How I deal with Biting/Mouthing
#1
Puppies bite for 3 different reasons.

1) Play
2) Aggression
3) Frustration

The first one we tend to recognise and understand. Especially if you have seen dogs playing with other dogs. This is Natural, it is the way pups played with Mum and siblings and really all they know how to do when they come to you.

IME - pups need to learn that Teeth on Skin is not acceptable. So I do a few different things.

1) NEVER encourage pups to chase hands/feet clothes....it can be funny initially when people find that the pup like to chase moving hands, but it quickly becomes a problem.

2) Always play with your pup with a toy, this way the pup has got something to bite as during play it is going to happen.

3) Play times are training sessions in disguise (whether you want it to be or not!) Your pup is learning about you and you are learning about the pup. You need the pup to be learning the right thing....which is self control and not play until you are so hyped you do not know what to do with yourself.

It is Rare (although not unheard of) that you would see true aggression in pups. You may see resource guarding or get some growling, however - this is usually triggered by confrontations with the pup. Forcing them to give something up they have at that time, or pressuring them over food etc.

It is the 3rd point that causes the most problems. Frustration. This is a kind of cross over between play and aggression.

When a dog (any dog, but especially pups) get excited - they have to have a way of calming down. They do not come to you equipped with this knowledge, you have to teach them acceptable ways.
Usually, the pups start this with Chewing (this is a Fab way of settling), the difficulty comes when they do this on furniture, we remove them...cue more Frustration (can you see where this is going)?

So often with puppies we get into a constant stream of 'No's' (Don't do that....Get off there....Put that down....leave that alone...etc etc)
Eventually your pups frustration hits an absolute Peak and they go mad....and then are often so exhausted they sleep.

This is NOT what we want the pup to learn. Running around until physical exhaustion takes over is also not a good release of frustration. (Although I expect Every person who has every owned a pup has seen it!)

We need to divert, distract and train.

Diversion/distraction can work if your pup is not too hyped. You can move them onto something good. Toys are great - chew toys are better. However - they cannot be available to your pup all the time, if this happens they will become bored. You need to keep things out the way to appear in situations where you see danger signs. 'Special toys/chews' (Kongs/Antlers/Marrow bones/Hide/Bully sticks)

Training is an ongoing thing - the whole time your pup is awake it is learning, always keep that in mind.

If you are finding that your pup is leaning how to 'Push the right buttons' you need to 'out think' them. I find a trail lead can be very useful in these situations.

Never leave a trail lead on if you are not with the pup.

However - when you are about they can be very useful aids, and coupled with a time out can help to add some constancy. As soon as the pup starts to chew on something, one calm command (enough/off/no) and as it carrys on Use the lead (giving the pup NO other attention -no Looking/talking/touching)and remove the dog from what it is doing. This HAS to be done consistently (and yes - you are very YoYo like!).
Time outs last 30seconds - 2mins MAX

Dog gets NO attention when you take them out and NO attention when they are allowed back in. It can be useful to have something on the floor when they come back in that they can focus on.

This is Management and needs to be coupled with training.

Do not just tell your dog what it cannot do - train it what it can do instead


This is MY way of working with dogs - calm, fair and consistent.

I hope you find it useful.
Hannah
The only mistakes my dogs make are the ones I've taught them!
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#2
Very good advice Hannah.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#3
Okay so his toys like stuffed animals and what not can lay out but I do usually leave his bully stick out - I should not just let him chew on this as he pleases?

I have started with the lead and time outs - he's already starting to learn in regards to the patio door frame that he likes to chew on, I will watch from around the corner and sometimes he'll go up to it, look at it and walk away!

Do you recommend putting the dog somewhere in particular for a time out? I have just been tying the leash to my bakers rack in my kitchen and leaving him there for a minute.

Giving him no attention when he's off a time out is something I haven't been doing so now I know! Thanks for the advice!
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#4
(10-27-2011, 06:35 AM)kglacer Wrote: Okay so his toys like stuffed animals and what not can lay out but I do usually leave his bully stick out - I should not just let him chew on this as he pleases?

No - the things the dog has constant access to become boring. THe bully stick is special and should only be used when you need it, so you know he will be interested when it comes out.)

I have started with the lead and time outs - he's already starting to learn in regards to the patio door frame that he likes to chew on, I will watch from around the corner and sometimes he'll go up to it, look at it and walk away!

Do you recommend putting the dog somewhere in particular for a time out? I have just been tying the leash to my bakers rack in my kitchen and leaving him there for a minute.

Giving him no attention when he's off a time out is something I haven't been doing so now I know! Thanks for the advice!

The time out just needs to be a place separate from you. The attention from you is what he is after - and therefore removing it is a punishment.
Hannah
The only mistakes my dogs make are the ones I've taught them!
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#5
This is a great thread! Thank you! Do you train for a living or hobby?
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
- Milan Kundera
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#6
(11-06-2011, 03:24 PM)OwellKube Wrote: This is a great thread! Thank you! Do you train for a living or hobby?

Thanks - Both!
Hannah
The only mistakes my dogs make are the ones I've taught them!
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#7
hi there your advice sounds great ima t that stage with my child too so i am in a doubly stressfull situation! my problem is my pups agressive mouthy play with my child has made me nervous of the pup im highly strung around her and expect her to nip me now it seems im stuck in a vicious cycle! do you have any advice to break the cycle?
thanks x
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#8
hi there your advice sounds great ima t that stage with my child too so i am in a doubly stressfull situation! my problem is my pups agressive mouthy play with my child has made me nervous of the pup im highly strung around her and expect her to nip me now it seems im stuck in a vicious cycle! do you have any advice to break the cycle?
thanks x
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#9
I'm really struggling to stop Keira from hanging off my ankles and biting my feet when I walk about the kitchen in my socks. Sometimes she can be great, at other times an uncontrollable nightmare.

She doesn't always have interest in the treats and will cling on regardless. I've tried the yelping thing but she doesn't react to it anymore, same goes for clapping and other distraction noises. I can't pull her away with the lead because she'll rip the fabric. Ignoring her doesn't work because I'm clearly not part of the game. I end up getting stressed because I can't move away - so walking away from the situation isn't possible.

What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to give consistent training when nothing works consistently?
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#10
thank's for the great advice Ludo is not as bad as he was with this but we still need to work on it a little more
My beautiful boy's Smile
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