The snapping has to stop!

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The snapping has to stop!

This is a discussion on The snapping has to stop! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Here we are again. I have been having this issue with my puppy since she was 8 weeks old. She is now 13 weeks old ...

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Old 09-26-2017, 06:15 PM
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The snapping has to stop!

Here we are again. I have been having this issue with my puppy since she was 8 weeks old. She is now 13 weeks old and is continuing to snap at me. The worst ever was just a little while ago. She drew blood this time. I have been trying to teach her not to put her mouth on me. She plays entirely too rough, but the snapping happens when I pick her up-like taking her back inside or away from her toys when we need to go outside. I have to pick her up. Her exercise pen does not have a door. I have to pick her up to put her in my vehicle. She is a beagle so she can't get in my SUV by herself. I just cannot deal with this. She is an absolute angel for the most part. She is great with other people and other animals. I swear I think it is a dominance issue. It also seems to happen more often if she is tired. She gets really grumpy when she is tired. What am I doing wrong???
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:28 PM
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Hi. I'm sorry you're still having this problem. You got some really good replies in your first post about this. It sounds like you need to put a lot more time into teaching her that being picked up is fun and leads to good things, like super yummy treats, but it's a very gradual process that can't be rushed.

Start by getting her used to you just touching her sides. Touch sides, give treat, remove hands. Touch sides, give treat, remove hands. When she's cool with that, increase the pressure of your hands on her sides. Give treat. Remove your hands. Hands with pressure, give treat, remove hands. When she's cool with that, lift her every so slightly, put her down, give big treat. Repeat tiny lift with treats every time until she's cool with that. Then gradually increase the distance and duration of the lift over a period of days, weeks, months, however long it takes until she's cool with you picking her up all the way.

Keep the sessions short since she's a little puppy with a short attention span and you don't want to overwhelm her, maybe only a few minutes at a time a couple of times a day. If she already has a negative association to being picked up, it's going to take extra time and patience to overcome that and get her to change her feelings.

Since desensitization is slow process and can't be rushed, you're going to have to brainstorm ways to get her places without picking her up, since doing so will undo any progress you've made with desensitization.

Can you use something as a ramp for her to get into and out of the car on her own? How tall are the sides of her pen? Can you use something as stairs that can be removed after she's in or out? Blocks of wood, different sized boxes?

It's almost definitely not a dominance issue and continuing to think of her behavior as a challenge to your authority may be leading you to address the problem inappropriately.

Also, if you got her at 8 weeks, she may not have had enough time with her mom and siblings to develop proper bite inhibition. Basically you need to teach the puppy not to bite hard before you teach him not to bite at all.

Here's my go to Ian Dunbar video:


And another one that was posted in a different thread recently that's also very good:


Teaching bite inhibition is important because even the nicest dog can be provoked to bite under extreme circumstances and you want to make sure that if your dog ever gets to that point and actually bites as an adult (or even as a puppy), he won't do any damage. It will have been ingrained in him from an early age the appropriate amount of pressure to use against skin.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:50 PM
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Silly question: Is there any possibility that you're picking her up in a way that hurts, or is very uncomfortable?
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:42 PM
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JohnR, no I am always very gentle with her.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:46 PM
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At this point, now that she has bitten to the point of drawing blood, you need to seek the help of a qualified, professional trainer. I'd recommend finding a force free trainer or behaviorist in your area.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:24 PM
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What kind of exercise pen do you have? Mine is like a fence, and while it has a door I do not use the door on it. What I do it use one end of it as a door. I use the clasp that came with it to secure it to the other end and shut it. Could you do something like that?

If you can then while opening it you could also teach her some self control. While she is calm in the pen go over to open it. If she starts acting overly excited move away, if she keeps calm then reach for the clasp. If she acts up then freeze and wait for her to be calm before continuing to release the clasp. Keep doing that until you get the pen open while she is calm. It'll take a while for the lesson to stick because you are dealing with a puppy, but in the long run it will help her to learn that calm behavior is what gets her what she wants, while overly excited behavior gets her nothing but more waiting.

If you do try it do NOT give in and release her while she's acting excited, if you do you teach her to just keep up the behavior because eventually it works, and when that happens she'll just get worse.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:04 PM
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We have been working on it today and so far she is doing really good. She doesn't mind being picked up for everything else, it is only when she thinks I am taking her away from something fun and only when she is tired and grumpy. She has little "hissy fits" at least that's what I call them. What I have done today is at the times she normally would act out I bring treats and get her to focus on her "reward." Like I say so far so good today. She never snaps if I pick up to put her on the couch or pick her up for her grooming or tooth brushing. I guess she is acting that way because she just does not want to go inside. Also today, instead of picking her up to bring her in I told her it was time for supper. She knows that phrase well and she couldn't get in the house fast enough! Normally she would run away from me, but she got up the steps real quick. She is a smart dog and I love her so much. I just want her to behave!
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:46 PM
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I knew a friend of my mom's that had a puppy when I was younger. He was a St. Bernard-the cutest pup ever-and when he snapped at them, they hit his muzzle with a soft shoe. This was actually effective and it didn't hurt the pup, just reminded him not to bite. Mostly though, I think its just puppyness.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexiBarkus View Post
I knew a friend of my mom's that had a puppy when I was younger. He was a St. Bernard-the cutest pup ever-and when he snapped at them, they hit his muzzle with a soft shoe. This was actually effective and it didn't hurt the pup, just reminded him not to bite. Mostly though, I think its just puppyness.
Physical corrections like this used to be considered reasonable and harmless and in the past, were recommended as the appropriate way to handle inappropriate puppy behavior, but there's more knowledge and insight now and there are far more efficient ways to teach a puppy the right way to behave.

Please don't hit your puppy, @cpht, especially when you're finally starting to see some progress and she's learning to trust you.

@LexiBarkus, this is a positive reinforcement only based message board and aversive training methods such as physical corrections like the one you mentioned aren't permitted. The thread below might be a good thread for you to review so you don't run afoul of the mods. Note: I'm not a mod and speak with no authority here. Just offering some friendly advice.

https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...r-please-4330/
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:23 PM
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You're right...I wouldn't do that to my dog, Lexi, a rescue, I just wanted to point out that method. thanks for the tips...
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