An upside down pack hierarchy (humans as followers, dog as leader) develops when humans do not fulfill the needs of their dogs as canines. The dog resultingly fills what he perceives as a leadership void. His instincts tell him that someone must take the reins, and he steps up to the job in lieu of seeing any human do so.
Now that he's in charge, it's his job to set rules and boundaries for his pack even though he has no model for how to do so.
Dogs nip one another and escalate to bites to correct junior members of their pack. If your dog now disagrees with having his nails clipped, being picked up or rubbed too abrasively or having his space invaded by the irritating toddler, it is quite predictable that he will use his mouth to correct.
Dogs need a consistent daily walk (with a leader who masters the walk) to exercise their minds and bodies. Just like us, they need to get out and experience the world, and return home later. A big backyard is not heaven for a dog. It's more an extension of the house, the bathroom.
Ideally the dog receives a walk in the morning, off leash frolicking play with other dogs late morning, and a soft walk, ball games or other exercise in evening before bedtime.
Canines are very social animals. Those who enjoy regular socialization with other dogs and people are more calm, stable and happy than those who are kept in the solitary confinement of home and yard, let alone those who live half their lives in crates. As a rule, dogs should never be crated for longer than 4 hours without receiving social contact and the chance to exercise their bodies and brains.
A dog who lives with anxiety and insecurity does not welcome new situations. Instead of staying in the family Pack Drive, these tend to send him to his Defense Drive where he feels cornered with the panicked need for fight or flight.
It is very important that the human not reward this instability with affection. Instead we need to disagree with the state of mind, afford time for nature's coping mechanisms to kick in, and join in the celebration when the dog "gets it right. "
Let the Houston Dog Whisperer dog training help you. You'll see amazing results in short order!
We become a dog's leader by earning his love, trust, and respect. Dominant dogs will assess whether a human is worthy of his respect, filling in the void if in his k9 brain we fall short. This is a prapractical consideration by the dog. He needs to feel that whomever is strongest, smartest and most wise takes the lead in the hunt and eradicating predators from an instinctive basis.
Leaders provide rules to followers. They correct unstable energy and inappropriate behaviors. Dogs correct in a variety of ways that have nothing to do with how we humans typically deal with dogs. One of these ways is to nip and bite.
It is quite natural for a puppy to use his mouth. If still with his litter mates, he would be "jowling." This means wrestling and pulling their skin with his mouth to hone his fighting skills for joining the pack with the hunt. In addition, there are 2 teething stages which caused the puppy discomfort. He relieves some relief when he can chomp.
But biting and nipping often results in the children voicing, " I don't like my puppy anymore. " We want to set rules and boundaries for Junior before this reaches that stage in our family.
(1) Puppy/dog never uses his mouth on human in any way. (2) Humans start and stop all play. (3) Humans begin and end all affection.
Tip: give your pup a raw frozen marrow bone slice when he is restless or mouthy. This will entertain him for an hour plus the cold helps relieve teething inflammation discomfort.
The dog who parks his body in front of his owner is clocked onto the job of protecting her. He perceives that the world presents risks and that owner is too weak to deflect these and protect herself.
The irony is that this owner has created this situation of distrust and anxious fear in her dog. And the minute she changes her behavior, the dog will relax and clock off the job.
Get the Houston Dog Whisperer's help if you're experiencing a dog who is protective and territorial.