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When will puppy stop playbiting?

20842 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  hanksimon
We are using the advice to yelp and offer a toy to bite, ok and we only have had her since Friday, but I am worried. I never had a dog before and biting really, really scares me. She plays but it hurts and she cannot be near the children at all at this point. She's a rough collie and everything else is going well (taking to the potty spot and goes on command now). How long does it take for a pup to learn this?
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As long as it takes you to teach it. There's a sticky in this forum or the training forum called "The bite stops here". Read it and follow the advice. Be consistent and patient. It does take a few weeks for a puppy to catch on.

Don't be frightened by it. Play biting is totally normal and training bite inhibition does work if you put in the time and effort.

Also, if the puppy was taken from her littermates and mom before 8 weeks, it will take longer to teach bite inhibition. Normally, puppies learn a lot of bite inhibition between 6 and 8 weeks from each other. Keep in mind, a dog is covered in fur, so the same bite that hurts a human is harmless to a dog. It does take dogs some time to get the difference.
puppy teeth are so dang sharp! I think it's to make the momma dog get fed up with them nursing.

Not having hands, dogs use their mouths instead. In fact, dogs recognize the fact that their mouths are analogous to our hands. You know how two dogs often play by biting and mouthing each other's mouths and muzzles? When a dog plays with a human, they go for our hands instead of our mouths. Anyway, point being, it's good to train her to have a soft mouth, because there's times when some part of your body will end up in her mouth, by accident or by choice, and you sure don't want her biting down. I've always enjoyed playing tug with my thumb & forefinger hooked behind my dogs' canines.

With my current puppy, I used the words "don't bite me" sometimes instead of the yelping. Now, at 9 months, he has a very reliable soft mouth, but even so if I want him to take his mouth off me I just say "don't bite me" and he moves on to something else.
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With my current puppy, I used the words "don't bite me" sometimes instead of the yelping. Now, at 9 months, he has a very reliable soft mouth, but even so if I want him to take his mouth off me I just say "don't bite me" and he moves on to something else.
I call it "gentle". Kabota had a serious case of sharkmouth when I got him. He'd get half my hand when going for a treat or toy. It wasn't aggressive, he just wasn't being careful. It didn't take more than a couple of weeks to train that out.
Yelping works, my dog did it from about 10 weeks to 18 weeks but much less in later weeks and learned 'gentle'- but a REALLY high pitched yelp works over time, just be consistent
How old was your puppy when it left the litter? If below 8 weeks, you are going to have a harder time teaching bite inhibition, since it didn't get to learn it from it's mom and siblings.
Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get her to stop biting when she 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 her paw for a sample :). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. SHe'll bite.
2. When she bites the second time, Yelp. When she stops, praise and pet. SHe'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When she bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If she 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 she bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing her in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving her. Then, return and interact. (SHe's still hungry...)
5. When she 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 significant Bite Inhibition. SHe may still nip, but it will be softer and she 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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Thanks! I am so not used to a dog and biting scares me (I was afraid of dogs all my life - was bitten by a not so nice German shepard that later was put down for being aggressive which haunted me for a long time, I mean I was even scared of Dachshunds, for real).
I still don't know what yelping sounds like, but I will Youtube it for a sample. :)
She seems to be learning quickly and her bite doesn't really hurt that bad (she's a soft biter), but it's a learning curve for both of us (I know cats inside and out and how to train, doggy - new terrain) and she already after three days totally understands the pottying outside at her spot in the backyard concept. She even now goes in the crate when we say crate. And we haven't even brought out treats yet.

She did arrive a couple of days short of 8 weeks because of scheduling conflicts on the side of the breeder. I wasn't too happy about it but DH was all gung-ho about getting her 5 days earlier. Well at least it spared her from being shipped.

OT, but holy cow, dog passing gas smells really bad. YUCK!
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I got Tucker at 6 1/2 weeks, and found that teaching bite inhibition wasn't difficult, but we did focus on it at first; awareness is half the battle. And of course, having a mature, stable dog in the house was a big help as well.

My experience, they catch on pretty quick that outdoors is the place to potty, then take a few weeks to figure out that indoors is *NOT* a toilet.
Congrats on the puppy! And sorry about the biting! Not fun at all. I second everyone's advice on here, and I am sure that with patience and persistence it can be trained out in no time. Collies are pretty smart.

OT, but holy cow, dog passing gas smells really bad. YUCK!
If she is regularly passing gas or if it smells really really bad you may want to look into a food change once she is settled in? Do you mind my asking what you are feeding her now?
I think she thinks she is playing with us, her bite rarely hurts, but I think the yelping and turning my back on her is starting to work. Yeah that.

@ LilasMom: The breeder fed her Purina Puppy Chow, yikes. We started to mix it in with Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy food and she is now completely on it. She passes the gas in her sleep and oh my it is disgusting. I wonder if it is a growing thing though, our cats passed horrible gas as well as kittens and once they ate adult formulas it stopped... Taffy's poo has been somewhat unsolid, but not diarrhea like. Sorta like toddler. Sorry TMI. She just had her first shots and deworming at 6 weeks and will see the vet again at 9 weeks.
My 12 week old puppy was a big play biter...Nothing hard nor did he ever break skin...But darn if his teeth weren't sharp. I made a loud yelp and would put him out on the deck for a minute...A minute of calm down time taught him pretty quick that he was doing something wrong. But he did always look so sad looking in at me from the window.
Maggie still play bites. Mostly my hubby, I don't allow it. haha I wish I could stop it. She howls at the same time it is funny.
Relax and stay consistent. We called our dog "Sasha the Vampire Puppy" until two weeks ago. Just last night we were playing and I had an amazing realization that she wasn't biting me anymore. Yay! Now she's just "Sasha Sassy Pants". LOL
You can stop the play biting using the method I described back in #7. An excellent outcome of Bite Inhibition is that the dog will learn to be careful of biting even when angry or hurt. In addition, if you try to understand the communication that's going on, then you can use the "och" or yelp to stop other behaviors.
I used what HankSimon described, and then one day they just stopped. I think they grew out of it, but more importantly they both have what my mom used to call (in the 70's) a 'soft mouth'. For example, today they got into it over a plastic yogurt container- this is very high value for both of them- and there was just a lot of slobber.
You may have to do a Bite Inhibition "yelp" tune-up around age 5 mos, and then periodically after that. I still remind my 11 yo dog once or twice.
Also, after you get a soft mouth, then you can try to apply the yelp to other things, such as stealing toys, running away, and barking.
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