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Consistent biting- nothing works
  • I know biting in general has a few threads, but no one seems to be having the exact issue I’m having with my 4 month old Nugget, or at least it doesn’t sound it by their descriptions. I know puppy biting is normal due to teething and them just being puppies, but Nugget’s seems to be worse than normal puppy biting. She doesn’t just nip us every so often, she goes into moments where she will just go into a biting frenzy, chomping hands, arms, legs, ankles, feet, anything that’s in line of her mouth. Not nips, full on bites, and has drawn blood multiple times. Yelling ouch as everyone says to do just makes her bite more(I think she thinks of it as playing), and redirecting with toys doesn’t seem to be very affective as she will always bypass the toy to get back to your hands/arms. I don’t think it’s out of aggression, but nothing that i have read seems to be helping her calm down any. Leaving the room works sometimes, depending how much of a biting mood she’s in. Sometimes she will be calm and just go about chewing her toys when i come back in and sometimes she goes right back to biting. I’m running out of ideas on what to do. When they get their adult teeth do they usually stop with this crazy bite issue? Any advice is well needed!
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    Hmmm... I never yelled ouch. I used it more like a command (yelling is not good, you want to stay calm and in control). Disengaging yourself after the ouch every single time is important. Sticking around doesn't tell her what she did wrong, leaving each and every time does.

    In a situation like this, I would highly advice never using your hands to play with her. Keep a toy between the two of you. She bites, game over. This may be a case were time out is appropriate. Since she is a small puppy, you can pick her up and put her in a timeout place for around 20 seconds or so. It doesn't need to be long.

    Some pups take longer to get the message across to, and their early life with their littermates (if they had any) makes a big difference as well. This could also be tied to lack of exercise/stimulation. She has too much energy in her and needs to get it out. I find that my pup gets more bity when he hasn't had enough play.

    If it is really an issue that you feel you can't handle, you might want to consider hunting down an experienced behaviorist trainer that can help you get a handle on your pup. I believe there is a post about recommended trainers/behaviorists floating around here somewhere.
    Post edited by Anjyil at 2017-10-12 13:33:27
  • ColtyHanColtyHan
    Posts: 39
    My puppy is very mouthy with me. I'm trying to teach her the difference between play biting and real biting. The trick I use, is to stop her just before her excitement causes the bites to hurt. I change her focus to training instead of play. I put her in a sit and grab the training treats to engage her brain and redirect. The most important part is to stop her before she gets too rambunctious in her play.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    The ouch method used to excite my pup too when he was little. He didn't know what it meant, and seemed to take it as a part of playing. Many people say dogs can't comprehend time outs, but they worked great for us... like Anjyil said, they were literally like 20 second long time outs. If he came out and went straight back into biting frenzy, he went back in time out for 40 seconds the second time.

    It also helped to really "make a scene" when ending playtime. Dogs communicate a lot with body language, and my pup seemed to really respond to my body language when I would make it clear that I was unhappy with the playtime biting. I would dramatically leave the room or step out of the ex pen if we were playing together in there, and would just turn my back and huff and not look at him hah. It wasn't enough to just casually get up and leave as if something else needed my attention. I had to make it a point to leave in a huff lol.

    4 months is still plenty young. I agree, if you feel overwhelmed with it all, finding a good behaviorist can really help. But don't get too discouraged, puppies are just rude and take time to learn manners, like toddlers who flail their arms around and hit people.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium
    Posts: 122
    When you guys are talking about saying ouch- were these for bites that were breaking the skin?
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 373
    i think it would be best to play inside an expen. if any biting starts, step out of the expen (yes, even for mild bites). also, i would suggest training on "kisses"... if he licks your hand, treat. "kiss"-lick-treat. do it lots of time. when he starts being mouthy, say "kiss" and he may start just licking. it worked for me and Zenki.

    also, if you could arrange for similar aged puppy playtime... that would be great because they (puppies) can and does regulate their play very well. they can effectively tell each other when the bites are no longer ok.
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  • It seems like I may just have to continue with the walking away/ start to put her in a time out instead of me walking away... I was hoping there’d be some miracle answer lol. Hopefully when her adult teeth come in as many people have said, she’ll calm down once the adult teeth kick in because it sounds like that may be part of it, but while I wait I’ll continue the time outs and walking away

    @zenki unfortunately I know nobody with any pups around her age (I’m new to the area so I actually no nobody right now). My aunt has a bulldog, but she sits there and lets her chew on her face and does not bite back at all, so they actually aren’t even alllwed to play now until she learns to control it.
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 51
    Bonsai is about 3.5 months now, and while he's not as bitey as your puppy sounds, he does get very mouthy when he's excited and playing, which is totally normal, but he goes after our faces sometimes, which we wanted to stop immediately. We were given the advice by our trainer to put some lemon juice in a spray bottle and squirt it in his mouth if he was hurting us. Biting too hard then equates to a nasty taste in his mouth. Of course Bonsai is one of the weirdos that likes lemon juice, so we were told to switch to a 1-4 ratio of vinegar and water, and that seems to work. He definitely doesn't like it, and he doesn't bite nearly as hard now. You just have to keep the bottle on you when you play with them.
  • @MeghanBCG For the moment that lemon juice trick is actually working, it’s a miracle. Just a little on our fingers and see the bottle of it and she jumps away and walks away. Hopefully it keeps working, you may have actually been our savior. Going to try the vinegar and water thing next if she starta taking a liking to the lemon, but I hope to god this works out in the end! Thank you so much.
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 51
    @Kayschaefer99 That's awesome, I'm so glad it's working for you!! Glad to be of some help. If you do end up needing to switch to the vinegar and 1-4 is not enough our trainer said you can slowly increase the ratio until it's sufficiently yucky to them. Didn't take much for Bonsai though, hahaha. Best of luck to you! :)
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    @plasmodiumplasmodium for pups as young as 3-4 months, yes. They are still learning motor control among other things for their mouth, so they don't yet understand that what they do hurts. If they are older and have their adult teeth, I would strong recommend getting help for that.

    And @Lilikoi is right---making a big, dramatic stink about getting bit is a huge bonus because body language is much more effective then words for dogs. I sum it up to behaving like a queen who has been greatly offended by the common folk. I cross my arms, turn my back, put my nose in the air and just act like the biggest upset snot in the world lol
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1129
    I still always said "ouch" as a marker, and my pup has learned that it means that's too much. I use it for everything, even the tiniest nips. My pup now thinks that humans are extremely sensitive and you have to be very gentle with them, cus even just slightly touching them with teeth causes them pain. :)) it's a very helpful way to train bite inhibition. That way, if some day Ozzy gets really angry at someone or is very uncomfortable or scared or in pain himself... I am confident that if he tells them off for it with a bite, it will not be devastating and damaging. I'm also sure he would warn them by growling or otherwise communicating his discomfort, but point being, I know he will show restraint if he ever was pushed over his threshold.

    Also, to help teach "kisses" like Zenki was saying, i put a little bit of peanut butter on my hand and used the clicker with additional treats to help teach him to lick hands and not bite hem. That also worked great for Ozzy. Most importantly: be consistent. :) if you're constantly changing up the strategy with your method of training, thinking you'll eventually stumble in the holy grail of techniques, that can definitely do more harm then good. It takes some time and a lot of dedication and consistency!
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-10-13 04:51:23
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    I wish I had done what Lilikoi did...my pup didn't bite much at all, so we stopped training (or it just kind of disappeared with lack of biting) and now...ugh...gotta start over lol
  • Just a quickie update, that lemon juice is still working great, it’s a miracle. She doesn’t even have to taste it anymore, only smell it and she knows. Although it’s not usually necessary now, every so often she needs the reminder. I’m currently working on training her not to bite people when they sit on the floor with her, because she again thinks you’re a toy when you’re on her level but it’s working great! Now we just have to wait for this teething phase to be over so we can save the furniture and walls!
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 51
    I'm so glad it's still working for you! The relief you feel when something FINALLY works is just so awesome, haha. :)

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