How long will playful biting last?
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Thread: How long will playful biting last?

  1. #1
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    How long will playful biting last?

    The house-training is going much better these days. Thanks for the earlier advice everyone.

    New question for you:

    Our beagle puppy plays pretty rough. The books I've read have said you can expect male puppies especially to be pretty rough and tumble early on in their lives. We're working on bite inhibition and following all the normal advice. We've done the "yelp" when he bites so he learns his biting hurts us. When that doesn't work we've done the thing where we press our thumbs to his tongue when he bites. We've even tried the old "cesar milan" thing where you reprimand him by turning him on his side and keeping him there until he calms down and submits.

    ... and then he goes right back to biting us.

    So how long can we expect his biting habits to continue? Is this just a playful puppy thing he'll grow out of? Or a bad dog behavior we need to train out of him?

    Thanks for the help!

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    I would stick with yelping and ostracism. Alpha rolling should only be done by a professional in severe cases of misbehavior. Alpha rolling for nipping, in my mnd, is out of place. So is pressing the tongue...I see that as something that is more likely to cause fear in a young dog than something that builds trust. So, reward all good behaviors, and ignore him when he does anything that you don't agree with. Good luck!

  4. #3
    Senior Member alundy's Avatar
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    In addition to yelping, I would immediately stand up and turn your back on the dog, ignoring him for 30 seconds. Let him know that nipping ends the play session immediately. Make sure every family member is doing this consistently. I had a problem where our in-laws were letting our pup nibble on them and just laughing it off, which only sets the training back.

    Ditto what Curbside said about the alpha rolls and tongue pressing - unnecessary and potentially harmful to your relationship with the pup. Puppy nipping is not a serious behaviour problem, just a natural stage that you modify through training. You don't need a sledgehammer to kill an ant!

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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    i have also used (w/ success) holding the head under the muzzle (not the whole muzzle and closing mouth, more like "cupping" the face) and saying "no biting" and the play time is over.......i agree that in pups and any dog that is not viciously aggressive the laying them down is not necessary (but, sorry folks, IMO, sometimes it is necessary to save the dog from being PTS)
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  6. #5
    Senior Member blackgavotte's Avatar
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    Remember also you must not send mixed signals to this baby. He should be learning that your hands or anatomy are off limits period. No puppy of mine ever playfully nipped me more than once or twice, I did not allow it from day one, and they knew I was a Person to be Respected ... plain and simple. I would not tend to want to yelp, I know that's one of the " in " modern theories.. I used a quick hold on the sides of a puppy face, firm and strong, even if they hated it and squirmed, and strong, " fierce" eye contact, holding that and in a low, firm voice, saying either NO BITES ! or just plain NO ! and NOT taking my eye away from theirs until they shifted their gaze, maybe even a couple of times... that shifting of their gaze means they are giving in, and you won that round... twice can be better. Remember a beagle is not a breed known for its graciousness in obedience, and you need to really handle the hounds properly. He may howl like a banshee while you are holding his face, and I do mean actually gathering up some skin in your hands while you hold, but let him howl. Its far better than teaching him its okay to nip a human. That road can be a very long and sad road for a dog. In my house, playful nipping was never allowed. Let 'em nip on bones or old toys, whatever, never on me or any other human.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Maybe it's an "in" theory because it works. And with the successes that I've personally had with it, I do consider it a theory. It's only a theory when someone doesn't understand how or why to emplot it. I guess an owner has to decide what they want from their dog. Do you want a relationship built on trust, or do you want to be in control of your dog at all times? If you are of the controlling ilk, then you're more likely to use physical manipulations to control your dog. I'm not a fan of control based training, I've seen dogs develop fears from it. I know, I know, only when it's not done properly, right? You've had success at it right? Your dogs are the best dogs in the world, right? This may be true, but only by your definition of success...and in my experience, control based trainers are more lucky to have good dogs than to have developed good dogs. I'm biased, I admit that. Having tried both controlling and redirecting type training, I can say what my bias is. All I know is what I've personally expereinced, and that's all I'm trying to convey here. The alternative, redirecting the dog, and developing the behaviors I want, I have yet to see develop fear in a dog, especially in a young pup. Maybe I'm better at alternative methods than physical ones, but to me the proof is still in the pudding. However, like I wrote earlier, the owner needs to decide what they want. Maybe a physical means makes more sense to them. Let me apologize now blackgavotte, I don't mean to argue your methods...as much as I want to say that an owner has to do what they feel is best for their dog and their personality.

  8. #7
    Senior Member blackgavotte's Avatar
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    Never had a perfect dog in my life, nor had dogs who feared me or anybody else... that's the beauty of forums... many different ideas, things that have worked for all of us with a variety of dogs...I used only as much control with my dogs as they needed for harmony in the household, never did have much time for people who expected their dogs to conform to their every whim or command...

  9. #8
    Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    What I do is just scream out a loud, high-pitched "OUCH!!!!!!" If the puppy jumps backwards ten feet, he got it lol... if he comes back licking instead of biting, we resume play. If he bites me too hard again, I scream out "OUCH!!!!" and I get up, ending the play. If the puppy tries to continue to bite me, I go in another room and shut him out, ignoring him for a few minutes. After that I try again. It is important that he learns to mouth you softly. Bite inhibition can be a life saver. >^^;<

  10. #9
    Senior Member LoveLilly's Avatar
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    we tought our dog to give kisses when she bites. We first taught her what kisses meant by repeating the word every time she licked us. You can also put a little peanut butter on your hand and then say kisses whe they lick. Once they know the command kisses, when they bite, you say "kisses" and it helps greatly. My papillon is 4 1/2 months old and does fairly well this way.

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