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So I rescued him from the street as a puppy a few moths ago, he must be 7 months old my now. But he pretty much does whatever he wants.
I have a lot of problems:
When he is inside, he's supposed to stay off the couch and beds, but he lays there anyways, and when I try to get him down by grabbing him (he's a small dog) he gets all crazy; he barks and tries to bite me. He also bites sometimes when being pet and some other times he will start biting on someone's hand without any reason. He even bites my pants when I'm walking. He doesn't really listen when I call him by his name. And finally, I have a very hard when walking him; he pulls the leash A LOT, he is pretty much walking me.
I've had other dogs and none of them were as bad as Sope is.
I talked to my vet about this but he had a weird attitude about it, he just kind of said I was the problem and a bad owner and that it had to do with my attitude. This was obviously not helpful at all and it made me feel bad.
Right now I'm frankly frustrated and have no idea what to do, dog training in my city is really expensive so it's not an option.
Does anyone know what should I do?

Super Moderator
1,832 Posts
Taking these things one at a time -

The couch. If you grabbed me off a couch, I'd probably be pretty cross at you too. So two things from that - first, stop grabbing him and instead, lure him off with a lovely treat. No fuss, no drama, everybody wins. Second, have a lovely comfortable bed close by. The brain struggles with negative concepts like don't go on the couch - to illustrate what I mean - try not to think of a green and pink striped elephant - what's the first thing that comes to mind? So instead of don't go on the couch, train a (do) go on your bed and reward him for being there.

Have a look at this video for help.

When he is biting, could he think it is a game? This could be just an extension of the boisterous play puppies have with littermates but he needs to learn this is not how to play with humans. Some people find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands. My preferred method is to teach him that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as he makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - he will learn. You could use a house line to draw him away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.

For walking nicely, again you need to teach him what you want from him. Dogs and other mammals have a natural instinct to pull away from any restraint, it's called oppositional reflex. So you want him to learn to come closer when he feels pressure. Again have a look at this video.

I'm not saying your vet was right to say you have the wrong attitude, but I find it helpful to remember there are three main reasons why a dog doesn't comply with what we ask.

First, he doesn't understand. That's where training comes in, you need to teach him what you want, and reward when he gets it right so he knows he has done the right thing.

Second, the motivation or reward of doing what he is already doing is higher than the motivation or reward of doing what you are asking. This is why some dogs won't, for example, recall when they are playing or chasing squirrels. So make sure what you offer is of far higher value - or, if you can't beat something like a squirrel chase, don't allow the opportunity for it to happen (i.e. don't set him up to fail). Use a leash or a long line to keep control.

Third, you are working against a deeply rooted breed trait that the dog has been selectively bred for over centuries. There is a reason why we don't use terriers to herd sheep - it can be done but it is a lot harder.

Hopefully some of that will help you build a better relationship with him. Please come back to us if you have any questions, and let us know how you get on.
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