Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!
DogForums.com is the premier dog Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    5

    Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Hello everyone.

    A few weeks ago, I brought home Bella. She is an 8 week old Boston Terrier.

    She's a jolly pup and very intelligent. Couldn't be happier with her so far.


    However, I have a bit of a biting problem.
    I know puppies are going to bite and I'm probably over-reacting/not giving her enough time to grow out of it, but she will not stop biting me!

    Unless Bella is tired and ready for a nap, knows its time for feeding, or to go outside, she generally thinks/assumes that it is play time anytime I pick her up.

    This usually consists of her biting her favorite toy while I play along for a few minutes, until she realizes that the toy is moving around because of my hand - then she goes straight for the source and starts to bite my hand.

    If I do not play with her and watch, she becomes bored when the toy doesn't start to move, and will quickly try to find my hand/arm/shirt/shoe/foot/ear/lips/nose/etc!

    Again, I know biting is normal, but I seem to be having a hard time getting Bella to understand that it is not OK to bite me! Her teeth are like razor blades and have tore me up a few times.

    I've tried everything that I have read.
    Giving a firm NO; yelping like a pup; forcing a toy instead; standing up and ignoring her for a minute; placing her in her kennel for a minute - nothing seems to be successful.

    I've even tried something that I had read about online that worked for someone who had tried everything else with their pup.

    The instructions for that were give firm NO when they bite, and leave the room completely for 15 seconds. The dog will usually start to whimper, then return to the room and greet the dog with lots of excitement (like you haven't seen the dog for a month).
    This seems to be the most effective out of everything I've tried. She usually won't bite me for a few minutes and just plays with her toy. But then, once bored with that, right back to biting.

    I've read about mental exercise by trying to hide her favorite toy and have her search for it. She's still only a couple of pounds, so I tried to hide it under a blanket with the end of it sticking out. She bites at it for a few moments, then turns and quickly looks for my hands/other body parts.

    I try my best to not use my hands as toys if that makes sense. Unfortunately, this has also lead to some difficult with training as she is a bit stubborn to sit. When I try to use my hand to force a sit, she immediately goes for a bite.


    I'm sure someone hear has an answer or some suggestions - and I'm sure I may find something if I'd search more, but it's tough to do whenever almost everything I've tried hasn't worked.
    She's a great pup and I think she'll grow out of it, but I'd rather stop this now rather than allowing it to get worse later on!

    Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!-bella.jpg

  2. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    5,353

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Teaching puppies not to bite takes *months*. So yes, she's completely normal, and you just haven't given her enough time.

    Also, no method works right away. You need to pick something and be super consistent with it for at least a couple weeks. Most people here will recommend you yelp, or say ouch, and if (when) the puppy continues to bite, get up and walk away. Biting ends her play time with you. Yelping on its own doesn't really do anything for any but the softest pups, and it makes many pups more excited. You need to pair it with a consequence, like ignoring her. Sounds like you're already trying this and it's starting to work, so keep it up. Personally I wouldn't recommend acting super excited when you come back in. I would come back in like nothing out of the ordinary has happened and praise her quietly. Getting excited can just amp her up again and re-start the biting.

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

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,029

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Welcome to DF!

    If she's 8 weeks old and you've had her for several weeks, then she missed a great deal of learning bite inhibition from her mom and siblings. You will need to work much harder and be much more patient - and consistent! - with her.

    You have the right idea to offer an appropriate toy and, if that doesn't work, stop all interaction with her when she bites. It will take much longer than a few weeks for the lessons to sink in and you will need to be consistent. It seems as though you've tried five different methods in two(?) weeks. Try one method for several (~5-6 weeks) and you should see some improvement. Still, you will need to be patient and consistent - this isn't something she'll learn in a short time, it's an on-going process.

    Finally, don't force her to sit (or lie down or whatever you're training). It doesn't help the learning process, gives her an opportunity to chew on you, and can cause her to be frightened of you. For training advice, see Dog Star Daily (especially the training textbook) and Kikopup.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    5

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Hello all and thanks for the replies.

    Taking months is something I have not really heard about, which is interesting.
    I knew it would take a while before they fully learn, but from how I interpreted what I was reading, it seemed like something that you should see improvement in fairly quickly - and to this point I really haven't seen much but I'll certainly stick to one method from now on.
    That does make me feel better about her though!


    Also, "forcing" her to sit was probably a bad choice of words. I read that while trying to train a pup to sit, it was okay to convince them to do so with your hand. I don't "forcefully" make her do anything, but I will check out the links cookieface.

    Thanks again.

  6. #5
    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    5,353

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    You will probably see improvement where she goes from drawing blood, to just biting hard ;-) Improvement can happen quickly, but it's going to be small improvements. Plus, puppies start teething around 4 months and usually regress. Some puppies stop most of the biting after teething, but the mouthier breeds can continue longer.

    Do you mean that you're using your hand to lure her into the sit? Or that you are using it to position her body into a sit? Luring is fine, but I also wouldn't recommend physically putting them into the position. Most dogs don't learn as well with this method, and some really dislike it.

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

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,029

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Quote Originally Posted by jbriggs View Post
    Hello all and thanks for the replies.

    Taking months is something I have not really heard about, which is interesting.
    I knew it would take a while before they fully learn, but from how I interpreted what I was reading, it seemed like something that you should see improvement in fairly quickly - and to this point I really haven't seen much but I'll certainly stick to one method from now on.
    That does make me feel better about her though!
    You should see improvement within a few weeks, but you won't completely eliminate the biting for several months - she'll go through regular puppy chewing/biting and then start to teethe and want to chew even more. Puppies explore the world with their mouths and chewing comes naturally to them. It's like trying to train a bird not to peck or a cat not to scratch - you're fighting a natural instinct, so it will take longer than teaching sit or down.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbriggs View Post
    Also, "forcing" her to sit was probably a bad choice of words. I read that while trying to train a pup to sit, it was okay to convince them to do so with your hand. I don't "forcefully" make her do anything, but I will check out the links cookieface.

    Thanks again.
    That depends on what you mean by "convince them to do so with your hand." If you're luring (e.g., holding food in your hand and encouraging the puppy to follow the food into a natural sit), that's one thing (and a good way to train). If you're pushing her butt to the floor with your hand, that's forcing (whether is seems "forceful" or not) and not the best way to teach. In some ways, training is all about making them think it's their idea: more "Sitting gets me treats! Yay! I like to sit." and less "Uh oh. I better sit or he'll push me around."

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,029

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Quote Originally Posted by elrohwen View Post
    You will probably see improvement where she goes from drawing blood, to just biting hard ;-) Improvement can happen quickly, but it's going to be small improvements. Plus, puppies start teething around 4 months and usually regress. Some puppies stop most of the biting after teething, but the mouthier breeds can continue longer.

    Do you mean that you're using your hand to lure her into the sit? Or that you are using it to position her body into a sit? Luring is fine, but I also wouldn't recommend physically putting them into the position. Most dogs don't learn as well with this method, and some really dislike it.
    So, not only do our dog think alike, but so do we.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    30

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    We got our cockapoo back in June at 8 weeks - all he did was bite bite bite. My arms were full of scabs/puncture marks. I tried yelping and it didn't work, just got him more fired up. My husband does a firm no with his low voice and Rafa seems to respond to that better. Everything's a game to him, even at 5 months...afterall, he's still a baby. After time it will get better, jbriggs. Just have patience and be consistent. With love and guidance your puppy will grow up to be a star.

  10. #9
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    6,074

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Our puppy came to us at 4 weeks old and is now 15 weeks old. With biting, we tried stopping the game, walking away, being a tree, yelping. What we found works best is to keep a bag of acceptable chew sticks on the table between our recliners (she tends to do the nipping when she finds we are fair game while watching tv, surfing on our laptop, or relaxing...usually in the recliners) and replace biting our hands/feet with a chew stick. This has been working really well as long as we're consistent. Having raised quite a few puppies we have always tried to keep them tired. A tired dog is usually a better behaved dog. So we take them out in the yard to play with tennis balls, have lots of stuffed/squeaky toys in the house for bad weather or after dark, tug with a fleece braid, and a treat dispensing toy. We also discovered that our puppy loves to play with empty toilet paper tubes and empty plastic water bottles. You can also put some kibble pieces in the empty water bottle for some entertaiment. Along the lines of chewing and teething, our pup really enjoys a few cold baby carrots these days since she is in the midst of teething. When she is just too excited and gets out of control I prefer to shake an empty soda can with pennies inside rather than use her crate as a punishment. The whole biting thing starts off innocent enough. But ours started to turn into a game of biting anything that she thought was fun...shoes on our feet, the edge of the sofa, the other dog. So it's important to nip it in the bud before it becomes a serious issue.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    6

    Re: Boston Terrier Puppy - biting help!

    Training a puppy out of nipping can take a long time and be a lot of work. My dog Spock is a year old and still nips occasionally if he's excited, but he's FAR better then he used to be when he was younger. With proper training, she'll also calm down as she gets older.

  12. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

  • Decrease Size
    Increase Size
  • Remove Text Formatting
  • Insert Link Insert Image Insert Video
  • Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.