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Biting Pup - at end of tether - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by tiny, Mar 27, 2011.


  1. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    It's me again. My beagle pup is now 20 weeks old - i've had her since she was 7 weeks old. I asked advice before on how to stop her biting/nipping and have been following your advice of yelling "ouch" n stopping the game - ive even removed her from the situation for "time out" but nothing is working. She doesnt nip me or my hubby as much now although she does come up behind me n bite the back of my legs when she is off lead then she runs so I cant put her in time out. However, she is still biting my 5 yr old and is biting her really hard - she jumped uip n bit her face a few days ago. She has got sneaky n wont bite when im around but as soon as they are out of my sight even 2 steps away around the corner of the house she bites again. my wee one has been yelling "ouch" n has removed the pup to time out but the pup is still snapping and biting. Im at the end of my tether and am considering rehoming my pup to a house with no children. Ive been making sure she is walked n exercised and have started clicker training but nothing is stopping her biting. Any ideas??

    lanzarote oct 10 051.jpg
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Have you taught her to play with a toy, she can bite or chew at instead? Has she learnt Human skin friendly fun alternative activities to do with you? Does she play with other puppies and dogs, to get some of the puppy energy and boisterousness out that way in supervised play with interruptions so some calmness and self control is learnt?

    At way before 20 weeks, I would hope for gentle mouthing, and any playful jumping up and nipping, to be moderating.

    You cannot leave a 5 yr old alone with a playful puppy. You set your puppy & 5 yr old up to fail. How can a 5 yr old be expected to react appropriately to a puppy nip, and not miscommunicate to the dog when it's jumping up and nipping?

    In the big puppy nipping thread, there's whole host of methods, some of which work very well with some pups, and others that don't.
     
  3. Doolally

    Doolally PetForums Senior

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    I agree with this all. A 5year old child, no matter how good cannot be expected to get the timing right. Plus, a child has a squeaky high pitched voice so is just tooooooo exciiiiiiiiiiiiiting for a pup! I don't know when a child could be left alone with a dog but imo 5years is too young.
     
  4. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    Have you taken her to a behaviourist/trainer to be properly assessed? We have taken T-Bo, who is now 11 weeks old and she showed us exactly how to react to his nipping. He now doesn't hardly nip at all, so her advice was invaluable but we needed to be shown how to respond to all different scenario's and we needed her to tell us if we were doing it correctly. We also needed her to see first hand how he reacted to us, as all dogs are different and what works with one may not with another. Owning five dogs already was no guarantee that he was like any one of them and the training they had is completely different to the training she has shown us with T-Bo.

    He starts his puppy class next week but the £40 spent on a two hour one to one has been invaluable! ;)
     
  5. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    im sorry that you have misunderstood me - my 5 yr old is never left alone with the pup - ever. im always there. i reprimand the pup but have been teaching her too also. ive done the toy when she bites, yelling "ouch", removing her from the room. she's been to puppy classes, meets other dogs for a play in park every day - but to no avail. she has gotten sneaky now and comes up behind you n bites now n runs away. im thinking of keeping her on a long lead at all times outside for a bit until i get this under control - do you think this will help?
     
  6. Pineapple

    Pineapple PetForums Member

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    The nipping WILL eventually end. My puppy nipped like a mad thing and only since about 6 months onwards did he more or less stop altogether. Once they have their adult teeth in, and if you are consistent with how you react to the nips, the puppy will outgrow it.

    As mentioned above - teaching games where use of the mouth can be turned on and off is brilliant for getting some control and teach when it's appropriate. When my puppy was still being mouthy, I taught him to play tug, then I figured out that by touching his nose very lightly while he had hold of the toy, he'd naturally release it. Whenever he did this, I'd say "Give". I'd then say "Get it!" and the game of tug resumed. Very quickly it wasn't necessary to touch his nose as he learnt that giving the toy up when asked meant the reward would be the game resuming.

    As he got better at this, I could add "Wait" and move the toy around in front of his face for a bit before saying "Get it", to proof his self-control. It was a very useful game to teach because he learnt to restrain himself, and also learnt that the game was more fun when there were rules - and it seemed to curb his mouthiness a great deal.

    Hope that helps - i know this can be a nightmare time, you might see I started a thread when my puppy was younger titled "Can't Pet My Puppy". He is much much better now - so I promise it does get better with time.
     
    #6 Pineapple, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  7. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    the lady who takes my puppy training classes is a behaviourist as well malmum n i have thought of getting a one to one session with her but its £90 for an hour and I dont have the money at the minute as ive been off work ill for 9 weeks now. she told me to do the "ouch" n 2nd strike is time out - ive been doing this but to no avail. After easter i might have to try to find the money as i cant continue much longer - this isnt acceptable anymore.
     
  8. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    I thought you probably did, because that explains why it's done behind your back. Try to manage the situation well enough to stop the pup getting over excited in trying to play with the 5 yr old. A 5 yr old's face is not very high, it's just not safe.

    Often lfl suggests umbilicals, to help control; that means a line round your waist (Halti make suitable double ended which can conveniently clip if can't make do with old washing line) with the pup attached to you, when your 5 yr old is playing.

    Time out did not work at all with my pup, he was pushing a teenager around; what did work was focussing his play and showing the teenager how to do obedience training with him, so she could control the pup by having him earn treats. A high pitch yelp worked a treat, with an automatic short cessation of play. I allowed mouthing on me, and yelped gradually more and more sensitively, to have really good bite inhibition.

    Oh, and make sure noone is rough housing with the pup, especially indoors.

    Frankly, you want the pup "attacking" the adults, not small children, so I think personally that reprimands and unpleasant detterences as discipline are a very bad idea, as that tends to lead to displacement onto another weaker target.
     
    #8 RobD-BCactive, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  9. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    OUCH!!! £90 is a bit steep to say the least. Isn't there another behaviourist in your area that you could have a one to one with?

    I don't know about Beagles as i've never had one but Flynn my Mallie was a terror at mouthing and did it for a round a year, not hard but mouthing all the same. She is still only a pup and although she's probably quite large is still just a baby. She will grow out of it and I know how frustrating it can be at times and it does hurt too. I wonder if Beagles are stubborn and harder to train, have you looked for a Beagle forum for any advice - am sure there must be one. Not that people on here aren't helpful - of course they are but sometimes folk that have been in specific breeds for many years know a few tricks - like the people on the Mal forum I go on, having breed experience for over 40 years.

    Just a thought and can't believe how expensive your trainer is, perhaps mine is cheaper because she's helped me with the Mals and knows me but still.......
     
  10. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    Some dogs think that you saying "ouch!" is a game, so if that isn't working I'd try a time out or something.

    Much to some people's digust, we have in the past when she had bitten very hard, pushed our fingers down and back a little bit so she opened her mouth to spit our fingers out. However she only bit hard twice, as she rarely nipped to start with.
     
  11. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    "Often lfl suggests umbilicals, to help control; that means a line round your waist (Halti make suitable double ended which can conveniently clip if can't make do with old washing line) with the pup attached to you, when your 5 yr old is playing."

    I have an 80' long lead that i can wrap round a few times n tie off - i'll use that for the next few days when they are outside playing then she will be attached to me. i'm going to limit the play area too so they arent out of my sight for even a second until the biting stops. its now or never - im not going to take a chance on my wee one being hurt. thanks for the advice.

    lanzarote oct 10 051.jpg
     
  12. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear that you are having a nightmare with your beagle mouthing,and I do know what you mean about her targeting someone else ie your child,because our beagle used to do it to my son who was 12,he has ripped his clothes and bruised him several times,in fact if I ever told Alf off and my son was in the room,he would jump up and nip him!He also used to do what you have said,when you turn your back,he would bite your bum and sometimes would jump up as high to be able to snag my hair!We tried time out but you have to be careful,if you are using a crate as timeout as you don't want to confuse bedtime and relaxation time with also being punishment time,we used to just shut the door on whatever room alf was in,at the time of the nipping,but I don't think this was particulary effective.We also did the high pitched ouch,but again I think this made him excited,so we settled for total ignoring,Alf loves attention and to be ignored by us,was not what he wanted!We also used to get the rawhide out and sit with him while he chewed it to try and focus the chewing elsewhere
    .Forgot to ask,is she crated during the day,we found that Alf needed putting down to sleep like a baby and learned where his tiredness threshold was,so if he had been awake 90 mins,but usually just after an hour he started to become naughty,we would crate him then,so he was having a nap before getting to the naughty stage!

    hope this helps,but its good to know that we have been there,at the end of our tethers and we are here to help:D
     
  13. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    You know she is crated during the day and I have noticed you do need to put her down for a rest just like a baby lol. Is Alf a lemon and white beagle too? maybe something to do with the colour - lol. I'll try all your suggestions and see how we get on - it certainly cant get any worse. outside I use the run for "timeout" but it doesnt work. ive tried ignoring her but she comes up behind n bites my legs really hard if i ignore her - but i'll persevere. Im going to try the line round my waist so when she bites she cant run away to see if that stops her. fingers crossed and it does help to know you've already been there n done that and that im not on my own. thanks for the support.

    lanzarote oct 10 051.jpg
     
  14. keirk

    keirk PetForums Member

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    Also it maybe worth thinking about how you give her attention. Does she get most of her attention when she had bitten someone and you are telling her off?
     
  15. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    It could be, she is motivated to get more attention, and learns if she acts out she gets it, like a todller does; even if the attention isn't happy.

    So make sure you're noticing and praising & occasionally rewarding good behaviour. Reward calmness, like lying at your feet when you're relaxing with a cuppa. Settling her on a mat and such like.

    Puppy's are really frustrating, but the great thing is, once you've found the key, progress is very rapid and after a few months you end up with a dog you can feel very proud of.

    PS. Control the Games, Control the Dog and How to Train a Dog using Games seem like useful explanations of how to use activity to improve general behaviour, it's not just giving the pup a good time; but a way to build cooperation and reward, channelling exuberance.
     
    #15 RobD-BCactive, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  16. lexie2010

    lexie2010 PetForums Senior

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    hi, i feel your pain, my beagle pup was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE at that age-she made me her target eventhough i did most for her. i used "ahh" as the reprimand as ouch meant nothing to her. i took her to a well known behaviourist and it was biggest waste of time and money ever. i couldnt stroke lexie without her drawing blood so i taught her that hands were nice-smeared peanut butter/creamcheese on my hands and she had to lick it off-NO biting, saying "gentle" as she licked.
    any tug games were out of the question. she really needed enforced naps which i didnt realise at the start-had i known that i wouldnt have so many scars! lexie was just one 10days ago and is finally past the biting stage for good we reckon. when they lose the needle baby teeth things arent so bad but she needs to know that biting isnt acceptable by then also. lexie is chewaholic and loved nothing more than chewing on nylabones, frozen carrots and rawhide so get her into the habit of having a chew on something other than you/your family-use frozen food/toys smeared in peanut butter to focus her biting and exercise her jaws and ease her mood. good luck and stick at it and you will reap the rewards in the coming months and years!
     
  17. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    OMG!!!This is turning into a beagle self help group!!:D:D

    Its good for you to know that Lexie has been there I remember the posts,as she says,make your puppy nap and relax,and as Rob says reward calmness,we had a lead under the sofa leg that we used to put Alf on to teach him the settle down command,he used to go mental at first,like a bucking bronco,didn't want to settle and wanted to chew and bite,but the second,he got into a lie down position,we gave him a treat and so on,until,now we can say,settle down Alf and he just relaxes!You have to go through the bad times to get to the good,unfortunately,try and stick with it
     
  18. shez11

    shez11 PetForums Junior

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    Hi,:):):)

    Is she aggressive when biting or playful... i ask as my puppy sounds alot like yours... but always does it in a playful tail wagin manner.

    I see also u say she has cut down nipping. which is good.:001_smile:
    mine has started snappin & barking.. does urs???
    anyone got any tips on snapy behaviour.

    Lke u ihave been workin hard with al advice given..
    it can be so frustrating.:cryin:... but please think hard before givin her up.

    if any1 has new advice or support please help:crazy:
    xxxxx
     
  19. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

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    Don't worry too much about the biting (which I think means nipping - still hurts because of the needle sharp teeth but the dog isn't necessarily trying to hurt you seriously) it IS a phase you just have to work through. As your puppy gets older she will calm and won't want to nip as much, and your training will take care of the rest.

    At 20 weeks the puppy is still a little baby and will be teething, so the more relief you can give during the day (frozen kongs, ice cubes, teething toys) the better. The pain will feel worse when the dog is tired, just like when we've got toothache.


    At this age you need to be the responsible surrogate mum and set a routine for your pup which includes feeding times, play times, training times, walking times and, yes, sleeping times. I was surprised at how much I had to teach Charlie to sleep when he was little - always thought if something was tired it'd know to sleep, but found out this wasn't the case. This should rule out any frustration explanations.

    In terms of the nipping I tried a lot of different strategies, but the one that worked for me was to ignore the nipping (i.e. don't say ouch or anything) and instead ask the dog to sit. When it's sat, get on the floor and gently and slowly stroke it's chest in a slow circular motion to relax the dog a little. If the dog tries to bite you whilst stroking, put a toy in their mouth that they can chew and continue to stroke their chest.

    But as for your child getting bitten I don't know what to suggest. Are there any warning signs? Is your child unknowingly getting the dog excited, or getting too close to the dog too quickly?
     
    #19 Helbo, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  20. tiny

    tiny PetForums Member

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    Hmmmmm - u mite be onto something there helbo. ive kept honey on a lead at all times the past 2 days so i know exactly where she is and what she's at every second of the day. ive been watching very closely and honey's whole demeanor changes when my 5 yr old comes into the room. Honey gets so much more excited and will not listen to my commands when the wee one is about. So her time playing with my 5 yr old has been limited today and when she has gotten over excited ive ended palytime. Neither of them has liked this very much but tough. Honey nips but she also bites a lot harded than a nip - although ive been very stern with her over the past 2 days and the biting has definately reduced. She will still try to mouth and nip hands n feet but she isnt coming up behind and biting - she's on a lead and knows she cant run away. She's lying beside me chewing her kong n being a gorgeous wee puppy dog tonight - lol

    21 feb 2011 002.jpg
     
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