Jumping and nipping on furniture.

Posted by Pudge
Jan 9, 2008

I have a 11 week cardigan welsh corgi. He's been having a problem with jumping on furniture, biting on furniture, and chewing holes into the wall. I tell him "no", offer him a toy, or simply pull him away by picking him up, but he continues. Any suggestions?
Posted by Todd
Jan 9, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

The first advice i give in these situations is usually is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across him while he is sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your him wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet him straightaway when you arrive home. Make him wait until you are ready and then call him to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

The next advice is basic obedience. Work with him for 10 minutes twice a day on basic commands like sit, stay and come. The more obedient he is the easier he is to control when he is misbehaving.

From now on i would like you to stop letting him on the couch or beds. These for some dogs become their own possessions and so become very possessive over them. This may be what is starting to happen. What you should do is put a lead on him (but only when you are there to watch him), this way you can give him the come command and if he doesn't you can remove him without fear of being bitten.

Whenever he misbehaves you must reprimand him forcefully. He must learn what is wrong as otherwise he will control the household and the people in it. If he is misbehaving give a low loud GRRRRRR or AAAHHHHH noise at him. Don't yell or say no as these generally don't work well. If he still doesn't stop a heavy blanket or water pistol are good deterents
Once he has stopped give him a sit command and praise him if he responds.

As for the nipping and chewing you may need to be a little more forceful. It is great that you have toys to try and redirect his attention and energy.
Here is the way i recommend to stop puppies from chewing and nipping.

You have to let your puppy know that its biting is unacceptable. The best way to do this is by demonstrating yourself as the alpha dog by growling menacingly, the way an alpha dog would.

*Sit down with your puppy and hold out your hand. If the puppy bites growl sharply, say "AAHH" rather then "NO", and do not yell it, growl it; make it quite gutteral (even if this gives you a sore throat).

*Hold out your hand again, and if your puppy goes to bite it again, growl again but stand up suddenly at the same time. Walk away for a few minutes.

*Then come back and sit down to play again, hold out your hand once more. If the puppy goes to bite for a third time be ready for it and give the puppy a little thump on the nose and growl once more (thump hard enough for the puppy to actually feel it) with the hand you are holding out. Generally, I do not recommend you hit your puppy, however, in your particular case this may be the only thing that will get the message across.

*Hold out your hand again, and by then your puppy should be wary of your hand (be aware that the hand biting behavior is probably a habit by now).

The same basic principle can be used for other items like the furniture by watching and reprimanding him. You can also distract him with toys and by playing with him but beware not to encourage misbehaving just so he can get you to play with him.
There are things you can put on furniture that taste bad and so stop the dog from chewing. I usually use these as second options but can be used at the same time.
*Bitter Apple or a similar spray available from your vet or pet store,

*Cayenne pepper,

*Aloe vera gel,

*A hot Tabasco sauce or similar.

He is a puppy so getting on top of these things now will stop things from escalating. Remember he is only a puppy so some things can take time for them to learn especially things not to do Be patient and i am sure you will have heaps of fun with him.

Kind Regards
Todd Field