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May 20, 2013
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Dog Wants a Kitty

Dog Wants a Kitty

This big, bad doggie wants a little, fluffy kitty.

May 20, 2013   |   1 Minute, 36 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
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Question: My 3 month old puppy is lunging at my face and redirecting doesn't work. She also jumps at the side of her ex pen constantly. I'm raising this puppy for protection and schutzhund. Nothing I do is making a lasting impact, suggestions?

I have a 3 month old professionally bred working line GSD. She is high drive with a tenacity to learn. I have both 8 weeks to 8 months and Working Puppy. While both videos are extremely helpful I still have 2 questions.

1. We have "conquered" ankle and pant leg biting and work relentlessly on redirecting with hand biting. Little progress has been made there - but it is the lunging at the face that concerns me most. Once she begins the lunging it does not quit until I leave. She wears a lead at all times out of the crate, we use marker training and redirection - it simply does not work in this scenario. I am raising the dog for protection and schutzhund work. What suggestions can you provide?

2. I use an Ex-pen as you describe including use of toys, etc. I have been unable to stop her from constantly jumping on the sides. I saw Cindy handle Endy from the side not the top and tell her no when the behavior begins but nothing makes a lasting impact. Suggestions?

Thank you!

Cindy's Response:

Where are you when the puppy lunges at your face?  If you are down on the floor then I would recommend not getting down on her level. I don’t know too many puppies of 3 months old that can reach an adult’s face if they are standing up.

I’d also give her some more mental and physical exercise. I’d be teaching her engagement for food, The Power of Training Dogs with Food.

You can also be teaching her the mechanics of bite work which will give her an advantage when she starts real bite work later on, Foundation of Puppy Bite Work.

Both of these activities will drain some of her excess energy and give her constructive things to work on, as opposed to correcting her or trying to redirect all the time.

If she can’t behave in an ex pen then she’s going to have to spend more crate time. We go over more day to day living with the puppy in our newer release Living with your Puppy.

Michael also talks about it here, in this video Q&A.

Once your puppy understands marker training and learns that staying on the floor earns rewards, you should see a fading of the jumping behavior. Simply saying NO isn’t going to work, the puppy needs to understand the marker system and how to get what they want (rewards). If she’s continuing to jump then it’s likely you are accidentally reinforcing the behavior in a way that she likes. I’d rather NOT use an expen at all if you have a pup that is really disruptive and rowdy to the point of getting out. Endy was one of the most challenging puppies I’ve ever raised but learned the rules fairly quickly and I made sure she was really tired before I put her in there.

Cindy Rhodes


Thank you so much for your email.  It is sincerely appreciated!

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Puppies.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches and the Leerburg web forum. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's website

Hi Cindy,

This is another THANK YOU!!!

I recently got a new pup and he is as high a caliber dog as I ever hoped to own.  He is also as challenging as you can expect a well-bred, high drive puppy to be. He is wonderful and smart and sweet and also a maniacal baby wolverine crocodile on crack!

But for the thank you...

No matter which type of day we are having, there isn't a single day that I don't appreciate something I have learned from watching you, or Ed or Michael Ellis. Or something I read in the Q&A - like always having a toy when I take the puppy out so he has something to bite other than me! Or focusing on training ONE THING at a time - (e.g. don't worry about jumping if you are teaching sit - like the video with Daema sp?) Or Michael Ellis talking about teaching cues from physical movement and body language we aren't even aware of. I especially loved the video you posted "So you think you want a high drive puppy?"

This puppy will continue to be a challenge and he will continue to demand my best.  I am so grateful that I have Leerburg's information and help supporting me. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for my dogs and me!

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

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