Just when I thought it was getting better

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Just when I thought it was getting better

This is a discussion on Just when I thought it was getting better within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I'm sitting on my couch just chillaxin, we just got back from a walk, he ate, played with some toys, and out of nowhere runs ...

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:04 PM
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Just when I thought it was getting better

I'm sitting on my couch just chillaxin, we just got back from a walk, he ate, played with some toys, and out of nowhere runs up and starts growling at me and biting me really freaking hard. I try and calm him down but nothing works. He's just acting insane and nothing I do makes him stop biting me. I'm guessing he is over tired, but why doesn't he just go to sleep? Why does he have to attack me every time he gets tired? Because now he is passed out. My arms hurt and my sweater is ripped

I swear my puppy hates me.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:14 PM
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Ha! He actually LOVES you! He is "attacking" because that is how some puppies "play" with their favorite friends! Another puppy would have enjoyed this, but we humans do not!

The way to deal with this next time is simply to immediately put him in his crate for a nap. Better yet, anticipate and put him down for a nap before he goes wild. Do not try to calm him down by holding him or stroking him. He will view this as you "playing" with him and he will just get excited and continue to tug on your sweater and chew on your skin.

Puppies need a remarkable amount of sleep and they do not get enough sleep unless you actually put them in their crates. The reason you cannot just let them lounge around the house to nap, is that their little brains get stimulated so easily and they run about and play rather than nap. In this sense they are a lot like human toddlers. You know how its important to put a young child down for a nap, even when they do not want this? Same thing with a puppy.

Generally, a puppy 3 months old should have several naps per day, in the crate, each nap at least a couple of hours long. If you are not making sure this happens, then he is going to be over tired and have more uncontrollable behavior such as you describe.

Overall, when he is bitey, you must not engage him. Put him in his crate or pen immediately. Do not get angry with him, but do prevent him from further biting.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:09 PM
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I will be better about putting him in his crate for naps. It's good to know he loves me though haha. I guess he does cuddle me pretty well when he sleeps so that's a good sign right?
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:47 AM
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Yeah, my little shih tzu puppy was terrible when she was overly tired and sounds like she could have been your little pup's twin. We threw a treat in her crate, let her follow it in, shut the door, gave her another treat (often kibble, truthfully) and then she'd pass out within 1 minute.

Heck, even my current dog who is 5ish years old sometimes needs help in winding down. Case in point, we were all sorts of busy for her today so she missed her 5 - 8 hour midday nap and was super grumbly when we got home - grumbled for 5 - 10 minutes straight at noises she normally ignores. We finally threw a blanket over her head, she whuffed once and then passed out for the next hour/hour and a half. Sometimes, they just need help knowing they can settle down and relax.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:52 AM
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This is really good info to know! I've been feeling so guilty about crating Cobber when I need a little time to do stuff and/or when he gets worked up, and actually it sounds like I should be putting him in his crate for these naps more often than I have been. Thank you!!
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:43 AM
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Yup, naps are key for both rest, and the house training routine. Really, puppies do not need to be running about the house. In fact, that is not a good idea for them as invariably they get into trouble! Puppies should only be running around when you can directly and continuously supervise them, without distractions!

Puppies are a lot like a human toddler. You would not let a toddler wander the house without an adult attending, as a toddler would put something in his mouth, fall down some stairs, or otherwise end up in trouble. When you realize a puppy requires that same sort of attention and focus by an adult, things go a lot smoother.

And truly, a puppy is perfectly happy in a crate or pen with a few toys.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:00 PM
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Okay so, what about if he isn't over tired? just over excited? He had to be in his crate today for about 6-7 hours and he is normally never in there that long. Anyway when I got home I let him out and went outside to potty but he was only interested in getting his belly rubbed (i guess he missed me lol). He started off calm and then after he went potty he got super hyper. I tried feeding him but he wasnt interested. I played with him for a bit with his flirt pole and then the biting started. Bad biting. I don't want to put him back in his crate because he's already been in there for so long today! But holy cow this was the hardest he has bitten me I think! I put him in there for a minute but he just cries and cries. He hates his crate. He won't even eat the treats or play with the toys I put in there with him. What should I do in a situation like this? I can't take him for a walk when he is this hyper, he just goes ballistic and freaks out on the leash, but if I play with him, even calmly, he starts biting me. He even attacked me on the toilet today! He means business...
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:10 PM
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Put him in a pen or behind a baby gate so you can walk away when he bites.

Belly rubs are very stimulating to him, in terms of having him engage with your hands. Then the flirt pole probably got him all excited too. Once he is ampted up, then the biting begins. This is fairly predictable and you can avoid this series of events by not starting them.

Next time, when you come home, do not engage him so vigorously yourself. Take him out but you remain calm. Don't pet him or rub his belly or use the flirt pole. Do not talk excitedly to him in a high voice. Speak calmly or stay silent. Just let him explore the yard, play with toys and chew on sticks and such on his own. You stroll slowly around the yard and he'll follow and explore. Do not run or call him or otherwise get him activated.

I suspect much of this problem is because he views you as a playmate, because you engage him so much. I know its hard to do, because you want to play with him and touch him, but that activity starts the stimulation that has him focusing on you as a something to bite, that is a littermate or other dog. If you interact with him like another dog, then he will react to you like another dog. Your job is to be a human.

When he bites, you must immediately disengage. Put him in his crate, or behind a gate or in a pen. You must not allow him to "practice" biting you. Gently remove his mouth from you by grasping his upper jaw to unhook him from you and put him on the other side of a barrier from you. Walk away until he calms down.
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Last edited by Tess; 05-28-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
Put him in a pen or behind a baby gate so you can walk away when he bites.

Belly rubs are very stimulating to him, in terms of having him engage with your hands. Then the flirt pole probably got him all excited too. Once he is ampted up, then the biting begins. This is fairly predictable and you can avoid this series of events by not starting them.

Next time, when you come home, do not engage him so vigorously yourself. Take him out but you remain calm. Don't pet him or rub his belly or use the flirt pole. Do not talk excitedly to him in a high voice. Speak calmly or stay silent. Just let him explore the yard, play with toys and chew on sticks and such on his own. You stroll slowly around the yard and he'll follow and explore. Do not run or call him or otherwise get him activated.

I suspect much of this problem is because he views you as a playmate, because you engage him so much. I know its hard to do, because you want to play with him and touch him, but that activity starts the stimulation that has him focusing on you as a something to bite, that is a littermate or other dog. If you interact with him like another dog, then he will react to you like another dog. Your job is to be a human.

When he bites, you must immediately disengage. Put him in his crate, or behind a gate or in a pen. You must not allow him to "practice" biting you. Gently remove his mouth from you by grasping his upper jaw to unhook him from you and put him on the other side of a barrier from you. Walk away until he calms down.
Thank's Tess. We both sort of sound like a broken record lol. I try not to engage him, I guess I do it even when I don't think I am! I really need to be more careful. I need to invest in a play pen.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:22 PM
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It turns out raising a puppy is not primarily about the puppy at all, but rather about becoming more aware of what we do that creates the responses in the pup.

Took me years to understand this.
If you can learn it faster than I did, you will save yourself a load of grief!
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