New Puppy

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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gluesticks
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New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:02 pm

Hello everyone,

We are new to the site, as well as happy new puppy parents to our 9 week old, cream colored chow chow male, Louie. Its been a very busy first week!

We had a couple of questions regarding training. I think that we may be mixing up behaviors of dominance and puppy, or maybe not?

We understand completely that he is a puppy, and a chow chow puppy at that! - sucker is stubborn - but we do not want behaviors such as chewing, biting, and barking back at us when we initiate a correction to continue into his adulthood. We're mostly concerned with his barking back at us when we initiate a correction or the fact that after the 5th and 6th and... 20th correction, he does not listen (with a sharp "NO", or "NO" with a holding of his collar while looking him in the eye) whether it is due to him chewing on the couch or unwanted wires that we cannot hide, and/or when he attacks our feet or legs.

When training also, he seems to be uninterested most of the time (which we understand is usually just the disposition of a chow from what we have been told). In the small amount of time he does pay attention, he has learned "sit" with our clicker and treat method (although he does not seem to be a treat motivated dog). So I think that we are on top of rewarding good behavior, but are having trouble correcting bad behavior...

Wanted to state a new scenario as well. I have introduced my puppy to my 6 and 8 year old cousins, and he was completely fine with them and well behaved. However, when I introduced him to my 11 year old youngest brother, he seemed to really play aggressively with him (including no interest in the toy my brother was holding to play with, and instead barking, chasing and snapping at him). I would say "NO" and press the collar method, but then he would just go back to my brother and do it over and over again. I got too concerned and left my mothers house.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

-Glue

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Re: New Puppy

Postby NanouetJon » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:43 am

Correction: If you are going past the 3 corrections you are way past reasonable. First: When you are correcting, take a breath and calm yourself. My wife realized she was correcting with an angry voice. " NO !!!! " too many !!! You need to be calm and assertive. Otherwise you are just barking at the chow and he will bark back! WOOF!!! NO!! WOOF !!! NO !!! WOOF NO!!! This becomes a learned behavior.

I submit my chows. This is something I believe in because dogs do it. Alot of people don't agree with it and I hope they show their technique. Some people envision submitting as throwing your chow 6 feet in the air and slamming them down in their backs and putting them in a strangle hold. Works great for the WWF SMACKDOWN but a chow will see that as playing or fighting

Jon's Submission: I put the my chow on their side in a firm and fair manner. I put one hand on their neck behind the jawbone. Exactly like a mother dog would do to pin their chowling. The thumb is below the jawline (but not under the jawbone) and the rest of the fingers are in the fur resting gently on neck so they know my hand is there, there is next to no pressure. Here is why it is a technique: My chow will try to lift their head and push into my hand and realize I won't allow it. So they put their head back down. Remember they are on their side , if they try to sit up or twist to escape, my other hand is put on the bum and prevents it. I do not talk. I am calm and assertive. If I am angry I will not submit them, I take a time out.

They stay like this until I hear a sigh or big breath. This tells me they have released the big part of the anxiety and are open to my guidance. They are now calm. I then will pet them with my second hand in a very soothing way. I remove my bite hand and wait, if they lift the head, the hand goes back. Once they lay without trying to lift the head. I will remove both my hands and give them my release command " Vais-si" They then get up and give me kisses (which is a way of acknowledging me as leader)

This takes about 2 minutes. They appreciate it too. Dogs or chows want to live in stable and calm environment. After being submitted, everyone is calm and this makes them happy and me too.

Puppies will take longer. They are not used to it and have to go through the process of calming down. The older chow realizes the process and will pass through it much quicker. With my Puppy Marru we could sit for 10 minutes until she calmed. Now we are down to 4 minutes. I haven't submitted Maddoxx in over a year.

Remember to never punish or correct a chow when you are not calm. They feel your emotions with or without contact.

When correcting a bad behavior, Like nipping, stop them and then do a behavior they CAN do, like sit. Reward the good behavior and then release them to play, if they go back to nipping, do it again. Once you realize that this is NOT going to work, then you escalate to submission because they are not respecting your authority. It is tough, Dogs naturally nip and bit each other and you are trying to remove a behavior that is natural. It is possible but requires work.

6year old and 11 year olds. Your 6 year old sees a teddy bear and wants to cuddle I imagine, where an 11 year old wants to rough house. Examine how they approach the situation. I imagine your chow is reacting exactly how the child wants. Ask the 11 year to sit on the floor and be calm, your chow will change its attitude and will go from play to cuddle.
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Re: New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:57 pm

Thank you for the quick reply!

I've tried your method earlier this morning and I see what you mean with the patience of a puppy. Sucker didn't give in, even after about 6 minutes. Finally, internally, I gave up (mostly because I had to get to my 10:30 class). He was being way too hyper so I put him into his playpen for about 5 minutes and returned to let him out and he calmed down quite significantly. I will of course continue to try the method. I have a feeling I will be needing to try and use it often. Hopefully I will start to see some results. He REALLY doesn't want to listen (although he has master "SIT" at this point. I always make him sit before he gets his food/water).

I also wanted to ask about the barking again. What do you do in the case of my asking him to sit before he gets his food, and he barks at me instead (most of the time he sits, but occasionally he refuses and barks at me instead). Or what do I do when out on a walk, a stranger wants to meet my dog and he barks at them after he hides behind me? I'm thinking I should walk away from him (in the case of the food sit thing) and ignore the behavior and try again.

These questions should be so easily be answered myself, but he's a tough cookie!

And I think that you are right about the age difference in children. My cousins are more interested in their toys than the puppy, whereas my 11 year old brother wants to rough house (or is high on soda -_-).

Thank you again,
-Glue

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Pinoy51 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:16 pm

Hi Glue,
Nanouet and my method to correct are very similar. I don't talk to Simba and Nala when I want them to listen to me.
Sounds strange ? No it's not, specially with Chows calmness is all ! You need to correct in a calm stable state of mind and better physically then verbally. Looks you already got into a barking contest with Louie.
Now I'm saying it again physical correction isn't slapping, strangling, pulling etc. It is mimicking of alpha dog behavior the only language even a Chow understands pretty well.
Rule no1 calm down yourself, then calm your chow if you have to, see Nanouets advise or find your own "language". Be firm assertive, not concerned, angry or frustrated, just calm. Prepare yourself for what will come, Chows are predictable. Predcitable stubborn :D predictable protective and just lovely once you earned their respect.
Oh and forget about standard obedience training, you have a Chow, not a dog :D
SImba, knows "sit", "down" , "come", "stay" and even "roll over" plus few more practical commands. Does he follow and perform when I want him too ? No, of course not. He does it for a reason, getting a treat of course is no one on his list. But there are other reasons he believes in. Getting out for a walk, getting groomed, getting his food etc.
So don't expect your Louie to be blind obedient, he will not do it. If you insist you will only increase your frustration level, become impatient and the down spiral of loosing your alpha status starts. Command him with a reason, and let him be where you can. I have four other dogs besides SImba and Nala and they're the 100% follower type. But they're no Chows :-)
Best regards
Pinoy51

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Pinoy51 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:27 pm

(although he does not seem to be a treat motivated dog). So I think that we are on top of rewarding good behavior, but are having trouble correcting bad behavior
One more piece of advise, Chows are picky eaters. You need to find the right treat as well as the right food. I tried the healthy Carrot treat, which seems to work for quite a number of Chows. Simba doesn't look at them.
I figured out apple he likes but no as motivational treat, he likes to play and eat.
I had to stop wheat bones (due to grain allergy). Now I found "THE TREAT" for him: Hard Cheese.
He just loves small pieces of hard cheese, with them I get a highly motivated and concentrated Chow :D
Best regards
Pinoy51

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Re: New Puppy

Postby NanouetJon » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:18 am

With a puppy you have an advantage, and it only last a year or so use it.. That advantage is their desire to be cuddled and given affection.

Marru ( 1 year old now) would do anything for some affection. So instead of treats she would get petting, a cuddle, time on the floor playing. When I wanted her to come I would sit on the floor and say COME. She knew it would mean affection time and charge into my arms. GOOD COME! No treats just affection.

Be careful trying new treats you may find an allegry and since you are trying all new types of food you will hard pressed to know which one did it.

Cheese has always been the biggest food motivator for my two as well. You have to be careful how much you give them because it can and will constipate them. For a puppy of such a young age I would just grab a handful of their and feed them a kibble at a time.

Pinoy has it right about barking. You do not want to stop the barking. Barking is natural for them and you do not want to stop barking totally. When they are hurt, panicked or someone is coming into the house I WANT them to bark. They will bark amongst themselves to say BACK OFF or THIS IS MY SPOT. That is all good and you just need to listen to the type of bark produced. Barking at you is not wanted so you best trick will be to ignore it. If they see you comeing running or reacting to barking , that means it works, so they keep using it.

When you give a treat or want to give a treat, tell them to sit. If they bark, walk away. 4 minutes later SIT. Put them in a sit position and the reward them like they did it all on their own. They soon learn that sitting gets rewarded and barking is ignored. They won't bark anymore. When Maddoxx or marru now want my attention they chow bump me, if I don't react they will sit in front of me, if still ignored they will go through a bag of other things they know please me: Give a paw, lay down, kisses. My job is to recognize they are trying to get my attention.

Visitors to my house think it is the cutest thing every to watch my chows come in from the patio with me or with them and then there are two chows sitting side my side with the heads held high. Waiting. They ask me what do they want, why this behavior? I explain that they are hoping they get a treat because they came in form the outside. It was how I trained them. I let the visitor give them a small treat and everyone is happy.
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Re: New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:35 am

I think that is my primary issue - calming down first. I'm a normally impatient person when it comes to negative behavior (whether dog or human), I'll admit. I try my best of course. When it comes down to it, I will need to work on myself. My fiance' is pretty calm himself already, but of course when Louie sharply nips one of his toes unannounced while on the computer or something, its only natural to see him correct with acute anger.

I have had a chow chow in the past. Her name was Dakota, but our family adopted her at 2 years of age. She was wonderfully submissive on her own natural accord, and listened very well (when she wanted to). Since her passing 5 years ago, I've never been the same and just had to get another chow. Of course, Louie is not only a chow, but a puppy - haven't had a puppy in a LONG time, let alone a chow puppy, haha.

Thank you so much for all of your help guys. My trainer said to try different kinds of treats, particularly yogurt, banana, cheese, and pumpkin based. I do use all natural treats and foods (in other words, anything made by purina, pedigree, iams, science diet, etc is out of the questions). I've worked at petstores for 6 years now to know better than to use anything of that genre. His treats currently are made by Pet Botanicals chicken training treats, Blue Buffalo apple and yogurt biscuits, and Charley Bears cheese and egg. The food that I am switching him to is Simply Nourish. I wish that we sold foods like Natural Choice, California Natural, Taste of the Wild, etc, but we do not, and Simply Nourish is very close to all of those foods. I chose Simply Nourish because Blue Buffalo makes their foods in different factories (which creates inconsistincies) and Wellness and Innova is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE (and I get $10 off coupons monthly for Simply Nourish, making my food bad purchases $4).

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Pinoy51 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:04 am

Looks you're getting into the right direction. One more advise on the nipping. Even that is predictable, so if Louie approaches, give a correction already during the approach. Slow him down, don't wait for him to nip and then get angry. I'm stopping in the approach phase and direct the attention to a toy, if he takes the toy I give affection.
If he doesn't I keep correction, holding him off until he relaxes and then ignore him. No affection, because he was stubborn. So first discipline then affection. Stop the intention in a calm manner don't react after the fact. Much better for human and Chow. This is all good in theory, in practise you might have issues in the beginning, that's fine, don't be to harsh on yourself, this is a learning for everyone. I'm in trouble if I have only little time, and want to get things done quickly. Nevertheless once I correct myself then normally things work out bettter.
Last edited by Pinoy51 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Puppy

Postby Cam Atis » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:09 am

All fine advises above. :-) train yourself to be calm yet assertive. Dont overuse the "submitting" technique. Use it wisely. It is also being practiced by me as well as not talking too much. (I talk). I think the guys' methods of not talking are better than mine, a gal's . ;-) mine sometimes end up in tickling once the pup doesnt attempt to stand up and instead looking up in the sky, tongue on the side and plainly resting- waiting for mom to release-. Too cute to be ignored.
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Re: New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:27 am

I certainly agree - he is just so darn cute! He still hasn't submitted... He will struggle a try to chew anything to get up. It's hard not to use pressure. Which brings me to another topic: mouthing.

I do praise him for chewing on toys, but he still continues to chew on my arms or hands or, when he's extremely hyper, he will jump/run at my body or face with his mouth. Somehow I don't see the submitting technique working. When he gets into those hyper spouts, I simply stand up and ignore him, give him a toy, and if he's REALLY bad, I put him in his playpen a bit to settle him down.

Also, when I tell him No or ask him to do something like Sit, occasionally instead of barking he kind of play snaps at me. I usually just ignore it, not give him the food, and try again later or, if he's doing it when I tell him No from chewing on something, he play snaps and I bop him on the nose.

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Sarahloo » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:02 am

Oh my, just 9 weeks old and already a little devil! :)

gluesticks wrote:Somehow I don't see the submitting technique working.

Personally, I can't say believe in that sort of thing. It's a total trustbreaker, manhandling your dog! A Chow respects you for outwitting him, for using your brain not your strength. You want him to respect you because he loves you, not because you discipline him physically. To the people who say, that's how dogs do it, well, we're not dogs, and our relationship with our dog is not the same as the relationship two dogs have.

Does your puppy get enough exercise? Ideally, he would take long naps during the day, tired out from all the playing and exploring you do together. You should seperate action and quiet time quite distinctly, and insist on the quiet time. Ignoring him when he won't calm down is probably the right thing to do, like you said. Puppies will chew, however, and attack shoes and feet. That's what they do! Try to get him to use chew toys and put on thicker socks!

About the barking at strangers who want to meet him: I would show no mercy in this case! :-) In life, strangers have to be met. Unless he's really scared, he'll have to endure it. Give the stranger a treat to give to your chow, tell him to tell your Chow what a nice boy he is and hope for the best. :) Turn meeting new people into a fun thing to do rather than an occasion for him to play the boss.
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Re: New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:35 am

Sarahloo wrote:Oh my, just 9 weeks old and already a little devil! :)

Personally, I can't say believe in that sort of thing. It's a total trustbreaker, manhandling your dog! A Chow respects you for outwitting him, for using your brain not your strength. You want him to respect you because he loves you, not because you discipline him physically. To the people who say, that's how dogs do it, well, we're not dogs, and our relationship with our dog is not the same as the relationship two dogs have.

Does your puppy get enough exercise? Ideally, he would take long naps during the day, tired out from all the playing and exploring you do together. You should seperate action and quiet time quite distinctly, and insist on the quiet time. Ignoring him when he won't calm down is probably the right thing to do, like you said. Puppies will chew, however, and attack shoes and feet. That's what they do! Try to get him to use chew toys and put on thicker socks!

About the barking at strangers who want to meet him: I would show no mercy in this case! :-) In life, strangers have to be met. Unless he's really scared, he'll have to endure it. Give the stranger a treat to give to your chow, tell him to tell your Chow what a nice boy he is and hope for the best. :) Turn meeting new people into a fun thing to do rather than an occasion for him to play the boss.


I don't really agree with the whole manhandling concept either (the submission tool is just not working anyway and its uncomfortable for me), but for the few times he really gets a grab of my skin unexpectedly, its hard not instinctively to push him off real quick (not hard, but of course, its physical). He does get 3 long walks a day, in addition to play and outside in the yard potty/play time. The walks really do help in calming him down. These 'hyper-out-of-control- times usually occur late at night (just like a kid right before bed time!), which is totally understandable for a puppy. In which case, I give him all the toys in the world and praise him for it.

But of course, I am a student at a college and do have my few really busy days and nights that I must complete homework/projects. These are the nights (understandably) that he reacts very negatively because, as a normal child would want at his age, he craves that attention (and I hadn't given him the 2 out of 3 walks that day). This doesn't happen often - mostly just Monday and Tuesdays when my class schedule and work schedule has little time for Louie. PS: I am not alone. My fiance is home during these days that I am not.

What I am truly concerned about is his bark-back and snap-back when I correct him for negative behavior (such as chewing on the couch, chewing on the baseboard, or raiding the laundry basket) or when I ask him to sit and wait for his food. I really don't have a proper way of correcting and now I am confused (besides ignoring the behavior) as to what to do when this occurs.

The stranger thing is weird. I took him to a neighborhood event (our 'Octoberfest') and he had NO issues with greeting people. There were tons of people and I had them all give him a treat (which he took happily but nonchalantly). He seemed to really enjoy the attention (when he wasn't trying to eat plants)
Then we go on walks and its just me and him until, of course, a person walking by or leaving a store comes out and he freaks and trys to run away upon their approach. I gently calm him, but he wants nothing to do with the stranger. He'll either hide behind my legs, try and dart, or sit and bark.
I cannot wait for his second set of shots on the 15th of October because then he will be accompanying me to Petsmart at least every other day for socialization and training, and to the dog park, and to my family member's houses.

Also, this is completely unrelated to this thread/topic but I figured I'd ask. Louie gets hiccups about twice a day. They are random and not usually followed by eating (he'll have a series of them, or one or two once in a while throughout the day). Anyone else's dog do this and do this often?

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Cocoa » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:52 pm

I'll try to answer a few of your questions. First of all the crazy running around, most of the members here call those zoomies and if you search the site you'll find lots of posts about them. Zoomies are something almost all chow puppies do and they are quite fun to watch, just stay out of the way or he'll run right into you. :lol: As your chow gets older the zoomies will become less frequent and you'll probably miss them.
The nipping is something all puppies do, they use their mouths to explore and they're teething. You have been given some good advice already, just be consistent and firm and he will learn. When Cocoa got carried away as a pup I would hold her by the scruff and make her look at me til she calmed down.
As far as the stranger thing it sounds like you have a timid chow and you are going to have to work very hard on that. When he tries to hide behind you pick him up and give the person a treat to give him and get them to pet him (and always remind them to pat from under the chin, chows don't like strangers reaching over their head). Introduce him to everyone you meet and praise him when he lets people pat him. Cocoa was a very timid puppy and I socialized her all the time with people and dogs and now she is a very confident chow with people and loves playing with all sizes of dogs. It is also very important to teach him to accept people coming into your home.
Yes, puppies get the hiccups, it is normal and something else that will become less frequent with age.
Hopefully this will help you and most of all just be consistent, relax and enjoy your puppy. :D

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Re: New Puppy

Postby gluesticks » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:53 am

Thank you Cocoa and all of you for the swift responses.

I didn't think that I would ever become one of those worry-mongers, but nonetheless, here I am!

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Rory's Dad » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:04 pm

I think your post addresses several issues, none of which are hugely serious. 1st off, you have normal puppy issues. The nipping and biting is normal. You need to control it and set boundaries, but this is something every pup, especially Chows goes through. Firm no, or a yelp response it generally effective. Also, replace anything that is being gnawed on with an acceptable replacement.

Feeding time, and food in general, is where you have the ultimate control. As a pet, your Chow is completely dependent on you. Make sure he knows it. This is the easiest time to exert your leadership. Control the behavior before rewarding with a meal. If you expect calm, make the dog sit before placing the bowl down. And that is important. Dont fill the bowl in the dogs eating position. Pick it up onto a counter and have the dog wait. Command him to sit/stay before placing it down. I only give 1/2 portions so that i need to pick the bowl back up. And i dont wait for it to be empty. Rory has complete trust that i am not taking from him, and does not stress that someone is stealing his food. He gets more when it is returned to him.

The barking at home may simply be a guard dog issue. He is protecting his space. If he is fine outside your home, that should be the clue. You will need to introduce new people within the home and assure the dog it's OK.

Listen to your dog for different types of barks. Higher pitched, whiny barks may indicate a desire for attention or confusion. Low toned barks mixed with growls are guardian or defense mode.

Great idea to get him well socialized. Petsmart or similar is a good idea. Get him used to people and other dogs. Just dont be surprised is he isnt all that interested in paying attention to group classes.

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Re: New Puppy

Postby Pinoy51 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:04 pm

Bark back and snap back how to address ?
First try to understand if this puppy play or not ?
the play bark is high pitch and w/o growling also body language should be playful, front down, jumpy.
If like this nothing to correct.
Snap back similar, if playful then no issue, mouthing is part of puppy behavior.
I'm pretty sure this is the case with your pup, there are not many dominant puppies.
Should this be dominance behavior address it over leadership establishment as already mentioned.
Control of food, ignoring of puppy if not well mannered and praise and affection if calm and in following mode.
overall I think nothing much too worry about.
Best regards
Pinoy51


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