Excessive biting or just dobe puppy play?

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dangdobe's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-07

Hello, I'm new to the forum, and to dobes.  My wife and I just got a new addition to the fam, she's now 11 weeks old, and as best as I can describe her - sweet and salty!

She bites a lot.  My wife more than me.... but she does bite.  Not the snarling type, but more play biting that's enough to make us bleed.

We try the yelping - that makes her bite harder.  We try to leave - go to another room, she jumps and bites us on the way out, and then resumes when we return.  We try the re-direct, works for a few throws of her toy, then she's back at it.  She'll chew her toy right up to our feet...close enough to snag our foot with the toy.  She's bite and shake - pretty painful I might add.

Any tips for moderating the biting??  Will she just grow out of it over time?  

Thanks for the help.  Great website and forum too!

jpdobie's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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We did time outs when Kevin was younger.  Put him in the bathroom with a baby gate blocking him and no fun things on the floor.  Kept him in there until he stopped crying, made him sit, then let him out.  He went back to biting immediately, but after a few days and consistency it slowed down.

He's now 6 months old and still bites but only when he's really excited.  He does more damage with his adult teeth though.  Now we ignore him - walk away, close a door, go down to the basement, etc.  Redirection never worked.

His trainer from his puppy class who raises German Shepherds suggested making it uncomfortable for him when he puts you in his mouth - like contort your hand and make it awkward.

It's normal but everyone here will tell you to be consistent with what ever method you choose.

dangdobe's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-07

Thanks so much for your response.  We do have a small bathroom we can shut her in - we've been shutting ourselves in instead, and I can just hear her run off and jump on another toy..lol  I'll try putting her in there.  I can just imagine her then scratching the door/trim to pieces tho.

Does anyone use a spray bottle?  is that a little overboard?   Maybe we're giving her too much freedom... put her on a lead inside when she's acting up?

I just want it to stop asap, and don't want it happening when she's older, or with other people.

The breeded told us to grab her scruff and pinch - which we opted not to do based on other information we read.... but then again her dogs never touch you w/ their teeth.  Seems like a lot of contradictory info out there.

thanks again!

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

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Tell her "NO BITE!" so she learns the command.  And no, a squirt bottle isn't overboard, but if you use it too much it may not have any effect after time.  Many people will tell you to redirect her to a toy that is OK to chew on instead of you.  I've even grabbed the bottom jaw and hung on for a second (and yes it hurts) saying "no bite" while looking her straight in the eye.  It's a natural puppy thing, but she'll get over it if you teach her that's it's not acceptable.  Good luck, we've all been through the little land shark stage!

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Oh dangdobe.. I'm sorry I laughed.. but it is SUCH a visual of you and Mrs. Dangdobe cowering in the bathroom with Cujo outside howling like a banshee ready to eat you up.

I can't give you any first hand information, as we got Sofia when she was all grown up. I've read, here on the Forum ( as you might guess it's a very common occurrence and I doubt if there are any members here without piranha scars on them) that the 'pinching and yelping method works.

(sometimes.)

The spray bottle is awesome.

(once in a while.)

Holding her little bottom jaw in one hand and saying firmly "NO BITE."

(occasionally.)

But from what I've read as well.. they do grow out of it and meanwhile you can renovate that bathroom.

Welcome to Gentle Doberman..I hope you will become a frequent visitor and please give us more info about your Doberpup.. her name.. photos are always welcomed and where to buy stock in bandaids.

Katie and Sofia 

Buddys_ Mama's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-27

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We use a plastic bottle with change in it. Actually, I've only used it a handful of times... He would nip at the kids I took the bottle and threw it on the floor as hard as I could while bellowing... "NOOOOO BIIIIITE!!!!!" Scared him so much he almost hit the ceiling... these days, we merely need to touch the thing and he stops immediately and runs the other way.

This is just what works for us - an easy fix that I hope works for you as well.

 

PS- Welcome to GD, I love it here!

 

Mama & Buddy

dangdobe's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-07

Thanks again for the replies, and good ideas!

Now that I think of it - it must sound pretty pathetic that our little 20 pound pup is chasing US into the bathroom.  lol.

BTW, her name is Roxy.... or Rox, or Rock or Rocko - I probably annoy her with the different names I call her...no wonder she bites.  She's 11.5 weeks, and a puppy kindergarten student.  I'll post a pic later on.

One thing she loves doing... if I'm, for any number of reasons, not giving her my complete undivided attention (talking on the phone), she'll bring one of her toys right next to my foot..chewing and chewing, closer and closer, just enough to nab my foot in there with the toy.  She has to know what she's doing!  

I'll give the water bottle and/or change in bottle a try.  I just didn't want to do something that would have behavioral consequences down the road.  So I'm glad to hear others have used these methods.

Thanks again.

jpdobie's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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I know what you mean about "contradictory" information.  Our breeder told us to do something similar, but we didn't want to be physical with Kevin.  I read a lot that the change bottle can cause psychological damage.  Basically, I read too much and become overly paranoid about the consequences I give and their adverse affects.  I wish we had been a little more physical when Kevin was a pup - maybe grabbing his mouth, shoving his nose to his chest, etc.  But now he's in his doberteens and all sorts of crazy.  I knew getting into this that my life would be chaotic for 2 years.  Kevin is much much better than he used to be with nipping, like I said before it's just when he's over-stimulated.  You'll survive. 

Buddys_ Mama's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-27

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Psychological damage??? I never saw that... Oh boy. It's a good thing I don't have to utilize it very often!