Puppy biting hard - what to do?

(17 Posts)
Rockbird Wed 22-Aug-18 12:49:14

I'm not a dog owner and know next to nothing about them but am puppy sitting a family dog for a little while. He's a gorgeous dog and mostly well behaved but the last couple of days he's taken to biting us and really hard. The dcs won't go near him now and, while I know he's probably teething and needs to bite and chew how can I get him back interested in his toys and not sinking his teeth into my leg or foot? Owners are incommunicado or I'd ask them. Thanks.

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Lucisky Wed 22-Aug-18 13:44:02

How old is the puppy, and how old are your children?
All puppies bite, and some can bite very hard, until they learn that it is not the done thing. Add a couple of children playing with a puppy, and it can all get a bit heated, as the puppy can get over excited, and is playing how he would have played with litter mates.
There are various methods, but your children should not be playing with the puppy unsupervised (if they are). For mine, I just ignored her if she started on the biting. I would fold my arms, look away and not interact. After a few minutes I would offer her a toy. Some people advocate squealing if a puppy bites you, and then ignoring, but that can actually make some dogs more excited.
As you are there for a limited time, it is not really your responsibility to train their dog, so I would concentrate on damage limitation. Keep the puppy and children separate, and make sure the puppy gets adequate rest, as they can become a real pest when they are tired.

Rockbird Wed 22-Aug-18 13:52:43

The children aren't an issue at all. The younger one (6) barely goes near him. She's pretty wary anyway. The older one (10) is very calm and sensible. Puppy is 13 weeks.

I tried ignoring but he would take a chunk out of my leg if I stood still. I tell him no loudly and give him something to chew instead but he drops it and goes for me again.

He sleeps pretty well at night and has plenty of naps during the day. Yes it's damage limitation at the moment! We love having him but would like to keep our limbs wink

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Lucisky Wed 22-Aug-18 13:52:52

Re reading your post, I see your children won't go near him. Probably just as well!
Mine used to bite my ankles when I was walking round the house. I just ignored her, but it used to hurt. Distraction is the best gambit. Has he got a favourite toy or chew? You could keep that in reserve as the ultimate distraction. There are loads of training methods, but as I said, with the limited time you have, you probably won't win this one.

Rockbird Wed 22-Aug-18 13:57:26

Thanks for the tips. I'll keep trying the ignoring. He's a sweetheart but has teeth like razor blades!

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Lucisky Wed 22-Aug-18 13:58:25

I cross posted with you.
'No' won't mean a thing to a puppy.
If your legs are bare, yes, it will hurt. Have you tried walking away from him? I expect he just chases you! Have you got a baby gate you could put him behind for a bit of time out if he gets nippy?
No consolation to you, but they do grow out of it.

adaline Wed 22-Aug-18 20:39:18

You need to redirect him - has he or any toys or chews? Every time he bites, shove a toy or chew in his mouth. An alternative is to yelp loudly and turn away - but I found yelping made mine over excited!


Rockbird Thu 23-Aug-18 07:20:55

My eldest gave everyone a toy to hold when we were all in the same room last night, so we were prepared! Seriously though, yes I do try to distract him with a toy. Or he loves those sticks with chicken round them. That is literally the only thing that will stop him.

He is particularly attached to DH's socks hmm.

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SchoolNightWine Fri 24-Aug-18 22:22:43

I have an empty coke can with pennies in, and shake that quite hard when my puppy bites - I do it out of sight and the noise startles her and she quietens down. She's been biting less and less each day since we started with this.

MsHomeSlice Fri 24-Aug-18 22:29:49

blimey OP, they saw you coming...

can you mind our tiny biting un house trained, untrained pup while we bugger off on holiday

distraction and substitution are best, moving onto totally ignoring, an "ahh-ahh" low and fierce, a NO! and ignoring, or a loud squawk and ignoring.

the no and squawking can just rev them up a bit but that depends on the pup

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 24-Aug-18 22:36:53

My puppy is the same age and I’d be so sad leaving him at the moment. I hope it’s a very special holiday they’re on! If that’s what it is.

Is he not house trained either? Sounds like hard work however cute he is.

WomanInBoots Fri 24-Aug-18 22:45:49

It can be quiet effective if, when puppy bites too hard, everyone in the room gets up and leaves puppy alone behind a closed door for 15 to 20 seconds ish. Then goes back in like nothing happened, perhaps offering a toy at that point. Everyone has to leave in a matter of fact way though... no stampeding or excitement, it was easy for me as I was alone with pup most of the time... biting just meant all interactions stopped. They can be horrible little land sharks at that age though! Mine used to get quiet crate time with a kong to chew if they got really bitey, usually meant they were over tired and needed a forced rest!

Rockbird Sat 25-Aug-18 09:10:43

To be fair the holiday was already booked when they got him and I volunteered to have him. They wouldn't have got him otherwise. However we've since been told tbat ideally he should have been returned to the breeder for the duration. Never mind, we're getting to grips with him now and it's a bit easier. We do leave the room if he gets too bitey and it seems to work.

Land sharks is a fabulous description!

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Rockbird Sat 25-Aug-18 09:12:02

He's nearly house trained, has had a few accidents but we've got wooden floors so not especially fussed about it.

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anon135 Sat 25-Aug-18 09:33:20

Puppy teeth are razor sharp! I don't miss that stage. Everytime he hurts you, give a whimper and leave the room completely ignoring him. He will get the message eventually.

Rockbird Sat 25-Aug-18 18:39:09

The little bugger has just stolen dd1's burger (plain burger and bun). Luckily there was only about a third left. Please tell me it won't kill him! There was no getting it off him!

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Rockbird Sat 25-Aug-18 18:39:33

He stole it from the kitchen bin!

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