Dashi is sixteen weeks old and already getting big – a large ball of sometimes naughty fluff! Adorable.
She was on her best behaviour when I was there – like so many dogs seem to be – so I didn’t see her at her worst. In most ways she is wonderful. She is already quite good on lead, she seldom jumps up, she is calm around food and already she is completely house-trained.
The problem is that she uses her mouth too freely! She grabs, nips and bites. She grabs trousers, she grabs arms and she bites hands. She chases and bites shoes, and when the little girl is sitting at the tables she goes for her feet which starts a commotion with screaming and scolding which winds her up even more.
‘Discipline’ is lost on Dashi and only makes her worse. I did notice a growl when she nipped the lady as she moved the little girl’s chair out from the table, and I fear this is the direction it will be leading if confrontational ‘dominating’ methods are used – or anger. They have had several Newfies before, but not one as wilful as Dashi.
There needs to be a lot more encouragement and teaching Dashi the desired behaviour as opposed to just chastising for the bad stuff. They are now going to do all they can to reward the positive. With the biting and shoe chasing a replacement behaviour needs to be taught and they are working on an alternative using clicker training which (now day 2) already seems to be getting her attention. The environment itself and daily routine needs tweaking in order to remove as much opportunity for the undesirable behaviours as possible and to keep her busily occupied.
It is hard to remember she is only sixteen weeks old and not to expect too much of her, like not taking the child’s toys or chewing things that are left about, chasing the cat or getting excited when a child is running about. These things have to be taught patiently and kindly over time, using reward and encouragement.
I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.