Help with our 3 month old puppy

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Help with our 3 month old puppy

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Old 03-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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Help with our 3 month old puppy

Hello, we are looking for help with our 3 month old puppy. I know he is a puppy but his behavior seems like there is something going on with him. He is a Saint Bernard Coonhound mix. He is constantly biting us whenever we get close to him. We try to discipline him but it seems he gets worse when we do. If we throw him a toy he will start to run after it then turn around and dart right at us and bite us.

If anyone has any advice that would be greatly appreciated, thanks! I have posted pictures and videos below.

https://imgur.com/a/brOFmeN
https://i.imgur.com/E5LoZch.gifv
https://i.imgur.com/pSAIjyh.gifv
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:25 PM
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Help for shark biting puppies!

Help for shark biting puppies!

Ouch! Puppy bites hurt!! I feel your pain!!! Maybe this will help you guys?

This is a post I wrote earlier:
*****************************
With my 3 month old pup I called it shark biting! Puma pup would randomly just shark bite us (in play) and it would hurt like heck. I honestly thought the phase would NEVER end!!

But she is now 7 months old and a few months back it stopped. Probably took me 1-2 months to stop the behavior.

As I was studying this topic endlessly, I learned that you want to allow pup to bite in the beginning with the goal/ intention of teaching a "soft mouth" or soft gentle teeth on human skin. As opposed to punishing the biting or stopping it all together. The thinking behind this method is that should your dog bite in pain later down the road, your dog will have learned to control the pressure of the bite, thus causing less damage to the human or owner.

Then after pup learns the soft bite, the goal is to only want them to use their teeth on humans for play WHEN INVITED.

So for me, in the beginning, we would let Puma play bite, if it hurt we would quickly say "owww--- that hurts" ---but not in an excited voice so as to ramp her up. Then if she continued we would grab a dog safe stuffed animal or chewie/bully stick and gently put it directly in her mouth to chomp on.

I never ever had Puma pup anywhere without a soft stuffed animal in reach. Or a safe chewie. Ever!! Even when I walked her, I put a small plush on a long soft cord, and wore it around as a necklace for instant biting redirection!

You didn't mention if you are providing your pup with "legal" chewing/biting options such as bully sticks and other safe dog chew items. If not, I highly suggest you invest in a nice selection of dog safe chewies so your dog learns that chewing appropriate things is way better than human skin

We also trained Puma to "go to your bed" in our kitchen, and then we would hand her an empty peanut butter jar with a small amount of peanut butter in it to lick and keep busy. She loves the whole routine!!! When she is done we take away the plastic jar asap, or else she would chew that!!

Also, what about trick training with yummy food reward? If your dog starts shark biting, redirect into a sit or lay down or touch or speak or high five, and then reward, reward, reward. Make it fun--more fun than shark biting!!

I did so much of my own training with Puma with the redirect onto other items that it has really paid off. She does not shark bite now--and I have noticed when she is playing too rough with my other little dog who is older, sometimes she will--- on her own--- control her impulses by grabbing/biting down on a plush toy on our bed, rather than chomp on our little dog

I always have plush toys available right where they are playing, and I always monitor their play and call "BREAK!!!" if it gets too rough or ramped up. Break means STOP playing asap and come to me and I will give you treats and praise and petting!! No punishment, just awesome rewards for ceasing play when I call "BREAK!!!"

Also, maybe try keeping your dog on a drop leash around the house if that helps you to redirect her better while you are working on her shark biting issues.

Hope this helps It worked for us.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:29 PM
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More help for shark biting pups!!

More help for shark biting pups!

Here is yet another post I wrote earlier that may help you and your dog to stop biting you from normal puppy mouthing/play nipping. Some tips are repeated but all stuff that actually worked with my pup to stop all play biting.

Here's from one of my earlier posts:
*****************************

Oh, I remember those days with my Puma pup!! We called it shark biting! Ouch!!!

So when Puma would start biting us, I would immediately redirect with a safe toy that she could chomp down on.

No punishment at all, just redirect. After all, remember puppy mouthing is normal, they just need to be taught NOT to bite on human skin. If you didn't teach your dog earlier, it is ok, start now

I always kept a small plushie toy around my neck on a cord for instant redirection. Especially when I was socializing her around other people. I never wanted her to practice biting on others, even in fun.

If the toy redirection didn't work, I would get up and leave the room for a quick moment to show her that I wasn't interested in engaging in that type of behavior. I didn't say anything, just got up and left for a moment. Usually leaving the room for less than a minute is sufficient to teach the dog that hard play biting brings the play time to a halt.

I'm personally not a fan of sticking a dog in their crate for a quick "time out" for play biting like this, bc I always want my dogs to looooove their crate and never have any negative association with their crate.

Plus you can get bit moving the dog to the crate if the pup is still trying to play bite. I had better luck with just getting up and leaving room for a moment. Keep a baby gate close by and this will really help to quickly and safely separate yourself from the dog for a quick moment.

***I also would say "ouch" or owwww but not in a shrieky high pitch. That excited tone can just heighten some dogs-- and make them play harder. So for us it was a simple Ouch or Owwww, sort of a tone like you hurt my feelings. This will help teach your dog bite inhibition, meaning if they do put their teeth on human skin it should be very gentle.


But---when the shark biting became too rambunctious at night, because she was overtired I would simply put her in her cozy crate gently with a safe chewy item like a bully stick. No punishment at all. Soon we would find her crashed out sleeping soundly. Soon we could just tell her in a fun happy voice, "Puma, go to your crate" and she would run there happily knowing she would get a great chewie in her crate.

And, yup, she would always get so much more shark bitey at night time. It is kinda like a toddler getting overtired.

When a dog is overtired they are most likely beyond the ability to learn and train, so I have found it is just best to send them gently to their crate or bed or relaxing place to sleep it off. Pups need A LOT of sleep!!!
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:34 PM
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Check your pitch on the yelp, try Owwwwww.

Check your pitch on the yelp, try Owwwwww.


(Originally Posted by AliceandTruffles View Post
. When I yelp in pain, he continues to try to bite me even harder, and wonít let go. Itís gotten to a point where he has broke skin.)

My response:

Yup, this is normal puppy play, not aggression. However, now is the time when he is young, to teach him bite inhibition and that playing too rough will end play time. And then that play biting on human skin is undesired.

Sometimes yelping in pain only heightens the pup, as you have found in your case. Could be your tone of voice or the volume that is exciting him more. When my Puma pup was in biting mode, I would not yelp, but I would say 0wwwww, like it hurt my feelings. Not loud, not excited. Not punishment.

Very cool thing-- the other day, we were playing and Puma's teeth got me by accident instead of the toy. I instantly did my 0wwwwww, pointing to where she got me. And guess what? Puma instantly stopped playing with the toy and started licking my arm!!!!!!! She is a year old now, so my original owwwwww still resonates.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:37 PM
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Baby gates are a godsend for puppies!!

Baby gates are a godsend for puppies!!


(Originally Posted by Chas:
I prefer blocking off one room and keeping the dog there while removing myself as that means there's no handling to get misinterpreted as punishment by the dog.)
.
My response:

We, too, would remove ourselves from Puma pup for a few seconds when she was shark biting us and it got to be all too painful. Man it hurts, right??? If she was too ramped overall, we'd guide her to her beloved crate with treats or chewies for a nap. But if it was general "normal' puppy shark biting, we'd prefer to use the method @Chas has mentioned for the very brief timeouts.

We would play with Puma pup, in say our bedroom, and have the room gated off with a baby gate. If she got to the point where we tried toys and trick redirects and none of it was cutting it, and we were getting eaten, we'd simply step over the gate and into the other room for a few seconds. No punishments or yelling or scolding. We'd just leave the room.

Like Chas said this way you aren't handling your dog. You are just moving yourself away briefly as if to say "I don't like the method we are playing right now"

If the pup was still with its litter mates, and the biting hurt, the siblings would go away and not want to play with the biter any more at that moment. Same thing here. My older gentle natured little chihuahua does that with Puma now. If Puma plays too rough at times, Sparky does NOT want to play with her. I get it. He runs off and Puma looks puzzled as if she is thinking "Hmmm why doesn't he want to play with me anymore?"

Puma is a big 46 pound puppy and still learning....takes time and practice. Lots of practice. Just like with kids as they are learning their manners and how to play nice
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