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All of a sudden bad behavior, growling/barking/nipping boyfriend.

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 10, '10 7:25pm PST 
Charlie's never been a dog to bite unless it's mouthing during playtime, but just recently he's gotten into a very bad habit of biting my boyfriend. I just moved in with said boyfriend about 1.5 months ago, but Charlie has seemed to adapt to him very well. My boyfriend and I are gamers and general computer-goers, so we spend a lot of our off-time at our desks. In the last week or so, Charlie has found a habit of going up to my boyfriend's chair and growling/barking at him. It doesn't seem aggressive, more of a playful thing, but then sometimes he'll take it a step further and nip him on the arm. This is never provoked, my boyfriend usually just ignores him when he pitches a fit. Charlie has also never attempted any of this on me.

(Sorry in advance, I have been on this forum way too often with Charlie problems. silenced )
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Member Since
01/04/2009
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 7:27am PST 
How much exercise does your dog get? I only ask because you said that you are a gamer, and that involves a sedentary life style.

Does he have any doggy toys which could distract him for long periods of time, such as a frozen Kong? If not, this could help.

Have you considered getting him into obedience training? I think every dog can benefit from obedience training.

Does your boyfriend correct the dog when he nips? What are you doing to let the dog know his behavior is unnacceptable?

Dogs require alot of work and attention, and some dogs are more demanding then others. It sounds like you may need to put more time and effort into the dog to make him a better companion.
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Flash

cuddle bum
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 10:23am PST 
Try having your bf have a spray bottle or water gun on his desk. When the puppy starts this behavior, he can give him a quick squirt in the face and say "no!"

I also think the suggestions about excercise, etc. are good ones, if you don't do those things already smile
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Phoenix, CGC, SC

SHOW ME the- BUNNY!
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 11:53am PST 
Please don't do the spray bottle thing. That may stop the behavior but it may also ruin any relationship between Charlie and your bf. Aversives are not the answer.

If it seems he is doing it for attention (from what you are describing, it does) I would:

- keep ignoring him. When you ignore a behavior there is going to be an extinction burst (gets worse before it goes away) because it used to work and then it stopped...so they try harder.

- give him something to do.

- have your boyfriend do some training with him while he's sitting at the desk. Charlie wants attention, have a stash of treats and a clicker at the desk and your bf can click whenever Charlie lays down or whatever you choose...keep him busy but it doesn't take undivided focus on the dog- he can still work. Maybe do that a few times (c/t for laying down) and then jackpot with a bullystick or a kong and go back to work while he eats his prize. Perhaps he will learn that laying down next to him gets more attention than bugging him.

- work on bite inhibition in separate sessions. Don't just work on teaching him not to bite but teach him how to use his mouth softly as well.

Maybe Charlie wants attention from your bf specifically? Does he spend much time with him?
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Tia

Dogs are our- mirrors and our- teachers.
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 12:35pm PST 
What may be helpful is to keep Charlie off the furniture, off your lap, and don't let him body position himself between you and your boyfriend, ever.

Body positioning is HUGE in the world of dogs.
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 12:35pm PST 
Thanks for the feedback Phoenix. I spend much more time with Charlie than my boyfriend does. He still tosses a toy around with him and cuddles every once in a while, but I am the one who walks Charlie and has playtime and training sessions with him. I'm gonna move Charlie's treat jar to my bf's desk so he's got easier access.

Tia: I'd rather not do that if I don't have to frown. Charlie spends a lot of time on our bed for cuddling, playtime, and naps while we're watching tv.

Edited by author Mon Oct 11, '10 12:36pm PST

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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 1:31pm PST 
Charlie, I don't blame you. I love cuddling with all my dogs.

This does not sound like aggression, but rather like bratty behavior, acting out inappropriately while excited.

here is a lot of debate on how effective trying to train any creature NOT to do something can be, so here is what I suggest.

Sit down and make a list. In column A, list what Charlie does. In column B, list what you would like Charlie to do instead. Then train for what you want rather than trying to train away what you don't want.
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Phoenix, CGC, SC

SHOW ME the- BUNNY!
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 1:58pm PST 
Good idea, Asher! I have handouts like that for my clients, we call them "problem solving" sheets. Ours have
"Problem Behavior/What Rewards Problem Behavior"
and
"Ideal Behavior/How to Train Ideal Behavior"
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 3:26pm PST 
That's an awesome idea smile, thank you!
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Batman

the destroyer

moderator
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 11, '10 7:49pm PST 
I totally misread the title as your BOYFRIEND was growling/barking/nipping... now that would be interesting!

My dogs hate that I am so entranced by glowing boxes as well. Another thing that helps with Batman (who is probably distantly related to Charlie, as we know) is to play tug with something as I'm on the computer. I don't know how serious you & bf are into gaming, but I kind of suck at things, so it doesn't really affect my skill level to also be playing tug.
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