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mouthing, nipping problems

koda's Mom
July 9th, 2004, 03:14 PM
Hello All, I am new to this forum, and also a new pet owner of a 1 year old Bichon. We have had him for 2 weeks. He is really becoming lots of fun. The biggest problem that we have right now is that whenever we want to pet him or play with him he is constatnly got his mouth open and trying to mouth our hands. I read in my book to say "ouch" loudly and stop what we were doing. We have all being trying this for about 1 week but it doesn't seem to get any better. I seems to be worse if he comes on the couch with us then he will try and nip our pants or whatever is closest to him. I have been carrying around a toy with me and putting that in his mouth when we want to sit with him and give him affection. This seems to work for a bit and we praise him for this behavior. The kids are becoming afraid to pat him? Any suggestions - thanks

July 12th, 2004, 12:37 AM
I'm going through a similar thing with my younger poodle puppy, except it's my husband who's getting turned off of playing with him. I also tried the "ouch" stuff, and it worked really well when he was much younger (around 8 weeks). He almost stopped completely, and then he got a very bad cough and didn't have the energy for aggressive play at all. Now he's regained his energy and is mouthing and biting more than ever, and the "ouch" or whining like a puppy in pain doesn't seem to work at all anymore. The toy thing helps, but I feel like it doesn't stop Casey from wanting to make me into a human toy every now and then! I think that the advice someone else gave me is the best -- if he keeps biting you despite corrections, just withdraw yourself. Withdraw your hands, your attention, your body for awhile, and then try playing with him again. If he bites again, react the same way, until he starts to see the connection. I've only been doing this for about a day, but it seems to be working. Good luck!!!

July 12th, 2004, 01:56 AM
You mentioned aggressive play. My poodle used to grab my pantlegs and loved to play any kind of tug-of-war. Then I realized that the aggressive play was over-stimulating him and causing the nipping to get worse. The withdrawal really works well. :)

July 12th, 2004, 04:55 PM
ya, withdrawal/omission is best.

works for me and my 2 dogs :) (most of the time, lol)

July 12th, 2004, 05:23 PM
Well, other people might object to me, but the best thing that works for Bentley is saying "ouch" then holding his mouth shut. :)

July 14th, 2004, 12:34 AM
well since you didn't get blasted yet, i'll admit that I hold Casey's mouth shut too, and that seems to be quite effective.

July 14th, 2004, 08:28 AM
This too shall pass!

This is an awful stage for pups, but you will all live through it.

What works for me is to "yelp" REAL LOUD! I have a loud voice, so this was never a problem. You try to make it sound like one of their littermates yelping. When it gets too bad, isolate them and give them some chew toys. I always traded my pants etc. for something that they could chew.

Honestely, this will pass in time. I have had a few flannel pj bottoms ripped :(

Also, if it is your hands they are chewing, you can spray bitter apple on them. Never, ever get down on the floor to their level and play with them. They think you are littermates and will treat you as such.

p.s. nothing the matter with holding their mouths shut. I do this with one of my goldens when she starts to bark. I hold it shut and say "no bark"

Heather and her 3 Golden Girls.

July 15th, 2004, 12:18 AM
Oh oh oh!

ok, my turn, lol ;)

When Choco's barking and it's the kind of bark that he wants to continue ( :rolleyes: ), I go up to him, cup his mouth closed with my hands, put my face close to his while making eye contact and say "Quiet."

Not loudly, but Directly. So far, it's worked 100%. :)

July 26th, 2004, 01:50 AM
It's not a pleasant experience when puppies nip, especially the small breeds which have razor sharp teeth such as my puppy. I tried the bitter apple thing as well and let him watch as I sprayed it on my hands. Now so long as I shake the bottle he gets the idea not to nip. I also cut down on aggressive games like tugging and go for retrieving games instead with him. Another thing I found very useful are nylabone edible bones. Those keep his busy mouth occupied for a long long time.

August 2nd, 2004, 02:38 PM
I have a German Shepherd who was the worst mouther ever. I have sweartshirts with little prick holes from when he was a puppy. Anyway, now that he's three, he's much better, but when he was younger, I put his training collar on and taught him a "no bite" command. So now when he's frisky and mouthing, I just say, "no bite!" and he quits his biting...