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problems playing fetch and nipping at kids

April 28th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Our 6-month old shih tzu cross puppy loves to play fetch, and we gladly oblidge. She'll drop the toy in front of us, but when we go to pick it up she'll lunge at it, and if our hand is on the toy, she will inevitably bite it.

So the "game" goes: she brings us a toy, drops it in front of us, and barks. We go to pick up the toy, she lunges at it, we withdraw our hand, she has the toy in her mouth again. Or - when she drops the toy, we distract her with one hand and grab the toy with the other, throw the toy for her, she fetches, and the "game" continues. It's not particularly fun for us. We've tried ignoring her when she won't let us get the toy, but I feel bad because I don't know if she understand why she's being ignored. And the barking, barking, barking until we do resume the "game"....

Also she's still a little nippy with our children (a 5 year old and an 18 month old). She has actually scratched the skin of our kids when nipping at them while playing. We used to do the "yelping" and "ouching" when she nipped, but it had little or no effect on her. Now my husband and I tell her "no biting!" and flick her on the nose when she nips, but of course my kids don't have the quickness or aim for that discipline - my 5 yr old just says "No biting!", and the 18-month old cries. (**Please don't scold me for flicking my pup's nose - I tried every other training method unsuccessfully - I posted here about it, read books on training, asked friends, etc. My patience was running thin, especially when it's harming my children).

How can I make my puppy not so mouthy? She's such a wonderful companion in every other aspect - I'd love to teach her to play fetch properly and not nip at us!

April 28th, 2007, 06:42 PM
Our O.B that we went to told us to tap the nose.don't pull back.but lightly tap the nose.i was not a fan of that.and say no bite gentle.and if he didn't stop.stop the game or feeding jag takes so gentle is she said tap with the palm of the hand.i just moved my hand and said no.i didn't want to tap the nose.

April 28th, 2007, 07:55 PM
Have you tried squirting her with water? I have a rather mouthy Pug pup and yelping didn't work with her either. But one squirt with the water bottle and she stops instantly.

April 28th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Have you tried squirting her with water? I have a rather mouthy Pug pup and yelping didn't work with her either. But one squirt with the water bottle and she stops instantly.

We do squirt her with a water bottle, which we try to keep as handy as possible... but it's not always within reach when she nips - it is a wonderful toy according to my 18-month old daughter.... so it has to be kept out of reach of little hands. But when it's used, it is effective.

Of course, most of the nipping goes on when I'm busy making meals and the kids are playing with the puppy. I will sometimes just stand there with the bottle (which I have to hide behind my back because puppy knows she'll get squirted when she bites) and give her a shot when she offends. But as soon as my back is turned the nipping starts again immediately.

Ford Girl
April 30th, 2007, 11:30 AM
Our pup use to bite a lot, and I mean alot...and those tiny razor sharpe teeth are the worse, she still mouths, but not hard. We did these things and it worked...

Stop play when she bites, we pull our hand away and yelp, like another dog would, stand up and turn away from her...

We insist she has a toy in her mouth when she wants to play one on one with us, she initiates play, we say, "get your toy", that way we can play rough and she can't bite.

We also learnt a correction at puppy school that doesn't induce dominence - it's gentle and works for all shapes and sizes, when she nipped, we grabed her scruff and muzzle, gently of coures, look at her and said "no bite" ina gentle voice, not intimidating, hold for 5 seconds, if we released and she went right back to biting, we repeated and held for 10 seconds...once we had to do this 4 times in a row, it was a stuggle for a bit...we now only have to say no bite.

There are other things that work but because our pooch was dominent, we didn't try alot of ideas out there, socializing them with other dogs also teaches them bite inhabition.