Aggressive Behavior Behaviour

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog' started by Brooke__Staley, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Brooke__Staley

    Brooke__Staley New Member

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    Aggressive Behavior

    Hi Everyone,

    My husband and I have an almost 12 month old Bernese Mountain Dog. He has been living with us since he was almost 4 months old. Since he was about 6 months old, we noticed that when he was tired, Cooper would become grumpy, just as everyone does when they are tired. This included behavior such as nipping at our hands and/or clothing as well as aggressive barking. We have noticed that he is becoming more aggressive, especially when he plays. Cooper LOVES to play, especially throwing a ball and/or playing tug of war with rope toys. However, he seems to rough house when playing, as if he doesn’t understand how rough that he is being. For example, I was throwing his favorite ball around with him and he was enjoying it. I threw it, he stopped, and he began to lash out aggressively (barking, nipping, growling, jumping up on me). I turned my back to remove myself from the situation and he continued to show aggression. My husband and I have tried to be stern, divert his behavior with toys, use calm tones of voice, etc. We do not know if we are doing something that upsets him, causing the random aggression? 90% of the time Cooper is very loving and always loves to be with us. When we attempt to discipline and teach him right from wrong is when we see the aggression. I understand that he is still a puppy and learning, but if we can change how we train him to help alter the behavior, that would be amazing. Thank you for your advice and thoughts!
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  3. Lynn

    Lynn Member

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    Hi we have an 8 year old Bernese and we have also owned one previously. They are hard players like to growl when playing. Get very excited in play this is not aggression. Mentally this breed does not mature till at least 3 years old although physically some especially males can be the size of a small pony which is mistaken for having grown up. Qw have always used the words end of game when things started to get to rough, followed by a treat. This has always worked well for us. They do take some training, but are quick learners and are best trained by reward either a toy or a small treat. In your case as you are trying to get the play under control I would suggest a treat. Also things like making them sit and wait for breakfast and tea is a good idea it teaches them to be calmer. He is also hitting his teenage stage and is he neutered although it is recommended not to neuter till at least 18 months old.
    They are quick learners and remember things very well so firm, kind persistent training is the way to go. Also all members of the family need to follow the same rules so the dog does not get confused.
    Try some off lead training in the garden ie: sits, stays, finding treats games they need tiring mentally also as believe it or not they are working breed although they mostly like to lounge around.
    So basically when he starts getting tired or over stimulated stop the game use as mentioned end of game or game over give small reward and move onto to something else and let the dog settle. Use a firm voice not a cross voice and use diversion tactics. They are a wonderful breed to own but can be a little ott at times if it was a small dog you would likely not see a problem but because they are large and have a very strong grip most people mistake play for aggression. Hope some of the tips have helped. Our Dillon was a total nightmare but with a plan and consistency has turned out to be the most rewarding dog to share our lives with.
    Also be careful with the ball throwing and how far he runs you need to look after the joints another good reason for using a cue for him to follow when the game is over. They are mouthers and have to be taught how to inhibit that bite.
    This is a good place to start.

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