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Can anyone give me reassurance

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Teddy560, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    Teddy will be 6 months at the end of June. He's normally quite well behaved but lately has started air-snapping and mouthing on my hand again :( His recall has been none existant today and when we were coming back from our walk he led under the car and was snapping and mouthing on my hand when I tried to coax him out :/ any ideas? Is this just a teenage regression and how do I correct it, in idiot-proof terms if possible as I'm not an amazing dog trainer obviously. This has left me feeling really sad and deflated as I thought he was progressing quite well.
     
  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    Was he on leash, when he went under the car?

    If his recall is falling apart, I'd have him on a front-clipped Y-harness, with a long-line - I wouldn't let him off leash outside of a fence, as if he takes off, or just ignores the 1st one or 2 calls, he's practicing behavior U do not want.

    the more often he rehearses any behavior, the more-likely it will be repeated. :( So I'd nip it in the bud; I'd do 2 things right away, get him on a long-line every time he's off a 6-ft leash, & start re-training his recall, from step 1.

    - terry

    .
     
  3. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    No he wasn't on a lead. We parked in a rural wooded track where it is safe to let him off. And he normally waits for me to lift him into the boot but this time he ran under the car. Any advice on the snapping?
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    He's still very young & heading towards the 'terrible teens'. Dogs normally do regress in their training when they hit adolescence - you just have to stick with the basics and have faith that he'll get through it.

    But dogs, like people, do sometimes have off days and there's a possibility there's some reason why he wasn't himself today. Could he be teething?
     
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  5. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    Thanks Judy. He's not been awful just not himself. And I get panicky about him snapping at the children though they are never left unattended. He is definitely teething as he's lost some of his teeth. Also, he usually spends everyday with my husband. My husband has been away for a week now and wondering if that could maybe be part of it too?
     
  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Teddy560:

    No, he wasn't on a lead.
    We parked in a rural wooded track, where it's safe to let him off. And he normally waits for me to lift him into the boot, but this time, he ran under the car.
    Any advice on the snapping?

    ___________________________________
    .

    As above -
    i'd have him on a long-line, even if it was DRAGGING, as insurance that I can catch him up.
    That way, U can tread on the trailing line, pick it up behind yer foot, & use the LINE to bring him to U.

    No crowding to make him feel defensive; no chance of being bitten. :)

    .
     
  7. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, he could just be feeling unsettled because of your husband not being there, or because his mouth is uncomfortable - just think how grouchy you would be with toothache. I wouldn't, in future, reach under the car to get him - it could make him feel defensive, hence the air-snapping. Instead, if his recall is iffy in general, do as LfL suggests and keep him on a long line. Or get him on lead before you reach the car park.
     
  8. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    His recall is normally pretty good. Even when there's other dogs around. I made it sound earlier like he has snapped at the children, he hasn't, just me so far. He hasnt left a mark or break skin or anything. He just kind of snaps at the air and mouths on my hand. He just seems a bit peed off and like he's challenging me? His body language didn't suggest to me that he's scared, maybe more defensive?!
     
  9. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    scrap all thoughts of "Challenging me" - dogs aren't out to rule the world; WE have the car-keys, the refrigerator, the credit-cards, & WE bring home the groceries. :)

    I'd say he's defensive, & i'd avoid cornering him, looming over him, or picking him up w/o his permission - yup, i did say permission. If he can jump into the car, I'd let him do that, vs pick him up if he doesn't want to be hoisted.

    If he really cannot get into the car unassisted, I'd loop the webbing-leash around his waist, flat, as a hoist, so he can put his paws up on the door-sill & I hoist his butt for him, so he can scramble up.


    .
     
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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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  11. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    Thanks I'll take a look. He did it again this morning. He didn't want to go in the kitchen so sat under the chalkboard and did the snappy thing again but I took his collar gently and led him to the kitchen. He doesn't actually touch my hand. Just kind of snaps at it. It's not very aggressive either. Could he just be pushing boundaries as such? Like lovely children do ;)
     
  12. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    Side note, is it normal for them to EAT bones? He went out into the garden this morning with his raw drumstick and I watched him gulping whole bits of it down and I can't find any bones... is this okay?
     
  13. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes fine providing he's chewing them up and not trying to swallow them whole which could lead to choking
     
  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It might be a good idea to leave a trailing lead on his collar even in the house so you don't need to get too close. If you cut off the handle it won't snag on anything.

    I wonder if a vet check might be worth while - it seems such a sudden and significant change of behaviour, maybe enough to indicate something else going on?
     
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  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree, I'd get him checked over. Has there been anything that's happened recently or any changes that have unsettled him? Ah, I remember you mentioned your OH being away - it'll be interesting to see what happens when he comes back.

    I would avoid leading him by the collar for now - I'd go into the other room and call him, then reward him for coming, and/or use the trailing lead JoanneF suggested. My dog hates being 'manhandled' to move him around, but if we're in the kitchen and I say 'out of here' he'll leave the room and wait for a treat. I keep meaning to work on commands to go to different rooms, mainly for the fun of it. If he's generally iffy about being led by the collar you can though work on desensitising him to being held/led by the collar, working up from just holding it and giving him a treat through moving just a few steps, and so on. The problem is that generally when we grab a dog's collar it's either to make them do something they don't want to do or stop them doing something they do want to do, so it can have negative associations.
     
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  16. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    They do have bad days when teething. Maybe get him checked though it sounds like he's a bit unsettled by changes you've mentioned. My cocker is two and still has bad days. Just one thing- I'd NEVER try to move a dog around the house by his collar. Going for the back of the neck is what they do to each other- sometimes in play but also when fighting for real. Dogs can easily get the wrong message and snap at the hand. It's an important thing for children to learn and understand too. Little hands nowhere near the bitey bits please!
     
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  17. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    He's normally absolutely fine with it. Was just yesterday. The collar is never ever used roughly and he is never pulled by it, grabbed etc. But I understand what you mean about leading him by it. Also my children are not allowed to pet him or be around him unsupervised in general at all, let alone go near his mouth or sensitive areas.

    Today has been a lot more positive. He did really well on his walk and practicing recall. Chicken works wonders. His whole routine has been changed. He spends all day with my husband walking around work. Now he is with us all day. It's cute how much the kids love him though and he is so gentle with them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  18. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm so not criticising you- my last spaniel was so sweet and would tolerate anything I think he made me take my eye off the ball my current one! Having to relearn a lot. For instance at six months I remember he suddenly got a bit 'neck-shy'. In fact I don't have a collar on him at all in the house. Maybe till 6 months they are primed to let their mothers pick them up by the scruff. But as they mature it can becomes an issue. But I'm sure your beautiful puppy will continue be a joy. (And if not, just send him to me.;) You won't get him back though- too:rolleyes:)
     
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  19. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    I can relate to your first post @Teddy560. With Doris now as she can go from being calm ('normal') to snapping (not biting) and mouthing. It could be a good idea to take him to the vet just to see about his unusual behaviour change. But he could just be unsettled with the circumstances mentioned above. You can take this in your stride by teaching him recall. Call him then reward him when he comes. But obviously dogs are dogs just like we are humans we all have bad days. I would be wary of the children being near him even if you are in the room., Maybe this is to show that he is anxious about something but you haven't noticed the 'before' signs. This is a canine ladder of aggression, even if this isn't aggression its a great thing to refer back to. -
    ladderofaggression.png
     
  20. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Active Member Registered

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    I know. I just wanted to make it clear that he isn't in anyway manhandled nor do I let my children run amok or unsupervised with him. I knew before I got a puppy how much management (for the want of a better term) it would be with a puppy and young kids. And, so far, we're all doing really well. I just think preventative measures are better than cures and wanted to see if other people's puppies were little gits as teens ;) he has also started mouthing to initiate play too. Like he'll tug my clothes gently or mouth on my hand. I truly think it is a teething and teenage thing. On the whole he is doing very well :) my worst fear is that I will somehow let him down in his training or do something wrong... I've always had dogs, studied animal behaviour as part of my degree and used to run a riding centre. But horses aren't dogs lol. I've just started clicker training him too (with a marker word) watching kikopups videos.
     
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