dog behavior problems

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dog behavior problems

Postby Kendall » Sat May 07, 2005 11:33 am

Every now and again when I am walking Shaddy down the hill that consistis of my driveway he will attempt to latch onto my leg like he is going to hump. I try to stop him before he does it and I will put him into a sit and try to refocus him with some shakes and downs, etc,. It has been working up until the other day.
I decided to take Shadrak for a quick walk and he attempts do the grabbing onto my leg business. I tell him no and set him down (he had latched himself around my leg) I told him to sit and gave him a treat for doing so. As I am about to go back to us walking down the hill, he does it again! When I set him down and tell him to sit this time he pitches a fit. Trying to wrestle with me and seemingly almost trying to bite me!!!!! I end up grabbing the back of his kneck(not very hard) to keep him off me and I put him in my car. I leave him in there for about 10 mins (he likes being in my car and its cool out so this is not cruel btw). I am thinking that we can go back about our walk now that he has had some time to calm down. But I was WRONG! He does the exact same thing except he pitches more of a fit this time and I honestly think he meant to bite me! So I grab the back of his neck, to keep him off me again, and he settles down a little at this point. So I start making him do downs and stays, etc,. before I try to walk him back inside because I dont want him trying to do this to me for a thrid time.
After we get in the house I go out back and play a game of fetch with him and run around with him and then we do some more basis obedience work and then a game of tug. Finally, he is worn out and just goes off and passes out.
Here are some new things we've done lately that might be related(?):
started sleeping in my bed about a week ago
stopped taking steriods he was on. he was taken off slowly though.
went to a dog park, first time. nothing bad happened while there.
he wasnt listening to me at the dog park, too much going on
we are on NILIF but I dont do it for attention and he has started getting a little more demanding of attention (hes start nudging me and putting his nose in my lap)
hes 12 1/2 months

Sorry for such a long post, but I am really concerned. What should I do if he pitches another fit again? Just telling him no is not going to work. I do not think I handled the situation correctly because the situation escalated. What do I need to do to get him out of this?
Oh, the only time he ever tries to latch onto my leg is when we walk down the hill. I dont know what it is about the hill... Maybe the fact that I appear a little smaller as I walk down it, which is when he'll start to tuck in behind me. Any help is appreciated! He is neutered btw.

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Re: dog behavior problems

Postby Brenda » Sat May 07, 2005 12:05 pm

A few thoughts. Maybe coming off the steroids has made him feel better and have more energy so he's just more rambunctious now.

What about taking him out back and playing a bunch of fetch, etc., and getting him a bit tired out BEFORE you attempt to go for a walk?

He sounds like he's just being rambunctious to me. NILIF is great and should help. 12.5 months is still a puppy really so he's playful and a "brat" still at times

Best of luck.

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Re: dog behavior problems

Postby Eileen » Sat May 07, 2005 1:25 pm

It sounds to me that you have a bratty teenager who is testing you and will continue to do so until it is clear in his mind that you are in charge.

There are lots of different opinions on the bed thing. My opinion is that the dog should be on the floor in any situation where you are dealing with dominance issues. If and when they resolve then allowing him up with permission is fine. So, first thing is to get the dog off the bed completely. This is not the time to give him any reasons to think that you are equal.

Second, I would up the NILIF. Play and attention are prized resources too and you control them. I would give attention when you want, never when the dog asks for it. You can give attention all day as long as you are the one who is initiating it and deciding when it stops. Also you decide when play starts and when it stops. If the dog brings a toy to you ignore him. Then in a few minutes if you feel like it you pick up the toy and start playing. Stop playing before the dog does to let him know that you control the play. Don't let the dog lean on you or step on your feet. Make him down for 30 minutes at a time at least once a day.

The humping is dominance. Your attitude has to say if you do that again, your going to wish you hadn't. Remain calm and serious. If my dog tried to hump me I would calmly but forcefully toss him off and make him down for 30 minutes.

I have dealt with this stage and it is trying but if you are firm, fair, consistent, in control and in charge, it will pass. I promise.

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Re: dog behavior problems

Postby Michelle » Sun May 08, 2005 4:11 am

This sort of reminds me of an issue we had with Benny (GSD) for the first few months after we brought him home (about 9 months old)

When we walked him there was a certain place that everytime we got to it he would just go nuts! (this also happened to be on the way down a steep hill) he would bite and tug on the lead (which he didn't do otherwise) and growl and jump around and jump on us, it was quiet scary because he was our first dog and didn't know what to do.

I got some really bad advice from my training club about what to do, they said I should rip the lead out of his mouth really hard and then drag him along. This made it worse, he thought this was great fun and developed a few more places along the walk to start this.

What I eventually did was whenever he started being stupid I would just hold him out at arms length by his collar (make sure he doesn't slip out of it) and insist he walked normally, when he stopped struggling/trying to jump around, I would give him a treat so he would know what I wanted. This seemed to work well and he got over it fairly quickly. We were also haveing dominance problems with him that we also worked on at around this time so that probably helped too.

Not sure if that is any help to you or not, it could be a completely different problem with Shaddy, good luck

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Re: dog behavior problems

Postby Kendall » Sun May 08, 2005 1:32 pm

Michele- Thanks so much! Its nice to get advice from someone who has been there. Oddly enough ever since the incident my dog has been acting weird. He just isnt listening to me like he used to. I am watching him to see if there are any signs of sickness, but I guess he is just having a bratty week. I will try your advice... and let you know how it goes.
I am also going to try exercising him a little bit more, especially before the walks. Thanks for all the suggestions and I'll keep you guys posted.

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