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Just lost it with puppy - feel like crying

(23 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Tue 23-Jul-13 16:07:10

Just been out in the garden with the 12 week old puppy, playing quite happily when all of a sudden he just got far too excited and started going for my legs with his little pirhana teeth and claws. Just wouldn't stop and, as he's so small, it's really hard to 'walk away from him' as there's a strong chance you'll stand on him. Result is my legs are shredded (plasters will be required).

Aside from looking a mess, the bit that has affected me the most though is that I just didn't know what to do to get him to stop. He was really hurting me and I was getting so frustrated and really losing patience. Scared the crap out of me to be honest as I just don't know what to do with him. DH is away and with limited contact until sunday so it's just the two of us til then. I know he's just a puppy and learning his bite inhibition but this was horrid. Feel to overwhelmed by it all.

Has anyone got any suggestions? I need to get him to stop but in a constructive way. Frankly, at this point in time, moral support would work wonders!

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Tue 23-Jul-13 16:12:35

P.S. Don't worry, sliced my finger open at Christmas so am all up to date with tetanus!

AdoraBell Tue 23-Jul-13 16:20:51

I'm sure someone will come along with some proper advice, but when I was fending off Two ankle shredders I wore jeans and boots inside the house because OH thought their antics were cuteangry and so didn't do anything I know it may seem too hot for that right now but I'd still use jeans while telling him a firm No and moving him off rather than trying to move yourself away.

HoneyDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 16:23:51

Make a massive god almighty fuss even over the tiniest nip. Bugger what the neighbours think. Turn away in a position he can't sneak another go and avoid contact.

Floralnomad Tue 23-Jul-13 16:26:02

Just pick him up and put him in his bed then let him out in a few minutes ,if he starts again just repeat . My terrier is 3 but he still has mad moments when he runs amok biting everything in sight and I just send him out to his bed and shut the door on him for a few minutes . I know some people will say give them a chew toy but TBH when mine has his mad moments timeout is the only answer .

HoneyDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 16:28:50

Oh God yes, if its a mad half hour frenzy. A nice safe time out is the only thing that works here too

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Tue 23-Jul-13 16:39:02

Thank you all so much for the quick responses! I've tried doggy type yelping, shouting at him but doesn't seem to have an effect other than making him think it's a game. He's a dachsie so a little wriggly thing and I think I would need a pair of these to pick him up when he's like that.

Jeans are definitely a good idea, even with the heat.

He's currently shut in the kitchen being VERY quiet so I think (maybe optimistically) he knows that he did something wrong.

I'll be honest, this is my first puppy and I'm finding it exhausting!

HoneyDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 16:53:00

Last summer I used to spray the dc's with bitter apple spray if they wanted to play in the garden.

She hated the stuff o as soon as she could smell it she stopped biting.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Tue 23-Jul-13 16:54:38

Ooh, good plan! I heard about that for furniture but never thought about it for us!

HoneyDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 17:00:32

Yes. It is also good used on hair if it is long and you do not want to be swung from hmm

pimmsgalore Tue 23-Jul-13 17:15:33

We have a 12 week old shark too grin currently my 4DC all have soft chew toys in their pockets at all times so when the shark gets into his mad half hour attack mode they pull the toy out and try and cajole him into his crate. It works well as usually his mad frenzy means he is either overtired or hungry which means sleep or food in his crate.

Other than long trousers, which DS2 has been wearing in the heat I have no other suggestions, yelping winds my shark up more wink

digerd Tue 23-Jul-13 17:30:32

He doesn't get it, and you are not making it clear to him. When playing too rough with litter siblings they get told in no uncertain terms - loud shrieks and aggressive growls/body language. That is the way they learn.
Dachies need a firm hand as they are bred to be tenacious/stubborn - I know I had one! Full of character and a comical/cute look, though.
At 13 weeks he will start teething and he needs chew toys now and be shown that your skin and clothes are not acceptable to chew on.
I had a rolled up newspaper that I tapped on the nose and or made a noise by slapping the newspaper on the palm of my hand.
They tend to be sensitive to noise, if nothing else.

digerd Tue 23-Jul-13 17:37:47

Pups love tug- of -war games and shaking the

Lilcamper Tue 23-Jul-13 18:52:42

Smacking a dog with a newspaper won't help as he will just lose trust in his humans. Yelping won't help either because a. Dogs are smart enough to know we aren't dogs and b. yelping can actually excite a puppy further and heighten his excitement.

A puppy uses his teeth to explore the world because he doesn't have hands. He needs to be taught how to play in a way that is acceptable to us. You can start by using old dressing gown cords and tie them round favourite toys so he can grab it when you are stood up. Wiggle it on the floor and when he grabs it say 'get it' in an excited voice. When he drops it say 'thank you' eventually you can introduce a sit and you will get him asking nicely for a game.

The idea is to interrupt him before he goes into shark mode.

topbannana Tue 23-Jul-13 19:21:42

I also find that the mad m

topbannana Tue 23-Jul-13 19:24:47

<profound words there>
I also find that the mad moments are much worse when the puppy is tired. When the LandShark was very small we discovered that he was simply over tired as he is incapable of putting himself to bed when tired. Rather like a baby he needs actively "putting down" to sleep and this makes things so much better.

moosemama Tue 23-Jul-13 19:38:34

This Kikopup video is useful.

moosemama Tue 23-Jul-13 19:40:32

Also this one.

littlewhitebag Tue 23-Jul-13 20:20:36

When mine was a pup I had to stop all tug type games or games that got her excited as she became too nippy. I used a 'time out' thing with her. Eventually she got the message. A year and she is like a different dog. Persevere and train, train, train. You will get a wonderful dog eventually.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Tue 23-Jul-13 20:55:04

Thanks all. He seems to have calmed down a bit now i'm hiding in the bath nursing my wounds. digerd DH made him a can with some gravel in which seems to have the required noise shock. I also properly barked at him and he backed right off.

Very reluctant to resort to anything physical, however gentle. MILs retriever gets 'tappy nosey' when she's naughty but, as we'll be thinking about kids at some point, I don't want to make him wary of hands near his face.

lilcamper I've tried toys on string but he got wise to that very quickly and it just seems to aggravate him, I suspect we need to adopt the same approach as you littlewhitebag and try to get him calm.

topbannana I suspect the heat (Dave Syndrome, anyone?) and tiredness is probably a factor. We had a bit of thunder earlier and his stomach seems a bit out of kilter probablt due to overconsumption of rabbit poo so maybe it's all making him extra ratty.

moosemama thanks for the links, rubbish signal on mobile so will watch later. By the way, did the kids escape from the crate?

Thank you all again for the advice. Will let him wind down, then out for a last toilet break, then to bed. Tomorrow's another day! (please make it better!)

moosemama Tue 23-Jul-13 21:52:36

Lastnight, the whole basis of Kikopup's puppy training is that you need to teach your pup to be calm first and foremost. Once they are selecting calm behaviour as a default when they aren't sure what to do or want something from you, it's easier to redirect and then reward them for good behaviour.

It's well worth watching some of her videos for a heads up on how to go forward with completely positive training that will result in a calm, attentive pup.

I say this, but as I don't actually pick up my rescue pup for another couple of weeks yet, I may well be back to eat my words ...

Seriously though, I have been training dogs for years, but have still foud it useful to hear someone else's perspective on it and watch how they do things. It often gives me the kick up the backside reminder that I need to make me do things properly, rather than taking short-cuts or being lazy. blush

Booboostoo Tue 23-Jul-13 21:58:36

Be a bit careful with aversive techniques (like sudden noises). You need to apply them correctly or you risk de-sensitising most dogs to them or freaking out a small minority of sensitive dogs.

Never use the aversive directly. Always use a word that means 'stop that now' to the dog ('no' is a poor choice as it is in common usage and dogs can get easily de-sensitised to it, I use 'uh ah'). If the dog continues then throw the can with the gravel next to him. Also make sure that as soon as he stops you give him a reward.

Personally I only use aversives as a last resort. Have you tried keeping the nicest possible chews/treats to distract him with when he gets too bitey? Or if he simply will not listen pop a lead on him and keep him at arm's length until he calms down.

littlewhitebag Tue 23-Jul-13 22:55:46

I tried the can with gravel. It didn't work. Just consistently removing her when she got nippy worked best. She got the message soon enough - you want to be with us, you don't nip. She is around 15 month now and can get mouthy at times but a firm 'uh ah' works wonders.

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