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Puppy Biting - whats normal, whats not?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Cherry

Pretty please,- with a cherry on- top?
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 1:25pm PST 
I just welcomed a 3-month-old Miniature Bull Terrier into my home, right at the beginning of the teething stage. She not only grabs at my pant legs when I walk, she will also sometimes completely drop what she's doing to clamp onto part of a table or chair. There is no hesitation. I do my best to shove a toy in her face but sometimes it isn't distracting enough or I don't have a toy at my disposal (like when we play outside).

Has anyone found anything SPECIFIC that can distract a dog from chewing the house to pieces?
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Cherry

Pretty please,- with a cherry on- top?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 7:51am PST 
Posting again to update and bump up the thread.

Definitely going to try the peanut butter game (which I'll link here for anyone else here who wants to give it a go.

I don't think this will solve our ankle biting/pant leg issue, though. It looks like it might only help with hands... shrug
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Cherry

Pretty please,- with a cherry on- top?
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 9:48am PST 
Okay, so yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough, and I wanted to share the idea to see if others agree or want to try it...

On Saturday, Cherry had a play-date with my dad's girlfriend's dog, Coco. The second Cherry got close to Coco, Coco let out a little snarl and Cherry IMMEDIATELY flipped over on her back.

The whole play-date was like watching a documentary on wolf behavior. Cherry kept wanting to play with Coco no matter what, but was always sure to keep her head down and her body low when she approached her.

I e-mailed Cherry's breeder, who confirmed my suspicion that Cherry's temperament would give me a good advantage when training her. As far as play biting went, she advised me to stick my finger behind Cherry's canine tooth and say "No!" in a very commanding voice.

It was hard getting that close fast enough, though. I discovered that I was able to wrap my hand around her muzzle, though.

I tried this entirely on a whim: yesterday when we were playing on the floor together, Cherry got extra excited and started up the play biting. I tried for her canine tooth but again, hard to do. When she next started to jump up to nip me on the nose, I quickly grabbed her muzzle with one hand and placed the other behind her ears, pushing gently. I said "NO" in my assertive tone and she went still. I quickly released her and she looked at me, then quietly went to pick up her rope toy.

Does anyone think that was too much? From my point of view I didn't hurt her or anything, I just took advantage of her natural personality and got the result I wanted. I've tried it twice now when she's gotten overexcited and nippy and it's worked.
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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 11:02am PST 
Cherry, I would not be sticking my hands into a nippy mouthy puppy's mouth. That may encourage more nipping and mouthing in the future. I would no be wrapping my hands around the puppy's muzzle to punish the puppy either, that could end up teaching the puppy that hands are scary. If the puppy mouths or nips I would stop all play completely and ignore the puppy, turn you back and leave the room if you have to. The puppy will eventually learn that mouthing or nipping people is not acceptable and that when they do it that the fun stops.

Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 11:05am PST

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Hucky and- Ringo

1184791
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 11:03am PST 
You can get some bitter apple spray and spray your hands. I did that with Ringo and it made him stop.
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Cherry

Pretty please,- with a cherry on- top?
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 7:05am PST 
Thank you, Lily. The only thing is, her breeder advised me to stick my fingers in her mouth: pull on her canines and firmly say, "NO." Either that, or close her mouth and do it.

So far, nothing is working. Cherry gets really revved up and starts biting and pulling at my sleeves, pants... She does the same to my mother, who is not willing to simply "ignore her and walk away". This puppy bites frequently and HARD. I have marks all over my elbows.

The "just say ow" method I keep hearing about only gets her more excited. It is hard to get a grip on her to handle her muzzle. Walking away gets her to follow me and be even more persistent.

I have tried my best to be consistent, trying each method over a period of maybe 4 days. Maybe that isn't long enough. It's very difficult. And frustrating, and PAINFUL.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 8:23am PST 
Like Lily said, I wouldn't use force to stop the biting, either by pulling on teeth or holding her mouth shut. When she bites, calmly stand up and completely ignore her. Don't talk to her, don't look at her, don't walk away. Just stand there. Eventually she will get bored and stop biting and that's when you resume play. Repeat as necessary. If you really don't want to do that, try short timeouts. Again, no talking, no emotion, just calmly place her in a confined space until she's calmed down.

Whatever method you use, everyone she interacts with needs to follow the same protocol, or it will take a lot longer to stop her biting.

ETA: As far as using toys to distract her from chewing things she shouldn't chew, don't shove the toy in her mouth. Rather, try to make it prey-like. Move the toy away from her along the ground with erratic movements so she chases it. A toy that's "running away" is much more interesting than one that's being forced at her.

Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 8:32am PST

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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 10:34am PST 
4 days isn't long enough, keep trying and be consistent! wishes
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 11:57am PST 
I've helped raise several VERY mouthy terriers at this point...I do not recommend high pitched noises or saying 'ow' anything like that because it tends to hype them up even more. I've had the most success with always having a toy ready, a really fun one and redirecting them on to that. It's not enough to just hand the dog the toy, say the same phrase in a happy tone (I used 'get your chew toy') and then actively move it about until they grab on. It doesn't generally take too much to get a terrier puppy into playing with a moving toy. Chew toy meant any of the toys she liked, if your pup has a particular one they really are happy with, try using that one. Will you sound like a broken record? Oh yes, but it works. Will you still have more than a few ouch moments until they learn? sure, but it's honestly part of raising a puppy, especially if you happen to own a terrier or terrier mix.

This had an added bonus for my own personal dog, an 80 lb. terrier mix who was extremely mouthy as a pup. She did learn to get her own chew toy when she found herself getting riled up. It worked for greetings very well because ofcourse she used to be very excited and mouthy for them, so she'd get her chew toy. Now at 3 1/2 she greets me every day with tail wags and she has to grab a toy. That turned out to be helpful because she isn't focused on jumping or mouthing and she has a toy to offer for appropriate play with a guest. She also uses it to self soothe, this is a dog who calmly chewed on her elk antler through Hurricane Sandy in Oct. It takes consistency, but it pays off even years later.

ETA: Forgot to add that if I said 'chew toy' and she continued mouthing me, I would ignore her and quietly walk away or give her a time out if she was really worked up. It was very rare that she wouldn't play with the toy, I think I only had to full out ignore her a couple times. Glomming down on a moving toy is way more fun than being ignored or in a time out.

Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 12:02pm PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 12:25pm PST 
Cherry...

Ignoring won't work for every dog....particularly not for Bull Terriers, whose internal gameness can bring problems into the mix. One of my breeds, Giant Schnauzers, tend to escalate when ignored and as they are larger puppies and rather strong; that can get dangerous.

Placing your finger and pressing on the tongue when your hapless hand is in their mouth saying is the best method I know to discourage hand mouthing. It is not comfortable and they spit it out.

That's a less forceful method, and works more consistently. It is not that you are commanding them to stop....which doesn't work with your breed so good anyway laugh out loud....but makes it a less than pleasant thing to do. Don't be dramatic about it. Just press and let him spit it out. It's not comfortable and most cease the behavior. VERY good as it gets results but isn't anything you're really doing to your dog as far as they know. What they KNOW is that a hand is not a pleasant thing to mouth.

If they redirect onto your pant legs, etc., some respect needs to go towards the crazy energy this breed of puppy has. They have a very strong prey response. Carry a squeaky toy....go to the store and find one that really makes her go zonkers....and that is of a small enough size so that you can carry it with you at all times. Only pull it out for redirection and get it back from her promptly (you can say something like "good catch! and then give her a treat when you take the toy back). What you want is to keep that prey elusive, so that they will always key on it.

With terriers particularly, the ability to develop an obsession with one specific toy is very high. Some show handlers use this trick over typical liver bait, just to show you how deep this goes.

Create that "prey nemesis" they never tire of (same toy will be great when it is harder to maintain focus....this breed's ability to obsess is a handy thing in this context). If you want to make it even BETTER, tie a string around the toy periodically and play a game of "chase me!" by dragging it on the floor. *DO NOT LET HER CATCH IT* (play with it much as you would with a cat), as in EVER by this method. Just let be a fun elusive chase game. It is your redirection ace in a hole. Squeak it....this is why the squeak needs to be unique....and you will get her attention and be able to redirect if you follow these measures.

ETA: Good points from Lucille and of the right mindset. To you, Lucille, check out the above elusive toy method, for future reference wink It does some brilliant work and also lays a foundation for focus building. That same toy can be a lifelong part of focus building training as well.

Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 12:27pm PST

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