I think this is a big game for her. Does she get exercise other than leash walks? I suspect she has no outlet for her drives and redirects her frustrations onto you. What do you do when she clamps on to your arms? Make a big deal and try to get her off? She probably thinks this is the funnest game of tug ever.
Do you play tug with her? Teach her that the proper thing bite when she wants to play with you is a tug. Bring one on walks, get her to carry it. She can't bite you if she is carrying something. Grab the tug handle when she is carrying it and start to play - she will learn that carrying the tug is part of the play.
I'm concerned that she is only six months old, and she 'used' to be on a prong and an electric collar for control. I think you and your husband will need some training and coaching on how to interact with her, how to play tug with her in a positive, rewarding way, how to redirect to toys, how to act so to NOT reward her biting your arms, and you will need some activities for her that will give her appropriate outlets for her drives and energies.
My rescue used to have no self-control, and would get into spastic modes of jumping on me, grabbing my jacket and clothing, and pulling like a maniac while growling up a storm. The more I tried to beat her off me, the more hyper and spastic she got. This kind of behavior was completely new to me, and honestly, it scared me.
Since the more forceful I tried to be with her, the more riled up she became, I changed tactics completely. When she started this, I completely went limp, shut my eyes, turned my head, withdrew my energy to within, completely disengaged in every way. It took a few times, but it worked. Completely confused her, and was not the reaction she was looking for.
I waited for her to let go, and get off me, and then slowly and calmly I came back to her presence and praised for her. The first few times I so much as opened my eyes and looked at her, she saw it as "GAME ON!" and would start up again. So disengage I would, mentally, emotionally, and wait her out. It took four, five times before she didn't try to start up the game and we could actually walk on. If I saw the look in her eyes that she was thinking of jumping up and grabbing clothing trying to start a new wrestling match, I would again stop, look away, close my eyes, go limp, withdraw my energy - it worked miracles! But had to be consisten.
Another thing you need to do is find a Schutzhund/IPO/working dog trainer who can show you how to play tug properly, and show you how to work to control her. Giving treats for this kind of over-the-top drivey behavior and no-self control won't cut it. Forget the harness - stupidest thing ever on a dog this size. Go back to a prong, or at least a martingale if you are against the prong.
Hard part is going to have to convince your husband, but he should acknowledge that what you have been doing isn't working, and it's time to change things up 180 degrees.
So to recap:
- Ditch the harness, get a collar.
- Get this dog to play tug with a proper tug. Bring said tug on walks, stuff in mouth.
- If dog grabs arms and won't let go - completely disengage your energy until you are an absent, lifeless wet noodle that completely shuts out your pup. I bet that is NOT what she is expecting as a reaction - she is expecting you guys to make a big deal of her on your arm, and whooo - what a fun game!!!
- Find a trainer of working dogs that understands high-drives, redirecting to a tug, and work with said trainer. Treats re-enforce behaviours you want. Some behaviours are so self-rewarding, that extinguishing them takes a lot of skill. You will have to learn how to redirect to something else (tugging with a TOY - not your arms), and how to take away the reward (as in going limp and refusing to play her game).
This puppy NEEDS proper outlets for her energies and drives. Get involved in activities galore and find ways to exercise her little heart out that is more demanding mentally and physically than leash walks.
If you wonder what else I did with my rescue, I got her into obedience classes, intro to agility, tracking class, then I went on to Schutzhund with her.
The more we did, the better behaved and easier to live with she became.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015