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About the dog

I have a puppy cockapoo (mix Cocker Spaniel and Poodle). He is almost 3 months old and we have had him for a bit less than a month. He is now house trained, crate trained, obeys to "come" and "sit", a little bit to "heel" and most of the time does not pull too much on the leash when walking. Generally, he behaves ok with people he does not know (but he jumps vigorously on other dogs).

The "Ouch" command

He also understands the command "ouch" which is pretty much the only negatively enforced command we taught him and it means "stop biting the thing you are biting". We taught him this command mainly by holding him in the air away from our body for 10-15 seconds to induce boredom.

The issue

Every day, he runs next to my bike (with this kind of item; I go relatively slowly) from home to work and return (2 km one way). He seems to like it a lot!

When he arrives at home and sees my wife or when he arrives at work and sees my coworkers, he becomes too energetic. He bites on everything (incl. people), jump on everything (incl. people) and I fail to find a solution to calm him down. As we (the dog and I) leave the apartment or my office he calms down a little bit but it starts again as he sees my wife or my coworkers. The "Ouch" command sometimes kinda work in the sense that he stops biting on something but directly jumps onto the next thing (but often he just does not care about the command). It can last from 10 to 45 minutes.

I am seeking for advice to deal with this behaviour.


Below are three different responses to this behaviour, none of which have really shown perfect results yet.

The 3 responses

My response (force to lie and wait for calmness)

My response is to say "Ouch" and then putting him on his flank on the ground and forcing him to keep the lying position with my hands (no pain of course). This position seems to calm him down a bit but sometimes he does not seem to calm down and I kind feel pity after 30 seconds of me holding him, so I just release him and he continue biting and destroying everything. Holding him in the air fails as he manage to catch my hands and his harness (and destroy it quite quickly).

My wife's response (ignoring the dog)

She does the same thing than me but she also practice the logic of "stop any motion and ignore the dog". When she ignores the dog, he usually starts running like crazy all over the appartement, jumps on the couch, knock everything down! Even though if he stops biting us, it does not seem to be a perfect solution either.

My coworker's response (let him play if he needs to)

My coworker tends to think I am being too restrictive for the dog (as I mind when he is too energetic with people, when he barks or even when he growls a little bit). His solution is to hold a toy in his hand on which the dog bites and pulls and growls for a while. I let him tried this method only once but we went for a walk with him (we had to go) before the dog could calm down (after just 10 minutes) so I can't tell if it is a good solution but I don't appreciate seeing my dog growling or doing any behaviour that relates to aggressiveness.

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Sounds a lot like typical "puppy wants to play", plus the dog is trying to see how far it's allowed to go (again typical for that age). Maybe tiring the dog out a bit more might be enough for now.

Using some toy for pulling is perfectly fine and won't lead to any kind of aggression. It's a common way to play amongst dogs. Get a special rope for pulling in the appropriate size. This might be one of the fastest ways to get the dog tired at work. Just make sure the dog understands the difference between toy and clothing.

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