Dog Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help! We have a 10 week old border terrier who is mostly loving and playful and an absolute joy. He can be very gentle and gives lots of kisses. But when we play, he nips fingers and toes, and it can really hurt! We have been using the ‘ow!’ method (stopping play and saying ‘ow’ loudly until he stops then resuming play - and if he doesn’t stop after 3 ‘ows’ we leave the room for 1 minute). However, after 5 days, the nipping isn’t becoming less frequent or less hard and I have noticed that just leaving the room isn’t doing much, as he just continues playing with his toys in the room alone. So my question is this - do you suggest a play pen to put him in without toys so he really understands that nipping = no play and attention for 60 seconds? Thank you in advance for you guidance!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Please help! We have a 10 week old border terrier who is mostly loving and playful and an absolute joy. He can be very gentle and gives lots of kisses. But when we play, he nips fingers and toes, and it can really hurt! We have been using the ‘ow!’ method (stopping play and saying ‘ow’ loudly until he stops then resuming play - and if he doesn’t stop after 3 ‘ows’ we leave the room for 1 minute). However, after 5 days, the nipping isn’t becoming less frequent or less hard and I have noticed that just leaving the room isn’t doing much, as he just continues playing with his toys in the room alone. So my question is this - do you suggest a play pen to put him in without toys so he really understands that nipping = no play and attention for 60 seconds? Thank you in advance for you guidance!
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

Puppies bite. It's how they learn about the world around them. Even human babies explore with their mouths. Teaching them not to bite humans takes time and perseverance.

You need her pen to be a safe, happy place, and putting her in there with no toys is more like punishment for doing something that comes naturally.

You're combining two different methods, wondering why they haven't worked and ate thinking about a third. Choose 1 and stick to it. Either say "ow!" And refuse to engage, OR step outside the room for a minute, but not both.

Be aware that puppies tend to get worse when they're over tired, so stick her in her pen with a kong or chew to teach her to settle.

There's also something known as "extinction burst when a behaviour appears to get worse. This is a good sign tgat what You're doing is beginning to work, but at 10wks, she's still very young and might not make the connection yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

Puppies bite. It's how they learn about the world around them. Even human babies explore with their mouths. Teaching them not to bite humans takes time and perseverance.

You need her pen to be a safe, happy place, and putting her in there with no toys is more like punishment for doing something that comes naturally.

You're combining two different methods, wondering why they haven't worked and ate thinking about a third. Choose 1 and stick to it. Either say "ow!" And refuse to engage, OR step outside the room for a minute, but not both.

Be aware that puppies tend to get worse when they're over tired, so stick her in her pen with a kong or chew to teach her to settle.

There's also something known as "extinction burst when a behaviour appears to get worse. This is a good sign tgat what You're doing is beginning to work, but at 10wks, she's still very young and might not make the connection yet.
Hi. Welcome to the forum.

Puppies bite. It's how they learn about the world around them. Even human babies explore with their mouths. Teaching them not to bite humans takes time and perseverance.

You need her pen to be a safe, happy place, and putting her in there with no toys is more like punishment for doing something that comes naturally.

You're combining two different methods, wondering why they haven't worked and ate thinking about a third. Choose 1 and stick to it. Either say "ow!" And refuse to engage, OR step outside the room for a minute, but not both.

Be aware that puppies tend to get worse when they're over tired, so stick her in her pen with a kong or chew to teach her to settle.

There's also something known as "extinction burst when a behaviour appears to get worse. This is a good sign tgat what You're doing is beginning to work, but at 10wks, she's still very young and might not make the connection yet.
hi LMMB - thank you for your thoughtful answer. I had an incident earlier today when by BT bit my toe so hard and would not let go that I bled a bit. I guess I was just really worried about the behavior getting worse and wondering if the pen would work better (not his crate - that remains a happy, peaceful space - we have an exercise pen that we have not set up yet and might not use, but I was wondering if this would be a good use for it). When he bites our socks really hard like he did today and doesn’t let go, we leave the room, because its genuinely painful for us!
But I trust your guidance and will take notice. I will remain patient, remembering he’s still so young, and continue with the ‘ow’ in the hope he realizes the strength of some of his bites.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
hi LMMB - thank you for your thoughtful answer. I had an incident earlier today when by BT bit my toe so hard and would not let go that I bled a bit. I guess I was just really worried about the behavior getting worse and wondering if the pen would work better (not his crate - that remains a happy, peaceful space - we have an exercise pen that we have not set up yet and might not use, but I was wondering if this would be a good use for it). When he bites our socks really hard like he did today and doesn’t let go, we leave the room, because its genuinely painful for us!
But I trust your guidance and will take notice. I will remain patient, remembering he’s still so young, and continue with the ‘ow’ in the hope he realizes the strength of some of his bites.
Say ow and redirect to an appropriate chew/toy.
 

·
Registered
Z, Rescue Mutt
Joined
·
267 Posts
You've only been doing it for three days... You may not see progress for a week or more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Buzzu2

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Not only say ow (doesn't work on all dogs) but also put an end to fun time for a while. Puppies want to have constant fun and play, and when he bites..it is the end of his fun time. He will soon get the idea. My Golden Puppy was a complete land shark and drew blood at times (not bad intentioned). A combination of OW and the end of fun made her realize that biting is not acceptable for humans. To make things even more interesting; I have 2 others and one is also a puppy that she plays very rough with. She is now very gentle with me and no more blood..LOL
Stick with it and he will come around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL “land shark” - accurate deacription!
Thanks so much for your reply Buzzu2! I really appreciate the insight - it’s very comforting to know others have had very similar epexeriences with their pups. It helps to know I’m on the right track with my pup at the moment and just need to stick with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Our BT bit our toes all the time and even during a walk she jumped on our shoes. Our livingroom were fenced for her and everytime when she tried to bite, we left her alone in the livingroom. That was one way to teach that biting isn't okay. Usually when she was 'land shark' we gave her something else to focus on like toys. Biting won't last long and soon biting puppy will be grown up and behaving dog :)

Häpi Border terrier
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Our BT bit our toes all the time and even during a walk she jumped on our shoes. Our livingroom were fenced for her and everytime when she tried to bite, we left her alone in the livingroom. That was one way to teach that biting isn't okay. Usually when she was 'land shark' we gave her something else to focus on like toys. Biting won't last long and soon biting puppy will be grown up and behaving dog :)

Häpi Border terrier
Great video!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Saying "ow" never worked with any of my puppies. They seemed to think they had activated my squeak toy mode, and they thought it was great fun. I had better luck gently pushing the puppy away from my skin and redirecting play onto an appropriate tug toy. I put the puppy in his playpen for a nap if he bit me again after I had offered him a game of tug. Puppies get very nippy when they are tired. I also tried to teach games that limit the physical opportunity for a puppy to bite me. A puppy which is playing fetch can't easily bite me, because he is 20 feet away with a tennis ball in his mouth. Flirt poles are also good for playing while keeping the puppy at a distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,022 Posts
I have always combined the "ow" (or sound like that) with leaving the room or popping the pup into another room. There's no reason I can see not to combine the two things, as it really isn't trying to do two different things at once.

When I have done that, the "ow" comes first, then if the pup bites again it's out of the room, fun stops. Pretty soon the pup didn't bite again after the "ow", and the "ow" could get softer and quieter, becoming only a little "hmm", and eventually I could just pull back or shift my internal energy a bit and the pup would pull back from biting before even making contact.

Dogs are a lot more aware of subtleties than a lot of people give them credit for. I always like to give a little verbal or energetic sign to the dog that this isn't what I want, and then follow that with the consequences (like being put out of the room). That has always worked well for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Just a little word of caution - the sudden changes of direction and bursts of speed can damage developing joints.
Good point. I tend to drag mine in front of the dog in a way that encourages the pup to run straight. I let go if the dog catches the lure, so the dog doesn't need to make a quick stop. If I twirl the lure around me in a circle my pups will cut across the center of the circle and hit the back of my knees.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top