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  1. #1
    Young Dawg (Member) SilverValley's Avatar

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    Default Need help! Can't get 4 month old puppy to stop biting

    I have never had this kind of problem with any of my previous dogs, including my former pyr when they were puppies. Koda is now 4 months old, and any attempts to stop the biting/nipping gets met with more biting. I've tried redirecting him to his chew toys, but he is single minded in his pursuit of chewing on me and won't be diverted. I tried rewarding him by saying ahah loudly, and treating him when he stopped. That became a game to him where he would then bite to be rewarded for stopping. My next tactic was to give a sharp ahah and immediately confine him to the crate for a minute or two. Now, as soon as he knows he's getting ready to be put in the crate for a time out, he starts biting at my arms when I reach for him.

    Any suggestions on how to get this end? The bites are becoming more painful, and I really don't want this to continue when he's bigger and stronger.

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

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    Here is the peanut butter method from TexasKat:



    The peanut butter method works pretty well. In addition, the whole family can participate. Here's the basic process:

    Look for opportunities (if your puppy nips) while you are at home to teach him or her 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 your pup 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 may work when the puppy is 'in the act", but we trained ours using peanut butter (but you could use something else that's smeary and yummy) 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.


    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.

  3. #3
    Young Dawg (Member) SilverValley's Avatar

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    Thank you for the suggestion. I need to think of something other than peanut butter as I'm almost positive he's allergic to it. He had a few tummy issues when I first got him, so I'm not positive but the few times I tried giving him some peanut butter he had severe diarrhea.

    I really hope this works. He is incredibly smart, and is doing great in puppy kindergarten with learning commands and socializing. He just seems to have some strange compulsion with biting my daughter and me no matter what we do.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    cream cheese, greek yogurt would work as well. could use the low fat versions if it's the fat content that makes him have the runs

  5. #5
    Young Dawg (Member) SilverValley's Avatar

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    Fabulous idea! Thank you.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) robinandoso's Avatar

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    When Oso was a wee little pup, I yelped when he bit me like a very, very, sad, sad, sad, hurt puppy. Then I whined and coddled my bitten hand. Then I walked away and closed a door between us for a while (even if it was a bathroom door.)

    He was puzzled after the first time. When the next bite got the same response, he whined, too, and tried to lick my bite spot. He never did it again after that.

    But, then again.... he hadn't developed a habit of doing it. And he's a total mama's boy. But, it's an option.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) WildGrits's Avatar

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    Jacques did much better after his big teeth all came in. He still plays a little rough but only with the humans who usually play rough with him. Never with grandma.

    I never had any luck with any of the suggestions listed. The only thing that worked, sometimes, was just redirection. Do some training on new commands. Or doing something active like chase would stop him.

    But honestly I think he mostly grew out of it. He will do it to me still a few times a week but no long with other family members.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    My Pyr pup I got him when he was 4 months old. He was a rescue. His former owners gave him up because he killed a chicken. He was also abused. He did a lot of biting in the beginning but mainly to gain attention but he was also very scared too. One thing I figured out quickly it was his way of getting something he needed. Usually it was because he had to potty or was hungry. He is 11 months now and I have figured out it was his way of communicating. He is still scared but not as bad as he was.

  9. #9
    Young Dawg (Member) Darcie's Avatar

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    Peanut butter kisses have DRAMATICALLY reduced the biting of my 3 month pyr/gsd girl Masi who last week was the very worst kind of landshark in existence. If you were a human within 4 feet of her, her teeth were about to be on you. Now she only bites when she gets really excited or when one of my kids picks her up for no reason for the 10th time in 2 minutes.

    I'm confused how it even worked, though because she never once bit while licking the peanut butter. So we never took our hands away. We just told her "good kisses" the whole time. It's like a lightbulb went on and she realized there's another way to interact with us with her mouth. So now when we pet her instead of biting she licks us. And when our faces are by hers instead of taking a chunk out of our noses she licks.

    For the remainder of the time if she deliberately bites she goes instantly to time out. My kids can't lift her into time out or react quickly enough so I always do it. So she NEVER bites me but she still bites my kids if they're exciting her by running around or annoying the snot out of her.

    SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS TIP!! For the first time in our month with her my kids can love on her without fear of being dismembered.

  10. #10
    Road Dawg Zech's Mom's Avatar

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    I am like so many in this thread , This has been LIKE MAGIC in my puppy's world with the instinctive obsessive nipping thing...
    Peanut butter kisses Finally made him connect the dots and stop Biting on us and that we were trying to communicate..., I know this is an older thread but I just found this treasure...

    AND this has made him want more kisses and to Learn more... I am not even sure why or how it redirected him enough for the change but I am SO happy to have a distraction solution to change what he was doing when what he was doing is Just Inviting play and getting our attention not punishment worthy, which would be his association because he was using his teeth to communicate, not to actually hurt...
    I don't want to discourage that communication part... but those nips hurt for sure. It is SO fun too watching him love up on his PB kisses... have to share.... I am so in love with this floof ball..

    https://youtu.be/kEoaEUCF7q8

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