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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my puppy for a week and a half and he's getting acclimated to the house/family and people just fine. Our biggest issue is the nipping. He's teething, so I understand he has the need to chew on things, I just wish it wasn't my toes and ankles. Sometimes he'll get so excited that his play-bites are actually painful and they have gotten harder since we first got him. I've read a bunch of different forums/articles/blogs... tried walking out of the room and letting him calm down or coaxing him with a million toys, but nothing seems to slow him down.

I know sometimes his nipping means he's over-tired, but there are other times when he's just woken up, been fed, went to the bathroom and he still does it. I've contemplated spraying my ankles with Apple Bitter...but I think I need something a little more permanent.

I'm open to all suggestions.
 

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What kind of pup ? Got pix?

Yes, this is a very common problem. TRy teaching Bite Inhibition by reading the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here in the new owner section.

The Bite Stops Here takes about 3 days to kick in, even then you only get a reduction of bloodletting, slowly resulting in bloodfree nipping, leading to mouthing, etc. Depending on the reaction of the pup, you don't have to use a Yelp!, you can say Ouch!!!, or Oops, where you want a marking word, to indicate when you are withdrawing attention.

Also, Read the following and note the 3 days and the apology.... Instead of the Yelp, you can say Ouch! or Oops!

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get him to stop biting when he wants to play or otherwise):
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. (Look for the startle) 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. Whenshe 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.

You can modify the number of steps, but not what you do... for example, you can leave in a huff :), after the second nip or even the first, but you have to provide a vocal marker, to give him something to react to. I still use a light yelp with my 11 yo when he lets teeth touch skin as I give him a treat. No pressure or harm, but I want him to appear very safe to everyone.

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. And, he should be less aggressive, especially, if you notice the apology. 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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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately this doesn't feel like it's working either. I can shout, pull my hand away, leave the room for a few minutes and come back, etc. Nothing is working. It only seems to provoke him. I'm looking for something that will "tell" him he's being too rough... :/
 

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When this method doesn't work, I suggest that you ask a trainer for help. Also, be careful about 'pulling' your handaway, b/c that can tear your skin.
 

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Welcome to the joys of puppyhood! :D My dog was also a shark... he left me red scratches all over the arms, but at least it was colder weather back then so I wore long sleeves, or else my coworkers might have tought that I was abused or something lol.
But I can say, based on my own experience and from what I've read, that most sharks gets much better as they grow up. Mine after a few months did get much better. :)

What you can try:
- give him toys and chew stuffs, but make sure they are interesting for him. You need to let him have things he can redirect his chewing needs to.
- never play with your body parts nor encourage rough play.
- play with him only with toys, like fetch, tug and so on.
- encourage gentle and calm interaction, give him gentle petting and massages, show your happiness and praises (gently, you won't want to excite him too much accidentally) whenever he licks you. You can even use a word like "kiss" to mark and ask for licks later.
- yelping might sometimes excite a pup more. If you notice it doesn't work, don't continue using high pitch sounds, as you might sound like a giant squeaky toy.
- time out method 1 - put a baby gate in a room, and play with him inside the room. If he gets too crazy, say "no" or "stop". If he doesn't respect you, walk away and come back when he seems calmer.
- time out method 2 - if he doesn't listen to "no" or "stop", put him in a boring room 'till he calms down.
- teach "leave it" and "wait", impulse control is very important and can help a lot.
- if you can't redirect him and he started to mouth you, and you need him to stop, grab him by scruff, to distance his mouth from your arms or feet, and only release when he calms down. This is not to punish, and the scruff grabbing doesn't hurt, but it's rather to tell him that if you want him to stop then he can't continue.
- avoid any anger, excitement or exaltation, stay calm so that your pup won't get more excited.

Lastly, be patient, forgiving and hopefully, pup will get better after some months. :)
 

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we too had the same problem with branston who is now 2. the only thing that worked marginally was some time out. he hated being removed from where everyone was at so it improved him slightly. he was/is very stubborn but time out was the best option for us. you have to take it slowly, only put him in time out for maximum of a minute to start with.
we very slowly upped it from a minute to 5 minutes until he was more manageable. to us, that was the only way he was guaranteed attention a s a smaller pup, biting ankles & feet!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So, I've been trying the "time-out" method. 30 seconds at a time. It doesn't seem to help. He'll sit, maybe cry for a few seconds and them be quiet. I'll take him out and set him down and as soon as I take a step or put my hand out for him to smell as a peace offering, he opens his mouth again. The forgiveness is very easy for me as he is an adorable mush and it's really hard to be upset for long. I've considered training classes/private trainers but they're so darn expensive. PetSmart is more affordable...but I honestly don't trust trainers that recommend I put purell on my hands when alcohol is dangerous to dogs. As a side note, I'm in the NYC/Long Island area - so if anyone knows of an affordable trainer, I will gladly take recommendations.

Ok, Pictures aren't working.
So I'm posting the link to his facebook page and there are some pictures there :)

http://www.facebook.com/pupEddie
 

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So, I've been trying the "time-out" method. 30 seconds at a time. It doesn't seem to help. He'll sit, maybe cry for a few seconds and them be quiet. I'll take him out and set him down and as soon as I take a step or put my hand out for him to smell as a peace offering, he opens his mouth again. The forgiveness is very easy for me as he is an adorable mush and it's really hard to be upset for long. I've considered training classes/private trainers but they're so darn expensive. PetSmart is more affordable...but I honestly don't trust trainers that recommend I put purell on my hands when alcohol is dangerous to dogs. As a side note, I'm in the NYC/Long Island area - so if anyone knows of an affordable trainer, I will gladly take recommendations.

Ok, Pictures aren't working.
So I'm posting the link to his facebook page and there are some pictures there :)

http://www.facebook.com/pupEddie
When you put him for time out, did you make it clear it was coz of biting? Whenever he tries to bite, use a marker word like "no" or "ack ack!", and if he continues then you can say "out" (or any marker for time out) and put him away. If you do this, your dog might get it soon after a few tries. I did it once and my dog started to get it after some 3 to 5 tries (but we couldn't do it anymore as he was destroying out room or barking too much and it was night).
 

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Pictures worked, he's adorable... yes, you have a handful. What ever you did, sounds like it worked:
>>> It doesn't seem to help. He'll sit, maybe cry for a few seconds and them be quiet. That is Step #3 above.
It's hard to recognize the 'apology' especially since a nip follows :) keep trying.

The way to get pix to show up is to insert the link between these two tags... with no spaces, anywhere ...
[ i m g ] INSERT LINK [ / i m g ]

Hey, maybe you can be on TV... call up the Dog Guru - Justin Silver, I imagine it would be free on TV :)
 
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