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Old 07-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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ok today my bruno who is almost 4 months growled at me and lunged like he was going to bite me after i took my underwear out of his mouth..It really frightened me and i was shocked..he has never done this before..I said bad boy!! and yelled...i then put him in his crate for a "timeout"....what is the best way for him to learn that growling at me is not acceptable? I want to establish myself as the "leader" and not his buddy....
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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I am not an expert by any means but I do remember reading, I think on this website, that you should not use your crate for a "time out" or punishment. The crate should be a safe haven and happy place although my Yorkie would beg to differ. Even at 9 months he still gets upset sometimes when he has to go in the crate.

I am sure Max, my Yorkie, has done something like that before. When they are so little they think that everything is about play time. If Bruno was being aggressive, then that is not good. However, the reason he did this is because he was mad that you took something away that he wanted. So, you have to teach him to obey commands.

Next time you could try teaching him the "drop it" or "release" command. You could even practice it with toys. Just tell him to drop it and follow by giving him a treat. You will probably have to use the fading prompt technique (i.e. physically pulling it out, then gently pulling it out, then placing your hand on the toy without pulling at all, and so on). Eventually, he will learn that he gets rewarded when he obeys your commands and as they mature, you will not need to use a treat any longer.

I hope this helps! I am not sure if that is exactly right, but there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this website that will you help you also. Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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Testing his limits.... I would growl back louder (be the bigger dog, lol), or laugh and say stuff like 'What are you doing growling at your Mommie?' Two of mine growl to get my attention. I say ' You growling at me?' And them pick them up... but basically show them that it doesn't bother me nor am I intimidated by it.

When my 2 year old rescue growled the first day in my house, it really scared me... I left the room until I could compose myself, then I went back in, she growled again as I went to pick her up and put her off the bed. I laughed as I kept moving towards my goal, and talked to her as above, making light of it. It worked and she did not escalate to a bite.

There is a difference, IMHO, between handling this with puppies and older dogs. I would avoid confrontations like that and learn to put my clothes away where he cannot get them. A pup will test you, where an older dog that still does this to intimidate has learned that it works.

Also, when taking things from a Yorkie, I've had better luck when offering something in exchange. In my experience, it redirects their attention to the new object (toy or treat) so they don't obsess over what they give up.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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As said before crates shouldn't be used for punishment. Yelling doesn't work. need to train them to drop it or leave it and reward. No should only be used when it's an absolute. The most used training word is 'No" so it shouldn't be used much unless it's something absolute. Need to keep things where the pup won't get into them. And if they do just take it away by distracting with something else. The damage is already done to the panties. It's hard I know they are expensive for a few pieces of material.
But little dogs are smarter or as smart as big dogs. They just get away with to much and alot don't receive proper training. They train "Us" if we let them. JMO
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Joel growls at me all the time, I say "Are you mad?" And he'll growl but he doesn't do it the agressive way. I actualy taught him to growl for something so he wouldn't be barking all the time, but yeah if your pup is doing it agressively I would do a "Timeout" like a basket or a box over him, lol thats what worked best for Joel, or any separation from me was a time out for him
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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I'm not an expert either, and I haven't had aggression problems with Tatiana (she's meek with me).

However, if I was in your situation, I would have clapped my hands together loudly (one loud clap), and said,"Stop." My intention is to snap him out of his mood with the loud clapping and my command "stop." I would be consistent with this, and see how he behaves.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Teach him the leave it/release/drop it' command w/treats and or praise. Another thing that worked well with Roxy was side tracking her attention from the item she shouldn't have with squeaky toys which are her favorite. Hearing that would sidetrack her from just about anything. That would entice a short play session and she never realized that I had corrected behavior that I didn't want.

The effort you put into this will be well worth it in the end. Always keep those toys handy.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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I would sure start the Nothing In Life Is Free program on him, reading about it on Google search. He's a baby yet and trying out his macho but you need to let him know in the event of a second time that growling at you is never tolerated. I try to use a method of discipline similar to that used by mother dogs. I usually will walk over and put a hand in a clawlike fashion across the back of the dog neck as the momma or alpha dog would do with their mouth and say "No" or "uh oh" firmly, then stand there until he backs off and relaxes. Then go about your business matter of factly. Don't hold it against him - he's learning. Discipline as the mother might administer is not punishment and remember that you won't achieve your goal if you hurt the dog or scare him, so administer the claw as just minor pressure on only the back of the neck held for a bit. I would not use this method on anything but a puppy or small dog.

A good positive-reinforcement training program will help to modify his behavior so that he sees you as his leader to be totally trusted and followed implicitly and never think of growling at you again ever. You will both have lots of fun doing it and he'll learn he gets more by behaving rather than misbehaving, growling and not minding you and you will build a wonderful bond. Keep the sessions very short but frequent, at least twice evenings and more often on weekends/holidays. I usually never train a Yorkie longer than 5 mins. at a time - maybe stretching it a bit to 10 if the dog is really into it that day. Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:32 AM   #9
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with big dogs you grab their jowls and a sharp NO! with small dogs that's kind if hard! and sharp NO and walk away...if you pick them up they are going to think it's ok for what they just did. this has worked for me.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:35 AM   #10
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I sometimes sound like a recorder but teaching your dog basic obedience will help prevent issues like this. Adding the "no" and the "let go" command will also help. If a dog is given basic obedience training that is reinforced over time they will be quite respectful of you and will not challenge you over things like this.

I know you dog is young but plenty old enough to start learning words and commands.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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It sounds like your puppy was challenging your authority as alpha! Male Yorkies can often become aggressive and territorial unless they are constantly reminded of their subordinate rank in your household. You did good to put him in his place by saying no and yelling.

But, a dog's crate should always be a safe and wonderful place--never a place for timeout. Putting dogs in timeout in their crate is a common mistake that people make so don't feel too bad. Reinforce that your puppy's crate is good by giving him treats in there, feeding him in there, encouraging him to sleep in there, and playing with/petting him while he's in the crate.

Here is how I would have responded to the situation you described.

After the dog lunges.
"NO!"
Then I would forcefully take the underwear from his mouth, but not snatch it too rough.
(loudly) "That is MY underwear! I am alpha! Don't you ever snap at me!"

The dog should look shocked and submissive, maybe backing away from you. If the dog continues to show aggressive behavior, do what I call the "alpha knock down." This move is tricky and should be used as a last resort. If not done correctly it can give your dog the wrong message--that they should fear you and they should defend themselves from you. Be sure that before attempting it that you are very attuned to dog body language, especially recognizing submissive behavior.

Now you have taken away the item your dog was being territorial about. If you leave him with no item, he will learn that he does have to defend his things or they will be taken away. Do a trade. Give him a toy that you approve of him playing with, and then leave him with it. By ignoring him for awhile, you show that you are still unhappy with him and he will have to earn back his place (close to you, the alpha) in the pack by showing you respect.

If he comes and lays at your feet, starts following you around the house, or shows other "subordinate" behavior--praise him and give him treats. Tell him you love him and that this is the kind of behavior you want, then continue to go about your business with the dog at your feet or whatever he was doing.

Last edited by mimodok; 07-24-2012 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightUnicorn View Post
I'm not an expert either, and I haven't had aggression problems with Tatiana (she's meek with me).

However, if I was in your situation, I would have clapped my hands together loudly (one loud clap), and said,"Stop." My intention is to snap him out of his mood with the loud clapping and my command "stop." I would be consistent with this, and see how he behaves.
I've found this very effective as well for any type of unwanted behavior. The clap snaps them out of whatever they were doing allowing you to redirect their train of thought to something more positive.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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I've read on here a number of times, not to use the crate as a "punishment", tool.

I have effectively used it as such, over many years, as still my dogs go to their crate, as they want and snooze, or just hang out in it.

The crate is used as a time out. The punishment in my mind is that they are removed from your presence!.

I like to train the drop it, and the Leave it commands. They are so important for a dog to have down pat. STOP or STOP IT, is also key in my mind.


Several times, very short training sessions = a rough rule of thumb take the age in months of the dog, and one minute of training per month of life. So 4months old = 4 minutes of training. Once they mature and enter into the "terrible teenage years" anywhere from 12mths - 18mths old, most dogs lose their minds again. Back to very short, and frequent trainings. Ideally you would like to be able to keep your dog focussed on you for at least 30 minutes of training, and that can take 2yrs sometimes more to develop in the dog.

You can and it is great to repeat training several times a day. Also incorporate a few minutes of training, when walking your puppy. Train everywhere, stores, dog parks, the beach, in the car, your back and frontyard etc. On the grooming table.

A sharp clap can work to redirect inappropriate behaviour, so can a whistle. I've taken to walking with a whistle around my neck. I actually got that whistle to direct Magic in the water. (We are still working that one out)

Being frightened of a serious growl is very natural and understandable. It is one of a dogs "defense mechanisms" that is natural to the canine. I can't find the link right now, but there are different levels of growls. A full growling snarl, with lips creased up and teeth bared is usually thought to be one step back from a bite. In other words, the dog is ready to take it to the bite level.

With some daily training your pup will come along just fine! You know one thing is I don't think I am "alpha", I KNOW I am. I walk confidently, expect my commands to be obeyed, and respond appropriately if they are not.

Body language is really important to a dog. In the kitchen preparing food, you move confidently, you "expect" your dog to get out of your way. In placing his food bowl down, you command sit, if he doesn't sit, then no food. Place food bowl down, and expect him to Stay in sit; if he doesn't correct him, pick up food bowl, sit him again, and place bowl down.

Just another thing about the movement with yorkie pups, do the shuffle and look down before stepping. But keeep moving forward and if your pup doesnt move, use the word 'MOVE", and if he doesn't gently toe him out of the way.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tula26 View Post
ok today my bruno who is almost 4 months growled at me and lunged like he was going to bite me after i took my underwear out of his mouth..It really frightened me and i was shocked..he has never done this before..I said bad boy!! and yelled...i then put him in his crate for a "timeout"....what is the best way for him to learn that growling at me is not acceptable? I want to establish myself as the "leader" and not his buddy....
When I discipline Brandi, I give her a very firm sometimes loud no. That usually stops her but if it doesn't, I simply place her away from me and that works everytime. I will put her in either the bedroom or the bathroom for a 10 minute timeout. Since she hates being away from me, that usually works....most of the time.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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I do what yorkietilly does, what I call scruffing him when he shows in appropriate behaviour.
I don't have crates so when they are naughty they get made to stay on a mat or bed until I say they can move and if they move back they go. Tufty is now showing a bit of aggression toward Teegy because it's almost time for bye bye testicles. Teegy is a big softy suck, but won't put up with it and neither will I. Scruffed and a firm telling off. Tufty would grab my socks that I had dropped on the floor, I just went and took them each time and put them in the laundry hamper, last week he brought a pair of knickers to bed. hahahahahaha, they know what they are doing little buggers
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