Learning Puppy Lessons: Gus Gets A Second Pawportunity

Gus, a boxer mix, was brought to Friends For Life as a very sick and weak puppy, taking many weeks to recover. Because of his unfortunate start to life, he missed out on learning many important puppy lessons typically taught by interacting early on with litter mates and other puppies, as well as early handling with people. During a few weeks stay at Urban Tails, Gus will receive a Second Pawportunity to learn these vital lessons. 

Currently, Gus shows no bite inhibition (controlling how hard he bites) and is extremely mouthy. He snaps, bites, and grabs human hands, fingers, arms, legs, feet and clothing. When biting, he is not gentle at all and bites down hard. He’s not showing any aggressive intentions, but thinks jumping and nipping can be a fun game.

Gus also lacks basic obedience and manners training. He either pulls on the leash or does not move at all. He pushes through doorways and jumps on people or low furniture to grab things he wants.

What Will Gus Learn?

Basic Obedience and Manners are the foundation for any well-behaved dog. Giving Gus acceptable reinforcing behaviors to perform and practice will discourage many of his problem behaviors. He seems to be quite eager to learn new things and see what “works” for him. Being a young puppy still, working in short, frequent training sessions will be necessary as to not overwhelm his young brain.

Impulse Control is also important for Gus’ training program. He must learn to control his behavior in order to earn the things he wants in life. A simple sit with attention will earn him more than jumping and biting.

Bite Inhibition is learning how to control the pressure that a puppy bites down. This is typically taught to very young puppies by their littermates and mother dog, who will yelp and correct each other if another bites too hard. This lesson is then continued through regular play time with other dogs as the puppy grows. Gus, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to learn this lesson and is now having to make up for lost time.

Urban Tails Trainers will teach Gus bite inhibition through lots of hand feeding and delivering toys by hand to teach him to use a softer mouth to take these things. Gus will also have play dates with appropriate adult dogs who can help teach him good bite inhibition and socialization. 

See Gus in the below "before" video. Although a handful, he is quite the cute pup....shop lifting and all.