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Is this normal for a puppy? Bit ds2 and me and made us both bleed plus always mouthing

(22 Posts)
JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 10:41:25

I really don't know what to do with our puppy now, she's 10/11 weeks old now and is always very nippy. We've tried noise aversion but this doesn't work, I think the house is too noisy with 3 dcs for her to pay much attention, tried giving her something else to chew etc but it's not getting any better.

I'm getting quite worried that she's going to hurt one of the dcs and really don't know what to do. She jumped up at ds2 (2 and a half) and nipped his ear (it bled) and then yesterday while out walking she was biting her lead, I asked her to drop it a few times and tried to hold the lead close to me so she didn't see it as a game but she got my finger, which bled quite a bit with cuts on both sides.

Is this normal behaviour? We rehomed her from the rspca who advised the noise method to try to stop her but it hasn't worked. They're closed today as well so can't call for advice.

After she bit ds2 I was so close to taking her back but didn't think it would be fair on her so carried on trying but I'm constantly on edge with her.

She has a crate which we're using but I'm starting to feel the dcs can't be comfortable playing and being children in their own home when the puppy is out. Obviously she's always watched closely and often kept on a lead when around the dcs as we're trying to be extremely cautious, it just seems like it can't be normal?! Surely if every puppy was like that and drew blood then people wouldn't get them? Or am I being naive?

colditz Wed 02-Sep-09 10:45:22

Puppies are like that, it is normal, and I am sorry to be harsh, but you really should have thought of this BEFORE bringing what is essentially another child into a house full of small children.

Mamazon Wed 02-Sep-09 10:46:17

It is normal for puppies to mouth but i would have thought 10 weeks was a bit young.

I also think that they would have to nip quite hard in order to draw blood.
Im afraid i would take her back to the RSPCA and ask them to either rehome her or at least offer you some more intensive training with her.

sorry

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 10:47:39

So what do people do then? What can I do? I appreciate it may be normal and I did consider it all, as I said, we rehomed from the rspca who went through things with us, had a home check, read books and the internet etc but you can't prepare for something you've never had in a way. If you see what I mean. I'm not looking to rehome her, I'm just looking for ways to cope and deal with it.

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 10:49:48

Also, we'll be taking her to puppy training classes from the weekend, she's only just been able to go outside after finishing her injection course. She is a lovely puppy and can be friendly and is learning commands such as sit, leave, stay but down is proving harder to get.

Thanks.

minimu Wed 02-Sep-09 12:47:07

When the puppy mouths at all - hopefully before you get the nip say oww really loudly and stand up, cross your arms and ignore the puppy. (maybe even walk away and leave the pupy on her own for a few minutes) When the puppy is calm you can then give her attention.

If all the family are consistant and do this the pup will learn. it is what her litter brother and sister will do. It will take time but the more consistent you are the better.

I would have no problem with a puppy gate and when your children are playing the puppy can see what is going on but the children can play safely.

Puppies can be excitable and the calmer the house they can be in the calmer the dog always praise calm behaviour. (yes I know my kids aren't calm either!) never give the puppy attention is she is jumping up wait for all four legs on the flour or the pup is sitting before you stroke her or talk to her etc. She justs need to be shown consistent behaviour that you will accept.

Good Luck!

minimu Wed 02-Sep-09 12:47:49

what type of puppy is she?

bethoo Wed 02-Sep-09 12:54:58

very common and is more common in certain breeds than others. is she a terrier type dog?
it is always important to establish that what you say goes as you are the boss. i have a 10 month puppy now who is a spaniel and at first he was nippy but more when he got excited. a firm no and remove from yourself as said by minimu is the best way. my puppy was food possessive and growled at my 2 year old, i was not going to tolerate that at all and it was solved within a day. you must teach the puppy boundaries as early as you can to help mould hte dog into a well behaved dog. now all i have to do with mine is solve the pulling on the lead situation!!! smile

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 12:58:51

Thank you, I think I might get a gate as well, we have stair gates on the stairs but they aren't in use anymore, shame they're the ones that you pull across and are attached to the wall or I could have reused them.

Tried the arm folding and ignoring but she doesn't usually stop, just keeps jumping. I know that as my kids are quite lively that doesn't help either. We're making sure she gets lots of walks now as that seems to help with her excitement a fair bit. When we cross arms, look away and slowly move she just follows dragging on trouser bottoms. Tried putting her in another room but she follows straight away too.

Thanks for the advice, I will keep on trying and get a baby gate too, great idea.

She's a staff cross shar pei, she was born at the shelter and her mum was there. They said she has a lovely temperament (we saw her too) and when she gave birth allowed the helpers in there with no trouble at all. I know she will calm down as she gets older and that the classes will help, it's just getting through the coming months!

Any more advice will be hugely appreciated as the last thing I want to do is rehome her, not on my mind at all at the moment. Forgot to mention, we also have 2 kittens (4 and a half ish months old now) that we rehomed from a different place and she loves trying to place with one of them but is a little too rough. The smaller kitten always fends her off with hisses and going for her (which stops her) but the bigger one just lets her jump on him to play. He won't move or anything, just sits there, he can't meow properly either just squeaks. Obviously we remove Fudge (puppy) from Jimmy (kitten) but he seems to make it worse for himself! I think if he was more like Sid (the other kitten) then it would teach her more.

Buda Wed 02-Sep-09 12:59:12

We have just had this with our puppy too. Ours is a lab. She has just had a week with a dog sitter who has lots of other dogs and I think they trained her out of it!

Failing that DH was doing what minimu suggested. Really over-reacting and then ignoring the dog. She would then come back and mouth again but much more gently. They are trying out their bite and it is an important part of their development apparently. Doing this helps them judge how hard to bite when they need to bite.

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 13:02:21

Cross post there Bethoo, she isn't food possesive at all, perfectly fine like that and seems very clever and willing to learn. I think she just wants to play but is a bit too rough when she's excited. She also seems a little stubborn too, does not want to learn drop or down! We've had her for just over 2 weeks now btw.

doggiesayswoof Wed 02-Sep-09 13:03:08

Totally normal ime. Ours drew blood from me and DD a couple of times.

With our pup even a week at this age made a big difference (and we were doing what minimu and others recommend - ignoring and putting her out of the room briefly as soon as she mouthed)

by about 16 weeks the nipping had mostly stopped. She is nearly 5 months now and while she still gets v excited around the DC she does not mouth (jumping up a different matter though!)

In the early weeks I'm afraid she was not allowed out of the kitchen when DS was around unless he was in his highchair (he's 16mo) it was just impossible. We have a babygate at the kitchen door.

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 13:03:09

That makes sense Buda, thanks, will definitely keep on trying.

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 13:04:44

Thanks too doggie, seems that's the thing to keep trying then Feeling much better about it all now.

doggiesayswoof Wed 02-Sep-09 13:09:28

Good luck! I'd done a bit of reading about common issues with pups before we got her but nothing prepared me for the reality grin

They are just so full on aren't they?

spugs Wed 02-Sep-09 17:17:27

Mine are both nippy but havent drawn any blood. The arms folded and ignoring method worked well for us as did screeching really loudly and then ignoring them if they bit when we were playing/stroking them. It took a while but they gradually got the message.

Like others have said keep the little ones out of her way unless closly supervised.

A chain lead (not collar) can stop them from biting the lead.

Please be careful with the noise aversion, if your timings not great it can go horribly wrong and i know a lot of trainners dont advise it. Have you considered puppy classes? They give good advice (if its a good class). Good luck

ReneRusso Wed 02-Sep-09 17:26:29

You have to teach your DCs to be very assertive with the puppy and shout NO at her if she nips or jumps at them. Then turn away and ignore. Unfortunately, it is normal for a puppy will try and assert herself over the next smallest member of the family, so they are most vulnerable.

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 17:38:44

Thanks. We were advised by the rspca staff to try the noise aversion, but it didn't work, as I said. I think because the house is so noisy anyway. We are starting puppy classes but couldn't until this week as her injections weren't done and ready for her to go out until now.

Definitely already screech when she nips as it hurts! Hmm haven't seen any chain leads but will keep an eye out for those.

myermay Wed 02-Sep-09 18:09:20

when they get mouthy i've always just said in a very load voice NO and push her face away or hold a finger up and then walk away - so far it seems to be working. Have you got lots of chews?

JodieO Wed 02-Sep-09 18:49:25

Loads of chews, lots of treats for training, rawhide bones, kongs, chew etc and lots of toys too. If I hold my finger up she goes for it rather than stopping and saying no makes no difference :/

doggiesayswoof Thu 03-Sep-09 11:43:10

Breed and individual temperament really makes a difference here imo - my pup would always leap and grab my finger in her teeth if I did that too. <ouch>

Saying no or screeching makes her more excited.

Turning our backs on her - she used to leap and grab trouser legs.

It will pass. Consistency is key. Tis a complete PITA while it lasts though...

JodieO Thu 03-Sep-09 16:43:54

Well, the school run twice today seemed to help a lot. She was so excited at first but passing all the children, scooters, bikes etc really helped and she calmed down by the end of it. She's knackered now! 2 mile walk there and back, twice today.

Managed to find a chain lead which is fab, thanks so much for that suggestion, she tries to bite it but drops almost right away, helps with the drop command too!

She was made a fuss of by a few adults and teens too and no nipping! I warned them she was young and nippy before they touched her but they were fine, had dogs themselves. It's going well so far

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