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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lola is 9 weeks today and we've had her for 2 weeks. Over the last couple of days, she has been lunging for my hands/feet/ankles/face and biting extremely hard. She is also growling and barking at me and OH. When she behaves like this, we squeal and if she does it again, we pick her up (she growls, bites and tries to run away when we try to do this), say nothing, and put her in her crate. I have read the bite inhibition thread and realise that pups will bite and growl etc, but I'm just worried that we're doing something wrong and pup is either scared or just doesn't like us! Writing it down makes it seem silly but it is really painful and disheartening that whenever I try to play with/pet her she's reacting in this way. Is this really normal? And could I improve my discipline methods? She doesn't get 'NO' or 'AhAh' yet and it seems just to make her bite harder.
 

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That's pretty much what we did with Buddy and it just took what seemed like an absolute age to work! But it did eventually.
He barked lots for attention and the number of time-outs he had in the hallway are countless.
Playing with him or cuddles were almost impossible for the first few weeks as it would always move on to nipping / barking really quickly.
Stick with it though, it will get better!
 
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I think Lola is just being a puppy, Rueben was exactly the same at that age. I think you're doing everything right, it just takes a while.

I felt like you, that it would never end and I'd have a bitey monster for ever but it does get better, you just need to give it time.

Anita & Rueben
xXx
 

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Puppies have to 'learn' what 'no' and 'ah-ah' mean, so I tend to use it as seldom as possible otherwise it just becomes like a nagging, background noise to them.
I use it only when I'm in a position to follow it up immediately, so for example, I wouldn't use it if the pup was swinging off my trouser leg whilst I had my hands in a bowl of washing-up, but I would use it if I was free to disentangle the pup that instant and walk away from it or give it something else to play with to distract it the moment after I'd said my 'no', and then praise and fuss the behaviour you want

One thing that I find is interesting to try, is to try and go for a whole day WITHOUT saying 'no'. It's no harder than saying it all the time - you just have to find other ways to distract the pup into doing the right things and then praising the positives instead of focussing on the negative behaviour.

Everything your puppy is doing is 100% normal if that's any consolation, and they truly do get over this painful phase!

Becs and The Gang
 

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Until they drop their puppy teeth, it's a bit like hugging a crocodile :D

I can re-iterate that yay! it's normal but Boo! it'll go on for a while yet.
Hang in there, consistency is the key :D
 
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You are doing fine and your pup is being a perfectly normal pup. :D

Pickle is 10 weeks old now and we have the same scenarios here, although having other dogs helps, as she takes a lot of her rough play out on them. She does all the things you describe, barking, growling, lunging, biting, etc....except when I know she is in a playful mood, I tend to join in rather than try to stop it. I get down on the floor and roll about with her, let her rag my hair and clothes, flip her over, blow raspberries on her tum, grab a toy and have a game of tug, etc, etc....and if she bites hard enough to hurt, I'll give a full bodied "YOWW OWW OWW", then the moment she lets go, I tell her what a wonderful puppy she is and carry on playing. My dogs do much the same thing with her.....she rough houses with them and if she gets too rough they GRUFF or Yelp and move away but in seconds it's all forgotten and they are back to playing again. Pickle is learning fast just how hard she can bite, although in those manic Bum Tucking moments she sometimes forgets but heh she's only a toddler and we all forgive her. Of course when I've had enough of the game, I try to do what my dogs do and that is just walk away and if she follows, I tell her "ENOUGH" and push her away. Ok my dogs don't do that, they shout "GEROFF" and if she insists on carrying on, they will do a little shove and perhaps an ear or face nip, just hard enough to let her know they mean it. She learnt very quickly that Enough meant Enough and that there is a time for play and a time to stop.

I suppose I look at this stage in a positive light because I know it doesn't last for long and I know I can use this desire to play with me to strengthen the bond I have with the dog. Because throughout the whole of the dogs life, I want it to see me as it's best mate, even if I do have to enforce the rules occasionally.

So really....try not to let this stage wind you up, it really is just a stage. There is no real Aggression and the pup isn't tryng to Dominate you (as some would have you believe) it is just a baby playing games as only dogs can. So try to enjoy it and perhaps join in, as they grow up far too fast as it is. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. It really helps to be reassured that she's not the only pup to behave this way! We're going to vet today so am keen to find out about puppy socialisation classes we can go to so that Lola can meet and play with other pups - I don't really know many people with dogs and the Akita next door isn't very friendly!

Becs - I like the idea of not saying 'no' so much and heaping on the praise for good behaviour - this is something I do in the classroom so could apply it to the pup.

Jules - I'm absolutely going to get down on the floor and play some more as I don't think I'm doing enough of this right now!

Again, thanks. Love this forum :D
 

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Hi,

Lotti's now 12.5wks and she has steadily imporved. At 9wks we seemed to suddenly hit what I classed as the 'terrible twos' over night. My little angel turned into a little monster - only intent on biting and play fighting, and the more I and my other dog squealed in pain the more she seemed to want to do it. My other dog, Ben, finding the courage to start telling her to stop hurting him and back off at times made the main difference. But also I felt as if she was trying to find her place within the pack. Lotti came to us at 8wks, and for the first week I couldn't help myself but fall at her feet every time I saw her - she's so gorgeous. I think I had given her the wrong signs. So from the 9th week I started to establish myself as pack leader, and Ben also started to show her he was top dog, and now she knows she's bottom of the pack (bless :) ) but she seems so much happier and calmer knowing that she doesn't need to fight and be boss, she can be chilled and we're here to protect her. The sticky notes on this section are fab and were alot of help to me. It definately passes - hang in there. Ruby
 
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