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  1. #1
    Road Dawg lattelove's Avatar

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    Default Advice for stopping play-biting?

    Our Latte is a 10 month-old (we think!) Great Pyr/Rottweiler mix that we adopted at about 5 months old. I'd like to ask some advice for correcting play-biting. Is it normal for this to continue at this age? I believe she has all of her adult teeth and is no longer teething. I also believe this behavior is an inappropriate attempt to play and not aggression, but since she is obviously going to be a large, powerful dog (and we have a 5 year-old), we want to stop it as soon as possible. She primarily engages in the play-biting in the morning when I first greet her and let her out of her crate, (and then again as she greets each family member as they appear), when we return home from being gone for a while, and when she becomes over-stimulated during actual play.

    We have been using the command "no bite" whenever she snaps at our hands and feet, and then we praise her when she stops. In the morning before I let her outside, I make her sit at the door before I open it, then offer her a treat when she obeys. If she jumps up (another behavior we are working on) or snaps at my hand before I open the door, I again give her the command to sit before I let her out.

    When she becomes too rambunctious during play and starts snapping at us, we give her the commands "off," "sit," and then "down," and give praise/treats when she obeys. If she does not obey, I crate her until she calms down. Often just the threat of the word "crate" gets her to calm down, but she may attempt the snapping again later as soon as she gets overly excited. Sometimes she will jump up and grab clothing with her teeth.

    Is there anything we can add to what we are already doing to put a stop to the snapping? We are involving our 5 year-old in her training so that she sees him as an authority figure, and she probably listens to him best of all! He trains her with a treat to "sit, "down," "stay," and "come," every day (with our supervision), and she does extremely well during the training. The obedience has not, however, carried over to the times when she becomes overly excited!

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

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    lattelove hello and welcome to you and your gorgeous fur baby!!! My boy Zech is only 8 months but I have found he does understand the gentle mouth... it's just at his age when he's hyped up he doesn't do that... The more dog park, running, long distance outings he has will have a huge effect on that play biting thing. The more energy we expend for Zech, the less bitey his mouthy is.. he's 8 months we are all learning but I hope this helps! It seems like your baby is the same he "gets it" he just needs a bit more fine tuning... They are SO WORTH it! Cheers and happy to welcome you here... there is so much good experience here to help

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

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    This showed up in my FB feed yesterday, and I thought I would share it here...

    https://www.facebook.com/paws4umn/ph...type=3&theater

    Sebastian grew out of the land shark phase when he was a little over two years old. Until then, I had to muster up every bit of patience I had, as trying to “correct”the behavior just made him want to bite me more.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    This showed up in my FB feed yesterday, and I thought I would share it here...

    https://www.facebook.com/paws4umn/ph...type=3&theater

    Sebastian grew out of the land shark phase when he was a little over two years old. Until then, I had to muster up every bit of patience I had, as trying to “correct”the behavior just made him want to bite me more.
    OMG... SO TRUE! LOL I go through this every night when I start brushing Wiley... trying to get him to stop only makes it worse!

  5. #5
    Road Dawg lattelove's Avatar

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    Sorry I didn't notice earlier that I had replies to my post! Thank you all for your responses, and thanks to Sebastiansmom for the facebook link. I am glad to read that there is hope even when the play-biting continues beyond the teething stage. We recently started formal obedience training with Latte, and I already see that the consistent training is bringing about some improvements in her behavior. The trainer has even commented several times on how well-socialized she is, and that her behaviors are quite normal. I'm feeling much more confident that she will become a very well-adjusted family member!

    slick61...Latte is not a fan of being brushed, either! First dog I have ever had that did not love it and look forward to it!

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