Recent adopted dog plays too rough, any advice?

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Recent adopted dog plays too rough, any advice?

This is a discussion on Recent adopted dog plays too rough, any advice? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, My husband and I recently adopted a 2 year old adorable mastiff mix (we think he's mixed with Plott hound?). When we were at ...

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Old 11-30-2017, 01:57 PM
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Recent adopted dog plays too rough, any advice?

Hello,

My husband and I recently adopted a 2 year old adorable mastiff mix (we think he's mixed with Plott hound?).

When we were at the shelter, everyone worked there called him a monster, and said he was returned 3 times because he was too crazy. Everyone knew who he was and kept saying the crazy dog, poor guy! Since he was so adorable, we decided to look at him anyways and fell in love! He was sweet and not too crazy (of course he was acting different there) and we clicked so we knew he was the dog we were looking for!

We brought him home and he was strangely calm. Then a few days later, his crazy side came out, what everyone was talking about.

99% of the time, he is the sweetest, loving dog and is perfect! He listens, is very smart and a quick learner. I've taught him so many things already and it didn't take very long!

The other 1%, he goes nuts! He tries to play with us but doesn't understand how, and plays way too rough! He'll demand bark to play, bite our clothes and arms (really hard too-he's drawn blood on my dad), and jump on us constantly. We've tried a whistle, ignoring him or walking away, time out, distracting with other toys or an action such as sitting, even firmly saying no. He looks scary like he's being aggressive when he barks, but then he's sticking his butt up and wagging his tail, like he's trying to play and will only stop for a few seconds when we say, do you want to go in time out?

People keep telling us, he just has a lot of energy and needs to run. However, even after two hours of running, or a long walk, it's almost worse, like he's too wound up. We try to settle him down with mental stimulation toys (treat dispensing ones or something safe he can chew on).

He sometimes demand barks when we're eating like he's saying "give it to me!".

It's almost like he was never taught not to jump, bite, or play correctly or the many previous owners brushed it off and got sick of it so they returned him with the bad manners still there. He was also probably never taught as a puppy.

Also, at the dog park, he'll jump on people but will mostly be sweet (not bite or bark). With other dogs, he doesn't understand how to play with them but will gladly sniff them and try to play. Other dogs realize how awkward he is and walk away, even when he wants to play.

Watching his behavior with other dogs makes me think it's reversed. He plays with us like we're dogs but with dogs he's shy and awkward.

I remember the shelter telling us he is bad with kids only because he jumps and is 80lbs and is a tall lanky guy. Everytime he sees a kid at the dog park, he runs up to them excitedly and jumps on them and licks them.

We want to get him into training and maybe some doggy day care for socialization. But I'm not sure how to get rid of his bad habits of the jumping, hard biting, and barking at us. I feel he's slowly getting better but it's 2 steps forward, 1 step back kind of thing.

We're never giving him back but we get so annoyed with his bad habits and need help. Any advice on how to stop these habits? Are we not consistent enough?
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:58 PM
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I agree it sounds like he was just never taught good manners. Formal on leash obedience training will help you build a rapport with him.....will also help him learn to respect you, just my experience with my bullmastiffs, but I think mastiffs really need to respect their owners to get along well. If he's trying to engage you in play, teach him what kind of play is acceptable. When he gets crazy, maybe distract him with a treat or toy he likes, and teach him to sit for it politely. Replace the behavior you dont like with ones you do like. He can be taught to ask politely for playtime. I suggest getting a good toy to play tug with. Sounds like he may really like it, and it will help satisfy some of that pushy behavior. Its ok to let him win. When your done, put toy away and tell him youre done. Use games like that mixed with training to teach and mold behaviors you want. Once he learns what the game is on your terms, you'll probably get better results teaching him what not to do. With some really pushy dogs, ignoring and all that doesnt work well. Teach him what will get him what he wants, once he knows that he'll understand better what wont get him what he wants
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:18 PM
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Thank you so much! So consistency is really key when playing? He's really a perfect dog when he's not trying to play rough. He is very pushy when it comes to playing! I'd love to be able to play with him but not how he does it now. I'm going to try using different toys and then putting them away (I don't put them away now) which might help him understand when play is ok and not ok. Polite play is really what I'm aiming for!

Even at the dog park, he'll be fetching and running and greeting other dogs, and he'll be fine for 30 minutes-1hour then all of a sudden he comes after me or my husband to play rough again which is hard in public too-don't want anyone thinking he's super aggressive!
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:19 PM
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I agree with @Sthelena I have personally never worked with a mastiff but I have Malamutes and when they aren't trained properly I have to do exactly as Sthelena just described.

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Old 11-30-2017, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amtf032191 View Post
Thank you so much! So consistency is really key when playing? He's really a perfect dog when he's not trying to play rough. He is very pushy when it comes to playing! I'd love to be able to play with him but not how he does it now. I'm going to try using different toys and then putting them away (I don't put them away now) which might help him understand when play is ok and not ok. Polite play is really what I'm aiming for!

Even at the dog park, he'll be fetching and running and greeting other dogs, and he'll be fine for 30 minutes-1hour then all of a sudden he comes after me or my husband to play rough again which is hard in public too-don't want anyone thinking he's super aggressive!
Yes it is they have to be taught the right way to play with humans and dogs. My huskies won't play with me mostly the same way they will with the huskies. It's a taught thing. I'm happy he is really good otherwise

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