Hi! This my first time on your site. I was compelled to vist because i notice that ya'll often help with training advice. I've owned and trained many dogs, but I recently got a Boston Terrier female who is now 8 weeks old, and I am stumped about how to properly discipline her. She is very high energy, and she often gets carried away. When I try to discipline her, she often gets very angry and will even bite. I first tried simply using a stern voice, which she continues to ignore when she is this keyed up. I then tried using time outs, this makes her mad, and it takes a very long time for her to settle down, all the while I'm risking getting bit. Physical punishment, such as a swat or gentle thump, just causes more agression.I am looking for a way that I can interrupt her rough housing and reprimand her with out her losing her temper, any one have any ideas? I would appreciate it.
When Summer, my pug/beagle mix, gets out of control rowdy, I make her sit down and pet her until she calms down. If your pup doesn't know 'sit' just yet, make her stand still and very lightly press on her butt and say 'sit' until she does. I just talk calmly to Summer and say stuff like Its ok Calm down. Usually, I have to do it 3 or 4 times until she becomes disinterested in whatever she's chasing or doing. That usually works for me, though.
Specifically, what is she doing when she's keyed up. Is she being destructive. Is she getting enough exercise to burn off some energy. A little bit tired pup is easier to train. Teach her to go into her bed or crate when she's being ornery by telling her "crate" and giving a treat and then stay. Eventually when she needs a time out, you can tell her to go settle down in her crate. Also I would keep a short leash on her in the house (only when supervised) so that you have more control over her and can enforce your commands. Definately find a good training book like Puppies for Dummies. It will prove to be very helpful. Try not to discipline her with hitting or aggression, it sounds like it just stirs her up. If you are calm when you correct her, it will make her calmer.
since your puppy is so young, it is vital that you are confident in how to train and discipline her. You will be shaping her personality. I don't know if you have done research on different training techniques but I would recommend you do that. You need to be absolutely consistent and clear, and not send any mixed messages. I agree that using aggressive actions on your part to discipline the dog's aggression will probably backfire. You need to be firm, clear, and calm. And always provide the same, consistent reaction for her EVERY action that you don't like or want to change/modify. Have you heard of the NILIF program? It stands for Nothing IN Life is Free. Somone on this board knows a link to the program, maybe they can post it. It's a great training tool. And I would invest in training classes, or if you cannot afford them, get some training books from your local library and read up on it. Training videos are esp. helpful. Good luck!
These are all good advice I think. I wanted to add something I read once about hyper dogs or dogs that jump. When you give them attention for that behavior they are getting what they want. They are hyper or jump because they want you to pay attention to them. I have heard that if you ignore them it helps. Doesn't fix it completely, but helps. You have to apply this to what everyone else is saying to get them to know what they're doing is wrong. And by ignore, I mean when the pup jumps or is running circles around you, you turn away from the dog and refuse to look at her. If she follows you, you try to get away from her. You appear angry with her. When she settles down, then you pet her and praise her. Until then, don't touch her or interact with her at all. I have heard that if you show her a treat and then say, 'sit' or 'settle down' and then wait for her to do it that works too. If she won't settle down, keep the treat in your hand but ignore her until she settles down and then give it to her. If she starts getting destructive, deter her with a toy to play with. If that doesn't help, put her in a time out. I wouldn't put her in her crate, because that is suppose to be a good place to go, but maybe put her on a leash tied to something?
Thanks everyone for all the help! I have been working with her quite a lot this week, and we are finally beginning to make some progress. Lately to disrupt her Olive's rowdy behavior, I have began to clap my hands loudly in order to get her attention, and then we usally have a time out. She seems to have gotten a little bit better about not biting out of anger, if you can manage to get her attention on the sound first. We will be starting to learn some basic obediance commands soon. Everyone had some great training tips that I am sure will be helpful! Thanks!
Here is the link: http://www.k9force.net/nilif.html BTW It is still a pup, and while it hurts we need to remember that not all biting is due to aggression, give lots of chew toys and milk bones and whenever he does bite you say "no bite" everytime and stick a toy in its mouth. The pup will learn soon enough. Mine is 41/2 months old and still forgets but I soon as I say it she starts licking.
do a puppy kindergarten class as soon as you can. they are very helpful and will get you started. just plain ignoring them helps, too. just stand up with your arms folded and look up at the ceiling. when she is calmer move and ignore her some more. wait a bit before paying attention to her (make sure she is calm then) and keep your attention low key. if she gets too hyper ignore her again.
Yeah, I understand what you are saying about biting. I know all puppies mouth around on stuff, i am currently trying to solve this by just giving her a chew toy. I am not really worried about this, the only biting I am worried about if when she bits out of anger. Like the other day I was giving her a bath, that she was not enjoying so she just turned around and bit me. She also concerns me because I also have an 8 week old male Boston who is only about half her size. When I give him attention she will often become jealous and hurt him (therefore why I often cannot ignore these little hissy fits of hers), when I seperate them she will sometimes bite me instead. Normally she is a very sweet and loving puppy, we just have some jealousy and temper issues to work out. I really appreciate all of the feedback.
As you've discovered, smacking on the rump doesn't work. This is what my trainer recommeds: The next time she needs disciplining, try grabbing her by the scruff (where a mummy dog would pick up her puppy). Lift her off four paws and say, "No!" very firmly. She is still very young so you need to be consistent. The rest of the advice is also very good so see what works for you.