Puppy biting continually

(31 Posts)
negrilbaby Sun 12-Jul-15 09:37:45

DDog is now 11 weeks old and getting very big. I am really struggling though with how to deal with his mouthing and biting.
If he hasn't seen us for a while (eg he's been asleep) he gets very excited. In the mornings I can't walk around the kitchen to get his food without him biting at my legs. When I put my hands down he bites at those too. He's worse with the children - barking and jumping. I've taught them to ignore and stand still but it has no effect.
I've stopped play if he gets too boisterous. We pick him up and place him outside when he barks at the children (and cats!). This morning I've tried using treats to reinforce good behaviour - seemed to work but early stages.
When he is calm he is lovely, cuddly and very affectionate, but he's too big to be biting and jumping up.
Any advice will be welcomed!

CustardOmlet Sun 12-Jul-15 15:19:16

Yelp like a puppy loudly at him when he bites. When puppies play with their litter mates they bite a lot but learn when you cry in pain they are biting too hard. If you ignore it he won't know it hurts. Stopping play at the same time teaches that he's gone too far.

negrilbaby Sun 12-Jul-15 16:51:44

Thanks for coming back to me. I have been yelping - but that seems to excite him all the more.

Elliptic5 Sun 12-Jul-15 21:32:32

We're going through this with a Labrador puppy. Previous pups have responded well to yelping but just like your puppy our latest one just gets more excited.
Currently we are taking a really calm quiet approach and removing ourselves from him when he bites - using a baby gate so we can still see what he is doing. During his calmer periods we are training him with 'drop' and 'leave it' - followed by a reward. I am also trying clicker training, which I have used with older dogs but never puppies.
I think we are getting some improvement but the biting and nipping is still bad when he is overtired.

DunelmDoris Sun 12-Jul-15 22:59:25

Make sure everyone (you need to watch children like a hawk, and support them to do this) withdraws all attention as soon as teeth cause pain. No verbal interaction, even to say "no", no pushing away, no eye contact. Just withdraw all interaction.

If everyone is consistent, and you are vigilant for the times and signs of impending over excitement, this technique works quickly.

imabusybee Mon 13-Jul-15 07:30:34

Does he have access to toys he is allowed to chew? He's probably teething so making sure he has a variety of teething aids available & when he's mouthing you replacing your arm with an appropriate toy should help.

Elliptic5 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:15:19

Dunelm I understand the no interaction but it's very hard to do nothing when a puppy has got his teeth in your leg, that's why I've been using treats. Do you think this approach is ok?

Also when he has got hold of my trousers I don't react at all but he makes his own "tuggy" game with my trouser legs.

Elliptic5 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:17:06

Apologies negril I'm not trying to hijack your thread, hopefully any advice will help both of us smile.

Lilcamper Mon 13-Jul-15 08:48:18

Look on Facebook for a group called 'dog Training Advice and Support', in their files is one called 'Puppy Biting and Play'.

DunelmDoris Mon 13-Jul-15 08:52:54

Elliptic, when it's like that I think it's a good idea to grab a stuffed Kong from the fridge and pop them in their crate for some quiet time!

MadisonMontgomery Mon 13-Jul-15 08:55:13

Mine was terrible for this - literally nothing worked, including a professional dog trainer! The good news is he did grow out of it, having him neutered helped a lot, and now he is lovely, you'd never believe he was the same dog.

DunelmDoris Mon 13-Jul-15 09:34:44

Please don't expect neutering to help - neutering only helps sexual behaviours. He probably just coincidentally outgrew the problem Madison smile

Carpaccio Mon 13-Jul-15 09:56:06

I distracted with a squeaky toy when my puppy (I've had a few) was biting something I didn't want her to (such as me). I always had some kind of chew toy within my reach...

Our current dog was really going for my DH - she seemed to get a bit wound up by him, especially when she was really tired. So I would pick her up and stroke her until she fell asleep.

Panicmode1 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:51:21

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!!

I found mornings very stressful, trying to get my four children breakfasted and make packed lunches - and then deal with the puppy trying to bite me/them/play tug games with their clothes at the same time. My puppy trainer advised me to give her breakfast in a 'game' where she had to work out how to get the food, or to give it to her in a stuffed Kong so that when the children were eating, she was busy too.

As DunelmDoris said upthread, withdrawing ALL contact AS SOON as the puppy bites/nips works well, but you do have to be consistent! I also had a huge stash of cardboard boxes which she used to love chewing/destroying - and an ice cube used to provide endless fascination. One of the very helpful chaps at the pet store also suggested immersing a rope tug toy in camomile tea and then freezing it - it's very soothing on their gums when they are teething - although I didn't find that it worked particularly well for my puppy.

Hang in there - it DOES improve!

Panicmode1 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:52:14

Oh yes, and I also found that she was far more bitey when she was tired, so after a short play session with the children, when she was getting overexcited, I used to put her in the crate with some toys and more often than not, she'd conk out very quickly.

negrilbaby Mon 13-Jul-15 14:36:52

I agree with Elliptic - it's very hard to ignore completely when he is attached to a piece of clothing and pulling.
The only thing at the moment that stops the madness is scooping him up and holding him until he calms down - not very practical when trying to get children put of the house (or now that he is very heavy!)
I've started to put him in his crate when feeding the children or trying to get out of the house.
We have LOTS of chew toys for him. His favourite is always something he's not supposed to have - shoes, tea towels, door stops, table and chair legs, electrical cables (he is being watched like a hawk!), and underware from washing baskets. He is very fast, doing a quick grab and run to hide in the garden and chew at leisure!
I will try crating a little more often.
Two more weeks before we can take him out - I'm hoping that will help a little.

T1Inker Mon 13-Jul-15 14:55:30

Ok, I have read most of the replies but, giving him a kong is awarding him for his bad behaviour. Don't do it. Remove him gently from your clothing, walk away, ignore.Yelping? Naa, Bark at him, that is what his mum would do. So he really gets the message, otherwise, ignore him, leave him, walk away, he soon will get the message. And do not feel guilty whilst you are doing it, he would get a lot more on his ears if in a real pack. Sounds as if he has been taken away from his mum to early and not really learned social behaviour which you now will have to teach him.

BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-15 14:58:26

I really like this video - it's not just about ignoring, it breaks down all the steps in predicting and communicating about biting and it's all done in a positive way. He does talk about crating too, but lots of management tips here smile Puppy is the same age as yours, too.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9KQegi4r8k

DunelmDoris Mon 13-Jul-15 15:56:35

If it's very difficult to keep him occupied, can I suggest that you bin the food dish and just use several Kongs or Wobblers to give him his meals throughout the day?

I and a young, high energy dog and these are lifesavers to me. Putting food in a dish for her is a waste of stimulation.

mrslaughan Mon 13-Jul-15 16:24:08

I think personally you need to try a few things....with ours squealing at the nipping/mouthing or indeed barking at him just wound him up further....it was like we were saying we were happy to play on his terms.

What we did was turn away and ignore, or separate...calmly.

I think the important thing is to look at triggers - is it happening at a certain time of day, is he tired - puppies need a huge amount of sleep, so is he getting this? Even if he is - part of his training is to learn to behave calmly in the house - and being rewarded for the calm behaviour.

giving him a kong is not so much a reward - but a diversion - it stops the unwanted behaviour , and teaches him that you are not his constant source of entertainment. just remember that the food in it needs to be counted towards his overall food in the day. TBH it doesn't matter if all his meals come out of a kong....

Is he crate trained? a crate - or a quite space is a great way to teach him, that its time to calm down, rest and re-group. The crate shouldn't be seen as a punishment, but just a space for him to go to be calm......it doesn't even need to be a crate - it could be a pen......I don't think just a bed works at this age, they need to be contained.

Elliptic5 Mon 13-Jul-15 20:18:29

Today has not been a good day. My trousers were unwilling participants in a game of tuggy and have been ripped angry, DH is sporting a black eye from yesterday when the puppy threw himself backwards when he was carrying him, and one of my cats has been beaten up by the neighbourhood bully - she is blaming us and not even a bowl of salmon has placated her, luckily nothing but her dignity has been damaged.
All the stress has obviously passed to the puppy who has been a shocker, not wanting to do anything apart from bite us and pull at clothing, even trying to get him back in his crate for 'quiet times' has been a battle.

Peace has now reigned as all the animals are asleep and DH has gone out to meet up with a friend, only supper time to go now then I can go to bed.

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 14-Jul-15 15:14:41

Our pup is now 10 months but was the mouthiest pup I have ever had. Yelping just made her excited and want to nip us more. Being bodily carried into the kitchen and left the other side of a baby gate had limited success. She was also oblivious to being ignored. Just made her nip harder for attention....

What worked best in the end, was having her treats constantly with me. She saw a treat in my hand (at those key times when she was most likely to nip ie: going into the garden...), she wouldn't nip. We taught her "What's this?" for when we want to get her attention - treating her when saying it. And so the odd well timed "What's this?" intercepting the unwanted behaviours, and even sometimes just walking around with her treat bag on me, was enough to stop her. Now she only nips in the garden. And it's decreasing all the time. I did despair of her, though, when she was 3 - 5 months old.

Elliptic5 Tue 14-Jul-15 17:51:06

That's certainly made me feel better Joffrey - he is definitely the worst of the three I've had when it comes to biting, nipping and clothes pulling. However he has been brilliant in other ways, goes through the night without waking, already understands the cats are fed first, and sits and waits for his food to be put down (although he's in it like a pig at the trough as soon as its on the floor grin).
I know we can get through this but sometimes I despair.
He's also very keen on having his photo taken.

NoelHeadbands Tue 14-Jul-15 19:40:45

Oh would you look at that! I'd forgive him anything grin

JoffreyBaratheon Wed 15-Jul-15 12:12:19

He is gorgeous. One look at the photo and I would forgive him anything, too. Here's my little nutjob.

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