Puppy is Acting Naughty

My dog is getting very feisty. He jumps, snaps things out of my hand, nips at my fingers (which hurts), chews on wood and anything else, tears pillows off sofa, chewed my curtains, and even chewed some pictures. He is 6 months old. I love him and hate the idea of giving him away. That would not solve the problem. Any suggestions? Please help.

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By iruiz27 from TX

May 11, 20090 found this helpful

Don't allow him to bite you! Tell him NO very sharply and thump him on the nose. Give him his own toys to play with and don't give him old socks or any of your clothing or shoes. He can't tell what's old (his) and new (yours). He needs some more activity and play. If he gets too over stimulated crate him for awhile so he can calm down. He probably needs more outside time if he's tearing up your sofa.

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

Crate the little dear in a wire crate when you cannot watch him. This prevents the pup from starting bad habits. Go to leerburg.com and read the free articles and listen to the podcasts and e-books on house training and other training. This is an excellent site for any dog owner. Dogs hate crates at first..some love them, but they have to stay while you are away, or can't watch them, or their natural exuberance along with their lack of knowledge of house rules will ruin all your furniture and impact your loving relationship with your darling puppy.

Give the darling a hug from me. Also check out the training with markers streaming video on leerburg.com. It is great!

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May 12, 20090 found this helpful

Most pups do this at one stage or another. Remember to not pet the dog until you call it to you and start making it behave by not giving it its food until it is calm. Don't give it any treats unless you hold it closed in your hand. Keep hold of the treat and say firmly :take it nice: then if he starts to grab it too roughly thump his nose lightly but not so light he doesn't feel it and say :Take it nice: again, with more agitation. If he doesn't take it nice ignore him and walk off. Ask him to do something for you a few minutes later and reward him for it. This is setting him up for success.

Most puppies are just not normal if they don't go through this stage to some degree. Don't leave toys out for him. You decide w hen to play and you put them up. Take him aside when he is feeling good and hold about twenty small pieces of cut up hot dog, cooked by not hot, about the size of a green pea (this will take many repetitions up to thirty for stubborn dogs...) up above his nose. If you are lucky he might sit immediately to keep the treat in view. At that very second click with your mouth and give him one piece of hot dog. Do it several more times or as many as you like. If he likes the game give him as much as he will perform for. Leave him wanting for more....end before he gets bored or too tired.

Read on clicker training, it is so fun. You don't even have to have a clicker, just click with your mouth at just the minute of the action is finished. This is a fun bonding excersise too. Also make him sit before playing, eating, getting petted, etc once he learns this. Happy bonding!

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

My dog is a rascal too. I don't like to hit him, I use a spray bottle with plain water in it. He hates to be sprayed & will stop whatever he is doing wrong when he sees the bottle come out. You need to break him of the nipping, as he could hurt a child. Please try the water spray. Good luck.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

A tired dog is a good dog. Take him for a walk, or throw a ball. He is young and full of energy. You must teach and help him release that energy in an appropriate way.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

You definitely don't need to give the dog away. He is like a child that needs to taught what behavior is expected. Start with basic obedience which should make him see you as the leader or boss. After he understands basic obedience you can tweek it to meet his individual behaviors. Crate training is also and excellent idea.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

Of course he will misbehave until he's taught how to behave appropriately. You need to let him know that YOU are in charge. Every time he nips or bites, tell him firmly 'NO BITE!' You need to be consistent and say it every single time. He will learn pretty quickly. Dogs are intelligent. Don't thump him on the nose or hit him at all. Just tell him 'NO BITE.' When he obeys, give him a tiny treat and praise him. Positive reinforcement works wonders. Be sure to take him for long walks every day. He needs to get rid of some of that energy in order to behave better also.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Iruiz27, Plz don't "spray it with water or thump him on the nose". How would you like it if every time you made a 'mistake" someone did that to "you"? You might like to check out this website http://www.drdog.com/

Sounds like he needs more "exercise" to burn off that energy. Needs to be walked "every" day for at least 30-45 minutes. The level of exercise will be determined by the dawgs breed, size, etc.etc. There's ton's of info out there on how to train your beast, much of it is good...and some not so good. Do not hit, scare, berate your pet, all of it's training can be accomplished with positive reinforcement.

Remember...if he's doing something "bad" do not bribe him to stop with a treat or snack, that will just reinforce the "bad" behaviour. In essence you're rewarding "bad behaviour".

Like Cesar Milan says.."dogs need to be rehabilitated and "people" need to be trained. Good luck!

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful

(Submitted via email)

How can I thank everyone (at the same time) for all the super great tips on how to handle my puppy? Some are really great and I am already using them.

Isabel R.

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something."

~ Helen Keller

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May 20, 20090 found this helpful

(Submitted via email)

Thanks everyone for the tips. I am using the "clicker" method and it seems to be working. I also had to tie the dogs outside. My Chihuahua is not the problem, but they run off together. I am in the process of building a new fence and that will help because I have a big lot and they can run freely. For the past week I have not worked so my BB (the naughty one) has been rather nice. He will try, but once I say "no!", he stops. He stays close to me. I truly feel sad that I had to tie them up, but I could not afford a cage.

I did try the water misting and the thump, and BB did not stop, actually he bit my fingers! I stopped that method, which seemed to rattle him a bit.

As for walking, that is not an option right now. I could use the exercise, too. But the reason I am home is because I fell and am in a lot of pain, so I can't walk or sit for too long --- pinched nerve. I took several weeks off and will try to stay in bed as long as I can, and still take care of the pups. Any home remedies?

Isabel R.

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something." ~ Helen Keller

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