Persistent Puppy Play-Biting

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CLloyd310's picture
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Joined: 2012-03-05

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Help!

I have a 9 week old red/rust female (Harlow) who will not stop nipping!

I have done everything the puppy trainer has told me to to create "bite inhibition" -

When she nips, I squeal like a puppy/yelp "ow", and present her with one of her toys to bite instead, praising her if/when she chews on it.

It used to work OK, but now she ignores my pain yelp and comes at me again and again, even harder.  The trainer said in that case to give her a calm "time-out" in the crate, but when she comes out after her time-out, she's as bad as ever.  Also, she doesn't seem to be interested in the toys I replace my hand with anymore, either, so I can't even distract her.

It doesn't seem to matter how much exercise I give her, or how many toys I have for her.  She nips no matter what.

Anybody have any new ideas?  I am covered in cuts and scabs, and practically dreading playing with her.  This is not what I want!  I want a good relationship with my puppy!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Just went through this with my pup....she's 16 weeks old right now.  Same thing--play biting seemed to be her biggest goal, and toys and yelping just didnt phase her.  I had to take it up a notch and actually grab her around the snout, holding her mouth shut, and while doing this, very sternly tell her "NO BITE".  Took a dozen or so times of doing this, but she eventually got the message.  Now, she bites softly, or licks.  I have no problem with soft bites, since puppies do most of their exploring with their mouths.

CLloyd310's picture
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Unfortunately, I have tried this also.

It seems to tick her off worse, and she goes at it with new enthusiasm.

D and Evie's picture
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Yeah, this is not the fun phase of pup rearing for sure. My advice is to keep on reinforcing the rules. And, if available, a puppy social might help(with lots of issues, I highly recommend). That *should* help to expedite the consequences of biting/being bitten.

HarleyBear's picture
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Your puppy thinks it is a game.  Just be consistent, a nine-week old is still very young and it may take some time for her to "get it."  It definetly won't happen over-night.  It may take several months of "reminding" her that it is unacceptable to bite.  However, the more consistent you are, the faster she will get it.  If yelping and time-outs are not working, I would listen to Paul.  Grab her snout and in a firm low voice say no bite.  You are a high value reward so stop playing with her and walk away when she nips you.  Are we going to see pics of this sweet little den shark?

I agree that you should say no and gently but firmly grab her snout if yelping and saying no doesn't work. And you must also walk away so she gets the whole affect of how wrong her behavior is.

CLloyd310's picture
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I have tried holding her mouth shut, but it seems to rile her up even more, because when I let go, she starts biting like crazy.

The problem I am having with walking away is that she follows me, biting my legs/pants as I walk, so I can't get away and deny her the attention.

I'm stuck.

HarleyBear's picture
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Yeah... She is definetly playing a game with you.  Harley did that with my husband (the biting of pants).  Get up, turn around, walk in to a room and close the door. Wait about 1 minute (any longer and they forget why you went in there) and come back and try again.

HarleyBear's picture
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BTW, I saw the pictures you posted and it is so hard to believe that sweet angel is really sharks in disguise! 

CLloyd310's picture
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Haha, I know, right?

She is such a sweet, cuddly baby... When she is sleepy.  As soon as she wakes up, though... It's ON!

I thought about maybe spraying my hands/arms with Bitter Apple spray...  If I taste icky, maybe she'll stop?!?

Any thoughts, everyone?

HarleyBear's picture
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I've done that, it works, but then he stopped giving me kisses and it made me sad.  You can try it though!

Hickory67's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-20

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Mine did the exact same thing - nothing worked. He grew out of it at around 16 weeks, but is still "mouthy" now. He doesn't bite per se, just puts his mouth on you.

Joined: 2012-01-06

I'm going through the same thing with Fletcher.  He really test the patience of my girlfriend and I.  We both have the cuts to proove it.  After trying the yelping and muzzle snatch method with no real benifits,  I started scruffing him and giving him a 10 minute time out.  It seems to actually be working.  

 

I know what you mean about the leg thing.  Itcan be really bad, especially when you have shorts on or your shoes are off. OUCH!!!