Wednesday, November 19, 2008
angel minutes devil minutes
Puppies have "angel days" and "devil days," says one article on bite inhibition.
Madison can go from being an angel one minute to a nipping devil the next. Giant Schnauzers were bred to herd cattle, and Madison is true to her breed, with a natural mouthiness that is exacerbated by very bothersome baby teeth.
Yesterday evening, she made Man-Dad angry. Three times going down the hall, on the way in from a walk in the stimulating, nippy cool weather that we are having lately, Madison jumped up in the air and grabbed Man-Dad's hand. She has strong jaws. He shouted NO and, in her mind, the game was on. She is a puppy and her access to "brakes" is sporadic.
And we are all very gun shy.
We just had this problem. We just dealt with this kind of crisis. It is difficult not to put the word "aggression" into the equation.
But we must reteach ourselves, while we teach Madison.
We are not dealing with demons from a rescue dog's past life.
We just have a little devil for a minute.
A firm "NO" and a hand placed around the muzzle until she calms down will suffice. And we are keeping a tennis ball on the table, next to the leash. It is more intelligent to redirect Madison's excitement and desire to have something in her mouth, than to set her up for punishment.
Walking down the bowling alley-like hallway on the way in from a quick walk or potty break is the perfect opportunity to roll a tennis ball and play a couple rounds of low-key fetch. Then a "sit" at the door, and a "wait" before she goes in.
And Madison earns a "GOOD GIRL."