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Beau's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Beau is almost two now and he has been a wonderful dog. I have taken him to several training classes and he always listens and does very well. He is great meeting people and excellent with other dogs.

However, we are having a lot of trouble with him when he plays in the backyard. Even though I trained him he ONLY listens to my husband in the yard. He also will try to grab my clothes outside. He pulls off the kids gloves or hats and runs with them. He has torn several shirts and both of my boys winter jackets. He also sometimes grabs clothes when you take a toy away and throw it in the yard. Instead of going after the toy, he goes after the person throwing the object. We have gotten to the point where he is not allowed in the backyard with the kids unless my husband is home. He has never bitten anyone, but I am afraid he will with the way he grabs at clothing. I was thinking of putting him in another class, but I don't know if it will help. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't know what my husband has done differently to get Beau's total respect.
 

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While it does sound like bad behavior, I really wouldn't label that as aggressive. I think he's probably just trying to get you to play. The thing is, that he will interpret pushing him off or chasing him to get what he's run off with as play. It may be that your husband completely ignores this behavior and only pets him when he's calm while you are unintentionally reinforcing it by reacting physically.

Just a thought.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Why not see if a trainer can come do a private lesson with you to specifically address your outside problem?
 

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Beau's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
While it does sound like bad behavior, I really wouldn't label that as aggressive. I think he's probably just trying to get you to play. The thing is, that he will interpret pushing him off or chasing him to get what he's run off with as play. It may be that your husband completely ignores this behavior and only pets him when he's calm while you are unintentionally reinforcing it by reacting physically.

Just a thought.

That would explain it if he did, but my husband reacts the same way we do..he pushes him off if he jumps outside. Beau never even attempts to grab his clothes. It is the same way with other things though.. My husband is definitely the alpha, Beau doesn't do anything he shouldn't around him. I totally agree that he is trying to get us to play, but if he misses the clothes, it could hurt someone - especially my 5 year old. Thank you for your thoughts :)

I have considered a trainer at home - if we can't get him to stop on our own I think it would be a good choice.
 

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How about a spray bottle of water? With a lot of dogs that just won't stop jumping, it seems to teach them that it's unacceptable. If he approaches in an excited, grabby manner, you can squirt him with the water to interrupt the behavior. Then everyone turns around and goes inside. He will learn that obnoxious behavior means the end to the good time he is having. You just need to get your kids on board for a couple of weeks. Then he should have gotten the point.
 

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Zep used to do the same thing! It was like a doggie temper tantrum! We'd be outside playing, and when it was time to go in, i'd turn to walk in the house and he'd grab the leg of my pants or the bottom of my jacket or the sleeve of my jacket...anything he could get his mouth on! He'd just grab it and let go, he did not tug. But, it's like he was throwing a fit because he wanted to say out and play and he'd lash out briefly. Very annoying.

When he did this...I'd turn around and say "NO", loud and with feeling, then go about my business. I did this every time, without fail, and he stopped. It probably took a good three weeks or so for him to stop completely, but that worked for me.

Although, i must add...i do not have any children to worry about, he only did this to me, so i was not as worried about the possible "accidental" bite/nip.

Good luck and whatever you decide to do, try to make sure everyone in the house does the exact same thing when Beau shows this side of himself.
 

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How about a spray bottle of water? With a lot of dogs that just won't stop jumping, it seems to teach them that it's unacceptable. If he approaches in an excited, grabby manner, you can squirt him with the water to interrupt the behavior. Then everyone turns around and goes inside. He will learn that obnoxious behavior means the end to the good time he is having. You just need to get your kids on board for a couple of weeks. Then he should have gotten the point.
Actually, now that I think about it, that's what I did when Rookie was going through his obnoxious stage. I had a small spray bottle that fit in my pocket with water and a little bit of bitter apple mixed in. After a couple of sprays, all I had to do was take the bottle out of my pocket and he would stop.
 

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I would go with just plain water. The bitter apple could get into their nose or eyes and cause them pain. You just want an interruption to the behavior.
 

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Beau's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think thats a great idea. We will try the spray bottle and see how he does. Thank you for the advice!
 
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