Join Date: Nov 2011
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Ugh. We still struggle at times with our Tucker, who is about 19 months old. Even though he's going on two years, he still has moments of that "bratty" behaviour. We are constantly working with him/using those "nothing in life is free" tactics, and exercising him a TON, which has worked tremendously for us. During these past few cold, muddy winter weeks, he is definitely showing his frustration at not being able to get out and run freely as often as he would like by getting very testy/barky/tugging at our clothes in the evening. We give him a couple reminder "off" commands, and if he refuses to go into a "sit" for us when we command, we put him in his crate for a VERY short (like a minute) timeout to show him that he doesn't get to be with us if he's acting this way. Usually after 2 or three rounds of this, he realizes we're not going to relent, and he goes and finds a bone to chew at our feet.
When he was a bit younger (about 9 months) I was very concerned about this brattiness, as he was very nippy/snarly at that stage, too, but as time has gone on, he's not nearly as mouthy (although these past few weeks have been a little rougher than normal). Give it time, be consistent, and work those commands with your dog, both inside and outside. I'm learning that our dog needs constant reminding/review of the basics to maintain his good manners both inside and outside. We're still a work in progress outside - that's where he can get REALLY wound up and jumpy/nippy/snappy with us, but we're always prepared to work some training in when he gets like this, and it calms him right down after a few repititions. Feel free to review some of my older posts, back in April of 2012. Boy were we at our wits end with our adolescent pup back then! We've come a long way, but like I said, it will always be a work in progress. Good luck!