Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we just brought out little guy home from the SPCA today, we call him Pippin. He's 6 months old and I think he's a 20lb Jack Russell blend.

He's a clever guy, but he has a lot of issues that i need to work out. I'm not expecting a magic solution to immediately stop his issues, i know he'll be work, i just need to know what i should be doing to help he get over these particular issues.

1. He's mounting the family. He was just neutered yesterday, i have no idea how he's even thinking about humping. Anytime a family member sits/kneels down to his level he attempts to mount anything he can reach. I now it can be a social anxiety thing, but I'd like to know how to stop it. I considered keeping him on a leash so i can easily pull him off, but i don't like the idea of pulling him around on his leash. (of coarse, he's nearly as big as my kids so they can get hurt if he knocks them down too) I'm not sure what to do.

2. When i run, or even when i'm walking around the yard sometimes, he likes to jump in front of me and try to trip me. He also hooks my leg with his front paw. It MIGHT be an attempt to mount my leg but i'm not sure. If we run with him, he will nip at us (mostly legs/feet, nothing really painful, but its something i really want to discourage) He's never done it hard enough to leave a scratch or mark of any kind, but its not a behavior i want to continue.

I was planned to redirect to toys if this was an issue, but he has NO interest in any of the toys i got him. he has a kong, a rope, a nylabone, tennis balls, a squeaky ball, and a sir bob a lot food dispenser thing. I suppose i can get a stuffed squeaker as well, but at the moment he's not interested in anything. He played with the food dispenser a little but lost interest quickly.

3.) He is a bit anxious when i pet him. He doesn't freeze or get fearful, but he'll pounce away from me and lick my hand, i don't feel he would tolerate any physical play from me either, so i feel at a loss at how to redirect him when he's playing too rough. I have a feeling that he's just completely unsocialized.

I'm not even sure what to work on first, or how to do that. The nipping is the most concerning, i feel, but i don't even know if i could work on that when he has no interest in toys and doesn't have any interest in physical play.

Food is a HUGE reward for him, he even works for kibble. I've been trying to work on rewarding calm behavior. He's learned to sit for rewards. He'll follow me around and when i stop he'll look up at me and then sit, and i'll feed him a kibble or two, then i'll walk some more and stop and do it again. Sometimes i stand there and just reward him for staying in a sit. I don't really say "sit" yet, but he knows that when i stop, i'll reward him for being in a sit position (which i think is pretty cool for the first day, it hasn't even been 12 hours yet). he'll do it on carpet, tile, grass, and cement, he always takes it gently from my hand, does not seem aggressive at all about food.

The plan is for him to be a mostly inside dog, but he spent a lot of time in the yard today because i wanted to keep the kids away from him while he's recovering from his surgery and is getting used to the noises of the house (either my husband or I was out with him about 75% of the day and he was inside with us for another 10% so we haven't left him alone out there, but when the kids got off school, i let them play a little but mostly had them leave us alone.

He's a clever and friendly guy, I've never anything that looks like real aggression in him, and he doesn't seem especially anxious (so long as i'm not trying to pet him, in which case he playfully tries to redirect me) I have complete faith that we'll be able to work with him, he just needs to be shown how to react appropriately and I need direction on how to do that :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
As I mentioned on your other thread, a really terrific book to read is: "Love Has No Age Limit" by Patricia McConnell. It's a short, easy-to-read guide to bringing home an adopted dog. Also, take a look at that thread on children, dogs, and safety.

Clearly, your dog is anxious about his new home and family. You've got three young kids and that's a lot for him to deal with. He's most likely humping out of anxiety, so right now, I'd keep the kids off of the floor and not kneel down or sit down with him.

Rather than reach out to pet him, let him come to you. Dogs generally don't like to be hugged or kissed. The more he begins to feel comfortable with you all, the more he'll approach you and accept your affection.

It will most likely take a few weeks for everything to settle down. In the meantime, work on establishing calm routines, and make sure that he has a chance to rest and get away from the commotion. If you don't already have a crate, set on up for him with the door open so that he can freely go inside. Draping a cloth over the crate can make it seem more den-like. You can also set his food bowl inside it for meals.

Just remember to strive for patience. I'm confident that all will work out for you, your family, and Pippin. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I guess i just needed some moral support. I suspected that it was anxiety based, but i didn't want to set anything in stone for the dog by not curbing the behaviors from the beginning. Good to know that its okay to wait to address the issues until he's more settled.

I'm constantly adding books to my Dog List, so i hadn't gotten to that one yet. I just got through Perfect Puppy in 7 Days, so I'll start reading this one next (just bought it for my kindle)

He the kids haven't spent much time with the dog (maybe 40 minutes of kid time total in 10 minute bursts) so i'm hoping that's not too overwhelming for him. They're still in school for another week and a half so that has been naturally limiting their time together while they're the most excited about the dog ;)

i'm not the huggy kissy type with animals. I've been trying extra hard to respect his space (petting his chest and back instead of his head, not handling his paws, etc.). I don't feel like i've been getting in his face, or being persistent (i usually try to pet him when he's trying to engage me in play), but he just seems anxious. I'm willing to give it time, i just wasn't sure how to redirect a dog from inappropriate play who is both not interested in toys and doesn't like to be pet.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer so quickly.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
Here are a couple of videos you might find useful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFoa6rhEQIU&list=PLPw4P_laf1ywck9jlWmtPfY6P4Q__a_vG&index=2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AElTVoIPlOw

One thing you'll soon realize about this forum, if you haven't already, is that it's all about "positive reinforcement" training, which means teaching your dog through rewarding him for desired behavior. Whenever you want to curb a behavior, you'll want to think about what you want your dog to do instead. For example, if your dog is jumping up on people, then you're going to teach him how to sit.

It really is going to be a lot of fun. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,421 Posts
He sounds like he's a bit overwhelmed. That's perfectly understandable. Over the next few weeks, he's going to be trying to figure out how best to get along with everyone. Now is your chance to set him up for success.

To stop the nipping at feet when running. Don't give him the opportunity. Is there any reason anyone needs to be running around while he's out? I don't think he's trying to trip you when he gets in front of you while you're walking. He's probably trying to get your attention or maybe he is trying to get you to slow down so he can hump your leg. Both behaviors are most likely caused by some anxiety. Teaching sit as a default behavior is a great idea. Giving him the opportunity to get your attention and praise by good behavior can trump his need to nip and mount for attention and to relieve stress.

You're very fortunate that he's food motivated. That's going to be the key to being able to reward the behavior you want to see repeated. If you're reading the Yin book (yay!) you've already read about using his daily ration of kibble as training treats. Reserve some super special treats for behavior that you really want to mark. Dogs do what works and if nipping and mounting get your attention, it's working for him. Capture moments when he's not doing these things and he'll start to make the connection.

No need to be petting him at this point if he's not comfortable with it.

I would direct you to look at the video of how to teach a positive interrupter. It's posted in the training and behavior section or you can google kikopup and that term.

Also look at the stickies on keeping dogs and kids safe. I think you're wise to limit his interactions with the kids at this point.

He is of an age when many dogs end up in shelters and rescues. Be consistent with rewarding what you want and ignoring behavior you don't want.

Many stressed dogs won't play with toys. He may never have had the opportunity before now. In time, that will probably change.

Be prepared to see some changes as he settles in with you and the family. Give him lots of down time so he can learn to settle on his own. You might want to look at the separation anxiety stickies. Avoiding this by being proactive should be on your top five things to do with him.

You're doing great. Keep reading through the various training articles on this site.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
Yes to all that Grabby has written. Now is the time to be setting him up and rewarding him for good behavior. Here's kikopup's video on positive interrupters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8

And, here's an article on how to prevent separation anxiety from developing:

Taking Measures to Prevent Separation Anxiety Related Behaviors - Whole Dog Journal Article

And if you find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed in these first few days, and most new dog owners do, it's o.k. to take a break now and then. You'll want to give your new puppy, who's really like a toddler right now, and yourself time to rest and acclimate.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,815 Posts
I guess a term could be anxiety, but I'd consider the cause of the humping to be overstimulation. He is in a new home, with new smells, new sights, new people (especially little people). When you get on the floor you are at his level and that is EXCITING! Young dogs or older dogs with less impulse control can get to a point that their world becomes so exciting that they just can't handle it anymore and go crazy. This can be zoomies and sometimes humping. I'd teach a positive interrupter and then signal that it was time to calm down (quiet time in his crate with a tasty chew - frozen kong, bully stick, etc.).

For the nipping, I'd just slow everything down. Quick moving feet are enticing, walk in slow-mo if you can (you can make it a game with your kids too).

I recommend starting the SMART x50 program (especially because he is so food motivated). See, Mark, And Reward Training. Basically, you can take treats (or his kibble), 50 of them and go through your day and randomly reward him for doing the 'right' thing. You can do more than 50, but find 50 positive things you want to reward. It could be him resting in his crate, making eye contact, staying in place while you walk by, etc. Anything he's doing that you like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, those videos have already helped a ton. He's a clever boy and picked up on touch right away. and he allowed me to touch his chest and shoulders while i was feeding him his treats without showing signs of discomfort. he's doing fantastic :thumbsup:

Still going after my feet when i walk around though, I've had to wear long pants and shoes every time i brought him in and he can't be around my toddler at all (she's just about his size and too tempting to jump on/play roughly with), so i've been splitting time between them. If he's in the livingroom, i gate the toddler into the playroom, and if the toddler wants to be in the livingroom with me, i take him to the yard and go out with him there as much as i can. He just gets too excited around her.

I just know he's going to do well :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
oh, i found a video of what he's been doing with the nipping.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHbKbn0KVLk

We're working on reward him for calm behaviors and it works so long as i'm standings still with him, but when i walk he starts up again. We're working on it though :)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top