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Hello. My wife and I adopted a puppy a few weeks ago. We had cared for a family dog after her owner passed away, guiding her to the tip old age of 15, but this is our first puppy.

Meeting him, at the shelter, be was the sweetest boy. First night home, same thing. Loving, gracious. He was so proud of the big backyard he had to roam.

A few hours into day 2 we were outside chasing the ball, when he got the zoomies. He started biting at us, not puppybiting, but aggressively biting at arms and legs. The behavior then moved inside. We have plenty of chew toys that he likes to varying degrees but we are his favorite. We've tried not giving attention, walking away, positively re-inforcing good behavior, grabbing toys or giving kisses, and making very little progress. Our friends and family keep telling us he'll move past it, but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Are my expectations wrong? Is this normal behavior? Are there any techniques we can employ to teach him hes not in control of the situation?
 

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First of all your pup isn't trying to dominate you. They normally have to taught about bite inhibition. Why do you say it's not normal puppy biting?

How much napping does your pup get? A general rule is they need 2hr nap to every 1hr of play. When they are overtired, this is when you may see out of control biting and zoomies.

Pups will keep going if we don't instill in them they need a down time to recharge.

Your pup hasn't learned not to nip yet and possibly this behavior was already imprinted, so it may take a bit more to unlearn, but certainly something that can trained out with patience.

Good luck, I don't have extra suggestions because all dogs understand differently so what I do might not work on another dog.
 

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His naps vary day to day, but I will say that hes a very light sleeper. Generally speaking a long nap is an hour, however from8pm-8am he is generally sleeping, though we do wake him up to go out before we go to bed.

The biting seems aggressive. It happens when he is super excited or over stimulated. He has powerful jaws and getting bigger. He was fostered before coming home with us, with 2 older big dogs. From what we could suss out he didnt have much human interaction there.
 

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Some thoughts---

First, are you using the word "dominate" in the context of so-called pack theory, alpha type training speak? If so, its an outdated and outproven concept that it will help you now and in the future to scrub from your mind. Dogs are opportunistic, they do what feels good or what gets them something they like (food, play, freedom etc).

You have the opposable thumbs and control the food and toys and freedom so you are kinda already in charge by default. Puppy is not trying to take over.

"We've tried not giving attention, walking away, positively re-inforcing good behavior, grabbing toys or giving kisses, and making very little progress."

Are you trying these things when puppy is wild and zooming? Not gonna work at that time. Its like an overtired and overstimulated toddler who is running the house being asked to sit down and practice their ABCs.

Grabbing toys and giving kisses worries me. Grabbing toys away from a dog without prior acclimation and training to make it comfortable for them is setting up a possibility of resource guarding.
And few dogs actually like kisses (if you mean humans getting their face up in their face or neck)

If the dog has primarily played with other big dogs, he is most likely just overstimulated and lacks bite inhibition because he has not learned it. Many adult dogs will let a puppy get away with more biting than they would tolerate from another adult dog, its called a puppy license. Some adult dogs are better than others at gently correcting a too nippy puppy. But even then, he wont have learned about how fragile human skin is in comparison

If you have space to let the puppy run his zoomies out, just step away and let him run wild.

Then work on the trading game for taking and giving toys, work on a settle or go to mat command to give him a place to lay down and be calm for a bit, and work on using incompatible commands for when he is misbehaving; as in, if he is jumping then ask for a sit, etc
 

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Yes, it's normal. You might get some comfort from this article:

Living With “Jaws”: A Survival Guide For Puppy Mouthing

With my last puppy I spent months with bandaids always on my hands, and she wasn't as wild as what you're describing, but then I have old lady's skin.

The change from what you saw at the shelter is also normal. One of the things that surprised me when I started doing rescue years ago was how much dogs change depending on environment, and from shelter to a family home is a big change. I used to say it takes 30 days for you to really see what a dog is like, and that was with adult dogs.

I've been reading all sorts of articles by positive-only trainers, and they all pretty much handle puppy mouthiness on humans by redirecting the mouth to toy and acceptable chewies if possible or stopping puppy-human interaction dead in its tracks if the puppy won't be redirected. They start with standing still, turn their back if that helps, and progress to picking up the puppy in a way that avoids the biting end and putting him in an ex-pen or crate for a time-out if necessary.

Personally I don't think they just grow out of it. Without teaching what's acceptable the mouthy puppy may be less so at a year old, but then he has no idea of what's acceptable and what's not when he does use his mouth. Depending on the dog, they need a little or a lot of help with that. I've had two dogs I can't remember mouthing at all as puppies, some - including bandaid girl - about what you'd expect, and one so sharky I used to spray Bitter Apple on the backs of my hands to deal with her. Needless to say I hadn't read any of the positive trainers in those days - if anyone was training that way back then.

Also - I wouldn't in a million years play kissy games with a mouthy puppy. Maybe that's because I once met a woman who had over 60 stitches in her face from a small breed puppy. I bold that because I was amazed then that such a small animal could do so much damage, and I still am in retrospect, but I bet she was in right in that puppy's face doing things she thought were cute and the puppy didn't. IMO human faces only belong in dog faces when both parties know, like, and trust the other.
 

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His naps vary day to day, but I will say that hes a very light sleeper. Generally speaking a long nap is an hour, however from8pm-8am he is generally sleeping, though we do wake him up to go out before we go to bed.

The biting seems aggressive. It happens when he is super excited or over stimulated. He has powerful jaws and getting bigger. He was fostered before coming home with us, with 2 older big dogs. From what we could suss out he didnt have much human interaction there.
I have a curious puppy as well and if we didn't create a quiet downtime for him, he would not get a good nap. He just has to know what we're doing all the time. We started putting him in his playpen to nap during the day as well, this helped him as a little pup to nap more soundly.

They get over excited and over stimulated when they are overtired. If he's not breaking the skin, he's not being aggressive, this is normal puppy behavior before they learn how to interact and play with humans. If he was being aggressive, you'd know it. Pick a method for teaching him bite inhibition and stick it out, everyone in the household on the same page and he'll get it eventually. Try to really be in tune with your pup and what works to teach him.
 
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