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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! We are in need of advice in regards to our newest addition. We're really not sure if we have a classic Vizsla puppy issue going on or if we should be concerned. At this point, we are definitely concerned with a couple of key things but are hoping that they may be run-of-the-mill Vizsla/puppy issues.

So, we picked our puppy up on Boxing Day and both of us had the week off to help her get used to her new home. We have 2 cats - one of whom has lived with a dog for 14 years and the other who is only a year old and is far more nervous in general. We introduced the puppy to the cats as slowly and gently as possible, got her set up with her crate and got to know her better.

I'll start with the good stuff. She's very smart which we've heard is common for most Vizslas. She knew her name, would sit, come and fetch on command by the end of the very first day we brought her home. She is mostly housebroken and we've cleaned up very few messes. She had a hard time with her crate and howled like she was being tortured the first 4 or 5 times we put her in but that's gotten better as well and she's starting to see it more as a refuge now.

The worrisome part is what seems to both of us to be the beginnings of aggressive tendencies and some definite displays of dominance. I've had many dogs who I've had from the time they were puppies so I am familiar with typical puppy behaviour. And I do know that all dogs are different, however, as prepared as we were for the energy level, the barking, the training, the biting and the chewing, it feels like there is something else is going on.

First off, she barks constantly. There is a bark for everything - if she has to eliminate, if she's hungry, if she's tired, if she's confused, if she wants attention. As you can imagine, since she's a puppy and these are all constant needs for her age group, there is a consistent stream of (very shrill) barking. I feel as though this is something that could be dealt with over time but she seems to be barking at us in a very intense manner and will go a little crazy when we do not give her attention immediately. Again, this is something that, although frustrating, I feel can be dealt with using positive reinforcement - which we've been trying.

Where it gets a bit confusing for us is when we look/glance at her in the eye, often she will begin barking at us as though she thinks we are challenging her and will whip herself into a frenzy. Let me tell you, it's pretty hard to avoid looking your puppy in the eye all the time! We know that V puppies like to be directed and have something to do, however she has had quite a lot of that this week and a quiet moment of gazing at her turns into a very intense bark that seems not entirely playful.

In addition to this, she jumped up and mounted my leg last night and started humping it. I turned around, ignoring her in an effort to use positive reinforcement, and she began to hump my leg from behind. This went on a couple more times - me semi-shaking her off and turning at the same time. She would not stop so, remembering something I had read in a book recently, I looked her hard in the eye and did not look away. She barked crazily at me but I stared her down until her eyes almost rolled back in her head and she looked away.

She then repeated the behaviour tonight and I kept grabbing the scruff of her neck and trying to gently but firmly move her off my leg. The third time I did this she stopped but then later tried to do the same to my boyfriend.

The third part is that when we have to carry her for some reason, she will often freak out, start thrashing her head about, biting anything she can get her teeth on, bark and whine and squirm like mad. If she does not get what she wants immediately she will come and find me and bark excessively.

The overall feeling we're getting is that she thinks she is running the show here and the behaviour is increasing each day. We have played with her, walked her, done training, played games and tried to be consistent with positive reinforcement techniques but we feel something is clearly missing here. She gets time outs in her crate and if she seems extra punchy we put her to sleep with a peanut-butter Kong.

The barking and dominance behaviours seem clearly linked, in my opinion. I feel like we're in the middle of a great power struggle and have I never experienced this before with any my dogs.

Questions: Should we be concerned or is this typical Vizsla puppy stuff? How much exercise does a 9 week old V puppy require? We feel as though we're giving her enough (body and mind) but perhaps we're wrong.

Could it be her food? We are feeding her Orijen Puppy which has a high protein count and she seems a bit constipated. Should we consider changing her food?

Any other suggestions or comments would be very welcome. I may have forgotten to mention something here (it has been a week since I slept properly after all) so if I have, please ask for clarification.

Thank you!!
 

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I didn't have this problem with Mischa but as prepared as we thought we were, we finally decided to get private training lessons when she was about 3 months old because we probably would have sent her back to the breeder without him lol.

One thing that I believe has really helped is the trainer taught us to pin her a few times a day. Stressing, of course, to do it not when we're angry but assertively. I'm not an expert but with your situation it might be something to consider?
 

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Axel is 9 weeks old as well, however we have not had any of these problems that you have experienced, except the barking in the crate the first week when she went to bed for the night.

I just finished reading a book called "How to raise the perfect dog: through puppyhood and beyond" by cesar millan and there was some good insight into some of the issues you are having with your new puppy.
 

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I have had some of the problems you've described, but your post sounds like all of the negative behaviors Kobi has exhibited crunched into one week instead of eleven. I would say your girl is definitely WAY more dominant/aggressive than Kobi has been, and you should definitely deal with it in some way.
 

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i have to say...maggie was/is a NUTCASE when she has to poop. lots of barking, running, jumping...she goes flat out crazy...we always say "time to get the demons out". if you think that she is a bit constipated, maybe try a new food.

maggie would also do this thing where she stands with her front paws on the arm of the couch you're sitting on and her back paws on the couch next to it (our living room is set up in a U shape with 3 couches) and just BARK at you (this has calmed down--it was really bad for the first 6 months we had her)...and i agree, it didn't always seem playful. i honestly think it was just her way of saying PLAY WITH ME...i mean we could play fetch or tug or whatever for an hour or longer...and 2 minutes later she's barking for more. we get home from work at 5 and would need to play with her constantly until like 9...

unfortunately, months 4-6 or so we nicknamed her "shark" because she would jump & bite (and bark)...so i'm not sure you've seen the worst of it yet :(

however--at about 10 or 11 months it gets SO much better. hang in there.

my best advice, when she starts barking...we would just put a leash on her and take her for a walk...or tell her to "go get a toy" and play fetch. it sounds like you just have a puppy with extra extra energy.

oh, and maggie HATES to be held unless she's dead tired, then she snuggle up and couldn't care less what you do. but if she has any energy left, she wiggle until she gets out of your arms (heads up on that, i got a fat lip trying to hold her when she didn't want to be held!)

don't know what to say about the humping though...maggie has never humped anything (that we've seen).
 

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I think you guys might have to put your foot down a bit, I know they say "a firm no should do" but with Holly she gets a bit mouthy!!

The biting is an issue for us as well (she thinks of it as playing), when she starts going NUTS and biting us we pin her down until she calms down for a sec and say "no" in a very stern voice. Most of the time she'll jump back up and try to bite again but we just keep repeating it and usually she'll end up giving up. Sometimes we'll hold her mouth closed for a sec too, she doesn't like it but has to learn that she can't be nipping like that. Those puppy teeth frigging hurt!!! Needless to say...we've have some blood shed.

A lot of the time when she goes to get me I'll grab a toy and shove it in her mouth and she'll play with that instead. Everyday she's getting better! I've also read that when their biting you you're suppose to whine or whimper like a dog, then they can recognize that it hurts! It usually works (unless shes on a full out tear), whenever I do it, Holly will stop and look at me like "what the..."

Holly (11 wk) didn't bark very much at first, now she barks when she's gets going. Also when I am in the kitchen and my back is to her she barks for my attention.

She's never tried humping anything though. As far as exercise goes Holly could play fetch forever! But she'll have a play when we get home from work at 5pm, have dinner, have another play, have a catnap..after she wakes up from her catnap she pretty much goes crazy! lol...plays pretty hard but its good because shes been sleeping much better!!

Holly squirms a lot too!! Unless shes sleepy.

labeda14: Funny Maggie goes crazy before she poops! Holly goes NUTS afterwards!!I think she just feels so much better after! haha
 

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You must be pulling your hair out. We too had similar experiences with Cooper now 6months. He did the going bonkers thing when he needs a poop, he has now learnt to tell us in a different way, when he used to bonkers tearing round the house we used to squirt him with a water pistol, hated it and shocked him and he stopped, we did the squirting with any behaviour we didn't think was in the realms of NORMAL puppy and it worked for us. We too feed Cooper on Orijen and have found it to be fantastic, if you have just changed or not I don't know but sometimes they can be a bit bunged up, walking exercise does help but don't go for too long as that isn't good either. Your dog will have to be ignored at sometime and she must just have to learn that she isn't number one you are. Hope she settles down soon, some would say get a friend for your puppy. Another Vizsla I know at this point that may seem ludicrous but apparently really really helps.
 

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Thanks for the replies :) It is good to know that some of it is stuff that some of you have dealt with (like the barking non-stop for attention). That's stuff that I feel we can deal with, with some consistency.

However, we are tearing our hair out and feeling as if we have the wrong puppy for us at this point. I was hoping that someone on this board would have some advice or experience with the humping aspect since it's definitely one of the more prominent acts of dominance which seems to be getting worse each day. Handling it using positive reinforcement has not been working at all. On the other hand, any type of restraining or attempt to move her away from expressing the dominant behaviour exacerbates and immediately intensifies it.

It happened again for the third time in 2 days this morning. She jumped up on my leg with a much greater intensity, this time using her teeth (which so far she hasn't done). Since I have put her halter and leash on her while she is around the house to be able to pluck her off if she should do it again, I removed her from my leg by grabbing the leash and pulling her off of me except that each attack became more and more intense.

I finally got her to lie down. As I moved her into the 'down' position, she squirmed and she ended up on her side. I then gently rolled her on to her back. She paused for a minute and began struggling. She eventually stopped struggling and I released her. I was not planning on doing that gentle alpha position because to be honest, it's not something I wish to do with a dog at all. However, it sort of happened somewhat organically and so I kind of went with it. Also, I was not angry when I did it. After that she did stop attacking my legs but I'm not sure if I did the right thing or not since I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the concept and I certainly do not want her to fear me.

We really are not feeling good about this situation. As I mentioned, we were definitely expecting typical Vizsla behaviour and all that comes with it - mouthing/biting/etc., a ton of energy, a need for direction and a desire to learn. I am home with her most of the day and my partner is at home on the nights I work. It's not like she's in a crate for extended periods of time except when she's sleeping or having naps/brief time outs. We believe she's getting enough exercise, play time, structure and sleep time. It's really the dominance issues which are causing us concern since by "ignoring" them originally and trying to replace the behaviour with something else (a toy, a bone) it has not just stayed the same but rather become more of an issue.

If there is anyone out in V-Land who has some suggestions on how to handle this in a healthy way for both her and us we are open to hearing it. Do you think the spray bottle would be a good option for this behaviour? My partner is not totally on board with it since we have a cottage and we would love for her to enjoy the lake and he's afraid that using water in this way might turn her off swimming.

A trainer is definitely a good start, but in the meantime we're struggling to do the right thing by this puppy and help to create a positive, respectful relationship. I really feel that I have not been able to properly bond with her because of this issue which is just as upsetting to me :(
 

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Hi Clover

If it's any comfort we too are experiencing similar behaviour with our pooch! Almost everything you have described is what we're going through with Alfie.

Alfie is 10 weeks old. We have had him just over two weeks. He's unlike other pups I've had in the past. He has mega humped, jumped up, barked to get attention etc from the start! We feel as though he is trying to dominate us too! For example we have people over to the house who are dying to meet him but after a couple of minutes they're fed up of the jumping up, mouthing, nipping & humping & what should be a pleasurable experience for everyone is turning into a bit of a disaster with us all having to leave the room so he calms down! He is good in that as soon as you do leave he goes straight into his crate and lies down. (nice try sunshine!)
He also has a mad 1/2 hour in the early evening, racing around barking and chewing things. We were wondering if it was all the E numbers in his treats and are going to start giving him cooked chicken instead!
When he humps or bites we have tried ignoring him by turning away, walking off etc. He does eventually get the message and I think we are winning after this time (2weeks), as he doesn't do it as much. We are just going to have to persevere and continue to do this.
We are hoping he grows out of it and it does appear to be getting slightly easier ::)
There's a cracking tv program in the UK called it's me or the dog with some great advice and some "light at the end of the tunnel".

www.channel4.com/programmes/its-me-or-the-dog/4od
Think there's also a US version (not sure where you're from).

I do think you have the right puppy for you as you appear to be committed to doing the utmost for her & she needs this type of attitude from her owners.

Fingers crossed that things will improve for you ;)
 

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The barking to get attention must have been learned and now you have to unlearn it. This will deffinately take alot of work on your part. I'm surprised you didn't pick up on it prior to purchase. This pup is trying to train you both. I wouldn't let her get any attention when she barks. I would probably crate her until she stopped for at least 2 minutes and then take her out and reward her. You said she is smart, use it to your advantage. I would say the barking and aggression at 9 weeks is not common. I think you got the alpha pup out of that litter. Sounds like you have your hands full. You will need to continually put her in her place time and time again.
 

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Keep her in check.
She is really trying to boss you around and you do not need or want that.
As Linescreamer mentioned give her a time out in her crate. Don't be mean or forceful about it, just pick her up or walk her over to her crate. Don't say a word to her. Once she settles take her out and give praise for good behaviour.

I believe you are in the Toronto area, if you want I can refer a good trainer that has helped a few V owners from this board.

Good luck.
 

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Hi Clover. Savannah did the biting, growling, jumping, and finally, the humping thing starting about 10 weeks old, so yours is probably a bit ahead of where she was. So ultimately, mine is a success story. I can't advise about the right/wrong puppy or if the dominance issues are so bad that you need to give up. I can tell you what we tried and how and when we got through it.

You should know that I had a few self-imposed limitations. Several books talk about shaking a can of pennies or using a squirt bottle to stop unwanted behavior. Savannah goes to work with me, so she must be able to tolerate sudden loud noises, so shaking a can of pennies to distract her was out. She also needs to tolerate being hosed down if she gets into anything and tolerate the irrigation sprinklers, so a squirt bottle was also out for us. If she couldn’t stand loud noises or being sprayed with water, I was going to have to give her up, anyway.

She started jumping up and just trying to taste my hands. I tried the turn and ignore routine for a few days. As my hands got bloodier from teeth scrapes, my patience declined exponentially. My legs started getting scratched from her nails jumping up on me. She started growling down deep in her throat. The growling seriously concerned me particularly because her eyes dilated at the same time, so she seemed to be getting more and more out of control. I was too busy during the day to work with a trainer, so I read at night. I tried the ‘Off’ command. I tried the whimpering and crying to let her know some things hurt. I tried the knee in the chest technique. I tried pinning. She kept coming back for more. The first time she humped my leg, I was beyond worried. I was sobbing into my cat’s fur trying to decide if I had just ruined my household.

She was a cute 15 pounds at the time, but knowing that she was going to be 50 pounds meant I had to do something quickly because she would soon be too big for me to handle. I finally stumbled on a reasonably winning combination of theory and practice synthesized
from my reading that got us through that phase.

I started again with the assumption that she was basically a good dog that had owner problems. I also went back to basics about being in charge. She went through every doorway after me. She had to sit for her meals. She had to do something, anything, I wanted before she got a treat. We started grooming sessions (depending on the meal, brushing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nails, puppy massage, etc.) before each meal (these started as wrestling matches that took over an hour – we are now at 15 minutes before each meal). She is not allowed on any furniture. One pronounced difference occurred the first time I made her sit at my feet while I ate dinner before she was fed. It took forever to get through that meal: re-positioning her in a sit multiple times between each bite, but the next day, no growling. The book ‘Being Your Dogs Best Friend’ gave me some new negative techniques I hadn’t tried during the behavior deterioration cycle. The one that worked for us was grabbing her on both sides of the neck, giving a gentle shake, and saying ‘no’ firmly. My neighbor has a calm, adult dog. We started visiting with them (she was a good influence on Savannah) in her yard (Savannah hadn’t finished her shots at that point). I remembered from somewhere that little kids when they are told ‘no’, they hear ‘not yet’ and keep asking again. Savannah seemed to do that – how about now – no – how about now – no –how about now - no. She seemed to give up after about 10 iterations of ‘no’. Somewhere I read that using words other than ‘no’ will provide better results – so I started telling her to ‘leave it’ when she had my shoe or my sleeve in her mouth. We had more success with ‘leave it.’ I also read somewhere that one word commands are fine, but after giving the command, go ahead and in an angry voice tell her exactly what behavior is unacceptable. The long drawn-out angry voice seemed to have an impact on her as well. I suppose the point here is to try something, anything, for a while. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, move on. My timeline on ‘for a while’ was that it was time to change when I couldn’t enforce a technique calmly.

It took Savannah (or me depending on your perspective) about 4 or 5 weeks before we finally worked it all out. The night of the dinner with her at my feet was about a week into the process. That was the night I knew I could make this work for us both.

Good luck!
 

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Merc didn't give me any grief until he was nearly 2 so I can't offer any practical advice. When is she due for her next lot of shots? It might be worth getting the vet to check for any health problems that are just making her miserable and hence all the acting out.

Get a trainer you have a good feeling about, that saved Merc and I when I thought we were headed down a path to disaster (he started chasing bicyles and joggers) and we did manage it with a positive reinforcement trainer. There is a lot more to the method than just praising good behaviour so don't be put off it as a method if that is what you want to do. Even if it seems to not be working now a trainer may have more techniques up their sleeve.

Hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am overwhelmed and grateful for all the advice and support. It really means so much to us!!! So thank you to every last one of you :)

Alfie: it is a comfort and yes, that does sound like our experience quite a bit however in some ways it's the opposite: our puppy is fabulous around company but somewhat insane when we're alone. And if we leave the room she tears things apart and screams so loud it's a wonder our neighbours have not dialed 911 to report that someone is being brutally slayed! She does seem a bit different - scary smart, sleeps soooo long for a young pup, practically housebroken but comes with all sorts of issues we were not prepared for in the least. I appreciate what you said about us being the right owners. We really do love her and want her to be happy but we do want to make sure that we can provide the type of home she needs. I hope we are the right people for her. I'd love an update on how the positive reinforcement training goes with him since we have been struggling with that and wonder if we should be more forceful...? I like to hear stories of how it does work.

Linescreamer: I agree with you. We're pretty sure she started out as the runt so I imagine it might have come from that? We did notice she was more vocal than the others actually but it was more grunts and groans and puppy mumbles which doesn't bother us at all. It did not occur to us that this would turn into non-stop barking (although perhaps it should have) since we know of so many Vizslas who vocalize all the time without being barkers. We've thought several times about changing her name to either Bob Barker, Fenway Bark or Santa's Little Yelper ;D We completely ignore her when she barks by either leaving the room or turning our backs. We were told by our breeder that she was a "middle of the road dog" (ha!) which is what we were looking for, seeing as we live in Toronto and share 2 walls of our house with neighbours. But yes, I suspect you're right and that that the little runt was very likely the alpha - gah!

Kian: We would love the name of that trainer, as we are in Toronto. You could PM me or email me (since I think you have my email). Thank you! And maybe we should try the crating thing when she barks, although we were told not to use the crate as punishment so I'm not sure if that would qualify??

jld640: I found your story very touching! It seems as though you had commitment against all the odds. I also have 2 cats and I was just crying into their furs yesterday, apologizing for the fact that they are now outcasts in their own home. (In fact, I bought them a giant bunch of cat grass and told them they needn't apologize for any puking that might occur from ingesting it :) ) I plan to try all of the suggestions you have offered which we have not already attempted. It is a very daunting task but I am glad that you got through it - thanks for all the hope!!!

Mercutio: She is not due for her shots for another 2 weeks. I think we want to take her to the vet before then so that we can rule out anything medical. In the meantime, we are switching her food since she seemed not to like it very much. We also stopped giving her peanut butter in her Kong in case the sugar was causing her problems. And yes, I think a trainer is definitely needed right now. We sooo need help from someone other than Ms. Inter-webs and Mr. Google ;)



We really do want this to work. We spent a really long time planning for this puppy, preparing to make the necessary changes and neither of us looks at animals as being disposable - I think that's why wondering if we should keep her or not seems so foreign and horrible to me. We thank you soooooo much for all the advice and support you guys have offered. Honestly, I could cry from the sheer kindness of it right now.

Gracias!!!
 

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Most important thing is probably what jld640 said. You need to be the leader and in charge!!! Going you don't how much it means to them to follow you. You ALWAYS go through the door first, eat first etc. The only thing she decides is when she need to go out and do her thing. In a week or two you will have a dog who knows who the master is. When she barks she gets crated no second chances and be firm. I would also suggest you watch the "Dog Whisperer" to get a better handle on her psychology. Don't give up she will come around. ;D
 

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I haven't read all of the comments, but for someone who may read this later..

if your V starts acting aggressive or dominant, one easy way of teaching him that you are boss is by only feeding him from your hand for a few days. If he won't eat it the first time, don't worry about it.. your dog won't starve himself. Next meal time feed him again from your hand and if he nips at your hand, pull it away and say no. Then try again. Only let him eat from your hand when he does so nicely. He or she will quickly understand that you are the provider of food and that you are in control.
 

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We prepared so much for Oso and still were overwhelmed the first couple weeks. We called him "Satan's little helper" in his bad moments. :)

I want to echo what triggerlover said regarding food. We started from the beginning only feeding Oso by hand. We actually took it to a higher level though in that we do not have meal times, but he only gets food for positive behaviors.

Every morning, I measure his daily amount of food into a plastic bag. When Oso sits, waits, does tricks with us, etc. he gets a bit of food from our hands. We trained him from the very beginning to drop toys when we say, "thank you, Oso" for food. We will also just reward him with food when he is playing nicely or chewing on a bully stick nicely. When he has extra food, we put in a dispensing toy such as the kong wobbler or the Star Mark treat ball (there are probably better ones, those are just the first two we bought). This way, he is kept busy by getting his food for quite a while. We keep refilling those at the end of the day, so he can eat as much as he wants. He will pick up the star mark toy and put it in our hands so we know to refill it. I don't know if I always want to be a dog food dispenser for our boy, but it is a good way in the beginning to establish authority.

We build a lot of compliance into our daily routine. For example, every time he wants water it is a compliance exercise. We fill up the water bowl with a little bit of water, tell him to sit stay and then put the water bowl in front of him. When he starts to get up to go to it before we release him, we make an error correction sound like, "eh" and then lift the bowl up when he sits again we lower it. At first, as soon as it was to the ground I would touch his body and say, "okay" (his release word). Once he drinks it and paws the dish, we say "water" and repeat the process. Now he can wait for 5-10 seconds before I say okay, although I normally don't make him wait longer than a second or two.

**This way we are aware of his water intake for potty training reasons and controlling bloat.

**We give treats for come (always!) and for new tasks. If your dog knows how to play ball, it really helps with getting out the energy. We use real treats for retrieving the ball too, even though it's not a brand new task.

Oso does hump once in a while and we just try to distract him when we see precursors or put him in the crate on a time out (something they don't recommend). In Oso's case, he only humps when he is overtired or not tired enough (those are his crazy times). Another technique is to redirect. So, as soon as he starts to hump (if we can't distract) we tell him to sit, shake, down, and then give him a toy to play with, sometimes it snaps him out of it. If it's really severe like it sounds and he won't listen to commands, I would probably use something like a lid to those huge plastic storage containers (all I could think of at the moment) and slide it between my leg and him. Then pick him up (just ignoring his nips and struggles), put him in the crate or time out area and wait until he settles w/ no whining/barking/crying for a minute. Then I'd take him out and play with him.

Oso didn't have the problem with barking for little things, but in public he will bark at dogs/people that he wants to play with. Our trainer told us to distract him from the barking (though that's not necessary) by saying "sh," shaking cans, or using the water bottle. I have not used cans or water bottles. But, this is the important part, as SOON as he looks at the trigger (for Oso other people/dogs) without barking you treat him and say good job. Continue treating him every time he does, then start to space it out.

For your puppy, it sounds like it is really important to never give the dog your attention, the food, toy, outside (whatever she is barking for) access when she is barking. This is what I would try...... every time she barks turn around. Stand there and wait until she is silent for a second. As soon as she is silent, turn around. If she looks at you without barking give her what she wants. If she barks again, turn around and wait. My guess is this will be a really time consuming process. She has to go through what's called an extinction burst. So, let's say her whole short life she has gotten what she wants through barking. When it doesn't work, she is going to try harder because it's always worked before. She's going to keep trying the same thing until she realizes - hey, not barking works SOO much better.

I don't know a lot about dog dominance behavior, but if you feel she is trying to stare you down. I would continue what you did before and keep staring until she looks away (or her eyes roll back). Once she defers have her sit, shake or down and give her a treat or some kibble.

My guess is that once you get her compliance up, picking her up will be a little easier. Once she is falling asleep (or fast asleep depending on how aversive it is) you may try picking her up and then petting or treating her if she awakes and doesn't get upset.

It sounds like you have a high needs little girl on your hands and it also sounds like you are doing a really good job! Find out what is motivating for her (food, toys, attention) and make it contingent on compliance. I recommend you get a trainer to help you guys create a plan. But, a lot of hard work now definitely helps in the long run. She is so smart, so maybe she will learn quickly. :)

Also, I wouldn't take her out of the crate, unless you can attend to the training 100%. When Oso was really little we couldn't even have him out of the crate when we were making dinner in the kitchen (it was really difficult!!) But now he is soooo much better behaved and we can already do a lot of things we couldn't the first month he was with us. He is 16 weeks now.

I also really like the idea of finding a well socialized adult dog for him to hang out with. He/she could really help with the learning process.

That is my very long 2 cents. Keep us updated!
 

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You pay to play....
you can't get rid of a puppy because YOU lack the time/effort/knowledge to raise them.
If you adopt a child and then don't like how "hard" they are to "deal" with would you return THEM?
Puppies are NO different than children. You take what you get and make the best of it.
Good luck!!!!
 

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That's a good post luv2laugh.

I did not have the barking issue but the humping started right away at 9 weeks, mostly to his stuffed toys. We would hold down his butt against the ground and tell him how bad that was and he stopped after a few weeks.

I am going to do the hand feeding. I think that is going to help with some things. He just turned 7 months and hit 49 lbs

It's so great when they respond ... I look forward to our walks now and this weekend we are doing two days on the AT in Shenandoah.
 
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