Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
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over the years I have had rescue dogs with severe behaviors, like biting me on the leg when I corrected them, so thru the course of my dog ownership, I have worked with a few trainers and seen almost all of the training styles and types. I'm just a dog owner like you, who has spent a lot of money training and caring for my dogs. I want you to know that I am coming from a place of compassion for you and your family.
I have had my share of rescue dogs. the only dog I've picked out of the litter is my 1/2 hav, 1/2 shih tzu Ollie. He decided very young, like 12 wks old, he didn't like being picked up, and he learned to wiggle to get ppl to put him down. sounds like your new dog doesn't like to be picked up. also, my little stinker runs away from me too. always has, and yes chase is the top game in my dog household to play (I have 3 dogs). There are some behaviors you might not be aware of that you may or may not be doing intentionally.
Dominant moves: stand over the dog, go get the dog (pick him up). patting/petting on the head, also is dominant. a scratch under the chin is not.
calming signals: there are behaviors that dogs do to each other to say 'chill out'. they use it on us as well. licking, turning the head away, laying down, are calming signals, if you do it, or he does it, you are telling the dog to calm down, your energy is too much, or he's telling you.
like it's already been said, dogs respond well to positive reinforcement. my hav responds very well to food. I use natural balance 'sausage'. cut it up small.
one of the behaviors that you are having is that he does not want to be picked up or approached. possible solutions:
1) do not have humans stand over him (dominant), sit on the floor get on his level.
2) don't approach him, have him approach you - have everyone carry highly preferred treats in their pockets. when he comes up to a human, he gets a treat.
3) teach him basic obedience. teaching dogs tricks is a great way to bond. what does he know already?
4) don't pick him up.
If he wanted to bite to hurt you, you would have, that's the good news. he is trying to tell you he doesn't like whatever you are doing and he strikes me as a little dominante himself.
your daughter: seems like he is resource guarding her. dogs always prefer someone in the household over another. but he is guarding her. She needs to get some separation from him. meaning that she needs to end the play sessions and walk away not him.
when he behaves badly, try a time out. 3 minutes in a room with nothing interesting and no humans. no need to yell or scold. bathrooms work well. this does mean you have to pick him up. but hey, small price to pay.
If he has a bad behavior not as severe as lunging or biting, play and attention ends, and you or whoever was with him need to walk away and give him zero attention.
He'll get the message. Hav's are companion dogs and above all else they want to be with their humans.
I agree you should get a trainer, positive reinforcement type. like it's already been said, it's hard to know exactly why he's biting in each situation. I have a feeling that the biting behaviori serves different purposes in different situations. you have to look at the reason why he is doing the behavior, to be able to shape, change or extinguish the behavior.
Last edited by sprorchid; 09-28-2012 at 10:05 AM.