Trying everything but puppy STILL biting hard!

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Trying everything but puppy STILL biting hard!

This is a discussion on Trying everything but puppy STILL biting hard! within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; hi guys, I have a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier who we've had for 3 weeks, and bite inhibition training is not going well! I'm ...

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Old 07-12-2015, 02:06 PM
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Trying everything but puppy STILL biting hard!

hi guys,

I have a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier who we've had for 3 weeks, and bite inhibition training is not going well!

I'm praising her all the time for good calm behaviour, distracting her with a toy when she bites and praising her when she chews on the toy, squealing like a puppy when she bites me and I used to move away from her but that didn't work, so now I put her on her own in another room for 30 seconds or so.

I'm doing everything I've read about but it's not working, she bites us all the time and it really hurts. She lunges at our faces, runs up to us and bites our arms and elbows for attention. We can't play with or cuddle her without her biting us hard.

I can't use treats at the moment as she is having treatment for campylobacter and is on a bland food diet, so I'm using lots of verbal and physical praise but it doesn't seem to be working! It's also not helpful that she can't have her vaccinations, go outside or see other people due to being contagious so I can't socialise her or start puppy classes the way I'd like to. Help!

Last edited by lucycouture; 07-12-2015 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:01 PM
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It takes a lot of time, definitely longer than 3 weeks, for bite inhibition. I don't want to discourage you, but it took my dog well over 3 months to really get it down. When they start losing their baby teeth, it gets a little worse, and then when all their adult teeth come in, it may calm down. My dog's biting decreased greatly by about 6 months of age, when all of his baby teeth were gone.

You're doing well with the training, just keep it up. I found that sharply inhaling or gasping when bitten was more effective than squealing, which just seemed to make my dog more excited. Move slowly around the dog, especially when they start biting. Keep redirecting and remove yourself when necessary, and finally remove them when necessary. My bite training went like this:

1. Theo bites me. I inhale sharply and redirect to a toy.
2. Theo bites me again. I repeat step 1.
3. Theo bites again. I remove myself from his penned area for 30 sec-1 minute.
4. Theo bites again. I remove myself from his penned area for 1-2 minutes.
5. Theo bites again. I put him in his crate to calm down, anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on how wound up he is.

I made sure to refer to the crate as his "relaxation station", nothing too punishing or threatening, so he would associate the crate with something positive.

Some dogs aren't cuddlers, especially at a young age. Mine certainly wasn't and isn't much of one now (he's 2 years old). I had to really let go of my idea that I'd cuddle with my puppy every day....without him trying to bite my face off. I had to train him to allow himself to be petted. Kikopup's "no bite!" videos and biting series are great videos to watch to teach bite inhibition, especially for petting, brushing the dog, and cuddling.

Good luck!!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:33 PM
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I agree with the person above me! That sounds like a great plan. However, I would add spanking as a last step. It's just unacceptable behavior. I found saying "ouch!" Really worked for all three of my puppies (since I learned about it). But if they don't respect "dog vocal communication" or being left alone, then I go to "dog physical communication". A vet I worked for taught me to pinch a horse when he was acting aggressive because that's how horses communicate with each other.. So that's what I do with dogs as well. A spank or a pinch. It's not being abusive it's using the same method a momma dog would use on her puppies! My dogs have never once flinched or cried around me so I know they aren't scared, dogs like boundaries. There is simple a difference between teething and lunging and biting to me. Good luck with your pup !!!! sounds like you're working hard, it will all pay off.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:57 PM
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I would add spanking as a last step.
Never add spanking, or any kind of physical correction for any step. Such advice is against the rules of the forum, and is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:06 PM
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Keep a loose leash on her at all times. It's much easier and safer for you to redirect her away from you when she's being a nuisance. I always used time outs and it eventually worked.

She won't cuddle with you unless she's been exhausted. Once she tired, she might not redirect her excitement to biting your faces and such.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:13 PM
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Never add spanking, or any kind of physical correction for any step. Such advice is against the rules of the forum, and is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.
I should tell my older dog that. He allows the new puppy to nip and growl and wrestle until she actually causes pain then it's a short correction with his teeth. I've seen it twice in two days, it stops the roughhousing immediately but doesn't hasn't made Leia aversive, in fact she goes right back to playing just without the teeth.

As for the rules, the sharp inhale, a yelp or "ouch", a stern no, and forced time out etc. are also against a literal interpretation of the rules. Clearly there is some flexibility when it comes to the issue of biting -as well there should be-.

My opinion of puppy biting is that its two separate issues, teething and uninhibited excitement biting.

The teething biting is why puppies chew on things, be it the rug or your hand.

So far Leia hasn't started teething as best I can tell but when Simba was what we did was redirect with his paw. When he'd start gnawing on us we'd put his paw in his mouth and let him bite himself. He always stopped immediately (duh) and his mouthing phase only lasted a few weeks so the technique seemed to be reasonable effective. When he'd chew on other things he shouldn't, I'd redirect with a toy. I learned that in this stage if he didn't have something appropriate nearby to chew on he'd chew on something inappropriate but he was definitely going to chew!

Afterwards and to this day we play a lot of hand and mouth games. Full on teeth bared, snarling and growling play fighting; muzzle grabbing; wrestling; etc.

He loves it. Its his favorite type of play but it involves taking his excitement level to its highest point and relying on him to be careful enough to not hurt me. I knew if I was going to encourage this behavior I needed to be sure he could and would moderate while he was still young. So building on the fact that he knew biting was wrong I had to train him to control himself when very excited. I did this by reacting the same way each time he bit during this style of play. Firm "NO", grabbing his muzzle and pushing him to the ground and knee lightly over his chest until I could see in his eyes that he knew play had stopped. The I let him back up and we resumed play. That required consistency and there was still the occasional need to repeat various months down the road.

The pay off was that we can wrestle and growl (yes me too) without anybody getting hurt. I can try to grab his muzzle and he'll try and grab my hand with his mouth but he won't bite. If you've done the egg carry test you know that dogs can pick things up and hold them while exerting very little force.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:25 PM
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He loves it. Its his favorite type of play but it involves taking his excitement level to its highest point and relying on him to be careful enough to not hurt me. I knew if I was going to encourage this behavior I needed to be sure he could and would moderate while he was still young. So building on the fact that he knew biting was wrong I had to train him to control himself when very excited. I did this by reacting the same way each time he bit during this style of play. Firm "NO", grabbing his muzzle and pushing him to the ground and knee lightly over his chest until I could see in his eyes that he knew play had stopped. The I let him back up and we resumed play. That required consistency and there was still the occasional need to repeat various months down the road.

The pay off was that we can wrestle and growl (yes me too) without anybody getting hurt. I can try to grab his muzzle and he'll try and grab my hand with his mouth but he won't bite. If you've done the egg carry test you know that dogs can pick things up and hold them while exerting very little force.
My BF has achieved the same with two Rottweilers, and my mutt, and never used any physical correction at all, let alone the over-the-top method of grabbing a muzzle, saying no, and pushing the dog to the ground. Did you even take a moment to try less violent ways of teaching the dog to play gently?

It's entirely unnecessary to use physical methods to teach a dog bite inhibition. Just because you've never created a fearful/aggressive dog doesn't mean those methods will work for everyone else. When you recommend those methods to all and sundry, knowing nothing about their particular dog, you run the risk that their dog is one of those who'll develop serious behavior issues that can result in a dog who is fearful, aggressive and dangerous. Even if it only happens once, because of your advice, that's one too many times. Even if you never know about it.

The advantage of using and recommending methods that don't involve physically manhandling the dog, that use rewards for wanted behavior, instead of punishment for unwanted behavior, is that if you do have sensitive dog, you aren't going to create a problem. That is why this forum doesn't recommend aversive methods. Perhaps you could try to respect that.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:36 PM
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@Dia as I mentioned, the egg carry test is a great way to teach bite control as well. As for my methods, I don't think the are over the top in the context of the play. If I came out of nowhere and did the same I would agree but doing so while in rough and tumble play?

Anyway as I mentioned in my previous post, yelping, saying ouch and time outs are all aversive methods as well. Also not recommended by the forum in theory but still widely recommended by forum members. Anyway not something I want to fight about, just sharing my experience.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:14 PM
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This forum does not allow anyone to recommend using aversive punishment. This is a warning. Please respect our rules and guidelines or I will hand out infractions. Thank you.

https://www.dogforum.com/dogforum-com...om-rules-1606/

13) Respect the forum's posting guidelines.
DogForum.com promotes a force free training philosophy based on learning theory and scientific research. We also promote educated debate on training methods. It is ok to discuss the merits of different training equipment as well as techniques, but it is NOT ok to promote or suggest any training equipment or technique that uses fear, pain, intimidation or is based in positive punishment ("P+"of the 4 quadrants). Please refer to "Forum rules and guidelines: TRAINING & BEHAVIOR, Please Read BEFORE Posting!" for more information.

Spanking would fall under this rule.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucycouture View Post
hi guys,

I have a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier who we've had for 3 weeks, and bite inhibition training is not going well!

I'm praising her all the time for good calm behaviour, distracting her with a toy when she bites and praising her when she chews on the toy, squealing like a puppy when she bites me and I used to move away from her but that didn't work, so now I put her on her own in another room for 30 seconds or so.

I'm doing everything I've read about but it's not working, she bites us all the time and it really hurts. She lunges at our faces, runs up to us and bites our arms and elbows for attention. We can't play with or cuddle her without her biting us hard.

I can't use treats at the moment as she is having treatment for campylobacter and is on a bland food diet, so I'm using lots of verbal and physical praise but it doesn't seem to be working! It's also not helpful that she can't have her vaccinations, go outside or see other people due to being contagious so I can't socialise her or start puppy classes the way I'd like to. Help!
OP, generally yelping does not help with puppy biting and just causes the puppy to get more riled up. I would recommend taking a look at this blog post: Puppy Mouthing and Nipping: A Survival Story - The Good Pet Parent Blog

If you can't use treats to train the puppy, you can use some of the food you are currently feeding and subtract that amount from her daily diet. Additionally, try to remember that though your puppy might be cute, she's also a terrier. She may be more rough and tumble than cuddly and you might just have to accept her for who she is. I would recommend time outs when the puppy is biting you so you can have a break from her and she gets a chance to calm down as well. You can try to keep a toy on you at all times and redirect her onto it. When all else fails, there's no shame in taking a break from her. I'd set up an ex pen and step over it and leave her whenever she bites you and not her toy.
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