Bite inhibition training isn't working

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Bite inhibition training isn't working

This is a discussion on Bite inhibition training isn't working within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; My baby, Torin, is 3 months old. He is a Husky/Border Collie, and I knew from the get-go that he would be very active, and ...

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Old 04-13-2014, 06:48 PM
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Unhappy Bite inhibition training isn't working

My baby, Torin, is 3 months old. He is a Husky/Border Collie, and I knew from the get-go that he would be very active, and potentially destructive. I've been training him since I got him, and he's been doing good in all areas except two: Barking, which I can handle, and Biting, which I can't handle.
I am more bandaids than skin right now. He breaks the skin very often, and everything I've been doing to stop him isn't working. I coat my hands in bitter apple, and bitter cherry (since he loves apples and chews through the bitter apple spray), and he doesn't care. He bites and chews me anyway. I work with him on "bite gentle," but he clamps down harder whenever I tell him to be soft. I also try to get up and walk away, closing myself in another room to remove his 'reward' of playing with me, but he grabs and rips my pant legs on the way out of the room, and bites my feet whenever I reappear with his ball (his favorite chase toy).
He doesn't bite anyone except me, at least not to this extent. He has never broken anyone else's skin, and when they tell him to stop, he listens. He won't listen to me. I'm worried it's because they disobeyed my direct wishes and hit him when he bit them. I worry they've ruined my attempt at proper training, and so he listens to them but no to me because he knows I won't hit him.

I just don't know what to do.
I'm open to the possibility that I'm simply not exercising him enough, but we go on hikes every other day, and I walk him twice or three times every day. He sleeps for hours after we get back, so I know he's tired out, but am I missing a step? Should I not let him sleep once we return to keep him tired?

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've been doing everything by the book, and he just won't listen. I'm at my wits end; I have no space on my arms that hasn't been shredded by his needle-like puppy teeth, and I'm worried that if I can't get him to stop, he's going to bite a stranger one day and they're going to take him away.
Does anyone have tips? ANYTHING is appreciated, I'm losing my mind!
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:06 PM
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First, instead of saying bite gentle, say BE gentle. He shouldn't bite you at all. Also, whenever he bites (you might think I'm crazy by saying this), you should "show" him that your hurt. Like almost, sulk, I guess. Also, give him something to play with like a chew toy, bone, or a puzzle toy, when he bites. I'm pretty sure he is just still gnawing. I wouldn't put bitter apple/cherry on your hands, since he likes the apple, and this might encourage him to bite more. I'm glad you didn't hit him (no dog deserves to be hit), but you need to be firm. Try to keep it positive, though. Also, when someone hits your dog and you don't want them to, stand up for your dog. The owner has to be their dog's voice, the dog sometimes can't stand up for itself. No dog should live in fear (he's scared when they hurt him, that's why he doesn't do it, but this can lead to problems later, like freaking out and biting them back a lot harder). I would talk to an expert/trainer, too, to make sure this problem doesn't lead to the dog biting strangers. Good luck, I know you want the best for your dog!

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Old 04-13-2014, 07:35 PM
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Have you tried squeaking or yelping when he nips? I would start very seriously working on changing his mouthing habits if he has no bite control and is breaking the skin. That means ANY TIME he starts to be mouthy, the same result occurs- you yelp and stop moving. If that doesn't work, a time out might be in order. If he is biting you when you try to remove yourself, then maybe keep a drag line on him and remove him to his crate or the bathroom for a few seconds for the time out. Also, if he is mouthing because he is very excited about a particular toy, shelf the toy for a while and start working on the self restraint with something that is lower value as a reward. Then, once he is reliably not biting when you have something he likes less than the ball, you can see if you can remind him not to bite when you do have the ball.

I also think you need to try more brain work for him. Give him mental work, not just physical. Food puzzles, "find it" games, trick training...those things will tire him out more thoroughly than just the walks and physical exercise.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:43 PM
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Don't get him riled up, be boring to him. No fast movements, no high " WOOHOO LET'S PLAY" voice. Your goal needs to be to be neutral and toys are much more fun then you.

NEVER play with him using your hands or feet as toys. He bites you play time ends, it get's the fun human to go away.

I used a 4 step system when I had my puppy.

1. If he bit me I gave him one of his toys while asking where the toy was, when he took it I played with him with it. That toy was just the funnest thing.

2. If he dropped the toy and tried biting me again I repeated one.

3. If he persisted in biting me play time ended. I got up out of his reach, or left the room him on one side of the baby gate me on the other. I left him for a minute or two then tried again.

4. If he simply would not stop then I left him with a nice chew for a longer period of time, he'd usually fall asleep because he was overtired and acting up because of it.

About the barking, DO NOT reward it. If he's barking for attention then ignore it, if he's barking to get out of the crate or get you to go to him ignore him. Only give him what he wants when he is quiet. You may have to ride out an extinction burst if he's used to barking getting him what he wants. That's when he'll throw everything he has into the barking before giving up on it. Be prepared to ride that out, if you don't you'll teach him to bark louder and longer to get what he wants.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:43 PM
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for starters, it sounds like you need to do more to tire him out in appropriate ways. training is my #1 go to when i need to tire my dogs, followed VERY closely by exercise. fetch, a flirt pole, and if you train tug (which can be very helpful in curbing this biting IF trained properly) can all tire a dog out in a short amount of time. you can also use puzzle feeder toys for his meals and scatter/hide it for him to seek out.

next you need to train him not to bite, and you are on the right track, but you are missing a step:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU

some more to consider:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKjk84OkzcI



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Old 04-13-2014, 07:56 PM
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Hello! I also have a BC mix puppy. He's now 11 months old. At 3 months, I too was at my wits end. This forum had great advice. Here are some things that worked for me:
-telling Theo "ah ah!" And putting an appropriate toy in his mouth.
-if he was still biting, I'd do it again.
-if he was still biting, I'd get up and walk away. Theo was kept on a penned-in area in our kitchen. I'd leave his area for 20 seconds-2 minutes, then come back.
-still biting? I'd leave again.
-if he began chasing feet and pant legs, I'd walk suuuuuuper slow around him. Moving fast instigated his chasing.

Sometimes, I had to get up and leave 20x in 20 minutes. Or walk slowly for the entire time I was with him, but it helped tremendously.

Things to remember:
-a 3 month old puppy is going to be bitey and mouthy. It will get better. For my dog, bite inhibition took a long time. My legs, hands, and feet were covered in bruises for a while.
-teething can make it worse, but losing teeth and getting adult teeth can make it improve. Theo began teething at about 5 months. His bite inhibition improve after that.
-like you, theo only bit me/chased my pant legs. It's really frustrating but you will get through it. It also doesn't mean he's going to be a biter or disobedient. Your dog has a brief attention span and a limited short term memory so repetition is key. Keep doing what you're doing. Eventually, it will click! Look at some of my old threads, a lot of people have me good advice on biting as well. Good luck!!
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