Someone please help!! My wife and I adopted a (supposedly) 5 month old Yellow Lab / Australian Shepherd mix from animal control approximately 1.5 months ago and are seriously at our wit's end and have absolutely no clue as to what to do.
She chews on just about everything, she is extremely over zealous with our cats, she cannot stand to be away from my wife or myself for more than a few seconds -- we can pretty much handle all of these issues. She's currently participating in a training class at PetSmart which we think will help.
However, she has really bad issues as far as nipping and biting that I don't think PetSmart can help with. She gets into spells -- once or twice every other day -- where she runs in big circles and on each turn at where we are standing, she jumps up and nips or bites us. We both have some fairly nasty scratches and puncture wounds.
For instance, I was playing with her last night with a tennis ball and she was doing pretty good (she gets possessive / aggressive when she doesn't want to give her toy up). Our little game was moving right along when she all of a sudden jumped up and BIT me on the side (ripped my shirt and took a good sized chunk out of my skin).
And this morning, while I was trying to get her to not eat from the cat litter box (bitter apple), she went into one of her little frenzies and I couldn't get her to stop. Needless to say, I start getting a little nervous when she gets like this.
I strongly fear what will happen to her if we give her up (she might get beaten, she might get re-released to AC and get euthanized, etc.), but that is sadly and unfortunately beginning to look like a viable option for us at this point.
So, I beg of you -- do ANY of you have ANY ideas, comments, tips, etc. that we may be able to use so we don't have to forfeit her and feel guilty for the rest of our lives, not too mention the fact that we don't want her being unhappy either.
Thank you in advance!!
I am editing this post to give a list of things I have tried to do to calm her down. I didn't want any of you wasting your time giving suggestions that we've already attempted:
* Settling (laying her down on her side and holding her bottom front paw while tightening up or releasing as necessary) * Spraying her in the face (the mouth area) to get her attention * Making loud noises to distract her * Making her sit or play with a toy
***Edited By: jvermaes on 3/9/2007 5:56:17 AM*** Reason: Correction to post
Ask your vet to prescribe a drug to calm her down, then you can train her while on the drug.There are a few out there, so get his opinion. Do not use any forceful training methods like sitting on the dog, this increases anxiety and fustration. I am guessing, that this is a dog that in the beginning of its life received little mental and physical exercise, so hes always in a state of excitment, hence we get a true hyper dog. He will always be hyper, plus if it is an Australian Shep x Lab, It doesn't surprise me your getting mouthed and bitten. Invest in toys that the dog can entertain his mouth with on his own. Hard kongs with fillings. Bones (hollow so you can fill them) Tricky treat balls Get information from your Veterinarian for the Pheramone sprays and diffusers, some people say they can make a huge difference.
It sounds to me like a puppy who is exhibiting normal puppy behaviors, but is also not getting enough exercise. The play nipping and biting is a normal puppy bahavior, however it is taken to the max because she is wound up and under-exercised
Labs and aussies are VERY active dogs and she needs at least 2 long walks/runs per day. If there is a dog park near you, that is a good way to burn some of that energy. Try for a morning and evening walk/jog to reduce some of the hyper behaviors. She is trying to entice you to play by nipping and jumping on you...the most important thing is to get her tons of exercise, and do not give in until she is sitting calmly for the toy to be thrown/played with. Good luck
Another note: do not calm her by laying her on her side, alpha rolling, sitting on her, etc: this will make behaviors worse out of fear and confusion Also, many labs love water, even spraying them in the face is fun and cool, so when she jumps on you, turn away, andignore her (obviously to the best of your ability if she continues...or walk away and ignore her until she is calmer. Do not yell, spray her, hit her, or respond to her in any way (negative or positive) when she is in a hyper frenzy...this will only encourage her.
The exercise is by far the most important thing: tire her out and most behavior problems will lessen or stop. :)
He's your friend,your partner,your defender,your dog.You're his life,his love,his leader. He will be faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion