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Bite, Bite, Bite, Bite "HELP"!

December 20th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Ok... I have a wonderful puppy named Ranger that I love to death. He's a blessing to my family. I'm guessing he's now between 8-10 weeks old, and is trying to bite me & my wife EVERY second he's loose in the house. I do not think he's being vicious as most of them seem like love nibbles, but some are preceded / followed by a growl and hurt! We are practically begging for ideas that may hinder his biting!

OUCH! There he goes again............................. :rolleyes:

December 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Where did you get him from and how old was he. The answers to these questions can tell a lot.
Mouthing is common in puppies but there shouldn't be growling involved. What have you been doing for corrections.

December 20th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I had a mouthy pup too.......she loved to bite and play rough. I was told to teach her bite inhibition. When she bit, I would loudly say OUCH!!!! The next time she would bite it would be a bit gentler but again i would say OUCH!!! I also started socializing her with other pups because if one was playing to rough the other dog would let each other know they were biting to hard. I also tried putting my hand in her mouth side ways and pushing against her lips and say NO!! I found that the OUCH was much more productive and she lost intrest in biting me and would go play with a stuffie. I also gave her icecubes to chew on, she still loves them now as a treat and she is two years old now. I wish you luck.........

December 20th, 2006, 11:32 AM
growling is a form of communication, that's all. it can indicate very excited play, or be a warning. I would think it's probably excited play, or trying to initiate play. Have you looked into enrolling in puppy class? this will teach you hands on techniques, and will socialize your pup at the same time. both of which are equally important when trying to control the nipping/biting puppy behaviors. look for a class that handles things in a positive way - using positive methods. observe a class before committing to one so you can see exactly how things are taught.

btw - my pup was a snarly nippy machine at that age. We taught him better manners by ignoring him when he's snarly & nippy, yelping OUCH!!! then leaving the room, directing him to an appropriate and FUN toy to bite on, rewarding him when he used the toy and not us, and lastly, crating him for 2 minutes (max) for a quick time-out to calm down. it's not "punishment" - just a 2 minute "break" - calm down, breathe deep, and resume play when the pup is a bit calmer. Using a combo of these methods really helped us get through the nippy stage (with hands and pant legs in tact!).

December 21st, 2006, 12:20 AM
We discovered a practical aid to getting through the chewy/bitey/puppy-attack stage while you're working on educating puppy about the proper uses for teeth: bicycle gloves...the kind that cover the back and palm of the hand but have no fingers. They really cut back on the 'hamburger' effect that occurs when bare skin repeatedly comes in contact with milk teeth.

One suggestion that I don't believe has been made is to actually yelp when puppy bites, then follow that with the 'no'. Puppies have an immediate understanding of a yelp and we've found that starting with the yelp in conjunction with the 'no' seems to work best.

We have some funny videos of Ember as a pup. He'd have heaps of toys around him but for some reason in that 8 - 12 week range, attacking my husband was the most exciting thing in the world for him. He'd be chewing on a stuffed toy, then see hubby, drop the toy, and run over to bite him. :evil: It wasn't funny at the time but the films are a hoot now. Ember has grown up to have very good mouth manners--so just be patient, be consistent, and get a pair of bicycle gloves :crazy: (There were days I also considered knee-high leather boots, but it was summer and the phase didn't last long enough to justify the cost. :D )

December 21st, 2006, 12:24 AM
My dog went through a stage like that, too. Got too rough as he got bigger. Man, I can hardly remember what I did to get the message to him that it was wrong. But, it is more common that a dog goes through this stage than not. Great opportunity to teach him manners. My dog used to pull at my clothing and rip it, etc. Haven't had that happen in years now.

December 21st, 2006, 12:46 AM
My puppy is also very nippy, and with the above suggestions she is getting a lot better.

One other thing we did, that I don't think was mentioned, was to turn our backs on her when she got too jumpy and bite-y. When she started to initiate play with us by getting really hyper and biting a lot, we would turn around so our backs were to her, say "NO!" or "No biting" in a firm voice and ignore her until she calms down. It worked really well for us, since Nikki figured out really quickly that she wasn't going to get attention from us by jumping up and biting us (and she's a lab, she can jump HIGH!). Now, if she does slip and tries to initiate play this way, as soon as we turn around, she sits her butt down on the ground and waits for us to turn around and pay attention to her (again, while she is sitting). She knows that she will get attention from us, as long as she is playing by our rules.

If she continues trying to bite us, even after two or three cycles of us turning our backs on her, then she goes into her crate for a time out (as Jessi recommended).

It does get better. There was a time when Nikki couldn't be out of her kennel for more than ten minutes before getting put back in there for ANOTHER time out, but I think it's part of how old they are. At that age they are pushing boundaries and are trying to figure out what the rules are. Just be consistent in your training and it will all work out.

There was also a time when, as a result of yipping whenever I was biten by Nikki, I was yipping whenever I got hurt. I think my co-workers thought I was crazy, yipping every time I stubbed my toe or hurt myself at work :o

December 21st, 2006, 08:16 AM
Yup, some great advice here. A loud yelp, ouch, etc, and then end play time. walk away from the pup, or even better, a short 1min time out in a crate, xpen or gated off area. The pup will quickly learn that biting is a no no if they want to continue to play.

December 21st, 2006, 10:57 AM
Lukka used to bite constantly with those baby teeth of hers. We would give a loud yelp and also had one of the bathrooms almost emptied out so she could have a time out in there. We would immediately take her to the bathroom when she bit and close the door. Never allowing her to stay in for more than a minute or she would just find something else to do in there and the whole exercise would not be beneficial. Puppies have a short attention span and after one minute or maybe even less depending on the pup, they might not remember why the time out was being enforced. If she came out and bit again she would be taken right back in for another minute. If we had to repeat this four times in a row than so be it.You have to be willing to do this as many times as it takes.
We also found that if she was so rammy that we could not control her, more often than not it was because she needed to go outside and make brown! That had an enormous effect on how she acted in the house. She just didn't know how to let us know that all was not well.

December 22nd, 2006, 01:12 AM
The pinching thing really works i read it somewhere on this site. That if the puppy bites to hard you yelp and then pinch them on the scruff of the kneck to the point the puppy yelps just lightly enough to get there attention. My puppy has stopped bitting me so hard now she just lightly puts her mouth on me. Don't do it hard if you do it to yourself and it hurts not good