Puppy Biting And Chewing

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by christina7689, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. christina7689 Member

    Hello,

    My puppy gets into a very hyper mood and goes insane for chewing...in a way that is really not very nice! I completely understand she is a puppy (going on 9 weeks) and is going to chew, but she gets so excited that she hurts my hands and feet, or gets stuck to my pants and won't let go.

    I have tired making a yelping sound to let her know it hurts. It worked at first, as it seemed to get her attention and make her stop, but now she just ignores it and keeps chewing.

    I have also tried walking away (we have a barrier in the kitchen she cannot cross), trying to show her when she acts like that, nobody wants to play with her... but in walking away, it probably ends up feeling like a game.

    I very weary of totally ignoring, it seems to me like it would be self-reinforcing to just let her chew away, even if i reward her when she stops (as chewing is fun). Distracting with a toy also seems reinforcing to me. Doesn't it tell her, if you bite my foot, I'll play with you?

    It's making it very difficult to work with her, since I feel like just being in the same space as her ends up encouraging bad behavior.

    I have also tried keeping her on the leash, but she ends up practically strangling herself and dangling in the air going crazy trying to get to her chew target.

    Is there a right answer here??

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Sounds like you're getting tired of trying one thing. You have to be consistent with one thing that works best, then keep up with it. She's still a very very very young baby. It's going to take time and lots of work to get through this stage, and to be honest she's got a lot of chewing ahead of her.
    The key to using a toy to distract her is to use a yelp or an "Ah-ah!" to STOP the biting, then REWARD by throwing the toy or playing with it with her. You're actually REWARDING her for stopping the biting. The methods shown in this video: this
    can be used along with whichever ONE method you decide to stick with. But you have to stick with one, not just bounce around to others to try to find one that stops it immediately. All methods are going to take time and consistency to get results. :)

    Watch the video, and read through this thread. You should be able to find an answer. :) Then it's just a matter of time and consistency on your part! Good luck! Cute puppy. :D
    jackienmutts likes this.
  3. christina7689 Member

    Thanks for the reply! I realized a puppy would take a lot of patience, but I didn't factor pain into the equation :(

    For now, before she learns, what should I do if she's not stopping due to a yelp or incitement by another toy? This is where I find I am struggling, I can yelp and wave another toy around all I like, but she seems to not switch focus once she gets into chewing my feet, hand or pants. This makes me think I'm doing something wrong and I feel like I am just reinforcing the chewing (as it's clearly self-reinforcing).

    Should I walk away? Or keep trying with the sound & distraction?

    p.s. Love Kikpup!
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    You could try a squeaky toy(one with a REALLY annoying squeaker). Squeak to get her attention, "Good girl!" and give the toy if she stops biting. Another thing that could be beneficial for her is teaching leave it, the Kikopup way. I'm working with an adult Weimaraner right now that is very mouthy, and we've been doing a looooot of work on leave it with Kikopup's method and it's definitely helping. She likes to snap to get what she wants(not aggressively, she just has noooo self control) and the leave it is helping a lot. She's learning that using her mouth gets her absolutely nothing, but being patient and gentle gets her whatever she wants.

    So things you could try:

    -Annoying squeaker followed by rewarding with toy when she stops biting
    -Try using "Ah-ah!" instead of a yelp(this is more firm and sharp than a yelp, which could be exciting)
    -Kikopup's method
    -Teaching leave it, also Kikopup's method

    Kikopup doesn't use any verbal corrections of any kind, which I really admire but have not entirely gotten away from. Depending on the way that they are used and the tone of voice they are used in, I don't really think that using verbal corrections is absolute abuse to your dog, but I do really like the idea of using absolutely nothing but positive reinforcement and am moving in that direction. So if you want to train this way, then try using her method for biting in accordance with the leave it. Teaching the leave it is a double whammy too--puppy learns leave it, which excellent for any dog to know, and it can help with the biting by increasing their self control and their understanding that being mouthy gets them nothing.

    Hope this helps. :) Soon enough those little needle puppy teeth will be a thing of the past. :)
    Kikopup's Leave it Video
    Leave It Without Intimidation
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  5. christina7689 Member

    Thanks for the advice, we'll keep working on it! "Ah-Ah" does seem to be a bit more effective, I think I'll stick to that.
  6. Kranky Member

    HI Christina, I've had the same problem with my 2 puppies (now 22wks) until 2 weeks ago. I took them to their first puppy training class and just having a side chat with the trainer, I complain that they still nip my 2 daughters alot. She told me she had tried for 6 months to stop her dog doing it, until someone said to pup you finger down the dog's throat. She said it cured her dog within a couple of days. I started doing it immediately (but cause they have small mouths, I just pushed my hand sideways into their mouth so that it felt unpleasant without hurting them) and my puppies stopped within a couple of days. Now my girls feel a lot more confident playing together with them.
    I can't tell you how releaved I am. I hope it works for you too - good luck. :-)
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Re: Kranky's post---I am not liking the gagging the puppy to stop his biting, you could accidentally hurt their throats, voice boxes or palates. There are better ways, as Tx_cowgirl posted above. We live and learn from our dogs!!

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