At my wits end.

(20 Posts)
Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 15:17:14

I have a 15 week old puppy. Toilet trained beautifully, sleeps through in the crate.

Two problems.

I cannot leave him to even nip upstairs to the loo. As with all current advice, I always ask my eldest to sit with him and try and engage so he’s not alone but he still sits by the stair gate and cries and whines or howls.

The biting. Nothing stops it. He walks past me and randomly bites. He’ll bite my legs and hold on, tear my clothing and leave marks or puncture wounds. I’m doing everything I can with no improvement. Leaving the room, directing onto toys, using a positive interrupter but he just continues.

My partner wants to rehome him but I want to work through it. Our puppy class trainer gave me the advice of directing him into his crate to calm down but still no change. My depression and anxiety have skyrocketed and I’m not coping with day to day life because I’m trying to manage these issues. I’m so close to agreeing with my partner though.

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JoyceDivision Wed 07-Aug-19 15:21:14

My brother has a 15 week puppy which is mouthing a lot: loves laces, hems, blankets, toes, feet etc.... Very giddy and bitey!

They have lots of toys scattered around and keep one with them so when they get up from chair for example and puppy lunes over they wave the you at him so she noted and chews you instead, constant distraction.

BiteyShark Wed 07-Aug-19 15:26:20

I would get a baby gate and start by simply getting the puppy used to you not being beside it. Then move on to being out of sight for a short time. Personally at that age (assuming you have had the puppy since 8 weeks old) I would ignore any crying and then come back in the room or the other side of the baby gate when he is quiet.

The biting does tend to get worse before it gets better. I used to separate myself from him as soon as it started and repeat each time. Make sure you recognise any flash points like being overtired or over stimulated when it makes them worse when they need to have a snooze.

Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 16:07:23

Bitey, I already have a baby gate. I’ve done the waiting, he ignores anyone else in the room, so if I go, he whines and cries, I go in when he’s quiet. But it’s not changing anything, it’s getting worse. Even with watching for when he’s overtired.

I carry toys, have 20+ scattered but he will look at the toy, go around and bite on my thigh, or hand, anywhere he can get.

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TheFaerieQueene Wed 07-Aug-19 16:08:45

Standard puppy behaviour. He will grow out of it.

MyKingdomForACaramel Wed 07-Aug-19 16:49:33

Honestly - they do grow out of it.

Putanotherwashon Wed 07-Aug-19 17:45:11

@Puddingmama2017 it’s so hard. My puppy is only 11 weeks but she’s still up in the night and still having accidents in the house. When did yours start the biting? Mine doesn’t do that yet and I’m dreading it!

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BiteyShark Wed 07-Aug-19 17:52:19

I think I would just ignore the crying when you leave the room. Yes it's hard but he's not just left his mum and eventually he will get the fact that you do leave the room and come back.

What do you do when he bites you? I just separated straight away, with no interaction that he could think was play and then his fun stopped because he was not with me. If I returned to the room and it started again then I repeated so again his fun stopped for about 5 mins. The interaction with the toys didn't work for my dog.

And if I was really at the point of rehoming due to this I would pay for 1-1 trainer at home for them to come in and observe and give me all the tips I needed. Don't underestimate how quick you can turn things around with a good 1-1 trainer.

Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 18:11:57

He’s always been nibbly, and because he’s a mix of bull breeds he locks on and shakes.

When he bites, he holds on so first I have get him to let go, then I leave the room.

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adaline Wed 07-Aug-19 18:35:58

So for the biting - you're currently giving him attention when he bites so he's going to continue doing it. When he bites you, squeal (really high-pitched), then turn around, fold your arms, back to him and totally ignore him. He needs to learn that biting means no play or interaction or anything like that.

If he happily sleeps in his crate, I would crate him every time you leave the room. Give him a treat so he associates you leaving with something yummy. Only leave for a matter of seconds at first and gradually build up the time.

Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 19:18:14

Adeline, tried turning around, he just bites the back of my calf or thigh. That’s why I’ve been leaving the room. I don’t look or talk to him, and already make some noise as it hurts!

He will sleep overnight in it no problem, but when I tried to crate him to pop upstairs he still cried and howled, worse than when he’s just behind the stair gate. If I keep doing that I run the risk of him being too fearful to sleep in it at night as he does now.

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Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 19:20:50

He will cry and whine if I’m 2 inches past the stair gate and he can reach through and touch me.

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Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 19:24:23

But he doesn’t get like that with anyone else.

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StillMedusa Wed 07-Aug-19 19:42:30

Mine's 13 weeks and pretty much the same... I can now pop to the loo alone but that's about it. She will settle if someone else is in the room but can't be left alone..except at night when she settles nicely..as soon as she is awake though she wants me.

And we have renamed her baby shark grin. Using the turn my back and ignore works..sometimes,,but not other times..evenings she gets hyper and very very bitey!

But I believe it will pass... (and I try to have something to put in her fangs when she bites!)

longearedbat Wed 07-Aug-19 19:42:38

Ours is only a tiny breed, but boy did she bite. Ankles were her favourite and she often drew blood, but, it's par for the course with a puppy and they grow out of it. It seemed to ease off when she got her adult teeth. I know it's painful and annoying, but it will pass. Be patient.

BiteyShark Wed 07-Aug-19 19:56:10

I used to have holes in my jeans where BiteyDog used to launch himself at me and hang on with his teeth.

It does get better. It feels awful and overwhelming at the time but they will grow up.

I still think you should get a 1-1 trainer in to give you support, tips and reassure you and your patner that puppies are bitey things and this phase will pass.

Puddingmama2017 Wed 07-Aug-19 20:10:45

Our puppy class trainer does 1-1 which I’m considering. There is just no improvement after doing all the recommended things for the last 6 weeks and it’s becoming unmanageable having to keep him separate from the children and not being able to even stand in the hallway 2inchs from him without him whining.

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BiteyShark Wed 07-Aug-19 20:17:15

With the biting I remember thinking I was going to end up with an aggressive biting adult as he was like it for weeks. Then gradually you realise that it hasn't been bad for a while and then eventually it becomes really intermittent and then stops.

My MN name is in honour of my dog as a puppy because he was a bloody bitey shark. He is a big softy now but was a monster when little.

adaline Wed 07-Aug-19 20:24:20

Believe me I sympathise - the biting really hurts! But you do need to ignore them - they can't be rewarded in any way for biting you. Fold arms, look away and just ignore them. The bitey phase is really horrible and hard to manage but it does get better. One day you realise they've not launched themselves at your ankles for a while and then it stops!

They do tend to attach themselves more to one person - mine is much more attached to me than he is DH and he's 18 maths old. He can be left alone now but we really struggled until he was about 14 months or so. He cried and whined and howled. Neutering has massively helped his anxiety levels though.

TopDogs2019 Wed 07-Aug-19 22:39:21

You can do this! And the reason why he's acting like this is because you've probably been so good at transitioning him from litter to forever home. To him, all he needs in his world are you and him, so you are in one bubble, and everyone else, including family, are not really required! Firm up your tone of voice, delegate responsibility for training, playing etc, so that pup realises the need for everyone else in the house! With my 2, my son has specific, high value, toys, a laser pointer and a pull rope and a spray bottle in the garden, which only he uses with them, and it has really helped. Of course, now I'm just the food providing, shit shoveller, but it does help! It's early days with your pup, you'll get there.

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