Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 week old Australian shepherd who is adorable! He is very smart and learns basic commands really quickly. One issue we are having though is his nipping and biting, along with barking and growling. Now I know that it is normal for puppy's to bite when playing and also to bark and growl a little when playing, but for some reason I feel that this is different. For one, he doesn't just gently mouth at your hands when petting him, he nips so hard that sometimes it draws blood. Also, he will latch and hold on to your skin. I've tried the "ouch!" Technique, but this actually makes him do it more. I've tried to say no or "aye!" Firmly, and this does not work, and actually any time I say "no" he will start barking and growling. His tail wags so i don't think he is trying to be nasty, but how do I teach him to play gently? Is this an Aussie thing he will grow out of?

I've tried other things like giving him a swift tap under the chin or lightly holding his mouth after he bites. I also give him a toy when he wants to chew my hand, but I can't even rub his belly or get to close with him without him latching onto my arm or nipping me in my face. Even if he's excited when we play on the yard he nips my knees and pulls my clothes.

I know he's a herding dog, but I feel like he's more aggressive with it and he's not responding to my commands once he gets wound up.


Any tips? Is this normal behavior?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
It's normal. Once the biting starts, leave the room until he calms down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
Between the cats and Ammy (my aussie) until she was 4 months my hands looked like they had been through a weed wacker. I YELLED ow and stopped all play whenever she was nipping or biting with her tiny puppy vampire teeth. She mostly picked it up by 4 months, although now that she's a teenager we're going through some reminders of that -.-. He's a normal herding dog puppy, he's not being aggressive :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Normal. I have scars from raising Lincoln (Ellie only ever nibbled him as a puppy so I had no problems there) and he was probably around four or five months by the time we could actually pet him like "a normal dog" before he'd start nipping.

He'll grow out of it, but in the mean time you need to teach him that he's biting too hard. Choose a consistent word (I think we said "ouch") and end interaction when he bites hard. Don't worry about correcting light nibbles for now. Once he realizes that everytime he bites hard you step over a baby gate, he will gradually bite more and more softly until it dwindles off.

At ten months, Lincoln will still try to nibble when he's over the moon excited (like when we came back from our summer vacation) but because we used this method he's literally just hardly touching us with his teeth. About the same pressure as wearing a bracelet. Not only is this obviously not uncomfortable, but it also means that if he ever felt the need to snap at someone if he was in pain or afraid or confused, he will most likely not harm that person since he knows that humans are delicate desert flowers and can't take rough play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Like everyone said , get up and walk away. Ours was a real pain took a few weeks. I have an old jacket that I wear when it's wrestling time with the pup. It helped for the first few weeks when he came home with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,087 Posts
There is a locked thread called The Bite Stops Here check that out too maybe it would help :D but I agree completely normal, just be patient with him and leave the room
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
He's normal for a puppy, normal for a herding breed. Don't smack him or hold his mouth shut. Either you will cause him to be handshy or he will think you're engaging in his game and it will make it worse.

When he chews you, offer him a toy instead. If he persists, walk out of the room for a moment. This is setting a boundary for him. When he gets too rough, the fun stops. You have to be consistent and do this every time and it will *a while* but he'll get it. Most of this he'll probably go out of. Puppies just naturally chew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
788 Posts
Obedience training helps in a huge way with this. Find a good local school and see when they'll admit him. Most places will do it after the second round of shots.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top