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."


Eduardo said...

She'll get it with great parents like y'all!
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

Puglette said...

yes, she's just a puppy and needs patient correction. that mouthing thing won't last and neither will those sharp puppy teeth!
she's a cutie!

The Devil Dog said...

That must be very hard for you. Mom says that I love to gnaw on her fingers and especially her thumb. I bet I have a smaller mouth than Madison. We are also sure Madison doesn't have a clue as to why you get so tense when these things happen. She is still a puppy. Keep up the good work.


Sen, Tama and Tom said...

She'll get it. We know she'll get it!!!

Anonymous said...

I like your haircut! What big brown pretty eyes you have!
My mom says I'm getting calmer as time goes by, and I bet you will, too, Madison. It's hard being a puppy when so many no-no's are so much fun!

Niamh said...

Dr. Ian Dunbar has good info on bite inhibition on his site . Have your mom check it out. I'm sure you will be fine.

Your friend,

Biggie-Z said...

Awwww. Who could resist such an adorable face??

Madison: earmuffs!
H-Mom and Man-Dad: Another thing you could try (but it takes a lot of patience) is to teach Madison that all play STOPS if she nips. Fold your arms and tuck your hands in, stop walking, stand up real tall, and look up and away (pretend you're an English butler and someone has just done something appalling). Usually they figure it out really quickly - as soon as they nip, all the fun ends.

Good luck!

Charity, Gary, Katie and Louis said...

When I was a puppy happily munching one day on Mama's hand I suddenly heard a loud, piercing sound coming from Mama that sounded like the noise a puppy makes when it is hurt or very frightened. The sound startled me so I stopped biting. The next time the second my teeth touched Mama's hand I heard the hurt puppy noise again. I cocked my head to the side and thought "oh my gosh, I made Mama make that noise. I hurt my Mama :-( " After I realized that I was hurting that fragile human that I so dearly love I NEVER did that again. Madison will figure it out too. Newfie kisses, Katie

musings on a giant schnauzer in a little MEDIUM LARGE package