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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Lunging at the wtare bottle.

    We have a 13 week old who nips at your hands and feet. When we squirt her with the water bottle she lunges at it. Is this normal? any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjpao View Post
    We have a 13 week old who nips at your hands and feet. When we squirt her with the water bottle she lunges at it. Is this normal? any suggestions?
    I think it's a very normal behavior, yes. Would you like to be sprayed in the face?

    Nipping is a natural behavior for puppies. They nip when they're bored, when they're teething, when they're seeking your attention... Your puppy (what's his/her name) will grow out of that phase eventually.

    Do you have any toys? When he/she is nipping at your feet tell him/her no. When he/she releases on his/her own, offer him/her a toy or a treat, and praise. The idea is to teach your dog that good things happen when bad behavior stops.

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

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    Out of curiosity, did someone suggest that you use a water bottle at the puppy? Using the water bottle can be effective to deter undesirable behavior but that is usually much more effective when the dog is more mentally mature than a 13 week old. At 13 weeks you want to use redirection rather than punishment to educate your puppy.

    Use a toy to redirect like Mikel suggested. You can also try the "peanut butter method" :


    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.

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