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Biting

Scrib
November 18th, 2003, 08:26 AM
I have another couple questions...


No. 1: We have been trying to teach our pup not to bite (people and furniture) and have been trying a number of methods. We have talked to a number of people who have all given us different advice. Someone said to give him a chew toy when he starts to bit people or furniture (but the vet said that was rewarding him for chewing/biting), the vet suggested yelling "ouch" when he bites, including clothing, but the pup seems to think this is a game. Someone else suggested hitting him under the mouth when he bites, but this seems to make him more aggressive, and we have also been told to hold his mouth shut when he is biting, but later we were told that this might make him fearful of being pet near the head.

We are at a real loss for how we should be curbing this biting. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

No. 2: So far we have been pretty successful with the crate and getting him to do his number 2 outside, but he is still not learning to pee outside. Is it typical that this often takes longer than learning to pooh outside? Sometimes I think that he is peeing inside because he gets angry with us as he often goes to the tile floor and pees after we have reprimanded him for biting or something. Does this sound possible, and if so, how do we curb this behaviour?

No. 3: The puppy is now making it through the entire night, but has to get up at 6:30 in the morning to pee. Will he start to sleep later (we're only getting about 6 hours sleep 'cause we don't normally put him to be until midnight) or are we allowing him to create a pattern that he will keep for life. If it is the case that we are allowing him to create a pattern, and we want him to sleep until atleast 7:30, should we just ignore his crying at 6:30?

Finally (No. 4): Is it typical for puppies to not want to climb up and down stairs? There is only one set of stairs in the house (the outside ones) that he will go up, and he refuses to go down any of them. Will he attempt when he finally gets comfortable, or should we be encouraging him to do this now (at 8 weeks). He's starting to get a little heavy for carrying - well actually not that heavy, but I can't imagine I'll be able to carry him for much longer.

Thanks to anyone who can help! Being a new puppy owner is a lot like being a new mom, I'm not exactly sure what to expect and don't know what is normal.

Luba
November 18th, 2003, 09:25 AM
Yes it's just like being a new mom except it's like the kids on sugar 24 hours a day.

(I'm no better I just had a hunk of chocolate for breakfast) HAHA!

Chewing/biting is all part of a normal puppy socializing thing. HOWEVER it's not a great idea to let them get away with chewing on your hand.

Have lots of chewy balls for pup to play with and a cotton rope. Also ice cubes are great (NOW NOBODY LAUGH)
Freeze some pieces of meat or treats in ice, pup will have a ball playing with it and get a treat in the end. He doesn't get a treat biting your hand right! KONG balls and other rubber balls are great because they have holes in them....drop some dry food or small treats for him to investigate....and make sure they're easy to get out for pup on his own.

It's all about learning, playing and setting their roll in the household.

When pup bites your hands when you're playing the OUCH thing usually works. Say it loud and take your hand away. If the OUCH doesn't work YELP like a dog would if it were hurt. THIS WORKS!

This isn't something that is going to go away quickly, pups also need to grow out of it. Can be a frustrating time but hang in there cause it's all worth it TRUST ME!!

Be deligent, if pup is biting furniture say no and take him away from it (odds are he'll start on your hands) thats when you do the yelp thing and then give him a ball with some treats in it! He's gonna learn, but it has to be repetitive.

Wait until he starts stealing things to get your attention and wants you to chase him (but don't do that) just block his way say no, take the item from him then ignore him. If he does it again he goes in the cage for 2/3 mins.

Okay I'm long winded.

DON'T get any toxic sprays to spray on your sofa or furniture. It's horrible for them and for you! And dont' use black pepper or cayenne pepper its cruel, they can get it in their eyes and scratch their eyes with their paws from the pain.

Good luck and enjoy this time with pup.
Have you had a dog before?

Honey below is no angel either (as you see) and as I type this she's in her cage for a few mins from chewing on my boot. haha

Oh one more thing, you can go to the butcher and get a big dog bone and cook it, they love it. Keeps them busy for hours and they get the marrow which is good for them.

You know ofcourse not to give other bones that are not dog friendly

IE: chicken, turkey, steak bones

Good luck

Carina
November 18th, 2003, 09:26 AM
Biting...keep up with the OUCH!!! And freeze, do not look at him. If you are not moving and not looking at him, you're no fun to play with. Do this consistently and the second he starts biting (well, this technique works when he's biting people) and he will soon learn that biting humans = immediate cessation of interaction. For the furniture biting, you may try attaching a lightweight leash to his collar, saying no and gently tugging him away. Then give him a good chew toy, he needs to chew! Once he understands "no" or "come" you won't need a leash.

At 8 weeks old you have to be WAY patient. You've only just begun. He actually should not have left his litter until 8 weeks old, he is honestly just a baby.
Dogs do NOT get angry or do anything out of spite. Trust me on this. He's peeing in the house because he can't hold it, he's tiny, and he forgets things easily or is involved in something interesting and...just needs to pee!
Take him out the instant he wakes up. Immediately after eating or drinking. Randomly - about every hour when he's awake - and PRAISE him to the high heavens when he goes outside. Be patient. Most puppies will still have little forgetful moments for several months. This is to be expected.
If he is almost holding all night, that is amazing. At his age four hours is usually the maximum he should be able to hold it. You need to let him out. Heck I was getting up at 3 am for several weeks to take my last puppy out!
Large puppies (I am guessing he is) should actually be discouraged from using stairs. Their coordination is awful at that age and injuries are quite likely. He is being a smart puppy! Wait until he's a bit older, try discouraging him from using stairs at his age.

I must stress: He is a really, really young puppy. Do not expect too much from him at this point. Given his age it seems he is doing exceptionally well. Puppies take a lot of patience, positive reinforcement, and attention to be good family members.
Good luck! He sounds great. Once he's 3 months old you can start him in puppy kindergarden classes. That is an excellent way to bond with him, speed up his general learning, and get him socialised.
What breed is he?

Carina
November 18th, 2003, 09:36 AM
LOL, Luba & were posting at the same time! That's why we wrote much of the same stuff ('cause it's right, hahahaha.) :)

The only point I'll differ on: Don't cook a soup/marrow bone. Even a puppy can gnaw off little chips and they can cause impactions. Cooked bones do not digest in a dog's stomach. Raw bones, however, digest perfectly.

I should note here that my dogs get raw rabbits, chickens, & various meat & bone pretty much every day. My 3 yo Rottweiler has actually never had kibble in his life. :) You can check my website for further details.
http://www.raw-dogs.com/default.htm

Luba
November 18th, 2003, 10:35 AM
LOL @ Carina

I didn't realize pup was so young or I wouldn't have suggested the bone thing.

The only reason I cook mine is cause I've had 'puking' experiences with the raw ones *projectile vomiting*

AT 8 weeks I wouldn't give a bone either, smiles to Carina rina bo bina! Bananafana fo fina!!

Ya coordination on stairs that young is hard for them esp if the stairs are NOT carpeted. If the stairs are cement, wood or some other surface I agree they can't judge them and are still too tiny!

OHH one more thing be greatful the pup is still young it's easier for you to teach the correct way from the beginning then to correct someone elses 'improper' teachings later on!!

Wags and wiggles

Scrib
December 1st, 2003, 01:47 PM
Hi!

The biting thing again....

We keep telling KONA ouch when he bites...he doesn't get that. So we started yelping and running away and then freezing...it worked the first couple of times, now he thinks its a game again. He comes right back up and starts biting - so the vet suggested yelping and then isolating him until he cries. So I do that, but as soon as I let him out....no joke, he starts biting again.

Is this normal / part of the learning not to bite? It gets a little redundant and seems like he is not learning at all.

Plus - when he is biting furniture and I say "off - good boy KONA" he comes and sits infront of me expecting a cookie, then walks right back to what he was chewing and starts chewing again...I can hear you two laughing at me right now! Should I still be rewarding positive behaviour with a cookie, or is it time to move on to just praising him so that he doesn't expect a cookie every time!

Wow, this is a lot of questions, but again, I don't want to do anything that might compromise his learning. And I would absolutely hate for him to not learn to not bite and have to put him down when he gets older 'cause he bites someone....

Lucky Rescue
December 1st, 2003, 03:06 PM
What breed is Kona? I'm asking because some breeds are very mouthy and nippy.

Quick suggestion - when you tell him NO when the chews the furniture, you need to give him something else do to. If he stops chewing when you tell him NO - pop a chew toy in his mouth and praise him heavily for chewing it.

As for the biting, here's a very good article on puppy biting.
Puppy biting (http://www.scvhumane.org/behavior/dog/mouthing_pups.htm)

Scrib
December 1st, 2003, 08:28 PM
He's a labrador retriever. Also, yes, we always give him something else to chew on ... but he quickly abandons that to return to what he was chewing on before.

Luba
December 1st, 2003, 09:35 PM
Just keep reinforcing it!

Not something that will stop overnight unfortunately, the key in this situation....time and patience!

Carina
December 2nd, 2003, 03:58 AM
Hey Scrib...two additional tips.

You say:
"We keep telling KONA ouch when he bites...he doesn't get that. So we started yelping and running away and then freezing...it worked the first couple of times, now he thinks its a game again."

Of course he thinks it's a game! Chasing things is FUN. :D What you must do (consistently, and this REALLY works) is freeze immediately on mouth contact. I mean immediately. No running, no eye contact, no speaking a word. If this doesn't work within a couple of weeks, post back & I'll give you puppy freezing intensified. ;)

Also: Get a lightweight leash or piece of light rope. Attach it to his collar - no choke collars, I hope, he is too young - and if he goes right back to chewing furniture or whatever after you have told him NO, then you give it a little yank and reiterate NO. Nagging a puppy isn't fair (and it's frustrating) so what he needs to understand from you is that NO means NO, in a non-punitive but firm way.

Yes, play biting is normal up to about four months old. Shortly there after it becomes "biting" and needs a stronger correction.

Lucky Rescue
December 2nd, 2003, 09:56 AM
A Lab, eh?:p Well, you've chosen one of the mouthiest breeds out there.

As Carina says, be consistant and patient and maybe one day he'll stop.:D