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Tell me your tales of ankle biting puppies....

(17 Posts)
ijustwant8hours Wed 10-Oct-12 11:14:54

Please! I know it has probably been done a thousand times but I am at the end of my tether.

Pup is 11 weeks. I know that he is tiny but I have now spent three weeks growling no and ignoring him and I can't see any improvement! He gets everything else so quickly .

Its mainly clothes, trousers cardigans everything he can reach, but of course in going for clothes he quite often gets skin! Also when I try to get him off he snarls and bites my hands. As an example, he will grab my trouser leg, I do a firm low growly no he bites harder and starts to kill it, it turns into tug of war (which I dont know how to avoid) i walk off to ignore him and he either bites another part of me or nonchalantly wanders off to pee on the carpet. He doesn't seem to register or care about the disapproval.

He would drop for a treat, but I don't want to be rewarding him for biting! We are working on drop commands with toys but it doesnt seem to make any difference.

The DCs are terrified, DH hates him and I dont't know whether to persevere or what.

Sorry for the rant, I have had loads of good advice on the new puppy thread, so just seeing if anyone else has any tales of encouragement or otherwise. Tahnks!

My dog attached himself to DS2's head when he was about 14 weeks old. DS2 was laying on the floor fetching a toy from under the sofa for the ungrateful mutt at the time. DS2 understandably cried, I picked up pup and put him in his crate straight away (which was in the kitchen). He started to 'get it' when we banished him from our presence. DS2 was fine, btw, more shocked than actually hurt. No one expects to have a tiny, snappy spaniel/crocodile puppy attached to their head. I found that a 'uh uh uh!' sound as soon as I saw the demonic gleam in his eye helped, before he actually bit, then redirecting the chomping on to a toy. He was about 6 months old before he could be relied upon to avoid putting his teeth, even gently, on skin. If he gets over excited now, he might grab fingers when aiming for a toy, but you can see him think 'Oh, shit' and he gingerly spits you out. No serious bites or accidental injuries since the head munching incident.

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Oct-12 11:24:21

Hiya - not useful and I've spoken to you on the puppy thread...

Mine's a shark, I'm sure of it, lol.

He loves feet and ankles, flappy hands are fun too, he'll come up and bite your hand just to get your attention, then he'll wander round looking for other things to bite... Furniture, the door to his crate (from the outside, not because he's in and trying to get out), the floor hmm.

Not however, the hundreds of toys we keep jamming in his mouth instead...

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 11:24:45

Of course persevere.

I'm feeling a bit sad for your puppy, tbh. He needs a lot of gentle and consistent training and a lot of love to learn how to behave, and it will take time. How can anyone hate him?

What are you feeding him with and when? How much does he weigh and how much are you feeding per meal?

What is his daily routine? How much training is he getting? What about exercise? Is he crated? What breed is he and how was he bred? How do your children interact with him?

Lots of questions, I'm afraid but without the answers it'll be hard to help.

Oh, I don't know Daisy. DS2 was very anti-puppy for a while after the head chomping incident. Can't say as I blame him. It made me question my ability to raise this demonic ball of teeth in to a pleasant family member tbh. I blame Andrex and the like. They show cute bundles of puppies, all big eyes and squishy, happily lolloping around and sleeping adorably. What they should show is the Andrex puppies viciously murdering huge stacks of loo roll, then munching each other, then chewing up a shoe. Perhaps then peeing on a laptop. That would give a more realistic window in to having a puppy.

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Oct-12 11:44:36

I have to say, mine is very hard to like sometimes... I expected biting, I didn't expect it to be almost constant, you know those wind up teeth you get? It's like he's got those fitted.

You'll manage to get him to stop biting you for a second so you'll shower him with praise - and he'll bite you in celebration.

That's not even counting when he gets all hyper and runs round chasing ankles.

He does get ever so slightly better all the time, but it's really hard going.

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 11:46:07

grin that it would. Mostly they are only charming when asleep.

I can see why a child would heartily dislike a chewing puppy, but not a DH. A puppy hating DH makes me very sad.

ijustwant8hours Wed 10-Oct-12 11:55:29

Daisy "hate" was too strong a word. DH is not used to dogs and is wondering what has hit him.

Pup has loads of love and attention. I have been gentely and consistently training him, I posted ina moment of frustration which I think I am only human in having. If people cant ask for help without being judged then I think thats sad.

He has jwb three times a day 6am, 12 and 5pm. I dropped a fourth feed as he wasnt having it. He has 100 - 120 grams per day he also gets treats through training. He ways about 3 kilos and put on a kilo inbetween his first and second jabs.

He gets lots of training and play I am a SHM so I am with him a lot. He is crate trained but he is never in there unneccesarily and I keep the time the door is closed on him to a minimum.

He is a border terrier from a ladies home. My kids interact with him in a supervised way they Are never alone with him. To be honest they dont go near him without encouragement because they are frightened.

Thanks everyone

I genuinely think that all puppies are snap happy lunatics. Even the most gentle, placid adult dog you meet probably had a few ankle trophies as a pup. They do grow out of it, and with perseverence you'll get your lovely, family dog smile

daisydotandgertie Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:08

I am in no way judging you, just trying to help. And I really do think hate is a sad word to use - I am glad it isn't as bad as that.

For what it's worth, I feel he may be over stimulated. A bit frantic and over excited. Borders are a bit snappy, but yours sounds to be over the top.

I would try making him have some down time - probably in the crate about 3 times a day. It sounds as though he is absolutely wired - running on adrenaline and behaving really, really badly as a result.

Puppies don't self manage very well - and will keep on going and going for ever if they're left to their own devices. They are often far better behaved if they are forced to sleep during the day (a bit like toddlers).

With the biting and growling, he may need a completely different approach - it depends on the character of him. It sounds odd, but he might need reassuring more than bollocking. Try jollying him out of it - nonsense high singsong stuff - and offer a toy instead. Praise like a loon if he focuses on the toy instead of you. I would avoid offering food treats in this situation because it will inflame the biting at hands issue.

We had a pup who reacted to anything she was frightened of by growling and biting - telling her off for that made it much worse. She needed to be taught that we were happy with the situation and thought nothing of it - not to have her nervousness re-inforced.

That of course might be way off mark for your dog. Another suggestion is to find somewhere other than his crate that you can put him for a bit of time out whenever he bites. He is desparately trying to get you to play with him as other puppies would but he needs to learn that it doesn't work and isn't appropriate with humans.

Daisy has just reminded me of the hyper puppy thing! I'd completely forgotten. Our dog used to go completely loopy when over tired (a bit like an overwraught toddler), dash about snapping and generally being a right little git. I used to pop him in his crate and close the door over. He'd whine for about 30 seconds, and then fall face first in to a deep sleep grin. The DC would get him so excited, rolling around the floor etc a snapping incident was often going to happen. A time out really helped.

Rhinestone Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:34

Have you tried the 'yelp and shun' method? Google it. It works.

I also think he sounds over stimulated. You say he gets 'lots of training' - is it possible you're doing too much?

How much exercising outside is he getting?

But remember, some puppy biting is totally normal.

fanoftheinvisibleman Wed 10-Oct-12 13:25:33

Hi 8hours. Agreev that mine gets most bitey when he is overstimulated. If a situation gets too giddy he goes almost frenzied.

It could be a complete fluke and unrelated but the really bad week I had with my pup (on the puppy thread) that resulted in my call to the behaviourist was the week I tried to switch to JWB. he was really aggressive that week and has been fine since but I fully accept that is just as likely to be an age thing. I stopped it for the tummy upset in the send.

Sorry you are still having problems with him. Maybe it'll get better when you can get out and about. Have you found any classes yet?

PurpleFrog Wed 10-Oct-12 14:40:07

Our lab was dreadful at that age. I ended up wearing old clothes permanently in the house and changing 2 minutes before going to work, and the reverse when arriving home. I sacraficed a couple of sweatshirts and tracksuit trousers. Our pup bit harder if you yelped, and turning away and ignoring was impossible with a large excited lab puppy hanging from your arm. We had a playpen and used that for "time out" for biting etc., so that his crate was never used for punishment. After a few weeks I got better at anticipating an attack and tried to intercept him with a chew toy. I remember that he sliced my thumb open with one of his canines one day when I was carrying him inside and trying to wrestle something out of his mouth at the same time.

Things improved enormously when his adult teeth came through.

Two years on, and that stage is just a distant memory........

doublemocha Wed 10-Oct-12 15:11:30

I know we don't have our puppy yet, as you know from the Puppy Thread, I just wanted to give a bit of sympathy really, I can see this happening to us i.e DH getting a touch frustrated.

Only thing I wondered is whether he is in a routine at all with specific 'down time'? I know this is easier said than done etc, and I can only speak from the experience of having kids (!) but it is something that I picked up in Gwen Bailey's book as useful.

I don't want to give too much advice (how can I) but I really hope it improves, it must feel overwhelming.

What are the protein levels in JWB, our breeder mentioned too much protein makes them a touch 'hyper'?

Also a 'time out' area that's not his crate?

ijustwant8hours Wed 10-Oct-12 15:37:37

Thanks everyone!

A timeout space that isn't his crate is a good idea, will have to think of something. Also there is probably something in the overstimulation too, I think I might be overcompensating for the crate if that makes any sense!

I know that it is a phase and that all puppies do it to an extent, but it is really reassuring to hear that it does end!

DH doesnt know what it is like to live with a dog, so he doesnt know that a dog is different to a puppy and I think he is worried that things will always be so full on. His anxiety rubs off on me as I get anxious that the dog wont improve and it will my fault!

What happened with my kids was that there would be something that was driving me mad and it would get to the stage where I didnt think I could cope, and then it would change. So maybe that will happen with the puppy too!

ijustwant8hours Wed 10-Oct-12 16:29:20

And Daisy - sorry! I was having a very bad morning!

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