New puppy biting

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New puppy biting

Post by kullboys » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:58 am

Hello everyone
I have a 9 week old sheepadoodle pup who we just brought home 5 days ago. He's the fourth dog we've owned, but we haven't had a puppy for many years. Traditionally, we were told with previous dogs it was all about dominance and this time around we want to do the positive training approach. Mr. Bingley is a pretty mellow fellow, but he does have a penchant to bite pants' legs, as well as shirt and sweater sleeves and initiate tug of war behavior, which by the way we do not do with any of his toys. Trying the high pitched "ouch!" method, diversions to more appropriate objects and removing ourselves from his presence, and wanting to try more rewarding when we can get him to let go - which is not always easy. Would love some more suggestions!

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Re: New puppy biting

Post by JudyN » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:40 am

Welcome to the forum :D

Yelping didn't work for me and my land shark - it just got him more worked up and bitey. What worked for us in the end was timeouts - either leaving the room or putting him out of the room (whichever you can do calmest and with the least fuss) whenever tooth touched flesh. We used stairgates - I have a feeling that shutting a door on the dog might be a bit more freaky for him so he'd be more likely to get upset than think about what it was that ended the fun.

The timeouts only need to be 5-10 seconds - after that he'll have forgotten what it was he did and either just cry to get back to you or find something else he shoudn't be doing. It also means you can fit a LOT more 'learning opportunities' in as he can be in and out of timeout a dozen times in just a few minutes. It's hard work, but if you're really consistent it will eventually pay off.

The first time I saw my dog come out of timeout, go for my ankles again but then hesitate, he still couldn't resist biting my ankles again after all, but it showed that the message was beginning to sink in.

Carrying a toy at all times to stick in his mouth when he gets that look in his eye can help. Tug of war with a toy is actually fine, and a good opportunity to teach what is appropriate play (and to train 'drop). Again, the moment he goes for flesh or clothing instead, use timeout.

Often puppies may realise what they're not meant to do, but not have the self-control to resist. To help with this, check out a YouTube video called 'It's Yer Choice', which teaches impulse control - it can be really helpful.
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Re: New puppy biting

Post by Colt_An2 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:14 pm

Thanks for the input, JudyN!

I've ran into the same issue with our Scottish Shepherd puppy, who does like playing tug of war with pants and sleeves, often biting the skin underneath in the process! I'll try the "short timeouts" method. I feel sort of stupid now, as I had tried it successfully with one of my cats (with longer time outs) and never thought about trying with the dog...

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Re: New puppy biting

Post by Shalista » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:06 am

yelping only made my terrier more amped up. litterally giving him the cold shoulder (rolling over in bed and ignoring him) worked miracles.
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Re: New puppy biting

Post by Colt_An2 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:26 am

Yeah, some dogs might mistake yelping for the little high pitched barks puppies do when playing with each other... so it encourages them to keep "playing", which isn't exactly what we're searching for! They're doing it for fun, so the "cold shoulder" and "timeout" methods make the whole thing boring, and since the thing they do for fun turns out to be boring every time, they end up stopping... Now the real challenge is to find another fun activity that doesn't involve ruining something or someone in the house :lol: if you have a large-ish yard, it's easy for your puppy to play there, but if you have limited space or live in a flat, then it's not an option and you need something else...

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Re: New puppy biting

Post by Nettle » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:53 am

I find giving them safe things to rip up uses up the need to bite more safely, and we can "help" by holding the other end of the item which makes us a help not the Fun Police.

Biting down hard releases endorphins, which is why it is such a trying habit to change.

Also it is vital that nobody plays roughly with the pup. This is very hard for some people to grasp.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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