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Our dog is biting

(32 Posts)
tickleyourpickle Fri 30-Dec-16 16:23:30

We got our lovely dog in October, he was a rescue but not from a rescue centre, we re-homed him from somebody getting rid of him. We got him when he was 12 weeks old.
Since we have had him he has been biting a lot. We have put the biting down to teething and he has lots of chew toys, antlers ect.

Cut a long story short, today, he has bit my DS, he caught him on his lip and there was blood everywhere, it was awful. DS was sat on the sofa watching tv at the time and the dog just jumped up and went for his face.
My DD also has a lot of scratches on her arms from where the dog has jumped up at her and bite marks on her hands.

I really don't know what to do, I have to put my children first, either they or the dog seem to be in a closed room at all times, the children are like prisoners in their own home and the dogs getting put away in a room. I don't trust him around them and it's making normal family life impossible.

Jayfee Fri 30-Dec-16 16:41:18

i had a similar experience. Previous to getting the dog, my dd had been bitten by the babyminders dog and had a scar on her face which upset me greatly as i felt guilty at leaving her. we got our own dog when i gave up work to be with ds and dd. for two weeks the dog was always nipping at the children and i was like a nervous wreck. then he nipped my sons face just above the eye and made it bleed.

we took the dog to the vet for his vaccination and asked the vet about his behaviour. the vet grabbed the dog and held it in a submissive pose which upset me. the vet said if i wasnt prepared to dominate the dog, i wouldnt be able to control its behaviour. now i know you will get masses of replies from dog lovers with advice, but i did what the vet advised and rehomesd the dog. the dog was very happy with a family with no children who idolised him.

Whatslovegottodo Fri 30-Dec-16 16:47:37

jayfee that vets advice was horrific! shock. The dominance theory has been long outdated and forcing dogs into submission so they repress their stress signs is very dangerous.
OP, you need to contact a behaviourist who works with positive training methods at 5 months old your dog needs proper training to learn how to behave in the family. Positive reinforcement training doesn't mean not having boundaries either.
This pup has had an uncertain back ground, and a lack of training. You now need to put the effort in to correct this. What breed is the dog? How old are the kids?

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 16:48:22

Get a new vet. That vet would have been on his ass for abusing my dog.

OP you need outside help. Join the Facebook go 'Dog Training Advice and Support'post this and they will find up to date and ethical help local to you.

tickleyourpickle Fri 30-Dec-16 16:54:31

Thank you for replying, we are unsure of his breed, he looks Lab, staff, weimeraner.
The children are 6 and 4, they are very good around him, we knew for around 6 months we were getting a dog and we spent that time teaching and talking to them about no running around, giving space, ect ect they like to play with him but in the sense they will throw a ball and he will bring it back.

The dog is very good around me and DH, he rarely nips us now. But he does target the children.
I've been looking into a behaviourist to come and visit us at our house, I think I've found a good one and then this happened today sad
And it's just really frightened me, the amount of blood! I know it was because he got his lip and obviously lips bleed more than if it was his hand but it's just really hit home how bad things are.

TrionicLettuce Fri 30-Dec-16 16:57:50

Jayfee I'd be reporting that vet to the RCVS, that's unbelievably inappropriate behaviour on their part.

I agree you really need to get his behaviour assessed by a proper behaviourist and then go from there. Anyone can just set themselves up as a behaviourist so I'd go through an organisation like the APBC or CAPBT to find a reputable one.

PinkSwimGoggles Fri 30-Dec-16 16:57:56

it's the only sensible thing to do really

The dog is very good around me and DH, he rarely nips us now ffs

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:00:09

Pups nip until they are taught not to. PTS is a total over reaction ffs.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 30-Dec-16 17:00:54

Don't be ridiculous - it's a 5 month old pup, who needs training, not pts ffs

Whatslovegottodo Fri 30-Dec-16 17:01:25

Check this website out in the mean time it's got lots of good resources on it.
At that age it's like the dog is trying to instigate rough play with your children. A good behaviourist and some dog training and careful monitoring and hopefully will all come OK. Is your son ok?

Girlwhowearsglasses Fri 30-Dec-16 17:01:55

Sorry but you need to rehome asap before this dog does something that means he has to be PTS. Find someone without kids who wants to invest in him.

Whatslovegottodo Fri 30-Dec-16 17:03:17

pinkswim DFOD. It's an untrained baby. Behaving like an untrained baby. Totally the adult humans responsibilty to manage. The pup is as blameless as the child in this situation.

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:04:05

Again. This is a 5 MONTH OLD PUPPY!

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 17:09:00

Do you know the difference between mouthing and biting op?

My cocker spaniel stopped mouthing and biting at around 10 months old (about a month ago now), when she had her first season.

Until then she would always but your hand/foot/fingers/toes/arm in her mouth to "feel" it unless you distracted her from it. Mouthing is just normal behaviour. There is nothing whatsoever malicious, dangerous or nasty about my pup, she's just being a puppy!

llangennith Fri 30-Dec-16 17:10:14

Rehome somewhere where there are no children. Some dogs nip by nature. DIL has a large jack Russel type mongrel that nips small children and dogs so she's always muzzled when out if the house, and crated on the rare occasion a child visits. Lovely dog apart from the nippingsmile

Costacoffeeplease Fri 30-Dec-16 17:12:57

Can some people not read that it's a 5 month old pup?? confused

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Fri 30-Dec-16 17:13:26

It sounds like a puppy mouthing.
They are just like toddlers, they cannot regulate their strength yet. They all do it.

Just keep saying No, firmly but calmly and remove pup when it gets too excited.
It will pass. It's not malicious.

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:16:49

No point in saying no. Dogs don't speak English.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Fri 30-Dec-16 17:18:29


Hoe do they know Sit and Down then?

tickleyourpickle Fri 30-Dec-16 17:20:14

Just to clarify, being pts is absolutely not an option. And when I say he rarely nips me or DH I mean in a playful way.
He is absolutely not aggressive, in anyway, sorry I should have put that in the OP.

He is nipping and biting or as pp said, mouthing, it's just that today he has drawn blood, and it's frightened me. A lot.

I don't think taking him to external training would be helpful as it won't show how he is behaving with the children, I think a behavioural expert coming to our home would be best so he can see how the children and the dog are together.

The kids are both upset after what's happened today, and won't go near him, it's just a big mess and the likely hood of getting anyone to us in the next week is slim, so what do I do in the meantime

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:21:41

Puppy Biting and Play
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.
Show More Reactions
You and 43 otherss*
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Sally Bradburyy*
Helen Enderby
LikeMore · 28 January 2014

Helen Enderbyy*
Thanku x
See translation
LikeMore · 28 January 2014

Patch W-ee*
Brilliant advice, thanks.
LikeMore · 9 March 2014

Dianne Davidsonn*
David Quernsy Davidson
LikeMore · 26 September 2014

Elizabeth Elmore-Elkinn*
I've followed this advice since we got our puppy 6 weeks ago and so far she hasn't destroyed anything she isn't supposed to. I have almost rearranged the house though and have stair gates again!!!
Like2More · 27 September 2014

Emily Hartt*
Can't wait to try this. My boy is 8 weeks and gets very excited. He loves nipping everything. The worst bring feet and bottoms of trousers. Is there anything I can do? Xxzx thanks 
LikeMore · 8 October 2014

Elizabeth Elmore-Elkinn*
Emily Hart, my ACD was breed to nip cattle so we had a battle on our hands to start with. I used a bitter Apple spray from Amazon and sprayed the kids legs daily to stop her nipping. It took a few weeks of doing this before we got her out if the habit. Now she only does it out on walks when she gets REALLY excited and tries to 'round up' the kids. I'm going t start taking the spray out with us!!!
LikeMore · 9 October 2014

Sally Bradburyy*
That's a bit like taking a painkiller for a headache when really you need new glasses.
Like2More · 9 October 2014

Elizabeth Elmore-Elkinn*
I feel we've stopped the behaviour before it became a habit. We still use distraction techniques and offer her toys she is allowed to chew.
LikeMore · 9 October 2014

Sally Bradburyy*
Aversive sprays are not something I would ever recommend using simply because they are aversive.
Like1More · 9 October 2014

Elizabeth Elmore-Elkinn*
I see where you are coming from but all it is doing is making something smell unpleasant enough to stop the dog nipping it. I don't condone the use of the likes of citronella collars which spray when a dog barks. This is the same a using a Stop Chew spray on the furniture to stop a dog chewing it.
LikeMore · 9 October 2014

Emily Hartt*
Any tips Sally?
LikeMore · 9 October 2014

Katarina Ullstenn*
No it is not Elizabeth Elmore-Elkin citronella is very unpleasant for the dog so is the spray even if odourless and can have unintended consequences as the dog can make aversive associations with something unrelated if it barks this can lead to at worse aggression towards another dog/person or fear of anything the dog may associate with being sprayed. Basically it is aversive and therefore not recommended. As for Stop Chew it may stop the unwanted behaviour but will not do anything to address the underlying cause as to why the dog is chewing and may lead to other unwanted behaviours due to anxiety or what other reason there may be for the dog chewing. As for puppy biting just follow the suggestions Sally Bradbury has posted above.
Like1More · 9 October 2014

Katarina Ullstenn*
To prevent nipping the children simply teach the dog an incompatible behaviour like carrying a toy preferable a tuggy toy so that you can interact and redirect your dog to something else rather then the kids. If you use the spray when the children are present you will run a very real risk of the aversive association mentioned above and if you are not careful your dog may become aggressive towards them.
Edited · Like1More · 9 October 2014

Elizabeth Elmore-Elkinn*
Katarina Ullsten, please note that I said I do not condone the use of spray collars. I do not and never have sprayed my puppy with anything. Indeed I spray my children's legs to make them taste not so nice and so deter my dog from nipping. This is done before they come into contact with her usually first thing in the morning when she is excited and they are In another room from her when it is done. There is no underlying cause there apart from the fact that she is an Australian Cattle Dog and it is In her make up to nip. The Stop Chew is hiding nothing more than natural behaviour from my PUPPY. Believe me, there is absolutely no underlying behaviour there whatsoever. She is 15 weeks old and doing what puppys do. I do also have a selection of chew and tug toys on hand and always give her something appropriate to chew. The nipping has almost gone and we have had no behavioural issues at all. In fact I haven't had to spray the children's legs for sometime.
Edited · Like2More · 9 October 2014

Sally Bradburyy*
Sorry Emily Hart, Didn't see your question The tips are all in the article but if you want to start a new thread with your question I'll be happy to help.
Like1More · 9 October 2014

Lynne Spencerr*
Very helpful, thanks. Sharing
LikeMore · 22 August

Anne Raynerr*
one of the puppy owners in my last puppy course who had a very bitey standard poodle puppy who wanted to chew her trousers legs a lot wore wellingtons in the gardnen ( and sometimes in the house!) which worked wellingtons were boring tuggy chew more inviting. It really helped the people with children and terrier puppies where the pups were going after the childrens feet as well.
Like1More · 4 September

Ste Manley-Clarkee*
Thanks so much for all the thorough info. I have a Greek hunting dog ( a rescue ) and after so many years since having a puppy ( especially one that is already 5.5 months and already 15 kilos ) this advice is brilliant- and is working
Like1More · 14 October

Becky Louise Dobsonn*
What do you do when the puppy really bites you though? I understand distraction with a toy...but when he is being bitey, no toy will distract him or he won't let go of your trousers. Do you walk away when he is being rough to show you dont play when he is hurting? We have tried lots of different things, but he is really quite bad with biting us and biting guests in our house (even though they are instructed to stay calm with him etc).
LikeMore · 10 November

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Branleuse Fri 30-Dec-16 17:22:22

i think you need to get rid of the dog

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:23:31

They can do sit and stay because you are asking them to do something. They can't do a no .

Apologies for last long post. On phone and copy and paste went mental.

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 30-Dec-16 17:24:32

I was taught that when pups nip to over exaggerate how much they have hurt you. It is something if the pups from the litter were still together they do to each other and the squeal from another pup shows them they have gone too far and to modify their behaviour.

LilCamper Fri 30-Dec-16 17:25:03

You need to use management now. Keep kids and pup separate using stair gates and crates.

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