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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi guys,

I have a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier who we've had for 3 weeks, and bite inhibition training is not going well!

I'm praising her all the time for good calm behaviour, distracting her with a toy when she bites and praising her when she chews on the toy, squealing like a puppy when she bites me and I used to move away from her but that didn't work, so now I put her on her own in another room for 30 seconds or so.

I'm doing everything I've read about but it's not working, she bites us all the time and it really hurts. She lunges at our faces, runs up to us and bites our arms and elbows for attention. We can't play with or cuddle her without her biting us hard.

I can't use treats at the moment as she is having treatment for campylobacter and is on a bland food diet, so I'm using lots of verbal and physical praise but it doesn't seem to be working! It's also not helpful that she can't have her vaccinations, go outside or see other people due to being contagious so I can't socialise her or start puppy classes the way I'd like to. Help!
 

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It takes a lot of time, definitely longer than 3 weeks, for bite inhibition. I don't want to discourage you, but it took my dog well over 3 months to really get it down. When they start losing their baby teeth, it gets a little worse, and then when all their adult teeth come in, it may calm down. My dog's biting decreased greatly by about 6 months of age, when all of his baby teeth were gone.

You're doing well with the training, just keep it up. I found that sharply inhaling or gasping when bitten was more effective than squealing, which just seemed to make my dog more excited. Move slowly around the dog, especially when they start biting. Keep redirecting and remove yourself when necessary, and finally remove them when necessary. My bite training went like this:

1. Theo bites me. I inhale sharply and redirect to a toy.
2. Theo bites me again. I repeat step 1.
3. Theo bites again. I remove myself from his penned area for 30 sec-1 minute.
4. Theo bites again. I remove myself from his penned area for 1-2 minutes.
5. Theo bites again. I put him in his crate to calm down, anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on how wound up he is.

I made sure to refer to the crate as his "relaxation station", nothing too punishing or threatening, so he would associate the crate with something positive.

Some dogs aren't cuddlers, especially at a young age. Mine certainly wasn't and isn't much of one now (he's 2 years old). I had to really let go of my idea that I'd cuddle with my puppy every day....without him trying to bite my face off. I had to train him to allow himself to be petted. Kikopup's "no bite!" videos and biting series are great videos to watch to teach bite inhibition, especially for petting, brushing the dog, and cuddling.

Good luck!!
 

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I agree with the person above me! That sounds like a great plan. However, I would add spanking as a last step. It's just unacceptable behavior. I found saying "ouch!" Really worked for all three of my puppies (since I learned about it). But if they don't respect "dog vocal communication" or being left alone, then I go to "dog physical communication". A vet I worked for taught me to pinch a horse when he was acting aggressive because that's how horses communicate with each other.. So that's what I do with dogs as well. A spank or a pinch. It's not being abusive it's using the same method a momma dog would use on her puppies! My dogs have never once flinched or cried around me so I know they aren't scared, dogs like boundaries. There is simple a difference between teething and lunging and biting to me. Good luck with your pup !!!! :) sounds like you're working hard, it will all pay off.
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Keep a loose leash on her at all times. It's much easier and safer for you to redirect her away from you when she's being a nuisance. I always used time outs and it eventually worked.

She won't cuddle with you unless she's been exhausted. Once she tired, she might not redirect her excitement to biting your faces and such.
 

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Never add spanking, or any kind of physical correction for any step. Such advice is against the rules of the forum, and is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.
I should tell my older dog that. He allows the new puppy to nip and growl and wrestle until she actually causes pain then it's a short correction with his teeth. I've seen it twice in two days, it stops the roughhousing immediately but doesn't hasn't made Leia aversive, in fact she goes right back to playing just without the teeth.

As for the rules, the sharp inhale, a yelp or "ouch", a stern no, and forced time out etc. are also against a literal interpretation of the rules. Clearly there is some flexibility when it comes to the issue of biting -as well there should be-.

My opinion of puppy biting is that its two separate issues, teething and uninhibited excitement biting.

The teething biting is why puppies chew on things, be it the rug or your hand.

So far Leia hasn't started teething as best I can tell but when Simba was what we did was redirect with his paw. When he'd start gnawing on us we'd put his paw in his mouth and let him bite himself. He always stopped immediately (duh) and his mouthing phase only lasted a few weeks so the technique seemed to be reasonable effective. When he'd chew on other things he shouldn't, I'd redirect with a toy. I learned that in this stage if he didn't have something appropriate nearby to chew on he'd chew on something inappropriate but he was definitely going to chew!

Afterwards and to this day we play a lot of hand and mouth games. Full on teeth bared, snarling and growling play fighting; muzzle grabbing; wrestling; etc.

He loves it. Its his favorite type of play but it involves taking his excitement level to its highest point and relying on him to be careful enough to not hurt me. I knew if I was going to encourage this behavior I needed to be sure he could and would moderate while he was still young. So building on the fact that he knew biting was wrong I had to train him to control himself when very excited. I did this by reacting the same way each time he bit during this style of play. Firm "NO", grabbing his muzzle and pushing him to the ground and knee lightly over his chest until I could see in his eyes that he knew play had stopped. The I let him back up and we resumed play. That required consistency and there was still the occasional need to repeat various months down the road.

The pay off was that we can wrestle and growl (yes me too) without anybody getting hurt. I can try to grab his muzzle and he'll try and grab my hand with his mouth but he won't bite. If you've done the egg carry test you know that dogs can pick things up and hold them while exerting very little force.
 

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He loves it. Its his favorite type of play but it involves taking his excitement level to its highest point and relying on him to be careful enough to not hurt me. I knew if I was going to encourage this behavior I needed to be sure he could and would moderate while he was still young. So building on the fact that he knew biting was wrong I had to train him to control himself when very excited. I did this by reacting the same way each time he bit during this style of play. Firm "NO", grabbing his muzzle and pushing him to the ground and knee lightly over his chest until I could see in his eyes that he knew play had stopped. The I let him back up and we resumed play. That required consistency and there was still the occasional need to repeat various months down the road.

The pay off was that we can wrestle and growl (yes me too) without anybody getting hurt. I can try to grab his muzzle and he'll try and grab my hand with his mouth but he won't bite. If you've done the egg carry test you know that dogs can pick things up and hold them while exerting very little force.
My BF has achieved the same with two Rottweilers, and my mutt, and never used any physical correction at all, let alone the over-the-top method of grabbing a muzzle, saying no, and pushing the dog to the ground. Did you even take a moment to try less violent ways of teaching the dog to play gently?

It's entirely unnecessary to use physical methods to teach a dog bite inhibition. Just because you've never created a fearful/aggressive dog doesn't mean those methods will work for everyone else. When you recommend those methods to all and sundry, knowing nothing about their particular dog, you run the risk that their dog is one of those who'll develop serious behavior issues that can result in a dog who is fearful, aggressive and dangerous. Even if it only happens once, because of your advice, that's one too many times. Even if you never know about it.

The advantage of using and recommending methods that don't involve physically manhandling the dog, that use rewards for wanted behavior, instead of punishment for unwanted behavior, is that if you do have sensitive dog, you aren't going to create a problem. That is why this forum doesn't recommend aversive methods. Perhaps you could try to respect that.
 

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@Dia as I mentioned, the egg carry test is a great way to teach bite control as well. As for my methods, I don't think the are over the top in the context of the play. If I came out of nowhere and did the same I would agree but doing so while in rough and tumble play?

Anyway as I mentioned in my previous post, yelping, saying ouch and time outs are all aversive methods as well. Also not recommended by the forum in theory but still widely recommended by forum members. Anyway not something I want to fight about, just sharing my experience.
 

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Zoe, Phoenix, Alice - ACDx
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This forum does not allow anyone to recommend using aversive punishment. This is a warning. Please respect our rules and guidelines or I will hand out infractions. Thank you.

http://www.dogforum.com/dogforum-community-rules/dogforum-com-rules-1606/

13) Respect the forum's posting guidelines.
DogForum.com promotes a force free training philosophy based on learning theory and scientific research. We also promote educated debate on training methods. It is ok to discuss the merits of different training equipment as well as techniques, but it is NOT ok to promote or suggest any training equipment or technique that uses fear, pain, intimidation or is based in positive punishment ("P+"of the 4 quadrants). Please refer to "Forum rules and guidelines: TRAINING & BEHAVIOR, Please Read BEFORE Posting!" for more information.

Spanking would fall under this rule.
 

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hi guys,

I have a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier who we've had for 3 weeks, and bite inhibition training is not going well!

I'm praising her all the time for good calm behaviour, distracting her with a toy when she bites and praising her when she chews on the toy, squealing like a puppy when she bites me and I used to move away from her but that didn't work, so now I put her on her own in another room for 30 seconds or so.

I'm doing everything I've read about but it's not working, she bites us all the time and it really hurts. She lunges at our faces, runs up to us and bites our arms and elbows for attention. We can't play with or cuddle her without her biting us hard.

I can't use treats at the moment as she is having treatment for campylobacter and is on a bland food diet, so I'm using lots of verbal and physical praise but it doesn't seem to be working! It's also not helpful that she can't have her vaccinations, go outside or see other people due to being contagious so I can't socialise her or start puppy classes the way I'd like to. Help!
OP, generally yelping does not help with puppy biting and just causes the puppy to get more riled up. I would recommend taking a look at this blog post: Puppy Mouthing and Nipping: A Survival Story - The Good Pet Parent Blog

If you can't use treats to train the puppy, you can use some of the food you are currently feeding and subtract that amount from her daily diet. Additionally, try to remember that though your puppy might be cute, she's also a terrier. She may be more rough and tumble than cuddly and you might just have to accept her for who she is. I would recommend time outs when the puppy is biting you so you can have a break from her and she gets a chance to calm down as well. You can try to keep a toy on you at all times and redirect her onto it. When all else fails, there's no shame in taking a break from her. I'd set up an ex pen and step over it and leave her whenever she bites you and not her toy.
 

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What is wrong with you people? So if a dog attacks me.. I am to positively reinforce it when it stops? This is the craziest forum I've ever seen.
For training purposes, positive reinforcement is recommended. Training means teaching a dog not to jump up on you, not to rush people/other dogs/the door, not to nip during playing, not to 'resource' guard food, items or people. You know, every day kind of stuff.

For actual dog attacks ie: a dog is crazed with fear/pain/aggression, then you would do whatever it takes to protect yourself.

Really shouldn't have to explain that.
 

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What is wrong with you people? So if a dog attacks me.. I am to positively reinforce it when it stops? This is the craziest forum I've ever seen.
Please see the pm I sent you yesterday regarding forum rules about training methods.

This thread is about puppy mouthing from 12week old yorkie. Not aggression or a dog attacking. Let's just drop that right now and keep this thread on topic.

Suggesting spanking, hitting, etc. is a rule violation (see Zoesmom's post) and if continuing to do so will result in further removed posts, infractions, etc. As will arguing about this, bashing the forum and/or mods, taking posts off topic, etc. Once again, should you wish to discuss forum policies you should post in the Talk to the Team section of the forum.

Last please take a look at this research to better understand why we have the above rule:
vet.osu.edu/assets/pdf/hospital/behavior/trainingArticle.pdf
Aggressive training methods are far more likely to result in aggression from the dog. Also of course can create a fearful dog. Such methods are not to be taken lightly, should not be the go to, and certainly not to be recommended over the internet. Period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OP, generally yelping does not help with puppy biting and just causes the puppy to get more riled up. I would recommend taking a look at this blog post: Puppy Mouthing and Nipping: A Survival Story - The Good Pet Parent Blog

If you can't use treats to train the puppy, you can use some of the food you are currently feeding and subtract that amount from her daily diet. Additionally, try to remember that though your puppy might be cute, she's also a terrier. She may be more rough and tumble than cuddly and you might just have to accept her for who she is. I would recommend time outs when the puppy is biting you so you can have a break from her and she gets a chance to calm down as well. You can try to keep a toy on you at all times and redirect her onto it. When all else fails, there's no shame in taking a break from her. I'd set up an ex pen and step over it and leave her whenever she bites you and not her toy.
Thanks, that link is really helpful. I had a Yorkie for 16 years and she was nowhere near this bitey, so it's been a bit of a shock! She was nowhere near as good at settling down at night and spending short periods alone though, so swings and roundabouts hey.

I definitely don't want to spank her or use any physical punishment, I believe firmly in positive reinforcement and was asking if there was perhaps anything I'm missing or could do better!

I suppose I will just have to keep at it and do it a few times a day every day? I've started to teach her "drop it" and "leave it" and I've introduced a clicker, so hopefully those things will help?
 

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My BF has achieved the same with two Rottweilers, and my mutt, and never used any physical correction at all, let alone the over-the-top method of grabbing a muzzle, saying no, and pushing the dog to the ground. Did you even take a moment to try less violent ways of teaching the dog to play gently?
I am owned by 2 Rottweiler boys and I can wrestle both of them, sat down on the floor without getting hurt at all (besides a squashed toe) and all it takes for me to stop them, even at the height of the play, is clicking my tongue.

And by no means am I a seasoned dog owner.
 

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I definitely don't want to spank her or use any physical punishment, I believe firmly in positive reinforcement and was asking if there was perhaps anything I'm missing or could do better!

I suppose I will just have to keep at it and do it a few times a day every day? I've started to teach her "drop it" and "leave it" and I've introduced a clicker, so hopefully those things will help?
This forum is here for you when things are tough! I had the puppy blues with my first puppy but we all made it out of there, happy so you are doing good! ;)

Consistency is the key along with patience.

Every dog is different too. Shadow only took about a month and a half to stop nipping altogether but Brutus would nip in excitement until he was 8 months old! :eek: Don't mean to scare you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c - how to capture calmness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8 - positive interrupter noise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU - how to stop puppy from biting

These are all videos from Kikopup. Between her and this forum, there is NOTHING you can't do! ;)
The positive interrupter noise saved my sanity when Shadow went through his bratty stage and I still use it today, without even realizing it. :)

Just remember, a tired puppy is a good puppy! Just be mindful of how much physical exercise you give while so young. :)
Short training sessions will help tire your puppy mentally and you can also teach the "find it" game. That's where you hide treats in the house and she has to look for it. :)
 
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Consistency is the key along with patience.
This. 100%.

It takes time- some take longer than others.

Consistency, with all training but especially this, is crucial. Even if your pup bites and you think, 'meh, that didn't really hurt"- redirect. Every single time.

Best of luck and I'm sure you and your pup will be just fine :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This forum is here for you when things are tough! I had the puppy blues with my first puppy but we all made it out of there, happy so you are doing good! ;)

Consistency is the key along with patience.

Every dog is different too. Shadow only took about a month and a half to stop nipping altogether but Brutus would nip in excitement until he was 8 months old! :eek: Don't mean to scare you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c - how to capture calmness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8 - positive interrupter noise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU - how to stop puppy from biting

These are all videos from Kikopup. Between her and this forum, there is NOTHING you can't do! ;)
The positive interrupter noise saved my sanity when Shadow went through his bratty stage and I still use it today, without even realizing it. :)

Just remember, a tired puppy is a good puppy! Just be mindful of how much physical exercise you give while so young. :)
Short training sessions will help tire your puppy mentally and you can also teach the "find it" game. That's where you hide treats in the house and she has to look for it. :)
I just wanted to say thanks so much! I put Kikopup's video on calmness into action yesterday, randomly throwing her treats whenever she was chilling out on her blanket or with a toy, and it worked! She sat quietly; eagerly looking at me for the next treat, but quietly nontheless!

The bite inhibition training seems to be working now in terms of when I put my hands around her face or go to stroke her, which is fab, but she's still very bitey when excited and runs at me to bite my legs or even face, grr... but I've discovered that putting her in the kitchen for about 10 minutes to calm down, no matter how much she cries is really helpful. She comes out looking sulky and dejected, but a lot calmer! I hadn't wanted to do that initially as the kitchen is her confinement area at night and when we're out during the day, and I didn't want her to have negative or punishment connotations with it... but there's no other area of the house puppy proofed enough to leave her safely in there. I do it calmly and without anger so hopefully she won't become fearful of it.

Her new favourite thing is to chew the couch or skirting board for attention whenever I'm doing something else, which is REALLY annoying, but a dog trainer I asked about this gave me a great tip - whenever she does it, get up and leave the room, then when she follows redirect to a toy and praise her loads. This has worked so far this morning as she's only done it twice as opposed to doing it every 5 mins!!

Thanks for all your support guys. She's still a wilful little thing and very bitey, but I'm starting to see a tiny glimmer of progress:thumbsup:
 

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The advice in this forum is not accurate, nor is it going to help you. Please consult a professional trainer. A dog this age need a to have already been in puppy school, Anyway and the problem could have already been fixed or at least greatly diminished. Truely, it will be an incredibly worth while 100-200 dollars. If this is a lot of money for you, make sure you find a very good trainers who uses positive methods to get the most out of a class.
 
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