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I just got a puppy and he likes to bite. I know that's how puppies play but he's starting to mouth on the kids. I want to curb this behavior so he doesn't think it's ok. I've tried all the tips, yelping to let him know it hurts, growling and showing my teeth so he knows I'm alpha and he just thinks it's play time. Is there something else I can try to get him to stop mouthing?
 

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Give him something else to chew on.... something that he should be chewing on.

And I hate to burst your bubble, but if you just got him, he probably doesn't think of you as alpha yet. Honestly, I have never had to, or heard of, anyone showing their teeth to a dog. I hope hat it works for you. :)
 

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I just got a puppy and he likes to bite. I know that's how puppies play but he's starting to mouth on the kids. I want to curb this behavior so he doesn't think it's ok. I've tried all the tips, yelping to let him know it hurts, growling and showing my teeth so he knows I'm alpha and he just thinks it's play time. Is there something else I can try to get him to stop mouthing?
The alpha stuff is crap. Lol. If you growl at your puppy, he most likely is going to take it as play.
Replace yourself for a toy. Give him something appropriate to chew on instead.

Also, check out this sticky: http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html
 

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Thanks for the advice! I will try diverting him with toys. That sounds more effective than the yelping and growling lol.
 

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There's truth to the yelping bit. Most people will just go with 'ouch!' or something similar, to let him know it hurts and he's gone too far. Two of mine will only respond to 'ow' but one of my dogs will respond to a yelp in a split second.
 

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Also, you have to be consistent, and stick with it for a bit, because you aren't just trying to get him to stop momentarily, you are actually trying to teach a concept. Teaching and understanding doesn't happen overnight. It can take weeks. If you try something and don't feel it's working fast enough and then try something else, all you are doing is confusing your dog before he starts to understand what you want.
Ditto the alpha stuff being crap.
 

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I am really not a fan of the term "Alpha" as I think people see it as "Master of the world" and to me "teacher" would be more accurate. A teachers role is to guide and shape learning. To me, that is what a dog owner is. Whenever you see your dog doing something you don't want him or her to be doing, think "what do I want him/her to do instead?" Then ask for that behavior. Ex. Puppy is jumping on me... "puppy sit" Dog is chewing on my shoes "give puppy a safe puppy toy" No screaming or yelling just a simple "ah ah" and redirect. This is a very effective way to train. Train often, 10 times a day for 2 minutes a time is much more effective then an hour at a shot. Puppy doesn't want to focus for that long, and can't focus that long. Just like a small child keep the training sessions short and FUN. Everyone learns best by making teaching fun and this is no different for a puppy.
 

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I have a couple of puppy biting questions.

1. Does teaching bite inhibition (letting puppy bite/mouth you on purpose rather than never allowing it) lead to a dog that bites/mouths people as an adult?

2. Should I praise my puppy when she is just softly mouthing me?
 

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Truthfully, I never spent anytime differentiating between a soft mouth being ok, and a bite that hurt not being ok. What I mean is, I didn't praise for a soft mouth. When my puppies bit us, if it hurt, we did the yelping and then leaving the area. So, I guess, maybe, by NOT yelping it it didn't hurt, I was subconsciously letting them know it was ok, who knows?

Young puppies bite because it's what they do. It's part of their development, how they learn about their world, and it's also due, in part to teething. As they age and develop, the need to bite/chew isn't as intense. So, I don't think there is usually a problem with letting a puppy use a soft mouth. As an adult, they may not even feel the need to bite/chew on anything other than toys.

I have known older dogs who have nipping/biting problems, but that usually happens when they weren't taught bite inhibition.
 

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1. Read the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here for Bite Inhibition suggestions.
2. Don't praise for a soft mouth, instead complain for nipping.
3. A dog with good Bite Inhibition will not bite you. ... Unless you teach the dog to play that way. BTW, I do play roughly with my dog, under rigid rules, and he pushes me with the side of his mouth, b/c teeth aren't allowed to touch skin. However, he will 'Bite' smaller dogs when playing... and will slime them badly.

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get him to stop biting when he wants to play):
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. This is important. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
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.

Pups 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 signficant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training 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. I currently use the yelp when my dog plays tug, then runs with the toy, when he fetches and keeps it out of reach or when he takes a treat too quickly....
 
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