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puppy nipping

(15 Posts)
Enko Thu 06-Feb-20 10:25:01

Our Basset hound is 7 months old. He is NOT particularly interested in toys is very food motivated.

Recently he has started nipping a lot at us. Hands or clothing and ankles are favourite places to go for. I have searched and searched for ways to manage this behaviour but I constantly find " have his favourite toy in your pocket"

He doesn't care about the toy & I rarely wear clothing with pockets. If I do I am female and pockets are usually not big enough for his toys.

I have with some success tried making a loud sound as he does it as if I am hurt but it doesn't deter long term. He is not at any point trying to harm us it is in playful/ he wants to play. However, when I am cooking this need to play is becoming a bit of an issue/danger. We do manage this by placing him in his crate (we got him age 3/4 months so he is not fully crate trained but does go in it happily) and crate does calm him down. We are concerned however he will start associating the crate with punishment and I would prefer it to be his safe place.

We have tried to turn our back towards him this does not work at all with him he simply continues nipping or tugging at your clothing.

I have tried walking away too however there are times where this is not possible (like when cooking) & when I return he seems even keener on the biting (as if he missed us and now REALLY wants to play)

He gets 2 sometimes 3 walks a day and is taken outside in-between. He is super food motivated however I worry he will get fat if we don't try to limit the food intake (we take his daily treats out of his food allowance) He is rarely left alone for long periods of time as I am at home and on the day I am out (from 9 15 until 1.30) we have a dog walker come in at 1130 to take him for a 30-45 min walk)

Any suggestions for how to deal with this in a positive way? He is a bright chap and usually takes ok to training (Basset hound so a lot of patience and repetitiveness needed) has the loveliest temperament and apart from this nipping he really is perfect in every way for our family.

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adaline Thu 06-Feb-20 13:02:10

We don't have a Basset but we do have a beagle, so fairly similar temperaments, though I hear Bassets are even more stubborn grin

While you're cooking, get a baby gate and keep him out of the room. Expecting a food orientated dog to be calm in a room with lots of food around is like expecting a calm toddler in a sweet shop! Ours lies down by the baby gate while we cook - he's just not allowed in the room.

The only thing that worked with us with regards to the nipping is to turn around, fold arms and ignore him COMPLETELY. No noise, no yelping, no saying "ow" - just silence and no eye contact whatsoever. As soon as he was calm and quiet, we praised/treated. Anything else just made him even more hyper!

Can we get a photo?! Ours is best mates with a Basset named Maisie and they're so cute together!

LaurieSchafferIsAllBitterNow Thu 06-Feb-20 13:17:46

I had a place for mine in the kitchen when cooking.
When they were little it was their bed, sometimes with a child to help keep them there, when they were bigger they had to stay by the dining room door...and not be a bloody trip hazard. Both were super large GSDs so plenty to get in the way and they hated not being involved so being sent out of the kitchen was punishment enough.

Only one of them was grabby and bitey as a pup, and we dealt with that by making sure to be slow and steady around him...flappy clothes were exciting and to be grabbed, so slowly does it, and we would distract with a treat and practise "close walking" or "watch me" as we went, it only took a week or so to stop the trouser snatching.

Ignoring worked best with the other one for any puppy mischief, you just have to find what suits your pup best.

Whynosnowyet Thu 06-Feb-20 13:19:26

Mm dpuppy indeed.....
Yabu to not post pic...

ilovetrees30 Thu 06-Feb-20 13:35:40

Our basset hound puppy was nippy whilst teething. A frozen carrot always worked well. We also used baby gates. But at seven months the basset is still a very young puppy. You need to be firm and consistent. When our girl gets too full on its a loud quick no and ignoring completely till she calms down.

ilovetrees30 Thu 06-Feb-20 13:37:16

Also to add you should only be walking him 5mins per month of life to allow their joints to develop correctly as they are large dogs on small legs. We have found ours goes crazy when overtired!

Enko Thu 06-Feb-20 14:58:08

So sorry didn't think too add a picture. We do use a stairgate to go upstairs but he is allowed downstairs. (keep him off the carpet) He has his den /crate in the kitchen but we could I guess train him to know he has to be in there when we cook. I just worry it becomes a punishment. (though we always give treats when he is in there)

I will try the frozen carrot we haven't done that. Currently, I am walking away each time he tries to bite (makes it hard to get much done though) I will talk to dh about us trying the silent ignore to see if that will work. I wear dresses a lot so yes some are flappy in manner but he also goes for my trousers when they are not flowy. Pictures in the next post as have most on my phone.

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Enko Thu 06-Feb-20 15:00:30


OP’s posts: |
Enko Thu 06-Feb-20 15:01:52

First one I just took today for this. 2nd one is him sleeping (cracks me up how he sleeps) and 3rd kne is him ready for Christmas dinner

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Whynosnowyet Thu 06-Feb-20 15:22:58

I see he has a twin!!

ilovetrees30 Thu 06-Feb-20 15:28:03

@Enko you really need to just be consistent between all family members. They are seen to be stubborn (which they are!) but the basset is incredibly bright too and will know who the soft touch is. Our girl knows my OH is the soft one. Have you thought about any formal dog training? Our girl really flourished with it.

He is adorable! Here is our girl. She is nearly four.

adaline Thu 06-Feb-20 15:28:09

Ah, so cute!

I would get another baby gate and put it across the kitchen door, so he still has the freedom of being downstairs, but can't get in your way or under your feet. If I let our beagle in the kitchen with me while I cooked he would be a right pain jumping at me/counters!

I was always told to set your dog up for success. So if you know you have a food orientated dog, the best way to help them succeed is to just stop them accessing the food in the first place. So as he nips and jumps while you're in kitchen, you just don't let him in there.

ilovetrees30 Thu 06-Feb-20 15:31:22

Hmm picture wont attach!! Ill try again in a bit.

Enko Thu 06-Feb-20 20:53:37

We have had a dog trainer in twice and have attended dog training *puppy classes. However whilst I liked the trainer for the 1 on 1 the puppy classes were not as successful for us. I feel because we actually had taken her advice on board and started the training so most of what they did at the puppy course we had already started with him at home (mat training and walking on lead plus recall training) all stuff she had told us about in the private consultations.

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Booboostwo Fri 07-Feb-20 08:05:05

Sounds like he is bored and wants to play. At that age they are like toddlers, they need what they need, they cannot wait and they cannot relax...all of which is quite stressful for you.

Get loads of different chews and as soon as she starts nipping give her a chew instead, you'll soon figure out which ones she loves and which ones last a bit longer. You will go through a lot of chews.

Train a behaviour that is incompatible with play biting. So get your clicker and treats out and start working downs, or 'go to your mat'.

Take her for a walk that way she expends her energy on something other than nipping.

I would strongly suggest you find some other puppy classes you enjoy more and keep up the training. Working in a group is great for the puppy because they learn to focus on you despite distractions and great for the handler because you can get tips on training and improve your technique. Some puppy classes also have free play time even at that age which is the best thing because they nip each other and teach each other bite inhibition.

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