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What's the best way to stop my puppy chewing everybody?

(14 Posts)
SoupDragon Wed 30-Sep-09 19:18:02

He's 12 weeks old now and I need to get him to stop chewing people. Thankfully, he is content with my own hands on the school run. he's not actually breaking skin but it hurts and obviously is unacceptable.

He has chew toys but prefers flesh. I stand up and ignore him/stop playing when he does it but he continues with my trouser legs/shoes/feet.

cordonbleugh Wed 30-Sep-09 19:36:41

Have you tried yelping and immediately stopping play/attention when he does it?

Over 10 years ago, when our old lab was a puppy, the vet told us to nip his ear when he did it shock

My puppies mum gets them by the scruff of the neck and gives a low growl when they do something she doesnt like or they get to much for her, so the breeder is (not too roughly) grabbing them by the scruff and saying "NO!" in a low growly voice to try and emulate what their mum does naturally. And it's working!

NanaNina Wed 30-Sep-09 19:58:00

Soupdragon you puppy is behaving like a puppy! Not sure what breed of dog it is but in some big breeds the chewing gets much worse over 12 weeks and peaks at around 7/8 months before dying away after the first year of life. He must still have puppy teeth (like little needles) and these usually fall out at around 4 months and this canhelp with the chewing.

SoupDragon Wed 30-Sep-09 20:51:38

Yes, I am aware that he is behaving like a puppy! That doesn't mean it shouldn't be discouraged.

Will try scruff-of-neck and growling. Worried about dislodging his new microchip though!

My dad is advocating whacking him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. I think not!

stleger Wed 30-Sep-09 21:13:48

Our New Zealand friend taught us to say 'Ba' sharply, which apparently is the sound New Zealand mammy dogs say to naughty puppies.

minimu Thu 01-Oct-09 09:09:58

You are right it is puppy behaviour but if he was still with his mum she would not tolerate so neither must you!

You are doing the right thig. As soon as he nips or chews you say ow really loudly and stop all interaction with him.
If you are holding him put him down shut the door(so he can't chew your trousers!) and leave the room for a few seconds. If he is quiet go back to him and carry on as normal. The minute he chews (which he will for a while) do the same again. He will cotton on pretty quickly.

I would get him some chew toys - he may prefer soft toys to chew or hard ones depends on the dog. Some love stuffed socks (if you put all the old odd socks inside one sock they love to chew that) Or a special teething toy. I see you have already tried this so go for a soft toy. Obviously be careful of the stuffing and do not leave him alone with the toy.
He will get the message if you are consistent with this.

SoupDragon Thu 01-Oct-09 21:16:20


The scruff-of-neck and growling technique seems to have some effect. It worked like an utter miracle the first time I tried it, it's less effective when he's chewing the children.

Dawnybabe Thu 01-Oct-09 21:35:26

Scream loudly and frighten him. He will think he's hurt you. That's what other puppies would do. A loud yelp indicates that he's hurt you and it should startle him into stopping. Or, if he'd done it to his mother in the litter, she probably would nip him or growl at him or something, just to let him know that he's not the dominant one and he's overstepped the mark. That's what we teach at the training club I go to. Good luck!

valhala Thu 01-Oct-09 22:59:00

Ditto to the OW! screech... it works and is frequently recommended by behaviouralists (plus worked on my GSD when he was a baby). Time is a great thing too, he will get over it, don't stress.

The other important thing is consistancy from the whole family. Make sure your DC, visitors etc know to do the same and do it each time he oversteps the mark. Its very easy for DC to either dislike the "horrid doggie" for his actions or to carry on regardless because they love playing with him, so remember to be as firm with humans about the rules as you are with pooch and you will get there soon.

Congratulations on the new addition to the family too.

SoupDragon Fri 02-Oct-09 07:43:25

Thankfully, the children still love him, despite the chewing! You're right - they need to be "shouting" at him too so he learns he can't chew anyone. They already stop any game if he gets nippy.

I'm cool about him chewing other stuff so he has plenty of outlet for his puppy behaviour.

SoupDragon Fri 02-Oct-09 07:44:41

I think we're going with the NZ "Ba!" as the children can't carry off a convincing growl (I can for some reason hmm) and the breeder's DH was from NZ so who knows

Buda Fri 02-Oct-09 08:07:35

Ours stopped after a few days of us totally over-reacting and shouting 'ow' loudly. Then she would come back and mouth again but much more gently. Apparently this is important to teach them to be gentle.

girlsyearapart Fri 02-Oct-09 08:21:41

Hi the high pitched OW! yelp worked for us too. Do it and then stand up.

envy at your new puppy btw.

madusa Fri 02-Oct-09 09:28:25

my children used to sqeal ow.... it sounded like a yelp and the puppy learnt fairly quickly.

I told then to say ow and stop playing. POuppy wasn't inpressed but her behaviour quickly modified until she only bit things that didn't "yelp" ie bones and toys etc

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