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Discussion Starter #1
I've been a dog owner before, but it's been over a year since my dog passed away, and my fiance and I have just adopted a 7 month old hound mix.
I had some misgivings about her young age and her energy levels but her foster mom reassured me that she was the picture of perfect.
I don't even know where to begin. Obviously, I'm in the process of signing up for training, but that's not an instant fix.
She knows "Sit" and "No" and is mostly housebroken. She's very easily distracted and so I'm having a really hard time keeping her attention on me when I give her any instruction or training at all.
I took her on two long walks today, but we don't have a fenced in yard or a dog park, so that's about the amount of exercise I can give her. She spends a lot of the day resting, curled up snoozing in 3 hour chunks of time, but in between she's racing around our tiny apartment, flinging her toys across the room and wanting to play. I wouldn't mind engaging her in play a couple times a day, but she doesn't know where her toy ends and I begin, and so her teeth keep landing on me. I've tried yelping when that happens, and I've tried a firm no, but she's still (after 3 days) hasn't figured out what my hand or leg or whatever body part feels like.
I'm feeling really guilty in my ability to give her what she needs, and finding that I keep putting her in her crate because I can't handle the energy, and then I feel guilty about that.
Any suggestions for what I can do to stick it out until she's had some training? Or am I just really in over my head?
 

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When she bites (intentionally or not), then play time ends for a few minutes. Give her time outs. If she's really exuberant and continues nipping/biting at you when you are ignoring her, then the time out needs to involve being put in a separate space. Ideally this is not her crate as her crate should be a cozy spot and not a punishment spot. So using a baby crate to block her off in a part of the house, or putting her in a spare room, mud room, bathroom -- wherever she can be contained away from toys or you for a few minutes.
If she's too difficult to catch when she's in a playful mood, purchase a short leash that can stay attached to her collar so when she nips/bites you can grab it, take her to her "time out" zone (in a neutral, ignoring her completely manner).
Teaching her the command "settle" is also useful but will take time. Kikopup on youtube has some great videos on capturing calmness/teaching a settle. That way when she gets too rowdy, have her settle, then when she's settled resume play again.

Since she's a hound, teaching her nosework would really activate her brain and play into her natural instincts. There are lots of youtube videos on introducing nosework. For my girl, I hide pieces of her kibble around thehouse in nooks and crannies and leave her to it to hunt them all out. She loves it. If i'm feeling more hands on, I'll get a few boxes/containers, and hide a treat in one of them and she has to sniff it out. My girl isn't a hound and has only a so-so sense of smell so she has to really work at these games, but I can imagine your girl will catch on very quickly and will need more difficult nosework tasks to keep her brain going.

Physical exercise is important but mental stimulation is what really tuckers them out. Trick training, nosework, etc for 20-30 minutes a day will make a difference. Also remember that you're coming into prime adolescence and there are going to be days where you just want to tear your hair out. My girl just turned one and there are days where I am blessed with the most obedient amazing dog and other days where it's as if she's a hooligan off the street who has had ZERO training ever...just persevere and know that if you instill good training now, it pays off in the long run once their brains settle into maturity!!
 

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Great suggestions given in the previous post.

I suspect that your puppy probably had a fair amount of play time with the foster family's dog(s), and that helped burn off some energy.
 

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I can relate, my new pup's energy caught me off guard, despite all the preparations I had made. He. Does Not. Get. Tired. He could literally go on until his body collapses, and the fact that he's an early riser (sigh) certainly doesn't help.

I'm too stubborn/proud to get a dogsitter/walker, so I had to make a few lifestyle changes, and come up with ways to have him do most of the work, like throwing toys, getting on a bike and so on.

As for the biting, fortunately he's a smart little pup, but his jaw and teeth are big, even soft mouthing will bruise and hurt the skin, so as soon as he bites fun time is over, he learned pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When she bites (intentionally or not), then play time ends for a few minutes. Give her time outs. If she's really exuberant and continues nipping/biting at you when you are ignoring her, then the time out needs to involve being put in a separate space. Ideally this is not her crate as her crate should be a cozy spot and not a punishment spot. So using a baby crate to block her off in a part of the house, or putting her in a spare room, mud room, bathroom -- wherever she can be contained away from toys or you for a few minutes.
One thing I'm having trouble with is that a lot of the training advice I'm seeing conflicts with other training advice. For instance, she's not fully housetrained yet (pretty good, but not perfect) and she's fairly destructive if we're not right there with her. To put her in a room away from us is risking those bad behaviors happening when we can't correct them. How do I make sure I'm meeting both of those training needs?

Today we put her on the leash, and have decided to keep her leashed to us at all times when she's not in her crate. This morning it seemed to help with, when we ignore her we're not also letting her do other bad things (like claw at the couch, or jump on the furniture).

I'm a little concerned that if we do manage to make a space safe for her to be in for a few minutes unattended, that she won't make the connection that she's in there because she's nipping.
 

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With the not understanding a hand is not a toy you have to remember that it takes 5-6,000 times to teach a new behavior. Be patient and consistent. Make sure play is ended when your pup nips/mouths.
 

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One thing I'm having trouble with is that a lot of the training advice I'm seeing conflicts with other training advice. For instance, she's not fully house trained yet (pretty good, but not perfect) and she's fairly destructive if we're not right there with her. To put her in a room away from us is risking those bad behaviors happening when we can't correct them. How do I make sure I'm meeting both of those training needs?

Today we put her on the leash, and have decided to keep her leashed to us at all times when she's not in her crate. This morning it seemed to help with, when we ignore her we're not also letting her do other bad things (like claw at the couch, or jump on the furniture).

I'm a little concerned that if we do manage to make a space safe for her to be in for a few minutes unattended, that she won't make the connection that she's in there because she's nipping.
She should most likely be leashed at all times, so good that you started this. I liked the idea I got from my behaviorist to play (tug) inside an Xpen so that if your pup starts mouthing you can leave but she isn't going to destroy anything.

I'm a little concerned that if we do manage to make a space safe for her to be in for a few minutes unattended, that she won't make the connection that she's in there because she's nipping.
This is why I liked the Xpen idea because you clearly left when nipping happened.
 

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The xpen idea is a good one, as long as she's not large enough to easily jump out/bowl it over.

If you think of it in terms of positive reward (getting something good for a correct behavior) and negative punishment (getting something good taken away for an incorrect behavior) then playing nicely = more playing but playing aggressively = playtime being taken away.

She only needs to be separated from you if she continues to bite/nip at you when you've stopped engaging (happens a lot with excited pups). It doesn't mean she needs to be taken out of sight or removed completely for a long time. It's simply that you've created a barrier between you and her so that she can't continue trying to engage with you in play once you've stopped. An xpen does that well, or baby-gating her into a separate area. If you're really worried you can leave an appropriate toy in there with her, but it has to be a toy that she prefers less compared to playing with you. The less you need to engage with her during time-out the better as even negative attention is attention. Remember though that dogs don't need much for a "time out" -- 30 seconds - 1 minute is sufficient.

Also, she's mouthing and nipping like this because it is how puppies play When you're on your walks is she allowed to socialize off leash with other dogs?. Of course she needs to learn that humans are not suitable partners for this style of play, but giving her that outlet with other dogs will allow her to play in her chosen style without being reprimanded (by you).

If she's not getting sufficient socialization, maybe doggy day-care a couple times a week would be possible?
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. For financial and spatial reasons an xpen or doggy daycare are not options. The adoption pamphlet we got said not to do doggy playdates for the first couple weeks (it hasn't even been one week). We have friends nearby that we could do some playdates with, but I thought we should wait til she's more settled in her new home.
It's definitely not "aggressive" play. She just hasn't learned yet what is a toy and what isn't, and where the toy stops and my hands/body start. She doesn't bite, or even really nip AT us, just accidentally has her teeth land on us or things that aren't toys.
One thing I've been trying is, when the nipping happens, disengaging from play and asking her to sit. I think it's working in general, but she's so distractible that sometimes she doesn't notice that I asked her. We're going to get a clicker soon, so that we can get timing better.
Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement. Mostly I just have trouble keeping perspective and knowing that it IS possible to train her into an easier dog, so I just get discouraged and worried.

One thing I've noticed is that she goes through 30 minutes or so of intense play, and then crashes for around 3 hours. I was hoping I could redirect those 30 minutes of energy sometimes into a long walk, but when we come in she still seems to need that play time before the off switch gets hit and she snoozes. If it wasn't so cold out I'd take some toys out and play with her outside where there's less of a chance she could break something.
 

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Walking definitely doesn't burn as much energy as a play session will. If she likes to fetch you can use a long lead and play fetch outside with her, that should help burn some energy also doing some training or giving food puzzles should help get her tired out.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. For financial and spatial reasons an xpen or doggy daycare are not options. The adoption pamphlet we got said not to do doggy playdates for the first couple weeks (it hasn't even been one week).
They say it takes about 3 months for a new dog and its owners to settle into a routine with each other. I would get frustrated with my dog when I first got her (I still do, sometimes) because the training just didn't seem to be helping.
For example, Jupiter used to bite our feet - sometimes pretty hard. She would never bite our hands or our clothes. She targeted our feet because she knew this would get us to move around in a fun way. So we started to do our best to not move AT ALL when she bit our feet and redirect her ASAP to a chew toy. It was so hard, and for several weeks it didn't seem to be working. But then one day, she suddenly stopped the biting. It seemed magical, but it wasn't.
So my point is that it can take a while to train properly. Your dog is still new to you, and testing out the boundaries of this new world (and they WILL exploit any 'weaknesses' they find, believe me). Just stay consistent, follow the suggestions above, and it will get better!

BTW, I do think an ExPen would help you out... try looking on Craigslist in your area. You can find them there for very cheap or even free if you're willing to pick them up. It's a worthwhile investment.
 

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Thanks, I'm only a little concerned about the cost, but my apartment is running out of open space to set anything up.
I'm feeling more positive. She's definitely a quick learner, and she's a happy enough dog that I'm feeling less guilty about not giving her enough (my old dog was the champion of guilt trips, and a lazy/slightly depressed personality which didn't help with any guilt I felt when I wasn't able to be home enough). We were able to take her to a park yesterday, and today went on a long walk, did some training around going through doors (which she picked up on quickly) and then played for a bit. After about 45 minutes of intense attention I put her in her crate so I could make dinner.
 
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