Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.
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Thread: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

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    Unhappy Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    I have a 7 month old puppy mix breed. Not sure what he is but I attached a picture. He's about 16 lbs now.

    Training is going very well so far. He is energetic and very friendly. He loves people and other dogs. He is comfortable with us opening his mouth for checkups. He rarely shows signs of aggression.

    The Problem Is:

    When he is chewing something he shouldn't be chewing, there is no way to stop him! He growls, gets very aggressive and will bite if I don't stop. I have tried tilting his head down and applying pressure to his lips by his rear teeth. I have tried using a treat as motivation to drop what he is chewing... Nothing.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions or success stories?

    Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.-img_3937.jpg

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    Senior Member troglodytezzz's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    I use the treat method to teach "out". Other people use "drop it" as the cue. The best time to teach this is when the dog is a bit hungry. Eppy loves to tug so he learned with a tug toy. While he had the toy in his mouth I would dangle a treat in front of his nose and say "out". When he let go I said "yes" and gave him the treat. Then we would go back to playing tug. Every 15 seconds or so I would use a treat to lure an "out". When he got the idea of what out means I stopped dangling a treat in front of his nose.

    After he knew "out" for that toy in the living room I practiced in the kitchen using the lure again. Next it was the back yard and then the driveway. I also worked on it at my mom's house and at the training school. I brought the toy with me on walks and worked on tug and out wherever I happened to be.

    Next I used different toys. Balls, kongs, his leash etc....

    Only after he had a general knowledge of "out" meaning "let go of whatever is in my mouth no matter where I am" did I start using the cue to get him to drop things that he isn't supposed to chew on. If he picks up a plastic wrapper on a walk, I say "out" and he drops it. At his current level of training I only reward him for exceptionally fast drops or challenging ones. Things like food wrappers, dead birds, pine cones (he is obsessed with them).

    If food isn't working for you then the problem could be one of the following:

    - The thing he is chewing on is waaaaay more interesting than whatever you are offering him. Get a better treat. Dangle a whole hot dog in front of him. Only let him have a bite of it though. I hide most of it in my hand when I feed and let the dog just nibble.

    - He isn't hungry. Training works best when the dog hasn't eaten for a few hours or just before meal time.

    The growling and biting is a big concern. It sounds like resource guarding. I assume that he has stuff that he is allowed to chew on. Bones, bully sticks, stuffed kongs? Does he growl when you take those away?

    Eppy was trained to not be possessive. It was as simple as dropping a few treats next to whatever he was chewing on or into his food bowl while he was eating and NOT taking it away. I had everyone do this. Adults and children. This taught him that an approaching hand is not a threat. In your case I don't think you should have children doing this until the growling and biting is an old memory. Now, when I do take something away from Eppy I always trade for a treat.
    Kevin


    Eppy - Border Collie X Husky - Born September 8, 2010

  4. #3
    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    But, she said treats don't work.

    I would scruff him and take it out of his mouth.
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Scruff him, and take it out, and maybe get bit?
    I seriously disagree. Like Elana and trog both said, "trade up". If treats aren't working now it means the treat isn't "high value" enough. Trading up means the trade should be BETTER, in the dog's mind, than what he has (that you want him to let go of).

  6. #5
    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    She maybe getting bit anyway.
    Our Menagerie
    Sophie ~ 12 year old pom/chi mix, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Buddy ~ 10 year old all American mutt (mom was beagle/dalmation), sent to the Rainbow Bridge January, 2013
    Corky ~ 7 year old basenji, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Charlie ~ 6 year old human child
    Mickey ~ 5 year old orange cat

    Pixie ~ 1 year old terrier/spaniel mix
    Penny ~ 9 week old chi/boston terrier mix

  7. #6
    Senior Member LazyGRanch713's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post
    Scruff him, and take it out, and maybe get bit?
    I seriously disagree. Like Elana and trog both said, "trade up". If treats aren't working now it means the treat isn't "high value" enough. Trading up means the trade should be BETTER, in the dog's mind, than what he has (that you want him to let go of).
    Training out is a perfect prevention. Dude is a classic example; I didn't bother teaching him to drop it and he'd either growl/bite or swallow what he had. A few times I *did* get bit, because he'd get something dangerous and I would have no choice but to scruff and take.
    But the trade game is SO MUCH EASIER and less wear and tear on both dog and human. They key is not to wait and "practice" it when the dog has a high-value item (like a bone, chew, or rat poison). Start with something boring (like the cardboard idea) and switch for a piece of hot dog. With my two younger dogs, I would trade them a bone for a bite of cheese or hot dog, and then give the bone back. Rinse, repeat.

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    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    Trade up means a really good thing like a piece of chicken or a bit of hot dog.. not a carboard like biscuit.

    Scruffing the dog means you do not have enough patience or imagination to out think the dog so you resort to abuse. Nice.
    Scruffing isn't abuse. I didn't say hold him up by his scruff. Sorry but if a dog is going to bite me and I've tried everything else and what he is eating is either going to hurt him or cost me a fortune, he's getting scruffed.

    OK, considering your pup is a bigger dog. Give this a try. http://www.rwrkennels.com/forcefetching.shtml
    Last edited by mamasobuco; 03-25-2011 at 03:06 PM.
    Our Menagerie
    Sophie ~ 12 year old pom/chi mix, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Buddy ~ 10 year old all American mutt (mom was beagle/dalmation), sent to the Rainbow Bridge January, 2013
    Corky ~ 7 year old basenji, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Charlie ~ 6 year old human child
    Mickey ~ 5 year old orange cat

    Pixie ~ 1 year old terrier/spaniel mix
    Penny ~ 9 week old chi/boston terrier mix

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Without defining abuse, at the very least, scruffing in this situation is unnecessary, problematic, and not advisable.

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    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    I guess I don't understand rewardnig my dog with a piece of chicken for doing something wrong. I could see if he were to let it go peacefully and then giving him some kind of treat. But, dominance needs to be established at this point and getting his attention without hurting him is advisable by many trainers. Some would suggest scruffing and pinning him.

    I get and agree with gentle training. I trained my basenji to roll on his back and all I have to do is ask nicely. But, I started the process before he was able to start being too agressive. I also rewarded all of my dogs for handing things over peacefully from the start. But, to coerce with a amazing piece of food and then giving it to them is rewarding for bad behavior. If your dog is as smart as mine, that would make him do it even more. "Eat the shoe. Get Chicken!"
    Our Menagerie
    Sophie ~ 12 year old pom/chi mix, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Buddy ~ 10 year old all American mutt (mom was beagle/dalmation), sent to the Rainbow Bridge January, 2013
    Corky ~ 7 year old basenji, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Charlie ~ 6 year old human child
    Mickey ~ 5 year old orange cat

    Pixie ~ 1 year old terrier/spaniel mix
    Penny ~ 9 week old chi/boston terrier mix

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    Senior Member sassafras's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    You're not rewarding them for doing something bad. You're rewarding them for dropping the object, which is what you want. That's why you start training with toys and such before they get the shoe. They will drop the shoe nicely when asked if the last 100 times they were asked to drop something they got yummy chicken.

    Maisy is the best of mine at this. If I see her with something across the room, I can ask her "What do you have? Can I see?" and she will bring it to me, tail wagging, and give it up gladly. But that didn't come out of nowhere, we've practiced it a gazillion times with awesome rewards and trade-ups.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Antecedent - Behavior - Consequence

    "Drop" - dog drops object - Food Reward

    What bad behavior is being reinforced, exactly?

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    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Chewing Shoe - growl and snap at owner - food reward

    I agree with sassafras. If you train with something that is less desirable to him, it could work. I say could because what if the dog gets something before the training takes effect and snaps at its owner? Giving a reward for that is a little confusing.
    Our Menagerie
    Sophie ~ 12 year old pom/chi mix, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Buddy ~ 10 year old all American mutt (mom was beagle/dalmation), sent to the Rainbow Bridge January, 2013
    Corky ~ 7 year old basenji, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Charlie ~ 6 year old human child
    Mickey ~ 5 year old orange cat

    Pixie ~ 1 year old terrier/spaniel mix
    Penny ~ 9 week old chi/boston terrier mix

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasobuco View Post
    Chewing Shoe - growl and snap at owner - food reward

    I agree with sassafras. If you train with something that is less desirable to him, it could work. I say could because what if the dog gets something before the training takes effect and snaps at its owner? Giving a reward for that is a little confusing.
    If you're giving a reward for a behavior other than what you're requesting, you're doing it wrong.

    The obvious point here should be, teach the dog what "drop" means. This is the proactive approach.

    Scruffing the dog for a behavior he hasn't learned by cue is a reactive approach, and the result of human error. The dog shouldn't have to pay for that.

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    Senior Member katielou's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasobuco View Post
    I guess I don't understand rewardnig my dog with a piece of chicken for doing something wrong. I could see if he were to let it go peacefully and then giving him some kind of treat. But, dominance needs to be established at this point and getting his attention without hurting him is advisable by many trainers. Some would suggest scruffing and pinning him.

    I get and agree with gentle training. I trained my basenji to roll on his back and all I have to do is ask nicely. But, I started the process before he was able to start being too agressive. I also rewarded all of my dogs for handing things over peacefully from the start. But, to coerce with a amazing piece of food and then giving it to them is rewarding for bad behavior. If your dog is as smart as mine, that would make him do it even more. "Eat the shoe. Get Chicken!"
    Oh your one of those people. No further comment needed.

    "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."
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    Junior Member mamasobuco's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Learning 'drop' is definitely in order here.
    Our Menagerie
    Sophie ~ 12 year old pom/chi mix, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Buddy ~ 10 year old all American mutt (mom was beagle/dalmation), sent to the Rainbow Bridge January, 2013
    Corky ~ 7 year old basenji, sent to the Rainbow Bridge August, 2012
    Charlie ~ 6 year old human child
    Mickey ~ 5 year old orange cat

    Pixie ~ 1 year old terrier/spaniel mix
    Penny ~ 9 week old chi/boston terrier mix

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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasobuco View Post
    Chewing Shoe - growl and snap at owner - food reward

    I agree with sassafras. If you train with something that is less desirable to him, it could work. I say could because what if the dog gets something before the training takes effect and snaps at its owner? Giving a reward for that is a little confusing.
    I was taught if my dog did something she wasn't supposed to, it was my fault for setting up the situation.

    If a dog goes after shoes, keep the shoes put away. If the dog pulls a Houdini and gets into the closet/container with the shoes then barricade the area/dog with an ex-pen or dog-proof room when you can't supervise. (Substitute "shoes" with trash can, furniture, etc. as necessary.)

    The key is to set the dog up for success, not failure.
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Well said, Bird-Dog! We do our best to manage our dogs' environment, so they don't get stuff they shouldn't have. BUT, if we're on a walk and the grab something they shouldn't have, or if they find something we accidentally left out at home, then we use "drop" and the reward for dropping is a WAY better treat than normal, and better than what they have in their mouth (trading up).

    If a dog's been trained to "drop" or "leave it" , and had been proofed with easy stuff first, and working up, then this scenario shouldn't happen:

    "Chewing shoe - growl and snap at owner - food reward"

    because a dog that was chewing the shoe would be told to "drop" or "leave it", and would get a treat when they did. It wouldn't get to the growling or snapping part.

  19. #18
    Member RomeoSnow's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    The only think two dog trainers will agree on is what the third one is doing wrong.
    Here is what I would do.
    Take some things that your dog likes to pick up and not give back.
    (have your dog away so he can't see/hear/smell what’s going on)
    Place them around in the "natural" area he would find them.
    Get a pocket full of very yummy treats. (my dog LOVES cooked hot dogs)
    *Before getting your dog work up your nerve.. Be confident. But normal.
    (this your my dog, He should never be aggressive to his human mom!"

    Go get the little punk.
    Collar, be sure he can't slip it off.
    Leashed.
    Walk him into area with his treasures.

    As soon as he picks it up:

    Say Drop.
    (it is important to sound like you mean it. saying the work "Jack!" is a good example, its very strong sounding)
    If he does not, simply turn and walk away.
    (remember the tight collar?)
    If he drops the treasure, tell him how good he is! (reward and repeat until he drops the object without having your walk away, at this point you should be giving him big rewards of his fav thing every time he drops.
    If he should decide not to drop continue the walk away procedure..)
    Alternately.
    If he carries it say good boy, because he is now bringing you the dangerous object.
    Praise him like crazy.
    Tell him drop!
    If he holds on to it, repeat DROP! + Turn and walk away. He has to follow.
    If he is still carrying it, repeat,
    with praise while following you.
    Drop, When you stop, turn and walk,
    praise soon he will forget himself and either bring you the thing or drop it.
    It can be quite the cool game.
    If he dropped it at any point tell him good boy!! ]\
    Pick up the item, let him sniff it in your hand
    if he tries to grab it, assertively tell him, MINE!
    and stand up strait with your hands safely raised if he tried anything funny..


    Um,, I think this could work and avoid getting nipped.

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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Wow, so many replies.

    Thanks for all of the great ideas. I definitely try the trade game with bacon flavor treats he absolutely loves. I'll try 'better' treats or something he's not used to.

    With his bones, toys and large objects, I have no problem. I say "drop it" and he typically lets go without a fuss. We play fetch all the time and he drops things, sits and waits for me to throw it.

    It's the smaller items that cause problems. Actually, just today we had a problem. I was folding laundry and a dryer sheet fell on the ground. He grabbed it, started chewing it and when I approached him to get it out of his mouth, he put the whole thing in his mouth, locked up and started the growling show. He tries to grab the treats I offer him with his lips (but keeps his jaws locked, it's actually kind of funny watching him do it). After repeated attempts with his treats... I put on some kevlar gloves and forced my way into his mouth fearing that he would try to swallow the entire dryer sheet. He eventually opened up just enough for me to grab it and pull it out.

    Has anyone had any experience with this bitter apple stuff? I was thinking when he starts to chew something he shouldn't, put a little on his lips and see if he spits it out.

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    Senior Member Puptart's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy bites when I try to remove something from his mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Antecedent - Behavior - Consequence

    "Drop" - dog drops object - Food Reward

    What bad behavior is being reinforced, exactly?
    Well, Kodi eventually decided that he would get into more things he shouldn't if it meant he'd get more treats for giving it up. So I don't do the "trade you" thing anymore. I did eventually teach him "give it" which works.
    Please scale down your signature

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