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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody

I am the proud Mum to a 14 month old Basset called Monty. We live in England. :D

I would like some advice as to calming him down when he gets a little too boisterious. He goes through stages of calm then goes completely nutty and refuses to obey any command.

If he doesn't get his own way (i.e wanting a treat and not getting one) then he tries to nip your ankles or pull your trouser bottoms or tries to nibble at your knees (it isn't a full on bite but he shows his teeth and "scrapes" you) sometimes he tries to disguise it as a yawn. He just becomes so sulky that he just runs at you and barks (like a giant tantrum).
I can control him by pinning him down for a while, or by putting him in his crate for a time out? (that's the correct phrase I think). Anyway he is beginning to get a little too strong and I want to nip it in the bud because he gets a little too carried away and bites too hard and hurts someone.
One thing I have noticed is that he sometimes starts just after he has eaten and sometimes after we have made a fuss and have played with him. I was thinking that it may be because he still has a lot of puppy in him and also he has a habit of fighting it when he's very tired. At the moment he is currently in his crate sulking after another episode.

If any one has any advice it would be very much appericated. Thanks in advance. :)

9 Posts
Daphne loves to nip/bite like that too. Especially my feet when they're in socks. I tried everything in the book, and finally invested in a $1 spray bottle. Filled it with plain 'ol water, set it to a heavy mist (I did not pick the steady, straight stream). When she would bite, I sprayed it at her and said "no bite." I only had to do that for about 24 hours. Now, when I say no bite, she backs off and continues to play nicely.

I also deal with the boisterous behavior (Daphne is almost 10 months now). My assumption is that she just wants to play... she's a puppy. Usually I'll take her in the back yard and run around with her until she's wiped out, or just let her out to play by herself. If the weather is bad, we'll play indoor fetch until she gets it out of her system. She does this every evening between 8:30 and 9:30... it's the strangest thing. We call it her "witching hour," and fully expect to spend 30 minutes outside playing with her. :rolleyes: I also make sure that she has a handful of different toys to play with. She is such a smart dog, I know her brain needs as much exercise as her body. I just bought her the tricky treat ball, which is great. Check out this post for more information.

I'm definitely not an expert here, but this is what I've found to work for me.........

78 Posts
Hello and welcome :rolleyes:
I am also in the UK and owned by two rescue Bassets.
We got Rupert when he was 6 months old and he was a complete nightmare.He would jump and bite and pull our clothes.
We found that time out and ignoring him were the only things that worked.
To make it easier put a house line i.e a short light lead on him do not interact at all and calmly remove him from the room.leave him there for a couple of minutes to calm down then let him back in.
One other thing to consider is diet.If you are feeding him something like Bakers or Pedigree they are full of colourings and
additives which will make him hyper.Good luck with him and it would be nice to see a picture

13,157 Posts
What you have is a adolescent with no self control. And Yes it is something that can be taught It is the basis of all obedience training


Leadership Basic

When frustrated, owners of adolescent puppies are advised to repeat the following, "When you're 3 years old, you're going to be a great dog." Repeat it until your blood pressure drops and you no longer have the urge to become a cat person.[/b]
Stuborn Dog?

Any Dog Can Live Calmly in a House - Even Yours!

Lowering Arousal: How to Train Impulse Control

Keep Me Calm

Protocol for Relaxation</a>

Rewarding Non-Behavior

Biting Pant Legs & Ankles

Puppy Adolscence - or Demon Spawn

That should keep you busy for a while ;)

Somthing to consider why is the dog biting at your ankles rather than say barking to get you attention? It is quite simple dogs do what works. This behavior has worked in the past to get the dog the attention he seeks. This attention need no be as we humans traditional thing as a reward sa a pat or a food treat but also can be what we percieve as punishment yelling at the dog. interacting with the dog when moving him to another loctation/crate etc. It works because the dog has found a behavior so annoying we can not ignore it. Generally ignore the behavior is the advice of choice \, however it is not that simple. If we could simply ignore it the behavior it would not have occured in the first place. So instead we need to be more proactive. That is teach a more appropriate attention seeking behavior like sitting quitely. Thing is we generally ignore this behavior so you need to make a conticious effort to reward calm quite behavior. Also by being proactive you can often avoid the behavior in the first place. Dogs love scheduals you will often find this behavior is very predictable as to when it will accure 5 minutes after dinner, 9:00 pm etc. If you can not currenently predict when the behavior will occur keep a diary on the behavior often a pattern emerges. If you know before hand when a behavior will occur you can be proactive and give the dog the attention it is seeking before it asks for it. Reducing the needs of the dog also increases its ablility to cope in the occasion abscent. Ie if the dog knows mom alway gives me enough attention it will patiently wait for you on that one day you are late arriving with it but if the dog is constantly having to seek it out then minute it feels then need it is going to start looking for it. This is the basis of the
Harmony Programe

Some other useful links in dealing with unwanted behavior

Stopping Negative Behavior Positively
The first step in changing undesired behavior is to identify the behaviors that you want to change. Every time you interact with your dog, ask yourself, "Is my dog doing something I want him to do?"

The second step is to define what you want your dog to do. If your dog is doing something you don't like, define what you want him to do instead. It's not enough to say "I want him to stop doing what he's doing." He could stop doing what he's doing and choose to do something worse - and then you'd have to stop that as well. It's faster to define what you want him to do from the beginning. For example:

I want my dog to hold a sit-stay while I prepare his food. (Not "I want my dog to stop jumping on me when I prepare his food.")
I want my dog to sit at the top or bottom of the stairs when a person is walking up or down.
I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat while the family eats dinner.
I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat when I have visitors.
The third step is to manage the situation so your dog can't do the behavior that he was doing instead of the preferred behavior. The dog was doing the undesired behavior because it worked, because it was somehow reinforcing.

For example, a dog jumps on someone as a greeting, even if the person yells and pushes him away. Why? Because the dog wants attention. If he doesn't jump, he was likely ignored. So he jumps, even if he is yelled at for it. Until you can teach your dog that jumping isn't reinforcing but sitting politely is, manage the situation by putting him in another room when the doorbell rings.

The final step is to train a preferred behavior. If you make the new behavior reinforcing and simultaneously make the old behavior unrewarding, the dog will quickly choose to do the new behavior.[/b]
"You Won the Prize!"
Try the "you won a prize" method. It's basically a time-out, but given so cheerfully that the dog doesn't seem to realize it's in trouble.[/b]
and a anticdote on the You won the prize method that brings to light more clearly how it works from Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
I do not want to take anything away from the dog as a punishment so that they will decrease the chance of the behavior happening. I Reward the dog. Just not with the Reward they would prefer

If for example the dog is jumping and nipping for attention I reward the Behavior. BUT I reward it with something like me going away. "Yippie, you win! I bet I know what you would like! Your Reward is my disappearance." I know that it is semantics on one level but on another level it is really a completely different methodology.

I don't do "penalty yards" (TM pending, Lana Horton). "You pull on the leash... Yippie! We get to walk backwards or stop." If the dog thinks I am an idiot... Great!

"Bob, you fool. I am not trying to get you to walk backwards. Hmmmm... what do I need to do to get this idiot to stop going the wrong direction???"

If my attitude remains that I am having a great time and even better if I am acting like I think that the Undesired Reward is what the dog wants I am not setting up a conflict. But I am motivating the dog to reexamine its choices. I am encouraging the dog to try and educate me as to the best thing to do. And when the dog figures out that biting and nipping me is the stupidest way to get me to play they will look for a better way.

...If a good friend wants to get you to go golfing every weekend and you hate golf you could tell them how boring it is and keep debating the point forever.

Or you could enthusiastically head to the course wearing the most outrageous outfit you can put together at Goodwill. Hit the ball in the opposite direction because it is so much fun watching everyone's expression (besides you were never much of a conformist) Talk constantly. Hug them and scream with joy at every stroke they make and express your amazement at their skills. Then tell them what a wonderful time you have golfing with them and can't wait to do it again. I bet your friend won't be available for another round for months.[/b]

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Thanks for the advice so far, we are slowly getting there. Monty has been a little better, but today he spoilt himself by having a paddy and ripping his bed up because he decided that Dad's socks taste nice (while he was still wearing them) and we had to put him in his crate to calm down. Otherwise he's not been as bad since I asked for some help. Ignoring him does work about 50% of the time when we put him in another room to calm down other times it's a bit of a barkathon, hopefully he'll start getting the message and calm down completely :rolleyes:
He is a little off it as well because he has just had his booster injections and has been quiet tonight.

Someone asked for some piccies of my lil terror so I'm happy to oblige. :D

[attachment=558:Copy_of_100_1908.JPG] [attachment=559:Copy_of_DSC00985.JPG] [attachment=560:Copy_of_DSC01057.JPG]

Thanks again for the advice it's much appericated. :)


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