Originally Posted by Gibbs Mom and Dad
No, that's just it. Up until two days ago, no meant no. If he started to chew something, a stern "NO" and he would stop. Now, he growls and chews it anyway. I phyiscally remove him from the object and he nips at my hand when I pick him up.
I was clearly his "Pack Leader" until Monday. Now he's challenging me and my "NO's" have to be getting louder and he's getting more "time-outs".
"Pack Leader" is a meaningless term. It is based on totally outdated ideas on how WOLF packs behaved, and even for wolves has been totally de-bunked.
If saying "No!" works for a while with a young puppy, it is because it startles the puppy out of whatever it was doing,not because it has the SLIGHTEST idea what the word means. No what? Sitting on this rug? Putting this in my mouth? Peeing? Peeing where? You don't want me to pee in front of you?
You get my drift. "No" is not NEARLY enough information, and puppies don't understand WORDS for a long time. You establish a behavior FIRST, then put a word cue on it later. So when you want to teach a puppy not to do something, you teach them what you DO want to do (an acceptable replacement behavior) first.
For instance, no puppy will understand, "Puppy, stop chewing my shoe!". Any puppy will understand it if you hand them a yummy Kong full of goodness, and simply take the shoe away when their attention is diverted. EVENTUALLY they will learn the acceptable things to chew, and will leave YOUR things alone. The same premise goes for teaching acceptable potty habits.
HOWEVER, a 12 week old puppy is still an infant. It takes a year or more of good, consistent teaching to to get the average puppy to the point that they have consistently acceptable house manners. Also, learning is not linear, in children or in dogs. There will always be peaks and valleys. If your training practices are good, being consistent and patient will get you through the valleys. If you're not SURE of your training strategies, get the help of a good POSITIVE based trainer. ...and please don't follow TV advice on raising puppies.