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What Do You Think Of What This Trainer Told Me?


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Beth is in most ways an utterly perfect greyhound ... confident, easy-going, well-mannered in the house, zero sleep/space aggression, does great in training classes, of which we've done a lot. She's generally well-mannered on leash as well, but her one behavioral issue (on and off leash) is that when she wants to play she'll jump and play-bite me quite assertively, and once she gets going it's quite difficult to turn off the behavior until she's ready to settle down (rattling a penny can knocks it out for a few days or more).

 

Today we were doing an outdoor class with a trainer/behaviorist (positive reinforcement based) I've worked with some, and at one point to give Beth a break I tried to jog with her a bit on the grass, and she started the play-biting. The trainer told me that Beth does this because she doesn't see me as the pack leader. She asked me if Beth eats before or after me (varies) and does she get on the furniture/beds (yup, the beds are the softest place so of course she spends a lot of time on them!). She said that to stop Beth play-biting I have to not let her on the beds -- the height makes her think she's equal to me. I do understand NILIF and the whole theory, but the connection between where she sleeps and how she behaves outdoors, when she is obedient to other commands and non-pushy in every other way, seems sort of tenuous to me ... and frankly I can't imagine how I'd forbid the beds now after two years, or enforce it while I'm asleep (I'd have to block off my guest room virtually all the time). Waking up to Beth snuggled next to me is one of my great pleasures.

 

Meanwhile this trainer just adores Beth, talks about what a balanced dog she is and how perfect she is for calming other fearful or reactive dogs, praises how well she does obedience exercises ... I'm just having trouble putting it all together. I also know a lot of people don't buy the pack theory now, but I wasn't able to argue that effectively.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest KennelMom

I think what the trainer said is ridiculous.

 

Play-biting is something that comes natural to dogs. It's part of how they elicit play from and engage in play with other dogs. IMO, she does it because she sees you as part of her pack.

 

She's just trying to get you to play. I don't think it runs much deeper than that.

 

Now, how to handle it. Well, one school of thought is to never allow her to do it and extinguish the behavior by giving a correction every time she does it (or ignore the behavior, though in this case I prefer a correction to ignoring because it's (the correction) very clear to the dog). I think this is the best way to go if the dog is around kids and especially if the dog has a tendency to do this behavior with anyone but you (some will only do it with "their" person). The other way to handle it is to approach it as any other dog would. If you want to play with her AND play with her in this manner, then engage her when you want to. If you don't want to play with her OR she gets too rough, then you correct her. The correction has to be EXTREMELY crystal clear and consistent and no nonsense. Dogs can learn to have a soft mouth and they can learn how much is too much (I don't think everything has to be "all or nothing" in a dog's world).

Edited by KennelMom
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Thanks Heather, I value your opinion (do you have a number of dogs who do this behavior? Beth is the only grey I know who's so bitey).

 

Is her seeing me as "part of the pack" a problem, though?

 

I think what the trainer said is ridiculous.

 

Play-biting is something that comes natural to dogs. It's part of how they elicit play from and engage in play with other dogs. IMO, she does it because she sees you as part of her pack.

 

 

She's just trying to get you to play. I don't think it runs much deeper than that.

 

Now, how to handle it. Well, one school of thought is to never allow her to do it and extinguish the behavior by giving a correction every time she does it (or ignore the behavior, though in this case I prefer a correction to ignoring because it's (the correction) very clear to the dog). I think this is the best way to go if the dog is around kids and especially if the dog has a tendency to do this behavior with anyone but you (some will only do it with "their" person). The other way to handle it is to approach it as any other dog would. If you want to play with her AND play with her in this manner, then engage her when you want to. If you don't want to play with her OR she gets too rough, then you correct her. The correction has to be EXTREMELY crystal clear and consistent and no nonsense. Dogs can learn to have a soft mouth and they can learn how much is too much (I don't think everything has to be "all or nothing" in a dog's world).

 

 

I know that part of my problem is that I'm not consistent enough; when Beth gets happy and gets a certain playful glint in her eye and maybe mouths my hand a little, it's cute and hard to correct. And when we're off leash with no other dogs I try to get her ramped up a bit so she'll do zoomies (she never bites me when she has other dogs to play with), so that elicits the behavior. And when I try to correct her, it's like she sees it as all part of the game -- yeah, she'll down or whatever, but the minute I move on she wants to jump and bite again. And "no!" makes absolutely no dent.

 

She does do it with other people, so I'd really like to stop her doing it (and I have bruises on my arms, and her tooth ripped a shirt sleeve the other day) -- or at least to have a "soft mouth" as you say.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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I think what the trainer said is ridiculous.

 

Play-biting is something that comes natural to dogs. It's part of how they elicit play from and engage in play with other dogs. IMO, she does it because she sees you as part of her pack.

 

She's just trying to get you to play. I don't think it runs much deeper than that.

 

Ditto that. It amazes me how many people (I'm speaking of the trainer, not you) believe that letting the dogs sit higher up, go out the door first, eat first, etc. influences other areas of behavior. At times one certainly does fear for the future logical processing capabilities of the human race .......

 

But I digress. If her playbites are sharp or seem uncontrolled, I'd correct as KennelMom suggests. If she already has a very soft mouth, I wouldn't bother. Your Beth is a very good girl, and the two of you have an exceptional bond.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Olivia0208

Thanks Kennelmom. I actually have the same situation as PrarieProf, except that Olivia isn't permitted on the furniture or bed. When Olivia plays like this and I correct her (I tried ignoring it at first and it didn't work) she barks right in my face! I sternly tell her to go lie down which she does. However, this is everyday and I think I need a different training technique for this behavior. Otherwise, she is the best, sweetest and most wonderful being ever! Any other ideas? Thanks. Sue

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Yes. That's terrible advice. How ridiculous to think dogs care who walks out doors or eats first. And the furniture thing... :rolleyes:

 

A lot of people believe this, though, no? I was just reading online. Beth clearly seems very "whatever" about when she eats, waiting patiently until I'm ready to feed her whether that's before or after me. But the beds are clearly an important resource to her....

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest PhillyPups

I think what the trainer said is ridiculous.

 

Play-biting is something that comes natural to dogs. It's part of how they elicit play from and engage in play with other dogs. IMO, she does it because she sees you as part of her pack.

 

She's just trying to get you to play. I don't think it runs much deeper than that.

 

Now, how to handle it. Well, one school of thought is to never allow her to do it and extinguish the behavior by giving a correction every time she does it (or ignore the behavior, though in this case I prefer a correction to ignoring because it's (the correction) very clear to the dog). I think this is the best way to go if the dog is around kids and especially if the dog has a tendency to do this behavior with anyone but you (some will only do it with "their" person). The other way to handle it is to approach it as any other dog would. If you want to play with her AND play with her in this manner, then engage her when you want to. If you don't want to play with her OR she gets too rough, then you correct her. The correction has to be EXTREMELY crystal clear and consistent and no nonsense. Dogs can learn to have a soft mouth and they can learn how much is too much (I don't think everything has to be "all or nothing" in a dog's world).

 

Excellent Heather - I totally agree. Beth loves and respects you and wants to play with you. :P

 

And here I was afraid the trainer was gonna try to tell you Beth was just a DoG - we all know better han that!! :lol

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Yes. That's terrible advice. How ridiculous to think dogs care who walks out doors or eats first. And the furniture thing... :rolleyes:

 

A lot of people believe this, though, no? I was just reading online. Beth clearly seems very "whatever" about when she eats, waiting patiently until I'm ready to feed her whether that's before or after me. But the beds are clearly an important resource to her... though even there, she gets off if I tell her to. Well, if she's awake enough. :rolleyes:

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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P.S. If there are times when she wants to take a correction or "Cut that out!" command as all part of the game, try doing the sharply indrawn breath (as if you were mom to a child who had just wilfully smashed your favorite vase) or a really mean whisper. Sometimes loud/firm/angry comes across as "Hey! Mom's barking too! What fun we're all having!" whereas pupper has to be quiet in order to hear you if you're whispering.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thanks Kennelmom. I actually have the same situation as PrarieProf, except that Olivia isn't permitted on the furniture or bed. When Olivia plays like this and I correct her (I tried ignoring it at first and it didn't work) she barks right in my face! I sternly tell her to go lie down which she does. However, this is everyday and I think I need a different training technique for this behavior. Otherwise, she is the best, sweetest and most wonderful being ever! Any other ideas? Thanks. Sue

 

Ah ha, so not being on the furniture didn't fix it! ;)

 

 

Beth barks at me sometimes too, when she gets really ramped up. But she also barks (a lot and loudly!) at other dogs to get them to run/play, so it's clearly related behavior.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

A lot of people believe a lot of incorrect or out dated things, though.

 

Just because she likes/wants something doesn't mean she shouldn't get to have it. However, she should get off the bed when asked without biting/growling at you (aggressively) which I assume she does :)

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I don't have this particular problem with Summer but, with my previous non-grey dog, she tried that when she was young. A firm "no" a few times and she didn't do that again. I don't tolerate mouths on me in this way. Summer did a jumping thing when I first got her, not frequently and only if she thought you had a treat. Again, a firm "no" at the very first instance and, of course, any subsequent instance and she doesn't do it any more. I have done both the "go out the door first" alpha thing and "open the door, whoever is there first goes out first". My conclusion is it is potentially helpful with a strong-minded dog, such as my non-grey heart dog. She was part pitbull/part pointer and I was always the dominant alpha. With Summer? -- it doesn't seem to matter about the whole door and bed and furniture thing. Maybe she's just a natural omega? :lol

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Guest gecko_foot

Beth is in most ways an utterly perfect greyhound ... confident, easy-going, well-mannered in the house, zero sleep/space aggression, does great in training classes, of which we've done a lot. She's generally well-mannered on leash as well, but her one behavioral issue (on and off leash) is that when she wants to play she'll jump and play-bite me quite assertively, and once she gets going it's quite difficult to turn off the behavior until she's ready to settle down (rattling a penny can knocks it out for a few days or more).

 

Today we were doing an outdoor class with a trainer/behaviorist (positive reinforcement based) I've worked with some, and at one point to give Beth a break I tried to jog with her a bit on the grass, and she started the play-biting. The trainer told me that Beth does this because she doesn't see me as the pack leader. She asked me if Beth eats before or after me (varies) and does she get on the furniture/beds (yup, the beds are the softest place so of course she spends a lot of time on them!). She said that to stop Beth play-biting I have to not let her on the beds -- the height makes her think she's equal to me. I do understand NILIF and the whole theory, but the connection between where she sleeps and how she behaves outdoors, when she is obedient to other commands and non-pushy in every other way, seems sort of tenuous to me ... and frankly I can't imagine how I'd forbid the beds now after two years, or enforce it while I'm asleep (I'd have to block off my guest room virtually all the time). Waking up to Beth snuggled next to me is one of my great pleasures.

 

 

I tend to take some ideas from the different schools of thought - i.e. "dominance" theory, positive training, etc. - because I don't feel that any particular method works perfectly for every dog. My opinion of the matter is that you should be only as firm as you need to be to get the point across. For me there are some rules that are iron-clad (i.e. leash, bed, and food manners) and some that aren't (i.e. play-biting), but in all cases, Tumnus knows to stop when I ask him to. It all depends on what is important to you. You can allow play-biting, but I think it's important to let Beth know how hard she can bite and for her to respect you when you want her to stop. I agree with the other posters that Beth's behavior sounds like play (obviously I can't see it :) ), but I also think that you should be very clear to her when and at what intensity she is allowed to play. It's not necessarily that she doesn't see you as the pack leader - Tumnus still jumps when he gets excited, but he is still respectful of me when I ask him to tone it down - it's just that you've been inconsistent in allowing her to play bite in some instances and not in others. Personally, I don't think she understands what the rules are when it comes to how hard she can play.

 

As for what the trainer told you about letting the dog go out of the door first or getting on the bed...I think people are too keen on throwing this out without explaining why they're doing it. It's useless advice if you don't understand the reasoning behind it, and it's the trainer's job to make sure you do. For me, I don't let my dog go out the door quickly because if he runs, he isn't paying any attention to me. I ask him to wait only so I can make sure he's paying attention to me, which is important because we live in a high traffic area.

 

It doesn't sound like you really have a problem - only a happy puppy. I'd ask the trainer to explain his/her reasoning behind the "no dogs on furniture, etc." stuff. It's easy to say "don't do it" but very difficult to explain the "why". Good luck!

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Guest KennelMom

We have a couple dogs who do this. Echo, who is good about listening when I tell her to stop. And Scout, who (like Beth) thinks a verbal correction is all part of the game. Just goes to show that there really isn't a "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training. Part of why a verbal correction often doesn't work is that it's really hard to lie to a dog. Impossible, I'd say. Often times (at least with me) the word NO! is coming out of my mouth but part of me is noticing how freaking adorable my dog is when she's all happy and play bowing and wagging her tail...ahhhh....I just love to see that. Then I re-iterate NO! Stop That! (but she really is cute!).... Dogs are super, duper good at seeing this disconnect in our inner feeling and energy and what's flying out of our mouths.

 

I think "natural" dog people (of which my hubby is one and it really ticks me off! :lol ) have the ability to instantly sync their energy with all of the outward "stuff." It's how Cesar Milan can have an otherwise out of control dog behaving within minutes. He sends very clear, very obvious, very consistent messages to dogs. For people like me, it's something I'm always working on, so dogs like Scout (and Tater and Lucas :P ) are actually great dogs for me to own b/c they keep me always striving to be a better dog person.

 

So...if you have a dog for whom a verbal correction isn't working, then I would do a combination of give the sternest, most serious (from deep, deep down in your soul) Voice of God NO! and then COMPLETELY withdraw from the dog. Do not make eye contact. Do not speak. Do not engage the dog in any way. If you are at home in the yard, walk back into the house and shut the door (if feasible). Keep hands tucked under your armpits if you need to, just to keep the dog from being able to get them at all. If you can't remove yourself from the dog, then stand as lock still as you can and do NOT engage the dog until she is calm.

 

If she's leaving bruises and ripping clothing, then I'd say you definitely need to never allow it. And if she does it to other people, all the more reason. She could really hurt someone who's really young or really old who tend to be more frail, less stable on their feet, etc...

 

And, of course, I give the standard disclaimer that all this can come from excess energy can be a sign the dog needs more exercise...but you seem to be in tune enough with your dog that you'd know if this was the case.

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We have a couple dogs who do this. Echo, who is good about listening when I tell her to stop. And Scout, who (like Beth) thinks a verbal correction is all part of the game. Just goes to show that there really isn't a "one size fits all" when it comes to dog training. Part of why a verbal correction often doesn't work is that it's really hard to lie to a dog. Impossible, I'd say. Often times (at least with me) the word NO! is coming out of my mouth but part of me is noticing how freaking adorable my dog is when she's all happy and play bowing and wagging her tail...ahhhh....I just love to see that. Then I re-iterate NO! Stop That! (but she really is cute!).... Dogs are super, duper good at seeing this disconnect in our inner feeling and energy and what's flying out of our mouths.

 

If she's leaving bruises and ripping clothing, then I'd say you definitely need to never allow it. And if she does it to other people, all the more reason. She could really hurt someone who's really young or really old who tend to be more frail, less stable on their feet, etc...

 

And, of course, I give the standard disclaimer that all this can come from excess energy can be a sign the dog needs more exercise...but you seem to be in tune enough with your dog that you'd know if this was the case.

 

Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good description of me. She is so cute when she gets that glint in her eye and smiley mouth and starts swishing her tail.... And when she's off leash, I sometimes pull or push her a bit to try to get her going and set off a zoomie.... so I give her very mixed messages.

 

For the reasons you point out, I won't let her loose with children or anyone else in a context where she might do that, and I only allow really experienced people I to walk her. I do worry that she's really going to hurt me by accident one day ... she really leaps up and those teeth come kind of near my head sometimes.

 

I'm sure she does have excess energy at times, but she gets quite a lot of exercise on and off leash, as much as I can manage without a yard at my house or another dog. Often the playbiting off leash is a sign she needs to take off for a good run, but sometimes it takes a while for her to decide to do that.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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My Lucy is similar to Beth with the play biting, and I'm not doing a great job of breaking her of it either. I think saying NO is not being taken seriously, and turning my back and crossing my arms seems to work better. I've noticed that when she is getting too rough with her "sister," Sienna freezes like a statue and looks away to let Lucy know she is not interested in being chewed on. It seems to work for her, so I'm going to try to do that more consistently.

 

For what it is worth, Lucy does not get on the furniture, and eats after us. I don't see it as a dominance thing in my case or yours, where there are no other behavior problems at all. Just goofy, happy dogs!

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Dominance theory- what your trainer is advocating- has pretty much been debunked. Especially with greyhounds. Just doesn't seem to apply so much.

 

Somebody recently posted a good tip: don't tell them what not to do, tell her what TO do.

 

If you really need her to stop, give her something else to focus on. A command is good, but not long enough. Re-direct her to another object to bite- a toy or ball - so she learns not to do that to you. Don't use your hands to push or pull her to start zoomies, and don't run with her. That just includes you in her game and leads to biting. Throw her a ball to get her started.

 

Be consistent no matter how cute she is!

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Guest krystolla

Okay, my theory of dog behavior: It's not what the dog does, it's whether you can get them to stop. Sleeping on the bed, walking in front on a walk, going through the door first, eating first . . . whatever. If your dog sleeps on the bed, that's not a problem. If you can't get her off the bed THAT is the problem. You can avoid situations where your dog may choose not to listen to you but that doesn't fix the problem.

 

For the pack-theory people: Alpha wolves don't always walk in front, they sleep with the other wolves and they play with puppies even when the puppies initiate it. The alpha is the one that can say "No, not now" effectively. That's the important part.

 

So I would focus on making sure she knows "off", and "wait" . . . I guess "leave it" if she likes to abscond with stuff too. Personally I favor the HSOD (human scream of death) version of bite inhibition. Whenever she nips, yelp like she's taken a finger off and turn your back to her. In theory, that's how puppies teach each other bite inhibition -- the yelp is "Hey, that hurt! I don't want to play like that." It may take a few times before she figures out that ANY nip is too hard.

 

I also believe that the more socially embarassing a training method is the more likely it is to work. Pace back and forth in the driveway to teach heel? Sure. Run away from your dog to teach recall? Right. HSOD to teach bite inhibition? Just the thing to do to make your neighbors love you. :lol

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kennelmom, thank you ;);)

 

been there, a sharp eh-eh or stern knock it off and stop what ever you are doing so the pup will not continue this undesirable behavior. felix was a lunatic- and yes, he was supposed to be one at 7 months! but, he had to learn some manners really fast. i was not going to tolerate a dog biting my arm, tearing my denim shirt or anything else. those nips are painful. i stopped that behavior very quickly.(bitter lemon does bupkas)

 

first stop what you are doing, yeah it most likely starts during a fast heel...right?

if the stop and wait technique doesn't work- i usually say in a deep quiet tone..shhhhh..... when i start heeling again(this works well to this day when he gets exciting in agility)

if he starts in again, then i use a firm knock it off and stop abruptly. they eventually get it.

 

during down time i always play w/ my pup. sometimes a stuffy, sometimes a ball- but i quick put it away and go back to work when the exercises start again. often i find they get bored from the repetition. is that causing the biting/playing??? try a subsitute play on the side.

 

we all live thru this, and figure out exactly what works best for our lunatic mostly thru asking and trial and error. :blink:

enjoy your spirited pup!!! :gh_bow

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So I would focus on making sure she knows "off", and "wait" . . . I guess "leave it" if she likes to abscond with stuff too. Personally I favor the HSOD (human scream of death) version of bite inhibition. Whenever she nips, yelp like she's taken a finger off and turn your back to her. In theory, that's how puppies teach each other bite inhibition -- the yelp is "Hey, that hurt! I don't want to play like that." It may take a few times before she figures out that ANY nip is too hard.

 

I also believe that the more socially embarassing a training method is the more likely it is to work. Pace back and forth in the driveway to teach heel? Sure. Run away from your dog to teach recall? Right. HSOD to teach bite inhibition? Just the thing to do to make your neighbors love you. :lol

 

 

She knows those commands quite well (except for absconding with frozen poop in winter at the dog park!). I think Batmom is on to something when she says Beth takes my yelling as a game -- I've tried yelping too. I'm going to try an intense but quieter voice to see if that makes an impact. Basically the penny can gets her attention way more than any vocal noise -- I haven't used it in a while and need to get it out again.

 

Dominance theory- what your trainer is advocating- has pretty much been debunked. Especially with greyhounds. Just doesn't seem to apply so much.

 

Somebody recently posted a good tip: don't tell them what not to do, tell her what TO do.

 

If you really need her to stop, give her something else to focus on. A command is good, but not long enough. Re-direct her to another object to bite- a toy or ball - so she learns not to do that to you. Don't use your hands to push or pull her to start zoomies, and don't run with her. That just includes you in her game and leads to biting. Throw her a ball to get her started.

 

Be consistent no matter how cute she is!

 

For a while I tried redirecting her to a toy on leash, and it worked at least a bit. Off leash she has zero interest in toys or balls most of the time -- I can't get her to take her play focus off of me, even if I try to put the toy directly in her mouth, or throw it, or squeak it. Once in a while she grabs it in her mouth and drops it and then zooms in circles sort of "tagging" it, but that's uncommon. Of course the fox tail I got for a lure pole would be a different story... she's almost too intense in her focus on that.

 

On leash, I've had some luck turning her in a tight circle when she jumps/bites -- it seems to help shift her focus. I've also gotten nipped in the butt once or twice.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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A few things to add:

 

1. You might find it helpful to train a "settle" command. The school we go to does this with the puppies. One gets the dog a bit revved up--not out of control--and then stands upright and tells them to Settle and Sit. (I train my greys to sit, so eventually they can do that too.) The idea is that it helps develop an "off switch" that can be used when the dogs go nuts.

 

2. If you have a leash on when Beth gets rowdy, you can use it to back up what you say: hold the leash just above the clip with both hands and above her neck as you tell her to knock it off. This keeps your hands out of the way and will help to steady her.

 

3. I prefer not to use the word No, since it's too common. I try to be consistent with "Knock it off", which I rarely use except with the dogs. ETA: The tone is firm, but it's not a yell, just very businesslike and determined.

 

4. Since Beth is not always gentle, I'd be inclined to discourage all mouth play. If you like it, you can let her start again when you're more confident that you can stop her. Minnie and I have a game that looks incredibly rough--I slap at her mouth as she growls and snaps. But we worked really hard at that when she was young, and she knows that she's not allowed to be rough, and that she must stop instantly when I tell her.

Edited by GreyPoopon

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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first stop what you are doing, yeah it most likely starts during a fast heel...right?

if the stop and wait technique doesn't work- i usually say in a deep quiet tone..shhhhh..... when i start heeling again(this works well to this day when he gets exciting in agility)

if he starts in again, then i use a firm knock it off and stop abruptly. they eventually get it.

 

 

 

Interesting, it does often start during a fast walk (not necessarily heeling, but with her near me, and we always walk pretty fast). Let's see, here are the typical triggers:

 

--Often in the second half of a walk, not so much in the beginning

--If she's just greeted another dog, or been petted by strangers on a walk, or a bicycle or runners went by fast (so, things that got her a little excited)

--Crossing grass or an open area, vs. walking on the sidewalk/trail or at the edge of road

--Me running at all (including hustling to cross a busy street)

--When I start singing to her or talking to her in an "aren't you a cute houndie" voice -- often this happens toward the end of a walk too

--When I'm initiating play trying to get her to run with no other dogs present (clearly I need to cut this out, though it does facilitate her exercising!)

 

GreyPoopon -- "settle" is a good idea; what's the command separate than one for sitting or downing? Beth will do either of those readily, but she's clearly waiting for me to move again and is still ramped up -- at least as long as I've been willing to wait before wanting to continue the walk if we're on leash.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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You've already gotten lots of good advice: especially pack alpha/dominance is bunk and the trainer needs to catch up. You being part of Beth's perceived pack is all good. I have a large spirited grey here, and one of the things I've tried to teach I call "simmer down". So when he charges me for a walk when I'm standing at the top of the stairs... simmer down... low, soft voice. He usually listens and even often gives an unasked-for sit. If he doesn't and continues racing around the house, "knock it off", in a lower, firmer, even slower voice works. I could be wrong, but I think it works mainly because I'm changing the energy level from manic to slow. Would that sort of thing work with Beth?

 

Beth obviously adores you. I really like Heather's answers.

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