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Hello,


I have two 8 week old american bull dog pit mix pups and they are a hand full they listen very well outside when we go out to do there buisness and I always reward for eliminating outside. First thing how can I get the play nipping to stop they bite each other and me when its play time but I dont want them to think when some one is playing that its ok to bite.

Second thing is inside the house I have to work 8-5 so im up at 630am to take them out to potty then inside to eat and one more time out side to potty, what I do is I have to large crates side by side doors open out side the crates is a dog exercise pen so when they come out the crates the are enclosed in the pen. i got home today and they ripped up the pee pad and peed on the floor and in the crates,,,, I just need some help before our obedience classes start. and since im not home for 7-8 hours mon-fri am i doing the wrong thing with all this HELP PLEASE!
 

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I don't actually have a dog yet, but I have been reading this site, and it gives some really good advice about puppy biting. Read the link and the next section called bite inhibitation for training tips on biting, but the whole site has a lot of good stuff so you may want to read it all. To summarize the stuff he says on biting: if you try to teach a puppy straight off not to bite at all, you'll end up with a puppy that doesn't bite, but when startled, it could bite down hard. Whereas if you allow mouthing (ie very gentle play biting), but teach it not to bite down, you can eventually encourage it to stop mouthing later on, this way, if it ever does bite when started, it will be a soft bite because they've been taught to watch how hard to bite. If they are not allowed to bite at all, they can't learn how to watch their strength. Puppies playing with each other will bite, but if one gets bitten too hard, it will stop playing for awhile, so by letting them play they teach each other to bite gently. If you follow the same thing (ie, say ouch! and stop playing for a bit if your puppy bites you), you can gradually react more and more sensitively and get the puppies to be super gentle with their bites since they'll learn that play stops when they bite too hard.
 

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There is a sticky on one of the forum pages called "The Bite Stops Here." It contains lots of good info. To summarize and add a bit:
- When the pup bites, yelp or say ouch loudly, but not angrily. The pup will probably bite again, almost immediately.
- When the pup bites a second time, make the noise again and then leave the room for 20-30 seconds. Any longer than that and the pup will forget why you left and the connection will ybe lost.

Basically, repeat this over and over and over and, well you get the point.

Biting and nipping is completely natural for puppies, it's how they play. So it takes time and patience to teach them to control their biting. Lots of folks give up too soon and try to find other methods. But, the thing is, you're not just trying to get the pups to stop nipping, you're trying to teach them something. So be patient and do the same thing every time.

As for the potty training: actually, your set up, with the pens and crates sound ok. They make trays for puppy pads, so that you can hook, or secure the pads into the tray. That way, the pups can't get ahold of the pads to chew them.

When you are not home, this is all you can do. You can't potty train when you aren't there, and they are far too young to hold it all day.

Some options to help: come home at lunch to let them out, hire a dog walker to let them out for a bit, ask a friend or relative to cime over halfway through the day to let them out.

Otherwise, you let them pee on the floor or pad while you are at work, and then do lots of vigilant potty training when you ARE home.
 
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