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Hi all,

I was hoping someone could offer some advice on puppy biting and nipping. 

It has been some time since I’ve owned a puppy and don’t remember any of my previous dogs/puppies biting and nipping as much as my now almost 12 week old mini poodle pup. 

We have had him about 3 weeks and after a few days in, he settled in and he started biting and nipping everyone. 
Anyone that pats or plays with him is under attack! Lol! 

 

Now, I know puppies nip,chew and bite as they are teething but I feel he constantly bites and nips at everyone to the point of not being able to be played or patted a lot of the time as it just gets too much and we all end up with cuts, scratches and bite marks. 


We’ve tried yelping when he does it, saying “no” in a stern voice and giving him lots of different chew toys as a distraction but he just doesn’t seem fazed at all and continues nipping and biting at us. 
 

He also occasionally growls at me when he is in a really nipping mood. 

 

Any advice on how to deal with this issue would be much appreciated. 

Please note that I understand he’s just a puppy and play nipping/ biting is normal but I also want to make sure I’m also setting the correct behaviours when dealing with this for when he gets older. 
 

Thanks in advance. 

 

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My first step would be a full vet checkup to make sure he doesn't have an underlying medical issue. If he hurts somewhere, he may be objecting to being handled.

 

T.

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1 hour ago, tdierikx said:

My first step would be a full vet checkup to make sure he doesn't have an underlying medical issue. If he hurts somewhere, he may be objecting to being handled.

 

T.

Thanks T. 
Ive had him fully vet checked and there seems to be no medical reason or soreness, I think it’s just something he does?

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33 minutes ago, Pucapo said:

I believe in using a "time out" pen when unwanted behaviour continues. Use a firm No and place pup in the pen when he nips. 

 

Thank you. I will try this and see if it improves. 

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Yelping/saying no either increases arousal, making things worse, or frightens your puppy. 


Rather than writing a lengthier post, watch and implement the things in the below video. Kikopup has lots of excellent, up-to-date content around puppy raising. https://m.youtube.com/user/kikopup/featured

 

Where people come undone is often the (physiological) arousal and management piece. Be proactive and set your pup up with activities, especially in peak bitey times. Ensure he has adequate sleep and quiet time. Don’t constantly amp him up. And teach him to settle and be calm around exciting things... like your hands.

 

If you haven’t yet enrolled in a good puppy preschool, which I suspect is the case given you’ve asked this question, please do so. Trainers are starting to see a lot of young dogs with behaviour problems due to pups and owners (needlessly) missing out on learning critical skills due to covid. You can find a good trainer on the PPGA website, some even have online offerings. A good puppy preschool is not about puppy mosh pits. And no this can’t wait until your puppy has all his vaccinations (see the AVSAB position statement on puppy socialisation).

 

Hope this helps. Do we get a photo of your little land shark? :) 

 

 

 

Edited by Papillon Kisses
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First off you need to address what the humans are doing and before you say nothing you all need to accept there is 2 parts here .

often the behaviour is cute for a few days ,human starts something puppy gets over stimulated humans decide puppy is naughty and needs stopping .

 

puppy pens are a great tool but not for punishment or being told off whilst being placed in it especially if the humans have joint responsibility in creating the end result.

 

Puppy pens are great for puppy time out,calm time,sleep time and learning to be on it’s on time .

It has its chew toys in there to enable it to have fun and just settle without the drama and reactions off humans often fluffing about adding to the pups reaction .

 

 

So what the pup needs to learn is self control,this happens during calmtouch time,calm brush time and just sitting calmly.

Pups learns reward on being taught the right behaviour.

 

When most people pat dogs they insist on doing so at the top off the head pup gets mouthy human pulls hand away and tries again and pup responds again ,human created reward .

 

Start teaching tricks ,direct puppy to simple tricks to use its brain,spin,walk backwards so many options off breaking that moment and creating a listening aspect instead .

 

Humans need to learn to stop flapping hands or allowing the “ oh it’s cute moment” .

 

Pup sounds like it’s enjoying the game but has no idea it’s not a game .

So what activities do you do with pup training wise,how is brushing and combing going,lead training 

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I'd just add a couple of things to what @Papillon Kisses  and @Dogsfevr have said.    General rules of thumb for puppy/dog training ... try to manage the environment so that puppy is most likely to succeed, try not to let the pup practise behaviours you don't want to see again, and focus on what you would like to see.

 

So in the case of puppy biting .. definitely encourage the puppy to develop and practise calm  - and associating that with routines, crate/xpen and safe chew toys will benefit you and the puppy not only in relation to the biting, but also in generl management of the pup even as an adult. (My almost 4 year old cray cray BC girl was desexed on Monday .. so much easier to protect her from damaging stitches because she has a good grasp of being calm.   

 

My go to for puppy biting was to have a house littered with legitimate chew items - cardboard tubes out of paper towel rolls, squashed plastic water.mill bottles .. etc. etc., so that wherever I was, I could quickly interrupt a biting puppy with something low key .. Oops,  I don't think so,  Excuse me .. all of which you can easily say in a calm tone, while I reach for a legitimate chew obhsct and engage the puppy in play with the toy, and then try to leave pup with the toy for a while..   If you do this every time, the pup gets used to what is OK and what is not appreciated, and still can enjoy playing with you.

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6 hours ago, Papillon Kisses said:

Yelping/saying no either increases arousal, making things worse, or frightens your puppy. 


Rather than writing a lengthier post, watch and implement the things in the below video. Kikopup has lots of excellent, up-to-date content around puppy raising. https://m.youtube.com/user/kikopup/featured

 

Where people come undone is often the (physiological) arousal and management piece. Be proactive and set your pup up with activities, especially in peak bitey times. Ensure he has adequate sleep and quiet time. Don’t constantly amp him up. And teach him to settle and be calm around exciting things... like your hands.

 

If you haven’t yet enrolled in a good puppy preschool, which I suspect is the case given you’ve asked this question, please do so. Trainers are starting to see a lot of young dogs with behaviour problems due to pups and owners (needlessly) missing out on learning critical skills due to covid. You can find a good trainer on the PPGA website, some even have online offerings. A good puppy preschool is not about puppy mosh pits. And no this can’t wait until your puppy has all his vaccinations (see the AVSAB position statement on puppy socialisation).

 

Hope this helps. Do we get a photo of your little land shark? :) 

 

 

 

Thank you for all your advice. 
I will definitely check out the you tube video you posted. Much appreciated. 

He is enrolled in puppy school, we start next week so I’m sure they can also give me some more information also. 

 

This is our cheeky little devil. Lol!

 

B07285C9-DE24-4568-B94E-694B2CC18656.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Dogsfevr said:

First off you need to address what the humans are doing and before you say nothing you all need to accept there is 2 parts here .

often the behaviour is cute for a few days ,human starts something puppy gets over stimulated humans decide puppy is naughty and needs stopping .

 

puppy pens are a great tool but not for punishment or being told off whilst being placed in it especially if the humans have joint responsibility in creating the end result.

 

Puppy pens are great for puppy time out,calm time,sleep time and learning to be on it’s on time .

It has its chew toys in there to enable it to have fun and just settle without the drama and reactions off humans often fluffing about adding to the pups reaction .

 

 

So what the pup needs to learn is self control,this happens during calmtouch time,calm brush time and just sitting calmly.

Pups learns reward on being taught the right behaviour.

 

When most people pat dogs they insist on doing so at the top off the head pup gets mouthy human pulls hand away and tries again and pup responds again ,human created reward .

 

Start teaching tricks ,direct puppy to simple tricks to use its brain,spin,walk backwards so many options off breaking that moment and creating a listening aspect instead .

 

Humans need to learn to stop flapping hands or allowing the “ oh it’s cute moment” .

 

Pup sounds like it’s enjoying the game but has no idea it’s not a game .

So what activities do you do with pup training wise,how is brushing and combing going,lead training 

I started training with him pretty much as soon as we got him. 

He has learnt to sit, shake, lay down and we are currently working on stay. 
He is highly intelligent and I’m finding he picks up things quickly, although when it comes to stopping the nipping at the moment he doesn’t seem to respond. 

He is very good on a lead, although I have not taken him outside of our yard as he only had his second vaccination last week and I was told by the vet to wait 7-10 days before taking him out for a walk in the neighbourhood, so I’ll be able to take him next week which will be great for him I think. 

As for brushing he doesn’t like it, I brush him every second day and he finds it to be a game I think and nips etc. 

Something we definitely have to work on. 
 

I think the puppy pen as a time out space is a good idea as few people have mentioned. 
He does have a crate but I may add on a pen so it’s more of a bigger area for him. 
 

Thanks for all you advice. Much appreciated. 

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4 hours ago, Tassie said:

I'd just add a couple of things to what @Papillon Kisses  and @Dogsfevr have said.    General rules of thumb for puppy/dog training ... try to manage the environment so that puppy is most likely to succeed, try not to let the pup practise behaviours you don't want to see again, and focus on what you would like to see.

 

So in the case of puppy biting .. definitely encourage the puppy to develop and practise calm  - and associating that with routines, crate/xpen and safe chew toys will benefit you and the puppy not only in relation to the biting, but also in generl management of the pup even as an adult. (My almost 4 year old cray cray BC girl was desexed on Monday .. so much easier to protect her from damaging stitches because she has a good grasp of being calm.   

 

My go to for puppy biting was to have a house littered with legitimate chew items - cardboard tubes out of paper towel rolls, squashed plastic water.mill bottles .. etc. etc., so that wherever I was, I could quickly interrupt a biting puppy with something low key .. Oops,  I don't think so,  Excuse me .. all of which you can easily say in a calm tone, while I reach for a legitimate chew obhsct and engage the puppy in play with the toy, and then try to leave pup with the toy for a while..   If you do this every time, the pup gets used to what is OK and what is not appreciated, and still can enjoy playing with you.

Thank you for your advice. 
I think your spot on with focusing on practising the good behaviours and possibly managing his environment more. 
 
 

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Not surprising he does the nipping being brushed but something you need to start being more in control off .Your puppy should not be nipping even at that age whilst being brushed .

Walking wise puppy can walk out the front onleash ,we walk our puppies for lead training pre homing out the front from 6 weeks .

Seeing the world,seeing cars ,hearing noises is a must .

Most vets explain it wrong there.

 

Grooming wise find a groomer early who will get the pup into a good routine early .

As a groomer most leave it till 6 months and bring a nippy ,untrained pup for there groom .

Where do you brush the pup .It doesn’t get to tell you what it wants ,brushing is fir life let it take control now and you will have an unpleasant 12 odd years ahead .

 

We tell our puppy owners to buy a non slip matt,place on washing machine or bench and brushing/touch time / feet,eyes,ear checks happen there .

 

Most people brush on the lounge,there lap or flip them upside down.

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Our bearded collie girl was the mouthiest pup I have ever experienced, ripped holes in so many of our clothes, would mouth any part of our bodies, would do it from behind, when you patted her anywhere, trying to brush her etc, the only thing that helped was time  and time out, she could get out of all our puppy pens from day one so I just put her in another room or out the back door when she got too silly.

As soon as she lost all her puppy teeth the behaviour completely stopped.

 

Make sure your puppy has plenty to chew on, teething makes their gums and mouth sore which can often lead to mouthy behaviour, human babies are exactly the same when they are teething.
 

 

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I have a Malinois, I still get bit on the regular, though as a young puppy she used to flat out attack me. When it was time to show her that that isn't appropriate, I just grabbed her collar, lift up a bit, and said no. Don't make it a big moment, but show that it isn't appropriate and it won't get them anywhere. Once calm, start a game, but only when they're not trying to bite you, otherwise you'll just reinforce the biting.

 

Re grooming, look into the Premack Principle ie bad thing first, then good thing. Common example – eat your veggies, then you can have dessert/tv/game etc. If he tolerates grooming, he is rewarded with something he likes. I have been using it for nail grinding – sit still for a nail, get food/toy. 

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1 hour ago, leac1801 said:

I have a Malinois, I still get bit on the regular, though as a young puppy she used to flat out attack me. When it was time to show her that that isn't appropriate, I just grabbed her collar, lift up a bit, and said no. Don't make it a big moment, but show that it isn't appropriate and it won't get them anywhere. Once calm, start a game, but only when they're not trying to bite you, otherwise you'll just reinforce the biting.

 

Re grooming, look into the Premack Principle ie bad thing first, then good thing. Common example – eat your veggies, then you can have dessert/tv/game etc. If he tolerates grooming, he is rewarded with something he likes. I have been using it for nail grinding – sit still for a nail, get food/toy. 


I wouldn’t advise disciplining a poodle the way you have suggested, they are a very sensitive breed and it doesn’t take much to make them become hand shy and turn into serious biters.

 

 

Edited by Rascalmyshadow
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Taking hold of the puppy's collar, disengaging it and saying no is not traumatic, and the action of holding the collar should be something that is conditioned from day one. If you don't do that for fear of upsetting the dog, you are doing your dog a disservice, as well as anyone that may have to catch or hold the dog in the future and is redirected on. If poodles were so sensitive to not be able to handle that, they wouldn't be in the Fab Four for service dogs, especially psych work. 

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On 15/01/2021 at 5:24 PM, Rascalmyshadow said:


I wouldn’t advise disciplining a poodle the way you have suggested, they are a very sensitive breed and it doesn’t take much to make them become hand shy and turn into biters.

 

Ok grabbing a collar in a positive way is what should be done, grabbing a puppy by the collar to discipline it before it has been taught to accept it is a problem.

And I never said it is traumatic but it is a good way to cause reactivity in a breed that has a tendency to become reactive.

I have lost track of the amount of poodles I have handled that are bad biters, so much that their owners are scared of them, many started out with using too much negative reinforcement.

 

I assume from your comments you have plenty of experience with poodles.

 

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9 hours ago, leac1801 said:

Taking hold of the puppy's collar, disengaging it and saying no is not traumatic, and the action of holding the collar should be something that is conditioned from day one. If you don't do that for fear of upsetting the dog, you are doing your dog a disservice, as well as anyone that may have to catch or hold the dog in the future and is redirected on. If poodles were so sensitive to not be able to handle that, they wouldn't be in the Fab Four for service dogs, especially psych work. 

Big difference between conditioning a dog to collar holding  & what you suggested for discipline which was Lift it up & say no .Personally something i would never dream off doing lifting a dog up by the collar to say no & certainly not on a breed or individual dog with a soft neck .
As your Malinios showed signs off aggression i gather it was working lines & would have been trained doing bite work from 8 weeks like many are in that breed .
I would also doubt service dogs are disciplined in that manner by forcibly lifting them up  ??
Service dogs are taught to accept & be rewarded by owners using the harness to assist with daily chores rarely the use off pulling a collar around the throat.
And if catching a dog by a collar that hasn't been taught to be collar held but jumped straight to discipline than its not going to be any help either .
 

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