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Everything posted by erikor

  1. Thank you Flora and Molly. I agree 100%. Now that the initial panic has subsided I am hopeful that ongoing training of both pup and kiddos will do the trick. I just hope I can keep their treats straight.
  2. Thank you urge to herd. I am confident she did something he did not like, probably petting too hard and dangling her hair in his face while giving a kiss. I left the room for a few minutes and it happened. I think you are right about not leaving her alone with Darcy. In my mind this was a provoked bite, and not a severe bite, and Darcy was appropriate both immediately before and immediately after. If the wise people here think this is in the range of normal puppy response I am more than happy to keep training and set stricter rules with the children. On the other hand, other people on the internet ask things like “what are you waiting for? A severe injury?” I just can’t believe Darcy would hurt any of us in a significant way. He seems to be doing his best to figure it out. But maybe I am being naive. For what it’s worth, the breeder said they would take him back. That would be a gut wrench for the family. But not as big a gut wrench as a serious injury. Not feeling too good on either the parenting or the pet raising fronts at the moment.
  3. As I alluded to in a prior post, we had some problems with biting and aggression with Darcy (6 month old puppy) a few weeks ago. After teaching the children to be more assertive and redoubling our efforts to communicate to Darcy that teeth on humans was never ok, we made great progress. His previous aggressive times were when we were trying to take things from him. We had a few occasions of growling, teeth bearing, and biting. Since we made these changes, these have all gone away. But today, my youngest daughter was petting Darcy and he bit her on the nose. I did not see it myself, but I am sure she was leaning over him with her hair in his face and being too smothering as I have told her numerous times not to do. The bite left a red mark. She cried. She recovered quickly, with Darcy licking up her tears. Everyone is fine now. I can set rules to keep this from happening again, and keep going with our training, but this seems a little out of the ordinary to me. We have an appointment with a behavioralist in a few weeks. Anything else we should do? Is this really bad? Or a common puppy behavior?
  4. I was afraid you were going to say that =) No, seriously, lots of wisdom there. Thank you! Yes...we don't tolerate mouth-on-humans. We actually were having a problem with aggression a few weeks ago--teeth bearing, growling, the whole nine yards. We have made a number of adjustments and interventions and it is way, way better. No growling, no teeth bearing, but he will still occasionally go for a nip--and I agree it seems to be when he is over-stimulated by one of my children who are less skilled at reading him. (Although I want to be able to trust him around strangers whether they are good at reading him or not). When he does nip he gets a stern "no!" and we have all the children trained to make him sit and lie down at that point. The behavior is rapidly going away, but we have an appointment with a behavioralist next month to make sure we are doing everything we should.
  5. Thanks. That is informative. Also I like the idea of the mat/rug. I had started working with him on "Place", but the place is held down by all the living room furniture. I will get small piece of carpet remnant so the Place is more mobile.
  6. Next question from this first time BC owner: Our Darcy is 6 months old. In responding to my prior post, @rigby kindly pointed out that we are "at a challenging time...it will get easier". When will that be, exactly ? One minute Darcy is bringing back a frisbee, circling around, and chasing after the next throw as if he was a trained dog. The next minute he is getting nippy with one of the children or completely ignoring me. Right at the moment he is sleeping near my feet as I work as if we were on the set of The Crown. From all I have read these are still very early days and we are doing about as well as one can hope for. But I am curious what the future looks like. With diligent training, when might I expect Darcy to, I don't know, have reliable recall and not pull on the leash and be generally trusted not to chew up the carpet when I am not looking? 1 year of age? 2 years of age? Or is it sort of a life long journey of three steps forward, two steps back? A big thank you to this great community for the support!
  7. Thank you for the feedback and advice! I had really not given any thought to training settle...we will definitely work on that! Do you train lie down and settle as different commands, or should I just pick one?
  8. I am curious to get some perspective on what we are doing with our 6 month old BC, Darcy (as in Mr. Darcy). We got him when he was 7 weeks old and now he is 6 months old. We live on 3/4 of an acre in a development (with an underground fence). I live with my wife and 4 homeschooled girls. However, the homeschool day is busy so the girls do not have a lot of free time to spend with Darcy during the day. So, here is a typical day at this point: 8AM: I get him up, spend an hour with him as he eats his breakfast and we do some training and either go for a walk or play some frisbee or such. 9-Noon: I am working from home, so he and I hang out in the basement where he wanders around and cat naps. Today he was getting into too much mischief so I put him in his crate (still in the same room as me) for an hour during which he mostly napped. Noon-1: Lunch, run around in the yard with or without humans. Some of this time he will be outside by himself. 1-3: Naptime in crate 3-5: Some training, some hanging out with humans who are preparing dinner, etc., and/or running around the yard (usually a combination of purposefully interacting with us or just roaming around looking for a stick he has never seen before.) Some of this time he will be outside by himself. 5-6: He has his dinner and we have ours. For the most part he hangs out around us at the dinner table, mostly by me because he knows I will randomly sneak him bits of food 6-7: Some training, some roaming around inside the house. 7PM: Bed time in the crate. (Although we are pushing this later if he can stay out of trouble while we are doing what we need to do in the evening. For example, tonight he fell asleep by the dinner table where my wife and daughter were working on homework, at 8PM). We had a brief period where he was occasionally resource guarding, growling, and teeth bearing and bit a couple of the kiddos. At that point we started doing a lot of practice on "drop it and leave it whether you want to or not" and teaching the children to be more assertive with Darcy. I also started spending more time with him because we did not feel safe letting the children take care of him alone at that point. The above schedule is the result of these changes. Since then, the problem has disappeared and Darcy is now 75% sweet, 25% mischievous, and 0% aggressive. Although sometimes he seems a little bored. So, finally, my questions: 1. Does that schedule seem typical/acceptable/sufficient/good? Or not? 2. Do you think he can spend more time by himself? In particular, I find it a little distracting when I am trying to get work done with him in the room and wonder if it would be appropriate to leave him alone either in the (finished) basement (either in his crate or out) and/or outside for a chunk of the morning? Or is that just asking for trouble? (As my dad used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!) Thank you! Sorry for the lengthy post!
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