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Puppy snapping at face

(19 Posts)
ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 10:47:44

Puppy is going through growly stage and has snapped at legs a bit and at my face last night - which I think is probably normal puppy stuff, but obviously don't want her doing it as an adult.

Last night I was playing with her and she was making noises that in hindsight may have meant she didn't like what I was doing (holding her and messing around), she then snapped at my face.

Do I make sure that we don't do anything at all to antagonise her, repremand her verbally with a sharp 'no', or try and expose her to general messing around so she gets used to it?

She needs to be really childproof if possible, so what is the best way?

Getting a bit confused by everything I am reading where the consensus seems to be ignore bad and praise good, but growl if puppy, for instance, growls when you go to sit down on your seat that she has climbed into (think that was the Perfect Puppy book by Gwen Bailey) - finding it difficult to know where to draw the line.

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 10:48:47

PS: She is nearly 11 weeks and we have had her since nine weeks.

WhyYouGottaBeSoRude Fri 26-Dec-14 10:53:19

Dont growl at your dog hmm that would be the equivalent of trying to converse with an angry/sared/confused russian/french/japanese person in their language without knowing any of their language!

If he growls or snaps just stop play straight away and go do something else. Give him space and time to settle and feel relaxed and safe again. Does he have a crate or space he can go to to feel safe?

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 11:19:07

Thanks. Yes has crate. I thought Gwen Bailey was well respected here.

WhyYouGottaBeSoRude Fri 26-Dec-14 11:27:13

Here? As in by MN? There are many people on MN. We dont all share the same views in everything.

Whoknowswhocares Fri 26-Dec-14 14:05:02

Rough and tumble games with a puppy are a very bad idea imo. We always tell our clients not to engage in any games like that whatsoever in order to help the pup learn appropriate interaction with humans.
At an older age with a dog that has learnt the rules of non contact then fair enough, but never with a pup, or play biting will just continue or even escalate

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 15:05:25

who knows thanks for your constructive help. Are you a behaviourist?

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 15:14:27

Why so snappy whyyougottabe? Bad Christmas?

WhyYouGottaBeSoRude Fri 26-Dec-14 15:48:46

confused christmas has been great. I havent snapped at you. I responded to your comments. Perhaps you have misinterpretted my tone.

Whoknowswhocares Fri 26-Dec-14 17:59:44

Not a behaviourist, no. But I do work as a trainer in a KC approved training centre, teaching all levels from tiny pups upwards

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 18:27:38

whoknows I wouldn't say she was having rough and tumble play. She did it again with my mum who was just stroking her side today - a grumble and a snap. Is this just normal puppyness and learning how to behave, or are we going to have to work extra hard at socialising her do you think?

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 18:28:10

OK whyyougot smile

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 26-Dec-14 19:19:16

Gwen Bailey is good but Perfect Puppy has been in print for many years and earlier versions contain some questionable advice IMO, which I suspect Gwen wouldn't stand by today.

There are two main aspects of this OP.

1) Handling bitey behaviour correctly. The contact and attention stop immediately the teeth come into contact with skin, thus teaching the puppy that biting results in withdrawal of attention. Pushing, verbally reprimanding, scuffing etc all involve giving more attention and will make puppies worse. Getting up and walking away, or popping puppy into the crate with a chew toy, will work much better.

2) Avoid the situations which lead tof trouble - you'll soon spot the warning signs of an overstimulated puppy and head off the biting by offering an appropriate toy or settling them in their crate for quiet time with a Kong. Likewise avoid games involving hands and make sure children are supervised by an adult who can intervene before the puppy reaches biting frenzy.

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 26-Dec-14 19:24:14

When your mum was just stroking her side,was the puppy showing relaxed, happy body language or is it possible your mum hadn't noticed the puppy was uncomfortable?

If I'm in the queue at the Post Office and someone likes the look of me and starts touching me, without my permission, I'll snap at them too. Unfamiliar or new people handling a little puppy who is uncomfortable may be enough to provoke a snap. Yes, you do need to socialise her more but that doesn't mean force her to endure lots of interaction - it means gradually acclimatise her to handling by making sure she makes positive associations with it eg get your mum to hand feed her treats while gently stroking her, and only doing what the pup seems comfortable with.

Life Skills for Puppies would be a good buy for you OP.

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 20:04:44

crapcrap how do you stop the crate becoming a place of punishment?

How much time would you expect a 10-12 week old puppy to be crated?

I think she is also tired. She sleeps brilliantly at night (or I think she does, she doesn't make a noise), but is alert when I feel she should be sleeping and is having quiet time during the day. I hope she will begin to settle now.

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 26-Dec-14 20:07:13

Each time she goes into the crate, give her a stuffed Kong. I prefer to give all meals from Kongs and skip bowls all together. This way she will learn that lying quietly in her crate is a nice, rewarding thing to do - and she'll feel happy there smile

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 20:21:52

But surely if she does something 'bad' and you put her in the crate with a stuffed kong, you are rewarding for the 'bad' thing? Or do you mean the rest of the time put in crate with a kong?

crapcrapcrapcrap Fri 26-Dec-14 20:44:59

Puppies and dogs learn by association. If she's getting hyper, ideally you crate her before she does anything undesirable. The crate isn't a punishment or a reward - just a tool to give her time out.

The fact that the interaction stops when she bites is "punishment" enough. The Kong rewards being in the crate, not biting. If you regularly produced a stuffed Kong within two seconds of her biting you then you would be rewarding biting. As it is you're interrupting the unwanted behaviour and redirecting her to do something desirable (lie quietly in crate, helped along by a Kong). It's all about the timing.

I hope I've explained that clearly - let me know if not.

ScrummyPup Fri 26-Dec-14 21:03:10

*crapcrap8 thanks.

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