Our puppy Jude is actually a Lab mix and he's going on 5 months old. I love him to death, I really do, but I'm getting to a point now where I'm just about fed up with him. He absolutely WILL NOT listen to me. I tell him no and he just does what he wants! He'll stare up at me with the most innocent look on his face like he has absolutely no idea why I'm telling him no! He bites my hands constantly, both when we're playing and also when I'm trying to pet him. He'll reach around and nip at me or he'll start gnawing on my hands like they're his chew toys! He's drawn blood a few times and it always hurts pretty bad - but no matter what he just doesn't listen. I've tried ignoring him and he just runs off and finds something to chew on, he could care less lol. He also has a bad habit of jumping on me, which hurts because he'll dig his nails into me to keep himself upright - he snagged one of my shirts the other day. I tell him DOWN and NO and he still doesn't listen, I have to push him off of me. Sometimes he'll jump up and nose butt me in the face - one time he did it so hard that it actually made me cry, it hurt so bad. He's also gotten into this very bad habit of jumping up on my leg while I'm doing dishes and starts humping it! He only does it when I'm at the sink for some reason, I don't know why, and only if he's behind me - he never does it to my husband, just me. He has his own area to go potty at with a doggy door and he knows that's where his potty area is at, but today he was jumping on me in the kitchen so I told him NO, pushed him off of me, and swatted his hiney, well then he squat down and peed all over the kitchen tile! Right there at my feet! He's driving me crazy, I just don't understand why he can't behave and listen me! I've been around dogs my whole life and have never had any problems like I do with Jude. He'll jump up and pull stuff off the kitchen counter - he tore my dish towel a few weeks ago. Day before yesterday I come out of the shower to find that he knocked the lid off the trashcan and rummaged through the trash, which he then shredded to pieces all over my clean kitchen that I had swept and mopped the day before.
Oh and he listens to my husband btw. My husband says something and Jude listens. He's kind of scared of my husband I think - though he bites us both. We both love little Jude so much and he's absolutely adorable, but he's seriously driving me crazy, I don't know what to do. My mom says I need to start putting him in a crate and only let him out to play, eat, and potty - but I think that's just cruel in my opinion. Any other advice?
how much exercise is he getting? are you guys working on training daily?
First - "no" means nothing. it is much to vague.
Second - take training class with him. do daily training.
Third - crating will not TEACH him anything and will in fact make it worse. I agree - that would be simply cruel, why have a dog if you just put it in a crate all day???
We take him for walks at the park down the street and sometimes my husband will go jogging with him. He know what "down" means, he just refuses to listen unless he WANTS to listen. He also knows what "sit" means, as I make him sit before he gets any treats - but again he only listens if he WANTS to listen. Sometimes I'll be petting him and suddenly he'll get this wild look in his eye and I can tell that he's fixing to bite me - and as soon as I realize what he's about to do, he does it. Seriously, his pupils dilate and his eyes widen a little, I swear he looks like a wild animal lol. My husband calls it the "Wild Eyes" - his "I'm about to bite the crap out of your hand" look haha. But we don't have him in training classes - might be something we need to do though.
In addition to Tanya's good advice -
English is a second language for dogs. You need to teach a command for them to understand the meaning. Just saying a word to a dog will not get you any sort of positive response as the dog needs to understand what you are asking him to do.
If you want your dog to stop biting you what are you doing besides saying NO? You need to communicate to the dog that his actions are not desirable and are not going to get him what he wants (and what he wants could be your attention or a food treat). When he is calm - reward that behavior. When he acts up - turn away and withdraw your attention. If that does not work you can escalate the response. My older dog was a rescue I got at 6 months and he was still very mouthy. I would close his mouth and sternly tell him "NO BITE" - and DRAMATICALLY withdraw my attention from him. Dogs understand negative body language much better than they understand words. That did not cure Diesel entirely so I bumped my response up more - I would take his snout and fold a part of his lip over his tooth and press enough to elicit a reaction from him - not to injure - just to make him aware of what his teeth did. I got him to stop mouthing in a few days.
You often see prolonged mouthiness with puppies who are separated from their litters too young - they never learn about bite inhibition from their littermates. So - their owners wind up teaching this to them. If you can get him with an older adult dog - preferably a female - he may get some lessons in behaving himself taught to him by another dog. She won't tolerate that at all. If he's not spending time with safe, vaccinated dogs I highly recommend you find a way to do this.
On the jumping - this is not so hard to deal with. Set him up by standing still and as he starts to jump up on you, take a step back so he can't attach himself. Do that a few times and he'll get the picture (at least for that moment). If he does manage to jump up calmly and firmly push him down and STERNLY tell him DOWN. One of the problems women have with dogs is that often our voices are higher pitched and higher pitched sounds make dogs more excitable. Deliberately make your voice deeper, sterner and lounder and you may have this dog reacting to you differently.
If one of my dogs humped my leg he'd be orbiting a distant planet. It's OK to react with anger/yelling (not hitting) when a dog breaches a boundry like that.
One of your jobs as a good owner is to be a leader to your dog and establish what his boundries are. Dogs crave structure and need leadership. Right now it does not sound to me like you are being a leader - he's just pushing your buttons all day long.
How much exercise are you giving this dog? Much of the antics you describe don't happen in a dog that is worked out and tired out daily. If you are not getting him out for a couple of long sessions of fetch and going for long walks every day - you need to find the time to do that.
And do get into an obedience class. It's very difficult to instruct people over the internet when we can't see you interacting with your dog. A good trainer will teach you to train your dog and that is worth every penny you invest.
Last edited by BigBrownDog; 02-03-2012 at 11:35 PM.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Sharon and Tanya gave you great advice! Just saying NO to your dog means nothing to them. I also use her name to preface commands. I say, "Sophie sit" or "Sophie Down" etc, that way they know that you are talking to them. Jumping: try leashing him. When he jumps, force him to sit by using the leash and sternly command, "Jude down!" Leash him in situations that you know he usually jumps on you. Sophie liked to jump on people when they came in the front door. We leashed her and when someone came in, we made her sit. We always used a hand on the muzzle and the "Don't bite!" command every time she bit. She would draw blood too!! She stopped after a month or so of doing this every time she chewed on us. EVERY TIME!! As far as most of the ornery behavior you mentioned, like getting in the trash, tearing up dishtowels etc....that is normal labby puppy antics. Getting stuff off the counter....it happens so often we have a name for it: Counter Surfing! Have you have a lab before? They are a joy, but can be a handful! As far as smacking his hiney...well that didn't work so well did it? He promply peed on you to let you know how he felt about that! I wouldn't hit him. Even though I am sure you didn't hurt him at all, I think it sends the wrong message. Good luck with Jude. We are all here to help you. We know that being a labby mommy can be tough and rewarding.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Go to training classes.
As the others have said -
Go to obedience class with him, it's good for bonding as well as training.
MORE EXERCISE - make sure he's getting off leash running time. Find a park or somewhere enclosed where he can run and play off leash. Walks are nice, but they won't be enough for a young, active puppy.
i fully agree with sharon
he is not getting enough exercise. walks are warm ups for labs not exercise, he needs to run and play. And please read up on what age one should start jogging with dogs. While YES your dog needs more exercise and YES he can keep up very easily to the husband on a jog, the repetitive motion (and even more so if done on pavement) can cause long term damage to their joints. It is recommended to not do forced exercise with a dog until they are done growing, for labs this is 18-24 months. And trust me, I get how annoying it must be to be told in the same post that your dog needs MORE exercise but to STOP jogging with them but not ALL exercise is the same. Dogs need free play, fetching, playing with other dogs, just having fun while they are young. Forced exercise - anything on leash where you decided on speed and distance - should be done only when a dog is fully grown.
also - if he listens when "he wants to" it means you missed a step in the training I highly recommend training classes.
I totally missed that your husband runs with this puppy! As Tanya says - that is asking for joint damage. You need to allow him to fully grow up (2 years old) before you run with him and even then forced exercise (where he does not have the ability to stop when he is hurting) is not a great idea.
On him peeing in front of you in the kitchen - please don't assume that he is doing this out of spite. Puppies can revert in training. He could even have a UTI that caused him to have an accident. Don't assume that since he has a doggie door and can get himself outside that he will always remember to do so - he is still very immature. You should keep track of his trips outdoors and if he has not been out in a while - send him out.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.