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my puppy is biting

May 29th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Hi Iam needing some advice, I had recently got a puppy for my fifteen year old son the puppy is a golden lab name charlie he is between 6 and 7 weeks old. and he is in the biting stage sometimes he gets too agressive when we try and dicipline him. someone had told my son you have to punch him hard between the eyes. well of course I had told him differently but I dont know how to break charlie of this habbit. does anyone have any answers?

May 29th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Punching him hard between the eyes,you got to kidding!!!!!
I guess we have another troll :mad:

May 29th, 2004, 10:21 PM
do not worry I had told my son hitting him is not the answer. I should point out that my son has torrettes syndrome and learning dissabilities. and that is why i got him this puppy to help him with his self esteem

May 30th, 2004, 07:22 AM
I am sorry,but your post sounded unbelievable,hitting any animal is bad,but a 6 week-old puppy,just makes me boil over.
I am not a dog-owner,but I would assume,with a little puppy everything is play and they do chew and bite.
There are ways to teach dogs,others here know better than me,but please make SURE your son does not hit the dog,or it will not work out,the dog will become confused and defensive and not the friend you want your son to have.

May 30th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Puppies should not leave their litter until they are at least 8 weeks of age. One week makes a big difference. If you got your puppy too young, he may very well be lacking very important socialisation skills, which he will never be able to have. Some people want younger dogs because they are cuter and will stay smaller for longer, but that is a bad reason. When you get a puppy, you shoud get one that is between 8 weeks and 10 weeks old. That would be the ideal. Good breeders don't let puppies less than 8 weeks be adopted. I would be concerned, a lot more bad habits may appear.

May 30th, 2004, 09:46 AM
Thank goodness you knew better than to punch him!

Try scruff shaking him. You can also say 'enough' in a firm growly voice.

May 30th, 2004, 10:32 AM
If the pup is getting aggressive when you try to correct him, then correcting him physically is just going to make him more aggressive. Redirection generally works fairly well with young pups. When pup starts biting, give pup a toy. Consistancy with this should, over time, yield results.

May 30th, 2004, 10:42 AM
How are you disiplining him?

He is teething.Do you have any chew toys for him?Like a Kong filled with treats?

I have to agree 100%.He was taken away from his mom to early.But this can be corrected.

Never rough play with him.Let your son know that also... :) ..

When he starts to bite,you can let out a yelp.Like another puppy would when playing with siblings.When he stops,praise him.And give him "his" toy that he can chew on.Praise him again.Example:good boy Charlie.Always use his name.This way he will get used to it.

And to the person who told him to "punch him hard between the eyes"...give me 2 mins with him..... :mad:

May 30th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Spoiled whats with you suggesting she scruff shake this dog?

Haven't several of us told you that this is inappropriate? Why are you advocating this? I hope this isn't how you were curbing your behaviour problems with Bentley.

Now with regards to a puppy, it's all about socializing. I agree with the pup shouldn't be taken from mom and it's litter mates so young. This is where problems begin.

Puppies will bite, teeth and chew on you. This isn't something new. This doesn't mean your dog will do it when they grow up. BUT if you show aggression with the pup when it's young it will continue and worsen as the pup gets older.

You say he gets aggressive when you discipline him..what are you disciplining him for?

Positive reinforcement is better then negative and will keep you going in the right direction. Pup needs to have some things to chew on, what kind of toys and chew things does he have?

At this age, ice cubes are great for them to chew on it helps with the itching and pain the gums are going through with teething.

Have you had a puppy before?

Where did you get the puppy from and can you post a picture, I would love to see this sweet face!

LavR is one hundred percent right when she says give him something to chew on when he starts chewing on your hands.

It isn't too early to start to learn that it's better to chew on a toy!

What are you feeding? Dry/Canned or both? What brand (lots of questions)

When the pups chewing on hands, redirect to a toy. When he takes the toy praise him, good boy and give him a little treat.

May 30th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Without getting into the fact that puppy was taken from his mom and litter mates too early, I have just gone through the puppy thing (as has Luba) and can suggest/repeat the following tips:

1. Make sure puppy has LOTS of toys that puppy can chew on and that puppy knows that these are for him to chew on;

2. When puppy bites, yell ouch really loud like a yelp. This is how puppy's litter mates told him that play was too rough;

3. Diverting chewing focus is key. When puppy starts to go for you and then you are able to convince him to go for an appropriate toy, lots of praise (I always used "good boy, good choice" in a very happy voice) and even some treats if getting puppy to focus on appropriate chew toys is difficult in the beginning;

4. Never play in a fashion that encourages puppy to bite or get aggressive - ie no tug of war and no rough play;

5. If puppy grabs pant legs/legs for attention, ignore puppy and try to divert chewing attention as above;

6. If nipping does persist, a water sprayer can be used but I would wait until puppy is older and it has been determined that puppy's attention cannot be diverted; and

7. You can spray Bitter Apple Spray on your arms, etc. to make them taste bad to puppy. Just be careful not to lick yourself, you will regret it - LOL!! :D

Good luck to you!! It does improve, honest!! ;)


May 30th, 2004, 07:40 PM
Haven't several of us told you that this is inappropriate? Why are you advocating this? I hope this isn't how you were curbing your behaviour problems with Bentley.

If you knew anything about dogs, you'd know that when a puppy misbehaves, the mother gives punishment in this way. So far, it has really worked on dogs that I have tried it on. It needs to be aplied in the right situations, OK, maybe when Bentley was being AGRESSIVE I shouldn't have, but this dog is not agressive, he needs to know his limits and what he can't and can chew on.

So, whats with YOU? :confused:

May 30th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Unfortunately Spoiled you are giving advise to which may aggrivate a situation rather then help. This can cause severe personality and behavioural problems in a dog.

I'm not saying this to pick on you but I must emphasize again how terribly wrong you are with stating that scruff shaking is appropriate.

There are some who advocate this training method but most good trainers (IMHO) do not. It actually encourages a dog to be afriad of you instead of respecting and trusting you. There is a very big difference.

Have you ever seen a dog cowar when someone goes to pat it? They lower their head, back up and tail between their legs? This is potentially what road you would be heading down by scruff shaking a dog. Eventually a dog may challenge you, as many do when faced with this situation. A dog may bite, and since reaching your hands is next to impossible when shaking whats closest when you bend down at this angle? Your face!!

Picture a small child or even adult trying to hug a dog who's been trained through scruff shaking. A mere act of a hug can get someones face ripped off and a dog PTS!

I know you are trying to be helpful, and someone somewhere along the lines gave you bad advise! There are many books, videos and classes that will tell you it's okay but I really do feel it is not.

May 30th, 2004, 08:24 PM
No. I have scruff shook my dog, and he is not scared of sharp movements. If I raise my hand, and bring it down quickly and stop it about a foot away from Bentley's face, he doesn't mind. The other dog I used this method on is no different in any respect than that he respects and listens to me now.

May 30th, 2004, 08:35 PM
So you are training another dog other then your own with this method as well? So you feel you are adequately knowledgeable to now train dogs?

It only takes one time for a dog to challenge you or feel it's having to defend itself from your actions. This is a very delicate balance that you may be throwing off with the dogs personality, you do understand that!

I will give you a little scenerio, a true one.

A dog, went to work every day with it's owner ( a friend of mine ).
This dog was a poodle/lhasa cross, cute little thing! :D
Anyway, the owner took him to obedience class where the instructor showed them how to correct their dogs behaviour with this 'scruff shaking'.

So, John my friend uses this method on this dog of his when he feels the need to correct the dogs behaviour. I remember discussing this with him at the time, suggesting he reconsider. But, since a 'trainer' told him he thought it was okay and continued. The dog always looked afraid when he did this, and afterwards took quite awhile to 'recover' from what happened to him.

It was not immediate but inevitable. This dog bit (4) people. All of whom were just reaching to pat him or bending down to see him. 1 was the owner and 3 people he worked with. The dog I ended up fostering for months, until I could place him appropriately. It took a lot of tlc and building of trust to break him of this fear he now had of people. He never bit again thankfully after he was rehomed, lived very comfortably with two other dogs and a house full of teenagers. He was a lovely dog, I've lost track of him so I don't know if he is still alive. He would be atleast 15 now, or 16yrs old.

He was small, a small breed that didn't do much damage when he struck out..because it was more of a warning bite 'get away from me' he was saying.

Imagine a dog with greater force in his jaws and a bigger breed?

Duggie and his Christmas present while he lived with me :D

May 30th, 2004, 08:48 PM
as for me getting the puppy to young I agree but the mother was killed so we got the puppy sooner then expected. yes i have chew toys, pigears, squeeky toy, stuff animal. iam feeding him Iams dry puupyfood. my son does not play tug a war, or any other rough stuff. what iam diciplining him for is the biting he is getting used to the word "dont bite" and he does listen to me better.than my son.could it be because of my son matthew has torrettes and makes the puppy nervous? yes I have had a dog before but it has been a long time. and i don't remember having this problem I do appreciate some of the advice. and I will try some of your suggestions thankyou

May 31st, 2004, 08:18 AM
I red many books on the subject because i was tired of my puppies biting.

In the books i read, it said that it is part of the aging process for puppies.
When they are with their ciblings, they each bite eachother. The the receiver makes a squealing sound and bites the dog who bit him in turn until he squeals.

And this is how they learn to control a bite.

This is what i did when my dog bit me and it was recommended by my vet.
When he bit me, i would let go of a squeal like a puppy. And gently pinch his skin behind his neck. Not enough to hurt him or make him squeal. But just enough for him to feel it. My vet sais it did not really hurt them when you pinch them there, but they get the message.

Anyways, it has worked wonder for me with my 2 dogs. and they are not afraid of me one bit.

May 31st, 2004, 12:06 PM
I don't do it on my dog anymore because he doesn't need it. The dog I used this method on would not listen. After one good scruff shaking he sure smartened up, and tries to listen and please. Sure, I can see a dog getting upset if every time he does a little thing wrong he gets one. This is what VERBAL COMMANDS are for.

Bill & Bob
May 31st, 2004, 01:03 PM
Hmm, getting a little warm in here.

Tell ya what. Great featured article on puppy biting on the home page of Read it yesterday myself. Good read. Good suggestions.

Hope it helps.

May 31st, 2004, 01:36 PM

Just a suggestion,switch the food.Iams is not a good food for your pup.

Any food that has the first 4-5 ingredients as corn is not good.

Here are a few premium foods.

Eagle Pack
Chicken Soup for the pet lovers Soul.

As for you son having Tourettes and making your puppy nervous,no.....My ex's son has Tourettes,and didn't make their pup nervous at all.The dog is a few years old now.

Please try the suggestions that some of us made.No scruffing and no pinching....Your puppy is teething.

Also what you can do is take a face cloth,roll it up,wet it.And put it in the freezer.Then let him go to town with it..... :D

It will pass...Give him a Nylabone or even a Kong filled with treats.
"edited" cause I can't

May 31st, 2004, 02:53 PM
You can also freeze a Kong with water in it. :)

May 31st, 2004, 07:04 PM
Jeez I always heard the 49th through the 52nd day was the perfect age to get a pup. 8 weeks or older was too long if you wanted a good "human" dog.
Sometimes these pups are to much of a dog and have a hard time fitting into a human pack. :confused: My God this stuff gets confusing and annoying!! :mad: Who do you believe? Not saying anything against anyone but I can understand how frustrating getting advice can be!! :mad:

May 31st, 2004, 07:28 PM
that was funny chany :) i have heard that also the younger they are the better with humans, yes its kind of con fusinf but it all sounds like good advice i liked the one about a wet wash cloth and freezing it. i'm not quite sure abot the scruffing though because iam not sure what it means because I dont believe in conflicting any kind of pain. well i will keep you guys posted to let you knows how it turns out. thankyou everyone

May 31st, 2004, 08:53 PM
Well 8 to 12 weeks is the best.I got my boys at 12 weeks.This is when the breeders lets them go.They do all the early socializing before.They handle the pups at a young age.Even the kids.They learn bite inhabition(sp).I know it can get confusing...But if anyone has noticed,we all have said the same thing about 6-7 weeks being to early to be taken away from mommy...This goes for kittens too.... :D

May 31st, 2004, 09:55 PM
Well Mlyn said the reason she got the pup so early is that the mom passed away. So if the pups could not be kept together then it's fine - it's actually good that the pups could find good homes. But the reason we are saying 8 to twelve weeks is a good time is that most breeders will NEVER let a pup younger than 8 weeks go. When I got mt dog a man had driven 4 hours to get a puppy there and the lady would not let him have the puppy that was 7 weeks old - it was her policy, and most breeders also have this policy. However, she and her husband and kids handled all dogs daily. There needs to be a balance between the two. A ten week old pup that has never been been handled will give you more problems than a six week old pup that has been well socialized. But you can have other problems with pups that are too young, such as crying during the night.
Good luck with your puppy!

May 31st, 2004, 10:03 PM
Yes,she did explain,and I understand.It's just to bad that they couldn't have been fostered for a couple more weeks.... :(

Just means more socialization....And patience...... :)

Do you have pics of Charlie?........... :D

June 1st, 2004, 05:35 PM
I wish i did have a picture but no I don't, and I used to have a camera but I think I lost it in the move. but when I do i will send a pic. I do want you guys to know that the frozen wash cloth seems to be working. has far as the biting. thoiugh i"m still a little concerned because charlie is seeming to be more my dog than matthew iam hoping in time they will get closer.

June 1st, 2004, 09:35 PM
I'm glad the wash cloth is working..... :D

Are you the one who takes care of Charlie?..If so,I would get Matthew to do most of the things.The one who usually does all this is the one the pup will be attached to.Let Matthew feed Charlie.Let Matthew give Charlie the frozen face cloth...Let Matthew take him out in the back for play time....Do you see what I'm getting at?...... :D ....And yes,you too.But let Matthew do a bit more for Charlie....Give it time.....It will all work out.... :)

June 6th, 2004, 06:03 PM
this a fantastic thing, it is good to give your son a special friend, im sure it will help his esteme and confidence, that is just lovely. you said charlie is not warming so fast to him as you, it might just be the noises your son makes, im sure charlie will get used to it, just give him time and im sure they will be great mates. make sure above all that mathew knows that hurting animals is not on, and get him involved in the care of charlie as suggested. im sure they will be good mates in no time and im sure they will have a lovely time together. and when i was a kid we had a dog, but mum did most care and training, but he still loved us just as much and we were all really good friends, we thought him our brother (but mum would not give us ice cream in summer if there was not enough for him to have some too, our furry brother) :D

June 6th, 2004, 06:48 PM
I love dogs, they never discriminate, never think you're crazy or weird! They are awesome for self confidence! I just act so crazy around my dog and i'm pretty sure ( :) ) he loves me even more because of it.

Getting a dog is a great way to get a child to be more outgoing and to have more responsabilities.

My little brother has a Asberger, a very mild form of autism, and the best thing that has ever happened to him is his dog! He started taking walks, going outside and doing stuff with the dog. His dog is his best friend! It's just wonderful!

However, parents must expect that they will be doing the dirty work :).

Bill & Bob
June 15th, 2004, 08:00 PM
I've seen documentaries where kids with Autism who have never shown any physical affection towards other people will do so with dogs. Perhaps they communicate at a different level. Autism can be an incredibly complex disorder. So many different symptoms in different kids. Just seems that dogs are able to figure out this stuff easier than we can.

June 15th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Maybe it's because dogs haven't read the books, just are guided by love and intuitiveness. :)

June 15th, 2004, 09:56 PM
That is so true - it doesn't have to be for people with medical conditions either. Just people who are lonely or need a boost in self esteem.

Just as an example... I've been living in my house for 4 years now. I got a dog a month ago, when I walk my dog alot of people from the neighbourhood now talk to me. I'm very shy so I don't usually talk to people just for no reason, now it's easier.

Dogs are also a great way to feel secure. Even if you don't have a big bad looking dog, it just makes you feel as though you have someone looking over you.

The feeling is hard to explain :) I'm just glad us humans have nice pets to keep us grounded!

June 15th, 2004, 10:20 PM
The wonderful thing about animals is that they love you unconditionally. All they ask is that you love them too and so I think that is why they make such a difference in the lives of children with autism or for those who lack self-esteem or any difficulty for that matter. Sort of overrides the impact from those kids out on the playground.

June 15th, 2004, 10:23 PM
And as far as the looking over you...well, I've been sick these last few days and rather than spend time and comfort me, my dog has actually been avoiding me :rolleyes:

I told her it was okay this time because she is just a pup and doesn't know about the whole "dog support system" yet.

June 16th, 2004, 12:03 AM
A number of volunteers take their dogs visiting the nursing homes. It's wonderful how the visits brighten the day for so many seniors who no longer have a pet of their own. They are so thrilled!