Skeptical about my trainer's methods

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Skeptical about my trainer's methods

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:57 PM
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Skeptical about my trainer's methods

So we just started private training and I had the first session last week. She went over a few things, and it was kinda a bad time because Goose was pretty sleepy so he wasn't his normal hyper/biting self. She said that when he bites to press down on his tongue near the back, not hard though. I guess it's uncomfortable for him, but it doesn't hurt him. Anyway, it seemed like a good idea when she was doing it. He would nip and she would press, and he would stop biting. So I do that, except he is really smart...and not in a good way. He will bite me and nip at me but he knows what I'm going to do so he will back away really fast so I can't get a finger in his mouth, or he will clench his mouth shut. Also she told me that when he starts jumping up to just gently knee him off and say "no, off" and to not pay attention to him until he backs off. So again, I did this. Except now that he isn't tired, he just thinks I'm playing and starts biting my legs. It's hard to ignore that. Idk what to do. I try to not get him worked up but EVERYTHING gets him worked up. I got an ex pen today for when he gets like that so I don't have to keep putting him in his crate. Hopefully he can get out some of his energy by himself.

I just don't know how to make him know that I'm not a playmate. He won't take the toys I redirect him to, and even if I put him in the crate for 15-20 min, as soon as I let him out he goes back at me.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:30 PM
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Your trainer is using very old, outdated, aversive methods, that can have negative long term consequences.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:33 PM
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I do not agree with her "press down on the tongue" method. I've heard some really ridiculous things before and this is one of them. The most out there way sticking your fingers down their throat to make them gag. Either way I don't find her methods "good" or effective. I'd find a new trainer- one that uses positive reinforcement methods.

I know you've had issues with him and you feel stressed out but puppy hood doesn't last forever. Some are just mouthier and more hyper than others. A couple of questions for you:

How does he respond to food?

How much excercise does he get daily?

Nyla was very mouthy when she was younger and was VERY persistant. Redirecting to toys did not work most of the time. We tried different methods and what did work is her love of playing fetch. When she got riled up and started nipping we'd take a toy and get excited asking her to "go get it". We'd throw it and her attention went to the toy- we'd play fetch for a couple of minutes and she'd be fine. She no longer gets crazy like she did when she was little but it WAS a problem. Food worked also but I didn't always have food to redirect with. I'd ask her for a sit, lay down, high 5. She looked real confused like "wait we're doing that- okay" and she'd do what we ask. She'd forget that she was biting. We'd also ask her to "find her ball" - which is a queue to find her ball so we can play fetch. Antlers helped a lot too. She had something to knaw at which didn't include human skin. She learned what's appropriate and what's not through a combination of things.

In my opinion your pup is not getting all the excercise and metal stimulation he needs so he is getting a little crazy on your skin. He's just trying to tell you he wants to play but hasn't yet realized what's appropriate and what's not.


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Old 06-03-2013, 05:58 PM
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I do not agree with her "press down on the tongue" method. I've heard some really ridiculous things before and this is one of them. The most out there way sticking your fingers down their throat to make them gag. Either way I don't find her methods "good" or effective. I'd find a new trainer- one that uses positive reinforcement methods.

I know you've had issues with him and you feel stressed out but puppy hood doesn't last forever. Some are just mouthier and more hyper than others. A couple of questions for you:

How does he respond to food?

How much excercise does he get daily?

Nyla was very mouthy when she was younger and was VERY persistant. Redirecting to toys did not work most of the time. We tried different methods and what did work is her love of playing fetch. When she got riled up and started nipping we'd take a toy and get excited asking her to "go get it". We'd throw it and her attention went to the toy- we'd play fetch for a couple of minutes and she'd be fine. She no longer gets crazy like she did when she was little but it WAS a problem. Food worked also but I didn't always have food to redirect with. I'd ask her for a sit, lay down, high 5. She looked real confused like "wait we're doing that- okay" and she'd do what we ask. She'd forget that she was biting. We'd also ask her to "find her ball" - which is a queue to find her ball so we can play fetch. Antlers helped a lot too. She had something to knaw at which didn't include human skin. She learned what's appropriate and what's not through a combination of things.

In my opinion your pup is not getting all the excercise and metal stimulation he needs so he is getting a little crazy on your skin. He's just trying to tell you he wants to play but hasn't yet realized what's appropriate and what's not.


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He loves treats, and I have done this. Ask him to sit/lay down and give him a treat. Then attempt to give him a bully stick or pig ear to chew on. Sometimes it works, and sometimes he's like "nah, your skin tastes better."

I take him on about 2 15-20 minute walks a day. If I make them any longer he gets angry and doesn't want to walk anymore. I throw toys for him to catch. He never brings them back though lol. He only has half of the fetch concept down.

He really only gets super bitey after I get home from work/school which he has been in his crate for 6 hours. (which i don't blame him, I'd attack me too) But it's hard to play with him or get him exercise when I can't even go near him without him trying to eat me. Right now he is being a good boy. I found that car rides mellow him out so I took him to petsmart because that also always gets him excited.

I should probably take him for a walk before I go to work, but it's so hard...I have to be there at 4 AM and it's already hard to wake up!!


When I called the trainer and told her that her ways aren't working she told me either I wasn't doing it right or that my dog is just weird lol. But i think it's because he is a puppy and me pushing him away and a sign for "hey lets play!"
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:03 PM
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When I called the trainer and told her that her ways aren't working she told me either I wasn't doing it right or that my dog is just weird lol. But i think it's because he is a puppy and me pushing him away and a sign for "hey lets play!"
You actually understand things better than this trainer.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:07 PM
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The trainer's gotta go. You don't owe her an explaination. Say no thanks, we're going a different route.

How old is he now? Truthfully Nyla would be a little devil with just 2 15 min walks a day. Also, walks do very little. Find an area of grass and run a little. IDK what the weather is like there but go swimming with him, take him on car rides. New things wear them out. Also, if you don't have one already, get a kong!!!! Fill it and freeze it with yummy stuff and give it to him. Make it exciting by teasing him with it. Puppies (and humans) always want what they can't have. Also, take him out to excercise right when you get home. He's going to rest a bit, get dinner and then become rowdy again. This is how puppies are. Be prepared to play with him. Also, I'd suggest spraying your hands with grannick's bitter apple. Let him taste it- most dogs hate it and he probably won't want anything to do with you after. You may need to continue this for a week or so but it's worked for some. We've even smeared yummy stuff on our hands to teach puppies to lick, not bite.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:19 PM
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Goose is about 3 months. It's hard to play outside a lot since it's so hot. I want to bring him to the beach, but it's not allowed during the day because of the heat. There is a dog park with a pool that is drained every other week but I have to wait to take him there until he has all his shots.

I'll try that bitter apple stuff! Anything to make him stop biting me lol. It hurts! He has broken skin quite a few times.

this is my arm today
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:23 PM
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He can go to the beach- just wait until later in the afternoon and bring fresh water and a bowl.

Grannick's bitter apple worked great for us. Nyla hated it and instantly stopped chewing anything we sprayed. You do have to spray every week or so because it wears off. And obviously if you're spraying your skin, you'd have to spray often. Also make sure you test on a small spot in case your skin is sensative.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:01 PM
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Absolutely your arm should not look like that. The instant he starts mouthing you that hard you must physically separate him from you: crate, baby gate, leash tethered to the nearest bush and walk away, etc.

Seems like you and CobbersMom have a lot in common. Have you been looking at her threads? For example this one... it might be very helpful for you.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:36 PM
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Absolutely your arm should not look like that. The instant he starts mouthing you that hard you must physically separate him from you: crate, baby gate, leash tethered to the nearest bush and walk away, etc.

Seems like you and CobbersMom have a lot in common. Have you been looking at her threads? For example this one... it might be very helpful for you.
I have seen a few posts but not lately, I haven't been on here all weekend. Looks like I've missed a bit! I'll take a look though. I think I'm too "nice" and need to show a little more tough love. (putting in crate when things get wild) I just feel bad because he cries so much.
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