I've been reading many of the posts in this ng for a few weeks now - since we got a new puppy. He's about 14 weeks old, we got him at 8 weeks & we're having a really hard time teaching him not to bite US. He seems pretty quick to learn everything else, but the biting remains a problem. We have tried shreiking at him when he bites us (OWW!), we have tried growling at him, we have tried barking at him, we have tried time outs (2-3 min) & he just doesn't seem to care.

We've tried holding his mouth shut, we've tried putting our hand over his mouth, as if to mimic his mother, we've tried holding him under his arms, away & down from us. He'll come right back & bite us. Does anyone have anymore suggestions. He doesn't just bite our fingers, he'll jump up & bite our calves as we're walking, he bit my neck this morning, he's bitten my b o o b, even! We call it his devil state of mind & other times, he couldn't be more loving.

What are we doing wrong??

Thanks for any help!
Pauline
1 2
"Pauline O'Connell" (Email Removed) said in
What are we doing wrong??

Which posts are you reading if you've been reading these newsgroups for a few weeks?
I've read no advice which even comes close to what you're describing.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Sorry - I didn't mean to imply that I got any advise from this newsgroup on how to handle this problem - I meant that I've been reading the newsgroup looking for a remedy & hadn't seen anything posted, which is why I posted my inquiry. The remedies we've tried are from books, the trainer, the vet, and internet sites. Apparently, you don't think any of them are good solutions. We crate the dog at night & when he's in the car. We've been told not to crate him as punishment or he will not want to sleep there.

Pauline
BWEEAAAHAHAHAHHAHAA!!!
"Pauline O'Connell" (Email Removed) said in
Apparently, you don't think any of them are good solutions.

Heh, I've heard of them all (except for the barking at him) and they'll all work to a certain degree - depending on the dog. As to "shrieking" (do you mean this in a LOUD way?) - I can't see that getting good results, although you may make him want to avoid you which, I guess, means no nipping.
With such a young puppy, though, which is looking for attention and play, clamping his mouth shut and most of the other things you're doing are giving him some of the attention he wants. I think that you're on the right track with time-outs, though they don't have to be 2 or 3 minutes duration - just a few seconds. And you don't have to put him away anywhere, just turn your back. After his time-out, quickly redirect his
nipping/biting/chewing to something more appropriate and squeaky.
We crate the dog at night & when he's in the car. We've been told not to crate him as punishment or he will not want to sleep there.

That's exactly right - the crate is his safe place.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Thanks Rocky. I think this little guy is pretty hard headed - yes, I meant shreiking in a loud way. The shreiking seems to egg him on even more - it doesn't make him want to avoid us! I neglected to mention that I have also tried ignoring him & redirecting him. If I ignore him, by turning my back or walking away, he starts nipping at my legs. If we redirect him, by giving him a chew toy he enjoys it, only stops the biting for a few seconds, before he gets back to biting the flesh.

(Told you, we've been trying everything:)) A friend stopped by today & said her son uses a squirt bottle when his puppy bites & it seems to be working. Any thoughts on that? He loves water & I hate to turn him off water by using a squirt bottle on him.

Pauline
"Pauline O'Connell" (Email Removed) said in
If I ignore him, by turning my back or walking away, he starts nipping at my legs.

Don't walk away, just turn your back - go neutral on him and don't give him any feedback for a count of 3. As soon as you return your attention to him, you're all sweetness and light and just happen to have a very interesting squeaky toy in your possession.
If we redirect him, by giving him a chew toy he enjoys it, only stops the biting for a few seconds, before he gets back to biting the flesh.

Then do it again. And again. You're dealing with a puppy brain here. And don't just hand him the toy and expect him to make it interesting - right now, that's your job. So, squeak it, move it around, and yes, tug it with him.
If it doesn't work with one toy, try another.
(Told you, we've been trying everything:))

To tell you the truth, that could be a big part of the problem. Consistency is the secret to most things dog.
A friend stopped by today & said her son uses a squirt bottle when his puppy bites & it seems to be working. Any thoughts on that? He loves water & I hate to turn him off water by using a squirt bottle on him.

Playing and interacting with a brand new puppy is a wonderful bonding time. Puppy nipping is not a big deal and with consistent attention mixed with a little bit of growing up, your's will stop. Right now, he's playing in the only way he knows, so you have to teach him more people-friendly ways to play.
A correction (like the squirt bottle) won't do much good in the long run because he doesn't yet understand what you want him to do.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Thank you so much Matt. I've printed out your advise & will work on the consistency. I know he's just a puppy, he's learning so many other things so quickly, I thought we just hadn't hit on the magic formula for the biting. My husband says I pick him up too much & today, it dawned on me that he's probably right. (He's so cute though.) When I sit at my computer or my sewing machine, he gets really yappy & snappy. I think it's because he can't get up on the chair with me & when I sit watching TV, he can fit on the chair with me - for a few more months anyway.

He's a Brittany, so he'll be too big for sharing the chair with me. Tonight, I had a meeting to go to & when I left the house, I thought I heard him crying - my husband said he cried for a long time after I left, so I do think I've been babying him too much. Thanks again for your advise - I'll keep you posted if we achieve success.
Pauline
Show more