Post # 1
I am really at my wit’s end. My dog (a toy poodle) is 20 months old and I love him to pieces but his behavior has dramatically changed for the worse over the last 6 months or so. He was so easy to train when he was a puppy… Always sweet, very smart. I crate trained him but he was really well behaved so I started letting him sleep with me- huge mistake, I know. In the last 6 months I guess he reached sexual maturity because he goes crazy over female dogs when they are around, and he used to be perfectly potty trained but now marks everywhere!! but the WORST part is he has become so terribly aggressive!! He growls and bites and I don’t know what to do. I have tried to make him sleep in his crate again but he will literally stay up all.night.long. and whine (he knows he can nap all day while I’m at school, but I can’t!) It’s driving me crazy.
Here is the root of the problem- I have never had him neutered. My mom has a purebred female schnauzer and he is a purebred poodle so for a while we wanted to wait and we were thinking about breeding schnoodles! But now I plan on getting him neutered as soon as possible- as in like this week- but everything I have read says that it won’t help his behavior if he has already reached this stage of bad behavior. He really is my little buddy and the fact that I am struggling so much with his bad behavior makes me so scared that I will have to find him a new home or something in the future. I worry about having babies in the next 3 or 4 years and him still having a problem with biting. But the thought of giving him away kills me 🙁
i just came back from a weekend at home. My fiancé has really started to dislike him because he says he’s a mean dog, and my mom (who loves my dog) has asked me to not bring him over anymore until we can fix his behavior.
I want so badly to find a solution! Does anyone have any advice or have you been in a similar situation? I am really so stressed out over this I can’t sleep, and I have so much guilt because I wish I had been much stricter with him and neutered him when he was a puppy but I had no idea he would start acting like this 🙁
Post # 2
A couple thoughts (I apologize for any snark sounding points)
1) Why would you breed him?
2) He is still a puppy and puppys can be shit heads for years!
3) Getting him neutered will help his behavior
4) Get a trainer if you feel over whelmed
5) Move him back into the kennel
Post # 3
Dogs hit their terrible twos at different times. For my dog, it was about a year old. When he was in puppy class, a yorkie hit it around five months. Neutering him will definitely help but it also sounds like he is coming into his terrible twos.<br /><br />You need to take him to an obedience class. The petsmart ones are not bad at all. He needs to learn boundaries & respect for his den and his pack mates, and right now he doesn’t give a shit about any of that.<br /><br />He goes in his kennel every night. Letting him out because he whines is rewarding him for poor behavior. I know whining sucks — Invest in some good earplugs.
Post # 4
Neuter him asap. Get him in training. I’d also institute NILIF (nothing in life is free) to help re-institute boundaries and leadership roles. He want’s food then he sits on command and waits until you set the bowl down and release him. He sits until released before you go outside etc. Lots of dogs are relinquished when they hit the ‘teenage’ years. Good training classes are as much about teaching you how to deal with the dog as they are about teaching specific behaviors to the dog. Time, patience, and consistency and if you’re really having trouble find a trainer who can give you a private lesson. Not cheap, but if they get you on the right path – worth every penny to avoid the heartbreak of an out of control dog.
ETA: If he really is biting and not not play nipping, I’d vote for going pretty quickly to an experienced trainer for a private lesson or two. If you don’t get this under control the end result will be nothing good. Rescues won’t usually take dogs that bite.
Post # 5
Neuter him ASAP. And let him “cry it out” in the crate. He WILL get it out it.
Post # 6
Did you get him from a breeder? I’ve always used my breeder as my ‘go to’ person for questions.
They have a wealth of knowledge about how to problem solve, and should have a vested interest in resolving the issue. They are invested in the reputation of the kennel, and many have a moral commitment to not have their dogs end up in rescues or shelters.
Post # 7
A few points.
Get him neutered ASAP. Yes it will help with SOME of his behavioral signs.
Get him out of your bed and into the crate
Eat dinner in front of him and always feed him after he sees you eat
Look at your own behaviour, when he growls do you reassure him? If so, then your rewarding him for this behaviour. Tell him off sharply then ignore him
Dont listen to your breeder, Ive heard some of the most atrocious advice from them. Your better off speaking to a vet, vet tech or behaviourist
Never give a dog away if you’re worried about biting behaviour. Imagine if a family adopts him and he bites a child?
Post # 8
Good breeders have incredible breed based advice.
If she could breed her dog then I doubt she got the dog from a reputable breeder.
Post # 9
I agree good breeders do but very few people ARE good breeders. Anyone who buys a dog and a bitch can be a “breeder”, theres no qualification, no training, no regulation. I’d just be wary listening to them.
Post # 10
100% agree! Good breeders are so knowledgeable about the traits that come with the dog and they are honestly life savers! (No offense OP) Too many people know nothing about a dog and are willing/wanting to breed them…It sucks because anyone who gets a pup from the litter will know noting about the animal and will have no help raising it.
Post # 11
First: Get him desexed and get your mums dog desexed! There are way too many unwanted dogs and puppies out there being put to sleep because there’s in room in shelters. Even cute ones like schnoodles.
Then start training from the beginning. Treat him like a puppy again. Put him back in the crate if you have to. I believe that dogs can sleep in human beds and not be terrors but if his behaviour is really bad then you need to set stricter boundaries. If all else fails then get a behaviourist.
I agree with everything Payless said.
Post # 12
1. Neutering doesn’t prevent or fix bad behavior. Go Back to Basics on Everything: Bad behavior tends to coincide with unneutered dogs reaching sexual maturity because that’s when people get lax with training at home, dogs hit terrible twos, and owners drop out of group training classes. Marking is a learned and trainable behavior. A male dog would only ‘go crazy’ around a female dog if you’re walking past tons of female dogs in heat. Talk to an experienced trainer who is certifed by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Get back into a basic obedience class to reestablish a bond between you.
Start instituting Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) at home by requiring a positive behavior for everything that your dog wants. Ask for a sit/down/shake for food, to go outside, etc. He has lost all privelages and has to earn them back. Start restricting him to a few rooms of the house and that’s it, he can earn more.
2. Do not. Do not. Do not. Breed your dog.
I have an unneutered AKC purebred chocolate lab who is 20 months old. He doesn’t mark, isn’t aggressive, and has won competitions in obedience and agility. He will also never be bred. It was in his breeder contract to wait until 24 months if at all possible to allow his joints to develop properly. If I ever did breed him though, his puppies would not be able to be registered by the AKC because he is a ‘limited’ registration — a registration that is instituted by reputable AKC breeders to ensure that peopel don’t buy their puppies in order to breed them and sell the puppies for purebred and/or ‘designer’ breed puppies.
Reputable breeders will also spend the money to genetically test their dog for defects to ensure those problems are not passed down to their offspring. Toy poodles need to be tested for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), get their eyes cleared by CERF, and Patellar Luxation. Reputable breeders breed their dogs because they are the best representatives of the breed. They test their dogs against others in a field of their choice: obedience, conformation, agility, nosework, search and rescue, etc. Reputable breeders apprentice another breeder for years before whelping their own litter because they know that they can loose the mother, a puppy, or two, or an entire litter even with years of experience for no apparent reason. Reputable breeders know that they will not make money and in fact, they’ll probably be in the red for each litter due to puppy shots, checkups, toys, food, etc.
If this does not sound like you, do not ever breed your dog.
Post # 13
+1000. OP, listen to everything this person says. This sounds like a very fixable problem IF you dedicate the time and resources to it.
And I know you’ve gotten this a lot already, but please, please, please, please do not breed your dog.
Post # 14
For starters, do not consider breeding from him. Breeding is for experts, not people who want to produce cute puppies from random cross-breeding.
Next, get him neutered. I have an entire JRT but had he shown ANY of the unwanted effects of testosterone, his nuts would have come off quicker than you can say “Goodbye Gonads!”. Even though he is an adult dog now his testicles remain on licence, so to speak.
The effects of neutering take a while to come through but if you combine this with consistent re-training then you should see results.
I do not believe in the now debunked theory of pack leadership (dogs don’t view humans as pack animals) and I abhor the methods of Cesar Milan but this said, your dog needs to view you as the person who makes the rules.
This means, in practice, that humans control the furniture. He goes on the bed only when asked (in your case I would keep him OFF the bed!) and gets down from chairs immediately on request. He sleeps where you determine and relieves himself OUTSIDE the house. Even if this means you having to return to basic housetraining again. If he shows signs of leg cocking you stop this immediately. I prefer reward based training to punitive training but you must be firm and kind.
Small breeds often get away with murder because they are allowed to develop habits that would be dangerous in a huge dog. The cute factor also plays a role too. But a well-trained dog is a happier dog too. Regardless of breed and size. You mention that he’s “your little buddy” which is great. But actually, this may be at the root of your problems because I suspect he’s been indulged.
Also, do not assume that he can be rehomed. Rescues are crammed to capacity with dogs that are NOT aggressive towards humans so they’ll be reluctant to take one that is.
I really think you can turn this little guy around but be prepared to put the work in.
Post # 15
I understand the desire to breed a purebred dog… I had the thought a few times myself with my mini aussie. However it is a huuuuge responsibility. I agree with neutering as it will help and its so much better for them. I also think dogs can sleep with humans if they are well behaved. Do you walk him daily? If so make sure he walks beside or behind you. Also watch the dog whisperer as he has some good ideas for problem dogs!