10 week old puppy nipping like a maniac - tips please?

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10 week old puppy nipping like a maniac - tips please?

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Old 12-11-2017, 08:19 PM
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10 week old puppy nipping like a maniac - tips please?

We have a ten week old puppy. He is healthy, fun and super duper smart. He is great about going in his crate and is picking up on potty training well.

Like all puppies, he LOVES to chew and bite on everything. He is a collie, which means he is even more inclined to be mouthy. We have lots of chew toys for him and try to give him lots of energy burning activities (as much as we can, given that he is not fully immunized yet).

When he nips or bites us we have read to yelp loudly like a puppy and that he will then stop. At first it sort of worked, but only if I yelped like I was being killed! ha. But now, he just bites/nips more intensely when we yelp and sometimes even growls. It ramps him up! So I am at a loss. I don't want to get all alpha on him, as I know pups learn best through positive training, but it has to stop! He has torn holes in our clothes and he is especially intense with our five year old daughter.

We are starting puppy classes this week so I'm sure that will help. but in the meantime, any tips are welcome!!

Thanks!!
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:42 PM
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My motto is "No hands are boring" when it comes to any overly excitedly/bitey puppy.

If we are on the couch together or if I am on the puppies level. And when the puppy gets bitey, I then sit on my hands. Making them "disappear" and becoming boring by not talking to or engaging with the rowdy behavior, ends up with a puppy who gives up on biting my hands. Once the puppy chills I praise and refocus him on an acceptable toy.


If I am standing, and a dog or puppy is jumping and nipping at my hands. I just hold my hands behind my back, and ignore the pup. And then like the first situation I would wait for calmness and then praise and redirect focus.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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But he bites EVERYTHING not just hands.... our heels, our calves, our clothes, our arms, our hair, our faces even! The only way to sop him is to put him in his xpen or try to stick toys in his mouth, but when he really gets going, toys do not cut it for him, and he'll still go for us.
It's just playful, not aggressive, but clearly needs to stop.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:02 AM
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Lol nothing like a herding breed for mouthiness. German shepherd puppies are bad enough they get called landsharks..... How I deal with it is redirecting the biting onto a toy or whatever else the pup is allowed to chew. The trick with toys is you have to animate them, make them lively enough to be exciting for the pup. A pup that age has the attention span of a nat, so the toy being exciting enough to hold their attention for a few is important.
Try not to get too frustrated with pup, hes just doing what puppies do, and fussing at him for it now will just confuse him.
Basic theory here is to make biting humans boring, biting toys tons o fun.
Also at that age they can get extra extra bitey when they need a nap..... When mine start running amok too much I'll put them down for some peaceful rest time.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:43 AM
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Hi!
These are all great suggestions, and helped me when my girl was going through her puppy nipping. Something I tried that really worked was stepping behind a closed door for a few seconds when she got really excited. Once I did this consistently for a few days she finally got the point that I did not like being bit, and would leave if she nipped me. Now that she is an adolescent, she has slightly reverted back to nipping when she is extremely excited, and I am using the same method, although she's a bit more stubborn this time around hope this helps
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:36 AM
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Thumbs up Hang in there, it doesn't last forever; a terrific double-book set, FREE...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvelousMabel View Post
Hi!


...
Something I tried that really worked was stepping behind a closed door for a few seconds when she got really excited.

Once I did this consistently for a few days she finally got the point that I did not like being bit, and would leave if she nipped me.
...
.

the Big Trick here is, "a few seconds".
The dog or pup must be given immediate feedback [U bite, i disappear] AND then an instant opp to re-offend.

Dogs don't generalize quickly, nor well - it takes repeated instances of "I bite, U go" before the penny drops, & Fido realizes that their biting = U depart.
Also, if U STAY outside that room for more than a few seconds, 30 at most, preferably 15 or less [& i'm being literal, here], after 30-seconds, Pup's completely forgotten the event -
s/he is engaged in some other action or thought, & the SEQUENCE [I bite, U leave] is lost.

So U might need to vanish 10 or even 15 times in 5-minutes flat - that's OK; it needs to be instant feedback, & brief.
That chance to err again is the critical point, b/c frustrating tho it is for us, for the dog, repetition is the only way they'll 'get it'.

They aren't doing these things deliberately, to frustrate us, defy us, or p*ss us off - dogs just don't generalize the way we do; their version is much slower & requires many reps.
For a dog, "sit" on a linoleum floor in the kitchen, on a hassock in the living room, on the beach on damp sand, at the vet's on a slippery S/S exam table, & in long wet grass after rain, are all totally different contexts, & they don't even BEGIN to generalize "sit" = put my butt on the substrate, until they've done this successfully in a minimum of 5 distinctly-different contexts, on several occasions, in each of those contexts.

Sit at home =/= sit at the vet's =/= sit on the public sidewalk =/= sit on an elevated surface =/= sit in 6-inches of powdery snow.
Each is different & distinct, to the dog who is learning 'sit' as a cued behavior.

my other recommendation is to download both FREE books, & read them cover to cover -
Free downloads | Dog Star Daily

Teaching bite-inhibition is a key step in a pup's social development - & Dr Dunbar is great at explaining how.

Also, if this is an example of Ur handling...
https://www.dogforum.com/attachment.p...1&d=1513182444

... scruffing him will only make the biting worse. // Wear lineman's gauntlets, or heavy-duty gardening gloves with long cuffs, if U must, but please don't scruff him; he'll only struggle the harder in protest, & in his frustration, he'll bite harder. U don't want him to PRACTICE forceful bites!


keep yer chin up, & use a drag-line to lead him off U or HOLD him away from U when he gets really intense - walk briskly to the door, holding him away from U, slip thru a crack, drop the drag-line, shut the door, wait 15-secs AWAY from the door, re-enter. [If U stand just outside the door for 15-secs, the pup will wait that entire time, for U to step back in & resume the 'game' - he can hear U breathe, possibly even hear Ur heart beat, thru the "solid" door. So move away... then return to enter.]
Repeat indefinitely.

- terry

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Old 12-13-2017, 04:12 PM
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Excessive biting usually becomes intractable because the puppy gets some sort of perceived reward for the behavior. Sometimes, even negative attention is that reward.

There are two ways to approach this that both work pretty well, but depend on the dog.

First, is to allow (and even encourage) play biting, but to incrementally teach bite inhibition. That is, you go ahead and play with the puppy and even intentionally put your hand in his mouth for a little gentle rough-housing. Careful to not overstimulate the puppy or he'll just lose his mind and become irrational. Keep play under control.

With this approach, you don't discourage biting, but you react to the hardest bite you can take. The important part is that "Ouch" isn't enough. If you don't back it up, it just becomes part of the game and can end up adding barking to the problem. You have to back it up with an immediate timeout. The message is, "We can play, but if you bite too hard, we're done!" That's how puppies teach each other, and it is a very easy thing for them to understand.

Also it is important to not jerk your hand away. That's just another game and it only encourages more assertive behavior in most dogs. As hard as it is, relax your hand and use your voice to get the puppy to let go on his own, then walk away. Walk away and isolate the puppy for at least 20-30 seconds. That is, no one should approach the puppy or give him any attention except the bare minimum required to put some distance between the puppy and anyone to play with. Ignoring a puppy is way more impactful than scolding.

Over time, decrease the intensity of the hardest bite you will accept until you are comfortable playing with the puppy with no accidental bites.

This method can work well because it is hard for puppies to understand the concept of just not biting at all. It is just a natural part of their play. So, you don't try to train them out of it, you just teach them appropriate bite inhibition. It can work surprisingly quickly - like a few days - if you play frequently and reinforce the lesson.

After the timeout, don't reengage with the puppy until he has calmed back down. If he immediately goes into biting mode, just walk away again.

Some dogs don't understand that "appropriate" biting is OK, but not hard biting. They need an all-or-nothing, black-and-white rule. In this case, the idea is similar - biting ends playtime immediately. But, it is super-critical to nip it in the bud ... so to speak. The INSTANT the puppy puts his mouth on you, he gets a "No" or "Leave it" or whatever you use. If he ignores it, walk away.

I find that, with this method, you have to be very careful about being passive with your hands. As soon as the teeth come out (even softly), the hand goes limp and the game becomes immediately boring. Often, the puppy will learn to pick up on that cue, and no verbal command is necessary.

A key with both approaches is to never get angry or agitated. Instead, become boring and disinterested. Any high emotions only feed into the cycle. It is way more effective to teach that no one wants to play with an inappropriate biter. Since play is so important, he'll work really hard to do whatever it takes to get others to play with him.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:56 PM
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Puppy teeth are no fun. My Aussie was a terrible biter and went for all body parts with those little sharp teeth. I found a few things that helped.
1. I did the yelp and freeze. I gave a cry out of pain, then I froze with no movement. Our girl would bite a few more times then stop because she got nothing out of it. Although I did end up "playing dead" on the floor a few times, which gave my husband a good laugh.
2. I bought hand puppet toys. HuggleHound makes them, Amazon or sometimes pet stores carry them. I would teach my puppy to rough house with the hand puppet so my hand wasn't getting bit and ever time she was gentle we rewarded her with super high value treats, like pepperoni. Plus this protects your hand and the toys have squeakers so easy to distract from biting clothes or other body parts.
3. We worked very hard at teaching "go to your spot." Something along the lines of puppy is biting or crazy, say go to your spot and magically amazing food shows up "on your spot." We used a blanket on the floor for her spot. This is a great distraction technique, basically if she was crazy and we said go to your spot she immediately ran away from us to the blanket on the floor and waited for food. Not sure this is really the best training technique but it saved my pants and shirts.
4. Don't worry they our grow it, eventually. Just remember stay calm, the puppy biting and crazies pass. And don't feel bad about using an x-pen or a crate if you just need a little break. I think its better to take a break so you can stay calm, than get upset and feed into the puppies crazies.
Not sure if any of this will work for you but hopefully it helps. Best of luck and keep us updated.
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Last edited by Manney11; 12-13-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:57 PM
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Thank you all for these great suggestions. I am taking notes! Terry - I am also a fan of Ian,Dunbar, though I feel like some things are easier said than done! ...Especially when it comes to getting my kids (5 & 8) to follow proper biting procedures. Puppy loves them, can't wait to get near them... But they get him riled up, lol.

I know he'll outgrow it, although I do want to make sure we stay on top of it as I have heard that herding breeds can nip past puppyhood if not taught properly.

Thanks again to everyone
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:12 PM
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Talking Train the kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmer View Post

... some things are easier said than done! ...Especially when it comes to getting my kids (5 & 8) to follow proper biting procedures. Puppy loves them, can't wait to get near them...
But they get him riled up, lol.
...
.

I hope for Ur sake that if one child is a boy, he's the 8-YO. If the 5-YO is a boy, U have a long roe to hoe.
As an aside: boys between 5 & 9-YO are over 10X as likely as same-age girls to be bitten & need medical attn for that bite, b/c boys do many-more provocative actions than same-age girls, & are thus statistically going to elicit more bites.

Simple consequences:
if they RILE the pup, he is taken away. // The puppy is not at fault - the children are.
Pushing, wrestling, chasing, running, BEING chased, teasing with objects, smacking, shrieking, etc, are banned behaviors when Pup's loose.

If they want to play with the puppy, there must be controlled behavior by both species, human & k9.
persist, persist, persist... Hang in there,
- terry

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