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I just got a 5 week old pitbull on Saturday. I know he's supposed to be with his mother until he's 8 weeks old but the person I got him from got him from one of her friends, and I don't know why she got him so young, but she only had him a little over a week before giving him to me because she's allergic to his fur. I don't know why she didn't give him back to her friend or any other details.

Anyways the only issue I have with him right now is his biting. He can bite really hard and it's painful. I've been looking up how to correct this and nothing seems to work. I've tried yelping in a high pitch, that seemed to work at first but then stopped being effective. I've tried redirecting him to chew toys but he would rather bite my hands and feet. I've tried "going limp" and he won't release when I do that, I've tried the thing where you put him on his back, nothing seems to work.

A little while ago he seemed overly excited or agitated because he was going around the room aggressively tearing up everything he's not supposed to, from his potty pads to the carpet, etc. Then he went for my finger. He bit my finger hard and growled and shook his head like he was playing tug of war with my finger, in a knee jerk reaction I slapped him semi-hard in the face and he immediately released and yelped. My finger was bleeding from him biting and I really don't want to resort to hitting/slapping him to get him to stop biting but I'm running out of alternatives, and the one time I did it he stopped. What else can I do?

I want to take him to a trainer as soon as possible but no one seems to want to train him until he gets all his shots but I can't wait that long. Is there any way I can find a trainer that will work with him at this age? Or what can I do?
 

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Given that your friend had him for a week before you did that means he was taken from his mom and siblings a 4 weeks old, so that's something your going to have to keep in mind as he grows. I know in this case it cant really be helped but your puppy has lost out on about a month of learning bite inhabition and other puppy things from his mom and siblings.
Ill start first with saying don't hit/slap your dog or put them/hold them on their back. It doesn't work and it can exasorbate the unwanted behavior.
Make sure you have plenty of puppy apprioprate toys for him to play/chew with/on.
Sometimes yelping works, other times it can make the puppy/dog think you want to play.
Have you tried when he nips/bites you, stopping all interaction folding your arms and not looking at him (basicly ignoring him/not giving him attention)? Or when he does it stop what your doing with him stop giving him attention and remove your self from the room?
I might also suggest investing in a crate or x-pen to keep him in during unsupervised times. That way you know he's not getting into anything bad and you can use it as a time to give him constructive things to chew on.
Really you just have to stick to your guns and be very consistant. If he nips/bites your and you use for example the ignore method and you go to pet/play/ect and he bites again, ignore again. It may only take once or twice, or may take twenty or more times for it to stick. Just stick with it when you find a method that works and make sure you use it every time he nips/bites even it means repeating multipull times.
 
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Given that your friend had him for a week before you did that means he was taken from his mom and siblings a 4 weeks old, so that's something your going to have to keep in mind as he grows. I know in this case it cant really be helped but your puppy has lost out on about a month of learning bite inhabition and other puppy things from his mom and siblings.
Ill start first with saying don't hit/slap your dog or put them/hold them on their back. It doesn't work and it can exasorbate the unwanted behavior.
Make sure you have plenty of puppy apprioprate toys for him to play/chew with/on.
Sometimes yelping works, other times it can make the puppy/dog think you want to play.
Have you tried when he nips/bites you, stopping all interaction folding your arms and not looking at him (basicly ignoring him/not giving him attention)? Or when he does it stop what your doing with him stop giving him attention and remove your self from the room?
I might also suggest investing in a crate or x-pen to keep him in during unsupervised times. That way you know he's not getting into anything bad and you can use it as a time to give him constructive things to chew on.
Really you just have to stick to your guns and be very consistant. If he nips/bites your and you use for example the ignore method and you go to pet/play/ect and he bites again, ignore again. It may only take once or twice, or may take twenty or more times for it to stick. Just stick with it when you find a method that works and make sure you use it every time he nips/bites even it means repeating multipull times.
I've tried stopping all interaction, folding my arms, and turning my back to him while in the room but then he just goes to bite my ankles. I haven't tried removing myself from the room because I'm concerned he will tear up the couch and carpet if I leave him unsupervised.

I do have a crate that I keep in my bedroom. I'm trying to figure out the best way to crate train him. He's usually only in the crate over night so if he has to go potty I can hear him whining and I'll let him out so he can go. But during the day I'm usually in a room on the opposite side of the house and he's usually with me in that room. I thought about moving the crate to the room I'm in during the day and getting one of those baby monitor things so that when I go to sleep at night I can hear him when he starts whining, but I'm not sure if that's necessary or if what I'm doing now is the best way.

Would you recommend I put him in the crate as a "time out" when he starts biting?
 

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A trainer ASAP would be a super good investment. Sometimes trainers avoid puppies at this age for insurance reasons (if the dogs you train aren't vaccinated, you could be denied a claim or denied insurance altogether).

For bite inhibition, the best route to go is probably to treat him as an older puppy... that is to say "ouch" and if he keeps going, time out. Keep him in a room where you can step over a baby gate if you don't like his behavior.

Sometimes I feel that it is appropriate to put a puppy in their crate (with a chewy treat or a kong stuffed with peanut butter to keep them busy) for all-out crazy behavior because much like with toddlers, there is a good chance that they are totally off their rocker because they are overtired. Usually when you put them down for a nap they will scream bloody murder for 2 minutes and then crash hard... They need that sleep!

For crate training... I wouldn't worry about him SLEEPING (at night) in his crate until he hits 8 weeks. Until then, it's probably actually best to have him sleeping next to a warm body, that is, block the edges of your bed off with pillows and have him in bed with you.

A really good website for you to have in your bookmarks is dogstardaily.com. The guy who runs it (Ian Dunbar) is a renowned vet and trainer and he is nuts about puppy development. He's awesome. His book, "Before and After Getting Your Puppy" is available as a free download on his site.
 

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If your pup is now 5 weeks and your friend had it for 1 week, that means it was taken away from the litter at 4 weeks. Uh oh. That is sooo terribly young. Besides bite inhibition, there are a lot of behaviours learned up until the crucial span of 8 weeks. Confidence, how to interact with other dogs, dealing with anxiety, phobias....blah blah. There's quite a few articles on the internet about this, here's one of them:

The True Cost Of Early Removal Of A Puppy From Its Mother And Litter Mates - Snowdog Guru

I don't mean to scare you, but just know that there are likely behavioural/ psychological issues on the road ahead that you may need to work with your pup on (not just bite inhibition).
 

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He bit my finger hard and growled and shook his head like he was playing tug of war with my finger, in a knee jerk reaction I slapped him semi-hard in the face and he immediately released and yelped.
Hitting a five week old puppy in the face or anywhere else is not going to teach it anything except to be afraid of you.
I thought about moving the crate to the room I'm in during the day
Crates are pretty inexpensive, just get a second one. You want to set yourself and the pup up for success, and in potty training that means you have to work hard to prevent accidents. You are going to have to work even harder because the pup is underage and can't 'hold it' for long.
As for me, I've been unemployed for the past 7 months so I have more idle time than I know what to do with. I wish I would have got a puppy earlier in the year but I wasn't planning on being unemployed this long. I should be returning to my old job in about a month or 2, and when that happens the other members of my household can take care of the pup while I'm at work but I plan on being the primary caretaker, and I would rather not delegate responsibilities to anyone else unless I absolutely have to. My work schedule would be from 6:30am-3:30pm Monday thru Friday, and occasionally another 2 or 3 hours of overtime.

Despite me being unemployed right now, money is not going to be an issue. I can still afford all the training classes and vet visits and whatever else I need to pay for.
If you are going to go back to work in a month or two, this pup will be way too young to keep crated all day long. It is not too early to have family members start getting involved in its care so they can be ready to take over when you return to work.
 

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I don't think you need to move the crate. Investing in a x-pen might work better then getting a second crate so you have one thing that's easier to move around and can use it as either a pen or a gate.
Since you said he bite/nips even if you ignore him, I think Kelly528 had a good suggestion about having gates up to be able to completely remove yourself from the room and he cant follow.
 

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These problems are likely all related to the age that he was removed from his mother/litter. At 4 weeks, he probably had less than a full week that he and his siblings were together and learning from each other since around then is when pups eyes open, their hearing improves, and motor function improves. It sounds like he was sent to a new home literally as soon as he was somewhat able to walk and eat solid foods. As other have said, this is something that my (/is likely) to come back and bite you as he grows.

An 8 week old puppy is like a human toddler. A 5 week old is like a little baby.

He is biting to the point of drawing blood because he has no idea how hard he can bite without hurting you. My guess is that his age has a lot to do with why he doesn't seem to be responding to anything short of force. Also, you've had him for less than a week. Puppies this age take time to understand things and they need consistency. You need to be doing the same thing, every time, for weeks- not days- before you can expect any response at this age, IMO. I actually don't suggest making noise when he bites you, because I've found this really only works when pups get you by accident vs when they're actively biting and "playing" with you; when they're trying to bite, it just gets them more amped up.

I would suggest continuing to remove attention from him when he bites too hard, and agree with the suggestion above that when he goes into crazy puppy mode its usually a good idea to pop him in his crate for a little. Puppies this age can't really control themselves, and they get overstimulated just like a toddler would.

Also, it is important to note that it's VERY unlikely he's actually being aggressive. He's overstimulate and overexcited, not trying to hurt you. He's just playing the way a crazy high energy pup does.

I would start preparing now- he's probably going to be a handful. Pit/bully breed pups tend to be pretty destructive and high energy for the first 2 or 3 years. They definitely need to be managed as young dogs so they don't destroy the house.

A trainer is a good idea- look through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) website for trainers near you. Often trainers will have minimum ages closer to 10 or 12 weeks, but you can look. I would try for a one-on-one consultation vs a group class at this age, but also plan to enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class when he's closer to 12 weeks or so and has a longer attention span.

At this age, especially when you're home all day/ not working, I would highly recommend having a written/planned schedule. I raised a pup while I was off of work/school for 6 months and found it was really helpful in keeping track of exercise, crate time, and potty breaks. I would also suggest getting him used to being alone for a few hours a day now vs when you go back to work, because that's a prime way to end up with separation anxiety issues, having a pup near you ALL the time as a baby and then suddenly expecting them to be alone for long stretches. Also, when you go back to work you really should have someone come at least once or twice a day to let him out to go to the bathroom/play for a little bit, like a dog walker, friend, or family member.
 

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These problems are likely all related to the age that he was removed from his mother/litter. At 4 weeks, he probably had less than a full week that he and his siblings were together and learning from each other since around then is when pups eyes open, their hearing improves, and motor function improves. It sounds like he was sent to a new home literally as soon as he was somewhat able to walk and eat solid foods. As other have said, this is something that my (/is likely) to come back and bite you as he grows.

An 8 week old puppy is like a human toddler. A 5 week old is like a little baby.

He is biting to the point of drawing blood because he has no idea how hard he can bite without hurting you. My guess is that his age has a lot to do with why he doesn't seem to be responding to anything short of force. Also, you've had him for less than a week. Puppies this age take time to understand things and they need consistency. You need to be doing the same thing, every time, for weeks- not days- before you can expect any response at this age, IMO. I actually don't suggest making noise when he bites you, because I've found this really only works when pups get you by accident vs when they're actively biting and "playing" with you; when they're trying to bite, it just gets them more amped up.

I would suggest continuing to remove attention from him when he bites too hard, and agree with the suggestion above that when he goes into crazy puppy mode its usually a good idea to pop him in his crate for a little. Puppies this age can't really control themselves, and they get overstimulated just like a toddler would.

Also, it is important to note that it's VERY unlikely he's actually being aggressive. He's overstimulate and overexcited, not trying to hurt you. He's just playing the way a crazy high energy pup does.

I would start preparing now- he's probably going to be a handful. Pit/bully breed pups tend to be pretty destructive and high energy for the first 2 or 3 years. They definitely need to be managed as young dogs so they don't destroy the house.

A trainer is a good idea- look through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) website for trainers near you. Often trainers will have minimum ages closer to 10 or 12 weeks, but you can look. I would try for a one-on-one consultation vs a group class at this age, but also plan to enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class when he's closer to 12 weeks or so and has a longer attention span.

At this age, especially when you're home all day/ not working, I would highly recommend having a written/planned schedule. I raised a pup while I was off of work/school for 6 months and found it was really helpful in keeping track of exercise, crate time, and potty breaks. I would also suggest getting him used to being alone for a few hours a day now vs when you go back to work, because that's a prime way to end up with separation anxiety issues, having a pup near you ALL the time as a baby and then suddenly expecting them to be alone for long stretches. Also, when you go back to work you really should have someone come at least once or twice a day to let him out to go to the bathroom/play for a little bit, like a dog walker, friend, or family member.
Hitting a five week old puppy in the face or anywhere else is not going to teach it anything except to be afraid of you.

Crates are pretty inexpensive, just get a second one. You want to set yourself and the pup up for success, and in potty training that means you have to work hard to prevent accidents. You are going to have to work even harder because the pup is underage and can't 'hold it' for long.


If you are going to go back to work in a month or two, this pup will be way too young to keep crated all day long. It is not too early to have family members start getting involved in its care so they can be ready to take over when you return to work.
He's pretty good with using the potty pads. He gets it right like 90% of the time. He usually has to eliminate right when he wakes up from a nap so it's very predictable when he has to go. He'll wake up, eliminate, then be active for about 15 or 30 minutes or so, fall asleep for 1-3 hours, wake up and the process repeats.

I wasn't planning on leaving him in the crate all day when I go back to work. I live with my grandparents and my uncle, and there's always someone in the house. When I start working again, my grandfather will be at work when I'm home, and when I'm at work he'll be home. My uncle is in and out of the house all day, and my grandmother is always home. So there's always going to be someone to look after him. I don't want to ask them to look after him now because of the biting issue so I want to be able to leave him in the crate when I have to run quick errands until I can resolve the biting.

When he starts acting crazy, how long should I leave him in the crate for? I don't know if I should wait until he calms down or leave him for a specified amount of time?
 

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I would wait until he calms down. They'll often throw a short tantrum before settling down. If the pup falls asleep in the crate, I leave it in there. If they just settle and stop whining and are laying down but not asleep, I'll usually let them back out (unless I need to get something done). You NEVER want to take a puppy out of the crate when he's vocalizing/being a brat still, because this will teach them that whining means you'll let them out if you're not careful.

Something I never did until my most recent dog is "tether training"- keeping her on a longish (~6') leash attached to me/that I'm holding when we're just having downtime. She was a nightmare to potty train- at 9 months she was still having almost daily accidents in the house. She also happens to be a puppy that get overstimulated and then can't calm herself down very well, and so if left to her own devices she often got to a level of crazy I wasn't OK with. Tethering her to me when we were just hanging out meant that I could get certain things done that required her not to be taking up my attention but without crating her- things like reading/writing/working on the computer/etc. This formed really strong associations that certain things I did meant she wasn't supposed to be running around crazily, as well- if I read or work on the computer now, she understands that means "hey, go be calm". I would usually do a bathroom break and then 20-30 minutes of play time, and then tether her to me until I brought her out again.
 
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