My own version "ow, ow, OW!"

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My own version "ow, ow, OW!"

This is a discussion on My own version "ow, ow, OW!" within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Coming back an hour later to add a less emotional description. I set up the pen outside and Cobber was being a puppy in it ...

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Old 05-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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Unhappy My own version "ow, ow, OW!"

Coming back an hour later to add a less emotional description. I set up the pen outside and Cobber was being a puppy in it for awhile. He's so friggin cute! When he settled down, I took him out and we walked around the yard so he could explore and go say hi to the neighbor's dog through their fence, etc. Everything was going great until he got the leash tangled around his legs. I calmly bent down to untangle it while saying "fix" (this is something the ex and I used to say with our other dogs when we'd try to get them to pick up their feet or at least hold still for a detangle), and that was all she wrote.

He clamped onto my hand, the growling started. I calmly got my hand away and he latched onto my shoe. This all happens in just a split-second while I'm standing still trying to untangle the leash (which by this time is usually more tangled around him than ever). I realized he was "gone" (into attack mode) so I picked him up, carried him back inside and crated him, and then came here to post. I don't think there's a chance of getting this situation on video unless I can get a friend to help with a phone/camera at the right moment. I'm too "tied up" with the dog when it happens and trying to remain calm.

As I mentioned in the other poster's ow ow ow! thread, I can't seem to find any socializing outlet before next weekend. A whole week away right now looks like an eternity...

There is a doggy day care here in town that the local shelter directed me to and promised great help from, but they haven't returned my voice mail from yesterday morning. I'm guessing that this being a big-deal holiday weekend is part of the problem.

So here's the question of the moment. When we're out and he gets tangled, no matter how careful I try to be with the leash, how do I deal with that in a way that doesn't set him off? Remaining calm and moving slowly may help some but it isn't enough. Should I just let him remain tangled as long as I still have hold of the leash and we're not actually stuck on something like a bush or post?

(feeling like such an idiot about all this!) Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:24 AM
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How old is Cobber?
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:30 AM
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I had been saying 8.5-9 weeks, but now that I actually count on a calendar from his birthday on March 15th to now, he's actually 10 weeks and a day.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:48 AM
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I posted a bit on the other thread. Maybe it will help with the biting and latching on thing.

As far as the leash, I would do less managing it. You can keep it from dragging on the ground in the first place, so he does not step over it. If he does step over it, generally don't worry about it. Let him learn to deal with it. Most dogs will learn in time to step back over it if it bothers them. So long as it is not actually wrapped around a limb, it won't hurt him to have the leash under an arm or leg. So really, you don't need to even engage in this untangling thing except rarely.

Just keep your hands away from the puppy, particularly when he is excited, as puppies usually are when they are outdoors. From the puppy's perspective, your hands fussing around his body, are an open invitation to "play" ... ie bite. He has no idea you are trying to do something helpful for him with the leash. All he perceives is that you are stimulating him and offering to play. Once he is in play mode and you take your hands away, he's going to go for the next best thing, your feet.
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Last edited by Tess; 05-25-2013 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
From the puppy's perspective, your hands fussing around his body, are an open invitation to "play" ... ie bite. He has no idea you are trying to do something helpful for him with the leash. All he perceives is that you are stimulating him and offering to play. Once he is in play mode and you take your hands away, he's going to go for the next best thing, your feet.
This seems so obvious when you say it I need to remember!

And thanks for your reply about the leash itself. I obviously need to unlearn some things that the ex wanted previous dogs to learn (so that's why I keep trying to "fix" the leash; he was big on that). You're right that it really isn't any big deal if Cobber's got the leash under one leg or whatever.

I so appreciate your ongoing help! I can't thank you and everyone else here enough. Just posting and reading the replies keeps me from my own meltdown so I can refocus on staying calm about everything.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:31 AM
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Heard from the breeder

I wanted to come back and say that other than one instance yesterday where Cobber again drew blood (he was being so good fetching a stick then dropping it for a reward, I didn't see the hand attack coming!), things went much better. AND it was our first day of no accidents in the house - yay!

But while I was having my dispairing morning and posting here and other places, trying to figure out what to do, I also emailed the breeder and asked for help. This is the response email from her:

Quote:
I would like to talk to you about him. I haven't seen any of this type of serious biting behavior from these bloodlines. Don't worry about the time frame. I would want you to be happy with him. I thought he was the most mellow of the litter.

I would suggest you use a choke type collar on him to lead him and also to get the upper hand. He would be sitting on a grooming table with his little head in the grooming noose if he were here. I let them spend time on the table in the kitchen while I am doing things. It does give an amazing amount of control. The fact that you feel he is seriously biting you doesn't sound good to me. Puppies usually give up pretty quickly.
I must admit that reading how non-biting the bloodlines are overall surprises me, as does reading about how mellow she thought he is/was. I wonder if someone switched puppies en route to me

Anyway, I'm going to call her this evening. I sent her pics of my battle-scarred arms and asked for further suggestions about what she'd be doing with him right now in her regular training process.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:39 AM
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Oh dear! Stay away from choke collars!!!
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:14 AM
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Just keep in mind that breeders typically do not openly discuss the faults of their dogs. "I've never had a puppy that had _____, or did ______" is the most common thing you'll hear from a breeder. No matter how much you like the breeder as a person, expect this. I've seen it over and over again from the most reputable and respected of breeders.

This is self protective behavior from breeders. Now that the world is totally networked, through blogs and so forth, anything a breeder admits to, quickly becomes common knowledge and can ruin the reputation of the kennel.

If she starts to advise you to use a choke chain collar on a 10 week old puppy, RUN away from this advice as fast as you can. Likewise, if she recommends you alpha roll the puppy, or otherwise treat the puppy harshly, then you may as well lose faith in her as a source of advice. All these methods risk extremely bad outcomes in the long run (ie an adult dog that is fearful and aggressive and truly bites!)

Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:03 AM
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Maybe later down the line you can try teaching a trick that brings the lead to you? When Quest gets tangled (or I'm lazy and don't want to bend down to pick up his lead) I ask for a high five. He jumps up to touch his paw to my hand and with my other I grab the leash. The upward motion untangles the lead and as he drops back down, I let the lead slide through my hand until it reaches the end.

Since Cobber is so young, this may not be possible for a while, but it may help him focus on completing the command for a potential reward vs focusing on what your hands are doing.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:20 PM
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I taught Shadow "go around" for when he had only managed to wrap his leash around a pole or tree once. To do that I let him pull a few times so he realized he was stuck then I just gently tugged on the leash in the direction he needed to go to unwrap the leash while saying go around, him being free to move about again was the reward. After awhile I could say go around and he'd stop pulling in the wrong direction and go the opposite way, eventually he'd default to going in the correct direction and I didn't have to give the command. It he managed to wrap it a couple of times that trick didn't work very well and I had to unwrap it myself.

I can't remember if it was you or someone else who said they are using a flexi leash with their puppy. If you are then I recommend stopping, they are the hardest to untangle a dog from since you have to untangle the things slowly and move the legs and paws to do so. If you go with a regular nylon leash you can touch the pup much less and not worry if he does get tangled a bit in the leash, it is also much easier to get untangled from bushes. For bushes I just grabbed the part of the leash by Shadow that wasn't tangled dropped the handle of the leash and tugged at the part I still had hold of, the whole time I was doing that Shadow was usually still up in the bush investigating whatever made him do in their in the first place. I usually did the same thing if the leash was tangled around his legs, grabbed the part of the leash that was down by his collar and not tangled, dropped the leash handle and pulled to untangle, I'd only do that if the leash wasn't actually wrapped around a leg or legs but was just threaded through. Again while I was doing that he was usually still exploring.

Please do not use a choke chain on him,
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