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At what age does puppy biting become a problem?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Monkeypuppy, May 2, 2021 at 6:22 PM.


  1. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    I mean at what age would you begin to think it wasn't "normal" and call in the behaviourists?
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Depends.
    How hard is he biting, how easily deterred is he from biting, who is he biting - just people he knows well or everyone, is the biting frantic or playful... All sorts of things I would consider.

    I have a dog who's over a year old and she still regularly bites in play. I don't consider it an issue.
     
  3. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for replying. He bites for attention mainly. It isn't hard and doesn't really hurt. He does it to all of us Inc children, and also people he doesn't know. It's like he thinks it's an appropriate way to greet people and nothing we've tried seems to be teaching him it isn't. He's 7 months.
     
  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    What have you tried so far?
    What breed is he do you know?
    Oh and where does he bite? Hands, feet? Other body parts?
     
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  5. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    He's a collie which are obviously known for nipping. It's mainly feet, bums, knees.

    We have tried saying ouch and saying a firm no biting. We have tried telling him to get a toy instead which he will do. We've tried totally ignoring it and walking away. We are now trying to do the latter so that he doesn't know that biting = us telling him to get a toy + playtime. At a loss really and just want to know how worried we should be
     
  6. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't be terribly worried, but I wouldn't take it lightly either.
    I don't mind biting where the dog is looking at me and basically has play face and says "I'm going to bite you" and I have an opportunity to say "no I'm not playing" but ambush biting from behind I wouldn't be so tolerant of. Absolutely would not tolerate him biting strangers.
    Does he give you any hints that he's about to chomp? If he does I would firmly say 'no' and make myself unavailable.

    Make sure you are also encouraging and rewarding him when he asks for attention in more appropriate ways. Make it so that appropriate requests for attention, you listen and respond to, inappropriate ones are no-gos.
     
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  7. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks, that's very reassuring and that is pretty much what we're trying to do with preempting it and not giving him an opportunity, and giving lots of attention when he approaches any of us without biting us.
     
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  8. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Rather than tell him to go get a toy, people usually recommend having chew toys to hand to replace whatever he’s biting.

    Avoid contact with strangers too.

    Pop him behind a baby gate with a filled kong when people come to the house.
     
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  9. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Lurcherlad. What's the reason for having the toy to hand rather than telling him to go and get one?
     
  10. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    So you can literally just shove the toy (whether toy toy or chew toy or anything else suitable for biting) in your dog's face and ta-da, they've bitten the correct thing! Rather than following a cue/ directions which requires the brainspace to disengage and do as asked. Teaching dogs to concentrate on what you're asking when they're in !!!!! mode involves a lot of training, and not something a 7 month old pup is likely to be able to do and get right every time - sometimes isn't a good enough success rate. Whereas you doing the moving and getting the toy in the right place can't really go wrong.
     
  11. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    Ah okay thanks, that makes sense. He is pretty good at going and getting the toy as soon as we say it. Just frustrating that he doesn't remember for next time.
     
  12. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    I would still switch how you're managing it, not least as as you've said above, your current methods don't seem to be working. At the minute you're saying to him "when I ask you to get a toy, you get a toy", which is a great skill for general dog-owning life, don't get me wrong! I use it most days with my dog too. But in terms of appropriate biting you want him to learn "when you feel like biting, you bite xyz not human". And it's a big leap for a baby to make, to join the dots, and to remember the joined dots while feeling hyped up and !!!! in future.
     
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  13. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Also he has found out what works, biting gets attention and so reinforces the behaviour . If its become a habit it can take a little while for him to learn a new behaviour.
     
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  14. 5rivers79

    5rivers79 PetForums VIP

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    It’s a problem if
    Probably the moment where he can’t be redirected. Wouldn’t worry too much about a puppy biting though as it doesn’t hurt. I don’t think squealing ouch works tbh as it sounds just like those squeaky toys that dogs play with. Probably end up seeing it as a fun game if you keep squealing.

    Saying “no” doesn’t mean anything if there’s no consequence to go along with it. I know this forum is all about positivity but just trying to explain that a dog doesn’t naturally know what “no” means.
     
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  15. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Newbie

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    Yes I think that's exactly right. The minute he bites us we say "no" he looks at us then runs off to get a toy and then gets to play with us. So the biting has worked.
     
    kimthecat likes this.
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