biting & jump at play time/dog aggression training

when he plays , he attacks others,biting, jumping, growling. need help

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    How old is your puppy? The younger he is the easier it will be to change his behavior. He is playing with people the same way he would play with another dog and too roughly at that. Does he have a bigger, older well mannered dog to play with that will help teach him some manners? That will help tremendously. Dogs learn much of their behavior by observation, which is why it is so important to give puppies time to play with a big "sister" or "brother" dog who can show them how to behave. If this is not possible then the first command he needs to learn is "NO". He needs to learn to reliably stop whatever he is doing when he hears that command. It should be said in a loud firm growly voice. You can use food rewards and gentle soft praise when he complies. Once he's learned that command he needs to learn "leave it" or "drop it" which means whatever you don't want him to have or whatever is in his mouth needs to be dropped immediately. Again using his favorite food treats and soft gentle praise when he performs as you'd like. Have some especially tasty treats on hand and set him up. Place something on the ground that is less tasty than your treats but still attractive. When he goes after it tell him to "leave it" in a loud voice then immediately offer him his tasty treat. He'll soon learn that if he "leaves" whatever you tell him a better reward will follow. Once he's learned that progress to "drop it". With drop it allow him to start to put it in his mouth, call out "drop it" in a firm voice, then take it from his mouth and offer him his tastier treat at the same time. With work and practice it will become automatic and he will immediately drop whatever he has in his mouth to look for a better reward. It will become so automatic that he will eventually only need an occasional reward to reliably follow this command. These commands will teach him to listen to you and that when he does he is rewarded. Some puppies are very mouthy and may need to carry a special toy in their mouths while playing until they learn people aren't to chew on. If he does start to mouth you or get too aggressive during play yell "ouch" and stop playing with him immediately. Ignore him until he calms down. Your puppy may need quieter, gentler games like fetch where he wears himself out without wrestling or trying to physically dominate you or another dog. Kara, DVM

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