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Our 6 month old Springer hasn't learnt bite inhibition!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by maisieS, Jul 4, 2009.


  1. maisieS

    maisieS PetForums Newbie

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    So far our springer has learnt commands such as stay,sit,down and is great with recall. She also beginning to learn the names of her toys & searching on command, however we have one problem - we can't stop the biting! She typically nips when we're not paying her attention, tired and trying to get her lead on. From 8 weeks, we have tried responding with a high pitch "ouch" and ignoring her i.e. if we're sat at the sofa's and she continues to bite we'll both get up, sit at the table and not provide her with any attention for 10 or so min. We have also tried diverting her attention to a toy and engaging her with other activities, however there is clearly something we're not doing right as the beahviour still continues.

    If we say a firm NO or use the "ouch", she typically responds with snapping and will bite even harder! Occassionally, the excitment turns into aggression.

    Any suggestions???
     
  2. zozzen

    zozzen PetForums Junior

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    I'm just wondering if you r too gentle with her biting...? Do you establish your role as a leader too?

    I'd show a stronger anger towards my dogs, and try harder on some trainings to build up my role as a leader. (like a leash training and good eating behaviour).
     
  3. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    How old is she?
    My pups around 20wks and has largely stopped biting - only does it when were teasing him. Are you keeping eye contact when your telling her "ow". There was a spate where he seemed to bite quite a lot, though it was him exploring what he can and cannot do - id put him on the floor if on the sofa and just be persistant, ignoring him and keeping him off - incurring one or two grumpbes/barks/snaps though nothing serious.
    What are you feeding her? This can make such a big bifference to their temperaments. Are you sure shes not just wanting exercise or to be let out to go to the loo? You may have some bites and then she wees 10 mins after or something?
    It will decrease - just keep up what you are doing - if shes young then it does take a good few weeks :D
    ps, look at my pics in my profile album - have you got any? :D
     
  4. maisieS

    maisieS PetForums Newbie

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    Your pup is gorgeous and has similar markings to our Maisie.

    We're feeding her natural, additive, soya free etc dry food, however often mix it with veg, sometimes an egg and raw meat. The biting is most prevalent during play and whilst petting her. It will start with mouthing, which quickly becomes very rough. We try to withdraw from this activity when is starts, but she seems to come back for more!
    We often place her on her back when it becomes a little too much, however it feels like it's almost become part of game. She will relax and the moment we let her go, the biting becomes snappy and aggressive. We currently exercise her twice daily, with a short walk in the morning and another in the evening. During this session we will often play games with her, take her to lake etc and ensure she's challenged mentally.

    With regards to the toileting, we leave our back door open and she goes as and when. With this, she's brilliant and rarely has accidents.

    We believe that we've asserted ourselves as "leaders", however I’m questioning whether she's of the same opinion :) We've recently tried to introduce new boundaries into our household, such as remaining off the chairs, tables and anything else she finds to climb!
    As well as requesting her to sit/stay when feeding her and putting her harness on etc. We have noticed some improvements, but we're struggling.
     
  5. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    glad you like the pics, how old is she though!?? lol

    with the biting try to remain above her with either crossed arms or with your hands out of the way. It does ware on you as you think when will it stop! But it does, and pretty much overnight.
    Are you instigating play? Wit my pup he was very dominant - we couldnt really approach him without getting a playful snap, we basically just left him alone - setting boundries of where he could and couldnt go and when stroking him it was quick.
    Your not supposed to over pet them when they are young - one becaues they dont know who you are, what your doing or why your doing it. As i say we kept to quick and gentle strokes only like 3 - 5 seconds when he approached or did something good, it was mostly verbal praise.
    Have to say hes sorted. The food your giving seems good - i expect shes just having a laugh at you so you should really put her in the dog house, dont be afraid of her they are a very hardy breed. Let her do her own thing, shell come when she realises shes not getting attention and if she comes naughty - put her in a crate for a few minutes and shell come out tip top ;)
     
  6. maisieS

    maisieS PetForums Newbie

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    6 months on the 8th :)

    Your pup sounds very similar to maisie, perhaps we've been a little soft on her. I didn't know that about the petting and if it's used to reinforce good behaviour then i can see why it should be kept to a minimum.

    Many thanks for the advice. How long did it take for your pup to get sorted?
     
  7. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    Please, please, please, stop the alpha roll (putting her on her back), she is a puppy and learning. By putting her on her back you will actually turn what should be training through play, into a potential battle of wills. And you could inadvertently create the very problems you are trying to resolve.

    I have recently written a post which you should find helpful. The key is consistency, both in the approach, and in either rewarding good behaviour, or removing your attention 100% when she mouths/nips/bites.

    Teaching Bite Inhibition

    Also, with regards to her toilet training. Just bare in mind that the weather is mild now so you can leave the door open, but in winter it will be closed. So you need to condition/train her to let you know when she needs to go do her biz.

    It's great that you are getting her to "sit" "wait". You can apply this to anything your pup wants i.e., she want your attention "sit", "wait". She want you to throw a ball "sit", "wait". She wants to go out the front door for a walk "sit", "wait". This is what Sophia Yin calls "Learn to Earn Program" and I can highly recommend her book:

    How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

    Hope this helps.
     
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