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Aggressive puppy behavior

  1. #1

    Aggressive puppy behavior

    New here but just looking for some tips.
    We rescued a pup, he's about 9 months now, we've had since he was around 12 weeks.
    We don't know what happened to him prior but we have no reason to believe he was abused.
    He's rather large 100+lbs and growing. He's a chocolate/yellow lab, german shepard, american staffordshire terrier and great dane mix and he's neutered. Healthy except has a host of allergy problems but he's fine and goes to the vet regularly.
    These are some of the behaviors that concern us and we would like the best advice on how to address. I'm sure we're doing something wrong here.
    The biting. He's so big that he can fit our entire hands/arms/legs in his mouth more or less and when he does bite we're all getting bruised/scarred.
    He does this pinching nip that instantly bruises. There are times when he literally just clamps down or bites us by accident instead of his toy kind of thing.
    We've tried redirecting with a toy, a treat or just getting his attention on something else.
    We've done the standing tall, firm no and redirecting.
    We've said no and immediately put him in his crate.
    Some of it works for a bit but then he reverts right back to the above behavior.

    Triggers? This is what concerns me the most I guess. He can literally be laying there just chilling and then give us the "whale eye" and bite.
    When he's outside on his runner and it gets caught up on a bush, we walk over and untangle him and he attacks us. Immediately jumps and grabs at our arms/clothing and freaks out.
    We're playing with a toy and he gets overly aggressive and starts jumping and attacking.

    He bites when he wants our attention.Basically anything is a reason for him to bite.

    He's great with other dogs of any size and gender. Never a problem. He's either shy and timid and hides behind us or he engages in play right away.
    He's always shy with anyone new. Lays down, puts his head/ears down and acts submissive when meeting someone for the first time.

    Needless to say it's the biting that worries us. We didn't do professional training because we thought we could handle it. We taught him commands and within a few days he'd learn each new one and move on.


    We cannot get him to stop biting though.
    Is this normal puppy behavior that we've let spiral out of control or something more serious?
    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    6,024
    At this age he should be well past the teething, biting stage. Tying him out on a run isn't helping, tying a dog up will bring out the aggression in them. He's a big dog and you have to change his mind. He needs to learn its more uncomfortable to bite than not bite, put a choke collar on him, when he bites give it a sharp jerk and say NO, you have to be consistent and do it everytime he bites. He'll soon learn punishment follows the bite and he will stop. You can also make your hand like a claw and grab his snout and give it a little squeeze and say no, that is what his mother would do to correct him. if he tries to snap at you when you correct him give him a clip under the chin. He is out of control so there is no negotiating with him, he needs to learn manners and the sooner the better when he jumps up on you put your knee up in his chest, this will put him off balance and he'll get down, as you do this say down, if he gets down and doesn't get back up give him a small treat and praise. If he jumps up repeat as many times as necessary, he'll catch on but you have to be consistent and everyone has to be on the same page for training, he can't get away with someone with one and not the other.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Oh he isn't tied up and left out there. It's just for him to go to the bathroom. Our yard isn't fenced in so we got one that allows him to walk nearly the whole front yard without reaching the road. It's when he decides to go digging that he gets caught. I'm sure he could always use more energy output. He's not a little nut all day. It just happens enough that I am worried something else is going on.
    There's a stark difference in when he just needs to run and play vs when he's being aggressive.
    We have closed his mouth and said no biting but it's not our go to consistent response. He seems to go after our hands if they are used in either a bop under the chin or to close his mouth.
    I had everyone stop because we would go to just pet him sometimes and he would get defensive like we were going to do something to him and show us his teeth and try to bite our hands.
    I will try the mouth squeeze consistently and see how that goes.
    Thank you for the advice.
    I think ultimately we may have to just seek out a trainer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    6,024
    He doesn't see you as pack leader, he's taken that position for himself and until you establish you are the alpha nothing is going to change and he'll only get worse. A trainer is going to tell you the same thing I did, more exercise doesn't hurt, a tired dog is a good dog. the dog thinks he's boss and when he shows you his teeth instead of correcting him right away you back down and he knows it. You need to change your way of thinking and training before he does bite someone. When he jumps up put your knee up to his chest and say down, this will put him off balance, repeat as necessary, when he gets down and stays down give him a treat and praise. Everyone has to do this, he can't be allowed to do it to one and not the other, you have to all be on the same page for training or nothing will work.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

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