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Puppy having massive tantrums

(25 Posts)
HelgatheHairy Fri 26-Oct-12 20:53:57

This has been going on for a little while but today was the worse instance and I really need advice.

Bailey is a 6 month old golden retriever and he's lovely, when he's being good. But the last few weeks he's been having tantrums when he doesn't get his own way. And by a tantrum I mean jumping up and biting, he doesn't usually growl or bark while he's doing this.

Today's tantrum was when DH had him out walking on lead (he's never off lead in public). DH saw a tissue on the path ahead so had Bailey on a tight lead so he couldn't eat it. Bailey was jumping to get to the tissue but DH kept walking. Bailey started jumping and biting and there are now holes in the sleeves of the hoodie DH was wearing!! Bailey has done it to me when I've pulled his away from tree branches that he's trying to pull along on walks but never put holes in my clothes.

What do we do???

HoneyDragon Fri 26-Oct-12 21:00:03

Are you using treats and positive distraction on walks?

kittycat68 Fri 26-Oct-12 21:02:40

ure an expert will come along shortly but i would scream or a least shout ouch loadly when ever his mouth comes into contact with u or your clothes and prtend you are hurt. he needs to learn its not acceptable as you know. what do you do now when he does it do you tell him off or any thing?

HelgatheHairy Fri 26-Oct-12 21:11:29

honey what stopped him today was someone came walking past and that distracted him. Although he LOVES food, on walks he's disinterested in treats. When he sees something ( like the tissue) nothing will distract him.

kitty we shout no, and if we can, hold our arms above our heads (which generally works but doesn't work when holding his lead). Although sometimes the shouting works him up more.

JethroTull Fri 26-Oct-12 21:15:34

Watching this with interest as our Boxer shows signs of similar behaviour...

coffeeinbed Fri 26-Oct-12 21:16:58

Mine did it.
I stuck a newspaper in his mouth to carry.
He loves carrying and it's sorted the jumping up.

stleger Fri 26-Oct-12 21:17:40

We have a rescue dog who was more of a terrible twos than a puppy when we got him. The word 'BA' seemed to work better than 'NO'. We were advised to use it by a New Zealander, the theory is it sounds like what Mummy Dogs say to Puppy Dogs.... We also had to ignore tantrums, which is easier said than done!

Rikalaily Fri 26-Oct-12 21:23:05

Our dog was a steam train on a lead when something caught his eye, even a leaf on the floor would have him bouncing about like a loon. We got a Dogmatic headcollar - It's not like a halti, it's very similar to a horse bridle so it calms them and the lead clips below the chin so you have complete control of the head, they can't lunge, pull or jump about. Pricey for a headcollar but invaluable, our second one just arrived today as he outgrew the first, there is no way I'll walk him without it. Here's the site, honestly I can't recommend these enough, literally like a different dog from the first walk, you have to be accurate when measuring the dog and will probably need another as he grows but well worth the investment. www.dogmatic.org.uk/

You should keep a pocketful of treats (I believe liver cake is fab for outside the home treating as they love the stuff and will usually not be disracted from it) and distract when something catches his eye, also as kitty says, making a yelp or saying a sharp NO! Then withdraw all attention when he nips can help stop it as that is what sound his littermates would make if he bit one of them. Pups are very mouthy and it's usually the first thing that they do when over excited, it takes consistency and time for them to learn thier manners but they get there in the end.

Is he neutered? Dogs can get very hormonal from 6+ months, act like teenagers. Our boy has just been snipped at 12 months, he definately has a Kev and Perry attitude about him, lol.

kittycat68 Fri 26-Oct-12 21:27:16

i was told once by a behavouirist not to shout at the dogs or they think its a game and do it more a firm low tone and meaning it has more effect, so i use this mostly!!!!

HoneyDragon Fri 26-Oct-12 21:35:46

I am currently using a Kumfi Dog alter and liver cake with
My 6 month pup as she is really going nuts on the lead if she sees people she knows or other dogs.

If some stops she cannot pull so I can get her attention snd get her to greet properly.

Or I can get her to walk past.

Either way she is hugely praised and treated for getting it right. The praise is important as I want it to be a short term measure smile

HelgatheHairy Fri 26-Oct-12 21:58:32

Thanks all. Didn't expect so much response at this time of night!!

So basically distraction is key. Must stock up on liver cake.

HoneyDragon Fri 26-Oct-12 22:18:57

Dog Crack Liver cake (how I make it)

400g Liver
400g Flour (I use rice flour as gluten free)
Little garlic
Tbs Baking Powder
Tbs Sun Flower Oil
Dash of Milk

Blend Liver, Eggs*,Garlic, Oil and Milk. Then blend in flour and Baking powder.

Put in large microwavable dish. (like a round casserole. Nuke on high in Microwave for anything up to 10 minutes are so, until hard and spongy all the way through. (Sometimes you need to turn it up side down in dish the help it finish cooking through).

Turn out. Leave to cool. Chop up.

Loads of other ways on the interweb, but this has developed over the years through laziness.

*Give shells to dog who will be hovering and sniffing whilst observing keenly wink

kittycat68 Fri 26-Oct-12 22:28:20

how many eggs?

HoneyDragon Fri 26-Oct-12 22:46:32

Doh! 3 grin

HelgatheHairy Fri 26-Oct-12 22:54:39

Will definitely be trying that.

midori1999 Sat 27-Oct-12 10:39:21

If you do lots of treat training at home where there are few distractions, it will 'prime' your dog to expect treats on certain commands. Clicker training also helps dogs become more food motivated. Or use a game, such as throwing a ball or squeaking a toy or a game of tug.

You need to distract your dog and get him to focus on something else, by shortening the lead you are actually creating more tension/excitement and obviously the dog is still focused on whatever he was trying to get. It sounds like the tension on the lead, plus the excitement is just too much for the dog to contain, so he's becoming over excited. If he does start to jump up/bite just stay silent, completely ignore and carry on as if it's not happening.

I use salami or chorizo for training, it's very smelly and can be cut into small chunks. My dogs don't care less about liver or liver cake! At home, teach the dog something like the 'close' command where he has to walk to heel and stay very close to your side. You can lure him into position with the treat and at first have lots of treats and keep him 'close' for a few seconds by repeatedly giving treats for that time. Build up the time he is 'close' for and when he is reliable try it on walks, but when there are no distractions. Maybe just walk up your own street for this purpose at first. When you are walking if he gets distracted and tries to pull towards something and ignores your 'close' command, interrupt the behaviour by taking some steps back, away from the object and give the command again once you've got his attention back. Repeat this if you need to until he realises that a) it doesn't matter what he does, he is never going to get the object you don't want him to have and b) it's very rewarding to do what you ask.

HoneyDragon Sat 27-Oct-12 10:53:48

I use Liver because it's cheap and smelly grin <<tightwad>>

However my friend has a Dalmation who won't touch liver cake. But would willingly learn to juggle if you showed her a piece of dried apple.

midori1999 Sat 27-Oct-12 11:03:34

I thought my dogs were the only ones! Thank goodness they're not! grin

Kormachameleon Sat 27-Oct-12 11:04:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spiderlight Sat 27-Oct-12 11:14:16

'Watch me' is a brilliant one to teach - so useful in so many contexts. We also teach ours a clear signal for 'don't jump up'. Fold arms, turn away sharply, completely ignore until they stop jumping (you can progressively develop this by waiting until they sit) and then praise and reward (click and treat if you clicker train). It takes a little while, but once they get it it's invaluable - as well as being a particularly useful command to give to visitors who are flapping their arms around and making things worse for an excited pup!

Floralnomad Sat 27-Oct-12 11:21:26

When you say he's never off lead in public why is that ? Do you walk him on a long line ? Does he ever go off lead for a really good run? Surely a golden retriever needs off lead exercise perhaps he has too much pent up energy and that is part of your problem. I know my terrier has been much better at walking on his lead since he started getting more off lead time .

daisydotandgertie Sat 27-Oct-12 11:30:00

Where dies your dog get the chance to run free?

Why is he never off lead in public? What's the problem?

Male dogs do get a bit of a testosterone surge at about 6 months which can't be helping, but he does sound very frustrated - and unable to cope with his frustration so behaves badly.

I'm with Midori. Absolutely ignore the bad behaviour - by shouting, getting tense, reacting to it you will be reinforcing what he is doing and confusing him at the same time. You'll also be adding to his stress levels and compounding the behaviour.

Use his confusion to teach a different reaction - even use the sit command and reward for it. Then move on.

daisydotandgertie Sat 27-Oct-12 11:30:28

Does. Not dies. Autocorrect, sorry.

HelgatheHairy Sat 27-Oct-12 12:12:59

Thanks for all the great advice.

Just to address the on/off lead, he is on lead in public because his recall is very dodgy and he wants to give hugs to everyone he sees. Most people don't appreciate a golden appearing out of nowhere jumping up on them.

At home he has plenty time running around off lead in my fields.

HelgatheHairy Sat 27-Oct-12 12:14:57

Just to clarify my last post, he's not just left outside to runaround by himself ( re-reading I realise its what it sounds like). We walk through the fields and play fetch etc.

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