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This is one of Sydney's bff dogs. His name is Sebastian and he's a 1 year old shih-tzu owned by my boyfriend's mother.



I really like Sebastian. He's playful and silly and a good match for Sydney. But it's clear that he is not really a good match for his owners. Their other two dogs are Maltese and don't really do much. Sebastian on the other hand gets into trouble constantly. He's chewed up my bf's wallet and a pair of my glasses and these things were just what happened while we were visiting!

His biggest issue though, is biting at people's hands. You basically can't pet him without getting play bitten. If you go anywhere near his neck he thinks you're playing and it honestly gets really irritating being mouthed all the time. Now, it's clear that the root of his problems is a lack of exercise and mental stimulation. Not sure I could convince them to take him for a daily walk, unfortunately, though I could probably gift them a treat ball of some sort.

This is all probably mute because I can give his owners advice, but whether or not they take the advice and follow through is another matter. But, if this were your dog, how would you approach the issue of biting? If I were to use a clicker, would I just wait out his biting and click/treat when he stops for the smallest second or would there be a faster, more effective way?
 

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I'll be interested in hearing responses to this. Livia (our new rescue girl who is 8 months old, instead of the 6 we originally were told) is a play biter/mouther. So far, when she does it we use an 'uh uh' and put our hands behind our back for a minute or two. If she insists, we get up and walk away so all play is done. I'm not sure if this is the most effective way or not. I know with puppies you do the yelping thing, but she's 8 months..

(Sorry I have no ideas or solutions for you!)
 

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My in-laws have this same biting problem with their chihuahua mix. They have not gone completely through the problem but it has gotten much better. An early recommendation was to scream "Ouch" when the dog bit, apparently this is what puppies do when they are hurt. The other thing they tried, which works, is ending the session with the dog as soon as the bite happens and providing the dog an acceptable toy to chew on.
 

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I just did a cut&paste froma previous post... see if this helps:

Re-read the Sticky:the Bite Stops Here. perhaps you haven't been sticking with it long enough. Read this and note the 3 days and the apology....She ignored the Yelp!, because you ignored the apology. Instead of the Yelp, you can say Ouch! or Oops!

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get her to stop biting when she wants to play or otherwise):
1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound about like what the pup does when you step on its paw... don't step on her paw for a sample :). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. SHe'll bite.
2. When she bites the second time, Yelp. When she stops, praise and pet. SHe'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When she bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If she comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. This is important. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
4. When she bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing her in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving her. Then, return and interact. (SHe's still hungry...)
5. When she nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

You can modify the number of steps, but not what you do...

Pups need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice signficant Bite Inhibition. SHe may still nip, but it will be softer and she won't draw blood. And, she should be less aggressive, especially, if you notice the apology. Keep up the training and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method.

If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication. I currently use the yelp when my dog plays tug, then runs with the toy, when he fetches and keeps it out of reach or when he takes a treat too quickly....
 
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