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10 month old puppy bit DS - advice needed please

(18 Posts)
ghostofawasp Mon 13-Jan-14 09:48:15

He has never bitten anyone before. We got him at 12 wks and he's a Cavalier King Charles (who we got because they're supposed to be great around kids!) When we first got him and he had baby teeth he used to mouth our hands but he quickly stopped and hasn't done it since.

He is completely over the top bonkers and we were told that he was the most playful of the litter. He's still very young but I have been trying to train him NOT to jump all over people/other dogs when he first meets them- but it's an uphill battle. He's always excited first thing in the morning and when the DSs come in he jumps up and down all over them. I've taught them to stand still and wait for him to stop but the other day the puppy went further than jumping and actually bit DSs arm and left a bruise.

I feel horrible about the whole thing, for DS, and for the dog as it's obviously my fault for not having successfully trained it out of him. I'm just not sure what to do going forward - was this a blip? Can he be trained out of this? What should we be doing to sort this out? We've recently moved house so am wondering if he's unsettled which has caused this? Any advice very welcome. sad

lougle Mon 13-Jan-14 10:13:54

He was trying to get a response from your DS and because he was so excited, he went too far.

Do you use a clicker with treats at all?

My 2 year old staff/x goes bonkers when people come into the house, including direct family (ie. myself, children, DH). We've managed to train in some behaviours:

-He knows that if he has something for me to tug, I'll tug it (this gives the children the chance to get in the lounge). So his instinct when he sees us is to find his rope.

That might be a good thing to try. It doesn't have to be tugging, and doesn't have to be a rope, it could be a favourite toy.

So, you'd need to get the dog used to playing with that toy, then make a big fuss with that toy when you come in. Over a short period, he should start to look for the toy when you arrive, in anticipation.

Secondly, find a treat that he adores. My dog goes wild for Good Boy training treats. When someone comes to the door, I show him the clicker (which he associates with the Good Boy treats) and he comes running. I click and treat him for sitting, laying down, giving me a paw, going to his bed, etc., for 5 minutes or so until he calms.

popsgran Mon 13-Jan-14 12:55:59

get an indoor kennel and use it, not a punishment but a safe place for the dog to eat and sleep. keep him on a lead when visitors come .Dog behaviour doesn't stay the same he was trying to get a response from your child.see him as another child and teach him as you would the human children. Dont give him a chance to get it wrong. hence Kennel, lead under your control. Never leave a child under 10 and a dog alone together, neither can be trusted. See blue cross web site for advice.he is a teenager, will be horrid for a while, they try and push boundaries. take control, be kind, consistent and firm

SnakeyMcBadass Mon 13-Jan-14 13:01:53

Sympathies. I have a 10 month old poodle cross who is pushing boundaries like buggery atm. He bit me last week, but he was playing with the other dog and I stupidly got between the as it was getting out of hand. It bloody hurt sad I yelled so loudly that he was shocked and smothered me in appeasing licks. He also bounces up at everyone and hangs off clothes etc when too excited. It's tedious but we ignore him until he calms down and then give him a fuss.

Booboostoo Mon 13-Jan-14 14:52:06

Are you taking your dog to training classes? They are a must for all dogs, but particularly for young dogs. Find someone who uses positive reward methods and it will do your puppy the world of good. It will help him learn to concentrate on you and help you learn how to deal with all sorts of different situations.

How much exericise is the puppy getting? You don't want to be doing enormous amounts of walking at this age because he is still young but you can try to keep him stimulated in other ways like playing with toys or training.

At the same time the puppy needs to learn to calm down. The ignoring technique is a good idea, but if it is not working try something else and don't leave the children to do the training, i.e. step in and deal with the dog yourself if he is hyper. Is he crate trained? Crates are very useful for giving the dog a place to relax a bit. Or try distraction with a great chew or straight out in the garden to play retrieve with his ball. You just have to see how the puppy reacts, some calm down if given the chance to expend the energy, some need to be left to relax with little stimulation.

mrslaughan Mon 13-Jan-14 19:17:10

I think everything that everyone up post has said is true......but also I walk with a 10 month old great dane, who is shall we say....going through a very challenging phase.....but it is a phase, and you just have to keep on working through it. I think you need to ask yourself if your puppy is getting enough mental stimulation?

Could you give him his "breakfast" stuffed into a kong and give it too him just before the kids come downstairs in the morning? So he is distracted from the kids (by food) and also has to work for will keep him busy for a while and tire him out mentally?

I just also wanted to say, that you said that you got a King charles spaniel because they are great with kids - but he is still a puppy, and I have to say any puppy has the potential of not being great with the kids, no matter what the breed (tempted to say all puppies are not great with kids.)

ghostofawasp Mon 13-Jan-14 20:30:15

Thanks for all the replies, really appreciate it.

I have to say I do wonder if he gets enough mental stimulation and was going to post something separate to find out what your dogs do all day? grin

Although I work from home it's quite demanding so I don't get much time to play/train during the day outside of the times where we go out and my lunch break. I do often feel under pressure to be interacting with him a lot and guilty that I can't - it's like having babies all over again! So what does a happy dog's average day look like?

ghostofawasp Mon 13-Jan-14 20:45:40

Also I sometimes wonder if getting another dog would be company for him and might calm him down? Or is that just total insanity? I can't really afford another but I do sometimes wonder if it would help...

Owllady Mon 13-Jan-14 20:51:41

Total insanity
Take home to training regular
Follow up at home. All will be well!
I am at home it's
Up small feed, left as I do school run, shop whatever
Back for walk
She sleeps relaxes, let out for exercise toilet
I do whatever she does milling about the house and behaves like a dog
Children come home from school and terrorise her ;) play with her
She's asleep now, will be let out in a bit and then she will go to bed. It's straightforward you just need to be firm

ghostofawasp Mon 13-Jan-14 21:12:53

Owl that reads like a contemporary poem. wink

I can't let him roam unattended or he eats the kids' toys, chews the furniture and sneaks into the bedrooms to mark his territory... sad

Owllady Mon 13-Jan-14 21:18:45

Our dogs have never been allowed upstairs, we have a staircase atm for young UN
Sorry I have upset someone else with my typing, I am on my son's kindle blush

InTheRedCorner Mon 13-Jan-14 22:43:48

No to upstairs, pup has full control of the kitchen and I ask DC to leave her be when she is in there plus her crate and garden run.

It's hard, I'm the only one out of 5 of us that still loves her to bits and views her as a toddler approaching teens. She has bruised my legs with mouthing whilst playing, it's a phase I hope

Dirtybadger Tue 14-Jan-14 00:27:03

Find a good trainer and work on impulse control.

You can find some exercises to get you started at home online. Search on youtube for "Susan Garrett's- It's yer choice". "Scallywagsdogs impulse control" also bring up a video (by Sally Bradbury). "Kikopup impulse control" will also bring some stuff up. Finally "Donna Hill Impulse control". They're my favourites smile

Booboostoo Tue 14-Jan-14 08:07:14

Puppies do need a lot of time and attention, but getting another dog will only add to your workload not reduce it!

Can you not spend small amounts of time with him through-out the day? E.g. do 5 minutes of training as you wait for the kettle to boil, or take a 5 minute break and throw a ball for him. He does sound a bit bored and understimulated. Does he get a morning walk and a lunch time walk? Does that include off-lead exercise? Do you take him to different places?

My situation is a bit different but the dogs are out with me all morning long when we do the horses, then sleep in the afternoon and go for a lead walk in the evening.

ghostofawasp Thu 16-Jan-14 17:52:32

Owl- sorry, didn't mean to make you blush - I like the poetic approach! Thanks for all the tips, will hang fire on pup #2 for now and work on impulse control...

EvenBetter Thu 16-Jan-14 20:33:25

Other ways to mentally stimulate dogs include things like a stuffed Kong (there's tonnes of recipes online, but you can stuff them with banana, liver paste, kibble, cheese, scramble an egg inside them etc),
Scatter their dinner in the garden so they have to work a bit to get it.
Hide and seek with toys in the house (you'll have to teach them this)
Teaching sit, lie down, paw, roll over, bark etc. with a clicker.

BullyMom111071 Thu 16-Jan-14 21:05:19

Hi, this sounds like a playful nip not a bite. Its different when a dog is aggressive and bites he just needs to go to some more dog training classes. My dog used to leave scratches on my kids, unfortunately it is something you go through with a young dog. Don't worry too much about it.

Whoknowswhocares Sat 18-Jan-14 18:45:14

For the jumping up an play biting a very useful exercise is to teach them an appropriate 'meet and greet' response

Put dog on lead. Put in a sit at your side.
Allow someone to approach....a dog aware adult to start with! The SECOND the dog lunges forward or jumps, the person turns tail and calmly walks away. Resettle dog in sit at your side. Don't correct the dog verbally or physically.....the object is to let the dog realise that it's act of lunging/jumping that sends the person backwards. Repeat ad nauseam until the dog realises the only way to get what it wants (ie to say hello)is to sit still and quietly. Repeat with various people and in various progressively more stimulating situations
It is very Important to make sure the person approaching does not make eye contact as this gives a mixed message to the dog. It takes time but definitely works!

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