Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?
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Thread: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    So, my husky puppy hasn't stopped mouthing after trying the yelping method for a few weeks. It seems that yelping only gets him more riled up. Maybe its because he LOVES squeaker toys, the noise makes it more fun. So, I need to figure out another way to get him to stop mouthing. He has sort of learned a little bit of bite inhibition when playing with the cat, but if he gets too excited he bites harder and the cat runs off and he doesn't have nearly as much control of his bite when mouthing us as when playing with the cat. Thankfully no broken skin yet but I had some really nasty welts on my wrist today from him biting me when I was attempting to pet his head. It seems anything will entice him to bite, and he will also bite at my pants and legs if I walk by him.

    So, any advice?? I don't want a 60 pound adult husky dangling off my arm in the future!!

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Does he get to play with other dogs?

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    Senior Member lisahi's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    My puppy hasn't really responded to The Bite Stops Here either. I've tried several variations as well. But I just keep trying, hoping that one day she'll get it and it'll click. It's getting harder now because she's teething terribly, so she'll grasp onto anything to chew. Granted, she doesn't bite my feet as much as she used to, but she's biting my hands more than she used to.

    My method (the one that I'm going to keep at and hope it eventually works) is walking out of the room and shutting the door behind me. It's really the only thing she halfway responds to. If I stay in the room but ignore her, she'll just find something else to play with. So I literally have to make myself absent for her to think "hey, I don't like that."

    I don't yelp. Coco never responded to yelping. She never responded to "hey! that hurts!" either. Both would get her more riled up. So try leaving the room--quickly. Shut the door behind you (but make sure he doesn't get slammed in the door when you do). It's a pain and a half, especially when you're trying to relax, but ultimately it's better than the alternative (60 pound adult husky dangling off your arm). It may take awhile... a long while... before he gets it.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by HerdersForMe View Post
    Does he get to play with other dogs?
    Not often, and I feel really bad about it. I don't really know many people here in Raleigh as I am here for college and not all that great at making friends. The few people I do know don't have dogs. I do have another dog, Legend, but he is 8 and doesn't like to play. Faolan tries, but all that gets him is a snarl and a snap and usually he finds that fun (he is a bit weird). When he gets hyper he will actually instigate things with Legend, dancing just out of reach so Legend can't snap at him. He doesn't respond well to the obvious visual signals that Legend gives him (baring teeth, hackles raised) nor does he even acknowledge the snarling and snapping as more than a fun game.

    He does get to come with us when we go visit my fiance's family in Fayetteville and they have an Australian Shepherd that Faolan gets to play with, but we have only gone a total of 3 times since we got him. We have just started puppy class too, as of yesterday night, but he is the biggest puppy there (and he is only 18 pounds, the others are all older and smaller). I am a little worried about letting him play with the others considering his obvious size advantage in any wrestling that may ensue.

    Lisahi - Thanks for your post, that will be very difficult to do but I will try my best! We live in a 1 bedroom apartment so I guess I will have to retreat to the bedroom unless I want to actually go outside hahah

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Interaction with other dogs is very important. Do what you can. Maybe send him to doggy daycare once a week. Find a dog park with a puppy/small dog area. Puppy classes are great. Let him wrestle around with the other pups when you can.

    I really haven't had to teach much bite inhibition because my dogs have learned it from interacting with other dogs. I just honestly find puppies who have interacted well with other dogs to be more behaved in general.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    How can I send him to doggie daycare if he has only had his second shots? Isn't that just asking for him to come home with parvo or something? And all the dog parks around here require the dog to be at least 4 months old. Faolan is not yet 3 months old.

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    One of the things about "The Bite Stops Here" is that the premise usually works, but you may have to adapt it to fit your puppy.

    So, if yelping only excites him more, try saying "ouch!" in a bit of a deeper voice. You could be right about a high pitched yelp reminding him of squeaky toys. And, you're not the first to say the high pitched sounds made it worse. So, try a different sound.

    Are you leaving the room as well, or just doing the yelping?
    Leaving the room for 20-30 seconds usually helps because puppies are so social, and they don't like contact with their human ended.

    For us, this is what we did:
    - make the noise, for us, it was "ouch", then go back to playing or whatever.
    - if he did it right away again, we'd make the noise, and then leave the room for 20-30 seconds. Any longer and he'll get bored and find something to do, and will forget why you left.
    - come back and start over with just the noise, and then progress to the noise + leaving.

    I know there are variations, ways to tweak it, but this worked for us. The only problem, for us, was that fiance didn't like having to get up and leave the room every time Harper nipped or bit, because it cut into his TV watching time!
    It is a hassle, but well worth it.

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    How can I send him to doggie daycare if he has only had his second shots? Isn't that just asking for him to come home with parvo or something? And all the dog parks around here require the dog to be at least 4 months old. Faolan is not yet 3 months old.
    He's not even 3 months old yet? You've hardly even had him! Keep working on your training.

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    I agree with doximommy, if the yelp riles him up then use a different noise - a deeper voice, a sharper noise, "ah ah!" - just experiment until you hit on something that gets his attention without riling him up more.

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    Senior Member lisahi's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Not all puppies lose their nipping problem because of interaction with other dogs. Mine goes to daycare 2-3 times a week. She plays like crazy with the other dogs--loves it. She still nips my hands, though. Part of the issue, I believe, is that she never really nipped at other dogs after the age of 3 months or so, and she doesn't now. She jumps around on other dogs, and chases other dogs, but no ear or ankle biting. No real learning process going on there as far as nipping is concerned. Why she nips my hands and feet, I don't know. I got her like that at 8 weeks. I do know that her previous owner gave her a rubber toy foot to play with which I think confused her and caused more issues. She was starting to "get it" around 3 and a half months, I believe, but then reverted when she started really teething. It gets to the point where, some nights, I'm not interacting with her much except to re-enforce the bite inhibition (playing for a second, nip, leaving; wash, rinse, repeat).

    Back to the OP, though. Three months is still very young. You have time, and with some patience and work, your puppy should get it eventually. There's no reason to believe that your puppy should be like mine. I'm betting nobody gave your puppy rubber human limbs to play with, anyway. lol.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    When yelping doesn't help, I resort to my inner sailor.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by HerdersForMe View Post
    He's not even 3 months old yet? You've hardly even had him! Keep working on your training.
    I am not going to keep working with a training method that is giving me the opposite effect than what I want. I do not expect him to be a perfect angel in regards to biting right now, but I do expect to see some sign that my training methods are moving him in the right direction at least.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    I am not going to keep working with a training method that is giving me the opposite effect than what I want. I do not expect him to be a perfect angel in regards to biting right now, but I do expect to see some sign that my training methods are moving him in the right direction at least.
    Not so fast my friend!

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    I am not going to keep working with a training method that is giving me the opposite effect than what I want. I do not expect him to be a perfect angel in regards to biting right now, but I do expect to see some sign that my training methods are moving him in the right direction at least.
    Ah, but, have you heard of "extinction burst"?
    This is when a puppy/dog bites or nips even more, despite all your training. The thought process is something like this (from your puppy's perspective): "biting/nipping is FUN! It's how we puppies play. I did it from the time I was just weeks old. Now this HUMAN is trying to get me to stop it. I don't wanna stop!"
    So, the puppy tries harder and harder to keep it up, before they finally give up (extinction).
    So, there's a "burst" where the behavior actually increases, before it becomes "extinct".
    This is very common; it happens alot.

    As for a completely different method, really, I couldn't help you. The "Bite Stops Here" in its entirety, or variations of, usually works. It took us 4 weeks with our first puppy. If we had given up or tried different things, I'm not sure how the confusion would have influenced his learning.

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    Senior Member Lamora's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    sorry not real advice. just from my own experince

    Still puppy-- sadie did that till her adult teeth came in-- and i know your pain. But as soon as the big teeth came in, it stopped, not completley mind you, but she knew when to stop in a very short time. She now knows that she can chew on her daddy-- but not mommy-- lol-- but yea-- puppy teething is rough on both the dog and the owner. Good luck and love your puppy.
    Just like kids they grow so fast
    Last edited by Lamora; 08-24-2011 at 02:44 PM.

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    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lisahi View Post
    My method (the one that I'm going to keep at and hope it eventually works) is walking out of the room and shutting the door behind me. It's really the only thing she halfway responds to. If I stay in the room but ignore her, she'll just find something else to play with. So I literally have to make myself absent for her to think "hey, I don't like that."
    We did something similar, but we also make sure she is tethered (in a way she can't get hurt) so she can't go sniff and play with other stuff. We do leave her an appropriate chew though. We also never left her for too long unless she was whining for attention, then we would wait until she was done whining. The big worry with this is being sure she is safely tethered. We also gave her a warning "no" then a "bad" as a bridge word when it was at the point of "ok you're getting tethered and ignored for a few minutes". We NEVER used the crate for this though, except sometimes we would put her in her crate if it was obvious she was nipping because she was tired.

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

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    Senior Member LenaCara's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    When it came to nipping with Josie, the yelp worked but only for me, I think itís something in the tone that let her know I was serious and that I pushed her away and turned my back to her. She did learn bite inhibition this way but never stopped trying to mouth which can still be very annoying. We found out that spraying her with a water bottle really makes her stop whatever she is doing. So now if she is playing with the kids (teenagers) and they tell her no but she keeps jumping on them and going for their arms, I spray her. I feel so guilty cause she instantly drops into their laps and gives me a sad puppy look. Iím hoping the spray reinforcement to the ďnoĒ will stop the behavior for good though and it seems to be decreasing in frequency. Or she has smartened up and doesnít do it around me.

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    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    What worked for me with my Lab was to yell "OUCH!" really loud and then leave the room and shutting the door in his face. My Lab, as a puppy, had no bite inhibition and still doesn't control his bite pressure that well if he's really excited while playing...and he's 5 now. But yeah, puppy teeth are terrible. My entire body was covered in bruises from nipping for...I don't even know how long. Finally he stopped. The OUCH that I yelled was basically marking the behavior that caused me to "go away". Basically, when I bite ("OUCH") she goes away...therefore...biting = she goes away. So if you think about it that way...then it doesn't really matter if you yelp, say ouch in a different tone of voice (deeper, higher whatever). As long as it catches the dog's attention enough to accomplish what your trying to do. If the yelp seems to be exciting her, by all means, try a different tone.

    Who knows though in my case? I'm a horrible at training dogs. Any good behavior my dogs exhibit is problem just a fluke. lol

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    THe Yelp method - THe Bite Stops Here works well because the Yelp marks the bad behavior, and withdrawing attention provides the non-aversive punishment. Most dogs reduce the pressure of their bite in 3 days or so.

    However... another method is to substitute a valid chew toy or Kong, every time the pup nips you. The downside of this approach is that the pup redirects his bite, but he never learns to control the pressure.

    Just in case you want to try The Bite Stops Here, again:
    Some tweaks to that method:
    1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound about like what the pup does when you step on its paw...
    don't step on his paw for a sample :-). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. He'll bite.
    2. When he bites the second time, Yelp. When he stops, praise and pet. He'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
    3. When he bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If he comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
    NOTE: Boxers frequently get stuck at this point, because owners ignore (or don't recognize) the 'apology' ... then you can get the extinction burst... so the process may start over again.

    4. When he bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing him in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving him. Then, return and interact. (He's still hungry...)
    5. When he nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

    Immediately after you yelp (in this case), you should notice that the second nip is a bit gentler... not enough, but a bit.

    Dogs need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice significant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method.

    If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication.

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    Re: Alternatives to "The Bite Stops Here"?

    My dog was working fine on this training method, with only 2 days she was just putting her mouth around my fingers, with minimum pressure. But my daddy when plays with her, allow her to bite him and, guess what, excites her to bit even more. She starts bitting easy, and when I see, she is not just biting, she is scratching, barking, jumping, mouthing. Omg, how can I train? Now I'll leave her at my house and not allow my parents to play with her for a few weeks, hope this didn't distructed all my work.

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