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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'll try and not make this too wordy. Poppy turns 5 months old in two days, and he has been here since he was almost 3 months old.

Here are some things I have done with him almost since day one:

  • Touching his feet every day, so he doesn't get a foot fear fetish like my other dog.
  • Washing his face and brushing him every day.
  • Running my electric toothbrush over his body, so that he would be used to the sound and vibration when it came time to start taking him to the groomer.
  • Bathing and blow drying him every 7 to 14 days.

Poppy was doing pretty good (in my opinion) with most of these things. Yes, he would wiggle when I put on his harness, but otherwise was a chilly boy, a good boy.

However, about a week or so ago, he has started getting mad about almost everything. Think of a 2-year old throwing themselves on the floor in a major tantrum. :huh: Here's some of what he's doing now:


  • I'll use yesterday as an example on this one ... even though I was feeding him chicken and green beans, he absolutely would not let me brush his feet or tail. He was so busy trying to bite the brush, or me, or wiggling to try and get to the chicken and green bean bowl, he was uncontrollable. I have two harnesses on the grooming table. I put one around his neck, and one under his hind legs, to keep him as safe as possible on the grooming table, until he gets used to it. But, with him throwing such a fit, I am still afraid he is going to hurt himself.
  • When we are outside, if he picks up a leaf or something that I do not want him to eat, I say leave it. If he doesn't release (which he still really hasn't learned), I put my hand to his mouth and remove it. That was working, but now he tries to bite me. I don't let that deter me, and I still take the item away ... but why is he now showing such an anger?
  • And just like the grooming table, where he used to do the wiggles when I tried to put on his harness, he now throws a total fit.
  • Same tantrums when I try and dry his feet, dry his face, etc.

So, is this just a stage? Is he seeing how far he can go in training me?

I love this boy to death!! He is so smart, and makes me giggle every single day, and he's gotten me back to enjoying my daily walks. But, I really don't know what to do when he throws these tantrums. :blink: If it were a 2-year old child throwing a fit in Walmart, I know that I would stop all shopping and we would go home. But, if I use this type of thinking with Poppy, and just stop doing whatever I am doing and walk away ... isn't he then getting his way?

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated, as I am at a little bit of a loss on how to handle this.

HUGz! Jules
 

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They do go through testing phases. One of the books I recommended in the other thread (by Deborah Wood) will explain this in some detail.

It is possible that the food made him more anxious. He was trying to get to the food, you were trying to brush him, too many things going on at once and he was getting more and more "frustrated." I would try things a bit slower. Try it without the food. Put him on the table. Take his paw, if he wiggles too much stop until he has calmed, take the foot again. When he is being good, praise and speak very sweetly to him about what a good boy he is being. You can get into a cycle of squirming where it always becomes a battle if you just steam ahead and force it.

Now about the leave it command. Once it is in the dogs mouth, I would go for a trade command. He gives you what he has in his mouth and your trade him for something he wants more (toy or treat) big praise, thank you for giving mommy that big leaf. Taking things out of his mouth is going to make him more protective of them and he will either run or try to guard it. You have to give him some incentive to "share."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Carina ... I appreciate your input ... I had already ordered that book from your other post. :thumbsup:

HUGz! Jules
 

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i dont know what advice to give u as i need help as well . lol i have a hard time with the leave it , dolce is putting everything in his mouth now , and since we chase him i believe he thinks its a game.
he does listen to stop and no most of the time.
what he definitely does not like is being put on his back instant tantrum lol ..
what i have noticed in dolce is that when we r playing fetch , he gets nippy n he growls at me , its so funny ause he acts like hes a big dog. lol

so all advice will be appreciated.
 

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Carina is right on top. If he struggles. Say nothing. Hold him steady and wait until he stops fussing. Nothing wrong with treating him for calm behavior, but put the treats on another table. I would put them there 20 minutes before you are ready to work and go do something else. That will reduce food frenzy.
I agree with the trading game. Jean Donaldson's book Mine! is an awesome research. My youngest will find something he shouldn't and run to you for his treat. I make a huge fuss over how great he is for finding it and let's get your treat.
Your dog is not angry or aggressive. He is a normal puppy pushing his boundaries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I am certainly a person that will admit my faults. I am probably a part of the problem in that I'm possibly stressing Poppy out some when I get frustrated.

My Cita was put under on Monday to have her teeth cleaned, a small bump removed from her lower eye lid, and her hips x-rayed. So, on Monday we did not get a lot of sleep as we had to be up early to get her to the vet. Then on Monday night Poppy had a major upset tummy, and we were up with him until after 1:00 am until he poohed and his tummy settled. So, the last few days have been stressful, and I haven't gotten enough sleep ... which is probably not helping at all.

Poppy and I just had a very pleasant face cleaning session. I fed him organic cheerios, spoke softly the whole time telling him what a good boy he is. Once we were done, I put him down, and gave him another cheerio, and he was calm. Now, he did struggle some getting his harness on, but I didn't stress. I gave him another cheerio, and then we went outside for a little potty break and some fresh (cold to me!) air.

Now, I seriously doubt he'll be this calm this afternoon when I brush him, but .... I just wanted to admit that I'm probably not helping the situation. Maybe if I chill, he'll chill. Let's hope. :thumbsup:

HUGz! Jules
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Carina is right on top. If he struggles. Say nothing. Hold him steady and wait until he stops fussing. Nothing wrong with treating him for calm behavior, but put the treats on another table. I would put them there 20 minutes before you are ready to work and go do something else. That will reduce food frenzy.
I agree with the trading game. Jean Donaldson's book Mine! is an awesome research. My youngest will find something he shouldn't and run to you for his treat. I make a huge fuss over how great he is for finding it and let's get your treat.
Your dog is not angry or aggressive. He is a normal puppy pushing his boundaries.
Thanks to you JMM and Carina!! That's a great idea about getting the food ready way before we start. :thumbsup:

Now, I'm going to go to Amazon and order Mine! as well, and hope they can ship both books together. B)

HUGz! Jules
 

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Since he is a puppy I would suggest that you tire him out before he is groomed. I personally do not like it when they are playing for them to growl or play bite. I have always been able to put my hands into Rylee's mouth. I have to addI wanted a very calm dog and Rylee is calm. I got her at 8 months so never had to deal with chewing. She is still a major brat when it comes to grooming. I have to stick to my guns and I continue the process.
Never ever chase a dog they think it is a game and will continue to run. I can leave my front door open and she will not step one paw outside. I know the leave it command is important but Rylee is not a chewer so basically it was not a problem I had to deal with. The command I find the most useful is SIT. She stops in her tracks immediately.
Another thing to think about is intermediate rewards. This really works well in most situations. I was rewarding Rylee first thing in the morning when she went potty. Rylee got so excited that she ran out did not finish what she needed to do and would have an accident in the house.
Hope this helps.
 
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