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Puppy biting and children(22 Posts)
We have a 9 weeks old labradoodle puppy. I know all puppies bite and chew, that it's instinctive. I grew up with dogs and had experience of bitey puppies when I was younger.
However our DC (age 10 and 7) are struggling with the biteyness of Clownpup. I have explained to them, shown them how they need to handle it- always play at her level, replace with a toy if chewing, if she bites yelp and stop playing/be like a tree. We always supervise them with her, they aren't ever left alone. But they are still struggling and 10 yr old was crying this morning because of it. He said he'd tried to do the things I said, but couldn't and it hurt.
Is there anything else I can be doing?
My DC had the same issue when we got our dog. He would nip at their legs, mouth their hands and try and hump them. Puppy teeth hurt. We always said a firm no and removed the pup. Definitely get kids to carry something that they can give when he tries mouthing or nipping and turn facing the other way when he tries to jump up. . We took our puppy and kids to puppy classes so they could be taught ways of dealing with him. Took a while but got there
Biting or mouthing? Big difference. Puppies mouth absolutely everything especially interesting things!
DC can learn to use toys to play with DDog not their bare hands.
They are using toys, and then she still goes for their hands. I suppose it's mouthing, but it's painful. When she's excited (because of the playing) it gets more bitey. She put a hole in a t-shirt. She will bite at ankles and as she is excited it becomes more snappy.
I think the dc feel like they've failed somehow because they are going what they've been shown, always have a toy, replace etc.
Redirection onto toys didn't work for us. What did work was to make it extremely boring whenever he got bitey which meant removing us from him for a few minutes to calm down.
It's one of those things that they will naturally grow out of so maybe just keep them separate for the next couple of months when you can't actively supervise to minimise the issue.
We're having big issues with this at the moment with our 5 month old puppy. He's getting more and more bitey and it hurts! Its accompanied by lots of tail wagging and he clearly just sees it as a big game but its difficult with children.
All I can suggest is being completely consistent in how you react. Shutting down doesn't work for our puppy. He will just keep going. Likewise squeeling/yelping like a puppy seems to make him even more excited. Removing him has more of an effect.
Agree with Biteyshark, any nipping at all and our pup is ignored, play totally stopped, she hardly does it anymore now. If she kept going when she was younger it meant she was over excited or overtired, we then popped her in the front room with an antler chew and she would calm down and often fall asleep.
Remember at 9 weeks your puppy should be asleep for more than 18 hours a day.
We had horrendous problems with ours - hence my user name!
Redirecting had no effect at all, squealing/saying ouch just made her more excited and being a tree/turning you back meant she lunged even more to try and get a reaction.
It got so bad we called in a 121 trainer and she showed us how to calmly, but purposefully pop her in her crate and close the door without saying a word or interacting at all, then leave her until she was calm and let her out (less than a minute), again without saying anything or looking at her at all. It took 2 or 3 times of doing this and the lunging and biting stopped completely. We were astounded at fast she learnt that unacceptable behavious got her removed from us.
The key seemed to be she got no reaction from us putting her in (no shouting, manhandling, etc) and then no reaction when we let her out (no speaking, looking at her etc). When she came out the crate she would beetle off to find a toy and offer it to us.
We found over tiredness the key with Biteypup and she still gets put in her crate for a nap several times a day to regulate how much sleep she gets. Left to her own devices she would be awake and following me all day without any sleep and that's when she tips over into being a bitey cow. I'm hoping that in time she will be able to work this out for herself, but in the meantime she has imposed rest times.
Pestymachtubernahme I was shocked when the trainer told us how much sleep she should be getting. Not easy when you have a pup who doesn't decide to sleep of their own accord Our last one would just collapse where he was when tired and wouldn't wake up for hours.
I think sleep might be a key issue. I knew she needed to sleep a lot but when I've worked it out, I think she is getting overtired.
Interesting about the crate. I'm worried about the crate becoming a punishment thing. Do you cover it completely when you put her in (we do at night time). Whenever I put her in for enforced calm/nap time she cries. I need to be a bit tougher with that.
I know it's a no-no for lots of people but we used the crate for enforced timeouts. It made no difference to how he viewed the crate at other times and would dig at his bed and then crash to sleep so we know it was often due to over tiredness.
Should I just leave her to cry a bit, if I know she's tired? She gets quite loud crying!
Some people won't leave their dog to cry at all. However, for a stompy protest cry mine just got ignored.
Yes yelp and fold arms and walk away game over.
You are doing the right thing offering toy to distract but the yelp and walk away is what siblings do when too much rough play also the yelp interrups the behaviour.
It won't last forever but the breed is naturally quite mouthy anyway so enjoys having things in their mouths so it is important to establish good bite inhibition now. Then you can apply it to the command 'leave' later on and helps with removal of illegal objects like your shoes !!
She chases and nips ankles and knees and the back of legs when we walk away.
I found my puppy often got more bitey when he needed a pee! But didn't acknowledge he was desperate.
agree about the sleep. I went on a - they have been awake for an hour they need a sleep now rule (always putting them in garden for a pee before crating though)
I also think you can overhandle puppies - perhaps your children are playing too much at this stage with him. What about a puppy pen (big) where he can see everyone and yet has to entertain himself with toys/chews rather than getting stimulated by hands and handling. Then when fast asleep perhaps he can cuddle up next to someone (always remembering that just before they sleep can be the worse biteyness - in our house, watching tv with a puppy snuggled up was impossible - he just started biting and lunging)
The other thing that is very important is to discourage any jumping up for fetch games. train pup to sit before any fetch command, otherwise you inadvertently train them to jump up and snatch - which is what we made the mistake of doing..
We were also told by a behaviourist that tuggy games were very important, but not to make the game about snatching the tug object away...let the dog keep it, and then train him to drop - so you redirect his biting grabbing on a toy, rather than making him think that the game is not to let go of your hand or clothes. I also found wearing boots helped and never bare feet bare legs in the mornings.
@BiteyShark do you carry him to the crate? Clownpup really isn't keen on her crate at all, despite tasty treats and chews. Wondering if I should pick her up and put her in if she bites?
The worst biting happens when we are ignoring her/walking away.
When he was a bitey puppy I used to walk him to the crate. Hard to describe but I used to hold his side and walk him to it avoiding any 'snapping' iykwim. It didn't take long though for me to recognise the signs that he needed a rest so I tried to get him to calm down before it got out of hand. For us it was usually after dinner when he used to start biting our legs.
I carried him to the crate. Possibly I should have lured him in. But sometimes when they are overtired, it is like putting a baby in its cot for a nap...even when screaming.
I used to sit next to puppy in the crate, so he associated it with togetherness but still had chance to settle down and sleep/low stimulation environment. Puppy learnt to settle himself in dark room after a bit, but crate was easiest (dark and covered and safe) way to replicate this in a busy house. After about two weeks he used to "sigh" with relief when I put him there with a chewy toy. 9 weeks is so early yet, you have to get them used to crate.
basically a puppy is used to playing with other puppies they play sleep play sleep play sleep all day - so there isn't an off switch for a natural rhythm of play and sleep - they will play till they are tired and then all collapse in a heap together. Humans don't play in the same way - they don't play
likenipping and wrestling games and they don't collapse in a heap every on hour on the hour, so a crate is a way of getting the down time in, or a pen or child gate blocking access to you,