When Puppy Play Turns Crazy

Puppy Play Crazy

Above Kota & Charlie/Play Training Session

Our new rescue pup, Kota, is a 9 month old Carolina Dog mix. He’s a little crazy and becomes wild aggressive when he plays. At first, when he came to live with us and I tried to initiate play with my four-pound Teacup Yorkie, Lover, Kota would get into attack mode by scrunching down, wiggling his hind end, as if hunting prey, then sprint at lightning speed across the room and lunge on top of Lover. He reminds me more of a Cheetah than a dog, with his speed, body movements and crazy behavior.

As a dog trainer his behavior sent red flags all over the place. From the moment we brought him home I had to supervise him with any other dogs and often intervene during play. I’m not sure about Kota’s history, but he loves toys and can become aggressive and territorial with them. He thinks all toys are his. We’ve had to break his aggressive behavior and teach him to “leave it” and even learn to share.

We’ve only had him a couple months and I haven’t worked with him a lot, since he’s really my son’s dog, but he is doing a lot better, as you can see by this youtube video. This video was taken today on my iphone by my son. Not the best video, but it should give dog owners some pointers.

Do you have a crazy pup/dog that is aggressive with toys, that growls, bites, jumps? We’d like to hear your story–maybe we’ll even share it in our next blog!

In the meantime here are some TIPS THAT SHOULD HELP:

  1. Always play with your puppy with a toy, never your personal belongings or your hands/ this will prevent two things: them from biting you, and from chewing your things up.
  2. Always supervise a your puppy and other pups and dogs while playing, as well as your children.
  3. Discipline when play gets out of hand with “Aaht-aaht” or “Oops” give them a short time out before initiating play again/ this will teach them when they are biting, lunging, jumping and out of control they cannot play.
  4. Teach them to “drop it” by holding tension on toy, no more tugging and simply commanding “Drop It” if they do not release their jaws, say “drop it” again and gently bring your flat hand, palm side up, under their chin and give them a little undercut, not hard, just enough to get them to obey you. When they release it, say “Yes–good drop it”.
  5. Teach them to “leave it” so that they won’t bite you when you are going to grab their toy.
  6. Teach them “get it” when you want them to get it.
  7. If a dog is wagging his tail, you can most assuredly know that he is in a state of play, not aggression.

Lisa Freeman’s life really began fourteen years ago when she rescued a runaway, abused dog. She could not leave her home due to PTSD. That dog healed her, her family, and many others. Today Lisa Freeman is an Award-Winning Author, Motivational Speaker, AKC Evaulator, Dog Trainer, and Certified Pet Therapist. Contact Lisa

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