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hello! i've got a puppy named Dexter and lately we've been having lots of problems with his constant biting. this is mostly my fault cause i'm the one who let him do the biting and mouthing when he was younger and i didn't know when it's time to change the rules a bit. i've read many articles on the topic and i've tried the ouch outcry, the rattling sound, the walk away and so on. it doesn't really work because Dexter is now 4 months old and he's not afraid of noises, at least not of these. he also jumps and bites my legs. this is all done during play time, but it's starting to hurt really bad and my hands are full of red lines at the end of our playing. so...i'm in desperate need of some help :(
 

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Mine didnt respond well to 'ouch' and walk away either. Whats worked best for me is to have a lot of toys laying around and everytime the puppy opens its mouth to go for you, stick a toy in its mouth instead and praise him. He cant bite you if his mouth is full.
 

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Mine didnt respond well to 'ouch' and walk away either. Whats worked best for me is to have a lot of toys laying around and everytime the puppy opens its mouth to go for you, stick a toy in its mouth instead and praise him. He cant bite you if his mouth is full.
i've tried that too, but he usually lets go immediately and goes for my hand instead. but i will keep on doing it, maybe he just needs more time. although, it's very hard to do it all because he tends to get very excited. i also try to keep myself as calm as possible as not to encourage his craziness.
 

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So, I understand from your post that you didn't try to get him to stop biting when he was younger. How long has it been since you've been working on getting him to stop?
I find that when most people want their puppy to stop biting they try something, and then they try something else, and then they try SOMETHING else, because they get frustrated when they think nothing's working.
The problem with that is, that's just confusing to the dog. You're actually trying to TEACH him something, and puppies don't learn overnight. Some learn faster than others, but it's not really overnight! :)

So, the important thing is to pick a method and stick with it! Don't give up. Now, with the method from "The Bite Stops Here", you can tweak it a bit to make it work for you, but the general premise works for MOST people. Not all, though.

I know you said you read it, but I'll just highlight a few things:
- the first time he bites/nips: say "ouch!" or yelp: Some pups get more excited by a high pitched ouch or yelp, so you might have to try a lower, more deep sound.
- if he does it again, make the noise again, whatever ended up working (high pitched or low), and then leave the room for 20-30 seconds: This can be another problem people have, if they leave the area for too long, the pup forgets what happened and they'll never make the connection that you left BECAUSE they bit.
- then, basically start over. :)

But, consistency is the key. You have to do the same exact thing every single time he bites. Everyone in the household has to do the same exact thing. Also, beware of "extinction burst". It goes something like this (from your pup's point of view):
"I USED to be able to bite and nip all I wanted. Now, they're trying to make me stop. Uh, NO! I like biting, I'm just going to keep trying harder and harder and harder, because I USED to get away with it! "
So, your pup may try harder and harder to continue doing something he likes and used to get to do, before the behavior actually does fade and become extinct.

The other thing is, keep in mind that lots of puppies are teething at about 4 months old. So, this is even more difficult of a time to try to get him to stop. Make sure he has lots of appropriate stuff to chew on. You might try wetting a washcloth, tying it in a knot, and freezing it, then giving it to him to chew.
 

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So, I understand from your post that you didn't try to get him to stop biting when he was younger. How long has it been since you've been working on getting him to stop?
I find that when most people want their puppy to stop biting they try something, and then they try something else, and then they try SOMETHING else, because they get frustrated when they think nothing's working.
The problem with that is, that's just confusing to the dog. You're actually trying to TEACH him something, and puppies don't learn overnight. Some learn faster than others, but it's not really overnight! :)

So, the important thing is to pick a method and stick with it! Don't give up. Now, with the method from "The Bite Stops Here", you can tweak it a bit to make it work for you, but the general premise works for MOST people. Not all, though.

I know you said you read it, but I'll just highlight a few things:
- the first time he bites/nips: say "ouch!" or yelp: Some pups get more excited by a high pitched ouch or yelp, so you might have to try a lower, more deep sound.
- if he does it again, make the noise again, whatever ended up working (high pitched or low), and then leave the room for 20-30 seconds: This can be another problem people have, if they leave the area for too long, the pup forgets what happened and they'll never make the connection that you left BECAUSE they bit.
- then, basically start over. :)

But, consistency is the key. You have to do the same exact thing every single time he bites. Everyone in the household has to do the same exact thing. Also, beware of "extinction burst". It goes something like this (from your pup's point of view):
"I USED to be able to bite and nip all I wanted. Now, they're trying to make me stop. Uh, NO! I like biting, I'm just going to keep trying harder and harder and harder, because I USED to get away with it! "
So, your pup may try harder and harder to continue doing something he likes and used to get to do, before the behavior actually does fade and become extinct.

The other thing is, keep in mind that lots of puppies are teething at about 4 months old. So, this is even more difficult of a time to try to get him to stop. Make sure he has lots of appropriate stuff to chew on. You might try wetting a washcloth, tying it in a knot, and freezing it, then giving it to him to chew.
first of all, thanks for the detailed reply. i still do the ouch and walk away thing and sometimes i slip a toy into his mouth, but as i already said, he usually drops it right away. i guess that means i should try with another toy. he already does a lot of biting when he's playing on his own. he has so much energy even though he's active for the bigger part of the day. my point is, i wonder how come he never gets tired and lets me cuddle for a while, but instead jumps at me and bites. anyway, it hasn't been that long since i started training him so i'll be patient and try and try and try. oh, about the extinction burst, i think he's actually doing it. today when he grabbed my hand i started 'ouching' and he looked at me playfully and kept on biting harder. when he finally let go, i walked away and wouldn't look him as he followed (we were in the garden). then after a minute i came back and repeated several times.
 

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The best advice I can give, is don't give up! I know it's frustrating! We thought our first puppy would never grow out of it, and it did take about 3-4 weeks (probably because fiance wasn't completely on board in the beginning). :)

And, really, you can adapt any method to what works for you, I remember one member here didn't just say ouch and leave the room, she had to get very dramatic about it. She used a very dramatic voice, stomped off, and slammed the door. It worked for her!
 

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Lots of good info here. I've also got a pup nearly 4 months.

I stick with a stern No whenever she tries to have a bit on mine or anybody elses hands. In fact it's a command that she has already learnt because of the countless times I've had to use it.

Whatever verbal command you may use is irrelevant. It's the tone you use and the body language you express. At first she will try to ignore and carry on. Remain the same using the same command and push her away. By raising you tone in any way she will just think it's playtime.

She's only 4 months and teething..everything is play for her and being a totally human dog she doesn't have the opportunity of seeing other dogs and learning. She will learn but it may take a few weeks (which is nothing really). The key is your consistancy & patience.
 

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because of your fault your dog thinks you enjoy being bitten. you have to prove him wrong.
i've kept reptiles for several years. 'Tokay Gecko' is one my favorite species, they are known as pitbulls of the gecko world.
once they bite they dont let go. even for hours, and the bite is very painful.
the trick to get rid of it is either submerging it in water or to put a drop of vinegar in his mouth.
spray very little vinegar into your dogs mouth when he is going to bite/nip, or some water to his face and see the outcome.
 

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he has so much energy even though he's active for the bigger part of the day. my point is, i wonder how come he never gets tired and lets me cuddle for a while, but instead jumps at me and bites.
It sounds like he has too much energy; do you walk him at all? As in put a leash on him and then go for a 20 or 30 minute walk, a couple of times a day? A tired out puppy is a well-behaved (and cuddly) puppy. :) Walks are absolutely essential, IMO. I've found that my dogs can play ball, run around the yard, or play together all day long but once I actually walk them for about 30-45 mins they are ready to sleep...they all come home and crash on top of the AC registers. :D Even my high-energy dog, Sammie, is ready for a nap...granted, I don't actually leash her all the time, she gets a chance to be off leash and actually run, so she ends up doing about 3 or 4 miles to my 1.5-2. However, I don't recommend that for a puppy. ;) Unfortunately I don't have time for 2 walks a day, but I make sure that the one walk we do take is a good one, and it lasts through the rest of the evening/night/next day. Then we do it all over again. :D Really the only time I get lots of zoomies and crazies is just before we start off, mainly because they know what's coming. All that to say, sufficient exercise will keep a lot of behaviors from happening in the first place, such as getting over excited during toy/play time and nipping. My personal method for puppies is to teach them to be gentle: I do allow my poodle to mouth me some, but he MUST be very gentle. If he gets rough, I tell him no (he does understand that now) and we work on his "gentle" command for a few minutes. He's actually very good at it now...my eventual goal is to have him not be mouthy at all. However, I like to take things in stages. It seems easier for my puppy to understand and is easier for me to teach. However, that may not work for other puppies, and I understand that; I just thought I'd throw what I do out there. :)
 

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Someone once told me to use peanut butter slightly smeared on my hands so as to teach the pup that skin is for licking and not biting. I never tried it as the pup with the issue is no longer with me but with a relative.
 

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my point is, i wonder how come he never gets tired and lets me cuddle for a while, but instead jumps at me and bites. anyway, it hasn't been that long since i started training him so i'll be patient and try and try and try.
You've got one hyper pup, like mine! haha. What's helped me to calm Marcus down a lot is by capturing a default calmness. I followed Kikopup's youtube tutorial on it (good resource, she's got lots of good stuff!). Basically any time you notice your puppy resting calmly in a relaxed state, subtly sneak a really high value treat down so he's stil calm when he notices it. Just keep doing this, and after a perious of time, you'll notice a calmer dog on a more regular basis (at least that's how it's been for me!).

Also, does anyone ever play rough with him by wrestling or anything? That might encourage his jumping and biting behavior since he thinks it's always play time and that's how he should play. For the time being, also avoid playing tug with him since that encourages biting.

As for the cuddling, some dogs don't like being handled at all. It might help to do some handling exercises with him. Touch him all over, and every time you touch somewhere, say "yes" and treat him to desensitize him. I've been doing that and now my puppy will cuddle with me a bit, and when he's sleepy, he'll just sleep while spooning with me too! :D

And I agree with the others on not giving up!! I had a persistent problem of Marcus propping himself up onto tables and counters for quite a while. But all my impulse control training and counter serfing training (Kikopup vidoe!!!) and consistently saying "ah-ah, off" didn't seem to do anything at all! I was getting so frustrated, but starting I don't even know when, he just started doing it less and less and now he only does it once in a blue moon. So don't give up and keep at it! Good luck!!
 

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You've got one hyper pup, like mine! haha. What's helped me to calm Marcus down a lot is by capturing a default calmness. I followed Kikopup's youtube tutorial on it (good resource, she's got lots of good stuff!). Basically any time you notice your puppy resting calmly in a relaxed state, subtly sneak a really high value treat down so he's stil calm when he notices it. Just keep doing this, and after a perious of time, you'll notice a calmer dog on a more regular basis (at least that's how it's been for me!).

Also, does anyone ever play rough with him by wrestling or anything? That might encourage his jumping and biting behavior since he thinks it's always play time and that's how he should play. For the time being, also avoid playing tug with him since that encourages biting.

As for the cuddling, some dogs don't like being handled at all. It might help to do some handling exercises with him. Touch him all over, and every time you touch somewhere, say "yes" and treat him to desensitize him. I've been doing that and now my puppy will cuddle with me a bit, and when he's sleepy, he'll just sleep while spooning with me too! :D

And I agree with the others on not giving up!! I had a persistent problem of Marcus propping himself up onto tables and counters for quite a while. But all my impulse control training and counter serfing training (Kikopup vidoe!!!) and consistently saying "ah-ah, off" didn't seem to do anything at all! I was getting so frustrated, but starting I don't even know when, he just started doing it less and less and now he only does it once in a blue moon. So don't give up and keep at it! Good luck!!
as i mentioned before, i'm the one who used to play 'rough' with him so it back fired on me. but i've realized it and i stopped doing it immediately. now we play with toys and balls. i've also started paying attention to his calm states so i use them for cuddling or training. on the other hand, when it's play time, i try to tire him out so that the calm periods are longer. cuddling is perfect if he's in the mood for it. he goes down on his back, paws in the air, loves the belly touches. i mentioned it before only because i sometimes expect him to settle down, but instead he goes crazy and i go 'you're still not tired??????' he's started to react quite well to 'no's when it comes to propping up on furniture or at feeding time so i hope it stays that way. thanks for everything!
 

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It sounds like he has too much energy; do you walk him at all? As in put a leash on him and then go for a 20 or 30 minute walk, a couple of times a day? A tired out puppy is a well-behaved (and cuddly) puppy. :) Walks are absolutely essential, IMO. I've found that my dogs can play ball, run around the yard, or play together all day long but once I actually walk them for about 30-45 mins they are ready to sleep...they all come home and crash on top of the AC registers. :D Even my high-energy dog, Sammie, is ready for a nap...granted, I don't actually leash her all the time, she gets a chance to be off leash and actually run, so she ends up doing about 3 or 4 miles to my 1.5-2. However, I don't recommend that for a puppy. ;) Unfortunately I don't have time for 2 walks a day, but I make sure that the one walk we do take is a good one, and it lasts through the rest of the evening/night/next day. Then we do it all over again. :D Really the only time I get lots of zoomies and crazies is just before we start off, mainly because they know what's coming. All that to say, sufficient exercise will keep a lot of behaviors from happening in the first place, such as getting over excited during toy/play time and nipping. My personal method for puppies is to teach them to be gentle: I do allow my poodle to mouth me some, but he MUST be very gentle. If he gets rough, I tell him no (he does understand that now) and we work on his "gentle" command for a few minutes. He's actually very good at it now...my eventual goal is to have him not be mouthy at all. However, I like to take things in stages. It seems easier for my puppy to understand and is easier for me to teach. However, that may not work for other puppies, and I understand that; I just thought I'd throw what I do out there. :)
he has walks too, but i think it might be a bit too much for him at his age to have them twice a day. i have an enormous back yard and he runs constantly. im thinking that he gets enough exercise at the moment because he does have his calm moments when he's down and resting. but im not sure...maybe you're right...
 

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Lots of good info here. I've also got a pup nearly 4 months.

I stick with a stern No whenever she tries to have a bit on mine or anybody elses hands. In fact it's a command that she has already learnt because of the countless times I've had to use it.

Whatever verbal command you may use is irrelevant. It's the tone you use and the body language you express. At first she will try to ignore and carry on. Remain the same using the same command and push her away. By raising you tone in any way she will just think it's playtime.

She's only 4 months and teething..everything is play for her and being a totally human dog she doesn't have the opportunity of seeing other dogs and learning. She will learn but it may take a few weeks (which is nothing really). The key is your consistancy & patience.
thanks, saying no is slowly working, along with the appropriate body language.
 

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I may be corrected, but I think you can do 2 walks a day, if you keep it to 15 minutes of brisk walking each time. Spreading it out so one walk's in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening might keep him on a more even level of energy.

Also, I'm not a huge fan of no, because it is so ambiguous. It doesn't really mean much, and it's soooo overused. Think about how many times we say no throughout the day. Then, you add it to your dog's training. Yikes! The thing is, we humans are soooo used to saying no, we say it without even thinking. So, if your dog is doing something you don't like, you may say "no" and then if he doesn't stop, "no, no!" "NO NONONO!" And, by then, all your dog is getting out of it is that you're upset. He's not learning what to do.
Dogs learn sounds as opposed to actual words. So to him, "no" is different that "no, no, NO-NO".

Instead, you could do something else: if, say, he's chewing on furniture, don't say no, give him an incompatible command instead. He chews on furniture, you say "sit". He does, he gets a treat. Then, give him a toy to chew on, or do a mini training session. That way, he's totally forgot all about furniture.
If you NEED to interrupt him, you could easily use "ah ah" or "hey" which isn't as overused as "no".

Just my opinion, I know some people feel the same, but some use no. I just feel it's easy to overuse it, and it's easy for your dog to become desensitized to it.
 

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I may be corrected, but I think you can do 2 walks a day, if you keep it to 15 minutes of brisk walking each time. Spreading it out so one walk's in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening might keep him on a more even level of energy.

Also, I'm not a huge fan of no, because it is so ambiguous. It doesn't really mean much, and it's soooo overused. Think about how many times we say no throughout the day. Then, you add it to your dog's training. Yikes! The thing is, we humans are soooo used to saying no, we say it without even thinking. So, if your dog is doing something you don't like, you may say "no" and then if he doesn't stop, "no, no!" "NO NONONO!" And, by then, all your dog is getting out of it is that you're upset. He's not learning what to do.
Dogs learn sounds as opposed to actual words. So to him, "no" is different that "no, no, NO-NO".

Instead, you could do something else: if, say, he's chewing on furniture, don't say no, give him an incompatible command instead. He chews on furniture, you say "sit". He does, he gets a treat. Then, give him a toy to chew on, or do a mini training session. That way, he's totally forgot all about furniture.
If you NEED to interrupt him, you could easily use "ah ah" or "hey" which isn't as overused as "no".

Just my opinion, I know some people feel the same, but some use no. I just feel it's easy to overuse it, and it's easy for your dog to become desensitized to it.
ok, at the moment im quite happy that i get so much advice and that i am actually doing most of those things already. totally agree on the no thing. i have also thought about it a lot and i am careful when i use it. basically, for bigger problems like biting i say no, but if he, for example, wants to chew on the plant, i give him a look and say hey or sth similar. i distract him from what he was doing without making a big fuss about it. i will also try with the short, brisker walks and see how it goes. thank you!
 

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as i mentioned before, i'm the one who used to play 'rough' with him so it back fired on me. but i've realized it and i stopped doing it immediately. now we play with toys and balls. i've also started paying attention to his calm states so i use them for cuddling or training. on the other hand, when it's play time, i try to tire him out so that the calm periods are longer. cuddling is perfect if he's in the mood for it. he goes down on his back, paws in the air, loves the belly touches. i mentioned it before only because i sometimes expect him to settle down, but instead he goes crazy and i go 'you're still not tired??????' he's started to react quite well to 'no's when it comes to propping up on furniture or at feeding time so i hope it stays that way. thanks for everything!
Oops, I must have missed that up top. My bad!

But I totally had that problem before as well. I just kept on scratching my head wondering why I can't tire my puppy out and he gets mad puppy zoomies around the house instead of napping. So apparently a lot of puppies just don't have an off button, so I enforce mandatory nap time at more or less same times during the day. He whinned a little bit at first, but now it's a part of his routine and he falls asleep within several minutes! Maybe try doing that when he's waaaaay hyper?
 
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