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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
how do we get our puppy to stop biting us? she goes from biting her toy to biting us and then begins getting a little rough with it. her teeth are rather sharp and we want to break her of this habit. any advice?
 

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Read these three links... they should help a lot with the play-biting. It's not aggressive; she just wants to play, and she'd rather play with you guys than a chew toy, which is far less interactive and exciting.
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_BiteInhibition.php
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition
http://www.dogforums.com/19-first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html

I would ask your vet about the joint thing, it sounds quite worrying. When is she next going in for shots/chipping?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i tried the links but they aren't working. as far as the vet visit goes she was just there yesterday. she had 3 shots and she had her microchip put in the day we adopted her which was this past sunday. it's our first puppy that we've owned on our own so we are rather worried and don't know what to do.
 

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This one is covered in many places.

When playing, when the pup bites, yelp and immediately leave the room. Return soon after and repeat this. Eventually, the puppy will realize that biting causes his playmate to leave and the fun to stop.
 

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Blue elf, I know that some forum sites have an issue pop up with some links..you should check when you place the link that the address in the top of your screen does not have any spaces in it...sometimes just one open space will make the link not work..remove the space and try again.

The best book I have seen regarding all these absolutely normal puppy behaviours is Ian Dunbar's "Before and After Getting your Puppy". Puppy biting is normal...they want to play and explore the world and their mouths are the only way they can do it! Just like human babies every little thing goes in to their mouths..especially if it dangles, moves or is smells remotely like food or the people they are just getting to know.

I will give you a breakdown on the basics.

From 8wks to 6 months there are a lot of physical changes going on in their mouths. They are teething, which can make them want to mouth and chew more than you know, their gums can be sore as well. Puppy teeth are tiny and sharp so that when playing with their littermates they can cause pain if they bite too hard without causing damage. The other pup yelps and withdraws and the biter learns to be more gentle so that play and fun can continue. Unfortunately human skin is not protected by fur and so damage can happen (though not serious damage) so it is important that your pup learn to be extremely gentle with people.

Now, to be clear...you DO want your pup to use his mouth on you as opposed to never touching you with his mouth. The reason for this is you want him to learn bite inhibition..without practice (meaning his mouth on you) he doesn't learn how to bite SOFTLY, he only learns not to use his mouth, so what can happen later is if he ever feels the need to bite (when he is frightened or injured etc) he will not be able to control the bite pressure. This is the difference between a dog who will bite and do little damage and a dog who bites full force. I'm not saying that biting is appropriate behaviour but that if there ever is an issue you have put the safety on the gun, so to speak. This is why you never want to PUNISH him for nipping by holding his mouth closed or by other negative means.

So, what you DO do is, whenever you feel PRESSURE from his jaw, yelp/squeak and withdraw your attention. Totally withdraw..just for a few seconds til he's calm and then try giving him attention again. Repeat repeat repeat. Be aware that quick hand movements (darting towards him and then away and back again) stimulate him and can cause him to increase his "play". If he needs to chew, give him something like a bully stick or a frozen puppy toy (the cold soothes his gums) to chew on instead of you!

Avoid wearing drawstrings, scarves or anything dangling. Soft jersey pants (sweatpants etc) are hard to train the pup to leave alone because the stretch enhances the "tug" factor. Work on a drop or off command and reward him each and everytime he lets go. Movement increases play, so when he gets nutsy, stand perfectly still and be BORING. When he realizes that is no fun (not rewarding) and lets go or stops jumping at your clothes, reward him.

If he is wound up and you cannot deal with it, put him in his crate with a great chewy (this is not punishment, so don't be forceful about it) and give yourself a break.

Getting through puppyhood (the first YEAR) is hard work, but if you start off on the right foot, understand why your dog does things and work on positively teaching him the behaviours you DO want (sitting instead of jumping for example) instead of punishing the ones you don't (this gives him no idea what TO DO, just what NOT to do) you will end up with a great adult dog.

If you have any more questions just ask...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much, that clears alot of things up! We will get right to work on those things and I hope they help! They sure sound like they will though!! Again THANKS!!!!! :)
 

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I just want to add that I just went through this with my 4 month old pup. I was just as worried and stressed as you were, if not more. So I know what you're going through. The yelp and stop play method is very good. However, the best teacher of bite inhibition is other puppies. Try to get him/her as much play time with other puppies as you can. I started bringing mine to daycare to help manage energy and socialization, and within 1 week, there was a DRAMATIC decrease in his biting. Now if I get bit it's usually by accident when he's going for a toy during tug of war, and then I practice the same "play time is over" method. Daycare isn't for everyone, and it's not always cheap, so if you can't, try to arrange as many play dates as possible. I def recommend it though, esp if he's still too young to go to a dog park. Half of the battle is also avoiding getting bit, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks! that gives me hope!! i'm glad someone else out there was having the same issue. but she is beginning to do better. slowly but surely. lol. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok so now she has stopped biting my husband and listens to him, but when it comes to me she just keeps biting. tonight she went crazy and started chasing me around the yard biting!!! it freaked me out. she never does that to my husband! what should i do to get her to mind me as well as him?
 

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Avoid wearing drawstrings, scarves or anything dangling. Soft jersey pants (sweatpants etc) are hard to train the pup to leave alone because the stretch enhances the "tug" factor. Work on a drop or off command and reward him each and everytime he lets go. Movement increases play, so when he gets nutsy, stand perfectly still and be BORING. When he realizes that is no fun (not rewarding) and lets go or stops jumping at your clothes, reward him..
If he's chasing you around the yard YOU ARE MOVING! Silly! LOL.

Dogs are good body language readers...they are also sensitive to tone of voice and tenor. Men often have the upper hand (so to speak) with the confident (ie not fearful) dogs as most men are big, low voiced and relatively calm. Women often have more immediate success with the sensitive or soft dogs as they are quieter voiced and often smaller and natural nurturers. These ARE generalizations of course, there are men and women on both ends of the spectrum just as there are dogs at both ends.

If the pup nips you and you move, giggle, screech, yell (aside from the YELP and freeze) or run it is GUARANTEED they are gonna see this as a game and continue to do what works and is fun for them! You just became the "prey"!! In fact, this is a "game" that is played in training to work on recall and to get the dog to come to you! Play, whether that is biting, humping, wrestling or chasing and shaking their stuffy toys to death are all natural behaviours that mimic skills a dog in the "wild" would need to survive. They are related to dog dog communication, mating and courting, hunting etc.

The tips I gave you earlier work, but they are not "instant", nothing is. It takes time, consistency and the maturing of the dog..puppies have little or no impulse control, are easily distracted (wait til you see your pup try to kill a piece of fluff rolling in the wind) and take time and repetition to learn and retain the skills they need.

So, until you are practiced in "standing still" and freezing...you will be the chasee. Simple as that!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
LOL! i forgot about the standing still bit. but sometimes she gets so rough that i am afraid to stand there and let her have at it till she realizes that i'm not playing anymore. but i understand what you mean. i will just have to work better at letting her know she has hurt me and "freezing". lol. thank you so much for all your help. i must say you give out wonderful advice. :) i'll keep you posted as to how the "freezing/yelping" works. lol!!!!
 

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When playing, when the pup bites, yelp and immediately leave the room. Return soon after and repeat this. Eventually, the puppy will realize that biting causes his playmate to leave and the fun to stop.
I keep reading this everywhere but think it is terrible advice. You want the puupy to see you as guardian, boss, god, all powerful etc. You don't say "ouch" and go running away. Never. Say No. Give a stare. Offer your hand back for a lick which earns a pet. Nipping bad, licking good. Keep it simple.
 

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I keep reading this everywhere but think it is terrible advice. You want the puupy to see you as guardian, boss, god, all powerful etc. You don't say "ouch" and go running away. Never. Say No. Give a stare. Offer your hand back for a lick which earns a pet. Nipping bad, licking good. Keep it simple.
Trust me, when a 12 week old puppy is in high drive play mode, no amount of staring is going to get him to suddenly start licking your fingers.

Having a dog is not all about being some omnipotent deity. It is about building a relationship of mutual love and trust.
 

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Peppy, "ruling over" your dog is not respect nor is it love or even close to being training.
HARD eye contact is unwanted in a relationship with your dog, it is confrontational and creates fear.
Fear does NOT equal respect.
That's not the way dogs work and when they are puppies especially you need to be seen as a "benevolent" leader, not a tyrant.
Your thinking that this is terrible advice, simply shows that you don't have the knowledge necessary to be giving it.

Please go back and read my original post about WHY a dog needs to learn to use their teeth on humans gently (as opposed to not at all).

Blue elf..
Wear jeans, keep the puppy on a drag leash so that if necessary you can restrict his ability to jump on you (keep in mind no leash when unsupervised, dangerous habit). Teach him a good strong sit and say the cue BEFORE the jump happens. Keep your hands crossed over your chest and if necessary, turn your body so he "falls off"..eventually he will get so confused as to why you are not responding (ie playing the game!) he will stop and most likely SIT on his own accord. As soon as he does you reward him with praise and affection. Of course, in the beginning he will just start up again...just like anything else...repeat repeat repeat. LOL.
 

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rosemaryninja;554082 Having a dog is not all about being some omnipotent deity. It is about building a relationship of mutual love and trust.[/QUOTE said:
Mutual love and trust? You can get married to your dog if you want, I'd rather be his omnipotent deity. It actually makes him happier to. Another word for it is leadership.

And staring at your dog is not going to make him fearful. LOL.

Its interesting to watch a pup follow around an adult more dominant dog. The older dog more or less ignores the pup who follows it around everywhere. Eventually the pup does something wrong (maybe looks at him the wrong way) and the dog sorts the pup out with a growl, a stare, a shove etc. Looks really harsh, physical. Then its over and two seconds later the pup is back to following the dog around again. LOL. Dominance / submission is natural for dogs. Its what they want and need.
 

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Nope, not getting married to my dog anytime soon. She's a dog. I am the human and she KNOWS I am not a dog so there is no need for me to act like one. Doesn't mean I don't understand her needs as a dog, as this makes it easier for me to train her and to understand her dog language..she does the dominance/submission things with her dog friends but not with me.

I already am the leader. I am also the controller and giver of all things good. Food, freedom, rules, affection and training. She follows me around with no thought of me being "dominant", just great to be around. Works for me.

All I was trying to say is that to be dismissive of a tried and true method of training in a positive manner, based in an understanding of dog behaviour and that does not require conflict, says more about the needs of the owner than it does the needs of the dog. If your dog is happy then good for you, I'm glad to hear it. But when, someday, you come across a dog that will not respond well to the dominance form of training (after the bites have healed or the dog continues to pee in fearful submission when you walk in the room) I hope you will keep an open mind about the other forms of training available, where conflict and winning or being Alpha are not part of the equation.
 

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Well, to be dismissive of a tried and true method of training (dominance theory) based on how dogs actually relate to each other, says more about the needs of the many people in this world who do not feel comfortable with being assertive or dominant then it does about the needs of a dog. Being dominant over the dog does not demean the dog or make his life worse, quite the contrary.

If your dog is happy then good for you, I'm glad to hear it as well.
 

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I am enjoying this discourse with you.
Alpha theory has been disproven, the original study was done using an artificial wolfpack (not familial) so the behaviours noted were not accurate depictions of wolves in a pack. Have you read any stuff by David Mech?

I think you can see by our conversation, that I have no issue with being assertive. I do think we should get back on subject for the sake of the OP's question, though.

Have a good weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i must say i agree with cracker. the advice has helped! even just over the weekend! and my pup is only 3 1/2 months! she is doing amazing now! we have taught her how to sit and shake with her paw and also how to bite us lovingly (love bites lol) vs. the rough bites we were having issues with on friday night. your advice was great. once we got consistent with the "ouch/freeze" deal then she started responding with softer bites and better attention. she is making great progress for her age and we are coming closer everday to having her housebroken. she already knows to sit by the back door when she needs to potty. of course if we don't respond quickly then she will find somewhere inside to go. but she knows that it isn't acceptable. without us having to scold her. she just isn't able to hold it for very long being as she is so young. but she is doing TONS better than she was! i'm so proud of her! again thank you for your advice! it worked wonders! :D:D
 
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