Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

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Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by Izzy's Mummy on Fri Aug 21 2015, 14:52

Hi I'm new to this fourm Smile Me and my boyfriend brought Izzy when she was 12 weeks old. She's a staffy cross. Her mum is a staffy x bullmastiff and her dad is a staffy x ridgeback. The vet said she will be more like her dad as the male genes are stronger.
She is our first puppy (my boyfriend had rescue dogs as a child and I've always been around dogs but never had my own) and she is amazing. Her training is going really well! We get told she's very well behaved for her age. She knows sit, lie down, stand, on your bed and always sits at the side of the road before we cross as we live in a big city. She knows when she shouldn't be doing what she is with a firm Oi but when playing with other dogs this does not work! Over all she has been a really good puppy..she has her moments tho >Smile

But over the last week we have noticed she becomes very dominate with smaller dogs/puppies who are very submissive. The other day she grabbed a pug cross puppy by the neck (Very flabby) and started to shake! This is what we think could be her "kill move", sounds very sinister but its what she dose with her rope toy (her fave). This looks very nasty when she does it to these small dogs and puppies they look like rag dolls. She sometimes lets go if they wimper and yelp but sometimes even this doesn't stop her. I have to keep telling her to drop (Oi has no effect when shes mid-play) as I'm affarid of doing any damage by pulling them apart. This could also in my mind make her think its a game as I'm effectively playing tug of war with her and this other dog/puppy!

Some of the other dog owners are very protective and can get very upset by Izzy's playing - the puppy mentioned above her owner cried when Izzy did this! Some will pick their dogs up and carry them away..which makes Izzy chase them. She never chases a dog when then are walking off, we just call her, say come on, and walk in the opposite direction and she always follows.
She plays with all dogs that want to play with her and leaves alone the ones she knows don't want to play. She is very mouthy when she plays and I understand that is a staffy way of playing. With bigger dogs or more unsubmissive puppies she plays really nicely with - she loves to be thrown about! When a older dog who doesn't like her way off playing they tell her off, she listens and normally plods back to us to play with a stick. She can socialise really well most of the time and has been going out for walks as soon as she could.

I just don't know how to correct this behaviour! Once she has let go of the other dog/puppy we remove her from playing and make her lay down and wait until she is calm until she is released. What else can I do? She hasn't drawn blood but with the small fluffy dogs she walks away with a mouthful of fluff. I don't want to keep her away from small dogs or puppies incase this causes me problems when shes older.

Any advice?
thank you very much Smile

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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 15:01

You are doing the right thing with socializing. Staffs as a breed do indeed play rough and often go for the neck. In my opinion this is actually preferable than the ears, legs, tail, or other body part as it causes less pain.

At 18 weeks she is still very much learning bite inhibition or how hard of a playbite is acceptable. I would speak with the handler before letting her play with a smaller dog and explain how she typically plays to make sure they are okay with the behavior to avoid any incidents. I would also carry a can of pet corrector spray, which is essentially a can of compressed air that makes a noise that gets dogs attention. We still use this at the dog park and it works really well. It will not stop a fight but if used when things are getting too rough for your taste it works well.


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 15:04

When Suki was a pup her best friend was a Whippet and Suki would always go for the neck. The Whippet's handler was fine with it and Suki still plays with smaller dogs every day. She has learned just how rough she can be and if things get a bit too rough we use the pet corrector spray to stop the interaction.

Also please be aware that you need to stay calm when she is playing as she will sense your mood and if you are nervous she will be to. It's also worth studying body language to spot a problem before it starts.


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 15:06

Here is a link on body language.

http://staffy-bull-terrier.com/dog_body_language

There is also allot of great info in the links at the top of the forum as well as the website.


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 15:08

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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 15:10

Hi and welcome from us and Suki. There are a couple of forum staff that are excellent with behavior and training so please check for their advice as well.


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by Izzy's Mummy on Fri Aug 21 2015, 16:25

Thank you very much..I'm going to get some pet corrector and see how she gets on with that. I have started to warn dog owners now but to be honest some off them want to break it off as it looks nasty but the dogs are having fun. Tails wagging and they go back for more. There was a tiny pug/cavalier cross the other day and Izzy still wanted to play and had her mouth open but the little pup was just scared as there where lots of dogs around, when he yelp Izzy would back of a bit and then tried to be more gentle. I think its something she will grow out off but just want to be able to stop it without force so that pet corrector sounds amazing!!
Thank you very much..I will let you know how I get on Big Grin

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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by JStaff on Fri Aug 21 2015, 18:40

Let us know how it goes. I find it easier to explain how Suki plays before she interacts with smaller dogs. Some people don't like it but Suki has a Corgi and a couple of Jack Russels who get along great.


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by Mia05 on Fri Aug 21 2015, 22:36

i agree and cnt add to above advice just monitor the dogs behaviour Smile


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by LizP on Sat Aug 22 2015, 07:57

Hi and welcome! Firstly, it's great to see you're looking for advice from different places. My best advice would be to get hands on help from a professional positive method trainer who can work with you on the ground to get this resolved before any real issue occurs. If you can't find a personal recommendation, these organisations' members are usually pretty good:

http://www.apdt.co.uk/
and
http://www.apbc.org.uk/

Both have lists of members according to region.

For what it's worth, it does just sound like Izzy is having problems working out the difference between a toy and a dog. It's unusual as they usually have great instinct. Do you know if she had litter mates to play with in her first couple of months?

The first thing I'd do would be invest in a training line. Not an extendable one - I personally think they can cause quite a few problems - but just a long line maybe 5 metres or so. You can find them easily on ebay. That way you can pop her on if you see a small dog near you, allow her some freedom to do the right thing but have the seat belt clipped on just in case, so to speak.

I'd then be working on 2 things - heel and 'leave it'. There are some great videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0C724F6F6A597540

including a couple of loose lead walking inside then out. There's also one on 'leave it', but I prefer a different method.

Set Izzy up in a place where there are no distractions. You have a fun toy in one hand and a high value treat in the other (a treat pouch is also a wise investment). Give her the toy and wait till she's got it properly in her mouth, then stick a treat under her nose and say 'leave it'. She should let go of the toy to get the treat, which you of course give her. Do that a few times and she'll get the hang of it. You can then move on to asking 'leave it' without showing her the treat first, and she should by then know that she has to leave her toy to get the treat.

Over several short sessions, build up so that you can do this with different things in different places, but keep it easy and in your control. The next step is to make it more exciting by playing with the toy first, then asking her to leave it. Keep it low key to start off with, then build it up. You should be able to get to having a tuggy game with her and her letting go when you ask. Always always give her praise and a treat.

Now you're ready to do this out and about. Take a toy with you and play from time to time, breaking off when you want. And then it's time for dogs... Does she have a buddy whose owner you can work with? What you want to be able to do is let the dogs have a very short play, just 15 seconds or so, and stop it with 'leave it' before excitement builds. And then as before build up to being able to break off longer plays.

With these two tools - heel and leave it - together with your safety net long line, you should be able to put some boundaries in place. The first is that she should stay with you when she sees another dog unless you say so. It's not easy with a puppy, they want to play with everyone, but that's what your line's for. Always make a huge fuss and give lots of yummy treats when she gets anything even a tiny bit right. Perfection can come later, just looking at you in the presence of another dog's good for starters.

Aim to be able to pass other dogs quietly. Stick a treat under her nose as you go past, or if it works better distract her with a toy. And then praise, praise, praise.

Please don't make her lay down ever. The only reason for laying a dog down is for treatment or vet examination. It has no place in training and may will prove counter productive. Physical punishment of any sort is generally ineffective, as is shouting and stuff like that. Just look at the number of people who are still shouting at their dogs (kids, each other) after years with no change and you'll see the point! There are gentle ways of explaining 'no, not that', but you have to work first and foremost with 'this is what you need to do'. Because otherwise how do they know?


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by Rachel33 on Sat Aug 22 2015, 08:24

Brilliant advice above - just a question, what is her prey drive like in general with squirrels, bunnies, birds etc? Is there any concern/does she enjoy the chase? She's very young, and as already said it sounds like she may be confusing play, but also sounds a little prey driven to me - especially if it's only with little dogs and not big ones.

Her breed mix is pretty impressive, and includes 3 breeds each with a pretty intense prey drive. I had a few staffies in kennels that were fine with big dogs, but not small, and one that passed all kennel tests with dogs but shook the prospective adopters Pomeranian at the meet and greet - luckily only causing bruising. She wasn't DA, but wasn't safe with small dogs because of her play/prey drive. As she's so young, I would work with it with the above measures for safety, preferably with a behaviourist to guide you, but take care as this could be quite scary for the pup in question!


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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

Post by funkyrimpler on Sat Aug 22 2015, 15:12

Great advice.
i'm so glad forum members here support Positive Reinforcement Training and do not subscribe to the bullying tactics and so-called dominance 'training' from the likes of ce*ar mi**an..
The 'leave it' technique is the exact strategy im deploying to curb my boys puppy biting and unwanted chewing (me, furniture), and also to teach him how to play a proper game of tug.
thanks for the great posts.. applause
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Re: Biting and shaking submissive dogs - Staffyx 18 weeks

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