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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Allison_V's Avatar

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    Default Need tips about biting (puppy biting of course)

    I have a 9 week old Pyr Mix, Momma was pure bread but not sure what the dad was. She is amazing in every way, but we are having an issue with two things. She loves to jump and claw you while doing it and loves to bite and chew on us. Now this wouldnt be as big of a problem if it was just me, but I have a two year old son who she just loves to imagine as a play toy! We constantly tell her NO BITE and tap her on the nose (dont really want to smack her nose because I'm afraid then my son will think its okay to smack our dogs and that is not okay.) We've tried using a spray bottle, and my husband has even tried nibbling back on her ear (some tip he got off the internet lol) nothing has seemed to work. Need some help because its has been about 4 years or more since I've owned a puppy and been faced with this challenge and even then I didnt have a child at the time so this is new territory for me! Thank you for any tips you may have!

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) odins mom's Avatar

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    Passing this on as this seems to be the way the majority of ppl do it with pyr pups.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am stealing this from Kat because, I think it will help you and your wife with Sven.


    Quote:
    Look for opportunities (if he nips) while you are at home to teach him that it is not acceptable behavior. It's important enough have a few training sessions to create the opportunity for him to learn acceptable behavior just like if you were teaching him any other skill -- like "sit" or "stay".

    Some people have used the technique of pressing the dog's outer lips against their teeth to teach their dog not to nip -- this can work when the puppy is 'in the act". We trained ours using peanut butter (but you could use something else that's smeary and yummy like cream cheese) to modify the behavior to something more acceptable rather than try extinguish it altogether.

    It works best with very young pups rather than older ones, so your mileage may vary, but here goes:

    In any situation where the pup is prone to nip, have a jar of peanut butter handy. This works best if you're sitting on the floor with the pup. Smear a little bit on your fingers on one hand (to start) -- just enough for the flavor, not a big glob. Present your unpeanut-buttered hand first. If your pup nips at your fingers (they often bite at fingers first) remove the hand, correct him with "No Bites" or some other verbal correction and present the peanut buttered one. Most pups will lick at peanut butter, but if he continues to bite your fingers on the PB hand, remove it from his reach and tell him "No Bites". Give it a few seconds and repeat. Once he begins to lick your fingers instead of biting, reinforce his behavior and give it a name for him to remember ("Kisses" or something like that). Praise him like he's just won the Nobel Peace prize.

    After a few sessions where he's correctly responded to peanut-buttered fingers, smear a bit on your cheek (Yeah, I know... messy). If he responds with licking ("Kisses") praise him -- lots and lots of praise. If he bites at your ears (a favorite target of my pup's), push him back with "No bites" and start with the fingers again.

    Modifying behavior is much easier than trying to extinguish it altogether. There are several benefits to teaching this way.

    The first two involve standard dog behavior -- alphas are always in charge of resources and pups use their mouths to explore - everything. If the pup wants the peanut butter, he'll have to do something with his mouth OTHER than bite in order to get it. It doesn't mean he CAN'T use his mouth -- just that he can't use his teeth. It's akin to teaching a child manners.

    Another by-product of teaching not to nip like this is that it reinforces who's 'alpha' in addition to not using teeth on skin in another way. Pups and submissive dogs often lick at the face of more dominant animals. Teaching 'kisses' reinforces an idea "in their own language" that they're behaving as a submissive would to an alpha. One tiny contribution to the eventual position you want to be in.

    Lastly, if your pup learns this behavior well, you can even use it when your dog is greeting other people (use the command 'kisses'). It refocuses their attention and gives them an acceptable response in a sometimes confusing (for the pup) situation. You won't even need get their kissy targets all smeary with peanut butter.
    Last edited by odins mom; 06-03-2013 at 10:17 AM. Reason: credit Tsunami's mom

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Allison_V's Avatar

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    Thanks will definitely try this! Marley loves fingers and ears and my husbands beard! (Not sure we'll put the PB in his beard though haha)
    ďA dog doesnít care if youíre rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his." - John Grogan, Marley & Me

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