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Generalized puppy concerns and blather

This is a discussion on Generalized puppy concerns and blather within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Yeah. An adult dog from a pound isn't guaranteed to have good health, housebreaking, good with cats and puppies and so on, and there really ...

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Old 05-06-2014, 08:27 PM
  #41
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Yeah. An adult dog from a pound isn't guaranteed to have good health, housebreaking, good with cats and puppies and so on, and there really aren't return options. There's always problems with any option. I read everyone else's horror stories and don't want to be there myself. Right now the situation is manageable.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:34 AM
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So I think it's inevitable that Sammy's going to 'turn vicious' thanks to dad. Since seeing him 5 minutes a day, if that, and offering one treat every couple of days, has not made Sammy fall in love with him, he's decided the only course of action is to begin spanking for the growling because the dog is obviously trying to dominate him.

At 12 weeks old. And when Sammy learns growling doesn't help and turns to biting... ... yeah. All my work and training isn't going to help. I can't train dad. I can't even get him to consistently offer treats, since two weeks of barely being there 'obviously didn't work'.

I don't know how much is threat and how much he actually plans to do, how much is angry Alpha Male Wannabe stomping about and how much is genuine, but he's already intending to 'drag' Sammy off for a walk today, without me along. If it wasn't for that damned contract, I'd have gotten him a new home by now.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:54 AM
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So I think it's inevitable that Sammy's going to 'turn vicious' thanks to dad. Since seeing him 5 minutes a day, if that, and offering one treat every couple of days, has not made Sammy fall in love with him, he's decided the only course of action is to begin spanking for the growling because the dog is obviously trying to dominate him.

At 12 weeks old. And when Sammy learns growling doesn't help and turns to biting... ... yeah. All my work and training isn't going to help. I can't train dad. I can't even get him to consistently offer treats, since two weeks of barely being there 'obviously didn't work'.

I don't know how much is threat and how much he actually plans to do, how much is angry Alpha Male Wannabe stomping about and how much is genuine, but he's already intending to 'drag' Sammy off for a walk today, without me along. If it wasn't for that damned contract, I'd have gotten him a new home by now.
This makes me so sad and angry. You've done so much right and now have to watch it all fall apart.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:26 AM
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I'm hoping to find a way out of the contract he signed, which demands we return the pup to the 'breeders' ... who were such caring people that Sammy had rib fractures and bruises when we brought him home, which may in part explain the crying and fear; his first association with dad was one of PAIN through no fault of our own; we didn't know. Sending him back there would be WORSE than keeping him here..
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:29 AM
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So I think it's inevitable that Sammy's going to 'turn vicious' thanks to dad. Since seeing him 5 minutes a day, if that, and offering one treat every couple of days, has not made Sammy fall in love with him, he's decided the only course of action is to begin spanking for the growling because the dog is obviously trying to dominate him.

At 12 weeks old. And when Sammy learns growling doesn't help and turns to biting... ... yeah. All my work and training isn't going to help. I can't train dad. I can't even get him to consistently offer treats, since two weeks of barely being there 'obviously didn't work'.

I don't know how much is threat and how much he actually plans to do, how much is angry Alpha Male Wannabe stomping about and how much is genuine, but he's already intending to 'drag' Sammy off for a walk today, without me along. If it wasn't for that damned contract, I'd have gotten him a new home by now.
I still don't understand why your dad got a dog if he was only planning on spending 5 minutes a day with him. OF COURSE Sam isn't going to like him much-his only interactions with your dad are getting smacked!!

Don't give up just yet-don't be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Plenty of people on this forum have raised abused pups into great adult dogs. Honestly, keep doing what you're doing and I would keep Sam-Dad interactions to an absolute minimum. Keep taking him to meet other puppies-this was SO VALUABLE to me you don't even know. Once he gets older, out of the fear period, etc, it won't be as bad (hopefully) for him to interact with dad.

Don't expect leash walking to be easy until 4-5 months. It's not that simple-My Sam didn't understand that he's supposed to follow me (he doesn't pull, he lags behind and sniffs everything) until that time. Pulling and yanking him isn't going to accomplish anything except make him hate walks. If dad insists on doing this, please put poor Sam on a harness so his trachea won't get crushed by the leash popping

Not all dogs who are smacked "turn vicious". This is why I said don't have that in the back of your head. The fact that he's part pit may make you think so *and may predispose him* but he knows you are his protector and his caretaker. He won't turn on you.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:38 AM
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He wanted a dog for the house, to sit on the couch, and bark when the doorbell rang, and play fetch. He decided cleaning up after a puppy for the first few months would be far less mess than cleaning up after an unhousebroken adult dog, and far less risk as a pound dog isn't usually given thorough evaluations for personality. You get what you get. Dad assumed a puppy would be easier to shape. In some ways, it's true. Sammy's ... a little slow on the uptake, but when he's not scared he's a lively thing who does his best to do what's asked of him, he's just doopy about it. Puppy, I know how that goes.

Sammy is always on a harness. We have a thin cat collar for him right now, and that's not even a little ideal for putting a leash on. He does walk okay! ... for a puppy, which means lots of trying to zoom, and bouncing about and wanting to eat everything on the ground from leaves to rocks.. but he follows, more or less, and I spend most of my time trying not to trip over him as he goes after a shoelace or decides he must walk directly between my legs... I'm not even worried about training proper leash manners, he's a happy bit of fur on a walk and far less shy than inside. Eventually I will but first I want him to remember how to be a puppy..

It's not the 'pit' part that makes me worry about biting. I've never been bitten by a pit, and I've been loved and slobbered on by many in the neighborhood. (Is it a genetic trait of pit bulls that their tongues seem abnormally large and they need to have that tongue on every bare bit of skin they can get to??) It's the spaniel part. I've dealt with many, many snappy irritable spaniels.. But I can hope he won't turn out that way. Is there anything I CAN do for training to try to minimize possible snappiness? Besides work on keeping Dad and him separated as much as I can, which I will try to do. He already almost never sees the dog, maybe I can push that even lower..
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:08 AM
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Is there any possible way for you to get through to your dad that the way to achieve a calm, chilled out couch dweller of a dog is through careful handling, non-violence and positive reinforcement training? Would he read any studies about violent handling being linked to increased aggression? That disprove the dominance belief? He's obviously not going to treat Sammy nicely out of compassion, but maybe he could do it if he realises its in his own interest.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:30 AM
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Glad to hear he's on a harness. Makes things easier and puts pressure on his chest rather than his neck. Puppy zooms decrease over time and practice and frequent walks will not only teach him leash manners, but decrease the zooms. If at all possible, take him for puppy play for a few minutes and let him get out some zooms, then take him on a walk when he's a tad less stimulated.

I know you're nervous about him, but it seems like you're doing well. As much as you can, socialize him. It will decrease his fears, make him tired, and he will be happier. Dad needs to understand also that NO PUPPY is going to be a couch potato. That happens much much later. Puppies will be couch potatoes only when they are zoomy free and exhausted.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:35 AM
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I'm hoping to find a way out of the contract he signed, which demands we return the pup to the 'breeders' ... who were such caring people that Sammy had rib fractures and bruises when we brought him home, which may in part explain the crying and fear; his first association with dad was one of PAIN through no fault of our own; we didn't know. Sending him back there would be WORSE than keeping him here..
Honestly, if that was the condition he came to you in, they probably don't really care about the contract. Do you have any documentation about his condition? Vet records? If so, that would help should the breeder try to recover him. I'm not sure how enforceable breeder contracts are, anyway.

It sounds like your dad likes the idea of having a dog, not the reality. I've read through your posts and it sounds as though it will be nearly impossible to change your dad's approach towards the puppy, but not completely. Sorry if I've forgotten, but do you know why your dad treats dogs the way he does? Tradition? He thinks it's the only way that will work? Control freak?
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:35 AM
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Is there any possible way for you to get through to your dad that the way to achieve a calm, chilled out couch dweller of a dog is through careful handling, non-violence and positive reinforcement training? Would he read any studies about violent handling being linked to increased aggression? That disprove the dominance belief? He's obviously not going to treat Sammy nicely out of compassion, but maybe he could do it if he realises its in his own interest.
Short version? No. Longer version involves hysterical laughter and then a no.

I'm doing what socializing I can! My window of opportunity is mostly just weekends thanks to school, I may have to do most of it once classes let out. I can't really take him for car rides (he gets really carsick), so it limits things a bit..
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