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I need a little help with how to discipline my 5 month old pup. At night especially when she is getting tired she gets really cranky like a little kid and she lashes out when scolded. If I tell her no she snaps at the air like she is is mad because I told her no. If she continues the behavior I become more stern with my voice and tell her no. She will snap again and I do pop her on her snout and say no. If it continues she then gets a quick grab to the scruff of the neck and if th!t does not work she gets put on her back until she calmer down, but that usually makes her snap at the air even more trying to get to me. I have even tried to wimper like a pup when she bits and I have even growled at her and nothing seems to work. Please help I don't want a dog that bites or a dog that fears me. I have read a lot of the other post on biting, but nothing gas worked. Any suggestions would be great. Is my pup being a defiant pup or is going to be mean and bite? Help!
 

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My opinion, and I'm sure the opinion of quite a few others on this site, is that any kind of aggression like that is very dangerous with this breed. They are not supposed to be aggressive towards humans at all, not under any curcumstances. Has she ever actually bit you? If she were my dog and was biting aggressively like that, I would most likely have her put to sleep. Do you have any children? If you do, you really need to take into consideration the safety of your family and in reality, anyone else the dog comes into contact with. Imagine (if you have a child) that the child accidentally slapped or fell onto the dog, would you want your child to get bit? There's a lot to take into consideration, especially when it comes to the pitbull breed. Your dog is obviously highly likely to bite someone, if a friend or stranger comes to your house and your dog bites them, it could end up in a lawsuit, your dog being euthanized, and maybe even you not being able to own a dog again. If you do not have any children and are an extremely responsible owner, please, please spay your dog and don't pass on those aggression genes. This breed has a hard enough time keeping a good image, if you decide to not put your dog to sleep, you have to be overly responsible and make sure she is never put into a situation where she might snap at someone else, and that is very difficult to do. I know it's probably not what you wanted to hear, but any pitbull that shows aggression is a serious liability to anyone and can be very dangerous, the best thing to do in this situation if the dog is aggressive would to be to put it to sleep. It's hard to do, but you have to think of the safety of yourself, your family, and others as well. This is not only my opinion either, there are several others on this site who I'm pretty sure would say the same thing. Aggression is a very dangerous trait in this breed.
 

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Obedience classes, constant training, and obscene amounts of exercise.
 

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It sounds to me like maybe you may have a dominant girl later on. I've seen a lot of dominants dogs give signs as young as puppies. Are you sure she's not playing wiht you?? If she isn't I'd consider taking her to an OB class before she get's older and the problem as well and you're going to have something else in your hands. I would really start with OB classes and determine from there and if it's working. Good luck to you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kodiakgirl I'm glad that you mentioned putting her down because that tells me I'm going to get honest opinions from here and no sugar coating. I don't have kids, but I'm sure someday i will and of course I don't want an unpredictable dog around them. She has attended ob classes and she is getting signed up for more, so I hope that helps. I did ask the trainer about it and she said to ignore it because she is trying to get my attention even if it is negative attention. She said that her one dog shows his teeth when she scolds him. She has not bit me in a violent manner, but once and a while she will grab ahold of my shirt and when I tell her no that's when she snaps at the air. She will even bark once and awhile. You can tell its frustration, like when a teenager storms off stomping their feet because their parent told them no. She does have a high drive and when we are playing tug if I get the toy away she is jumping right after it, which I think that can be corrected with obedience classes. Like I said she has drive and once she starts she does not want to be told to stop. As far as exercise goes she gets hr plus walks multiple times a day and play inside. I know this is the owner in me talking, but she is a sweet girl, but I do see the potential problem. I am not blind to it. I hope it us a age/obedience thing and not ha, but if it is I will put her down.
 

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That's very good to hear that you are considering all options. With her being so young, it's very possible that her behavior could be turned around. Sounds like you are pretty level-headed and responsible, and it is possible for aggressive dogs to be ok with the right owners who can be responsible and extremely careful with their dog. It's all in the owner's choice, I've seen a few people who have HA (human aggressive) dogs, but keep them under tight wraps, and they do just fine. While you're here, search around for other threads on the same subject. You will most likely be able to find some other options to help you out too, there are a lot of extremely knowledgeable and helpful people around here. :)
 

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You need to pick a type of discipline then stick with it. I would never roll my dog that is just me tho I know lots of people that do this. Does she have quite time in her crate? If not I think you need to set up a time in the evening when she is tired and make her go in a lay down. this would also prevent her from chewing on things she shouldnt.
 

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As Sharon stated, a crate would be your best option. Does she normally get tired and cranky around the same time every evening? If so, take her out for her last potty break, and then put her directly into her crate when you come in. Let her rest in there until morning when it's time to go out and again. Definitely sign her up for some structured OB classes, and possibly get on with a trainer who offers personalized training, that understands this breed and knows how to handle a dominant personality. If you can afford it/have time, check into a behaviorist. Best of luck to you, and please keep us posted. I won't give any advice on discipline b/c I know everyone deals with their dogs differently. But, from the sounds of it, your pup is of the dominant type, and needs you to step up and show her who's really alpha. Remember to NEVER use the crate as punishment. Dogs may have an immense understanding of human emotion and tones of voice, but they don't understand time outs or being yelled at after the fact. If they're not disciplined right away/during the unwanted behavior, then they have no idea why they're in trouble. A lot of people will say that we shouldn't compare dogs and children, but in fact, raising a dog is a lot like having a child. Anyways, I'm rambling now. Please keep us updated, and definitely continue to ask questions if you need more help or advice. That's why we're here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For starters thank you everyone for your responses. I believe that she does have a dominant personality. Although she is sweet she does have her own agenda and I believe she could really careless if she pleased me as long as she gets her way unless I have treats. I was not home at the time, but my girlfriend said that she was in full play today and bit her, but she said it was not aggressive at all. She did go for a 2hr walk/ run tonight and towards the end of the walk she started to get tired and was starting to pull a little more because she knew what street we were on. I made some corrections with the choked like our obedience instructor explained how to and she listened, but at one point she jumped up and grabbed my sweatshirt sleeve. I'm thinking it was just play. She does have a crate and I count my blessings she was crate trained from day one and I never use the crate for punishment. I feel like I created this snapping because I grabbed the scruff of her neck for discipline when "no" didn't work. She is very smart and I think she figured that she would lash out before she got her neck grabbed. She is a perfect angel when treats are involved though and she gets taught her commands every night. In fact I started pulling on her neck and whenever she didn't try to bite she got a treat and that seemed to help. I know every dog is different and requires different training/discipline techniques, but what is a good way to discipline when a stern NO does not work?
 

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If she is treat motivated I would always keep them around for good behavior (limit food intake to allow for the amount of treats offered.) I have never used the command "No". My preference is "leave it". It's worked well with my dog. I follow the NILF protocol so that Beastley knows I'm the alpha. I never play tug, it reminds me of a power struggle. I consider rough housing encourages strong dominance behaviors. Have you tried interactive toys towards the end of the day? I also alternate between walks and a flirt pole to provide exercise and stimulation. A 2hr walk/run seems long for such a young pup, I would be cranky too. lol These are just my opinions and what works for my boy. Check out site Pit Bull Rescue Central, they have a good sight and info that may be able to help you. I hope you can get her behavior under control and don't have to resort to pts. A friend had to do that, it was very hard on her but she couldn't risk what might happen. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Kodiakgirl I'm glad that you mentioned putting her down because that tells me I'm going to get honest opinions from here and no sugar coating. I don't have kids, but I'm sure someday i will and of course I don't want an unpredictable dog around them. She has attended ob classes and she is getting signed up for more, so I hope that helps. I did ask the trainer about it and she said to ignore it because she is trying to get my attention even if it is negative attention. She said that her one dog shows his teeth when she scolds him. She has not bit me in a violent manner, but once and a while she will grab ahold of my shirt and when I tell her no that's when she snaps at the air. She will even bark once and awhile. You can tell its frustration, like when a teenager storms off stomping their feet because their parent told them no. She does have a high drive and when we are playing tug if I get the toy away she is jumping right after it, which I think that can be corrected with obedience classes. Like I said she has drive and once she starts she does not want to be told to stop. As far as exercise goes she gets hr plus walks multiple times a day and play inside. I know this is the owner in me talking, but she is a sweet girl, but I do see the potential problem. I am not blind to it. I hope it us a age/obedience thing and not ha, but if it is I will put her down.
Definitely get her into obedience for the dominance issues. Heres some tips for tug. Have you trained her to sit yet? And does she know the "drop it" command? I taught my girl drop it by just saying drop it and opening up her mouth and taking away the toy, and then I'd let her play again as the reward. She knew this by 3 months. I started her really early. Anyway, when you are playing tug with her, play and then tell her drop it. When she does, praise her and tell her sit. Only give her back the toy after she has been sitting for about 10 seconds, or longer. My girl automatically sits after I tell her drop it when we play. The reward is returning to play! Good luck with your girl.
 

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You also may fine NILF helpful "nothing in life is free" It helped tremendously with my dog.

They basically have to earn everything by sitting and waiting. Such as, sitting and waiting to go outside, sitting and waiting for food, sitting and waiting before getting on the couch.

Nothing in Life is Free
 

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I need a little help with how to discipline my 5 month old pup. At night especially when she is getting tired she gets really cranky like a little kid and she lashes out when scolded. If I tell her no she snaps at the air like she is is mad because I told her no. If she continues the behavior I become more stern with my voice and tell her no. She will snap again and I do pop her on her snout and say no. If it continues she then gets a quick grab to the scruff of the neck and if th!t does not work she gets put on her back until she calmer down, but that usually makes her snap at the air even more trying to get to me. I have even tried to wimper like a pup when she bits and I have even growled at her and nothing seems to work. Please help I don't want a dog that bites or a dog that fears me. I have read a lot of the other post on biting, but nothing gas worked. Any suggestions would be great. Is my pup being a defiant pup or is going to be mean and bite? Help!
Are you scolding your pup for biting your hands or sleeves? This is normal puppy behavior not human aggression. It is prey/play drive. She is trying to play with you like she would with her litter mates and is probably confused why you are trying to scold her. You are escalating the problem and causing her to snap at you. Eventually she will outgrow this. But in the mean time you should yell ouch in a high pitched voice so she knows it hurts you and then walk away from her for a minute. This will tell her that if she hurts you, play time stops. You can also try re-directing her to a play toy or tug so she is not trying to bite you. Make sure you initiate play and you end it so she does not think she is alpha. If she tries to initiate play then ignore her until she stops and then call her to you to play. NILIF is a good idea along with crate training and obedience class.
 

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Kodiakgirl I'm glad that you mentioned putting her down
Please ignore this ignorant advice.

She said that her one dog shows his teeth when she scolds him.
I would find a different trainer. A human that is alpha will not have a dog bare its teeth when it is scolded. Your trainer is lacking in some training skills.

She has not bit me in a violent manner, but once and a while she will grab ahold of my shirt and when I tell her no that's when she snaps at the air. She will even bark once and awhile. You can tell its frustration, like when a teenager storms off stomping their feet because their parent told them no.
Try what I said in my other post. Yell ouch and ignore her. She is frustrated because she wants to play and you keep scolding her. Also do not roll her on her back that is incorrect. If she was full grown you could be seriously injured doing that.

She does have a high drive and when we are playing tug if I get the toy away she is jumping right after it, which I think that can be corrected with obedience classes. Like I said she has drive and once she starts she does not want to be told to stop.
You need to initiate play and also stop it. Make her sit to get the tug again. Make her do something like sit or down to get any reward. She should have a lead on at all times so you can correct her for bad behavior.

I hope it us a age/obedience thing and not ha, but if it is I will put her down.
You shouldn't even be thinking of putting this pup down at this point. This is normal puppy behavior. She sounds like a pushy puppy brat. You need to be clear and consistent in your training. Most dog bites are caused by human/handler error. If you train her right she will be just fine.
 

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Are you scolding your pup for biting your hands or sleeves? This is normal puppy behavior not human aggression. It is prey/play drive. She is trying to play with you like she would with her litter mates and is probably confused why you are trying to scold her. You are escalating the problem and causing her to snap at you. Eventually she will outgrow this. But in the mean time you should yell ouch in a high pitched voice so she knows it hurts you and then walk away from her for a minute. This will tell her that if she hurts you, play time stops. You can also try re-directing her to a play toy or tug so she is not trying to bite you. Make sure you initiate play and you end it so she does not think she is alpha. If she tries to initiate play then ignore her until she stops and then call her to you to play. NILIF is a good idea along with crate training and obedience class.
Please ignore this ignorant advice.

I would find a different trainer. A human that is alpha will not have a dog bare its teeth when it is scolded. Your trainer is lacking in some training skills.

Try what I said in my other post. Yell ouch and ignore her. She is frustrated because she wants to play and you keep scolding her. Also do not roll her on her back that is incorrect. If she was full grown you could be seriously injured doing that.

You need to initiate play and also stop it. Make her sit to get the tug again. Make her do something like sit or down to get any reward. She should have a lead on at all times so you can correct her for bad behavior.

You shouldn't even be thinking of putting this pup down at this point. This is normal puppy behavior. She sounds like a pushy puppy brat. You need to be clear and consistent in your training. Most dog bites are caused by human/handler error. If you train her right she will be just fine.
Preach Girl!!!!!!! :goodpost::goodpost::goodpost:

Your pup needs to be taught bite inhibition by YOU! Your puppy is being a pup some pups need a little extra work. Bogart used to bite the crap out of me when he will a small pup. A firm no, a loud Yelp, and redirection to a toy solved the issue. You have to be consistent and work at this it's not going to happen overnight. Make sure you pup is getting plenty of exercise daily. It's up to you to correct these behaviors. Your pup is doing nothing abnormal just being a little brat. Human aggression is when a dog will attack a human without bring provoked. If a dog was truly HA and wanted to hurt a human it would. And don't try the Cesar Milan methods what he does on TV is not to be repeated at home unless you know what your doing or you have a qualified trainer there to assist you and teach you the proper way to do things. This pup does not need to be put down for being a pup that's absurd.
 

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How old is the pup? Sounds to me like fighting sleep & wanting to play :)

Here's some information on puppy biting I copy/paste from Dr. Ian Dunbar's site:
Sirius Dog Training
Sirius Dog Training

PUPPY BITING
Puppies bite. And thank goodness they do! Puppy play-fighting and play-biting are essential for your puppy to develop a soft mouth as an adult.

Puppy Biting is Normal, Natural, and Necessary!
Puppy biting seldom causes appreciable harm, but many bites are quite painful and elicit an appropriate reaction-a yelp and a pause in an otherwise extremely enjoyable play session. Thus, your puppy learns that his sharp teeth and weak jaws can hurt. Since your puppy enjoys play-fighting, he will begin to inhibit the force of his biting to keep the game going. Thus your puppy will learn to play-bite gently before he acquires the formidable teeth and strong jaws of an adolescent dog.

Forbidding a young puppy from biting altogether may offer immediate and temporary relief, but it is potentially dangerous because your puppy will not learn that his jaws can inflict pain. Consequently, if ever provoked or frightened as an adult, the resultant bite is likely to be painful and cause serious injury.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your puppy's biting behavior make sure you read Dr. Ian Dunbar's AFTER You Get Your Puppy

Certainly, puppy play-biting must be controlled, but only in a progressive and systematic manner. The puppy must be taught to inhibit the force of his bites, before puppy biting is forbidden altogether. Once your puppy has developed a soft mouth, there is plenty of time to inhibit the frequency of his now gentler mouthing.

Teaching your puppy to inhibit the force of his bites is a two-step process: first, teach the pup not to hurt you; and second, teach your pup not to exert any pressure at all when biting. Thus the puppy's biting will become gentle mouthing.

Teaching your puppy to inhibit the frequency of his mouthing is a two-step process: first, teach your puppy that whereas mouthing is OK, he must stop when requested; and second, teach your pup never to initiate mouthing unless requested.

No Pain
It is not necessary to hurt or frighten your pup to teach her that biting hurts. A simple "Ouch!" is sufficient. If your pup acknowledges your "ouch" and stops biting, praise her, lure her to sit (to reaffirm that you are in control), reward her with a liver treat, and then resume playing. If your pup ignores the "ouch" and continues biting, yelp "Owwwww!" and leave the room. Your puppy has lost her playmate. Return after a 30-second time-out and make up by lure-rewarding your puppy to come, sit, lie down, and calm down, before resuming play.
Do not attempt to take hold of your pup's collar, or carry her to confinement; you are out of control and she will probably bite you again. Consequently, play with your puppy in a room where it is safe to leave her if she does not respond to your yelp. If she ignores you, she loses her playmate.

No Pressure
Once your pup's biting no longer hurts, still pretend that it does. Greet harder nips with a yelp of pseudo-pain. Your puppy will soon to get the idea: "Whooahh! These humans are soooo super-sensitive. I'll have to be much gentler when I bite them." The pressure of your puppy's bites will progressively decrease until play-biting becomes play-mouthing.
Never allow your puppy to mouth human hair or clothing. Hair and clothing cannot feel. Allowing a puppy to mouth hair, scarves, shoelaces, trouser legs, or gloved hands, inadvertently trains the puppy to bite harder, extremely close to human flesh!

Off!
Once your pup exerts no pressure whatsoever when mouthing, then -and only then-teach him to reduce the frequency of his mouthing. Teach your puppy the meaning of "Off!" by handfeeding kibble (see the SIRIUS® Puppy Training video). Your puppy will learn that gentle mouthing is OK, but he must stop the instant you ask him to stop.

Puppy Must Never Initiate Mouthing
At this stage, your puppy should never be allowed to initiate mouthing (unless requested to do so). Please refer to our Preventing Aggression booklet for a detailed description of the essential rules for bite-inhibition exercises such as handfeeding, play-fighting, and tug-of-war.

By way of encouragement, mouthing-maniac puppies usually develop gentle jaws as adults because their many painful puppy bites elicited ample appropriate feedback. On the other hand, puppies that seldom play and roughhouse with other dogs, puppies that seldom bite their owners (e.g., shy, fearful, and standoffish pups), and breeds that have been bred to have soft mouths may not receive sufficient feedback regarding the pain and power of their jaws. This is the major reason to enroll your puppy in an off-leash puppy class right away.

Should a dog ever bite as an adult, both the prognosis for rehabilitation and the fate of the dog are almost always decided by the severity of the injury, which is predetermined by the level of bite inhibition the dog acquired during puppyhood. The most important survival lesson for a puppy is to learn bites cause pain! Your puppy can only learn this lesson if he is allowed to play-bite other puppies and people, and if he receives appropriate feedback.
For more detailed information about bite-inhibition exercises, read our Preventing Aggression booklet and AFTER You Get Your Puppy, and watch the SIRIUS® Puppy Training and Biting videos. If you feel you are having any difficulty whatsoever teaching your puppy to play-bite gently, seek help immediately. Enroll in a SIRIUS® Puppy Training Class right away. If you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact the Association of Pet Dog Trainers at 1-800 PET DOGS or Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources to locate a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) in your area.

Also some books to recommend:

Good Luck!
 

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I need a little help with how to discipline my 5 month old pup. At night especially when she is getting tired she gets really cranky like a little kid and she lashes out when scolded. If I tell her no she snaps at the air like she is is mad because I told her no. If she continues the behavior I become more stern with my voice and tell her no. She will snap again and I do pop her on her snout and say no. If it continues she then gets a quick grab to the scruff of the neck and if th!t does not work she gets put on her back until she calmer down, but that usually makes her snap at the air even more trying to get to me. I have even tried to wimper like a pup when she bits and I have even growled at her and nothing seems to work. Please help I don't want a dog that bites or a dog that fears me. I have read a lot of the other post on biting, but nothing gas worked. Any suggestions would be great. Is my pup being a defiant pup or is going to be mean and bite? Help!
This thread got a bit out of control will all the talk of putting a pup down..... Many people who do not understand dog behavior will rush to put dogs down because they mistake things like this for true HA. Your dog is just a puppy and this is nothing more than a puppy tantrum. You almost have the answer you need. This has to do with dominance and not wanting to take a correction and submit to you. I had the same problem with many of my high drive puppies and it just needs to be corrected. If you tell her no you need to make sure to give a correction that stops the behavior like a scruff to the neck. If she gets upset then you hold her there till she submits. You almost have this right but you are waiting too long to make her submit so do that as your first correction not the 3 or 4th. She is not going to be mean she is just spicy and need to know her place in the house. Crixus, the pup in this video, was the same way as a pup. You can see it in this video and I put her on her back and she stops. I was playing with her a bit normally I would have stopped the play and really corrected her. She was really bad and took chunks of skin off my husband after he corrected her. She is not HA she just needed to know who was really in charge. After a few months you would never know she had that issue. So ignore the ones who are saying she is a bad pup and just correct her and put her in a submissive position till she submits and relaxes. Then praise her, correct with the scruff or hold her on her back, no hitting that will cause more issues.
 

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And there you have it Lisa is a trainer and a good one she knows what she is talking about. Good post Lisa.
 
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