Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Our pup sometimes just completely loses it on our walks--what to do?

We are the proud and happy owners of a 9 month old F1B labradoodle--she is adorable, affectionate and LOVES everybody. She has brought so much joy to our lives.

But....occasionally on walks she will just lose it! No reason, no distractions, no other dogs around, etc.  Just out of the blue, she will jump, bite, and generally be very aggressive.  She won't listen to us, we can't get eye contact, she won't sit. Eventually she will calm down and continue the walk, and do just fine.

What we have tried: Standing firm with our arms crossed until she calms down--she continues to jump up on us and  bite. When I say bite-I don't mean snarling aggressive bitting enough to break there skin, but pretty aggressive mouthing bordering on biting.

We've tried speaking calmly to her to get her calm--doesn't work.

What we have done the past few times is stand on the leash, keeping it very short so that she cannot jump or reach us to bite, and then we wait it out.  She will eventually calm down so we can continue along our way

This just breaks our heart and worries us.  We want to be able to take her out in public without worry.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Oh goodness- I feel your pain! I remember those days too well. More often than not, I would end up with torn sleeves and muddy pants! Teddy went through a huge "bucking bronco" phase as we called it. Literally, out of the blue, jumping, biting the leash, and acting crazy. He still very occasionally gets a wild hair and he's now 4! I attributed it to just not enough exercise in general. I always tried and still try to live by the motto, "a tired puppy is a happy puppy." Sometimes easier said than done though. When he got a case of the crazies, I would do the step on the leash trick and that semi-worked. I would also ALWAYS have treats in my pocket and put him through his paces (sit, down, shake, etc) with treats to try to distract him. Oh, also another thing that worked is to try and tire them out pre-walk. So a little ball in the backyard or something along those lines. Again, sometimes easier said than done. Good luck- hopefully your pup will grow out of it soon! :)

She's still pretty young and I'm thinking she's getting overly excited when this happens.  The key IMO is that you don't continue to move forward while she's in this state of mind.  I think standing on the leash (which prevents the jumping and biting) and calmly waiting her out is a great way to handle this.  Another approach is to turn around quickly when this starts and run in the opposite direction.  This usually takes them by surprise and they stop their reaction.  I know some people who use a distraction like a ball or a toy to "snap them out of this behavior".   If she doesn't get a chance to "practice" this behavior I believe that she'll eventually learn that it gets her nowhere and she'll stop it. 

My puppy Rosco who is now 12 years old used to do this in his first year.  It REALLY WORRIED me.  I realize we don't have the same dog, but he was pretty aggressive *seeming* to me.  What worked was really putting in hard core time in obedience training plus some maturity.  Some time after he turned a year old I noticed he'd stopped all that nonsense, but it wasn't until after I got really serious with obedience training.  And be "serious" I just mean I put in a lot of daily time and consistency.

Thank you all for your replies, advice and reassurance.  I'm sure hoping she grows out of it!

My opinion is that she is having a "temper tantrum"--much like a 2 year old child who doesn't get exactly what she wants.  Maybe she wanted more time to sniff around, or wanted to pick up that stick, etc.  It certainly isn't an obvious trigger.  This doesn't happen with every walk, maybe about 25% or so.  It happens more often with my husband.

I'll definitely be trying some of your suggestions.  I like the idea of the run the other way trick, and well be sure to take a small squeaky toy with us--that might snap her out of it.  We do always have treats with us, as we are still actively working on leash training.

Thanks again--I feel a little better knowing that other pups have grown out of this annoying behavior.



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