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I have an 11 week old bull dog puppy mix who CONSTANTLY is biting. Since he is a puppy, it doesn't hurt that much. But I obviously don't want it to become
A habit. When he bites me, I clap my hands and say no, and then try and direct him towards a toy, but soon he comes back for me. Could he be teething? I'm new to this. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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He's probably not teething yet, but he *is* growing extremely quickly, and that means his gums are stretching, and his skin is stretching, which means he is itchy and his gums ache! Of course he wants to chew! He probably also thinks your hands, legs, feet, etc. are chew toys (to a puppy, the world is a giant chew toy, I'm convinced).

Redirecting to a toy is a good step! Probably the clapping isn't helping--my puppy (15 wks) definitely would see that as "chew toy hands playing keep away! ooh!"

The first thing to do is, *always* approach the dog with a toy in your hand. Whenever he wants to play, make *sure* it is with a toy. Eventually, this will help him get the idea that playing with you => playing through toys.

When he nips, the next step after redirecting to a toy is to disengage. I usually stand up and turn my back for a few seconds, long enough to get her attention focused elsewhere (usually on the toy I'd been trying to redirect her to). If I have to keep doing it repeatedly, playtime is over for a little while. I try not to make it seem like "punishment," though; it's more to give her time to cool off.

Calypso likes her crate but whines *incessantly* if gated in the kitchen, so she gets 10 minutes or so to chill in her crate, and then if she is restless I'll try again with the play (toy in hand!). To avoid having her see going into the crate as punishment, I always practice name recognition/sit (the very basic commands that she has a 90+% success rate at) a couple times, so the end of playtime is me giving her treats. And also so I can toss a treat in the crate to keep crate time happy time (ergo quiet time).

Also, it sounds like he has pretty good bite inhibition already, if he's not hurting you, but you might want to read this article anyway (it has some good times for managing nipping/biting in general).

ETA: I'm pretty sure the answer to the question you asked in the title is "yes." :p
 

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Yes, puppies are very mouthy at this age.
It is how they explore their worlds.

The basic principle to deal with this is to always put a toy in your pup's mouth and not keep your hands there as chew objects.

We talk about this a LOT.

Check out some of these threads for tips on surviving this stage of your puppy's growth. ;)

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Hi. Congrats on your new addition :thumbsup:

When I got my pup, she was very young.. I dont think she even learned bite inhibition... so I taught her myself :)

I dont really think I taught her the best way I possibly could, because at the time I didnt really know much about dog behavior and what action triggers which reaction..

BUT - my Karma had a thing for going for the face. I had company, and the first thing they would do is pick up my tiny little girl and bring her in right close to their face and before they could even comment, karma would latch onto their nose.. and puppy teeth hurt!

Anyway, I fixed this by simply saying "NO BITE" everytime she would start to go for it, and immediately intercept it by placing a toy in her mouth instead.. she learned really really quickly. I still sometimes have to remind her when shes playing and gets too rough.. but most of the time she wont even put her mouth on human skin unless of course its to give kisses :p

Just remember, a puppy is just an animal until you turn it into your companion.. and you have to do this by teaching them EVERYTHING. They're only just babies after all.. they really dont know anything until you show them.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
 

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I have an 11 week old bull dog puppy mix who CONSTANTLY is biting. Since he is a puppy, it doesn't hurt that much. But I obviously don't want it to become
A habit. When he bites me, I clap my hands and say no, and then try and direct him towards a toy, but soon he comes back for me. Could he be teething? I'm new to this. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
This is a great trainer clicker training is fun for you and your pup.
 
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