Puppy Problems--my Puppy Chews My Shoes--and Me!!

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by tx_cowgirl, May 4, 2009.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    After referring many, many puppy owners to Bellapup's blogs(because quite frankly, I've gotten lazy about retyping the same advice over and over again), I've decided to start these "Puppy Problems" threads, this being the first. So, if your puppy(or dog) is chewing inappropriate things or nipping you, here's some tips to curb your pup's habit.

    *Remember that there are many ways to teach your dog not to bite or chew inappropriate things. These are the ones I have found most effective.*

    Option One:
    Your puppy bites you, and you immediately turn around and give him no attention at all until he is calm. Completely ignore--you don't even have to say anything, just leave the situation entirely so that they begin to understand that biting means playtime is OVER and puppy gets no attention whatsoever. The only thing about this that I don't like is that the puppy still wants to chew. Getting him not to chew you(or undesirable item) doesn't cure his need to chew something. But nonetheless, this method is still very effective.

    Option Two:
    Your puppy bites you, and you give a firm "Ah-ah!" at a low volume. Don't YELL at your puppy--talk in a comfortable speaking voice, just make it sharp. Remove your hand quickly and immediately entice her to play with an acceptable chew toy. Praise her for releasing your hand, and toss the toy in the opposite direction or just wave it around. Tossing it distracts your pup/dog from your yummy hand and entices them to run after the good toy. Lots of praise and play. Consistency is the key! Every time she bites you must do this, and really be enthusiastic(but not SCARY overenthusiastic, lol!) when she plays with the toy instead of your hand.

    If she is chewing a shoe for instance, again, "Ah-ah!", remove the shoe and entice her to play with a toy. This method means you need to always have an acceptable chew toy on hand. Place them in all areas of the house or carry one with you all the time. Try to keep unacceptable chew things out of reach anyway, to avoid the incident entirely. Chewing the unacceptable "toy" is very self-rewarding for her. How is she to know that those shoes are for wearing?

    How to Properly Take a Bite
    Although you don't want your pup to bite at all, the best way to take a bit almost painlessly is with a closed fist. Open fingers are easy to grab onto and yank and gnaw. Lots of pain for you=lots of reward for puppy. Closed fist=nothing to grab, less painful, and easier to remove from sharp puppy teeth.

    Remember that your dog or puppy doesn't remember destroying that hat an hour ago. Your pup doesn't remember half-eating that loafer 3 minutes ago. It's a completely insignificant event in her mind--not at the time, but later she really doesn't remember it. She's bound to try it again, but when you get home from work the first thing on her mind is, "YAY Mom's/Dad's home!!! PLAYTIME!" You can hold the half-eaten loafer right in her face and she doesn't have a clue what your intentions are with it. So when you yell and get angry at her when you come home to your destroyed shoes, she's not cowering because she "knows she's in trouble"--she's cowering because she's afraid of YOU and has no clue what you're hollering about. So even though it's infuriating, you are doing no good whatsoever to yell 10 minutes after the event. I constantly hear from puppy/dog owners that their dog, "KNOWS she's in trouble" when they get home and find a poop pile or a destroyed object. They don't have a CLUE what they did wrong. All they know is that your body language is far from happy, and every time you come home that way, they get yelled at. The connection isn't with the poop pile or the shoe, it's with YOU and your body language.

    Again, consistency is the only way to get a dog who will not ever mouth. If your dog still bites you or chews inappropriate things, 9 times out of 10 it is only because there is inconsistency in her training. Everyone in the household must use this and copy it to a T--everyone must do everything the same. If the adult in the household is the only one who tries to curb the biting/chewing, then puppy will still be mouthy. If you have a three year old who obviously can't adopt this training, then whoever is with child and pup needs to do the same things. Puppy bites kid="Ah-ah!", toss toy, "Good girl/boy!!!"

    So, be consistent and good luck with your puppies/dogs! I hope this is helpful to all you puppy owners or owners of chewing/mouthy dogs. :) Many more Puppy Problems threads to come!
    tracy likes this.

  2. lilypup New Member

    i can't remember where i heard this, but i heard if your puppy bites too hard... a high-pitched yelp and then withdrawal/playtime over is how a puppy's littermates would react, and that this is how puppies learn what playing too rough is.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Shoes was just a basic "insert unacceptable chew thing here," lol.

    Great tips Snooks!
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    Thanks for starting this TX! What a great way to compile relevant info and refer new owners to :)
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol unfortunately it's due in part to my own laziness. So many puppy owners post with the same questions and I just got tired of typing the same old thing...then I got tired of finding the link to Bellapup's blogs because they have the exact info that the people need, and so here we are now. Lol. ^^

    The plan is to start with the typical younger puppy problems and graduating into older puppy problems. But many dogs have these issues as well because they weren't handled at a younger age, so although these target puppy owners my aim is for them to be helpful to adult dog owners as well.
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    I just jumped in here too thinking it was another question without reading thru to realize what u were doin TXCG. Sorry to blam all that into ur post. I'll remove if u like. I was blitzing the same question again too. Pardon my copy/paste etiquette. :dogohmy: very good idea indeed. thanks for doing it to save our fingers.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol no problem Snooks. ^^ The reason for these posts are simply to help puppy owners and not have to retype the same advice over and over again, lol! So now when we get this question we can simply direct them here. Anyone is welcome to compile their advice here. :) You typically have more links than I do as well for the simple reason that I haven't read as many books and found as many helpful websites. So thanks for adding your tips as well! :)
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Tx, and Snooks, you guys rock, you just do. YOu are both so knowledgable and helpful, you help SOOoooo many people!! I admire your energy, and the efforts you put into helping all of us, i really do. I'm sure, totally sure, there are a lot more calm dogs:dogcool: and happy 'owners' :msnohyes:out there cuz of you guys!!
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    HERE'S MY useless ADVICE on puppy biting: RESCUE AN ADULT DOG!!!:msngiggle:
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol thanks a bunch Tigerlily. ^^ You're so sweet.

    HAHA, I got Rusty when I was very young and was kind of inconsistent with him as a puppy...every once in a while I still have to give him a raised eyebrow for being mouthy, lol! He doesn't bite, just kind of mouths. He's 5 years old now, and his mouthing rarely ever happens...just once in a blue moon and he'll quit as soon as I raise my voice even a little. ^^ SOOO depending on the dog's puppy owner, you may still end up with a mouthy adult dog. Lol! But it is nice to avoid the puppyhood stage all together and get a grown-up. I do wish I'd had Mudflap as a puppy though. I can only imagine how fun it would've been!! :dogwub:
  11. snooks Experienced Member

    Thanks so much Tigerlily--it does do my heart good to help in any little way. If I can make things a little easier then it's a good day. I do freely use other people's wonderful ideas too and try to give credit. Most of what I know is from wonderful people here, trainers, friends, and a lot of trial and error. I love to read a lot of dog books and try to stay open minded.

    Actually ur comment on rescuing an adult dog is a brilliant one. It's much easier to potty train and sleep late too. :dogtongue2: Adult dogs can form bonds just as strong as puppies and are a LOT easier to manage often. You may get some unknown history with an adult but with puppies you get unknown personality since that doesn't start solidifying for months and is an always changing thing regardless. That's one reason why I prefer to foster older dogs and because they often need a paw up more because lots more people want puppies.

    The older I get the more work a puppy seems to manufacture. LOL
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Here's another idea for puppy biting, for those who like videos, it's a short, quickie video:

    tracy and Dogster like this.

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