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We got a puppy 2 weeks ago, a friend (who cold no longer take care of him),got him from a lady who rescued him from a neighbor. When I got him he weighed a little over 6 lbs, the vet thought he was 6 weeks. He now weighs a bit over 10lbs and the Dr. now guesses he is more like 12-13 weeks

I feel like I have failed a bit. I think he is treating me like his littermate? He nips and bites me constantly. I basically ignores me when I say no. Or he "argues" with me when I say no. Now, my husband, on the other hand says no once and he stops.

I know he is smart. He comes and sits on command since about 10 weeks. He learned it after about 2 treats (maybe that is normal). I have had him sleep the night in a crate next to our bed since day 1 and after about a week.. he was napping in the bathroom and I saw him wakeup and trot over to his crate on his own. I just have a problem with *my* techniques getting him to stop biting.

In the past when he bites...I have tried turning around...I have tried standing and walking away and ignoring him. I have tried going into another room for 30 sec, 1 min, etc. I always always have about 3 chew toys to divert his attention, but he would rather bite *me*. I do understand the concept of: when puppy bites, stop playing. I just don't think he thinks of me as the pack leader.

I watched a training video on PerfectPaws.com who suggested that when the puppy bites to turn the puppy on his side until he settles down. (thereby stopping play). I have some specific questions about this technique. Since none of the other seem to be working, I need to make sure I am doing this right.
Should I stop play as soon as puppy touches my skin with his teeth? I have read about the importance of bite inhibition. As soon as he gets his 2nd set of shots he can play with other dogs (where I think he will best learn to not bite hard). I feel like, in an effort to be consistent, I may need to teach him that NO biting is okay. I don't want to confuse him (or myself) by letting him bite me lightly and then stopping play when he bites hard. OR is that what you suggest?

When I turn puppy over I assume I need to gently but firmly restrain puppy til he stops squirming (or whining?). Now, the video suggests to let up the restraint and when the puppy remains still to let him up. HOW long does he need to remain still before I should let him up? IS it okay that he whine for minutes at a time? How long is it OKAY to restrain the puppy? I am able to get him to calm down a bit and to stop whining, and then I release him, but I have not been able to get him to lay still with my hands off of him yet. I then pet him and praise him. But he often would rather walk away from me. I am thinking that I need to take it a step further to be sure that he stays down and calm even after I release him. What are your suggestions.

I like the idea of this technique (especially before he gets any bigger). I like the idea that is is "peaceful" and that it teaches the dog to be calm and to calm himself. I also like that this will be really useful when we need to clip his nails or treat him. I also feel like I can gently prove to him that I am the boss. I just want to make sure that I am doing it right, since I seem to have had no success with the other techniques.

Thanks so very much! It is hard to enjoy him while he bites me and it is really important that I get him to understand who is the boss asap.
 

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To get the puppy to understand who is boss you need to do one thing...BE CONSISTENT. You don't need to pin the puppy or any of the other dominance stuff. If the puppy stops when your husband says no it's probably because your husband is consistent when he says no. There is a sticky called The Bite Stops Here and it is filled with good information. The biting will not stop overnight but will become less as the puppy gets older and hopefully stop. You also may want to sign up for a puppy class or basic obedience class. It will be full of people who are going through the same things as you are with puppy.
 

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I agree ^^. I will also add that the more activities you do with your puppy, the more your puppy will learn to trust and respect you. I've also found that dogs in general respond quicker to a deep tone than a high pitched one for verbal corrections. When I train, I always use a firm, low sound for a correction and a high happy sound to praise.
 

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Don't forget it's still a little puppy and don't expect the same as from an adult dog. It's a passing phase in his life. Later, other phases will kick in. As others said, be consistent and patent.
Is he spending most of his time with you? How much does the dog interact with your husband and other people?
 

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Dog -> human dominance is not real. It is a theory that has been proven false for quite a few years now. There is no need to pin your dog down or anything else that requires you dominate or force the dog. You will ruin your relationship with your dog.

You've had this dog for 2 weeks. That is not enough time to teach him not to chew. He's not treating you like a littermate, he's being a puppy. All puppies chew and nip and gnaw and grumble.

If the dog was taken from his family at 6 weeks, he has missed out on some very very crucial learning. They may be weaned at 6 weeks, but in those last 2-3 weeks after that they learn important things about how to be a dog. Like bite inhibition. Your pup doesn't have that.

When he chews on you, you could try yelping, though it may not work since he has been separated from his litter so soon.
Also try replacing yourself with a toy, therefore showing him what is appropriate to chew on. If he persists, leave the room for a moment. This will give him time to chill out and teach him that when he gets too rough, the fun will stop. You have to do this EVERY SINGLE TIME and it will take MONTHS before he's totally got it, though he may start to catch on right away.

Pinning him to the ground is basically intimidation and restraint. Your puppy will either, A: think this is part of the game and try to fight you to get up to play, or B: Be afraid for his safety and feel the need to defend himself and this will lead to future problems with handling.


To make grooming, like nail clipping, easier, fool with his feet and other parts while you're cuddling and/or playing. Treat him for it. Show him it's a good thing,

If you do end up signing him up for some obedience classes, be sure you find a trainer who uses positive techniques, nothing that involves prong or shock/choke collars, or leash pops, or dominance/alpha/pack leader trash.
 

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I agree with the above, especially what HollowHeaven explained. Please do not pin your puppy, it may seem logical and humane to you, but I have seen I go wrong many, many times where the trust is undermined and then you'll have real problems. It may band-aid the biting issue in the short term, but it will create handling problems that you do not want. I also agree wholeheartedly this two weeks is unfortunately not enough time for the other methods to work. Biting (especially for a puppy taken away from the litter too young) is a normal, natural instinct, which is why it takes time to train out. It's only one thing in a line line of training issues that no matter how smart your puppy is will take time and patients to correct, especially when a behavior is self reinforcing (something the puppy gets something out of without you giving a reward for it-like counter surfing or jumping) or if it's a natural, instinctive behavior (like wanting to sniff everything on walks).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you soooo much for all the input and advice. I will definately be going back to the walk away method. We have an upstairs with a small hallway which is perfect - we play up there is is a relatively restricted and safe area, and then when he bites I can pop out into the other room.

I did try yelping, and he really doesn't seem to be reacting to it.

He nips and bites and plays and is more outgoing the older it gets, so I guess I feel like I am not making any progress, but will try to remember that this is what he "is" and it is going to take alot of patience, reinforcement, and consistency. Right now i feel like we wont ever get to play cause always bites.

I am sad that my Vet misjudged his age. I waited 2 weeks to get him his first set of shots only to find out (their re-estimation) that he is more like 12 weeks not 8 now. Should I be finding a new vet? I still have to wait another 2 weeks to get his 2nd set of shot and have been told to avoid other dogs until then.

Luckily we live in a very high density dog population lol! We live on an a barrier island a sort of vacation spot and people are very active here. Lots of neighbors have dogs and lots of people walk dogs in our neighborhood so he should get lots of socialization. I also plan on taking him to an obedience class as soon as he is allowed!
thanks again for the advice
 

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I am sad that my Vet misjudged his age. I waited 2 weeks to get him his first set of shots only to find out (their re-estimation) that he is more like 12 weeks not 8 now. Should I be finding a new vet? I still have to wait another 2 weeks to get his 2nd set of shot and have been told to avoid other dogs until then.
Well, anybody, even a vet, can make a mistake on age, but if you don't feel comfortable with the vet you're with now I would suggest finding one you are comfortable with.
 

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I am sad that my Vet misjudged his age. I waited 2 weeks to get him his first set of shots only to find out (their re-estimation) that he is more like 12 weeks not 8 now. Should I be finding a new vet? I still have to wait another 2 weeks to get his 2nd set of shot and have been told to avoid other dogs until then.
Not a big deal, and the new age is still a guesstimate. No more, no less. As far as new Vet that's something you have to think about, it would take more than an age guess for me.

Many things to think about, the trip/time to get to Vet, how the office and Vets handle you and dog when there, do they have emergency services (sometimes hard to find in rural area) When you make appt and show up on time do you then spend an hour in waiting room. It also does not hurt to get references (if possible)

Most of above is just common sense stuff that you probably already know.
 
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