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Training a Dog Not to Jump and Bite

My small black female toy Poodle, Lucy, that we picked up from a rescue centre a month ago keeps on biting my jumpers. The 4-year-old dog is now getting very aggressive with me. What should I do?

By Anita

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February 19, 20150 found this helpful

It's typical of toy breeds to become aggressive, especially if they are rescues. This is a matter of psychology.

People have a hard time disciplining very small dogs because they're so cute. The fact that the dog is a rescue makes it harder, because you might worry that the dog was treated badly in the past.

This is a problem, however, because the inability to be stern makes you weak. Dogs are predators and sense weakness, and they attack weakness.

Discipline is not abuse, so rid yourself of fears that being stern with your dog will cause psychological harm. It won't. The dog is not a puppy or an invalid. It's an adult dog.

Cultivate a stern tone of voice and a more upright posture when dealing with these issues. The dog will know when you don't really "mean it."

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Don't let the dog get away with things, such as taking food from your plate. Never chase the dog to get something back. When the dog takes something of yours, say "Drop it!"

The biting can be solved a similar way. Say "Stop it!" and hold your posture until the dog sits and puts its ears back. Make it drop the hem of your clothes. Never pull back or pull the hem away.

Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. A four year old dog may require more play and walking time than it's getting. Just because it's small doesn't mean that it can sit in someone's lap all day. Make sure the dog has toys, but also that you play with the dog and walk it every day. Some of the aggression could be just stress from lack of activity.

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