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Puppy really growly and bitey.

(14 Posts)
Crumpet1 Wed 06-Jan-16 17:49:21

My puppy won't stop biting. Every time you go to stroke him he turns his head to chomp on your hand, not viciously, more in a nippy puppy way. The past few days he's becoming quite growly on occasion and leaping to bite.
I do a loud ah ah and try and wait till he's calm but I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing. Really don't want a bitey dog as I've got young children. What should I be doing?

LilCamper Wed 06-Jan-16 18:15:37


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/she 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 'thank you' 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.

Dieu Wed 06-Jan-16 18:30:22

My Shih Tzu pup did this a lot at the start, but seemed to grow out of it relatively quickly. So this phase honestly won't last.
I wish I could say the same about his toilet training grin
Excellent reply from LilCamper star

LilCamper Wed 06-Jan-16 18:43:37

Wish they were my words. By a very clever lady called Sally Bradbury. Her file on house training is in the group 'Dog Training Advice and Support' wink

GiveMeMyStaplerBack Wed 06-Jan-16 21:42:26

Also, does his food need increasing? Puppies tend to do this when they are constantly hungry too.

BagelfortheNewYear Wed 06-Jan-16 23:29:36

Also, he may need a quiet place away from the children to rest/sleep if he's overtired.

Look at Kikopup videos on YouTube and join the FB group that LilCamper metioned. Have you got any dog training books? Can get from library if you don't want to buy

PiglettWithAttitude Thu 07-Jan-16 10:26:00

Yes OP, if you are on Facebook, follow the group lilCamper refers to (lil - are you reading the post on there about a collie puppy kept in a 3rd floor apartment - the OP is really winding Sally up).

Our puppy was the same and is fine now, just make sure you have toys handy to play with.

LilCamper Thu 07-Jan-16 13:26:00

I did read it Piglett. I don't know how Sally manages to stay so polite sometimes.

SmileAndNod Thu 07-Jan-16 13:36:53

Goodness I came on to post the exact same thing. How old is your pup? Our 4 month old beagle puppy is constantly nipping - just puppy nipping but it hurts, and it's ruining clothes and making me a bit grumpy as I want a nice calm dog eventually, like you have small children.

Oddly he doesn't do it with any other member of the family, just me. He seems to be losing his baby teeth, any recommendations for chewing toy things at that age? He had an antler for Xmas but doesn't seem that fussed about it.

I'm also being a bit strict about sleep times after a play, as I wonder if he could be getting over tired / excited?

Crumpet1 Fri 08-Jan-16 13:55:38

Thanks for your advice, I've been following what you said lil and I've noticed a big difference. The main thing that's helped is putting his toys away, I thought it was nice for him to have them all out for him to play with as he pleases but he's so excited when I get one out of the cupboard now. Still struggling on a morning when he is at his most bitey. It's such a busy time trying to get everyone fed and ready that I don't have much time to dedicate to him.

Mine is 3 months old smile, also part beagle. I've read so many people saying that they've been through the same thing and then one day they just stop so I'm hoping that will happen here too. When he is calm he is a lovely little pup, we'll just have to keep up the training. Mine loves tug of war type games, have you tried that with yours? Things like a tennis ball on the end of a rope really gets him going. I did read that you have to win more than you lose though so as to keep him viewing you as the leader.

I will join that group now. Thanks again for the help.

Varya Fri 08-Jan-16 13:58:00

My Dobie is taking months to mature. A great chewer and nipper.

Crumpet1 Fri 08-Jan-16 14:15:11

Oh god, I've just seen that post about the collie. It'd be funny if you didn't feel so bad for the dog!

LilCamper Fri 08-Jan-16 17:20:30

Make sure you read the files. You don't need to be the leader.

LilCamper Fri 08-Jan-16 17:32:23

Dogs enjoy the actual game of tug and interacting with their humans, they don't care if they win or lose smile

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