Aggressive playing

Posted by Angela
Sep 7, 2007
Hi, I just posted this in the regular forum, then saw a message from Alpha Dog re one consultation with the purchase of SitStayFetch.

I have just purchased the pro package and this is my question:

Hello all.

I have a lovely 18 week old Weimaraner who is actually by nature not aggressive, but a behavioral problem has arisen due to the fact that I wasn't able to pick him up until 16 weeks. (I live in Cyprus and import of puppies is not allowed under any circumstances until 4 months of age).

The breeder was able to run him on for me for the 1 month, however during this time he mostly played with another puppy (different breed). Obviously it is natural for puppies to play, but they were allowed to bite each other, jump up, and play aggressively.

When I take him out for a walk he is great, walks to heel, and is calm, however if I try to liven the walk up, make him walk faster, make it more fun and play, he then tries to run and jump up and bite my hand, or knee, and can chew the lead and growl. I do manage to diffuse this behavior, but would rather he learned to play nice.

Other than this issue, he is a lovely weimy, and it very smart.

Every day I maintain alpha dog status around the home, so I don't think this is a cause. I really do think it is just down to his early play experience with the other puppy.

If any of you pet lovers have experienced the same problem it would be great to know how you dealt with it. Or if this is covered in one of the videos please let me know which one so I can jump straight to it.

All feedback appreciated.


Posted by Todd
Sep 12, 2007
Dear Angela

Thank you for your question.
Yes to some degree this type of behaviour is normal puppy behaviour and raising of him may have some part in this. But this does not mean that it is acceptable and can't be controlled.
The first advice i usually give in these situations is alpha dog advice but it is great to hear that you already have this under control.
Secondly he sounds very obedient and so my second set of advice is also not really needed here.

What i would recommend you do is purchase a Halti or Gentle leader if you haven't already as these are brilliant for these situations as it gives you more control with less effort. It takes time to get a dog used to a Halti so be patient.

What i would also encourage you to do is to practice in a controlled environment like your backyard. Here he is more likely to listen to your commands and improve.
Attach him to the Halti and begin walking at a slow speed. Praise and reward him for good behaviour.
If he starts to react give him a sit command immediately. The second he sits you must wait to see him relax. When he relaxes his breathing will slow and his ears or nose might briefly dip. The second this happens you must reward him as this is what you want to encourage.
Once he has relaxd again begin walking, if he behaves reward him, if not do as above. With time he will learn that he only gets to walk when he is behaving nicely.
After a few days of this you can increase the speed of your walk and continue as above. Increase your speed slowly over a number of days, not at one training.

If he nips you give him a reprimand like a low guttural GRRRRR or AHHHH and make him sit. He must learn that this is not acceptable no matter what the circumstance.

Be patient this will take time.
After a few weeks of well behaved walking around the house you can venture back out into the wide walking world. Make sure you do as above and start at a slow speed rewarding and reprimanding. On the first day walk slowly for a long distance. After a few days of this you can increase the speed. Don't skip steps here as i assure you he will revert to his previous behaviour.

Consistency and patience is the key to this problem. Good luck and i am sure by reinforcing good calm behaviour he will learn what is acceptable. Please let me know of any success you have.

Kind Regards
SitStayFetch Team
Posted by Angela
Sep 13, 2007
Hi Todd,

Thanks for the advice, sounds good.

You mention the Halti, which one is best, the [URL=""]Halti headcollar[/URL], or the [URL=""]Halti harness[/URL], (the harness doesn't go over the muzzle, the headcollar does).

Thanks again Todd.