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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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When I stop to speak to anyone when taking my 11mth old cross

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When I stop to speak to anyone when taking my 11mth old cross breed dog for a walk he becomes aggressive and pulls at my coat/clothes, he's not on the lead but he bites at it in my hand. He jumps up at me and (without meaning to I'm sure) he grabs my arm and bites. When I try to ignore him he barks and gets worse. when I tell him to stop that makes him worse too. When I walk away from the person I had been talking to my dog keeps up his aggressive behaviour until I stop, make him sit, and lie down and stand there with him on the lead until he has calmed down. I have to say I feel really angry with him as he does me I guess. What is the best way to solve this problem?
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
IR1In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Can you guess at his breeds?
How much obedience training has he had?
Does it only happen on lead?
What type of socialization has he had around other dogs?
Does he nip ankles as well?
What toys does he have?
Do you have a fast paced walk or stroll?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

He's part Collie(definite collie head) possibly with Spaniel and or Jack Russel. He was advertised as a collie cross. No obedience training other than the basics that I have given him i.e. sit, lie down, come. He is getting really good on the lead keeping to heel a lot of the time. I give him lots of praise. I am trying to teach him not to jump up at other people. He is not aggressive when he is on the lead. Really excellent around other dogs loves to play socialises very well. He doesn't nip my ankles.

He has lots of toys which he loves and happily brings them to us as gifts. I walk at a medium pace. 3/4 hour walk am & 1 3/4 - 2 hrs. pm.

Thanks for the additional information. Personally, if he is that good on the leash, then I'd leave him on it for your walks and only allow him off for playing with other dogs. At least keep him on until he stops this behavior.
It is likely related to play behavior. Herding breeds tend to nip to try and convince their "charges" to move along. On the leash he knows you are in charge and in control, so he isn't doing it or not doing it as much. So what you need to teach him is that you are in control whether he is on leash or not.
Obedience training will accomplish this. I know you have done some, but you need to do a lot more and practice daily. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Teach him to sit and stay when you stop to talk to someone and not move until you give him a release command. One command many people fail to teach is a release command. A dog sits well and goes down but if no release command is given, then the dog ends up making the decision on when he can move or not move. So teach that release command and use it consistently.
You can also get a no jump harness, if he usually jumps when he does this nipping at clothes, it will help stop the cycle.
That may help until he gets changed. Getting his energy level down with exercise will help as well. He doesn't sound like he is being stimulated much so try some agility training if you can. Get some tunnels, jumps and ladders, etc and train him to run a course with tasty hot dog slivers for rewards when he obeys. This is both a mental and physically stimulating exercise that will tire him out and stop his misbehaving.
He is a teenager and his behavior should improve as he matures. Until your dog is obedience trained, there is a method I've used for over 15 years and is very effective and not cruel for a dog that jumps on people. It cures even the most stubborn large dog. However, everyone in the family will have to be consistent until he learns it is not acceptable.
What you will be doing is putting one knee up to waist level any time you see the dog start to jump up. Put it up before the dog is close to you, so he sees it. YOU DO NOT KNEE THE DOG. Instead you put your knee up long before he reaches you and he jumps onto your knee generally hitting himself in the chest as a result. Since your knee is up and you aren't moving when it happens, he does not interpret it as something you are doing. At the same time you need to say in a low toned firm voice, NO JUMP. He'll learn that when he jumps, he ends up hitting his chest and will associate NO JUMP with that feeling and learn to not jump on people. He may still dance around on his hind legs, but they do usually learn not to touch the person. Again, I want to stress that the knee should not be used to hit the dog, but instead let the dog run into the knee.
Your dog may try and come at you from the side, but just shift position until he learns that he can't jump. You should also start teaching him that he will not get petted or get treats or affection or even talked to unless he is calm and he works for them by sitting or laying down.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for all the information. I am certainly going to use the "NO JUMP" method. I will also follow up the sites you have recommended. I hadn't thought I wasn't stimulating him enough, however come September I shall take him to obedience and agility classes. I think he would enjoy those and it would help me too. Thank you for your help.


You are very welcome.
You are very welcome
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