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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My puppy keeps biting me and I've tried several things to stop him including saying "OW!" or holding him by the cheek... but none of it seems to convey to him that it's not good to bite. What I do now is whenever he bites, I put his own paw in his mouth and close his mouth to simulate a bite so that he knows how painful his bites are. Do you think this sort of "training" have any side effects?
 

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You mean aside from the obvious thing that it teaches the puppy? Man-handling the puppy...grabbing the paw, grabbing the cheek, grabbing the mouth....getting rougher.... is not what you want the puppy to learn. Puppies bite as a form of play. You can take several other approaches...continue to play but, show the puppy what he can bite on....a squeaky toy or a Kong are better substitutes than your hands.
You can leave the room....his playmate leaves. When you come back chances are he'll try something different...anything besides biting gets rewarded/encouraged (unless he's now chewing the couch).
 

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You mean aside from the obvious thing that it teaches the puppy? Man-handling the puppy...grabbing the paw, grabbing the cheek, grabbing the mouth....getting rougher.... is not what you want the puppy to learn. Puppies bite as a form of play. You can take several other approaches...continue to play but, show the puppy what he can bite on....a squeaky toy or a Kong are better substitutes than your hands.
You can leave the room....his playmate leaves. When you come back chances are he'll try something different...anything besides biting gets rewarded/encouraged (unless he's now chewing the couch).
I thought I was at the time of my life that there wasn't much that could surprise me with dog work, I guess I am kinda stupid because puppy biting himself knocked the wind out of my sails.
 

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My Newf/Setter Creed, was quite a biter and a gnawer as a puppy. When he offended we would say a high pitched "Ouch!" and put our hands behind our back and then look away and totally ignore him for about 5 minutes. He caught on pretty quickly. But, when he was about 2 he bit me for real! It was the 4th of July and most of the family was outside setting off fireworks. I don't especially like fireworks, and I have breathing problems, so I stayed inside.When someone went through the door he slipped out to join the family. Big hairy dog + fireworks= tragedy waiting to happen, so I went out to get him, stuck my finger in his collar and said "come on", and wham!, he bit me! I went back in, got a slip noose leash, made him come in, put ice on my hand. I gave him that one as a freebie, with all the excitement and stress of the occasion. About 3 months later, he comes over to me while I'm sitting on the couch and lays his head down to be petted as usual, I casually reach over to rub his head, and Wham!, he bit me again!
This time we had a family conference, and I got everyone on board and we shunned him for two days. No petting, no eye contact, no voice contact. His food was put down unceremoniously, and we left the room. He was not allowed to sleep in the bedroom with us.
By the end of the second day he was showing very puppyish submissive behavior and we resumed contact, but started making him work for every scrap of attention he got. He's an old boy now, and we've not had any more biting, however for safety's sake I do muzzle him when I trim his nails.
 

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When Tucker was younger, he was a biter, too (show me a puppy who isn't LOL). Saying "OW!" only made him more stimulated, so I taught him to be "Gentle" when he had his mouth on me. Now when I put my hand in his mouth, he uses his tongue to push it out. I don't want him to mouth me at all, but when he does, "Gentle" works nicely. Technically, he's still a puppy.
 

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I thought I was at the time of my life that there wasn't much that could surprise me with dog work, I guess I am kinda stupid because puppy biting himself knocked the wind out of my sails.
You're starting to worry me....at your age (about the same as mine)...there isn't much wind left in those sails!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When Tucker was younger, he was a biter, too (show me a puppy who isn't LOL). Saying "OW!" only made him more stimulated, so I taught him to be "Gentle" when he had his mouth on me. Now when I put my hand in his mouth, he uses his tongue to push it out. I don't want him to mouth me at all, but when he does, "Gentle" works nicely. Technically, he's still a puppy.
How do you teach it to be "gentle"?
 

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Every time Tucker had my hand in his mouth I would say "gentle" in a soothing voice, drawn out like "gennnntle", then say "good boy", also in a calming voice. Also, as soon as he would soften the hold, I would remove my hand.
 

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It could certainly have side effects. It could teach your pup that playing with you means he gets a painful sensation in his foot, causing him to avoid playing. It could also rev him up even more as he is confused by what you're doing. You are asking your pup to realize "When I have my teeth on me, it hurts, therefore when I have my teeth on my owner, my owner hurts. Since I don't want my owner to hurt, I should not put my teeth on him while playing." This is a big extrapolation for a baby animal to make. It may seem simple to us now, but bear in mind that people have enough trouble explaining this reasoning to little kids in English.

Dogs learn by associating two random stimuli. I sit, food appears. I come when called, I get petted. That is how dogs learn. So why not create an association that your dog understands as: I bite my owner, playtime stops. Or: I chew my dog toy, I get praised and played with. That's a much simpler line of reasoning.

Read the 'The Bite Stops Here' sticky in the training forum if you need more tips.
 

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My boyfriend and I received our Pomeranian puppy, Yogi, at four weeks old. We had to teach him biting inhibition ourselves considering that the breeder had ignorantly given him to us prematurely.

We found that "OW!" did work, though. Except, it's not enough just to say "OW!" when he bit you. Whenever we played with Yogi and he played too roughly (or at all eventually), we would yelp "OW!" and ignore him completely for about ten seconds. Eventually he got the idea that any part of me in his mouth was a big no-no and would conclude in the end of playtime.
 
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