when it comes to meeting people and children.

* Fact: These dogs automatically opt to use defensive aggressive behavior as their only tool when first communicating with other dogs.

If adequate puppy training, desensitization and socialization is started as early as possible after the puppy is brought home, many puppies can learn to develop the critical social skills they need to lead productive and positive social lives interacting very well with other puppies and adult dogs. Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog, as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!

Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

Puppy Biting/Nipping. Are You At Your Wit’s End???

Puppies are generally taken from the litter at 7 to 8 weeks of age. This time with its litter mates is critical as it is used to help puppies learn to read body language and signals with it’s littermates through play and interaction. Signals like, “lets play,”  “too rough!”, or “back off
please!” 

Good breeders do not take their puppies from the litter too soon because they are aware of the importance of this time needed for socialization and puppy training so that prospective owners don’t wind up having puppy behavioral problems (like puppy biting).

Responsible owners wait until the optimum age to get a puppy and then immediately begin their puppy training in the home. Smaller dog breeds like terriers or toy pups should stay in the litter until 8 to 12 weeks. A little research along with the following note worthy facts and you may have a better understanding of why your puppy is exhibiting aggressive behavior.
Fact: It is common to frequently see aggression develop in dogs that were removed from their mother and litter mates between the ages of 2 to 6 weeks.

Fact: A lack of experience in the socialization process with littermates and other puppies can lead to fearful behavior and possibly defensive aggression. Puppy training and socialization with other puppies is critical.

Fact: This same aggressive behavior is also seen in dogs that are brought home at 8 weeks of age but are never taken out for environmentally rich experiences like meeting and playing with other puppies and dogs, walks in parks and the neighborhood and proper training when it comes to meeting people and children.

Fact: These dogs automatically opt to use defensive aggressive behavior as their only tool when first communicating with other dogs.

If adequate puppy training, desensitization and socialization is started as early as possible after puppy is brought home, many puppies can learn to develop the critical social skills they need to lead productive and positive social lives interacting very well with other puppies and adult dogs.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children.  And remember Opportunity Barks!    

 

Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

Does Your Puppy Growl When You Come Near It’s Food?

I recently started puppy lessons with a client who has a 3 month old female terrier. This is a great puppy except for one thing. This puppy is already, at 12 weeks of age, guarding her food bowl and resource guarding stuffed Kongs.

One of my client’s young sons was bitten on the hand as he innocently reached down to pet his puppy. Those razor sharp teeth can be pretty lethal.  The puppy thought the child was going to take her Kong and defended her “rightful” possession.

Historically dogs expended a lot of predatory energy finding food and so they have developed strong instincts to guard things of value – food, space, toys you (the love and affection you provide.)
While you don’t see this very often, it can occur and will usually occur in the more strong willed, leader type puppies. Being a terrier, along with the strong willed temperament, just raised the bar of concern a little higher.
This type of behavior should raise a very large red flag that this is a growing problem which needs addressing immediately.  So what do you do to get this under control?

In addition to putting this puppy on a learn-to-earn program – that is earning everything by doing sits and downs, there are specific exercises to do to work on “resource guarding.”  We put the pup on my 5 Step – 30 day Food Bowl Guarding Program – a progressive program beginning with hand feeding the puppy next to her empty food bowl and progressing from there.

The next exercise is designed to teach the puppy to release a high value article (chew bone or Kong Toy) on a command like “Drop it!”, “Release!” or “Give!”  This too is a progressive exercise program.

We first get the puppy to release her end of a shared, high value article and then progress to releasing the article on command –  once she takes 100% possession of the article. The puppy must not aggressively guard the article once dropped.

They have a long way to go with their puppy but with consistency and repetition, by as many family members that can participate in these supervised and controlled exercises, the benefits will provide the family with a lifetime of good memories with a great family dog.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children.  And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Jim Burwell, Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

12 Week Old Puppy Hell

I was trying to a be a nice guy!  I took in a client’s 12 week old puppy to keep for a week (while she was away) and to do some training.  He’s male, HIGH energy and very very full of himself.  He bites, barks for attention and jumps on us and our dogs relentlessly – and that’s the short list!  Sound like a puppy you might know?

All of our dogs are older and well socialized so I decided to send the pup to “Sammy’s School of Socialization”  (Sammy is our 5 yr. old black lab we found abandoned under a truck at 7 wks of age).  The pup was to learn to respect the space of other dogs and to better read their body language that says “Bug off!  You’re a pain in the butt!”  He tested ALL the dogs – one at a time and got rejected by all, because his play was to too rough.

This new puppy is starting to learn his lessons from not only our black lab Sammy, who turns around and walks away from the rowdy puppy, but he’s learning from our other dogs as well.  Our youngest small dog (a 3yr old terrier mix) ran back into the house and refuses to play with the puppy because of his relentless biting, jumping and rough play.  This puppy desperately wants to engage our dogs in friendly play and is learning a valuable lesson.  Play too rough and nobody here will play with you.

Remember, dogs do what works.  The lesson here is actually being given to us by our dogs.  Don’t act right and what you want goes away!  So put some human ingenuity into this with your puppy and use Sammy’s School of Socialization tactics and tame your rowdy puppy.

We have lots of great tips on training your puppy.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Jim Burwell, Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

Puppy Training

Puppy Biting – What NOT To Do

I recently read a blog posted by dog trainer,G.D. Williams, on how to correct puppy biting.  I must say that I was absolutely appalled at the suggestion that an owner should “come down hard on the puppy” and give the puppy, among other things, a “strong blow to the nose!”  This sounds like something out of the dark ages.

The example given was based on a daughter who decided to share some fat scraps from her dinner plate with the puppy and the puppy bit her.  Behavioral science teaches us positive methods to train, correct and redirect our puppies allowing us to leave behind forever the old “school of hard knocks”.

Puppy Training

Nothing was mentioned about setting the puppy up to succeed – not fail by simply crating the puppy during mealtimes so that you can work with the puppy in a positive way during a controlled training session, thereby avoiding physical punishment.

While Williams did mention that kids,  like dogs need behavioral counseling as well, there was no mention made of teaching the children in the household how best to interact with the puppy, i.e. “no table scraps are to be hand fed to the puppy thus avoiding the need to physically punish altogether.”  There is also the added concern that if this physical punishment happens during a puppy’s critical fear imprint period, the owner could seriously compound problems that could have long term negative affects on the puppy.

Normal puppies should play-bite as they interact socially with their litter mates.  But since we remove them from their litter mates too early, and bring them home, they become isolated from opportunities to continue to fine-tune their bite inhibition.  We, as dog owners can allow our puppies to continue to work on bite inhibition during their very very early age (7-12 weeks) by allowing puppies to bite us ADULTS under controlled circumstances as they interact with us.  Allowing puppies to bite gives them some idea of their bite strength.  You use positive methods to redirect the biting.  This critical information gives them a point of reference from which to work to soften their bite and then finally only lick human skin.

There is a process to go through with your puppy to accomplish this.  Most trainers familiar with positive reinforcement training can take you through this process so that the learning is positive for both the owners and the puppy.  Puppies should always be supervised on leash around children.

Here’s another interesting thing I’ve learned over the years from dog behaviorists.  I don’t know if I can quote verbatim so I’ll try and paraphrase as best I can.  It goes something like this.

“Kids get along well with dogs when parents provide gentle and enlightened guidance to both.  When emotional and/or physical parental excesses take place, children and dogs both tend to react according to the Be-Like Act-Like (allelomimetic) principle.  If a dog owner gets angry and punishes a child quite often, the dog may start getting edgy when the youngster is around him.  If an owner does the same to the dog, the child may take on the role of punisher and get into trouble when the dog defends himself.”

Based on this theory, if the daughter in the example, sees the parent physically punish the puppy, then she, at some point takes on the role of punisher, there is a high likelihood that the dog (being forced into defense drive)may bite the child.  There are simply better positive ways to approach correcting a puppy.

Until next time, be as concerned about the trainer of your puppy, as you are about the teacher of your children.  And remember, Opportunity Barks!

Jim Buwell, founder Jim Burwell’s Petiquette