|08-30-2013 12:58 AM|
|08-29-2013 03:14 PM|
Well, doesn't look like he was getting it that you were playing with him, and was still in fear mode when he growled and snapped.
He wasn't feeling the reassurance from you - I'd work more on being a calm, centered, positive force in his life so he cues off your (positive) energy when unsure.
The snapping at your hand and you holding his muzzle shut could very well be related. He might thought that a muzzle holding even was coming up and was letting you know that he wasn't agreeing with the program.
At this age, focus more on capturing and rewarding GOOD behaviour. This puppy needs confidence building. Everything he does is the best thing in the world, and he is the best puppy in the world that can do no wrong! Exude that thought and energy, and he will pick up on it.
He sounds like he is a soft submissive pup - the growling and snapping is very out of character for a young dog this age with this soft a temperament. My concern is not him, but you - you have been doing well so far in recognizing that he responds well to soft voice, so good for you for not going overboard - keep the softness in your demeanor and interaction with him, I think he will trust you more if he knows that you are a consistent positive source of gentle leadership.
|08-29-2013 02:50 PM|
|08-29-2013 10:31 AM|
|Sunflowers||I would avoid holding his snout. In my opinion that is a very sensitive part of the dog and too much correction, especially on a puppy.|
|08-29-2013 10:05 AM|
|Castlemaid||And 60 lbs already at four months old? Dang, you got a mastodont there on you hands, good luck with him.|
|08-29-2013 10:02 AM|
At four months old, he is still such a baby. If he is unsure of something or does not understand something, his growling is one of fear and insecurity, he is not getting vicious. So as his all knowing and benevolent leader and teacher, show him that he has nothing to fear, help build his confidence.
In your level 5 example, this would not call for a correction or raised voice in any way, really. He didn't do anything wrong, he was expressing confusion and insecurity at what your phone was doing. The better reaction from you would be to laugh it off, and show him that the phone is harmless, and actually a great little thing of entertainment.
I would also start making positive associations with things that show moving pictures and give out life-like noises and sounds. Sounds like he is very sensitive to you (good for you, will make it easy to train, but then you have to be careful to not over-correct him, even when you don't mean to).
If he gets in trouble every time he reacts to the scary phone, he will only be more scared. You might end up with a dog that tucks tail and runs away each time your phone rings, because he knows the phone with the scary noises and your anger are connected. For example, I know a guy who trained his Border Terriers using the "Penny's in a Can" method: Every time his pups did something he did not want them doing (digging, getting into the garbage, etc), he would sneak up on the and shake a can with pennies in it and yell NO! The idea is that the dogs would get scared of the noise, make the association, of digging, chewing with scary noise, and not try the same thing again. Well, problem was, the pups grew up to be terrified of any metallic, jingling noise! You couldn't jangle your keys, or pop open a soda can without them running away in a panic. Him and his wife had to be very careful about handling cutlery, etc.
So basically, he is not being aggressive at this age, but unsure. Show him that there is no reason to be afraid of stuff, turn his fears into neutral reactions by you giving an example.
|08-29-2013 04:31 AM|
Raising your voice...? Long post.
Sunny is 4 months and 10 days old and is extremely (fingers crossed) well trained for his age. His recall is almost a 100% even at a dog park and when there are like 15 dogs around him he wants to play with. Heeling is preetty good but we're getting there. (everything is ALWAYS done with his favorite treats)
When he's not listening to my commands properly I don't raise my voice too much. If 0 is the voice level I give commands in, (on a scale of 0-5) I raise my voice to 0.5 the first time he doesn't listen to me, then 1 and then I raise my voice to 1.5. And so far, he has responded quite well.
(Things I say are: HEY! AAh AAAH! HEEEY! they all mean 'no' in different levels, and I'm consistent with them)
- If, lets say, he doesn't heel and sit next to me when we're on a walk (command given at 0), I push his butt down to the ground to make him sit. A gentle nudge is all it takes.
- If he is whining at a starbucks when my buddy and I are sitting outside and he just wants to run around, I say a command at a 0 first and then at a 0.5...1. Then I just nudge his butt (if I had asked him to sit and he didn't do it), think of the nudge like as if someone is tickling you. Just to get his attention.
Scenario where I raise my voice to 3:
- When my little cousins are over (3 and 6 years old) and they run away from him. Him being a shepherd, he wants to chase them and he starts barking and running towards them (I have him on leash whenever they come over these days). Thats when I start from a 3. If he heels (heel said at a 3) and doesn't stop barking, I hold his mouth shut for about 10 seconds saying 'no or aah aaah' at .5 and he gets it (no pressure at all). The funny thing is, he is GREAT with kids except my cousins, I think its because they are extremely scared of dogs and he can sense it.
4 & 5:
- Before when he was a little landshark, a loud OUCH when he used to bite me (4 and sometimes 5, I have a few battle scars on my hand :P). He's not a landshark anymore.
- Happened today actually. He absolutely hates seeing his own video on a smart phone. Period. It's always funny and cute. Today I flipped my phone's camera to face the front and I was playing with him by showing his own reflection. As usual he started barking. At the same time I was petting his head and in the midst, he growled (not too much) and he snapped the air about a foot away from my hand, a bark snap to be more precise. Thats when I said "HEEEY" at a level 5. His reaction: tail between his legs and trotted away. I called him back put him in a down stay for 20 seconds and then started playing with him (didn't give him a treat).
Also, I'm training him with treats and clicker since he was 7 weeks old. I always have a fanny pack with all sorts of treats. As soon as he obeys my command (when he hasn't done something he isn't supposed todo) he gets a treat (or more, if the command is a recall and / or find).
My question is: Am I being too harsh on him? He is 60 pounds and all muscle. My goal is to have my mom walk him when he is fully grown (she is 5' 4" 120 pounds).
If I am being too harsh, what are the things I should change? As you guys probably know already, I and everyone else in my family loves him to death (me more than others).
Or am I just being overly paranoid? (happens pretty often with me regarding Sunny)