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Ouch! Your best tips to help my puppy stop biting please.

(20 Posts)
CarbeDiem Thu 13-Nov-14 18:18:02

What worked for your pup?
This little crocodile is biting harder and harder every day, it bloody hurts.

We've been shouting Oww! No! very loud.

She has chew toys which we try to put to her mouth when she starts.

I've tried pointing my finger onto her nose when shouting the above too but she just makes snapping motions towards my finger, so that's pretty pointless as if I continue, at some point, she'll catch my finger.

I tried the yelp, gently and quickly grab the back of the neck and push away - apparently mumdog does this to warn it is too hard hmm She did immediately stop looked at me as if I was stupid then came straight back to bite again - so I'd rather not continue it.

We don't cage her so I can't do that but I do give her 'time out' blocked out of the room if she refuses to stop jumping at the table when we eat. I'll confuse her if I start doing the same for the biting, won't I?

She's almost 10 weeks and is doing the normal mouthing, catching onto legs when we walk, she's found her voice in the last few days and has been practising her growl and bark smile Some biting is okay - she can be more gentle but like I said she is sometimes starting to really hurt.
She bit Dh's nipple today

Any other ideas?

Passamaquoddy Thu 13-Nov-14 18:49:27

Hi. My 11 week old border terrier has this problem and when I reach down to stop him he thinks it is all part of the game! I took him to "puppy party" last night at the vets(highly recommend by the way if you haven't already done so). And the nurse told me about using a 'house line' or 'training line'. It is basically a (long) lead to attach to pups collar (with no handle on the end so it won't catch on anything) and it trails along with pup. If he jumps or tries to nip you can easily tug gently at the line and pup should stop. It has only been day one for us and I have to say it is very effective!

fuckweasel Thu 13-Nov-14 19:00:38

Puppies get left out of playing with their litter mates if they are too bitey. What worked for me was a loud 'yelp' and then totally ignoring them until they are doing the behaviour you want; be it sitting, playing with a toy or just being calm. Start by turning away, no eye contact and arms folded. If he continues, leave the room. Repeat consistently and get all family member to do the same. This definitely worked, even with 'the shark' who would be hanging off my arm on occasion! Both pups grew up never using their mouths for attention. It does get better, honestly! Good luck.

CarbeDiem Thu 13-Nov-14 20:03:43

I'll keep that in mind Pass, Thanks! Please report back and let me know how it goes.
Puppy party made me laugh smile Sounds like a good idea but unlikely I'll find one here (not UK) there's plenty of pups/young dogs around locally though so my pup should be able to find some friends when she's allowed out.

Ignoring her isn't (yet) working FW - If I remove my hands she just launches herself at another body part to savage me again little sod Time and perseverance are probably my friend here smile

Passamaquoddy Thu 13-Nov-14 20:27:49

grin Yes I suppose it does sound a bit odd and I wasn't sure what it would be like but glad I went! It was held at the local vet and chewie the pup had the opportunity to have a really good wrestle with some bigger dogs..I think he had a great time! Have also been out for first walks today and met loads of other dogs and he is totally pooped so I think that has definitely helped his behaviour today...with that and the house line I have not had him trying to hang off me for play every five minutes which was very annoying at times!

EvenBetter Thu 13-Nov-14 21:18:26

Join the facebook group Dog Training Advice and Support, and read the files at the top of the page. Pointing at them and 'no' is pointless because they don't understand English, and you're not showing them what you want them to be doing instead. Squealing and fake yelping just excited them further.
Keep up with sticking a toy in her gob, make it interesting, a tuggy toy, rope toy, old knotted sock, let her do your recycling-egg boxes, cardboard, plastic bottles, paper-she needs to wreck stuff for a few months so it might as well help you compact your recycling bin!

Stag bars, raw bones, a whole raw cabbage, and ice cubes were all popular with our wee one when she was bitey and teething. It's normal puppy behaviour, it's not bad, they need to do it and it doesn't mean she's going to be a bitey adult. It's one of the many, many reasons why puppies are not a good idea for most people.-not saying this is the case for you! Just that their devastating good looks lull people into thinking raising a tantrumming, teething newborn who doesn't understand your language is going to be easy! ��

crapcrapcrapcrap Thu 13-Nov-14 21:54:30

The worst punishment in the world for a puppy is removing the reward of attention.

If you speak, make eye contact, gesture, shout or handle a biting puppy in any way you are rewarding their behaviour and making future biting more likely.

Get up, fold arms, look away and ignore. Leave the room if necessary. And repeat ad nauseum. It will work in the end.

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 13-Nov-14 23:11:03

Also got 11 week old pup (staffy/JRT cross) - is my 3rd staffy pup in 30 years but 14 years since I last had one. And practically the only thing I remember about his puppyhood was thinking "Will this nipping ever stop?" and waking up one day and realising it had...

Have tried everything, as others here - the ignoring, the yapping (that worked for a day now she just wags her tail when you do it and leaps back at you, little snapdragon!) Ignoring is easier said than done as to even do that you'd have to disengage the teeth first (which she tries to re-engage).

Distraction with toys is something we did from when we got her - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

She does seem very bright - will already sit on command fairly reliably too with or without a clicker. And is picking up other words, surprisingly (She knows "Kiss!")

We do have a baby gate between living room and kitchen so have been doing short time outs - assuming her attention span is about 30 seconds, so I always let her back in before she starts to bark and whine.

But as I say you have to disengage the teeth before you can do anything.

Totally with you, Carbe - I feel your pain. And those little teeth hurt!

CarbeDiem Fri 14-Nov-14 06:47:27

Thanks for the FB info Even. I'll have a look.
She's got many toys to chew (plus a sock snake that I made her as she took a shine to Dh's socks smile ) and I try to distract her playing fetch but once she's collected the toy a few times, she dumps it in her bed then attacks us again.

Crap - We do ignore her it doesn't matter to her - she'll just do it again as soon as she's able to. It doesn't help that she doesn't have a crate.
I'm considering getting a safety gate for the kitchen and that could become her 'crate'. I think it would possibly be better to remove her from us completely (to properly execute the ignoring) when she bites too hard because at the moment it feels like a battle I'm losing as she won't take notice.

Ha ha Joff - disengaging the teeth is not bloody easy is it?. I sometimes have to almost prise her off me because it's not just a nip, she actually bites down hard on my skin - my wrist and ankles are her fav places to do that.

I don't want to be too hard on her, she is still only young and has had such a tough awful start in life but I need to start as I mean to go on.
It feels somewhat like I've had a baby but it arrived already a toddler - I say No! or Stop that! a million times daily, I'm sure. smile

Lilcamper Fri 14-Nov-14 07:46:39

Sally Bradbury Puppy Biting
By Sally Bradbury on Thursday, 17 October 2013 at 23:07
Biting is a normal puppy behaviour. Puppies investigate the world through their mouths. If it is within reach, it will probably be picked up and chewed! If it is exciting and moves fast it will definitely get bitten. Dogs play by using their mouths because they don’t have hands.

Puppies need to bite and they need to play. What he is doing is simply trying to elicit play. Play is by far the best way to bond with your pup and is a great way to reward him during training.

Use tug toys that he can bite. Old knotted towels or a favourite toy with string attached. Unwanted dressing gown cords are ideal. You need to encourage him to bite one end of the toy whilst you hold the other end. Then you can have a great game together without getting bitten.

Ensure your tug toys are long enough and soft enough for your puppy to happily bite. Your toy should touch the floor whilst you are holding the other end. This allows you to animate the toy and keep the game low to the ground and not encourage jumping up. It also puts distance between teeth and hands.

Keep these interactive toys out of your pups reach whilst they are not being played with. It will keep them more novel which means the pup is more likely to want to bite and play with them when given the opportunity. Plant toys around the house and garden (out of puppies reach) so you have them easily accessible and as much as possible, take the game outside.

Rotate chew items that you leave on the floor to also keep them interesting.

Do not play with your puppy unless you have a toy for him to grab. Don't let anyone in the house roughhouse with him or roll about on the floor with him.

Start by animating the toy on the floor and saying 'getit' every time your pup grabs the toy. You hold on to the toy and let him grab it and shake it. Let go of the toy sometimes so that puppy is encouraged to come back to you to get you to start the game again.

Also teach a word for letting go. To do this you simply stop the game by putting a finger in pup's collar and keeping hold of the toy, release the pressure on the toy so that it becomes boring. As soon as pup lets go say 'thankyou' and immediately invite him to grab it again with a 'getit'. He will quickly learn to let go when you stop playing in order for the game to start again and eventually the word 'thankyou' (or your word of choice) will become his cue to let go.

Once your pup is getting the idea of the game then you can start to add in a 'sit' 'are you ready' before the 'getit' and before you know it you have a dog sitting and waiting patiently for the game to start.

CarbeDiem Fri 14-Nov-14 10:03:44

You need to encourage him to bite one end of the toy whilst you hold the other end. Then you can have a great game together without getting bitten.
Dpup really needs to learn this one asap smile - currently if I have one end of a toy and she another, it seems an invitation she can't resist to savage my hand/arm. When I move away/ignore/stop playing she just follows and bites again.

Dancingyogi Fri 14-Nov-14 10:20:19

Yelping made Dpup more excited and he bit even more. We tried ignoring but felt the results didn't come quickly enough, Dpup doesnt mind being ignored so much and it is hard to get the whole family being consistent over the whole ignoring thing. Everytually I tried the clicker method, using kikopup on YouTube, this made an almost immediate difference to his biting habit, it's not totally gone, he has to be gently reminded from time to time but almost overnight it removed 90% of his biting habit.

JoffreyBaratheon Fri 14-Nov-14 13:36:15

passamaquoddy, I have just ordered a training line from Meg Heath. Think it might be another thing to try. How are you getting on with it?

Carbe what kind of dog is your lovely looking crocodile? I loved it that you called her crocodile as our first staffy, years ago, was nicknamed "Crocodile" for years - long after she outgrew the infuriating nippy phase.

Passamaquoddy Fri 14-Nov-14 19:21:54

Joffrey, we are getting on really well with it and it is so handy for other situations too. when the kids open the front door I can catch it to stop him from getting out, and I can see where he is most of the time because it is quite long (2.5m I think). Would definitely recommend smile

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 14-Nov-14 20:42:56

I know it's tough Carbe (I've had DPup for six weeks now and she's about 7 months old, and she hasn't learned bite inhibition in her previous life - it's a serious challenge dealing with 15kg of snapping nipping adult-teeth-bearing dog) but it's totally normal and the suggested steps will work if you persevere and stay consistent smile

CarbeDiem Sat 15-Nov-14 08:48:06

Thanks everyone.

I've been reading a bit about clicker training.

Joff - We don't know. She was a abandoned with the others in her litter at roughly 1-2 weeks old. At the moment she looks like a Rottie cross smile

Ow!! 15kgs of dog behind the teeth shock

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 15-Nov-14 11:36:33

Carbe, you have some GSD in there, for sure, I think.

Has some promotional stuff in the middle, but I liked this video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9KQegi4r8k

I'm waiting for the training line to come, now. Meantime doing the ignore, but as Dancingyogi says, results not quick to come and of my two kids currently at home, one is much better at enforcing it than the other (have a dyspraxic 14 year old who has an... excitable nature and slightly 'off' body language so his flapping and fussing just makes the dog more 'cited). My 12 year old is a natural when it comes to dogs and dog training - but they both already worship the ground pup walks on. I've never seen the kids so taken with anything - they grew up with dogs but for the last few years it's only been elderly dog with dementia that slept all day! This little ball of energy, wagging tail and snapping teeth is a revelation to them.

CarbeDiem Mon 17-Nov-14 16:24:01

Aww! glad your Dc are enjoying the pup.
We've just had Carbepup to the vet today for her injections - we have to wait 7-10 days then can take her for walks so long as she avoids poop - then she needs her last set in a few weeks (a precautionary measure I think as she's a delicate thing and didn't have a mummy to pass antibodies through milk)
Then her rabies jab just before xmas but the vet is pleased with her progress - she's really coming on now and nowhere near as sickly as she was, bit of a sensitive tummy but that's all really - she's still on a home cooked diet and supplemented with vitamins/minerals but is eating some puppy food both wet and dry.
Hmm! I'm not sure if she's starting to 'get' what I'm saying - she could just be fooling me smile A few times I've given her an order, she has complied, amazingly it's around food. I was giving her a chance to listen then putting her out of the living room if she ignored. Yesterday and today - she listened and appeared to obey when I told her no! and went to observe from across the room smile
Hopefully she'll soon start to listen about the biting too.

CarbeDiem Mon 17-Nov-14 16:30:00

I meant to add the vet thinks she could have some rottie in her but probably from a few generations back, not directly from one of her parents. It's the little barrel belly, her legs? (no idea why) and her markings that make him think that. He predicts she'll be roughly 20-25 kilos as an adult.
I can see some border collie - her snout is similar to theirs.

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 17-Nov-14 16:55:36

Carbe, agree to the Border Collie, now you mention it! With collie, rottie and possibly GSD in there you might have a very trainable Carbepup on your hands! (Fingers crossed).

My little terrier is resisting toilet training but has picked up "sit" and today made a creditable start on "Leave it!" - seems to really get this idea of verbal cues which surprises me after a lifetime of bull terrier ownership. Must be the JRT in her.

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