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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a half Rottweiler puppy who is super cute and friendly with strangers, but at home she is tearing me apart. Her play biting is out of control. I’ve tried all the basic things: yelping, attempting to redirect her to a toy, spraying water in her face etc. No luck. She’s not actually being aggressive, just playing, but when she gets into that state it’s hard to get her out of it. She gets crazy eyes and sinks her teeth deep into my legs— I have dark bruises and cuts all over me from this. I’d like to be able to give her timeouts, but the problem is getting away from her to do so. When she bites me I say “NO” in a firm voice and freeze. She continues to knaw at me even when I’m ignoring her (which is hard to do since she always bites hard enough to draw blood) but she will eventually stop to see why I’ve quit “playing.” As soon as I move to praise her for letting me go, she tears into me again. How do I get away from her to give her a timeout when any movement/attempt to get her to stop biting me is seen as part of her game? I can barely ever pet the poor puppy without her little alligator mouth nipping my flesh off. Please help! I have a high pain tolerance and I’m not afraid of being bitten, but I have to prepare for the day when she’s not a little 25 pound fur ball anymore.
 

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It is very common for puppies to lack bite inhibition. They simply don't understand that it is not okay for them to play with humans how they would play with their litter.

First, pick a method and stick with it. Most people go with the 'withdraw attention' method. When puppy starts biting you, redirect to an appropriate chew toy and praise for using it. If puppy still insists on biting you, get up and walk away. Step over a baby gate, close a door, whatever, just leave the puppy alone for 5 minutes or so. If you need to, play with the puppy only in a pen so that you can step away quickly, or position yourself that you can put something between you and the puppy quickly. After that brief time out, you can try playing with the puppy again. Rinse and repeat.

Note, this will take MONTHS. It's not an overnight solution. It takes a lot of time for a puppy to learn proper manners like that. Her bites will get softer, she'll show more restraint, but you must remain consistent and stick with your one method so she can learn. Most likely, saying "no" means nothing to her right now. Freezing isn't going to work, because she just wants to chew on something. I wouldn't recommend spraying water in her face or other adversities, as thats only going to damage your relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. The withdraw attention method is what I’d like to use, but I’m still confused about how to get her to release my leg so that I’m able to step away. I don’t want to jerk away or push her off because that does more damage to me and riles her up even more. And yeah, I used the water as a last resort, but it turns out that she enjoys it lol
 

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Don't let a puppy use you as a chew toy. Say, Ouch or No, etc, remove the puppy, and then leave the area immediately. Also, don't jerk when bitten, b/c the bite may not break the skin, but if you jerk away, you may tear the skin.

I suggest that you do the natural thing and yell Ouch!!! or any appropriate profanity that you can repeat ;-). The idea is to startle or surprise the puppy, but not scare her.
 

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I deal with a breed that is both high drive and high biting. At 8 weeks old it is one thing. At 12 weeks.. it is a different story. At 6 months you are in trouble.

Put a leash on her and do not allow her to bite you. Be CLEAR that you are OFF LIMITS. Then immediately move on. Another dog would put her in her place, so you can do that. When my puppy decided to grab MY leg, I scruffed him briefly and said, "ENOUGH!!" He yelped and I ignored that. I simply tossed a toy and he went for that and I said "GOOD PUPPY!" in a high and happy voice. Twice was all it took.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just an update in case anyone was curious. After I made this post I started spraying down my pants with vinegar whenever I played with her, and I think it got the message across. She is still quite mouthy, but not nearly as obsessive with it as before. I can scold her and she will move on to something else without struggle. I don’t even need to spray myself anymore.

Another dog would put her in her place, so you can do that. When my puppy decided to grab MY leg, I scruffed him briefly and said, "ENOUGH!!" He yelped and I ignored that. I simply tossed a toy and he went for that and I said "GOOD PUPPY!" in a high and happy voice. Twice was all it took.
I did try scruffing her once before, but it had the opposite of the intended results. It made her come back at me even crazier than before. She has pretty thick skin so it wasn’t really a punishment for her so much as a signal that we could play even rougher. She doesn’t even notice when the vet gives her shots; she’s pretty tough!
 

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Rotts, Pitts, and Labs are very tough pups ... and you have to tell them that you are punishing them, otherwise, they think it's just more play ;-) One things that I like about the Ouch! & Withdraw Attention combination is that when my dogs do something that I don't like (after I've trained Bite Inhibition), then I can say Ouch! and they will stop. It's a communication enhancer, and I think it translates to "Please Stop, I don't like that. [Otherwise, I'll withdraw attention" But, I don't think the potential for punishment matters. I think it really is communication. ] So, when I was playing catch or playing tug, if my dog decided to play keep away, then I said Ouch! and went inside to end the play time. In each instance, the "keep away" stopped. On the other hand, Labs LOVE to be chased, so sometimes as a reward I WILL chase him ... but under my pre-defined 'rules'.
 
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