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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm trying to teach my puppy not to bite my hands and socks. I've taught her to let go when I use the command "drop it". She stops biting and then looks at me expecting a treat. Even if I praise her for stopping the unwanted behavior, she goes back to biting! I fear she's learning that she gets a treat when she bites my socks/hands because the "drop it" command inevitably comes.

What can I do to teach her to leave my hands and socks alone? Those puppy teeth hurt!
 

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Teach "Leave It" instead. "Drop it" means let go of what you have and should be rewarded followed by whatever is dropped is picked up by you. Drop it is a trade game for an item such as a toy. You trade for it and then throw it and re-engage the dog with that same toy.

Leave it means you do not go back to it. Ever.

Teach leave it with two food items. One on the floor that is lower value than one you have on you. I use a leash and let the dog know there is that food item on the floor.

You can (sort of) free shape it by keeping the dog from reaching the food item on the floor with the leash and waiting until the dog looks at you then clicking and feeding a FAR BETTER food item and eventually adding the "leave it" command NEVER allowing the dog to have the item on the floor.

You can also do it with other items that you won't ever give the dog that the dog may want such as a kitchen towel or other item that the dog can NEVER have.

Once "leave it" has been ingrained for those things, you can use it for almost anything. You will still need to reward intermittently and you will still need to re-direct the dog.
 

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I think this is more of a "don't bite humans ever" training issue than a "drop it" issue. "Drop" is typically used when they have a toy or something that is okay for them to have, but you need to take it so you can throw it again, put it away, whatever, so you ask them to "Drop" and reward for that behavior.

Instead, when puppy bites you or your clothing, redirect to a toy. If puppy still wants to bite you, get up and walk away. Step over a baby gate, close a door, whatever, just withdraw your attention. Leave them for a five minutes or so. That way, puppy learns that biting humans = end to happy fun time. This does take a lot of time as they learn that they cannot use their mouths to play with humans. Think MONTHS. But it will get better. You will notice softer bites, more impulse control, and eventually it will stop if you remain consistent.

"Drop" is a separate behavior, and its a good thing to teach, but I would not use it for this scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I put treat A on the floor. Pup goes after it. I say leave it. Pup backs off. I give her treat B. When her attention goes back to treat A, I repeat the leave it command and reward when she obeys. So far so good... Then I tried walking around until she inevitably got interested in my socks. I told her to leave it and she did the command perfectly! BUT again she just goes back to my sock, probably knowing that the leave it command will follow (which equals a treat for her). So I'm having the same problem just with different words! What am I doing wrong here?
 

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So I put treat A on the floor. Pup goes after it. I say leave it. Pup backs off. I give her treat B. When her attention goes back to treat A, I repeat the leave it command and reward when she obeys. So far so good... Then I tried walking around until she inevitably got interested in my socks. I told her to leave it and she did the command perfectly! BUT again she just goes back to my sock, probably knowing that the leave it command will follow (which equals a treat for her). So I'm having the same problem just with different words! What am I doing wrong here?
Again, I think this is more of a "don't bite humans ever" bite inhibition training issue. The sock is on your foot, right? She's trying to play, but doing so inappropriately. Leave it or Drop probably isn't going to help much here, and you don't want to have to reward her for not biting you all the time, right? So the best option is to take away what she wants, which is to play, if she performs the behavior you don't want. If she keeps her teeth off you, play continues, but mouthing is most certainly going to end play.

If you're wanting her to leave an actual object, I found it helps to walk away from the thing with them so they get rewarded for actually, completely leaving it and don't really have the opportunity to go for it again. And really, I wouldn't expect a puppy to have this command down yet. It's really hard for them, and they won't remember that you told them to "leave" that piece of garbage alone. It comes with time and maturity.
 

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You need to "outlast the dog" in this (be persistent). When she leaves the sock for the treat, redirect her to something else and make that more interesting than you.

Removing yourself CAN work too but I like to do that in addition to redirection. So, you get her to "leave it" and have a toy on you that she likes.. and when she comes back BEFORE she goes for your socks or you, engage with the toy. I roll a ball on the floor and so forth. If you are doing something else and cannot play at that moment, crate her. the object is to make your interaction with her focused on her and her behavior. She will eventually grow up and not do this sort of thing.
 
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