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NFT: Dog training advice

NYG27 : 7/11/2017 2:33 pm
I have a 16 month old male Jack Russell\Beagle\Lab mix that maxed out around 38-40 pounds named Max. Very easy going dog, submissive around other dogs and very friendly majority of the time.

Issue I have, the past 3 months or so, he's gotten REALLY aggressive when he has something in his mouth and someone tried to take it out. Prior to that, when he was 3-12 month old puppy, anytime when he had something in his mouth that we didn't want him to have, I'd just open his mouth and just take it out. Like Mulch, paper or a pair of socks. No Issues.

Although in the past 3 months or so, he starts to snarl and growl when we get close to him when he has something in his mouth that he isn't supposed to have. Increasingly, he's gotten more and more aggressive.

Most times we have to offer him a treat to "Leave it" and take the treat instead of what's in his mouth, and that works 85% of the time. It's the other 15% of the time when he doesn't leave it and he gets hyper aggressive that worries me. I've also done alot of Leave It training with him and he's very good about that.....when it's not in his mouth when I start training with him him. Once it's in his mouth, forget it, it's a death grip till he's either eaten or swallowed it.

Problem we recently had, we went on a 2 week family vacation and a friend of ours who has a dog, volunteer to watch Max for us. When we picked him up yesterday, she said he was very well behaved and played well with her dog. Only issue was that Max bit her hand when she tried to take something out of his mouth. Then taking the dogs for a walk, Max had a large piece of mulch in his mouth and her husband tried to take it out and he bit him too.

We warned them about how aggressive he was when he has something in his mouth but with how sweet he is and well behaved he is majority of the time, they forgot about it when trying to take something away from his mouth. They were OK with it and said he's still just a puppy but I want to stop this behavior ASAP.

Does anyone have any advise on what type of training to do with Max to get him to be less aggressive with something in his mouth and to Drop It when we tell him too? I've tried watching videos on YouTube and much of those haven't been successful yet.
if you permit, you promote  
GiantNatty : 7/11/2017 2:46 pm : link
you need to get physical with him- pin him to the ground if necessary with a stern "no!" while taking whatever it is in his mouth without relenting. that kind of behavior by a dog is absolutely unacceptable.

now look, before you get all hot and bothered by this advice, know that dogs understand this well: there is a difference between physicality and violence. you know the old phrase "a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being tripped over." dogs fully understand physicality- it is as important a means of communication for dogs as anything else (physicality includes exercise and play). i am by no means promoting violence or saying you should be violent with your dog- of course you shouldn't be. you shouldn't even be hurting him. but getting physical every once in a while is totally appropriate. if you rarely get physical to correct, you'll need to do it like only once- he'll understand you mean business. just don't do it out of anger, be stern but cool.
I agree with GiantNatty  
Bubba : 7/11/2017 2:55 pm : link
We have 5 dogs and they know who the true alphas are in the household. That's not to say we never have our "standoffs" but they always yield in the end. It is by no means abuse but being stern. Dogs are very responsive so this should resolve itself soon.

Rewards such as treats etc is not the way to go in this case as they will learn to hold the object in order to get a treat.
GiantNatty  
NYG27 : 7/11/2017 2:57 pm : link
I totally understand that and I've done alpha training with him since he was a puppy. When he misbehaves or does something I don't like, he automatically gets put into a submissive position.

Although this is something different. Last 3 months or so, he's ultra protective and aggressive of what's in his mouth. Even when I pin him down, he WILL NOT release.

I've had other dogs before and all of them have been good about Leave It\Drop It when trained but this is the first time I've seen this behavior.

Again to restate, when he doesn't have anything in his mouth, he's ultra sweet and friendly. A few seconds after removing something from his mouth, he automatically switched from aggressive to friendly.

It's only those few occasions when he has something in his mouth and refused to release it, which I have no ideal on how to correct.
not sure with mixes  
pjcas18 : 7/11/2017 3:01 pm : link
which traits they carry from each breed, but Jack Russell's are notorious biters because they were bred to be hunting dogs.

I have a Jack Russell mix and she was 1 when we rescued her, so she already had a lot of bad habits. I took her to Pet Smart training and normally I'd say Pet Smart or Petco are not great for training, but they really are dependent on the trainer you get.

Our local Pet Smart had a trainer whose full time job is training service dogs for military and police. He was excellent and worked with our goals which were:

1. Leash training
2. basic commands, sit, stay, leave it, lay, take it, etc.
3. socialization

She was already crate trained and house broken.

he helped us through that and now as a 3 year old she's an incredibly well behaved dog. Only thing we haven't trained out of her is cats. She still and will probably always go absolutely nuts when she sees a cat. She almost crashed through a screen in our house trying to get at a cat in our yard so I let her out in back and she jumped our at the time 5-foot fence. and she caught it and had it pinned before I could get there and free the cat.

So my advice would be check out your local petsmart or petco and ask if you can meet the would-be trainers. Cheapest and in my experience best way to get specific training.

And for he record, we had hired personal trainers who came to the house initially and they sucked.

Here is a picture of Rosie (distorted through picasa app, but only picture I had on my phone). she's 25 pounds of muscle, but very gentle, playful, and safe.

Bubba  
NYG27 : 7/11/2017 3:01 pm : link
That's my concern, I don't want to keep on rewarding him with a treat for releasing something in his mouth. He's 16 months old and I want to break this habit of his before he get older.
pjcas18 good suggestion  
NYG27 : 7/11/2017 3:08 pm : link
I'll check out our local Petsmart\Petco and meet with some of their trainers. Maybe signing up with a few classes to specifically break that habit would be best.
When you get the aggressive behavior tell him NO and then have him  
BigBlueDownTheShore : 7/11/2017 4:08 pm : link
have him sit and then "Settle" with a really strong treat. Good treats to use are hot dogs (Something that smells real strong and you know he absolutely loves). Meaning he needs to sit and then calm down and then give him the treat. Do not release him from settling until he is completely calm and don't let him fake you out.

I have a dog aggressive Boxer, and it has taken me a very long time and it still isn't perfect to get his aggression out, but that's what I have been taught. I watch his tail because it gets out of control fast spinning when he is aggressive, when he gets calm it stops moving.

You can use other words like chill.
Here is  
BigBlueDownTheShore : 7/11/2017 4:46 pm : link
a link on settle technique
Settle! - ( New Window )
Some dog training places want you there  
robbieballs2003 : 7/11/2017 6:13 pm : link
Since you will be the one the dog has to listen to. A lot of times is is more about training the owners than the dogs.

One word of advice, whatever you do make sure it is consistent with your family. I was still living at home with my parents when we got our first dog. We were in the middle of moving so we were there a few months. I took my dog for dog trainijng classes. I asked my wife and mother to come. Neither one wanted to. Long story short, I am the only on my dog truly listens to. He listens to my wife for the most part. Everybody that meets him loves him amd says how great of a dog he is.

Here is the learning part. My mother is a little nuts. Every time she comes over to watch my son my dog becomes a different dog. When I am there he gets a little confused because he doesn't know if he should obey or go nuts. When I leave my dog is jumping on the couch, chewing his bed, flipping it around, jumping on my mother, licking her face, barking nonstop. It is like complete freedom for him. I get up for work at 4:45 a.m. My mother meets my wife at the house around 7. Sometimes she tries to lay down. That never works. He is attacking her because he wants to play. Then she gets annoyed with me. Haha. I just tell her that she should have come to training.

Okay, so to wrap this up, part of the problem is that I tell my mom that the dog doesn't really speak English. He reads your body language and the tone at which you say something. Her tone is always the same whether she is yelling or playing. So, since she doesn't know the commands that the dog learned (down means lay down but she says down when he is on the couch instead of "off"). So, remember, body language and tone are more important tban the actual words.

Someone else said that you have to be aggressive. I agree but it is really how you differentiate betseen you playing, askimg the dog to do something, and demanding ot be done.

One thing about my dog (Shetland Sheepdog) is that they get nervous. One time, ironically on the way to dog training class, I opened the door and he jumped out because he heard a German Shepard bark. I had one of those leashes with the hard handle. Well, when that hit the pavement he took off. I kept saying come but that didn't work. I learned later that if i just yell sit then he will do that no matter what. A lot of times when I say come it was for negagive reasons and he would be afraid to come. Sit works much better for him in a situation like that.
I would 2nd PJ's advice.  
ctc in ftmyers : 7/11/2017 8:00 pm : link
Get some professional help.

I have Short tails and Pointers that I compete with that are naturally hardheaded. Now all my dogs are force fetch trained to retrieve because they compete and have to be 100%, 100% of the time. It's an 8 week process but it works.

There are several ways to take care of the problem as training methods vary and a pro can teach you how and point out your mistakes as you go along.

Dogs are not hard to train, people not so much.

Try the JR group on face book if you haven't already as I am sure your problem isn't unique.

I have been training dogs for 40 years and still have to ask for help when I run into a problem I can't handle.

Good luck.
RE: if you permit, you promote  
KeoweeFan : 7/11/2017 8:13 pm : link
In comment 13525522 GiantNatty said:
Quote:
you need to get physical with him- pin him to the ground if necessary with a stern "no!" while taking whatever it is in his mouth without relenting. that kind of behavior by a dog is absolutely unacceptable.

now look, before you get all hot and bothered by this advice, know that dogs understand this well: there is a difference between physicality and violence. you know the old phrase "a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being tripped over." dogs fully understand physicality- it is as important a means of communication for dogs as anything else (physicality includes exercise and play). i am by no means promoting violence or saying you should be violent with your dog- of course you shouldn't be. you shouldn't even be hurting him. but getting physical every once in a while is totally appropriate. if you rarely get physical to correct, you'll need to do it like only once- he'll understand you mean business. just don't do it out of anger, be stern but cool.

Natty is absolutely right, BUT.....

This is NOT a job for novices. You MUST be able to maintain your confidence through the exercise without losing your temper (almost impossible).
I've had about 50 years experience handling dogs. Let me relate an extreme experience 3 years ago with our rescued and horribly abused Great Dane. (Part of his rehabilitation was a shock collar, which I do NOT normally advise even though I've used it for field training Goldens.)

Magic was doing very well, including staying away from table food, which of course he could reach without jumping up.

One day the leftover hambone that was to be part of pea soup was laying on the counter and it was too much to resist when I went to another room. As Natty said, this was the moment of truth in his rehabilitation. I couldn't back down.

I grabbed one end of the bone and with the other hand put my thump and opposing finger on the OUTSIDE of his jaw and worked my way up his open teeth every time he relaxed so that as he squeezed he bit the inside of his own mouth. As I did that my wife (who manages an animal shelter) got the shock collar around his neck and then when I called "drop" she hit the button and he got the message. From then on, he dropped on command. As I said, this is not a job for amateurs :).

BTW Magic developed into probably the most caring and empathetic dog we've had. In the wee hours of the night, if either my wife or I stirred he'd come to each of us to see if we were OK, bending down to give us a nuzzle and the went back to his bed.
one tip  
bc4life : 7/12/2017 8:38 am : link
do not give him free access to the toy. He gets the toy when you want him to have it and you take it when you don't want him to have it. in short, don't allow him to keep the toy all the time.

pinning him to ground may not work for everyone. get some professional training - should be able to get it fairly inexpensively. Do it ASAP - he's learning what he can get away with.
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