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My 16-18 week old puppy wont stop trying to dominate me

1001 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  K9luv
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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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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