puppy fear, aggression, or? (about a toy), also "nipping attacks" - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default puppy fear, aggression, or? (about a toy), also "nipping attacks"

So I picked up a "magic mushroom" treat/kibble puzzle toy today thinking it would be great to help Bruno work off some mental energy. I put it on the floor and all he wanted to do was bark and growl and run around it like it was trying to get him or something. Somehow I didn't think that's how it was supposed to work so I picked it back up. He would lung forward and jump back from it like he thought it was going to bite him or something

Also, what the heck can we do when he gets nippy? I've tried the "yelp" but that just gets him going more. Tried the stand with your back to him. That just results in biting and pulling the pants, especially if I try to walk away. I've also tried a stern "no" which works sometimes but other times it launches him from just being a bit nippy to a full on jumping nipping fit. I know he'll eventually outgrow it, but there has to be a way to shut that down in the meantime? I'm about to go buy stock in bitter apple and hose everything and all of us down with it lol.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yelping works with Murphy. Pheona it didn't & I tried everything. My boys would yell cause she'd bite feet & pants when you'd walk down the hallway or anywhere. The one day I made a loud noise & it got her to stop so I thought..I got it. But then after a few times that didn't work. Then I got a small spray bottle & would just give her a spritz of water when she'd nip & it worked. You going to have to experiment with different ways. I also did the re approach method for a while. I'd keep a toy or 2 next to me & if she started I'd offer her the toy. Good Luck!!! I've never bought any of the puzzle toys, I like to hide things in our living room & they search for them.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The behavior you describe is COMPLETELY natural & normal in your puppy and it is EXACTLY the type of behavior the toy is supposed to encourage; please place it back down & allow him to enjoy himself. He is playing, he is NOT "aggressive".

Think of your puppy as an energetic healthy two year old little boy. They need to be almost constantly stimulated, engaged in play & entertained in some form or another - it is a normal part of development for youngsters: pups & humans alike. And even little kids go through their biting stage! For both: they eventually grow out of it with gentle, repeated correction and/or re-direction of their energy.

I realize you are new to the forum & potentially new to dog ownership. Might I suggest a trip to either a bookstore or your local library where you might pick up some books or even good magazines on puppy behavior and puppy training so that you will recognize these inter-actions as normal playful behaviors & not in any manner correlating to the obsessive media ranting "aggressive" dog stories.

Also, PLEASE enroll you & your pup in a "puppy kindegarden" class (PetCo, PetSmart many local vets/private trainers offer them) where you will further learn the normal behaviors of pups & how to best correct & control & diffuse them until maturity begins to set in with your dog beginning approximately two full years from now. I don't know what your work schedule is, but also look into doggie day care where, like the puppy classes, your dog will learn to interact appropriately with other dogs, become socialized around groups of people, & learn "bite inhibition" the best way: from other dogs who will promptly demonstrate to him when to bite, when not to bite & how softly to bite --- very quickly. Your pup needs a LOT of play time. A tired dog is an obedient dog.

Now please...put his new toy back down & enjoy watching him make a good game out of it: the barking & charging & growling & biting are all 100% NORMAL canine behaviors. He should be playing that way with this toy as well as with other pups & dogs. It is their manner of play. Have fun with him!!! And remember, he's merely a baby with boundless energy.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My pup, now 17 weeks, treats all Nylabones as his "nemesis". He loves to run circles around them, bark his face off, and go overall nuts with them. Hes just a dog... being a dog.

As for nipping, they all do it, and bad at first. The best advice we got was to say "owwww" rather loud, enough to startle them, and walk away. Not like just turn your back to them, but leave them and go into a completely different room, potentially shutting the door. Do it consistently for a few days, and they will learn hard nips get them ignored.

I read two books that gave great advice, all based around positive reinforcement... "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days" and "Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog". Using the methods from Perfect Puppy, such as giving all food based as a reward for the first month, and never out of a bowl, our little guy was sitting, laying, shaking his paw, stay, etc, etc... all by 10-12 weeks old.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Lol. Rosco does that when he sees something new and questionable, that's a boxer for ya! ^.^ Goobers!

Maybe try yelp and quietly walk away for one minute then come back and try again. Doesn't hurt to try.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I'll keep the toy and leave it out for him tonight. I thought it was either play or puppy fear but wasn't sure. I've had dogs before but it's my first puppy since the 80's when I was a kid and my first dog since the 90's when I left home unless you count pet sitting my parents' cocker a few times over recent years.

On the nipping thing maybe we'll try walking away as soon as he does it because if we let him mouth a bit and then "yelp" when he gets hard he just goes nuts especially if we try to walk off. Like I said he'll start hanging onto pants legs or whatever he can get a hold of as we try to walk off.

He's definitely set up for puppy kindergarten. He starts Dec. 2nd at the PetSmart one. We had him signed up before we even brought him home
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinion View Post
So I picked up a "magic mushroom" treat/kibble puzzle toy today thinking it would be great to help Bruno work off some mental energy. I put it on the floor and all he wanted to do was bark and growl and run around it like it was trying to get him or something. Somehow I didn't think that's how it was supposed to work so I picked it back up. He would lung forward and jump back from it like he thought it was going to bite him or something

Also, what the heck can we do when he gets nippy? I've tried the "yelp" but that just gets him going more. Tried the stand with your back to him. That just results in biting and pulling the pants, especially if I try to walk away. I've also tried a stern "no" which works sometimes but other times it launches him from just being a bit nippy to a full on jumping nipping fit. I know he'll eventually outgrow it, but there has to be a way to shut that down in the meantime? I'm about to go buy stock in bitter apple and hose everything and all of us down with it lol.
I think you have MY dog!! LOL
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So we tried the toy again. After the barking and running around it ended, he picked it up a couple times and continued showing interest in it. He hasn't figure out how to make it move around and give treats yet. Looks like he was definitely playing though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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With the nipping, when we made a yelp, it didn't work. Only a loud "owwwww", the sound for pain worked. Just a general loud noise just hyped him up.

-Jim
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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With the nipping, when we made a yelp, it didn't work. Only a loud "owwwww", the sound for pain worked. Just a general loud noise just hyped him up.

-Jim
Thanks. Yeah I can't seem to get him to respond to anything other than me walking out of the room to say something like the half bath off the living room and closing the door. Then he just waits for me to come out /sigh. However I just picked up the e-book version of that "perfect puppy in 7 days" book you recommended. I'm about halfway through it already tonight and wow I'm looking forward to using the stuff in it. This 4 day holiday weekend will be a great shot for that. At least I only have a little over a week of potential bad training (not all bad, I read a lot before he came home) to fix.
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