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My airedale terrier who just turned 5 months old first started lunging and biting at my family and our clothes when he was about 2 1/2 or 3 months old. When he first started it was pretty much only in the backyard during play and when we would come inside after being in the yard. It then progressed into him doing it in the house during the evenings when he was tired. Then he started doing it while playing in the house. A few weeks ago he started nipping our pants when he didn’t get his way (he wants us to give him treats, we make him get off the counter, we’re “taking too long with his food”). He stopped that but has recently started jumping and biting us sometimes when we correct him. He’s jumped and tried to bite our arms and clothes when we’ve made him get off the counter, when we don’t allow him to go wherever he wants on walks, when we move him away from something he can’t chew on (after telling him no). This evening he jumped up and clamped on my arm (and wouldn’t let go) while I was getting his food out. He still does it during play inside and in the yard. It started out with him doing it maybe once a day and now he does it multiple times during the day.

The nature of the jumping and biting has changed since he was a smaller puppy. It used to be all out lunging, but now it’s mostly jumping and grabbing sleeves and pulling them or clamping down on our arms (more than mouthing). One time on a walk he started lunging and grabbing my clothes, growling in an unusual tone and tugging furiously on my sweatshirt. I have to admit it was scary. He hasn’t done that exact thing since, so I’m thinking he did that because he had just lost a tooth and his mouth was hurting?

We have done different things to try to get him to stop doing this, with no success. First we would put him in a 10 minute time out to cool down when he would start this. We did this for about a month and a half and still do it when he starts this behavior during play because it does help him cool off. However, it didn’t eliminate or even cut down on the behavior frequency. We briefly started tying him to a doorknob for 30 seconds as suggested by a trainer. This just made him more crazy and frustrated. So we only did that for a week. For the past two-ish months we’ve been grabbing his leash and holding him off of us until he calms down, which is what a different trainer told us to do. Obviously, that isn’t lessening the frequency of the behavior either. As far as general obedience training goes, we make him work for any treats we give him, and I make him sit and stay when I feed him his meals and when we go out the door. We did a puppy class when he was younger, and now we are in an obedience class.

Also, we tried to teach him bite inhibition, but he didn’t respond to yelping or saying “ouch!” really loudly. So he still bites us a lot (when we try to pet his head sometimes, when we sit or lay on the ground, when he greets us). We are about to start teaching him “hold” and “drop” with hands, which is something our trainer told us. I have been working with him on “drop” with toys for about a month and a half, and he still has to see a treat to drop it (and sometimes even then he will deliberate for a few seconds).
I figured it was fairly normal for him to do it while playing because he’s a puppy, and as long as we don’t reward the behavior he will grow out of it. However, him doing it when he’s not getting his way is concerning me. I think it could be that he needs more free run exercise, but we have a fairly small yard, and our trainer said not to take him to the dog park because he is friendly, but skittish around other dogs. Any thoughts on how to train him out of this behavior?

Apologies for the long post, but I thought I would go ahead and answer questions that may be asked.
 

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As an owner of a 4 month old puppy, it sounds exactly like what Quill does -- I actually JUST posted this because of how exhausting it is.

Quill also gets very worked up and frustrated when I tell him not to bite/paw/etc. He'll bark, growl, bite at anything nearby...he just gets a timeout. Lots, and lots, and lots of timeouts when he is too worked up (which I can tell he is by the barking, biting, racing around, etc which have all increased dramatically recently). He still gets a lot of exercise, but often he is over tired and that works him up or he's just a puppy and is worked up for no reason. He doesn't tend to lunge/pull at my feet and pants or jump up to bite me, but he's terrible with my BF where both of those things are concerned. He does however like to throw himself at my chest when I'm on the couch/bed to try and get my attention, and proceeds to try and gnaw on my arms and hands.

He also is failing miserably at learning bite inhibition. We still shove toys in his mouth as he tries to bite us, but honestly it rarely works (though I forgot to update that thread...he DID bring us a toy the other day to play with instead of going straight for the bite, so he must be learning something albeit slowly).

I would guess your puppy is the same as Quill -- just a stubborn puppy with sore teeth, and eventually with a lot of work and maturity he will grow out of it. People had some great tips on that thread I mentioned though, and sit on the dog has been a good exercise for us all so far!
 

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The best way that I am aware off is to show that such behavior turns off any attention and social interaction which applies both to biting and jumping.

Even negative reactions from you can be seen as a reward as after all they have got your attention and hence by turning away with the cold shoulder sends a strong message. A good article on this subject can be found here which outlines some other methods such as using cotton gloves coated with an unpleasant taste...

One thing you don't want to do is show any signs of aggression as that is likely to cause a whole raft of other problems... Hang in there and good luck!
 

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He is an airedale terrier... very strong intense breed having the terrier mentality.easy to teach them to fight you back being forceful with them, their mouth is a vital part of their ability. Have you tried to give him an interesting toy to bite and shake on instead. Soft burlap tug, or one of the long furry tugs.. especially when he gets over excited in a situation. (which is terrier nature). teach him to work through it in a productive way .. nothing wrong with having them carry the tug around occupy their mouths while your having them do or go what you need of them. Pups with such intensity need to learn about themselves and what to do with it and that comes with maturity of learning when and how to use it..
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Glad to know I'm not alone, Marvel! He also likes to jump on us and bite our arms and hands when we're on the couch. Having treats and making him sit generally works with that though. I have not heard of sit on the dog before...I might try that this week!

I don't know if ignoring him would work in this situation because I feel like he is being rewarded by tugging on and ripping my clothes. Maybe leaving the room for 30 seconds would work better?

I have tried giving him a toy, and this works sometimes. Other times he will drop the toy and keep jumping and biting.

One thing I forgot to mention is that it seems like he is much more inclined to jump and bite even when not over excited when you have a sweatshirt or jacket on.
 

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I think you're close:
1. At this age, his adult teeth are growing in, he's teething, and his gums are sore. So, he also needs something, like a frozen washcloth to chew on to soothe his gums.
2. The timeout and the "yelp" need to be better coordinated. You don't have to "Yelp" but you can say 'oops' as a vocal cue (and warning) that you don't like the nip and you are about to put him in timeout. With the right timing, he will stop nipping when he hears 'oops' but you have to train him progressively and 'kindly'.
3. In general, it can take about 3 days, before he makes the connection. Also, you need to watch for and acknowledge his play 'apologies'.
4. Try reading through all of these links and steps to understand the process:
http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/361553-puppy-bites-hard.html#post3960129
5. Also, read the Sticky in the First Time Dog Owner : Teaching Bite Inhibition
 
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