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Luna-Tuck said:
Awww pudging!! I love that name for it! I never knew what to call it but Luna used to do it as well with her cuddly husky dog. Cute! Think she did it all the way up to about 9months old!
George is still doing this at 1yr (tomorrow)

He also doesn't bite! My earlier posts in this thread make it feel like it would never improve...
 

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Elsie is driving me mad. She does the mouthing and we are working on telling her when it is too hard, but when she is tired/bored/overexcited she will latch on whatever she can - usually an item of my clothing and growl and won't let go. If you try and remove it she just thinks its a game of tug :-/ she has now ruined one of my favourite skirts and hurt me when I've tried to get her off, but I am more concerned as what to do if she does this with visitors/strangers/children?!?

She is only 9 weeks , but I just can't see how to stop this behaviour and hate seeing her this aggressive.
 

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She is NOT being aggressive she is playing with you it's just that she plays as puppies do with their siblings and she hasn't realised yet that humans are stupidly delicate creatures who don't like to play like that! I recommend not wearing your best clothes around her for a while and luckily its winter so you an wear long sleeves and long trousers and always a pair of socks while she goes through the teething stage - honestly it will save your sanity! Now is the time to start teaching her about having a soft mouth and what can and can't be grabbed hold of. Every time redirect her onto something she can mouth/chew - one of her toys, put one in every room so there is always one to hand.

There is a good video (well there are lots but one in particular!) on Dr Ian Dunbar's (brilliant renowned positive trainer) dog star daily youtube site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_OmE-OcIf4 and the video menu here http://www.youtube.com/user/DogStarDaily/videos?flow=list&view=1
 

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MelanieC said:
Elsie is driving me mad. She does the mouthing and we are working on telling her when it is too hard, but when she is tired/bored/overexcited she will latch on whatever she can - usually an item of my clothing and growl and won't let go. If you try and remove it she just thinks its a game of tug :-/ she has now ruined one of my favourite skirts and hurt me when I've tried to get her off, but I am more concerned as what to do if she does this with visitors/strangers/children?!?

She is only 9 weeks , but I just can't see how to stop this behaviour and hate seeing her this aggressive.
I can't give you any firm advice on this Melanie, but I do sympathise. But Elsie is VERY young and I think having a young pup is similar to having a baby/toddler in the house. You won't get a good nights sleep, you have to constantly be on the lookout for things they can reach and get hold of and then destroy, you will be cleaning up poo/puddles for a while (unless you are very fortunate!) and your youngster will be permanently pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with! But, also just like having a baby, although this time of strife seems to last a long time whilst you are going through it, in reality this time will whizz by and you will soon be looking wistfully at photos of your dog when she was just a pup. So hang on in there! Like I say, I don't feel qualified to give you advice on how to handle this but I'm sure there will be some very experienced bods on here who can reassure you.

Good luck! x
 

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We've been there with George, it really gets tough but she is not doing it to be aggressive she just needs to learn its not acceptable.

If it gets too much loud noise, aw that hurts and if it continues stop all play so she learns its not right.

It might take a while but she will get it.
 

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Yes sorry I didn't word that well - what I mean is seein her look aggressive, and knowing how strangers/visitors may perceive it, get scared and she thinks they are playing so does it more.


Those videos are great - I've watched them previously. Thing is, ignoring, redirecting with other toys etc is all fine when she is mouthing. But when she clams shut her jaw, and starts to pull and growl I can't get her off, she listens to no commands and ignores all toys. After I have tried these one of us will pick her up and shut her in the kitchen on her own for a couple of minutes. She usually comes out very well behaved and gives little apologetic licks... Hopefully if I stick with this I can calm it down to be able to redirect her in future.
 

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I sooo agree with LinnyBlue! It was tough to begin with, but now Aki is 14 weeks old and more than doubled in size I realise I better enjoy the puppy time, as it flies past like crazy. The fact that his house training went smootly and I'm no longer walking around like a sleep-deprived zombie (ready to open the garden door after each short episode of sleep/play/food) makes a huge difference!

His mouthing is more discerning now, but he's still a crocodile sometimes. I wonder if it'll ever stop... And then again I realise it happens far less - so don't despair!

I follow advice from a 'dog listener' who also lent me this book http://puredoglisteners.com/pdl/why-does-my-dog-do-that-the-book/ which I now bought to refer back to - found it not only hilarious, but also quite insightful - and I've had dogs and an interest in their behaviour for most of my life.

Like others said, if I don't want to be too strict, I have toys at hand, which I quickly stuff into the crocodile jaws, so we can carry on whatever we're doing and his teeth are occupied. He now sometimes grabs the toy to hold while we have a cuddle. Progress from the early days, when he'd rather grab my hand offering him a toy than the toy itself! :)

I think a big part of it is also to keep on top of all their excitement and pre-empt and distract before the biting happens. It's hard not to give them attention for biting - and bingo, they have you where they want you! But how do you ignore them when they clam their jaw shut? I found it helpful to un-clam it quickly (before he gets too excited - I think the biting itself is rewarding to him) and hold him away from me at my side without a word or eye contact until he stops being 'possessed' - the book calls it 'calm hold'. I find it works best when I do it without being irritated or angry or frustrated. Easier said than done.

I also found this video interesting: http://youtu.be/c77--cCHPyU if you do clicker training - but haven't tried it!

What I keep observing is how much more respectful puppies are with adult dogs than with people. I've seen Aki get cheeky with one or two dogs, but in general he keeps his teeth off. WHY so cheeky with people then?

I get quite annoyed when people welcome the crocodile mouth and make all their fingers available - I ask them to walk away if he jumps up or bites, but even some dog owners (who say they've had the same when their pup was young) encourage it. Grrrr. It's so easy to get into it, you don't even notice.

What do you think of a business idea of puppy harnesses embroidered with 'PUP IN TRAINING. PLEASE IGNORE ME IF I JUMP OR CHEW'?? ;)
 

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Well that's put my mind at rest I am pleased to say :D

As the new owner of an 8 week old pup I was starting to wonder what I was doing wrong in my training which was making my pup want to do nothing else but attack me and my girlfriend.... He especially seems to favour sneaking behind you and biting the back of your arm which is extremely painful, and feet agree another favourite.

Already totally in love with him but I was beginning to wonder if I had a dog that was wired up incorrectly :wink:

Cheers
 

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Hang in there, time will fly! You'll miss the time when he was cute and tiny :)

I think the 'wired up' thing is something we have a big say in, so as long as you don't make a game of it (i.e. Mickey Mouse noises when he bites you etc, things that will make him think that he gets a 'fun' reaction out of you if he bites) you can shape him. You have 'raw material' there, you'll have him whichever way you teach him.

Unfortunately we don't always notice them when they're calm and well-behaved... When Aki did it for attention I followed the advice in the 'why does my dog do that...' book and had pretty much zero tolerance for biting. But had to push myself to praise and give attention when he was good (they're much less noticeable then ;) ) It takes a while, I think because that's their way to explore the world - imagine if you weren't allowed to touch him with your hands. That's what we're asking of them... but with their teeth. And they're only young and we ask them to control themselves.

Some pups also have the occasional crazy moment they can't help... Many just run around by themselves to get rid of excess adrenaline, but others instead jump straight at you and bite you, as in 'Come, let's play, I'm too young, this is all too much for me, I need to do something fun NOW otherwise I might self-combust'. Nothing mean in that! Aki had a few of those 'dog possessed' moments in training, but a quick time out and energetic running back and forth got rid of the peak of the adrenaline and he could focus again. Sometimes also calm hold next to me and gentle stroking the whole length of the dog can be calming.

It's extremely painful with puppy teeth, they're so sharp they don't even have to seriously bite to hurt you. We have all teeth changed by now, huge big teeth now but even with a little pressure now it wouldn't be as lethal as it was then.

Just to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel - it hardly happens now here, the biting. Huge difference!
 

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Shakira is 4 months now (19 weeks, to be precise) and she is still every bit a crocodile. I am at my wits end! To be completely honest, she is a sweetheart when she is not in one of her fits of rage, and we do get some cuddle and play time. But every morning and every evening she has us all in tears and we retreat to lick our wounds. I've tried everything short of spanking (which I won't do), but nothing seems to work. I hope she will somehow get over it herself, but in the meantime I find myself longing for some peace and quiet sometimes.
 
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But every morning and every evening she has us all in tears and we retreat to lick our wounds.
Does she do it at regular times, or can you see when she is about to have a mad half hour If so, try giving her something else to do, to redirect her energies before she gets a chance to get into Crocodile Mode? Have a frozen kong at the ready, or something like that which she has to work at for 15-20 mins or so and give this to her the moment you see she is about to lose the plot.

Try doing more little training sessions during the daytime too. Just the basic stuff, Sit, Down, Stay, etc, for 5 mins at a time, as this will wear her brain out and make her less likely to "explode" into action later.

You say you have tried everything, have you tried the Snap and Stare thing, where the moment you feel those teeth on your skin, you make a gruff snap-snapping noise in her direction, immediately followed by a proper hard Paddington Bear Stare, as this is what other dogs do when youngsters get too rough and it's very effective if you get it right.

I've only ever seen one dog go one stage further and that was my placid old Lurcher, with my particularly thick skinned (or just thick) Oyster GR/Lab pup. She flipped the ill mannered youngster over and pinned her down by the throat whilst growling menacingly and staring at her. It was just for a few seconds, but the pup got the message and never bit the Lurcher again. I was proud of my old girl, as I never knew the placid old lump had it in her. I've never yet had to copy this method, but I certainly would try it with a repeat offender, if nothing else was working. 8)
 

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Read through all the pages on this thread Bravecat (sorry don't know your real name), its not fits of rage its just puppy overenthusiasm there's no nastiness in it they just don't 'get' that humans are all delicate at first, she will get there but you have to be patient and keep on with all the tips. If none of that works for you set her up a playpen in the family room and put her toys in it then she can rag them all she likes, still see you and be with the family but not do anyone any damage and you can watch a tv program or the kids can play with their toys without her 'help', then you all get a bit of 'time out' from her and she can burn off some energy safely unlike in a crate where she can't move about a lot.
 

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Thank you Jules and Paws, I will definitely try both stare and separation other than in the den, haven't thought of that one. Shak doesn't do this at regular times, sometimes she flips during the day so we can hope for a less stressful evening. She barks and bites whenever she wants anything (usually toilet). Is there a way to teach her to ask in a different manner?? I don't want to ruin her housetraining which has been perfect by reprimanding her for asking, but surely there is an alternative to bleeding fingers if the puppy wants to pee?
And the most important question of all - is she still normal, or is this something unusual at her age and it is my incompetence that causes this? :cry: I somehow managed to train all my previous dogs (not labs), and never came across anything remotely similar!
 

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You know, I think we often forget the 'teethy' times from other pups. I couldn't remember our other ones going through that, but that was 15 years ago. Besides, they had each other (we had brothers) so maybe they were taking it out on each other.

Please tell me you're not serious about the tears... It will get better - as long as you do your part 'right' (so she knows her place in the pack, at any time of the day)... But best not call it 'rage' ;) Ideally have zero tolerance for biting - this one goes straight into his crate, without a word, without a look at him, if teeth touch skin. A good place to calm down and relax - sometimes they need it, but can't get themselves into their bed, like cranky little kids :)

The 'rage' is generally anything from slight over-excitement to adrenaline rush (due to positive excitement or negative stress), I think. But if that's her way to ask it means she has learned that she gets attention like that. I think that gives you the answer. Stop giving her attention for it (which is hard, because it hurts and you're not supposed to react). I think it would be worth just biting your teeth together if it hurts and very factually and quietly 'putting her away' into her crate (or somewhere she can't bite you or destroy anything else) whenever she does it. Then go somewhere she can't see you to lick your wounds. And then watch yourself when she's good... whether you give her enough attention and praise. Even though we all know this, we sometimes don't notice them when they're quiet - I'm catching myself at it again and again.

I think they eventually can cope with more, mentally. Also, in time both her and you will be able to channel that energy. Aki now often does an 'air crocodile' when he's happy and excited, I think he understands that tooth to person contact is a no-no! He doesn't nibble as much since his new teeth came out. Also he's at an age where I can tell him off. I did that the other day - very explicitly, better once and clear enough than repeatedly not very strongly. But wouldn't have done that when he was younger. Besides, telling off can be perceived as attention too. Have you seen a dog 'pestering' another, and poor other dog keeps showing teeth and snapping, and the pestering dog just doesn't take them seriously... on the contrary, it seems to enjoy itself.

I also find carrying on with short regular (daily?) obedience training can be a great helper. Today I had to leave Aki with a friend in the living room while I went upstairs to get something. I knew it would be too much for him (he still gets over-excited when close to people, it's as if he'd self-combust if he can't be all over them...) so I put him in a sit/stay, and he didn't move till I got back :) I wouldn't ask him that if he's in the middle of a hyper moment, have to pick your moments and anticipate.

One thing for sure. There definitely are fewer hyper moments these days.

Good luck! :)
 

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Bravecat said:
She barks and bites whenever she wants anything (usually toilet). Is there a way to teach her to ask in a different manner?? I don't want to ruin her housetraining which has been perfect by reprimanding her for asking, but surely there is an alternative to bleeding fingers if the puppy wants to pee?
And the most important question of all - is she still normal, or is this something unusual at her age and it is my incompetence that causes this? :cry: I somehow managed to train all my previous dogs (not labs), and never came across anything remotely similar!
Yes she is normal. No you are not incompetent.

Every dog is different, even within the same breed, just look at the responses on this thread, Shakira is normal, she's a puppy and if you are consistent and patient she will get there, try not to worry.

OK, as for the asking for things, to be perfectly honest I don't let pups ask for things I do their decision making for them whether they're mine or family/friends' pups/dogs. I take them out on a regular basis for an opportunity to toilet and I pop them in bed when I want them to settle for a sleep, I guess I do that because I was a nanny so I tend to do what worked with children rather than dogs but it's still fine. How about trying it because then you are taking away this OTT I want I want I want reaction from Shakira so she won't practice nipping for attention, when they're little they get overtired they need and want things now just because they're little - how about you take her outside before she gets her meals, also take her out every hour or if you see her signs she needs the loo (like sniffing and circling, not biting. If she is a silly bean when you do this then slip a lead on her go to the toilet spot use the cue word give her a chance bring her back in. Make her a routine of walks, food, outside time, training time, sleep time and see if that helps.

What are you feeding her? Some foods can make them a tad hyper so it might be worth considering what she gets both as dinner and as treats.

Have you seen the Dr Dunbar Sirius Puppy Training Video - there are clips on YouTube on the DogStarDaily channel, you can also buy it as a DVD. There is a really good section on 'biting' mouthing nipping which we found worked brilliantly with ours.

:)
 

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Thanks Astrid and Paws! I will try all the suggestions and come back with an update :)
Shakira eats ProPlan Puppy robust breed, as this is the only food she accepted to eat (we tried a few and she didn't do well on them at all). Is there anything I can feed her to stop her from biting?

OK that was a joke :D
 

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I know this is an old posting but wondered if anyone had a suggestion that had worked with their pup ? This is my 4th lab pup and she is 14 weeks today and is biting more than any of the others. I have tried many different approaches but nothing seems to stop her - she sometimes stops biting if I shriek but then lunges straight back at me usually biting my arms rather than my hands. Have read up on mouthing but have yet to find what works for Belle - any ideas would be gratefully received
 

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debrah said:
she is 14 weeks today and is biting more than any of the others. I have tried many different approaches but nothing seems to stop her - she sometimes stops biting if I shriek but then lunges straight back at me usually biting my arms rather than my hands.
You sound like me! I had the same problem. I talked to many different lab owners, and realised that Shakira bites WAY MORE than any of the others. Nothing worked. And I really mean nothing, as I tried every method without any success whatsoever. Until all her adult teeth came through, there was no stopping her. And then she just... stopped biting. Now she can mouth my hand gently (or less gently) but there are no more vicious attacks, grabbing my legs from behind or bleeding fingers. I am convinced that she stopped by herself, and not because of anything I tried. Shakira is 24 weeks old and she was a biting monster of a pup until she turned 5 months couple of weeks ago. So hang in there, do what you do, and chances are your puppy will grow out of it. I never thought my puppy will change, I already resigned myself to life with shredded arms, but she did change and gets better every day.
 

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My puppy bites me too

Hi everybody
I'm new here (1st post), but I have been secretly trawling through the pages of the forum and reading your advice for the past 3 weeks, since I got my puppy Cooper. I have a similar challenge with Cooper and the last 5 days have been absolute hell as he started charging at me, biting on hard (enough to break skin), ripping clothes (I wear double layers of jeans in the house!) in addition to chewing on furniture and jumping on the sofa...

Our first couple of weeks started off really well, some puppy play biting (but that got better, up to last Friday) and he was learning really fast: sit, down, stay, come, shake hands, high five, roll over, weave, walking on the lead, etc.

I'm working on positive reinforcement methods, but ignoring his bite isn't really an option because he just won't let go. If I stay still, he just continues to grab a bigger bite and literally starts chewing my hand. If I get my hand off and get up, he just launches at my leg which is usually where he really grabs and rips clothes or breaks skin.

This morning I tried to keep him really calm, and worked on zero tolerance with teeth on skin, so however light touch it was, I gave him a time out by taking him outside. (QQ: how do you give your dogs a time out? I either walk outside while he is holding on to my sleeve to take him out or I grab him by the scruff and lift him-supporting his weight with my other hand, but somehow that doesn't feel right...)

He has plenty of toys, vet says he's healthy, etc.

I'm sorry for the long post and look forward to seeing if there's any more advice you can share from your experience?

We have our 3rd puppy class tonight and the trainer is aware of the issue so I will report back with any advice she gives me to see if I can also help anyone else.

@Bravecat I'm thinking about what you said that it just went away with time. 5 months isn't too far off, but I guess there's no guarantee!
:wink:
 

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Re: My puppy bites me too

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Have you tried making a noise as if you're in pain and recoiling away every time you are bitten/touched with your puppy's teeth?

Also just some advice on your time out policy...

Kiki_Dollywood said:
I gave him a time out by taking him outside.
In my opinion, that seems to be a reward rather than a time out. Most dogs love going outside so from his perspective, if he bites hard enough he gets to go and play.

Time outs can be difficult, the only real way to do it is to relegate him to a separate room or his crate. But again you don't want him seeing a crate or his bedroom or whatever as a place he is taken for punishment...

I think the best way is just to make a noise/squark as if you are in pain and then don't give him any attention for a few minutes.

It can take a long time, but the most important thing is to have a no tolerance attitude towards teeth completely, as you have done. If the rules are consistent he will soon get the point. Just stick with it, even if he just lightly touches your hand with his teeth (rather than biting) then still recoil and squeak even if you don;t withdraw the attention. If its a proper intended bit/chew then go the whole hog with a big squark and stop playing.

This is just the way we did it with our two, there is no right or wrong way...Good luck.
 
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