We are having problems with our puppy biting things. He usually stops when we tell him but gets back at it shortly. Any suggestions?
We have an 11 week old puppy. He appears to be very dominant. We think we are having problems establishing our pack structure with him- we have watched all your videos but can't seem to find a solution. We are crate training him and he seems to have picked up on housebreaking pretty quickly. The problem is that he has a mind of his own.
One of the problems is when he is biting something. We will tell him to stop- and he will stop. But then he will wait a few seconds and try to go right back and bite it again. Sometimes we have to tell him five or six times to stop biting an item. My husband will eventually get to the point where he will yell and shake the puppy- and that usually works. But we would like to avoid having to do so.
OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM is when we walk the puppy on our block. We take him outside and he will go to the bathroom- usually within 10 feet of the front step of our building- we live in a city. But once he goes to the bathroom he will turn to run back to the front door of our building- he wants to go back inside the apartment. He loves being in the apartment. The strange thing is that once we get the puppy off our block- and walk him a block or two away from our apartment- he is absolutely fine and walks like a normal dog on a leash. But once he realizes that we are turning around to head back home he will pull and strain on the leash to get back home.
If we are walking the puppy on our block and don't want to go back inside the apartment, but instead walk him down the block, we will have to drag him down the block. We have tried to POP, POP, POP the leash as you recommend (with multiple pops) on your videos, but he still resists. We have a flat collar on his neck. Is it time for us to use a prong collar? Frankly it is VERY annoying having to fight with the puppy every time we want to walk him down the block-as we end up having to DRAG him down the block. It is not a pleasurable experience.
When we POP, POP, POP the leash it will sometimes work- and the puppy will walk with us for a while- but then after about 30 feet he will hang back again and we will have to repeat the procedure and POP, POP, POP the leash again. Additionally, when we POP, POP, POP the leash he will sometimes growl.
What do you recommend?
Have you done marker training with the puppy? Try to give him something to do that he thinks is fun, instead of making it all about popping on the leash.
Read the article I wrote titled Training With Markers. There are three phases of training, the learning phase, the distraction phase and the correction phase. We use markers to introduce our dogs to the LEARNING PHASE of training.
Being reluctant to leave home is a totally normal issue with puppies of this age, and it will evaporate as he gets older if you don’t make this a big issue.
Use the marker training, and once he understands that (which should only take a day) then start marking any step away from home with a YES (or clicker) and reward. Make it a team effort instead of you just dragging him away from his security of home.
I don’t know which videos you have, but I would recommend Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet (if you don’t have it). You said you have all of our videos (which is a LOT) but if you could tell me which ones you have I would know whether to make any additional recommendations.
For biting, redirect him to something he is allowed to bite. We have a section on puppy biting on the website. Yelling and shaking him is only going to damage the relationship with the pup. If you can’t deal with it, put him in a crate.