This is my first time at this site and it's already helped
We are a family with four children so all of my concerns about our new pup mostly revolve around his behaviour around the kids.
We have a 2 year old jackrussel-pug(Pip), that is well behaved and house trained. We adopted Zorro (german shepard cross) 5 weeks ago at the ripe age of 6 months-ish. He'd been impounded for 5 weeks. He's an extremely happy puppy, even being happy when he's in trouble. Both males were neutered together 10 days ago.
Now to the habits...
Zorro came to us with some obsessive behaviour which I assume stems from being kenneled for so long. He paces. He paces and paces without resting. Along with the pacing he drinks water obsessively. At first he would drink so much water that he'd need out every 10 minutes or risk wetting in the house. I have put him on a water schedule which seems to have improved this but exacerbated the pacing.
The other problem we are having is with aggression. Like I said, he`s a happy puppy so this isn`t a mean aggression it seems more of a dominance aggression. He often will body check the kids and knock them over, nip at their clothes (we`ve gotten him to stop biting at skin) and jump at them. Hès not a heavy dog, but he`s quite tall so this is scaring the kids alot. With the Pug he treats him like a chew toy, he`s constantly chasing him and biting at him and gets all playful crazy barking and boucing and racing around the house uncontrollably, which then scares the kids.
I would love some advice. He`s such a smart dog with so much potantial but my protect my kids instinct is ruining the family relationship with Zorro. We do plan to attend obedience classes but they don`t start until feb. I can`t wait until then..
Welcome to the group. I can't help you much with the pacing. Thats definately not a training problem, rather a behavior problem if its a problem at all. However I would like to caution you about limiting his water. He is drinking the water for a reason. It may be physical or psychological. Either way I wouldn't limit it. The thirst COULD be caused by diabetes or a liver problem. I would have him checked by a vet.
As for the aggression problem. Back in the days I was a professional dog trainer I received MANY MANY calls from people with aggressive puppies. Out of the several hundred calls I got, ONE turned out to be truly aggressive. The others were displaying normal puppy play behavior and was mistakenly called aggression by the owners. I'm pretty certain this is the case here. All the behaviors you mentioned are typical of puppy play. If the pug doesn't yelp or try to run away, don't do anything about that behavior. I'm thinking the pug will put a stop to it when he is tired of it. Adult dogs are very tolerant of puppies but will end antisocial behavior when the pup matures.
As for the kids, I would start using 2 minute time outs when he misbehaves towards the kids. That means isolating him for 2 minutes the very instant he displayes one of those behaviors. 2 minutes is all and it MUST be done instnatly when he misbehaves. By isolating him, I mean putting him in his crate, in the bathroom, or launtry room or another room away from people. Give him 2 minutes to think about why he's there, Don't yell or otherwise fuss at him. Just calmly and matter of factly take him to his time out place and put him there. When you let him out, be complete nutral. Not angry, not happy.
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace. - Milan Kundera
I wonder if the excessive drinking is because he has not had constant access to water in the past? I have not experienced anything like that with my own dogs, but I have noticed them drinking water if it wasn't theirs, when we went to my mums the first thing my previous dog did was to drink as much of the water bowl as he could manage. I always wondered if it was a dominance thing, but he got on very well with mum's dogs.
Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but have you mentioned the excessive drinking to the vet? If not it would be worth ruling out any health problem.
Definately worth getting your youngster checked out with the vet. Thyroid problems can also cause behaviour problems, and excessive drinking is not normal, so should definately be getting checked out.
I would want to rule out any health problem I have not encountered excessive drinking in a healthy dog. I wonder if this could be a behavioural problem?
Thanks Bill, He has been completely vet checked and has the all clear, it's definately a behavioural thing. I imagine its from being in an overcrowded facility with only a chew toy and a water bowl. Like I said he's very bright but with that comes extreme boredom which I assume contributes to his tendancy to obsess. I will try the timeouts. I"m using a spray bottle right now with some sucess but since he really doesn't like being isolated maybe that will prove more successful. Thanks!
he's been vet checked, that was the first thing I tried Thanks
I believe so. He's a very smart dog and was in a very overcrowded facility with only a chew toy and water bowl for entertainment. Were going out to buy some new kongs today and see if that will help at all
For the excesive drinking, perhaps you could put some large stones into the water bowl, which would still allow him to drink, but would make him take longer doing so, and may make a difference to the amount he drinks, but still enable him to drink when he needs to. Alternatively some ice cubes in the water bowl which could be licked, and just a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl, unless he is likely to try and eat the ice cubes whole.