My 16 week old Maltese puppy gets aggressive sometimes. She growls and even bites. Fortunately, she doesn't bite too hard; however, I am scared that it is going to be a problem in the future when her permanent teeth come in. I really don't know what to do. I have tried punishing her by putting her into her crate if she misbehaves but it does not seem to work very well. Does anyone know how I should discipline her? Does or did anyone have similar problems? If yes, what did you guys do?
We have a six-month old Shih-Tzu who was the same way. We reverted her aggression to a toy the minute she started the biting and barking. If that didn't work we immediately got up, walked into another room and shut the door - waited about 5 minutes and then came back out. I personally don't think you "punish" the dog - they are trying to play. And I would never put her in her crate to punish her because that is supposed to be their "safe home." Our puppy goes in her crate at night, when we are not home, or if we needed to do something in the house or outside and couldn't keep an eye on her - especially until she was pottied trained. She did outgrow the biting. Another thing we did if she would bite was immediately pull away and say "ouch" real loud. That's what the mother dog would do if they were still around her. Did she come away from mom and the litter early? Good luck and just keep playing with the toys....at least that is what worked for us.
Thank you for your help. I will try to do as you said and see if it works. I got her when she was 9 weeks old from a breeder so I assume that it was not too early. She is extremely playful and likes to be around people. The only problem is that she bites sometimes, and it may be because she is playing but I want to teach her that it hurts. Also, do you have any tips on potty training? She is pretty good, but occasionally has accidents. She will let us know when she needs to go if she is in her little area behind a baby gate but not if she is running freely around the house.
Again, thanks a lot. She is our first dog...so I have a lot of questions.
Your puppy isn't showing signs of agression. She just doesn't know how rough she is playing. Another thing that mama dogs do is pin the pups down when they get out of line. You can mimic this also. You shape your hand as if your holding a ball but have your fingers spread apart a little. Since she is a small dog, you will only need to use your thumb and one or two other fingers. But when she bites too hard, you want to pin her on her side and hold her in place at the side of the neck. If you think this sounds mean, it's not. Wehn the Alpha dog of the pack disciplines the others, this is what they do. Remember to keep on her side until she stops moving. She must be totally still before you let her up. I have male American Bulldog that's 85 lbs. and this technique works wonderfully with him. My friends have two dogs that run a muck and I use the technique on those two as well and they learn real quick who's in charge. But I also agree that she is just a puppy and she will grow out of it. But don't just assume she will. If she thinks it's ok to do, she will keep on doing it in to her adult years.
I would NEVER recommend doing an alpha roll to a puppy. It is a potentially dangerous and outdated method of dominance. Notice I said "dominance" and not "training". Using the alpha roll doesn't help build a trusting relationship.
It was originally thought that dominant wolves did this to other wolves. But further study shows that dominate wolves DON'T roll others into submission-submissive wolves show their submissiveness by showing their belly.
I strongly suggest you read the book "My Smart Puppy" by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. It is far and above the best book I have read on training.
And don't worry...those sharp puppy teeth eventually fall out!
Thanks everyone for the help. I really appreciate it. I have been giving her toys to chew on as soon as she starts biting my fingers. I have also been told to spray some water into her face, but I feel that she is still very little. Has anyone tried that? Is it too harsh?
I want you to look up bite inhibition on the internet. It tells you how to condition the dogs mouth on human skin,I must admit I dont know if there is anything on the net to describe this technique, but it would have been done in a puppy Kindergarten class if you had attended one. At this point your puppy is already finished her best learning time which is birth to 16 weeks. Also look into ;Nothing In life is for free ; learn this way of handleing your puppy, its nonconfrontational, and abuse is not used.
Good Luck Sue
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