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I have had my puppy 3 weeks and he is about 12-13 weeks old.

I understand that the whole biting thing is just gonna happen. At this point I feel like I won't really get to play with puppy, just pet him..he bites me..I leave. He doesn't really seem to care. I admit that it is very hard to do this EVERY single time.
Now that he has gotten into more and more things (chewing) Or play area is smaller and smaller - at least this week. (My hubby got Bronchitis (and cracked a rib), adn I can tell I am getting sick too, so I just don't have the energy to chase him ALL over the living room. I tried the bitter apple spray - no affect. I even tried putting hot sauce on my hands - no effect.

If I just tell him NO, he starts to bark at me and it gets worse. It is like "no" triggers it.

We live in a two story home and he is able to make it UP the stairs. He quite likes going *up* I think. Everytime I turn my back - whoops - he's headed upstairs. But he is to small to make it back down, So I have to carry him down myself. Just this last week or so, he is starting to no want me to pick him up to go downstairs. He barks and backs up and today started nipping at me.

Is this normal, is it a phase> I don't want him to gain another 5 or 10 lbs in the next few weeks and I won't be able to do anything with him. (although I sort of taught him to go down one stair, but he wined the whole time.)


If he meets a stranger, oh my goodness he loves on them like crazy, just not me=/.

I need some encouragement (or perhaps a professional).

PS he won't be able to go play with other dogs for another 2 weeks.. vet guessed age wrong so still waiting on other shots. So I have to wait for training classes.
 

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Yes, your puppy is totally normal. They learn through their mouths. Try Googling the article, The Bite Stops Here to get some good tips on handling puppy mouthing/nipping.

Can you put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs so the puppy can't go up them?

Keep the pup on leash, even in the house to keep better control over him. He's enjoying the chaos right now - lol! I'd also recommending crate training. This doesn't mean you keep the dog in it all the time, but it is a great house training tool, as well as a management tool (such as when you're cooking dinner or taking a shower).
 

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Thanks Georgia,

I just have this fear that in a few weeks he is gonna be doing something and then get to big for me to just pick up and take him where I want him to be=).

I actually don't mind that he climbs the stairs per se. there is a little hallway at the top of the stairs where I do like to train him or let him sit and play. There is (almost) nothing he can get into up there. I often use the hallway to train him and if he bites I just leave into one of the adjoining rooms. It is not the being upstairs that I don't like (actually I think it is good exercise for him), it is him barking at me and trying to not let me pick him up. Should I let this bother me? will he grow out of it? (hopefully he will grow and walk his on behind down the stairs lol). I feel like he has something against me, because he seems to listen better to my husband. But my husband has very little interaction with him.

One other think about being outside on a leash. Or being outside in general. When we go out to potty, I try to make it short and sweet. From the day we got him, he peed right away. And he has actually been warning us if he has to poo (plus he has a poo poo wine and a skwirmy walk lol!) My "issue" is that now that he is getting older - he is less interested in ME as in "lets go inside..follow me" He would rather play in the dirt. Is it okay for me to go ahead and carry him back if he won't listen. Should I up the antie and bring better treats to entice him into coming with me. If so, is that going to be long lasting and that is sort of part of his "training"?

CRATE TRAINING
I have been using a crate since night 1. He has gotten very used to it. Once after only a week he was napping in our bathroom and he trotted out on his very own to lay in his crate. So I have been grateful for that. I do have concerns on not wanting to put him in it too much - I am afraid he will start to dislike it? I suppose I should give myself a break since most people crate their dog while at work huh?

I suppose he is like any child and is trying to test me with his barking? Maybe he is letting me know that he is just not happy that he can't do that anymore. Also, I have been spraying him with water/vinegar to get him to stop doing things. Is that a good idea? I need to find a way to
 

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Manage his area. Baby gate him into appropriate rooms and don't let him wander around the house, and then you won't have to worry about bringing him back. My pup is 10 months and we *still* have baby gates up to keep him in the one or two rooms we are in. He just can't be trusted to wander around the house by himself and not get into things. Keep a leash on him if you necessary and use it to lead him back to where he needs to be.

When he's outside and won't follow, I would use a toy or treats to get him to follow you. Make following you the best thing ever.

My pup was crated for 8 hours while we were at work (in two 4 hour blocks since I came home for lunch) plus 8 hours at night. It's not forever, so don't worry about it.

At this stage, he doesn't know what "no" means. I would stop using it altogether, honestly. If you need to redirect, show him a toy, take the leash (since I think he would benefit from dragging a short leash around), and lead him away from what he is chewing. Then, in parallel, work on "leave it". Teach him very specifically that "leave it" means to back away from whatever he is interested in, and then you can use that. It will take a few weeks though to put that on cue, so start slow and don't expect him to get it immediately. The problem with "no" is that he really doesn't know what you mean right now, so you're saying "no", getting frustrated with him, and he's just being a puppy and trying to play with you, and you both go in circles.

He is just a baby right now, and being a completely normal puppy. Be consistent, teach him what you want him to do (and manage his environment so that he can't do what you don't want him to do), and this will pass.
 

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DO NOT spray with water and vinegar. For one thing, it's clearly not working. For another, do you really want a dog afraid of water? When you have to wash him? That'll be fun.

Your dog is not being "defiant" about anything. He's a puppy. He doesn't know what you want, you're not teaching him, so he just does whatever he thinks of doing. Since he's a dog, he thinks of chewing, barking and running around. You need to stop punishing him for what he's doing wrong and teach him what to do right. And manage him.

For instance: the stairs. Put a harness on him. Keep a short leash attached to it. (only when you are around. He could catch the leash on something and hang himself to death.) When he gets to the top of the stairs and starts barking for help, use the harness to help him back down the stairs. Once he learns how, he can do it on his own. (Up and down are totally different action using totally different muscle groups.)

Train him to come to you. Every time he does, whether you asked or not, give him a great treat. Being around you should be awesome, the better it is, the more he'll want to do it. Put a long line on him and call him. If he doesn't come, gently use the leash to bring him to you, reward heavily. Never use your recall word to call him to do to do something bad to him. If you need to clip his nails or give him medicine or end his fun time, you go to him.

All training takes time, btw. Lots of time. Nobody learned to read in a day. Your dog won't learn recall in a day, either.
 

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You're doing the right things... just in the wrong order:
1. Look for the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here
2. When he nips you, make a sound, like a Yelp or Ouch! and then turn your back and leave the room. You need to mark the nipping with a sound, so that he knows why you are leaving.
3. However, he may already 'understand.' When you say NO! and he barks at you, he may be 'apologizing,' but he doesn't know why. So when he barks, you might pet him? But, be prepared for more nipping. It takes at least 3 days for pups to make the connection and to begin to nip more softly. ... Read that Sticky.
4. These are all phases, and he'll change almost every week until he's about 6 mos.
5. He CAN play with other dogs ... If you can find a safe, up to date dog that is fully up to date on all his shots, reasonably clean, and well taken care of, then they can play in your yard. Ask the Vet to explain. ... We used to use my adult dog to help socialize puppies.
6. He likes other people "more" than you, b/c you are a stable part of his life, and they are new. My dog was like that, until one day I walked away and he ran after me, trying to encourage me to walk back to the new people. He wants to play, as long as I'm there to 'protect' him.
7. Also, when he is outside and won't come in, run inside and hold the door open. Or if he isn't paying attention, make it a game. Touch him, then turn and run back into the house ... see if he follows. If he does, make a big fuss, and give him a piece of kibble. If you can make this a habit, then say Fido, Come! while he's running to you, then give him 3 pieces of kibble one at a time.
 

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Gate for the stairs. There's nothing wrong with him biting you. There's a problem with him biting you too hard. Not allowing the dog to bite means they won't learn bite inhibition. Just hang in there for the next 2 weeks. It gets better.

In terms of defiance, try teaching the dog some tricks. It helps.
 

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At this age, it's a lot more about containment than control. The control part comes later. For now, keeping the puppy out of things you don't want chewed and redirecting to toys when he tries to nip, etc. are the ways of survival. One thing that I've found helps, though, when you think the puppy hates you because you're all scratched up, is knowing that pups do this with the people they feel the closest to THE MOST. Why? Because they have accepted you as part of their family and they're trying to play with you the only way puppies know how, jumping and nipping as they did with their littermates. The fact that he's nipping you means that he's bonding with you, even if love hurts.

Baby gates in the home as well as possibly keeping the dog leashed in the home (we do this with our puppy) or an ex-pen really are great ways to contain the chaos. I make sure to give the pup breaks in our backyard to run and play, but even then he often has a long lead to drag behind so I can easily get ahold of him if he gets out of hand. Our dog has to be carried up and down the stairs for now as well and he hated it and struggled for about a week or two as he got big enough to want to do it on his own. We worked on making sure we supported his back legs well so he'd feel safe and simply kept up with it, positioning him so he couldn't nip and after doing his best to nip or jump out of our arms...he finally gave up and now will sit at the bottom of the stairs to be picked up.

As far as defiance goes, if you really do feel like he's challenging you, you might try looking at the sticky on NILIF. Our dog earns everything with sits or downs. Anything we do with him starts by practicing a command. I find this really helps keep the puppy engaged as well as teach them that following our rules = good things. You can do basic training like this at any age by using treats even before any puppy classes and it really does help a lot with bonding.

And yeah...all the advice above. :)
 

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i am probably going to get yelled at for this, but this is what we did.

my puppy was a BITER! i know she wasn't trying to hurt, but it did hurt! she bit my hands constantly leaving marks all up and down my arms. she started biting my face shortly after and it got to the point where i couldn't even play with her.

we tried all the advice we could find: redirecting, holding her mouth closed for a few seconds, we stopped playing hand games like tug of war with her, rewards, yelping, spraying bitter apple on our hands, etc. finally at her wellness check up i asked the vet. he said that when the dog nips, tell her NO BITE, firmly. if she does it again, take the bitter apple spray and spray it directly into her mouth.

i was worried about doing this as it seemed cruel. i actually sprayed the bitter apple spray into my own mouth to see how bad it would be. it didn't taste great and was unpleasant but not *traumatic*. after doing this about 5 times she quit biting. when i sprayed her she would make a face and try to spit out the spray, but she didn't freak out or anything. once she figured it out all i had to do was say "NO BITE" and she'd stop immediately.


i also still use baby gates to keep my dog in the same room as me. she is only 5 months old and still needs to be supervised or else she will get into everything!

like i said, im sure plenty of people will object to my advice, but i followed my vet's instructions and it did work for us. best of luck!
 

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Other people have given you good advice - I just wanted to add that all the puppy classes I've seen will allow puppies as long as they've begun their distemper series. Some also require a bordatella. Since a lot of the puppy class stuff is intended for young puppies, they aren't expected to be fully vaccinated. We also went to a puppy play group with our dog that had the same requirements as the class. If puppies appeared sick at all, they were not allowed to play. Yes there is still a risk, but it wasn't "unknown" dogs or places.

Yes to containment! Our house is now baby gate central and our dog is 18 months old. We have a permanently installed gate blocking off the family room from the rest of the house (it folds up and against the wall when we don't need it). Our dog has free run of the house when we're home, but if we need him out of the way, or we're going to go out and don't want to crate him, he gets locked into the living room. Keeps him out of trouble!
 

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I just want to point out that a dog that young really doesn't know verbal commands. Most dogs respond to sit because they're trained to sit in certain situations and when you have certain body language. A 5 month puppy doesn't understand what No Bite means.

Of course, you've stopped the biting, but does she have good bite inhibition? No, now she doesn't bite at all, so she's not learning those lessons. I'd highly advocate some formal obedience training and puppy play.
 

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Don't worry. My cousin has a mini schnauzer and when she was a pup, we ran from her. She would bite and pull on your hair. Now, she's a calm, cool, and collected schnauzer. In my opinion, she's more chill than her half-sister, my dog Muffin, and Muff didn't nip a lot as a pup. So I wouldn't worry about yours- yours is still in that phase. It will get better.
 
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