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Discussion Starter #1
Last night I was trying to get something that was stuck in Gizmo's hair out. It wasn't hurting him and *I* wasn't hurting him but every time I tried to get at it he viciously bit me (we're not talking their regular nips here, he BIT HARD). I don't want this behaviour to continue because if I take him to a groomer he might do that to them and then I'm in trouble. PLEASE help me... I don't know what to do!

 

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I can try to help with this. Lexi is doing this to me. First thing is to not show them you are scared. If he tries to bite you immediently have him do sits and downs. You are trying to show him that you are in charge. You could also try when he is good for his grooming he gets some treats and praise.

In my case the trainer thinks it is a separation problem. They are having me do a nothing for free. Basically Lexi has to work for everything. It works sometimes. I can't wait to next week because we are starting obedience training. I'm hoping that helps.
 

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How old is Gizmo? Where did you get him? Is he neutered?

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for puppy mills dogs to be wonderful puppies, but then become aggressive when they mature at about age 1-1&1/2 years old.

Check in the Everything Else section for the post by Lexi's mom about Lexi biting her recently (right after her 1st birthday!). There are a lot of helpful suggestions there.

You are right to worry. Biting is totally unacceptable behavoir. I would suggest doing what Lexi's mom did and consulting a professional dog trainer. Unfortunately, this type of behavior only gets worse unless corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by LadysMom@Mar 2 2005, 11:18 AM
How old is Gizmo? Where did you get him? Is he neutered?

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for puppy mills dogs to be wonderful puppies, but then become aggressive when they mature at about age 1-1&1/2 years old.

Check in the Everything Else section for the post by Lexi's mom about Lexi biting her recently (right after her 1st birthday!). There are a lot of helpful suggestions there.

You are right to worry.  Biting is totally unacceptable behavoir. I would suggest doing what Lexi's mom did and consulting a professional dog trainer. Unfortunately, this type of behavior only gets worse unless corrected.
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Gizmo is 1 year this month and I got him from (surprise surprise) a pet store. He IS neutered though. I just really want to learn how to stop this behaviour in it's tracks. He has a few behavioural problems but this one is by far the worst.
 

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Originally posted by Gizmosmom@Mar 2 2005, 11:20 AM
  Do you recommend obedience training?  I heard it takes away from the dogs personality.
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I've never heard of that? I dont know, unless they mean that you are going to get your puppy "in control" instead of them being a screaming banshee? hehe If it takes away from biting, in my opinion I'd say good riddance to *that* personality. A well behaved dog, to me, is a great personality in itself
Good luck!
 

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Training does not take their personalities away. It helps to show them that you are in charge (you are the alpha), it helps to create a bond between you and your furbaby. Lexi and I have done puppy kindergarten and a puppy gym class. We start the first level of obedience classes next week. I'm planning on doing the 2nd and 3rd level also.
 

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Absolutely, get a trainer. Biting/aggression is the most serious behavior problem there is and should be handled by a professional.

I know you didn't get a bargain at a pet shop, but this is good advice anyway.


"Bargain" dogs don't usually end up being much of a bargain.

Puppy mill & backyard breeder puppies are often gentically defective as well as
temperamentally unsuitable as a companion animal-and will cost you much money,
time & heartache to prolong their life with you. You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars at your vet's and trainers trying to correct the
problems of your $200 puppy.

More and more people are becoming aware of the genetic diseases that their pet shop, puppy mill or backyard breeder puppy can develop, but too few are aware that they also can carry "ticking time bombs" for behavior problems, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gizmo was hardly a bargain. He cost $1400, around the same that a lot of breeders cost, however at the time I knew nothing about pet stores and I fell in love with him. He also ended up costing double because of vets bills due to coccidia. I've had my share of problems but I don't want to overlook this in case it keeps happening.
 

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My thoughts may be a little different and I almost hesitated to say anything because I don't know your dog. And I may be underestimating the seriousness of your particular situation. So just take this for what it is worth... it may be worth nothing!


When Catcher was a young puppy, the first couple times I tried to take something out of his mouth he tried to bite and would also clamp his mouth closed so I couldn't open it. If I tried to groom him, he tried to bite and was like a snapping turtle... I even contacted my breeder about it. Catcher was purchased from a "professional" breeder, not pet store, broker, etc.

The way I decided to handle it was with love and letting him know I was alpha. I truly think he was doing this because he was just freaked out... like he was thinking "yikes, why is she opening up my mouth... help!" So, I was very, very gentle with him and spoke lovingly while grooming him and tried to make it fun and special. I also made sure he knew I was alpha. If I have to do something to him like examine an area on his body, I speak with him softly and and gently and he'll let me do it....

Now, I can open up his mouth any time and take Kleenex or whatever out of it and there is no problem at all. He is very good when I groom him. Last night as I was brushing, etc. I was thinking how far he has come. He'll even let me completely comb his moustache area which before he would not let me get near with a comb.

I think dogs act out sometimes when they feel threatened. I wonder if that is the case... he was scared of what you were going to do to him when you were messing with his coat so he was on the defensive.

IMPORTANT: You mentioned doing the alpha roll on him (putting him on his back, etc.) Do a Google search on the term "alpha roll" and you will see many articles that indicate that it is not in favor among dog trainers any more. Many years ago this was "the thing" to do but not now. I don't like it. Back in the early 90s I did it with my first Maltese Rosebud and besides not working, I truly think it negatively affected our relationship.

Again, this is just my experience and it may not be applicable to your situation with Gizmo.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your input Callie/Catchers mom. I will definitely try talking to him nicely when trying to do anything that might threaten him. The reason I used the alpha roll is because it had worked on previous dogs of mine, but I guess it is not specific to every dog.

The thing is aswell (and I should have mentioned this) is that my mom has made it a game to tease him to the point that he sounds like a little demon, writhing and trying to bite her. She thinks this is funny and I have asked her to stop doing it but she continues to do it and tells me she is just playing with him. I think this helps to make him think it's ok to bite.

I don't know, I just don't want a messed up dog. He nips at other dogs already. I just want him to be happy, and FRIENDLY.
 

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This wasn't addressed to me, but we have experienced similar problems.

I think the reason 12-18 months is when these problems become evident is because that's when social maturity is reached (I read that somewhere).

We did get Miko from a breeder (not a puppy mill) but not a very good one. He also shows some dominance aggression. I would really suggest hiring a trainer/behaviorist. I think the earlier these problems are addressed, the better. We did let some things go before knowing it was the wrong thing to do and we certainly regret it. Miko is 22 months. I think one-on-one trainining is always useful and can only help, so I would definitely find a trainer.
 

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Originally posted by Gizmosmom@Mar 2 2005, 12:54 PM
The thing is aswell (and I should have mentioned this) is that my mom has made it a game to tease him to the point that he sounds like a little demon, writhing and trying to bite her.  She thinks this is funny and I have asked her to stop doing it but she continues to do it and tells me she is just playing with him.  I think this helps to make him think it's ok to bite.

I don't know, I just don't want a messed up dog.  He nips at other dogs already.  I just want him to be happy, and FRIENDLY.
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Welll, there you go.... tell your Mom to quit. What she is doing isn't helping the situation, that's for sure... but it sounds like you already know that!
 

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Originally posted by Gizmosmom@Mar 2 2005, 12:54 PM
The thing is aswell (and I should have mentioned this) is that my mom has made it a game to tease him to the point that he sounds like a little demon, writhing and trying to bite her.  She thinks this is funny and I have asked her to stop doing it but she continues to do it and tells me she is just playing with him.  I think this helps to make him think it's ok to bite.

I don't know, I just don't want a messed up dog.  He nips at other dogs already.  I just want him to be happy, and FRIENDLY.
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I think you're right. That kind of play would teach Gizmo to think that biting, nipping, and rough play is acceptable. A friend of mine would do that with Peanut ALL the time, and it took a while to 'undo' the behavior. It's cute to watch them play like that, but it's really not good for the dog.

I just looked it up in a maltese book I have, and they say that a dog should never be allowed to bite (even just playful) because it will lead to worse situations when the dog is older (and can bite a lot harder).
 

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Hey, I was about to name Tyler Gizmo!

But that's not all I wanted to say.


You can take a chew toy like a nylabone for him to chew on. If he's still misbehaving then, well I never tried this before but maybe if he bites you get a loud rattle and shake it with the hand he bit and maybe he'll be scared of it. Hope it helps.
 

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Originally posted by okw@Mar 2 2005, 01:43 PM
This wasn't addressed to me, but we have experienced similar problems.

I think the reason 12-18 months is when these problems become evident is because that's when social maturity is reached (I read that somewhere).

We did get Miko from a breeder (not a puppy mill) but not a very good one.  He also shows some dominance aggression.  I would really suggest hiring a trainer/behaviorist.  I think the earlier these problems are addressed, the better.  We did let some things go before knowing it was the wrong thing to do and we certainly regret it.  Miko is 22 months.  I think one-on-one trainining is always useful and can only help, so I would definitely find a trainer.
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Great advice.

I have no firsthand experience with an aggressive mill dog, thank heavens, but from everything I have read it's a combination of very little human contact in the first few formative weeks, being separated from their mother and littermates too early (6 weeks or younger when papers are falsified) as bite inhibiiton behavior is learned from their mothers between 6-10 weeks, and genetics.

Throw all that together with what is often a first time dog owner as usually they are the ones who are unaware of the pet shop/puppy mill connection and get their puppies from one. In novice dog owners, often early signs of alpha or aggressive behavior aren't noticed and dealt with early on.

I agree 100% about getting help from a professional trainer. I personally have a zero tolerance attitude about biting. To me one bite is about as innocent as finding one little cancerous bump. Obviously your mother contributed to his behavior, which is why it is even more important to get a professional trainer in your home to evaluate Gizmo and train you, your mother, and any other family members how to handle this behavior now, before it gets worse.
 

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Originally posted by Gizmosmom+Mar 2 2005, 11:23 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-LadysMom
@Mar 2 2005, 11:18 AM
How old is Gizmo? Where did you get him? Is he neutered?

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for puppy mills dogs to be wonderful puppies, but then become aggressive when they mature at about age 1-1&1/2 years old.

Check in the Everything Else section for the post by Lexi's mom about Lexi biting her recently (right after her 1st birthday!). There are a lot of helpful suggestions there.

You are right to worry.  Biting is totally unacceptable behavoir. I would suggest doing what Lexi's mom did and consulting a professional dog trainer. Unfortunately, this type of behavior only gets worse unless corrected.
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Gizmo is 1 year this month and I got him from (surprise surprise) a pet store. He IS neutered though. I just really want to learn how to stop this behaviour in it's tracks. He has a few behavioural problems but this one is by far the worst.
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Maxi use to do that first of all never act scared when i try and brush maxis teeth or brush him he can get a bit angry but ever since i took the can of coins and shaked them he has been a dream come true and im really not kidding he completely stopped biting and humping me
you have to show who is boss , when maxi goes number 2 ever since he was 10 weeks old i wipe his butt with wipeys sometimes he makes me chase him around the house but i tell him MOMMY Will always win you have to show them that you are the boss not them
my groomer tells me that maxi tries to give him attitude when he is grooming him im pretty sure he means biting and he said Maxi and i have an understanding
my groomer also is a behavior specialist so i am comfortable that he knows what he is doing the groomers know what too do
i think they just get scared which makes me feel bad but brushing must be done
 
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