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Discussion Starter #1
I just adopted an 8 week old, Border Collie X, puppy from a rescue and although he is super smart (potty training is a breeze and he already sits, shakes and comes) he has the typical puppy problem of snapping and biting, A LOT. I am just wondering what the best way is to go about training this out of him as I would like to take him to the nursing home, but not if he is going to bite the residents. I am clicker training, but it isn't working with the biting problem.

Thank you.
 

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The way I would do it is to redirect to an object he can have when he tries to bite. Are you going to do the CGC test with him?? there is also the walk away/time out way of doing it, but that never worked well for me as the redirect.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do redirect but he is so stubborn that it rarely works. Aside from this problem, he is hardly any trouble at all. He is very well behaved, hardly ever barks, rarely relieves himself in the house and he is soooooooooo friendly...
 

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the only other way I have done it is the walk away/timeout-- this may work better for you if you have a gate and when he bites you turn and walk over the gate. Keep doing it till he figures out that bite= no interaction.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, I will try that then. I was going to put him in his crate but I don't want that to be associated with discipline so I haven't done that. Another gate will likely be in the planning as well. Thank you for the advice.
 

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Ok, I will try that then. I was going to put him in his crate but I don't want that to be associated with discipline so I haven't done that. Another gate will likely be in the planning as well. Thank you for the advice.
You are welcome and update when you can, Good Luck!
 

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Redirect to toys if you can. If he still goes for your hands, get up and walk away and ignore him. Biting means all the fun ends. It takes time, but it work. Keep in mind that biting is natural for puppies and it often doesn't slow down until after teething around 4-6 months, so you can't expect results over night or even in a week.

ETA: If he's really wild and can't settle down it's perfectly fine to put him in the crate for a bit. It doesn't have to be a punishment, do it kindly and give him something to chew on while he's in there. Sometimes puppies get over tired and crazy, like a toddler. Once you crate them they crash and sleep for a while.
 

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and it' s not a fix and it's over situation. 5 seconds later the pup will be back doing it again.... again and again... it seems like it's not working lol... since this will go on for weeks and months... but it is working and making a difference when your able to work each situation as it happens in the positive right direction on how it ends.....

Every time the pup learns a tiny piece of information ( a tiny piece) of what your trying to teach .. stay calm, find the ways that calm your pup so they will learn calm,,,, and avoid the situations that escalate their excitement... at this age they like a sponge so be careful what you teach them with your actions as it will stick. Focus on your daily schedule, meal times, poop times, and sleep times for this age
 

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What I did for my dude (who is a miniature american shepherd) was I had about a 3 ft long piece of nylon rope that I put several knots into, when he starts in (like if he is really excited or something) then I show him that rope and he goes after that instead of my legs LOL. Also, you can get an old basketball or soccer ball and when he starts to try to herd you, redirect him to that instead, it will seem like it takes FOREVER, but he will catch on that biting the toys is much more fun than biting you LOL.

Also, with these kinds of dogs, off switches are imperative, a good working dog should have an off switch, but some have to be taught how to settle and when to "work" (as they see it) and when not to "work" (I put that quotes because to these kind of dogs, EVERYTHING is work to them LOL).

Also, in the house, while you are there watching him, you can have him drag a short leash around that if he gets rowdy, you can step on it, or even tether him to a sturdy piece of furniture (make sure it cant be pulled over!) with a toy, nylabone chews are awesome, that is all I usually buy because they last forever, they make a line for puppies, but I had to skip that and go right to the ones for powerful chewers because my dude destroyed three puppy nylabones in less than 2 months LOL.

Keep at it, he will get it :)
 

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Bella was SUPER mouthy as a pup...I called her my furry little alligator. If she started getting nippy, I'd try to redirect, but usually ended getting up and walking away ... and she'd run at me and bite the back of my legs.

I gave her three tries (leave her for a couple minutes, come back...she'd commence biting....leave again, come back etc...) if she didn't stop, I'd grab a treat ball and escort her to her crate. No yelling, no drama, just calm time (although I REALLY wanted to yell at her - loudly!! lol) I'd let her out a little while later and she would be okay again. She got it eventually. The crate time didn't discourage her from being in there...but it wasn't nearly as fun as hanging out with everyone! She just had to learn biting people is boring.

It's a long and sometimes physically painful process raising a mouthy pup, but it WILL get easier!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I managed to wear him out to the point that he is now passed out on the couch, beside me. The walking away didn't work so I tried the crating with the chew toy and he settled down quite a bit. He is still getting use to the crate as well, but he is getting there.

Thanks for all the great advice :D
 

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There's a sticky on the topic in the forum. THere's also tons of web pages and videos on the topic. Get some obedience training too.

Mouthing ISN'T a bad thing. It lets you teach a soft mouth. You have to learn how to teach that though.
 

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There's a sticky on the topic in the forum. THere's also tons of web pages and videos on the topic. Get some obedience training too.

Mouthing ISN'T a bad thing. It lets you teach a soft mouth. You have to learn how to teach that though.
Obedience training is not a fix all thing, you know. About the only thing they teach there is sit, stay, heel, leave it, etc. And its good for pups because of the socialization. But to insist that it is the holy grail that will fix all of a dog's problems is silly.
 

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Here's a previous post that references Bite Inhibition, along with detailed instructions:
http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/252738-problems-biting-during-play.html#post2690562.

Note that this protocol may not begin to work for a few days, b/c puppies may need to sleep for the lesson to sink in. Also, Bite Inhibition has to be refreshed periodically to remind the dog. In fact, when the pup gets his adult teeth around 4 - 5mos, he may need a quick Bite Inhibition tune-up.

In any case, pick a method, stick with it for about a week to see if you get any progress, before switching to a different method ... in mid-bite :)
 

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Obedience training is not a fix all thing, you know. About the only thing they teach there is sit, stay, heel, leave it, etc. And its good for pups because of the socialization. But to insist that it is the holy grail that will fix all of a dog's problems is silly.
It is the holy grail, but not to fix dog problems. To prevent them before they really start. You're teaching them to do all of those things in the most distracting environment possible. You can't replicate that elsewhere. You also can't replicate puppies playing with other puppies there. You also get the input of a trainer, build a social circle of other pet owners and it's affordable. Somehow I get the feeling that you didn't take your dog to one and now you're defensive about it. :)
 

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It is the holy grail, but not to fix dog problems. To prevent them before they really start. You're teaching them to do all of those things in the most distracting environment possible. You can't replicate that elsewhere. You also can't replicate puppies playing with other puppies there. You also get the input of a trainer, build a social circle of other pet owners and it's affordable. Somehow I get the feeling that you didn't take your dog to one and now you're defensive about it. :)
I have taken very few to classes and not had problems-- and the only reason I started classes for the two pups is the place I go to do agility requires a basics course to sign up. I agree with OwnedbyACDs it is not the holy grail-- it just helps.
 

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It is the holy grail, but not to fix dog problems. To prevent them before they really start. You're teaching them to do all of those things in the most distracting environment possible. You can't replicate that elsewhere. You also can't replicate puppies playing with other puppies there. You also get the input of a trainer, build a social circle of other pet owners and it's affordable. Somehow I get the feeling that you didn't take your dog to one and now you're defensive about it. :)
The problem that I have with this line of reasoning is that it's along the "it's all in how you raise them" spectrum of bs. Genetics are a thing. Some things are innate characteristics in a dog and taking a puppy class isn't going to make them magically go away or change.

Yes, puppy class is a useful tool when you're in a position to take advantage of it (my dog never went to a puppy class and lived in abuse and neglect in her formative months but she's a confident well adjusted adult now, must be a freak of nature) but it isn't going to make a shy fearful dog into an outgoing dog, it isn't going to make a DA dog a dog park dog.

A useful tool and good place to start, yes, but you're not guaranteed your dog will have no issues just by virtue of attending a puppy class.
 

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It is the holy grail, but not to fix dog problems. To prevent them before they really start. You're teaching them to do all of those things in the most distracting environment possible. You can't replicate that elsewhere. You also can't replicate puppies playing with other puppies there. You also get the input of a trainer, build a social circle of other pet owners and it's affordable. Somehow I get the feeling that you didn't take your dog to one and now you're defensive about it. :)
Actually I find that it is far, far from the most distracting environment possible. Maybe at first, but I find that my dogs quickly become very "class smart." That is, they do NOT find a class environment distracting after a couple of classes. They know they are there to work and the only time they are there is when they are expected to be "on." It's very useful to get dogs used to working around other people and dogs, but even then I find my dogs become familiar with the other people and dogs in a class relatively quickly.

If you rely on a class to be the pinnacle of distraction, you may end up with a dog who is perfect at class but may not perform in other places. You need to practice (replicate, if you will) your training in a wide variety of environments of varying levels of distractions, not only rely on a class.

To the OP, the mouthing is a pretty normal/common behavior for all puppies but especially herding breeds. Interrupt, redirect, repeat. And the sticky on bite inhibition is good, too. It just takes time and a lot of repetition.
 

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Actually I find that it is far, far from the most distracting environment possible. Maybe at first, but I find that my dogs quickly become very "class smart." That is, they do NOT find a class environment distracting after a couple of classes. They know they are there to work and the only time they are there is when they are expected to be "on." It's very useful to get dogs used to working around other people and dogs, but even then I find my dogs become familiar with the other people and dogs in a class relatively quickly.

If you rely on a class to be the pinnacle of distraction, you may end up with a dog who is perfect at class but may not perform in other places. You need to practice (replicate, if you will) your training in a wide variety of environments of varying levels of distractions, not only rely on a class.

To the OP, the mouthing is a pretty normal/common behavior for all puppies but especially herding breeds. Interrupt, redirect, repeat. And the sticky on bite inhibition is good, too. It just takes time and a lot of repetition.
YEP, this.

Molly learned how to shut up and behave in class, FAST. Then we got a new group of students and she relearned it. Things falling off in other settings and the real world? Took a whole lot longer. She's not dumb. She knows where she's at when she's training, she knows those people and dogs, and she knows what's expected of her there. Translating that to out at the park or whatever took longer.

Kind of the same deal as working in the living room. A step up, for sure, but it's still a static location with the same people and dogs week after week. And even outside that, Molly's behavior in the context of agility is much different than at a park - she didn't generalize that. When agility equipment is around along with other dogs, regardless of what agility equipment or specific location, her behavior is better (and her reactivity less) than if we're wandering through a park and spot another leashed dog.

I think classes are important, but they're not going to solve all your issues.
 

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It is the holy grail, but not to fix dog problems. To prevent them before they really start. You're teaching them to do all of those things in the most distracting environment possible. You can't replicate that elsewhere. You also can't replicate puppies playing with other puppies there. You also get the input of a trainer, build a social circle of other pet owners and it's affordable. Somehow I get the feeling that you didn't take your dog to one and now you're defensive about it. :)
Both of my dogs have been to a million classes, starting with puppy K, and I agree that it's not the holy grail. Puppy class was great for socialization and teaching my dog to sit and lie down and stay, but it didn't fix any of his biting or over stimulation issues. Those are things I had to figure out mostly on my own or with outside help. I totally agree that a training class is not that distracting of an environment. It's the same pretty much every time, and there aren't any squirrels or deer running through the middle of class. Outdoor areas and parks are far far more stimulating for my dogs than a class. Out of "low distraction" places to train, a training facility is probably the next level up in distraction from my house, and below pretty much anywhere else.
 
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