- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Mouthy or biting dogs

April 27th, 2004, 05:53 PM
My 7 month old golden retriever, Molly, has some biting issues. We have tried, since we got her, to say OUCH, to freeze, holding her nose and saying NO etc. It seems like we've tried it all! But, she still will get bitey with us.
It starts of as a game to her, I think, and she doesn't understand that it is hurting us. It eventually gets to the point that she has to have a 'time out', but that only solves the problem temporairily.
We always have chew toys available for her, and frequently give her Kong treats and ice cubes. I don't like the idea of rewarding her when she bites by giving her something she likes. Although, she does respond well to reward when doing something positive, like teaching her to sit, lay down etc.
I am running out of ideas, and patience! Can anyone help!

April 27th, 2004, 06:08 PM
when a dog bites or nips i find it is best when the dog bites, to immeadiatly put the dog in his naughty place or crate and do not say a word. every time he bites say ouch and remove the dog to solitude or even just ignore it. if he bites, no or ouch and immeadiate solitary confinement., he will soon associate the biting with the seperation and punishment and hopefully figure it out. but hey, im no dog trainer, just a thought. :)

April 27th, 2004, 07:20 PM
I've heard of substituiting a positive command for a negative action: Dog bites, "ouch!" "Sit" type of thing.

April 27th, 2004, 07:40 PM
I don't have a problem putting her in time out, which we usually do right away when she gets out of control. The only problem is that her time out crate is the same place we have to put her when we leave the house, because we can't trust her yet to be out on her own when we aren't there. She is a bit too distrucive to my couch!

What do you think of us using the bathroom with the light out as a different place for her to go when she is bad. That way she may know she is in trouble because she is in a different place, and still isolated from us.

We have tried telling her to sit when she starts biting to get her to stop, but we have trouble calming her down, and getting her to listen to us. I don't want to introduce a treat to get her to sit in that situation either, because I don't want her to associate barking/biting with reward.

We have yet to start a formal obedience training with her, because in the town where I am, there isn't a class constantly running. Will it help stop the biting when we can finally get her into a class?

April 27th, 2004, 08:02 PM
i thinkwhen you start dog schoolthings will get better, the dog will learn manners and training and you will have a professional trainer on hand. do you have a laundry you can put her in?? the light of in the bathroom may just be a little too scary for her and may make her have other problems. i have a large dog so i need control, so in the past when i have had no where to put her for confinement (visiting ect) i have taken her right down the back of the yard and put her on a rope for 5 minutes never aly longer), no one is allowed near her when we do this and she hates it (i haveonly had to do it a few times. i am careful and always watch her constantly in this situation, so she wont choke ect which is easily done). i think it is the fact that we take her away from everyone else to total isolation that she really gets it, be naughty and you will not be accepted in the group. and often we laugh and have noisy fun when she is isolated to demonstrate that we are having fun and she can come back and join in when she can behave. it always works for me. but yeah i would say dog school is your best start.

April 27th, 2004, 11:51 PM
Time out is a human concept that dogs don't grasp quite the same way. If your dog is biting your hands when you play, pull your hands up out of reach and turn your back to the dog.

I have a rottweiler, so I spend a lot of time communicating with rottweiler owners and trainers. When teaching bite inhibition, which is what you are trying to do, it is often recommended to redirect the bite from you to some type of toy. If this is done consistantly, the dog learns to chew on the approved toy and not you. You are not rewarding the dog, you are teaching it that it can chew on "this" but not "this".

April 28th, 2004, 12:45 AM
i dont think it is a time out or a human concept that a dog cant understand. it is simply the use of the pack for behaviour. eg, when my charlie does something that is totally unacceptable in our pack she is removed from the pack. her pack makes her happy and seperation from it is not liked very much. pretty simple Offense=punishment. as top dog in my pack i dish out the punishments and only me. in my pack when you attack another pack member or other poor behaviour the offender is removed from the pack and the seperation used as a punishment. in the wild when a dog breaks social codes the dog is often beaten up by top dog and punished.
i have tried training methods such as replacing the thing being chewed with a toy and i have yet to acheive any success in this manner, she sees the reward and it seems to make her worse. if the dog does wrong why give it a play toy that it likes??? is that not just replacing the behaviour and not really solving it. biting anyone is not acceptable and the dog must learn this, not the dog learning that it can chew on some things and not others. it is not chewing you are trying to teach the dog, it is simply that the action of biting is not acceptable. in the wild wouldnt a dog that bites another dog get bitten back? other dogs certainly didnt give it a chew toy. and my way of biting back is seperation from the pack. (ps just so you dont think me crazy,i didnt just make this technique up, it was advised by a qualified trainer who had had success using it). i think we all develop our own techniques and there is never a right or wrong, just what works and you need to find yours. i think starting dog school asap will help alot. good luck :rolleyes:

April 28th, 2004, 05:55 AM
I am sooo sorry that you don't think that anyone else's training methods are valid. I hope that your method works for this person. I am done here.

April 28th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Time out itself is not supposed to be negative - it is a time out from positive reinforcement (eg. play, attention). When you put a child in a time out for example you are not making the time out chair a horrible place, the punishment comes from the fact that they can no longer participate in desired activities.

Try using your concept with your dog when playing. You are in control of the toys and playtime. Dog nips, you take toys and go away. the dog can no longer participate in what it wants to do. Consistency does work and sometimes a behaviour gets worse before it gets better.

Lavenderott had a good suggestion. I think maybe you don't really understand how its not a reward for biting. Dog nips--you yell ouch!--dog stops (this is what you want)---give a toy which is actually reinforcing the fact that your dog stopped biting you and now you are teaching what is acceptable to chew.

April 28th, 2004, 04:50 PM
ha, ha, ha lol, oh lavenderrott. i am sooooo sorry that you cannot have a logical argument. i have given many valid points on the sheer logic of this training suggestion and you seem to have gotten cranky that someone does not take what you say as gospel straight of the bat. oh and where did i say the training method was not valid, it just doesnt make sense to me, is that wrong?? did i not say nothing was right or wrong just what works?? i never said you were wrong, note i started my argument out with ' i dont think' and ' i have'. this is quite indicative of ones personal opinion. im glad your DONE here.

Bill & Bob
April 28th, 2004, 05:05 PM
Wow, the mood is warming up in here. I feel hackles up. I don't think that Melanie was saying that she doesn't believe other peoples methods work. She did say "there is never a right or wrong, just what works and you need to find yours".
Anyhoo, here's my two cents. My theory for most things has always been one of fragmentation. Take the best parts of different theories and make them work for your own personal situation, whatever it may be. Someone said one day it sounds like cherry picking. I explained that when I'm looking for a solution, of course I cherry pick. I want the best, most workable solution.
I've heard of all of the previously mentioned solutions working for different people. When I got Bob, I had dozens of friends telling me what I should do with different situations that arose. Funny thing I noticed was that I kept hearing dozens of different solutions, and frustrated friends when i didn't use their solution right away. I just laughed about it and said I was going to think on it and they would have to be patient until I decided what I was going to do. He's my dog, and I am his owner.

April 28th, 2004, 07:12 PM
First off,never use the crate as punishment.

When my dogs where pups and where at the mouthing stage,I would re-direct them to one of their toys.I would praise them right away.Here I was teaching them that it is ok for them to chew on their toy and not ok to chew on my hand.Or anyone elses.Same thing if they grabbed a sock or a shoe.I always re-directed them to their toy.Ususally a favorite one.Trons was a ball.Yukon's was his football.I always praised them and gave them a treat.Praise is VERY important.They learn by this.And I had 2 to train.Both GSD's and one that joined the K9 force.

You are not rewarding her for biting.You are re-directing her to what she is allowed to chew on.As dee_petlover stated,she bites,you say ouch,she stops,praise her big time and give her a toy.Like I have said,"praise" is they key thing.

I would suggest obedience classes.You say she has a hard time setteling down.These classes will help.How is she around other dogs?

April 28th, 2004, 07:45 PM
O.K. Here's my 2 cents...
Mouthing definitely can be redirected to a toy but if a dog is biting then thats
I know I'm going to get comments about aggression getting aggression back but if Abbey snapped at me I'm positive I'd swat her across the nose.
In fact she did snap at my youngest over a bone she was told loudly NO swatted and lost her bone for the rest of the day.
And it worked, now before I get comments, I did not beat my dog nor did I swat her hard it was simply a matter of letting her know that those actions would not be tolerated at all.
Sorry but different strokes for different folks. :rolleyes:

April 28th, 2004, 09:26 PM
OYE poor LavR... she didn't do anything wrong!!

Her advise is 100% accurate IMHO

Using a crate as a negative reinforcement tool can have very negative effects.

You want your dog to feel safe and secure in their crate. It's supposed to be a comforting place for them to go when they feel vulnerable or threatened or just want to nap on their own. We use crates to keep them in for short periods of time to ensure their safety in not getting into anything harmful when we are not home, and not destroying it either.

Using a negative in conjunction with the crate is a terrible idea. You can risk the dog feeling unsafe and depressed in the crate or fighting to get out or fighting you not to go in AND THAT can cause your dog to turn around and NIP at you!!

For a nipping puppy it's a little different then a nipping dog you have the advantage of time and correction is easier.

IF you get a nip/bite you have to figure out #1 is it play? Or is it serious..leave me along don't bug me stuff with Molly.

When you approach Molly, never do so with your hands open, keep them closed. Dogs do everything with their mouths practically and we do everything with our hands. To them, our hands look like giant mouths coming to attack them with these huge teeth (our fingers) and it can spook your dog... triggering either a fear response or play response.

If you do get a nip you simply say no and turn away like LavR says. Don't give the dog any attention for a moment THEN give her a command to sit and put her in a down stay for a couple minutes without you giving any attention to her.

Sadie sometimes gets a little nippy as herding dogs do (being a collie) and when she's that bonkers I put her in a down stay for atleast 5mins. I keep a leash under the sofa specifically for this. SHe gets clipped to it and the other end I have anchored under the sofa to a large weight she can't pull hahha!

She has enough room to only turn herself around but it calms her down fast. At the end of the 5mins She gets a good girl pat and she's taken off the lead. Sometimes I can now do it without using the lead and she will stay down.

Other times when she is very rambunctious its because shes' overtired and bouncing off the walls. I take her a treat to her crate and put her in for a nap but NEVER for punishment. I know when she needs to sleep but she just wants to play play play like a kid!!

I hope some of this helps out!!

One more thing.. .get her a bone to chew on!!! :D Not rawhide a real beef bone.