Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

3 Kinds of Puppy Biting

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Vana, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Vana

    Vana PetForums Newbie

    Jan 4, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Yes, I know it's another puppy Biting thread, I apologize.

    We have a 15 week old border collie who is as you would expect, mouthy.

    Her teething biting normal puppy stuff is something we are working on by consistently providing her with feedback, or walking away if she doesn't control her bite pressure. It's nothing, mainly affectionate at this point.

    Her second kind of biting is more of an issue, it starts with the word NO and continues until she "gets her way". I think this is probably a side effect from the teethy mouthy biting "walk away", as such, she now bites us to get us to leave her alone so she can continue chewing or indiscriminate eating etc. We tried distracting her, but she always remembers, I think this made it worse by providing a positive reinforcement. So this is work in progress and seems to be improving as we train impulse control and face it down unflinchingly.

    Her third type of biting has me stumped, when playing indoors, if she needs letting outside etc... She bites/nips and pulls..it really hurts! and catches me completely by surprise. Obviously I want her to ''tell' me these things so I can't reprimand it, but it has to stop and that's why I'm here looking for some advice. I've kind of been managing it by taking her outside every 15 minutes or so while playing but it's not gone away and as she gets stronger it's becoming dangerous as I fear she may pull me over.

    She is too smart for her own good and too mischievous to have the run the house.

    Any helpful advice or experience with this kind of issue would be greatly appreciated.

    #1 Vana, Jan 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  2. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

    Mar 5, 2014
    Likes Received:
    As nobody else has replied I'll give this a go.... Although your post is a bit muddled in that you talk positive reinforcement in one sentence, and in others talk 'reprimand' and 'NO'.
    So if I'm confused I dare say your pup is more so.

    Chewing or biting for teething is usually carried out on something other than a person, and that need is met by providing lots of suitable things for your puppy to gnaw on to relieve the pain/irritation of growing teeth, and you would watch her so that you can divert her to her chew toys, away from unsuitable things like chair legs.

    Puppy mouthing type biting on people is something she did with her litter mates to learn bite inhibition, and also is a way of exploring the world around her, including you.
    Some pups will stop mouthing at a sharp shriek of pain from you, others to 'time out'. There's lots of advice on here in the Puppy Stickies. It's not a sign of 'affection' neither is it the opposite.

    Your 'second type' of biting over things she's eating or chewing, the one you do the 'NO' for, sounds as if you are fast pushing her into resource guarding, which can become a really serious issue. Stop confronting her over this, stop 'facing her down'. She is obviously seeing this as a threat from you as she clearly isn't understanding your behaviour; and just what does 'NO' mean to a 15 week old puppy??
    There are resource guarding stickies: Please read them before you do any more damage in this department.

    Impulse control in a 15 week old puppy; I'm wondering what method you are using to teach her this and really hope you aren't expecting much as I doubt she has the attention span. Over-facing leads to confusion and a fear of training. Concentrate on the stuff that matters at the moment.

    The last one biting you mention is possibly the notorious Collie nip, often done from behind and if it is then it is down to herding instinct.
    Yours sounds more as if it is for attention. You specifically mention 'going out', and I think the best way to go with this is to teach her alternative more rewarding behaviours to get your attention, and being aware of where she is and what she's doing so that you can divert her from nipping you. You could teach her to ring a bell to go out (see YouTube), or sit in front of you for attention. Hopefully somebody else on here has some more advice that will help with this one; all I can say is for you to think of an alternative behaviour to teach her.
    Jamesgoeswalkies and kimthecat like this.
  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Pretty much as Linda Weasel has written above.

    15 weeks is young so it is natural that she is still feeling her way through these puppy behaviours. For me, it's about being calm and consistent as we guide them them through this stage. It isn't about 'facing it down unflinchingly'. These behaviours are not "made worse by providing a positive reinforcement". "Facing down unflinchingly" would suggest you are being confrontational which may explain the escalation in the nipping behaviour that you are seeing (what you call the 'second kind of biting'). Your description of this suggests to me she is responding to the body language of the human - "she now bites us to get us to leave her alone so she can continue chewing or indiscriminate eating etc" and definitely points to resource guarding as has been mentioned above.

    In regard to general puppy nipping (the first kind you mention), keeping our puppy calm during play and recognising when they are getting excited or over aroused helps us manage the behaviour rather than look to 'correct' it. Walking away calmly does work but it must be done consistently.

    Re the 'second kind of nipping' I would introduce the 'swapping' technique using food or toys to teach a reliable 'give it to me' which will stand your puppy in good stead when they are older.

    The 'third kind' of nipping could come from a number of sources. As Linda Weasel says, Collies can use their nipping when they feel over aroused or anxious to control a situation (by rounding up/moving a person) but I also have known a number of puppies who become silly when they need the toilet and will resort to this kind of behaviour. Try to pre empt it (as you are doing by taking your puppy out more often) and if you continue to work on the nipping in other areas the behaviour should improve as she grows up.

    There is lots of advice in the individual sticky threads and the Puppy Support Thread which should help you.- https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/puppy-support-thread.448113/

    Linda Weasel likes this.
  4. JessandJackson_x

    JessandJackson_x PetForums Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I can 2nd ALL 3 types of biting and I have a 7 month old rescue dog. As the others state: 15 weeks is very young and a good age to start puppy training - check Google for anything local to you or maybe ask when you are taking the pup out and about and bump into other fellow walkers.

    I haven't had the resource guarding issues with mine but to get him to leave we would say 'Leave' followed by 'Whats this' - which would be a small treat and with that follows the drop of the toy and a good boy.

    When you see the switch-up or the lunging towards you etc - have a chew toy nearby to replace your hands or clothes being the object. Even if you have the toy in your pocket whenever you are around the house.

    Silence is golden especially at 15 weeks old - they are still Bambi in nature so when I mean silence is golden - any noise you make even NO shows you are engaging which excites them still whether it's biting or not. A silent walk away. Maybe try a baby gate so when pups going overboard you can gently close the door behind but he can still see you - stay away for 30 seconds until he's realised he hasn't go his own way and walk back in calmly.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice