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Discussion Starter #1
So the new girl should be arriving on October 24 and I want to clarify a few things before she comes home.

I just got done reading Ian Dunbar's After you get a puppy and he talks a lot on the importance of creating bite inhibition. He discouraged never letting your puppy bite, instead encouraging it so you can teach the pup when it bites too hard. That way you create a soft mouth, then a few months later when you achieve a soft mouth you start to teach the pup to bite less. I always thought that it was to teach the pup that biting is a playtime ender from the very start. Yet his view stressed the importance of creating a soft mouth. I know a lot of this can be taught from puppy socialization classes which she will be going to. He did talk about people bite inhibition too. I was wondering what everyone else thinks on this. I don't mind gentle rough housing and mouthing for a soft mouth when playing. Yet I do not want to have a mouthy dog at all.

My second question is the same as everyone else has about house training. I'm sorry but I would like an idea if my idea is a good one. So over all I am going to be taking the first week off the pup is home. After that I have to return to work. I live with my boyfriend and between the two of us the longest the puppy will be left alone is about 4 hours. He will be getting fed through kongs/wobblers and training to keep him occupied and I believe my BF's dog will stay close for companionship. I will also have a radio on when we are gone.

For the set up I know that a 9 week old puppy can not hold it that long. So I'm planning on having a long term and short term confinement. Long term will be a playpen with a crate/bed on one side and some sort of toilet on the other. I'm hoping to do a box with turf in it. I want something a little more like outside than just a pee pad. But I will have the pee pad underneath the turf, so hopefully the smell will attract the puppy still. There will be toys and chews with the puppy. There will be Play time to tire out then potty time before someone leaves. When we are home there will be lots of play-time, training and learning to settle at our feet. We will also only be using the outside potty for the times that we are at home every 30 minutes to 1 hour. Does this seem alright for a four hour period a few days a week?

Should I expect a problem for house training when I eventually do remove the in house toilet? Once she is old enough to hold it for more than four hours she will be crated only when we are gone. At that point we will get rid of the play pen.

At night she will be crated and kept next to our bed, so I will have to take her out in the night if she gets up and cries. I would also begin crate her for naps to get used to it and not think we leave every time. I just don't want to leave her in there for longer than she can hold her bladder.
 

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For me teaching "soft mouth" was basically allowing Simba to use my hand as a pacifier but not a chew toy.

I never let him bite but if he wanted to just put my hand in his mouth (he did) that was fine.

Potty training plan sounds good, if you have a box you can just take it outside when it's time to start transitioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you still get a lot of hard biting with him and waiting to phase it out? Or is the biting slowly turning into only mouthing?

I'm glad to hear that it sounds like that will work. Now I just have to find a playpen and make a toilet box somehow. Maybe just some 2x4s and plywood and some turf grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anyone else wanna throw in their opinion? I really am at a bit of a loss for how to handle teaching bite inhibition.
 

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Well, I am an owner of an Aussie that doesn't bite me, but does rough house at the dog park, and with a new puppy so he does have a soft mouth.

When he was really little, probably the first two weeks, any contact of his mouth on my clothes or teeth resulted in first trying to be redirected to a toy, and then if he continued to bite me, play time was over. The herders are so mouthy I really wanted to discourage him nipping.

At 10 weeks he went to puppy kindergarten, and it was there that he really started to learn bite inhibition with other dogs. I would really recommend making play dates with another person in the class who's dog has a similar energy level and play style to yours.

At 12 weeks he was much more interested in training, so we started working on him mouthing me, softly. We also worked on him not re-adjusting his grip carelessly when playing tug.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That actually sounds like a good plan. I'd rather discourage it from the start and teach gentle mouthing after and let other puppies be the main teacher. With a herding breed I also am worried about the nipping. I don't want a nippy dog and I know they have it in their genes.

Thank you both!
 
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My new BC puppy was an absolute TERROR the first week we had her. Move your hands or feet slightly? You had sharp little teeth in there. Redirecting to a toy worked wonders for her. In the first week her biting had been reduced by probably 70%. She still nips in the morning, and when Levi gets her SUPER jacked up, but redirection has worked wonders for us.

I can't wait to see more pictures!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's what I was worried about! Getting a herder that always had to have its teeth in our skin. I'm preparing for a lot of work! Though there is a small glimmer of hope that I'll get lucky.

I was actually hearing the other day that Aussies are starting to loose their natural herding instincts over recent generations.

Soon as I get her you guys might get sick of seeing so many pictures of her! I just asked today if we can see them this weekend. If not I'll have to wait till next Saturday when she comes home.
 

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Hello there! Thank you for sharing your experience. I had a similar problem. I have a dog and a horse. When my dog used to be a pup, she was biting me playfully. My mistake is that I didn’t pay much attention to it and allowed her to do it. When she has grown up, she continued to bite me, I would say still playfully, but her bites became more serious. To solve this problem I started to train my dog at home, but it wasn’t helpful since I wasn’t experienced enough in those questions. So, my friend helped with this. But after I solved the “dog bitting issue” I noticed that my horse started to bite playfully. I don’t know if she learned it from my dog and I’ve tried a few tips from Do Horses Bite & How to Prevent It - Petsoid , but maybe someone here also has or had a similar problem. What did you do or what would you recommend to me?
 
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