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Old 10-04-2013, 10:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
 

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Thanks for this post! My pit bull actually has a bit of heeler in him too, so the following us around and always being underfoot and nipping at the ankles makes a lot of sense.

Here's my dilemma:

Our pitbull puppy will be 8 weeks old this Sunday; we adopted him 1 week ago. For the most part, he is totally sweet, affectionate, playful, and charming. However, being a puppy, he is also very chewy and nippy right now.

My boyfriend and I are being very consistent with praising him when he gives "kisses," giving him good chew toys and praising him when he uses those, and firmly telling him no when he bites our hands, face, or clothes.

However, he seems to get in these rambunctious biting moods where he is totally out of control, and I can't find anything that will calm him down other than putting him outside or in his crate -- neither of which I want him to view as a punishment!

I have read many forums about this and everybody advises saying no sternly, and then withdrawing attention. The problem is, when I do this, he follows me and continues to nip and bite even though I am walking away and ignoring him. He's already strong enough that if I don't react to this biting, he will tear my clothes or skin. Basically, he forces me to engage if I don't want to lock him outside or in his crate, and given that fact, I don't know what I should be doing in reaction to this. Clearly, I don't want to end up actually running away from him, because that will certainly send the wrong message!

Should I be pinning him down to assert my dominance? I have tried this and because he is still small enough for me to handle easily, I can do this, but I don't want to scare him or make him think he's in a fight; and even this doesn't seem to stick for very long, he is back up and snarling and biting at me as soon as I stop.

I understand that he is a small puppy and thinks he is playing; I truly don't feel that he is trying to be mean or aggressive towards me, he just doesn't know the difference. But I am very adamant about nipping this behavior in the bud before he is bigger, and would appreciate any advice on how I should react when this happens. (Also, I know that he left his litter a bit early. We are going to be very good about socializing him with lots of other dogs, but he has not yet had his first shots so we've been keeping him restricted to our house and yard for now.)

He seems to only do this with me and not my boyfriend, which leads me to assume that it has to do with some sort of dominance relationship he is perceiving only with me. Any advice on what I can do for the next few days until we can take him out around other pups and give him another play outlet would be much appreciated! I love this little guy so much and don't want to get started on the wrong foot!

Thanks so much,
-Lindsey
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Submissive roll or Pinning your puppy down to assert your dominance is not recommended. It's a fantasy move used by Cesar Milan to break the spirit of a confused dog. There's better ways to teach a pup right from wrong. He's only 8 weeks old, you can turn his focus on to something else like tossing a ball or giving him a chew toy when he gets like that.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Lol I swear that guy makes shit up as he goes along..


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Old 10-05-2013, 08:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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My pup is now 22weeks old. And I remember the biting phase when I first got him. I am not sure how you play with you pups, but I read somewhere that your hands should never be used as a play item. So don't rough his face and get him worked up. Don't run your hand over the floor to get him to chase it. It is NOT an easy thing to practice, because that I how we have all played with pups. If you use a toy rather to play with your he will learn that that is an appropriate object to bite, rather than your body.

My boy still gets a little mouthy from time to time. And I know that, because I have been working on it with since I got him, if I say ow and pull myself away from him he stops and goes to licking me. It's quite cute actually. Another perk about training your dog to not see your hands as toys is that it makes checking his teeth easier because he will not want to mouth you.

The thing I have found is that if you don't want you puppy chewing it, don't let him see it as a "fun" item. If you don't want him chewing your stuff, give him some more rewarding to chew. I have never "touch wood" had Jones chew in my stuff, but I give him raw hides every couple of days as a treat, he has pieces of leather that I got from a shop that makes leather bags and shoes. (I have a few of the longer pieces for tug. I find that they don't fall apart like the rope toys do. And from the look on his face he prefer the feeling of leather on his gums to anything else) I give him frozen raw beef knuckles and ribs. They have some meat on them and I know that the coldness in his mouth has seemed to help with his teething. Don't give weight bearing bones from large animals as these are near impossible to chew through, even if they are marketed as "great for dogs" these bones are often responsible for damage to teeth. I also would recommend feeding smoked or dehydrated bones as cooking a bones changes the structure of the bone, making it brittle and splinter prone.

I would start desensitizing your pup to being handled all over his body from as young as possible. There is a great sticky about socializing your dog and all the things to get him used to, I am sure that it is on the list, but try and take your pup to the vets office just for a visit. Get him used to being on the exam table and being handled. Your vet should be ok with this, and may not charge you for this. The same goes for the car. Getting your pup used to the car makes travel SO much easier.


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Old 10-06-2013, 10:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
 

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Thanks for your responses. That is good to know, that the rolling/dominance tactics are not recommended. He seems to respond to this a bit when my boyfriend does it, but it does not seem to make a difference when I do it, and I don't like feeling like it might scare him.

I am way more on board with the idea of giving him positive chew toys to distract him, and most of the time he loves his toys and can play with them for awhile without getting bored. However, he when he snaps into these moods of his, I find that absolutely nothing will distract him. It usually begins with him tugging at my pant leg, and when I tell him no and try to turn my attention away from him, it seems like it makes him angry, as he growls and will latch on to my legs and clothes even tighter. I really just need a tactic for what to do to make it STOP in the moment, and then I can certainly work on distracting and rewarding him for positive chewing, or ignoring him so he gets the picture. The only way I can feasibly separate when this is happening, just to make the biting and growling stop, is to pick him up sternly and put him outside; but of course I don't want him to see outside a punishment, he just needs a break to calm down for a minute.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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I have heard about citronella oil and water in a spray bottle. And putting yourself into the situation where he bites at you and spraying him in the face as soon as his teeth make contact. Though, I am not sure how you feel about aversive training.


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Old 10-07-2013, 06:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by eblindauer View Post
thanks for that information, besides raw hides and stuff, do you have an ideals on how to get your puppy to think your kids are not puppies lol. hes been bitting at them not aggressively but playingly and not often but im not sure on how to get him to realize that they are not his play toys. i want him to learn immediately so something does happen in the future that can hurt my boys, so i need some prevention ideals plz and thanks
Puppies & 5 year olds. Smh Sounds like your in a great place in life!
We always had multiple dogs along with 4 kids (3 boys! Lol!)
puppies were never allowed to rough house 'em. First thing I did was teach my children how to act -like staying low key around 'em, and how to break off the play when the pup gets too excited, so I can step in, and put the pup in a "time out" to chill.
Supervised play is key, so is giving you kids & your pup a couple of toys to play with together. A puppy can't nip with a ball /rope in his mouth. The other thing I found when I supervised the interactions was I was also able to correct my children if need be. Raising children to respect animals teaches them to respect others.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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My roommate is a 5 year old in a 27 year old's body, I HAD Xena trained pretty well to not bite but he started playing really rough with her and she went right back to her old ways. I chewed him out big time after I saw him slapping her face to make her chomp her jaws at him, she has seizures and I told him before this not to mess with her head. He hasn't done it since and we are slowly re-teaching her.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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My roommate is a 5 year old in a 27 year old's body, I HAD Xena trained pretty well to not bite but he started playing really rough with her and she went right back to her old ways. I chewed him out big time after I saw him slapping her face to make her chomp her jaws at him, she has seizures and I told him before this not to mess with her head. He hasn't done it since and we are slowly re-teaching her.
Training the roommate, and retraining the dog, huh? Lol! Too funny!
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Yeah, lol. Wouldn't be the first time, both of my roommates and my boyfriend are fairly immature and need a good smack upside the head now and again. Honestly its easier to train the dogs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:25 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, lol. Wouldn't be the first time, both of my roommates and my boyfriend are fairly immature and need a good smack upside the head now and again. Honestly its easier to train the dogs.
Rofl!! I fully agree with you that's it's easier to train a dog.


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Old 01-06-2014, 01:29 PM   #27 (permalink)
 

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Good Info, I'll certainly be applying all that I've learnt
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