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How do i stop biting? Immediately?(31 Posts)
Absolutely had enough. Pup is 5 months old and a spaniel mix. He will not stop mouthing, grabbing clothing, nipping hands, biting skirts. Constantly.
Have tried firm no. Putting him on floor. Yelping. Ignoring it (bloody hard with needle teeth knawing)
I even squirted him with water
and he just rejoiced in trying to bite the stream of water
I have kids and it was dealable when he was 8 weeks old. 20 months bot so much and it's getting unbearable.
Is he getting enough exercise? I use a feeding mat and treat ball for my JRT because he's hyperactive and far too clever for his own good. If he nipped me (he's five now) I used to scream and leave the room.
Also distraction... Give him a firm no then get someone else to call him and give him something he can chew on. If you're in your own, a firm no then throw the toy to distract him.
Two 30 minute walks a day. And often a free run at park.
He has wet food so a treat mat wouldn't work
Brain work. Guve him something else to do. The more he practises an unwanted behaviour, the more he'll do it. 10-15 minutes of training 4-5 times throughout the day will wear him out far more than any exercise will at this stage.
Also don't inadvertently make the biting into a game. Squealing, water etc. is great fun to a puppy.
There isn't an immediate fix though I'm afraid. Consult a behaviourist if you're struggling.
It sounds like it's become a game for him. You need to make sure biting never results in anything at all - think of it as a cue for you to become the most boring thing in the world. This can be hard with sharp teeth but the more you can achieve it the quicker he'll learn.
If he pushes further trying to get you to play then maybe a baby gate you can pop him the other side of for a minute while he calms down?
He's a spaniel (mix) and so all his breeding is telling him to use his mouth. I think this makes spaniels trickier to stop mouthing - because using their mouths is what they are bred to do so feels right to them. Battendog (springer) was maybe a year old before he stopped occasionally trying to bite clothes when she playing. That said, he'll still (gently) pull a sock off your foot if he thinks he you don't mind!
Get using his nose, scent games etc. Don't react to the biting if you can else he may use it as s ploy for attention. I found timeouts very effective when mine got silly, usually it was over excitement and jumping around with my last as opposed to nipping but a swift minute of timeout in another room and she would calm herself down.
I have a cocker and the nickname 'cockerdile' was very true (had the holes in the jean to prove it).
The only thing that made any difference was to remove him from me or me from him immediately. Much harder said than done when he's hanging off you but I used to shove him out of the room or behind a baby gate or in his crate for a short time out. When we let him back in if he did it again it we repeated it every time. Eventually he got the message that 'play' stopped every time he did it and the fact that he wanted to be with us and the result was that he was on his own really was the best 'punishment' for biting.
Also watch out for what I call the 'witching hour' when they are tired and behaviour deteriorates. Try and catch them early on during that time otherwise biting can escalate quickly.
It does get better. I was seriously worried at one point it wasn't ever going to stop but I have now the most placid dog in the world who never uses his mouth even when worried and in pain.
I noticed you also saying he eats wet food. A licky mat (search on amazon) has been great for us as you smear wet food on it and it takes him 15-30 mins to lick it all out and no mess anywhere (get a large one).
A lot of dogs mouth and nip well up until they're a year old - I'm afraid mouthing at five months is absolutely standard in most dogs. Ours didn't stop until all his adult teeth had come through at about 7-8 months old. Then it just seemed to stop overnight.
Feed wet doesn't mean you can't use slow feeders or games to feed him. Buy a licky mat and smear all his food on it and he then needs to lick it off. Or use kongs/buffalo horns and stuff his meals in here. Our beagle gets his evening meal stuffed into a buffalo horn and frozen - it takes him well over an hour to eat it and then he just crashes afterwards!
Also consistency. Whatever technique you use (I wouldn't yelp, it excites them more) needs to be done every single time with every single family member. We redirect to toys. It didn't work for a while and I remember DH getting fed up with it, but now instead of mouthing us, pup brings us his ropes to play with, or goes and gets a chew and sits and chews it on his own. I'd never have even imagined him doing that two months ago, so hold on - it really does get better, often because they've just grown up rather than due to anything we've done, I think!
Things to do
Target their mouth onto toys such as a rope or fleece toy.
If puppy’s tooth touches you, say ‘shame’ and stop the game.
Puppy will learn the ‘good stuff stops’ when their tooth touches human skin.
Gently restart the game in a minutes time and ensure the movement and focus is on the toy, not your hand
Ensure puppy has plenty of legal toys to explore and bite
Things NOT to do
Avoid handling puppy if they are over aroused
Do not lift puppy up to your face for a kiss if you don’t want your nose nipped!
Do not add more arousal, conflict or confusion with punishment or yelping and squealing
Loads of fab advice above, just wanted to add in this video that can help too.
How to stop a puppy from biting (mouthing) (from Dogs Trust):
Great advice from Vallahalagonebutnotf
Ahh bitey 5 month old pups little fuckers!
I trained mine to go get a toy so as soon as he gets a bit bitey i'll say "go get your toys" and he will find something and bring it to play with.
I almost just started the exact same thread OP. I have a gorgeous golden retriever aged 5 months who just won’t stop biting us.
I know it’s not aggressive, his tail is wagging wildly, he’s grinning and he’ll rush up to us while running off the leAd on a walk and grab an arm etc as he’s having such a fabulous time.
We’ve tried the “ouch method.” He’s still doing it.
We’ve tried the distraction method. It works sometimes but other times nothing is as much fun as biting my wrist.
We’ve tried the “be boring” method standing still and it does eventually work but then he’ll do it again within a couple of minutes.
Time out in the conservatory behind a baby gate stops the problem but then he just barks madly and hurts my ears.
I take Hope from all those saying it does get better and the best cure is him growing up.
(He is very cute most of the time though, the little bugger).
Mine was terrible. I still have holed clothes from sharp teeth. They do grow out of it. I would agree with other posters advice. I was careful not to continue play if she got to excited (when she turned into teeth on legs), and made sure there was always a toy to stuff into her open mouth. You will never stop him immediately, it will come with time.
This was what we did. It took about 2 weeks of being totally consistent. When she bit/nipped We all got up and left the room. Completely silently with no reaction. Waiting outside for around a minute and then came back in. Sometimes we had to do it 3 or 4 times in a row but gradually she stopped doing it. She rarely nips now and we've also redirected her "mouthy" behaviour onto toys. But we didn't do this until she'd stopped biting as we tried the redirection but it just didn't work.
Puppies bite. It’s what they do and how they explore the world. Redirect. Always have a chew thing, that isn’t you, to offer them. A trainer I met said have giant soft toys in reach of you but not pup. When the biting starts you grab the toy, wave it in a figure of 8 in front of pup at eye height then toss it away from you. Pup should murder the toy. Retrieve it when the bitey session has passed and put it out of puppy reach until the next time.
And remember. It will pass. I had holes in clothes, walls, me..... It was awful. It passes.
And yes, you'll never cure it overnight.
Ours still tries it sometimes at 10 months but a quick "ah ah" and a toy stops him actually biting. It's just over-excitement and he forgets his manners when he's excited!
The other thing we do now he's older is make him sit down when he's excited and calm down before he gets attention from us. When I get home from work, for example, he tends to go bonkers and I make him sit and calm down before he gets any interaction from me - otherwise he just gets so excited and overwhelmed it's like he can't control himself!
It’s amusing how much power people seem to think “a firm no” has.
Since dogs don’t speak English you might as well say “egg” firmly and expect the dog to understand that that sound means “Cease and desist doing what you are presently doing with your mouth immediately”.
It’s amusing how much power people seem to think “a firm no” has.
'No' is no different to using an 'ah-ha' noise or any other type of command such as 'down' etc. The problem comes from the fact that 'no' is typically used as an overloaded term.
* It’s amusing how much power people seem to think “a firm no” has.*
How is training a "no" any different from training a sit, down or off command?
Exactly adaline. It isn't any different.
The only confusion comes from when people use it as an overloaded term e.g. 'no' don't do that, 'no' get off me, 'no' stop biting me, 'no' don't pee there. But that isn't the word 'no' that's wrong it's the fact that it is often used for multiple things so the dog doesn't understand what the hell it all means. 'No' as one command for one thing is as you say no different to 'sit'.
@PuppyMonkey my eldest was like that (also a GR). He is now 10 and has been my best friend for many years, the perfect dog. Spirited and cheeky but an absolute superstar. We had many disagreements as he was growing up and he is very opinionated and will also make his voice known if he is displeased (often growly matters under his breath) 😁
I found timeouts a lifesaver with him and my youngest girl. I'd try not to let them out when barking, even if I had a window of seven seconds with no bark I'd dive in and let them out then. I would love 5 month GR puppy snuggles right now, but I bet you'd love snuggles with my two grown up non bitey ones too! It gets better x
Because all “no” serves as is an interruptor so it doesn’t actually stop the behaviour happening in the first place.
My advice would be to find a trainer who knows how to teach a dog to do what you want it to do To replace undesirable behaviours with desirable ones. Then you won’t need a no 👍
And sometimes an interrupter can be useful and then distracted onto something else especially when mouthing is going to happen with puppies.