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Old July 18th, 2013, 01:47 AM
cemagaga cemagaga is offline
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Blue Heeler biting

I recently adopted a cute little blue heeler that is about 8-9 weeks old. Since the begining he has been biting at me and others that have visited him and much of the time I tried to distract him by playing but the problem has grown in the last couple of days. He has begun to bite me even more and growls at me some times.

I asked a local trainer about this and he told me that as he was young it was good to start training him to not bite as for his breed it could become a problem in the future. He showed me that I should hit him lightly on the nose for it to bother him as it bothers me when he bites. As bad as I feel about it I have tried it a couple of times and he has bited me even harder. I also try to distract him and tell him "no" In a loud voice and give him a push on the side. Recently he has started to growl at me and even bark so I fear I have not taken the right aproach.

He is my first puppy in a long time and cant really recall having the same problem with my chihuahua or my schnauzer (not sure if written right) so can someone please help me get him to stop biting?

Last edited by cemagaga; July 18th, 2013 at 04:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old July 18th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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When he nips at you, give a yelp/ow/something to that effect and immediately turn your back to the pup or even get up and leave the room. Essentially when nipping/biting happens, ALL play stops. ALL attention stops. Do NOT push him away (that's just a sign of more attention and play to him )

The key to this is to be consistent - everyone involved with the puppy has to be on board and willing to do this in order for it to work.

And yes, please don't use the tap on the nose.. the puppy may think it's playing still (and therefore, wouldn't work) and secondly, as your puppy gets older - they may very well take exception to it.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 08:33 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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How come you don't know how old he is? Whether 8 weeks or 9 weeks? I'm going to go ahead and assume you did not get this puppy from a reputable breeder, otherwise you'd know how old he is. How long have you had him?

This is important and might be a clue to your problem. Some states have laws governing the age at which it is permissible to sell (or import) a puppy and it's mostly not before 8 weeks old. It's generally agreed that puppies should stay with Mom and siblings till 8 weeks old because in those last two weeks is when they learn some bite inhibition. If your puppy was removed before 8 weeks it might make training not to bite more difficult. Add into that a breed meant to nip when it's herding (not sure if Blue Heelers are, but if) and that adds more to your problem.

Your trainer is right, it is good puppy is biting now when he is small and you can teach him proper behaviour with humans. The dog who never learns this young and then bites at an older age is harder and there is more potential for injury. This is right out of an esteemed and acclaimed dog trainer's writings, Dr. Ian Dunbar, who says exactly that. He wrote

The Bite Stops Here

You can find this article on many, many doggy sites on the internet, this link is just one. Dr. Dunbar offers more than one remedy to try.

Good luck. As the owner of a Lab, another strongly mouth oriented breed, as most retrievers are, I feel for you. Well, heck, no I don't. I did and I don't want to again, it hurts.

Oh. The growling. Puppies growl when they play, some of them. Puppy classes, bite inhibition training, NILIF, proper exercise will all help you address that.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 10:33 AM
Jull Jull is offline
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With our now 2 year old dog, we had a bit of a biting problem, he was biting us because he was playing, but he was biting hard, so when that happened, we just stand up and stopped playing with him, ignore him for a while.

He got really good quickly (even I was surprised) and now when we play and he bites just a bit hard we just withdraw our hand and "ouch"! he knows it was wrong and he starts giving kisses. Now, before he came to live with us he was socialized with kids already, so not sure if that is what made the difference.

Our new puppy on the other hand, doesn't bite us when he plays, and for the first 4-5 months he was with us I think I only heard him bark twice, now in the last few weeks for some unknown reason he has started barking and growling at everyone, so as soon as I see he starts growling I hold his mouth, I don't hurt him nor do it hard, just hold his mouth and make him look me in the eyes and with a calm voice just tell him to be good and be quiet. Yesterday we went out for a walk and there was people outside of a house, he walked right by them with no growl nor bark so I was very happy.... now I am not a trainer nor did I read this anywhere its just what I have been doing and so far seems to be working for me.

Maybe if you start teaching him to sit and be quiet (no growl-no bark) when a person comes in to your house, and he does, give him a little treat.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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Longblades, yes, the Australian Cattle Dog was called a Heeler because they were bred to heel cattle, and they are quite good at heeling people if you don't stop them. Roo, at 8 months is biting and mouthing hands every chance he gets, he's the wildest pup we've had. You really need ways of distracting them when they are babies, soft toys, empty water bottles, balls etc.. Keep your hands out of harm's way.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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marko marko is offline
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Quote:
When he nips at you, give a yelp/ow/something to that effect and immediately turn your back to the pup or even get up and leave the room. Essentially when nipping/biting happens, ALL play stops. ALL attention stops. Do NOT push him away (that's just a sign of more attention and play to him )

The key to this is to be consistent - everyone involved with the puppy has to be on board and willing to do this in order for it to work.

And yes, please don't use the tap on the nose.. the puppy may think it's playing still (and therefore, wouldn't work) and secondly, as your puppy gets older - they may very well take exception to it.
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  #7  
Old July 18th, 2013, 04:01 PM
cemagaga cemagaga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldfields View Post
Longblades, yes, the Australian Cattle Dog was called a Heeler because they were bred to heel cattle, and they are quite good at heeling people if you don't stop them. Roo, at 8 months is biting and mouthing hands every chance he gets, he's the wildest pup we've had. You really need ways of distracting them when they are babies, soft toys, empty water bottles, balls etc.. Keep your hands out of harm's way.
also goldfield what I use for him are mostly biting toys, little squishy chicken that makes sounds when gripped (sorry but didnt know how to say it), another toy like that, a little purple hipo tht does the same. And he also took over a towel I used during his first day to play tug of war. Other than that I just use balls for him to run after since the cute little guy just wont get tired.

The first thing he does when I bring him out is go for my ankle so should I just ignore him from that moment or stay playing with him??
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