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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, i just found this website yesterday and thought i would post some pictures of my little boy Coltrane. He is 8 weeks old now. most of the pictures were taken two weeks ago when we got him. He is so cute and wants to play with my two cats, if he can figure out how. The cats like him too, they just don't know what to do with him. He does have a problem of when he gets excited, he starts growling and nipping at me. when i try to grab his muzzle, he gets as vicious as he can, trying to bite me. I just keep grabbing his muzzle and holding him still until he submits. I hope this behavior doesn't last too long. other than that, he is perfect.












 

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Warm welcome to Coltrane and slaves! :D
He sure is a handsome, little feller!

Try to yelp when he's hurting you,
he needs to learn how to control his teeth and
bite. It would probably have been best for him to
stayed at his mom and siblings for some time more,
now you have to learn him things like that....



--------------------
<span style="color:#009900">The one that drools rules, :p
Steinar - daddy and foodslave to Emma and Doris!

http://www.basset-hound.net.tf</span>
 

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Yelping is a good reaction to the nipping - also try immediately turning away and withdrawing your attention. It'll be hard with such a cute puppy, but he'll soon learn the game ends if he bites too hard. Grabbing his muzzle is sure to backfire on you in the long run. Also, try to avoid rough housing with him too much and getting him overly excited - if he gets too wild, use a toy instead of your hand. Good luck with your adorable boy!
 

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He does have a problem of when he gets excited, he starts growling and nipping at me. when i try to grab his muzzle, he gets as vicious as he can, trying to bite me. I just keep grabbing his muzzle and holding him still until he submits. I hope this behavior doesn't last too long.[/b]

Coltrain think when you try and grab his muzzle you are playing and esculating the intensity of play. He will learn to play nicely much quicker if instead you just end any contact with him when he becomes too excited.
A high pitch yelp also can go a long way as this is similar to how littermate communicate play is to rough and hurts. THey yip and stop playing.

For more indept reading on puppy mouthing and teaching bite inhibition see


Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It
1. No painful bites. 90% of puppies will stop if you give a high-pitched squeal or yelp. If they stop, praise and reinforce by continuing the game. The other 10% and puppies who are tired or overstimulated will escalate their behavior instead of stopping. This requires you to confine the puppy or end the game. Remove all attention. It does *not* require any added aversive -- yelling, popping the nose or under the chin, shoving your hand down his throat, or spraying with water.[/b]
Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
And about the yelping out in pain technique. I hate when people suggest this as if it is the Holy Grail of stopping mouthing. It totally depends on why the dog is nipping, how you yelp and how they respond to the yelping. With some dogs this idea alone can stop nipping and play biting in its tracks. But as you have discovered there are other dogs who are simply more triggered by the response. And you actually escalate the intensity of the behavior.

We can't ever just say if a dog is doing X behavior that a handler should always do Y handling technique. It just never is that black and white.

Its all about probabilities. If a dog does X behavior and the response is Y technique than we can often say there is a high probability of a particular response happening with most dogs. There are some fundamental things that are very high probability that apply to many dogs that do nothing or get a completely opposite response from other dogs.

...It looks complicated when plotting it out but in general people have a much better feel for what the dog's probabilities for certain things are then they do in applying that knowledge to specific situations.

90% of the time if I clearly define something for owners and ask what their dog will likely do, they have a wonderfully detailed knowledge of what their dog will probably do. But most people don't look at the perimeters objectively or with clarity and worse they fall into a pattern of waiting until the dog has done the thing they don't want that they knew was probably going to happen. They then respond to what the dog did even though they could have predicted the Undesired response a week ahead of time. [/b]
basically if you try and grab the dogs muzzle and you know he "gets viscious", um maybe it is time to try something different.




More on Bite Inhibition
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great information and help. The vet had recommended the muzzle grabbing technique to establish ourselves as higher in the pack. I noticed it wasn't working and that's how i ended up here. I suppose the breeder could have kept him a couple more weeks as well. But the good news is that as soon as i showed my fiancee this thread, she tried yelping and darn if he didn't stop instantly and lick her instead. I think we are on to something here.
 

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Thanks for all the great information and help. The vet had recommended the muzzle grabbing technique to establish ourselves as higher in the pack. [/b]

some articles you might enjoy on the fallicy of the Alpha Dog Mysitique

Effects of food availability on the display of dominant behavior and enforcement of group hierarchy in Canis lupus.
Once the Yellowstone observations were completed and the digital footage
processed in 2005, I had an epiphany when there were no observed occurrences of
aggression (table one, chart one). This was further reinforced in 2006 with the lack of
observed aggression while in Yellowstone. The wolves of NW Trek and those from the
ethogram I was using for behavior identification had one thing in common. They were
both animals held in captivity. This resulted in my wondering if the aggressive behavior I
observed at NW Trek and the observed behavior used in the creation of the ethogram
were an artifact of captivity and/or a result of the stress of captivity.[/b]
Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs
Most research on the social dynamics of wolf packs, however, has been conducted on wolves in captivity. These captive packs were usually composed of an assortment of wolves from various sources placed together and allowed to breed at will (Schenkel 1947; Rabb et al. 1967; Zimen 1975, 1982). This approach apparently reflected the view that in the wild, "pack formation starts with the beginning of winter" (Schenkel 1947), implying some sort of annual assembling of independent wolves. (Schenkel did consider the possibility that the pack was a family, as Murie (1944) had already reported, but only in a footnote.)

In captive packs, the unacquainted wolves formed dominance hierarchies featuring alpha, beta, omega animals, etc. With such assemblages, these dominance labels were probably appropriate, for most species thrown together in captivity would usually so arrange themselves.

In nature, however, the wolf pack is not such an assemblage. Rather, it is usually a family (Murie 1944; Young and Goldman 1944; Mech 1970, 1988; Clark 1971; Haber 1977) including a breeding pair and their offspring of the previous 1-3 years, or sometimes two or three such families (Murie 1944; Haber 1977; Mech et al. 1998).

...Attempting to apply information about the behavior of assemblages of unrelated captive wolves to the familial structure of natural packs has resulted in considerable confusion. Such an approach is analogous to trying to draw inferences about human family dynamics by studying humans in refugee camps. The concept of the alpha wolf as a "top dog" ruling a group of similar-aged compatriots (Schenkel 1947; Rabb et al. 1967; Fox 1971a; Zimen 1975, 1982; Lockwood 1979; van Hooff et al. 1987) is particularly misleading.

...Labeling a high-ranking wolf alpha emphasizes its rank in a dominance hierarchy. However, in natural wolf packs, the alpha male or female are merely the breeding animals, the parents of the pack, and dominance contests with other wolves are rare, if they exist at all. During my 13 summers observing the Ellesmere Island pack, I saw none.

Thus, calling a wolf an alpha is usually no more appropriate than referring to a human parent or a doe deer as an alpha. Any parent is dominant to its young offspring, so "alpha" adds no information. Why not refer to an alpha female as the female parent, the breeding female, the matriarch, or simply the mother? Such a designation emphasizes not the animal's dominant status, which is trivial information, but its role as pack progenitor, which is critical information.

...The typical wolf pack, then, should be viewed as a family with the adult parents guiding the activities of the group and sharing group leadership in a division-of-labor system in which the female predominates primarily in such activities as pup care and defense and the male primarily during foraging and food-provisioning and the travels associated with them (L.D. Mech, see footnote).[/b]





Why Can't a Dog Be More Like a Dog?
Now certainly... dogs are descended from wolves, but their behavior has numerous differences, especially in terms of interaction with people. Consequently, to extrapolate from a ludicrously simplified version of wolf-wolf interaction to dog-dog interaction is quite unfounded, but to further extrapolate from wolf-wolf interaction to dog-human interaction is just plain silliness.


...To say one alpha male rules the roost is an oversimplification to the point of ridicule. In fact, in most domestic canine social groups it is not a single male, but rather a group of females which decide what's what.


...Like wolves, dogs do need a leader - but not a dictator who physical dominates, frightens and hurts. And certainly not a human fool who tries to imitate wolves. To allow myself a soup can of anthropomorphic license, most dogs are probably howling with laughter at the pathetic wolf-impersonations by their owners. (Perhaps that's why dogs howl?) It would indeed be laughable, if the consequences were not so sad and serious. Yes, dogs must be taught to show compliance to all family members, but to suggest novice owners physically manhandle and frighten their dogs is both inane and inhumane. And how exactly are children meant to gain respect from the dog? By physically pushing and pulling it around? The very thought is as potentially dangerous as it is stupid. For goodness sake, let's wake up and smell the coffee! Or, wake up and smell the urine, if you're still bordering on virtual Lycanthropy [/b]
The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

The Macho Myth

Debunking the Dominance Myth
The concept of dominance — or “alpha,” meaning the highest ranked individual — originally
came from some studies of wolf packs in the 1940s. The concept was catchy, and when it
trickled down to popular dog culture, it took hold with the power of mythology. It quickly
became “common knowledge” that domestic dogs are naturally dominant or will become so if
their people tolerate certain behaviors. These dogs, it was claimed, will constantly challenge and
test their owners until they are forcefully shown human leadership.
So-called dominance exercises were — and in some circles still are — widely recommended to
prevent the dog from taking over the entire household. These exercises include not feeding him
until after you’ve eaten, letting him through doorways only after you, forbidding access to
furniture, and not playing tug-of-war.
In reality, there is no evidence that these procedures prevent dominance aggression or any other
behavioral problem. In fact, one study found no correlation between playing tug-of-war or
allowing a dog on the bed and the development of aggressive behavior.

...“The truth is, there is not
one documented case of a wolf forcefully rolling another wolf to the ground. Nor is there one
case of a mother wolf (or dog) ‘scruff-shaking’ her puppies.”
A wolf would flip another wolf against its will only if he were planning to kill it. The same goes
for a mother shaking her pup by the scruff. Both are rare events.
The third flaw was that the researchers made some wild extrapolations from their data. Their first
leap of logic was applying their conclusions to dogs. Their second was applying them to humancanine
interactions.[/b]
A Talk with Ray & Lorna Coppinger
Barbara: Do you consider this new view of the domestic dog to be important for owners and trainers of working dogs of various kinds? How might people change their thinking about dog behavior and training?

Ray & Lorna: The village dog origin of our modern dogs won't in itself change dog training techniques. Dog training has been changing rapidly over the past few years anyway. Besides, we never found that dog trainers paid very much attention to evolutionary theory.

Dog trainers would tell you that you should dominate the dog like the leader of a pack of wolves, and then tell the dog in a high squeaky voice, "Good Boy!" We think the importance of DOGS may be that it helps dogs more than their owners. A view of dogs as essentially village scavengers that are easily adapted to people and kind of fun to play with, opens many new windows for people in their relationships with their dogs. Relationships should be based on positive situations, play, having fun.

Barbara: Among your new views of the dog is a rejection of the trainer as the "alpha wolf" and the dogs as the "submissive pack member." Why have you rejected what has essentially become dogma in the dog training world?

Ray & Lorna: The alpha wolf model of dog training certainly does appear frequently in print, but we wonder if it was ever really incorporated into serious dog training. We suspect it was never very useful in training dogs, and that almost everybody intuitively knew that. It was "say one thing, do another."

Certainly all the new techniques, such as click and treat, are not based on dominance. We've watched top trainers like Terry Ryan and Ken McCort, and never saw any hint of "I'm the dominant wolf." People who try modifying aggressive dogs don't try to "dominate" them into submission. Everybody agrees that would be a disaster. Imagine training a wolf by dominating it. Quick way to get killed.

It is a mistake to think that because dogs are descended from wolves, they behave like wolves. Wolves do not show the "alpha roll," or any other hierarchical behavior, except in specific circumstances, particularly during reproductive and feeding behaviors. Wolf packs on a hunt are working cooperatively, and hierarchy goes by the board.

Training dogs is fun for me and for the dog, as it should be. Our sled dogs ran because running is fun and feels good. Endorphins are released, social interactions are increased. Try running while you're being submissive. Dogs aren't pulling sleds because they are forced to or are submitting to some person's will. Everybody who ever drove dogs knows that you absolutely cannot force them to do it.

Barbara: It will be hard to get that alpha wolf/submissive wolf thinking eliminated from the parlance of dog training, but for starters, how should people think about their relationship with their dog?

Ray & Lorna: It won't be hard to get the wolf pack mentality to go by the board simply because we don't think many of the experts ever really believed it. It is through social play behavior that animals learn from one another. Further, it is fun to play with our dogs even if none of us learn anything. It will certainly make more sense to the dog than to be tumbled onto its back and growled at by a human.

Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff have recently drawn attention to a category of behaviors they call intentional icons. Dogs have signals they use when they want to play — the play bow. The play bow is a signal that all the following behaviors like growls and snarls are all in fun. Consider what might happen if you gave the "dominant male" intentional icon, indicating everything that happens from now on is about the driver being the dominant dog. The sled dogs, if they were reacting as submissive wolves, would then lie on their backs and pee in the air instead of running as a team.

Instead of threatening our dogs every time we want to train them, we need to perfect the human play bow which tells the dog the games are about to begin. Remember that games have rules, and what the dog and the humans learn during play is what the rules of the game are. That makes sense in teaching or training, whether it is dogs or students. The intent of dominance display is to exclude the subordinate from some activity, like breeding. The alpha wolf isn't trying to teach the subordinate anything.[/b]
The Dominance Myth in Dog Training

DOMINANCE: FACT OR FICTION?

AGGRESSION - WHY PUNISHMENT DOES NOT WORK

MOVING BEYOND THE DOMINANCE MYTH: TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF TRAINING AS PARTNERSHIP
Dog trainers have commonly accepted a model of training based on a supposed emulation of the behaviors of wolves, particularly Alpha wolves. Central to this model is the notion of “dominance”. This model is conceptually flawed in that it rests on some serious misconceptions about wolf behavior as well as serious misconceptions about the interactions between dogs and humans. As a separate species from dogs, humans cannot emulate intraspecific behaviors and expect those behaviors to be interpreted other than as aggression. A more accurate and ultimately more productive training model is to approach training from the point of view of symbiosis: interspecific cooperation based on some form of mutual benefit.[/b]
Alpha Schmalpha - Dogs are wolves -- not

“Pack Leader” Myths

Reconsidering the Dominance Model in Dog Training

Beyond the “Dominance” Paradigm
The next time someone tries to seduce you with bad science by saying that “ethology justifies using force to control your dog,” don't hesitate to challenge them. Science is on your side—put Lorenz and Skinner in your pocket and use what we've learned in both ethology and psychology to enhance, not diminish, the relationship between you and your dog. [/b]
Assessing the Alpha Roll
According to Erich Klinghammer, PhD, an ethologist and professor emeritus at Purdue University and the president of the North American Wildlife Federation, “the so-called alpha roll overpracticed by some is nonsense.” Klinghammer believes that there is a big difference between wolves and dogs, and to “simply extrapolate from wolves to dogs is at best problematical.

Dr. Ray Coppinger, a biology professor at Hampshire College and a co-founder of the Livestock Guarding Dog Project, concurs. He says that, in evolutionary terms, “to be descended from a wolf doesn’t mean dogs are wolves or behave like wolves.” Furthermore, he states that dogs develop in “very different environments and acquire ... very different social behaviors than wolves.”[/b]
 

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What a pup! He's a keeper! :D


Wow...I may can use alot of that with Dasch! ;) Thanks for all the info!
 

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Yay! I'm glad the yelping worked for you. It usually does. Keep in mind that a lot of vets are very good clinicians, but I've found a surprising number of them do not know animal behavior and training techniques as well as they should. Your puppy is adorable! Enjoy his puppyhood - they grow up so fast! :) :)
 

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He's just beautiful!


Lots of new brown 'n white puppies on the forum lately! :) Woodrow, Maya, and Coltrane......I don't know who's the cutest!
 

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Welcome to Coltrane you are one sweet little basset :) So glad that Marcia's advice 'done the trick'. This forum is great for any problems you may encounter with your little guy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again for everyone's help. I will get some new pics of him up as soon as i can. he is bigger now than in those pictures. he is 9 weeks old today.
 

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Coltrane is one beautiful little guy. Nothing to add on the nipping, and I do agree that the Vet's don't always know it all. Mikey T has given you great links and some awesome advice. Can't wait to see more of Coltrane, and BTW, I love the name.
 

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More pictures to come tommorow i promise. I have a question. We have been crate training him since we got him (3 weeks). He is doing very well with it and has only had a vey few accidents (number 1 not 2) in the house. We usually catch him and take him out right away. My fiancee and i work about 15 minutes from home, so thus far it's been pretty easy to come home every two hours or so to let him out the crate to go out. New problem is my fiancee got a new job and she isn't going to be able to come home to let him out. i will still be able to come home at lunch time, but i know that is too long for him to be in the crate. I can't leave him outside, so I really don't know what to do. Any suggestions? I was thinking of getting a playpen type cage and putting his crate in it for him to sleep in and some puppy pads at the other end of it for him to go on. i don't know if this will be harmful in the housebreaking process though. I don't want to give him the idea that it is okay to go in the house at all. How old do you think until he can hold it in the crate until lunch? I don't know what to do. Maybe I should just quit my job to stay home with him (yeah right).
 

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More pictures to come tommorow i promise. I have a question. We have been crate training him since we got him (3 weeks). He is doing very well with it and has only had a vey few accidents (number 1 not 2) in the house. We usually catch him and take him out right away. My fiancee and i work about 15 minutes from home, so thus far it's been pretty easy to come home every two hours or so to let him out the crate to go out. New problem is my fiancee got a new job and she isn't going to be able to come home to let him out. i will still be able to come home at lunch time, but i know that is too long for him to be in the crate. I can't leave him outside, so I really don't know what to do. Any suggestions? I was thinking of getting a playpen type cage and putting his crate in it for him to sleep in and some puppy pads at the other end of it for him to go on. i don't know if this will be harmful in the housebreaking process though. I don't want to give him the idea that it is okay to go in the house at all. How old do you think until he can hold it in the crate until lunch? I don't know what to do. Maybe I should just quit my job to stay home with him (yeah right).
[/b]
Letting him go in the house even on a pad will slow "house Training" ie going outside however it is generally preferrable to keeping him outside if he is to be an inside dog. It sould be note by slowing I mean in the long run take longer because you will have to over come a subsatrate preferrence that will develop for the pad but it should not hiinder ultimate sucess.

Another alternative is a dog/sittter walker that could take the dog out more often. Doggie day care but it can be prohibtively expensive. "Maybe I should just quit my job to stay home with him (yeah right)." Some times it is the cheapest solution :rolleyes:
 
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