beagle puppy biting and barking(5 Posts)
Hi all. I am a first time dog owner so have come here for some advice. I have a 12 week old beagle girl, did all my research before we got her and was very prepared. However, if she steals food and I try and take it off her she growls and bites me. Not just a nip but a hard, aggressive bite. Can anyone give me some advice on how to deal with this? And whether this is something I need to worry about as I have a 4year old daughter. Thanks in advance.
I'm afraid I don't know what you should do but I don't think it's indicative of any long term problems with your puppy. I do think it's something that you need to address immediately and it might be worth getting some help from a local dog trainer/behaviourist.
I have a six month old puppy who has on and off been quite difficult eg barking at other dogs when he's on the lead, has nipped me quite hard a few times. What worked for us was seeing a dog trainer who basically told me that I need to be a lot firmer with him and after just one hour with her he is a changed dog. In the past I would have had no chance of taking food that he's stolen off him but now I would be able to and I think the difference is that now he's decided that he respects me.
I had done a lot of reading about puppy training all based around positive reinforcement and I think as a result I was letting our puppy do his own thing too much. I think that some dogs need to know who is in charge. Not advocating violence etc but it is truly amazing what a difference a strong 'no' has made to my puppy!
I think you just need to make sure she can't steal food - be super careful & then this situation won't arise. You should be laying down rules for your little one about appropriate behaviour with the dog which should include not touching the dog when it's eating, sleeping, & when you're not there.
It is totally normal dog behaviour to guard something...it's unwanted by us and yes it does have implications for your DD as she will do it to your DD in the same circumstances.
You want to work on your drop and leave commands and swap things she shouldn't have for a high value reward...which yes is a bit tricky when she's found food, so ideally you want to also make sure she hadn't got access to any to start with.
Imabusybee gives good advice.
You need a book called "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. In essence, she's defending what she thinks is hers. If I was minding my own business with a delicious slice of chocolate cake and someone just grabbed it from me, I'd shout and snatch it back too!
You need to implement better management so she doesn't steal food (you have a beagle and you did your research so I'm sure it won't be a surprise when I say that beagles are notorious thieves). This may mean you need to use stairgates or cupboard locks.
You need to teach her a leave it command.
You need to work on exchanging things she's stolen for higher value items (keep cheese close to hand at all times!).
And please please lay down some strict rules for your daughter.
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