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 Puppy Aggression?

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jenb
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PostSubject: Puppy Aggression?   Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:42 am

Hey all,

So I was hoping I could get some advice from more experienced husky owners about a problem I am having with my little 5.5 month old girl Finley. A little background about her, she is happy and friendly and generally a ball of energy. She used to be really bitey as a puppy, but a whole lot of training has pretty much got her out of this, and if she tries to nibble now, a quick "no biting" usually makes her stop. We live in a complex with two other puppies the same age, and about 5 or 6 adult dogs, all of whom she gets along with and plays with on a daily basis.

The problem is with dogs she doesn't know. Almost without fail on the first meeting, her ruff will go up when a dog comes up to greet her, and she will curl her lip and snap a couple of times. She then does the whole sniffing, tail wagging thing and will happily play and hang out with the other dog. The next time she meets them, she'll be fine! However, and understandably, a lot of the dog owners get freaked out by the lip and the snap and take their dog away before it moves on to Fin being nice.

Any ideas on why this happens and how to stop it?? It doesn't seem to be aggression so much as nerves but I'm at a loss as to how to work her through it, and too broke to afford Whistler dog trainer prices until the winter season starts in November.

Thanks in advance for all your help  Very Happy
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jenb
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:19 am

Sorry to keep asking but does anyone have any advice on this problem? We have randomly started having another problem as well, she has suddenly started to jumps at some people (not everyone, just select people, mostly bikers/joggers) and nip at them. It's not a full bite, just the kind of nip that she sometimes gives during play, we stop her immediately whenever she does this. No idea how to stop it, at the moment, I just keep her close when near people and try to prevent it, but sometimes she manages to pull hard enough to get to them. Any ideas?
Thanks so much everyone!
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:30 am

Wow, I read this a couple days ago but I didn't realize no one had helped you. I honestly, am not a dog trainer, so anything I say may be totally off the mark. I do believe you are correct, your puppy is not showing aggression, to me it's more a defensive mode she goes in, like something about the other dog puts her into that mode. And without a lot of time, a lot of socialization with other dogs, different dogs and understanding people, I personally don't know what to tell you. I HOPE others will chime in here.

As far as the jumping at bike riders and joggers, one thing you can do is be more proactive, when you see a jogger or biker coming near, or even from behind you, shorten her leash and hold her closer, when you feel her start to jump anyways you just firmly hold the lead in a manner she can't jump, of course praise her when she doesn't and if you train with treats, treat her when she doesn't jump. Again though, my advice might be totally off the mark, I'm hoping you get the advice you need though.

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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:42 am

Jen, this is not aggression. Firstly, Fin meeting other dogs and ruff comes up is out of excitement and nervousness. The nipping at people and bikers is also out of nervousness and excitement. How much socialization have you done with Fin beyond walks? If she is all done with puppy shots I would start taking her to different places where she can meet other people and dogs, if you have a petsmart, that is a good start. I also, imho, think this is a good time to teach attention and focus on you. It kind of stinks, but you have to start learning and teaching her to ignore things. A good way is to teach sit in a middle of a walk. sounds strange, but out of the blue on a walk have Fin sit. Reward her when she immediately does so. Then continue with your walk. Stop again, and do the same. Focus on her and you being one unit. I personally used several different commands, and completely ignored other people and other dogs. This makes your dog less focused on distractions and more focused on you, and what you want her to do. By doing different commands, means that she will look to you for direction, and less focus on other things. When you want to resume the walk, use her recall, for example with Miya I say let's go, and our walk will continue, then after a minute or so, Miya sit. You want to eventually have her focus on you most of the time. Now when you approach another dog or human (after some success with the above), have Fin sit prior to the meeting, somewhere along this training, I would encourage the use of stay or wait. My wait command is letting Miya her sit is temporary, where as the stay is to be stay put until I release, either works, just employ one. Then have the other dog or human approach, use "Fin be good", Miya associates this because when she hears good, she is rewarded. The bikers, is a total distraction, and reversing movement, or placing her in a sit and stay away should work. Always positively reward when she gets it right. Hope that helps you, and remember, persistence and consistence is key, it wont change over night.
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jenb
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:22 am

Hey guys, thanks so much, the sit/training during walking is a great idea that I haven't tried. I only try and get her to sit when people or dogs are approaching and she is too focused on them to pay attention.
She has had tons of socialisation since finishing her shots, but no matter how many dogs she meets she is always snappy at first! Most of her meeting is on leash on trails. With people, I walk through town on a regular basis, into work, to pet stores and around parks and local hiking trails, it is really a recent development, and a worrying one! I thought at first it was due to being spayed and nit having much excitement but she has had a week of good walks and socialisation and it is getting worse instead Sad
I'll try working on tricks and training during walks and let you know, I need to find a treat that really works as she normally turns her nose up at kibble or her good treats when outside. (will do anything for them inside!)
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jenb
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:31 am



Here is a picture of my gorgeous girl showing she can be good with a 3 month old Pittie puppy, it's just the strangers she is funny about!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Aggression?   Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:45 am

Jen, Miya is a strange type too. Loves all dogs, just a little excited when meeting. By having them come to her vs her to them it may control her excitement. Also by working on my suggestions. She is young and gorgeous, so be patient. Also, and this is very difficult, but my Miya has never been a treat girl whilst working on commands and such. For her she thrives on good girl, and a pat on the shoulder blades. So that may work better for you. This will form an incredible bond between the 2 of you.

On a side note, my dad came to visit and just met Miya, he couldn't believe how well mannered she was and what a great job I did, since, as he put it, she has more energy than any adult dog he has ever met, lol. It really was my work in focus with her. By repetitively doing commands completely at my whim, it "forced" her to pay attention to me and had her focus on what I wanted her to do next. Switch it up, even if you stop so she can give you a shake, it imho, will help her with distractions. Let us know how it is going, and have fun!!
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