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Have you considered using some harmless form of positive punishment like spraying water or bitter apple when he jumps and begins biting? It seems obvious that positive reinforcement and negative punishment (taking away attention, giving him time outs, etc) are not working by themselves. Perhaps a combination of harmless but effective positive punishment and positive reinforcement (when he is good and doesn't present the behavior you are complaining about) might help or is at least worth a shot. If that doesn't work, it really does sound like you would need to contact a very good animal behaviorist to help you guys address these issues. It does sound like you're trying to do everything "by the book" in terms of trying to address the problem at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I recently started working with my 5 y old, ****, again. He is very exuberant and we have let him jump up on us. The first thing my OCTH trainer friend made me do last week was to teach him that the only time he will get affection is when he defaults to down. It took **** less than five minutes to figure that out. Then it turns into me standing in front of him in the down and then gradually increase the distance. If he makes a mistake, we say,"eew, yuck" and turn our backs on him. It did not take him long to figure out that he gets attention when he lays down...

As far as time outs, my dogs got the kitchen, not the crate. And my guys got the minty breath spray when they got too bitey as pups(mostly with my children). My dogs in general are not that bitey as pups as there are plenty elder Goldens to teach them not to bite as well as others in this house that tolerate it, so it gets out of their system.
JJ has a default sit. I rarely ever give him affection if he's standing. I wait until he sits and then start petting him. That's been something I and the rest of us have done since day 1. The same goes with food. He must sit before he gets a treat, and he knows that cause once he makes eye contact with you he'll plant his butt on the ground and wait for your attention or the treat you're about to give him. It's funny, every time we go to Petsmart or Petco, the people at the register will ask him if he wants a cookie, by the time they turn back around with the treat, JJ's already in a sit and patiently waiting for his cookie and the people go, "Well, you're already sitting, so I guess I'll shake your hand instead".


I once tried to setup a timeout area in the corner of the living room, using baby gates to set it up, and the first time I put him in there for a timeout he was over the gate and out. The second time, rather then going and sitting back down, I stood there with my back to him and every time he tried to get over the gate I would tell him "no". That didn't stop him and he eventually got out. The third time, since he wasn't listening to my no's, I decided that maybe I should push him back down and physically stop him from climbing the gate, so that's what I did and it basically only made him go after my hands and try and climb the gate more. I gave up on that timeout area after that. I would imagine if I would him in the kitchen, he'll do the same thing and will be over the gate in no time.

Mind you, we have baby gates setup in the house blocking two rooms he can't go in and he doesn't even attempt to climb those. When I use the baby gates for a timeout area though, it's a totally different story and he'll do whatever possible to get over them. That's why I said before, unless I construct something in my house or use the bathroom, I'm out of ideas for a timeout area and have no option but his crate. The crate was my last option for a timeout area and one I really didn't want to use, but I was left with no choice after trying to block him with baby gates.

We've tried spraying him with water before and went out and bought like 10 water bottles to keep around the house, but that only made him come after us more, as if he thought that was part of playing. I'm scared to try anything else aside from water since, as you may recall, JJ had an eye problem. I'm scared I'm going to spray him in the eye with something that's going to irritate it more. Naturally I would try and aim for his mouth or nose, but when you have a bouncing dog, it's not that easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Have you considered using some harmless form of positive punishment like spraying water or bitter apple when he jumps and begins biting? It seems obvious that positive reinforcement and negative punishment (taking away attention, giving him time outs, etc) are not working by themselves. Perhaps a combination of harmless but effective positive punishment and positive reinforcement (when he is good and doesn't present the behavior you are complaining about) might help or is at least worth a shot. If that doesn't work, it really does sound like you would need to contact a very good animal behaviorist to help you guys address these issues. It does sound like you're trying to do everything "by the book" in terms of trying to address the problem at the moment.
As I said to Sally's Mom, we've tried spraying him with water and it only made him more excited. I'm scared to try anything else like mouth spray or bitter apple cause JJ has somewhat of an eye issue and I'm scared I'm going to end up spraying him in the eye rather than the nose or mouth.

What do you mean by effective positive punishment? We're constantly praising JJ for his good behavior, so it's not like we're just punishing him when he's bad and not praising and reinforcing him when he's good. He's one of the most loved dogs I know. People are usually telling me all the time how crazy I am cause I'm so wrapped up in him. In fact, last night, after telling JJ for 10-15 minutes how handsome and beautiful he is and how he was being such a good boy, my girlfriend yells into the room and says, "Joe, uhhh, why don't you ever talk to me that way?" haha
 

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Have you tried keeping a short lead on him in the house. Then when he gets all bitey, just calmly take the lead and bring him to a timeout spot where you attach the lead to something solid, like an eyebolt in your baseboard with a clip on it, or pinch the lead in a heavy door. Once you attach the lead, just walk away for a minute.

Before she was a year old, Cookie got into a habit where if we were talking on the phone or something, she'd come up and start grabbing at our clothes. Of course, yelling would just reinforce the habit, as she was seeking attention anyway. Using this method, if she'd bite our clothes, we'd just say "Oh, you want to go in timeout?" and lead her away. Our trainer called this the "dumb owner" game. :)

It took about 3 days for this attention seeking behavior to drop dramatically. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Have you tried keeping a short lead on him in the house. Then when he gets all bitey, just calmly take the lead and bring him to a timeout spot where you attach the lead to something solid, like an eyebolt in your baseboard with a clip on it, or pinch the lead in a heavy door. Once you attach the lead, just walk away for a minute.

Before she was a year old, Cookie got into a habit where if we were talking on the phone or something, she'd come up and start grabbing at our clothes. Of course, yelling would just reinforce the habit, as she was seeking attention anyway. Using this method, if she'd bite our clothes, we'd just say "Oh, you want to go in timeout?" and lead her away. Our trainer called this the "dumb owner" game. :)

It took about 3 days for this attention seeking behavior to drop dramatically. :)
No, I have not left a lead on him, mostly in fear that he would eat it. The reason I fear that is cause when he got out of hand a few times with my mom or girlfriend, I would put a leash on him so I had more control of his actions without having to physically touch him and get into a "shoving match" where he feels I'm challenging him and he needs to fight back, and after turning his attention to me and jumping on me and biting me and me just ignoring him, he turned his attention to the leash and tried his best to tear it apart. Here's the aftermath of one of the leashes that was used, and this was after about 30 seconds.

 

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So use one of those horrible chain leashes and he cannot chew it. If my pup were that persistent, my time out would be fool proof....
 

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So use one of those horrible chain leashes and he cannot chew it. If my pup were that persistent, my time out would be fool proof....
We actually did use a chain leash for Rileah until she learned not to chew on the leash. Our trainer didn't like it but we were the one's dealing with it on a daily basis and it worked like a charm after just a few weeks.
 

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I, personally do not use water to spray. I use the breath spray and my guys hate it. Witha water squirt bottle, you can add vinegar or lemon..
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
So use one of those horrible chain leashes and he cannot chew it. If my pup were that persistent, my time out would be fool proof....
Is that safe to do though? I'm not looking to start replacing teeth as I'm already $10,000 in the hole due to medical bills over the 10 months I've had him. Are you suggesting that I leave a short chain leash on him or saying that I should only use it when he gets out of hand and needs to be put in timeout?

And yes, JJ is very persistent. He chewed a small hole in the rug when he was a puppy, which we've put a throw rug over. He knows its still there cause he won't stop trying to pull the throw rug up to get at the hole. He'll "leave it" when I tell him to, but will go right back to it after getting his reward, whether it be praise or a treat. Just to give you an idea how persistent he is, in the time it took to type this post, 2 minutes or whatever, I had to get up and tell him 11 times to leave the rug alone. Actually, make that 12 now. He doesn't give up. I've already told him 24 times today (since 4pm) to leave the rug alone, not including the most recent 12 times, and I will more than likely end up telling him another 30 or 40 times tonight. And that's a daily routine that's been going on for months now. He's probably been told close to 1,000 times total to leave the rug alone, no joke.

Like I said, unless I construct a 4ft high cubicle in the corner of a room or throw him in the bathroom, I'm out of ideas for a timeout area that'll actually contain him. At one point we tried using an x-pen that we have for our ferrets, but he basically pushed the thing across the room and kept smashing his head into it. I took it down after that. It lasted maybe 2 days, if that. I considered bolting it to the wall to hold it in place, but I don't own the house and I don't think my landlord would be all that pleased if they found out I was bolting things into the wall (They get a little testy just when it comes to picture frame hooks).
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I, personally do not use water to spray. I use the breath spray and my guys hate it. Witha water squirt bottle, you can add vinegar or lemon..
And what do you do, try and spray it in their mouths and/or nose? Don't you worry about it getting into their eyes, or is that something not to be all that concerned about?
 

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I use breath spray in the mouth and in the nose, if it is needed. My ****, learned the lesson well and backs up when he sees the spray bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I'll get some breath spray and see how it goes.

Here's another scenario for you that just went done. My girlfriend just got home after going straight out after work. She comes in and JJ automatically starts jumping on her and pulling at her dress. Standing beside him at the time, I told him "Ah ah, sit" and he did, which at that time I gave him a treat or two. As soon as the treat left my hand and entered his mouth, he was jumping on her again, so I told him again, "ah ah, sit", and he did, so I rewarded him again, and just like the first time, as soon as he had the treats in his mouth, his feet were off the ground and he was jumping on her again. We went through that same routine about 8 times until finally he didn't want to sit anymore and when I told him to do so, he instead started jumping at me and biting me, which at that point I took him by the collar and placed him in his crate for a timeout.
 

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We've worked on many of the same things with Casper.

When people come to the house, Casper is either behind a gate in the kitchen or on leash. No matter how well Casper knows them. He gets pretty excited just seeing me after work every day. With anyone that doesn't live here he is even more excited. He has to sit to get pets. If he gets up, the visitor moves away and turns his/her back. He does not get the opportunity to jump all he wants. He's doing really well with this plan. We also don't give him treats for this. The reward is getting petted. The treats just up the excitement level, and that we don't need.

I've also gotten better about reading his body language. If his tail is up, he's looking right at me, and standing in front of me, he's thinking about jumping. If he's laying down straight (hard to describe), head on the ground, looking at me, he's not resting. He's stalking and preparing to leap.

Lately, I've been using his training to avoid those situations where his "play" is annoying. For example, he wants to bite at my shoelaces while I'm putting my shoes on. I could forever put my shoes on in another room. Instead, I tell him Back and Down and Wait, which has him on the ground a few feet away. Success! I can tell he hates having to watch, but, sorry. I am doing the same thing when I pick up the paper he chews up. He wants to grab it as I'm picking it up. I was able to tell him to back up and lay down. He hates having to watch, but I toss him a small treat every so often.

I used breath spray to get him to stop body slamming me. I'm not thrilled with it, but I had to balance the damage he could do knocking me over with hurting his psyche a bit.

I'm reading Control Unleashed, The Puppy Program. The author doesn't like the "be a tree" thing at all. To paraphrase, the dog thinks people are acting weird when they do this and it makes the dog unsettled. We tried the tree thing with Casper and I think I lasted about two days. It's just ridiculous to allow the dog to jump on me as long as he wants. I leave the room, the yard, whatever. He gets a cool reception from me when I allow him back with me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
We've worked on many of the same things with Casper.

When people come to the house, Casper is either behind a gate in the kitchen or on leash. No matter how well Casper knows them. He gets pretty excited just seeing me after work every day. With anyone that doesn't live here he is even more excited. He has to sit to get pets. If he gets up, the visitor moves away and turns his/her back. He does not get the opportunity to jump all he wants. He's doing really well with this plan. We also don't give him treats for this. The reward is getting petted. The treats just up the excitement level, and that we don't need.

I've also gotten better about reading his body language. If his tail is up, he's looking right at me, and standing in front of me, he's thinking about jumping. If he's laying down straight (hard to describe), head on the ground, looking at me, he's not resting. He's stalking and preparing to leap.

Lately, I've been using his training to avoid those situations where his "play" is annoying. For example, he wants to bite at my shoelaces while I'm putting my shoes on. I could forever put my shoes on in another room. Instead, I tell him Back and Down and Wait, which has him on the ground a few feet away. Success! I can tell he hates having to watch, but, sorry. I am doing the same thing when I pick up the paper he chews up. He wants to grab it as I'm picking it up. I was able to tell him to back up and lay down. He hates having to watch, but I toss him a small treat every so often.

I used breath spray to get him to stop body slamming me. I'm not thrilled with it, but I had to balance the damage he could do knocking me over with hurting his psyche a bit.

I'm reading Control Unleashed, The Puppy Program. The author doesn't like the "be a tree" thing at all. To paraphrase, the dog thinks people are acting weird when they do this and it makes the dog unsettled. We tried the tree thing with Casper and I think I lasted about two days. It's just ridiculous to allow the dog to jump on me as long as he wants. I leave the room, the yard, whatever. He gets a cool reception from me when I allow him back with me.
Personally speaking, I don't like the "be a tree" routine either, but since it was suggested by a few licensed trainers, I figured I would give it a try. I'm sure it works with some dogs, I just don't happen to have one haha.
 

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3 shirts and a pair of shorts ripped today :(
I do not have advice for you, I just want to let you know I follow your journey and I feel really sorry. It seems you are trying everything and then this, is so discouraging.
 

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--- 3 shirts and a pair of shorts ripped today ---

Yikes! I think my dog would be on leash 24x7, but what a hassle that would be!

Just throwing another idea out. Could this be a scheduling kind of problem? Is he tired, hungry, or needs a potty break? Does it mostly happen in certain times or places?

One technique I have had success with is changing my habits. Based on my own personal theory that some of the misbehaviors are learned behaviors in a certain context. For example, Casper would slam me when I came back from the trash can after picking up poop. (I got some good suggestions from the list on that, thanks!) One thing that helped was to change where I was walking, even only slightly. Since it wasn't exactly the same, it wasn't the same game. He still watches me, but he doesn't run at me anymore.
 

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I also found that when Bayne was getting too rambunctious if I put my hands over my face he seemed to stop, I think it was the lack of attention he was getting from me, if he couldn't see my face then he was not getting attention and walked away. If I'm sitting and he puts his paws up on me, I gently say 'OFF' if I am upset and say 'OFF' he seems to get excited more so I have to be emotionless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
--- 3 shirts and a pair of shorts ripped today ---

Yikes! I think my dog would be on leash 24x7, but what a hassle that would be!

Just throwing another idea out. Could this be a scheduling kind of problem? Is he tired, hungry, or needs a potty break? Does it mostly happen in certain times or places?

One technique I have had success with is changing my habits. Based on my own personal theory that some of the misbehaviors are learned behaviors in a certain context. For example, Casper would slam me when I came back from the trash can after picking up poop. (I got some good suggestions from the list on that, thanks!) One thing that helped was to change where I was walking, even only slightly. Since it wasn't exactly the same, it wasn't the same game. He still watches me, but he doesn't run at me anymore.
There appears to be no pattern to his madness. It's very unpredictable. For example, this morning. He was fine when I let him out of his crate. He walked over to my girlfriend, then to me and then to my mom and sat in front of all of us for attention. After we each petted him for a few minutes, we went about our business to get ready for work while he wondered around the house and chewed his bones on the living room floor, which is a normally routine during the work week. Everybody in the house probably crossed paths with him this morning about 20 times without a problem. Then suddenly, he randomly decided to take a different attitude with my mother and jumped on her and tugged on her shirt, ripping it in the process. There was nothing unusual going on that would of made him excited and my mom did nothing different that she didn't already do 20 times this morning. She was just standing in the kitchen at the counter, pouring a cup a coffee. He got up from chewing his bone in the living run and ran out in the kitchen to jump on and bite her, basically out of nowhere.

Having had enough of this behavior (he's probably ripped an estimate of 30 shirts, 5-6 shorts/pants and 5-6 dresses in his life), he'll be attached to my hip when I get home from work today and will lose the privilege of having free roam. I'll wrap a 6 foot leash around my waist and attach it to him.
 

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As I said to Sally's Mom, we've tried spraying him with water and it only made him more excited. I'm scared to try anything else like mouth spray or bitter apple cause JJ has somewhat of an eye issue and I'm scared I'm going to end up spraying him in the eye rather than the nose or mouth.

What do you mean by effective positive punishment? We're constantly praising JJ for his good behavior, so it's not like we're just punishing him when he's bad and not praising and reinforcing him when he's good. He's one of the most loved dogs I know. People are usually telling me all the time how crazy I am cause I'm so wrapped up in him. In fact, last night, after telling JJ for 10-15 minutes how handsome and beautiful he is and how he was being such a good boy, my girlfriend yells into the room and says, "Joe, uhhh, why don't you ever talk to me that way?" haha
JDK, sorry, I think you misunderstood what I meant. Positive punishment is a term that refers to adding something (positive) to the dog's environment that he/she dislikes so as to deter the behavior (Punishment and Your Dog). Typically, what is recommended is to use positive reinforcement and negative punishment (take away the reward from the dog, eg: turning our backs, time outs, etc.). You have obviously been trying a lot of those techniques without much luck, so I was suggesting a mild positive punishment approach such as a squirt gun, etc, that might perhaps work. If the squirt gun doesn't work for him, maybe something else will...like a can filled with pennies?

It's very obvious that you care a lot for your dog because a lot of people would not put up with having that many ripped clothes and that kind of behavior for so long while still exhibiting the patience that you and your gf/mom are showing. I wish you all the best and I do hope you are able to find a way to train your dog out of this behavior.
 
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