We have a fenced in yard and every time I am talking to a neighbor over the fence my 15 month old Sarah starts jumping on me and biting me.
She has just started this within the last month. When my husband and I walk her every day she starts biting me and pulling my arm when we stop and talk to another person.
What is causing this behavior? I am getting afraid to speak to anyone while Sarah is around.
This is pretty typical ‘teenage’ behavior! Sarah is a bit jealous and is trying to control your behavior with her own, and keep your attention on her. It’s similar to the kids who act up the moment mom gets on the phone 🙂
During their adolescent period, many puppies become demanding and try to assert their authority, this is normal. However, it is something that needs to be discouraged and you must never allow Sarah to feel that she is able to manipulate or control you.
Whenever she starts this behavior you need to give her a firm verbal correction right away, I would also recommend having her wear a collar with a short leather training leash (basically just a leather ‘handle’ that attaches to the collar) so that you can also give her a quick ‘pop’ with the collar to reinforce your message. You can see the type of leash I’m talking about on my Leash Training A Puppy page.
If she starts playing up again when you return to conversation repeat the correction and correct her firmly every single time this happens. If you’re outside and she simply won’t stop her interrupting, then take her inside and put her in her crate then go back outdoors. She won’t like being left inside and this will reinforce the message.
Use the same type of correction if she starts to behave this way when you’re out walking, verbal correction and leash ‘pop’. When you’re walking I’d recommend using a prong-collar on her as it will take a lot less force (easier for you and much safer for her) to correct her. Again you’ll find info. on this on my Leash Training A Puppy page. In this situation you can then ask her to sit and give her a treat when she’s sitting quietly to help reinforce the quiet behavior.
If you are consistent and patient she will learn that this isn’t behavior that’s tolerated. It’s important that she understands that YOU are in charge, not her! I’d also recommend getting her enrolled in a formal obedience class as it will help you to understand and train her more easily, and it will be good experience for you both.
Hope this helps, best of luck with Sarah.