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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello to everyone, I am new here and really need help.
Any suggestions or opinions are very welcome.
I would like to start off by saying that I have owned dogs all my life until recently. I LOVE dogs to the point that I am 65 years old and just can't even watch old Yeller but anyway, here is my problem.
I babysit for my grandchildren, my daughter and son in law got a new puppy 5 weeks ago. Neither of them knows the first thing about dogs. Growing up my daughter played with our dogs but never really understood the "behind the scenes" of owning a dog. He had a dog when he was 8 yrs old and considers himself a "dog owner".
This may be a little long but I have had a stomach ache for 3 weeks now.
To start off I had the fight of my life that ended in a screaming argument that went on for 4 hours over a 2 day period because their "VET" told them to housebreak you give water 3 times a day for 10 min each time to a 3 month old puppy. They believed the vet over me because he has a "degree", I think he is a quack. I found a good vet that agreed the other is stupid and finally convinced them to give the poor dog water.
I must stop here and explain they are teachers, home all summer and I babysit fulltime while they work. My grandson is 11 months and grandaughter 5.
Here are a few of the current BIG problems.
When they got the dog, my son in law would not allow him to lick the children or anybody. He sat on the floor and everytime the puppy would lick he would sort of shove the dog away saying NO. It went on and on until I had to get up and leave the house. He did this for 3 weeks. So 3 weeks later I start babysitting and the dog is nipping and biting the children. HE WILL NOT STOP NO MATTER WHAT I DO! I have tried everything and came here for suggestions. I never had a puppy that I could not reason with and all of my no's, good boys after stopping for a second have done no good. The baby, my granddaughter and me have light bite marks all over us. the more you try to stop him the more he does it. I was bleeding yesterday. My son in law says put him in his cage for a punishment but I know you are not suppose to punish them with their cage. I spent my own money today and took him to a "vet that gives water!!!", this vet said to spray him in the face with a water bottle everytime he does it.
Do you agree?
I have been wondering if I should roll up a newspaper and give him a swat on the b u t t because he has to stop this or he will not be able to stay.
Please comment on this also:
I am afraid he got this way because he was a baby and they wouldn't let him lick anyone, not even me.
Please advise, we really need help.
I will save the next problem until after we solve this one.
Thank you so much for letting me talk about this.
I feel like I am getting ulcers over this problem.

10,837 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot we can do as long as your son owns the dog. :( You could always point them in the direction of this forum, or start leaving them printed out articles from Dr. Ian Dunbar or Dr. Patricia McConnell. THEY have degrees you can point out. ;)

9,366 Posts
I agree with the other folks, but I'll try anyway. There is a good method to stop nipping, called Bite Inhibition and you can read about it in the First Time Dog Owner section, the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here.

About 10 years ago, my vampire-toothed pup nipped me and I popped him in the butt. He thought I was playing and bit me harder, so rather than dropkick him across the room (He might have liked it!), I learned gentle, more effective methods...

Some tweaks to that method:
1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound about like what the pup does when you step on its paw...
don't step on his paw for a sample :). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. He'll bite.
2. When he bites the second time, Yelp. When he stops, praise and pet. He'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When he bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If he comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
NOTE: Boxers frequently get stuck at this point, because owners ignore (or don't recognize) the 'apology' ... then you can get the extinction burst... so the process may start over again.

4. When he bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing him in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving him. Then, return and interact. (He's still hungry...)
5. When he nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

Immediately after you yelp (in this case), you should notice that the second nip is a bit gentler... not enough, but a bit.

Dogs need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice significant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training, in spite of the husband, and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method.

If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication.
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