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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Vent/question!

I have my 7 month old puppy. I've been reading stuff on here about teaching puppies not to mouth/bite and putting all the suggestions into practice, with varying levels of success. It just seems like he hasn't really picked up on the bite inhibition. I don't know if I messed something up when he was younger?

He was with his mother and littermates until he was 9 weeks old, so I assume he got a good start on it then. The biting stopped for a while, then flared up again (which was teething, but took me a few days to catch on) and then was ok again. Now it feels like it's flared up again. He will actively go for my hands, sometimes just a nip (and if he gets me, it really hurts - I bruise immediately), other times he'll lay down quietly next to me and put a paw over my hand and try to start gnawing on it, like he would a bone/stick/chew toy.

I don't really wrestle with him for this reason, but sometimes it's like he has spurts of energy and just goes a little bit silly and really nippy. If we're outside playing tug, he's actually been a lot better with not accidentally mouthing me when he rearranged his grip, which I'm really happy with.

I'm not using the yelping anymore, because I feel like that encourages him. He'll sit back for a second like he's surprised and then pounce and get mouthier. Maybe because I sound too much like a squeaky toy. I redirect with a toy, but usually end up having to remove myself multiple times because he sometimes chooses my hands over the toys.

Although this is mostly vent, I was just wondering if anyone had the same troubles, and what age does the bite inhibition really kick in? Or what age should it be finalised by, I guess?
With other dogs he mostly licks and occasionally mouths, but seems to be fairly gentle, and with the cat he mostly just paws at him and licks his ears, then jumps around him like the clumsy puppy he is.

I just don't want to mess up my puppy! I mean, I don't like the biting because it damn well hurts, but I really don't want him to bite anyone else, (and my partner has a 4 yr old kid who he gets on weekends etc) so I really want to do the best I can to get this sorted in the best way possible. *Puppy and kid are ALWAYS supervised when they're together* Usually short interactions of "Do you want to teach Frankie to sit?" and then he gives him a treat and a pat. Restricted to short, positive interactions for both of them at this stage, as we're still working on Frankie getting over excited and jumping up. And when he gets on his back legs, he's taller than the kid, and probably weighs more than him too.
 

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It just takes a lot of repetition and practice. My dog is 11 months old and still gets mouthy from time to time, especially if he's wound up from playing, or when I have to put his harness on (still!!!!). He was still really mouthy around 7.5 months old.

I found that a quick inhale or a loud gasp was more effective in stopping the biting than yelping. Sometimes, a stern OUCH. works well too. When my pup continues to bite, even after we put something in his mouth, we gasp or say OUCH., stand up, turn our back to him, put our noses in the air, for about 20 seconds. This usually calms him down. Or get up, and move around the area but ignore for a bit.

Finally, we found great solace in the antler or bone. My dog will chew on this happily for over an hour. Sometimes, he just needs to chew!

So anyway...it's a work in progress. For a long, long time. Just repeat, repeat, repeat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm definitely trying to teach it :)
I haven't looked at the clicker training for no biting, but I will do, thanks!

I shall try the gasp too. The yelp just makes him more excited. And yeah, he still needs to chew lots. Let's just say I'm glad my boyfriend isn't too fond of the cane furniture we have outside.....

I was just hoping that there wasn't some cut off date where they are less receptive to learning things like this in. Don't want to make it harder on either of us!
 
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