12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting
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Thread: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

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    Member VincentVega's Avatar
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    Unhappy 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    I have an AKC registered AmStaff that won't stop biting and nipping. He does do it to me as much as my son and wife. How do you stop this behavior? I've tried putting my finger under his tongue, but that isn't working. Please help!
    There is no such thing as a bad breed just bad owners.

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    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Read the sticky, "The Bite Stops Here".

    Stop sticking your finger under his tongue - it's not going to teach him anything.

    The basic technique is to yelp when he bites. If he stops, great! If he doesn't, get up and turn your back to him. If he follows after, biting your ankles, step over a baby gate or leave the room for 20sec or so. Puppies just want to be with you and play with you, so it's very powerful to teach him that biting makes you get up and walk away.

    You need to be very consistent with this method. Puppies bite, it's an important part of their development, and it's not going to stop in a day or even a week. Everyone in the house needs to be consistent and you'll gradually see a reduction in the hard bites, then a reduction in the overall biting, etc.

    Watson: Ch. Truepenny Olympic Triumph | DOB 8.2.12 | Welsh Springer Spaniel

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    Member VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by elrohwen View Post
    Read the sticky, "The Bite Stops Here".

    Stop sticking your finger under his tongue - it's not going to teach him anything.
    I learned the method of sticking your finger under the tongue from this website:
    http://www.dog-obedience-training-re...om-biting.html

    I didn't think that would work but I was desperate to try anything. Your suggestion make more sense because he is under me every chance he get. I will try your method and read the sticky. Thanks for all your help! Do think spraying our hands with say vinegar or lemon juice would help?
    There is no such thing as a bad breed just bad owners.

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    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by VincentVega View Post
    Do think spraying our hands with say vinegar or lemon juice would help?
    Don't bother with that either - you can't walk around with vinegar on your hands all the time! My pup bit me after I cut up jalepenos and he really didn't enjoy it, but an hour later, when the heat had worn off, he was right back to biting. You'll get much further with training methods that teach him how to act appropriately and play with his toys rather than your hands. Just be patient and consistent. The first few weeks with my pup left me with cuts all over my hands. Now he'll nibble on my fingers, but never leaves a mark and if I get him worked up in play, he goes for the toy rather than my hands - so trust me, it works! You have to be patient though because it won't be overnight. He'll seem just as bad for a while (it's called an extinction burst - biting you got you to play with him for a while, so he'll try biting more when you won't play) but after a couple weeks you'll realize it's so much better than it was.

    ETA: Took at a look at that site and I'd recommend you stay far away! They gave some decent techniques overall, but lost all credibility when they recommended putting a choke chain on a pup (even an older pup) and snapping it every time they bite. There's no reason to choke a dog and there's always a better way to train. Stick around here and you'll learn a lot!
    Last edited by elrohwen; 11-08-2012 at 12:33 PM.

    Watson: Ch. Truepenny Olympic Triumph | DOB 8.2.12 | Welsh Springer Spaniel

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    Member VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    I like this place so of course I'll stick around! I totally agree I would never put a choke chain on a puppy and besides that the Amstaff breed doesn't respond to pain. They have a high tolerance and such a method would not work any way. My little guys loves when I tell him he is a good boy. So I will stick with praise over pain any day! Thanks for all your help elrohwen!
    There is no such thing as a bad breed just bad owners.

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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    I agree with the above mentioned sticky. It's a great plan. Just be prepared for it to take some time. You should see a bit of improvement in 3-5 days, but, only a bit. It will still take time to gradually reduce the biting over time. It took our first pup 4 weeks.

    It's important that everyone in the household responds the same way, and that you are very consistent!

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    The Bite Stops Here works terrifically with bully breeds b/c they are so eager to please. The may be invulnerable to pain - "now use that 2 x 4 to scratch my other side" - but they're more sensitive than a Yorkie if you give them a dirty look... So, if he nips you and you withdraw attention, the poor dog will crumble, offering to bring you breakfast in bed, if only you'll forgive him... then he'll nip you b/c he's so happy that you forgave him :-)

    As Doxie says - try it for a few days, then let us know what happens... there are lots of tweaks to the method if you don't see any progress at all.

    Pix Pls? ...

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    Member VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting



    There is no such thing as a bad breed just bad owners.

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    Senior Member Lucy Brees's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Oh dear God I just had a cuteness implosion.

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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Staffie puppies are the cutest!

    This training method works on adults, too, it just takes some time. Stick with it.

    A lot of us have great results with clicker training. Check out kikopup and tab289 on YouTube. (kikopup is more behavioral issues and basic commands, tab289 is trick training.) you'll be pleased with the results if you give it a fair shot.
    http://www.dogforums.com/signaturepics/sigpic46986_1.gif

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    Senior Member HollowHeaven's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy Brees View Post
    Oh dear God I just had a cuteness implosion.
    Took the words right out of my mouth.
    Mother and Maid to Eight Little Lovelys
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    "Even-tempered at home but an aggressive hunter. Amenable to formal training. A good family dog that likes to please."
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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Hmmmmm, I checked out the sight and they said never to run away from pup, I always liked a pup chasing me (it was fun) and also nothing better to start pre recall work with a pup than letting him run full speed after you and allowing him to catch and get the reward of crashing into you.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    Senior Member Crantastic's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Yeah, my dogs love playing chase games with me. They chase me down the hall, then I turn around and chase them back up the hall. Never caused any problems. Sometimes I wonder where people get these crazy training tips.

    I'd like to recommend Ian Dunbar's Training Textbook. Here is the section about teaching bite inhibition.
    Last edited by Crantastic; 11-10-2012 at 05:54 PM.

    Crystal the Papillon and Casper the Alaskan Klee Kai

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Sometimes I wonder where people get these crazy training tips.
    Especially when they put it on the web page, they also mentioned the dominant pup, it's mind boggling all these pup that are whelped and immediately become gang-bangers.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    aiw
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting



    Gangsta pup.

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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    First of all - your puppy is adorable!!!!!! I have a Maltese (Molly) & a Maltipoo (JD); Molly was much more of a biter as a pup than JD was. What worked great for me with her was this. I would actually play with my hand with her to entice her to nibble/bite at it so I created more opportunities to correct and teach her. I would put my hand on the ground and walk it toward her. She was so ready to play with it (and she still loves this routine at two years old). It cracks me up! Anyway, whenever her teeth would touch my skin I would say "no biting" while gently closing her mouth with my hand wrapped around her mouth. They are so small this is pretty easy to do although you may feel bad cause they will struggle with you doing this. Your pup obviously isnt as small as a maltese but you could gently wrap both your hands around his/her mouth. You don't hold it closed long - just enough time to look them in the eyes and say " no biting, Molly - only licking". She definitely didn't like that and it only took a few weeks. She learned quickly and as time went on and she may have slipped up now and then i only had to say the phrase and no longer close her mouth. Then she would come an lick my hand as if to say 'I'm sorry, mom, I know what you mean". Molly is around little kids now and has never had a issue with biting or nibbling.

    Hope this may work for you. Be consistent with it - that is always important and have your son and wife practice it too. Good luck!
    . Stacie / dog mom to JD & Molly

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Don't restrict an Amstaff when trying to teach Bite Inhibition, b/c it can be seen as rough play. We used to try that method, but "The Bite Stops Here" is gentler and more effective. Let us know how it goes.

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    Re: 12 Week Old Puppy Nipping & Biting

    Given that you have an AmStaff, you really should have it in obedience training. In playing with other puppies, he'll be able to learn bite inhibition better than with just you. The basic lesson, like in adult like, is if you act like an a-hole, nobody will play with you. The mouthing is a chance to learn that lesson. The yelping and withdrawal techniques that people mention work. Playing with other puppies in the 12 week old time frame will help a lot as well. That's where obedience comes in. Given that you have what's considered to be an aggressive breed, you want it really well trained. People will assume things are your dogs fault if there's a conflict even if it wasn't involved.

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