play bow = biting me!!
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Thread: play bow = biting me!!

  1. #1
    Joey is offline Senior Member
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    Defaultplay bow = biting me!!

    Well it was two weeks yesterday that we got Cooper and what a couple of weeks it has been! The first few days he was awesome, couldn't believe it, but I had a feeling he was just getting used to things. He is still really great, but we do have a few issues. The first one was chewing and biting on the leash when walking. We have now solved that problem by getting a chain leash and he hasn't done it since!

    The other, I still haven't figured out. It usually happens when I take him to the back to play. We start out good for the first 10 minutes or so, playing and chasing balls and things, but then Cooper will go and get into a play bow and when he comes to me running, he will jump up and start biting at my hands, arms, coat. The first time he bites, I yell "ouch" and cross my arms and turn away from him, but he just continues to growl and bite. He does have a long leash on him so I try to step on that, but then he just goes after my feet. I start to walk away to go into the house, but he follows and keeps biting till I can get inside. I then ignore him for about a minute and when I go back out I make him sit or something and then will start to play again if he's good. Usually he is fine, but yesterday I would go out and he would start again, I would leave him and try another time, but he still did it, then I brought him in.

    I don't think it's real aggression (I hope), but more from him and I trying to figure out each other, him being 5 1/2 months old, and something I'm not doing right to let him know this isn't how you play.

    I started puppy class on Sunday, his first time is this Sunday and he is great with following simple commands, is pretty calm for a lab puppy normally, gets lots of exercise (I have lost like 10 lbs in two weeks from walking), but I'm just not sure what to do about this.

    I want to be able to play with him and have fun, but don't want to worry about him coming after me and especially if and when the kids are around. Any thoughts or ideas would be really appreciated. I also might have the trainer from our classes come to my place so that she can see it happen.

    Thanks

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    Baloo317's Avatar
    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    I always suggest the nose pinch/tooth to lip. It is mildly controversial, but it worked like a charm for us.

    Firstly, he is playing, don't worry at all about aggression.

    Having said that, he does need to learn that using his teeth on people is NOT an acceptable way to play. Whenever Baloo bit me or Dan as a pup, I would put my hand over his nose and squeeze a little, while pressing his lip against his canine tooth.

    The trick is to be lightning quick (as in, less than a second between when he bites you and when you execute this strategy) and consistent. Meaning if he comes back at you, you do it again, until he stops. He'll quickly realize that biting people reaps undesirable consequences for him.

    Good luck! And hang in there, it does pass!
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  4. #3
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    zoesmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Hang in there! Many of us have gone through this, and have battle scars and tattered clothing to prove it.

    What we finally did was to give Zoe something acceptance to bite or chew (a toy or as Bob Pr. suggests, those very skinny rawhide thingies). Our trainer also suggested putting butter or peanut butter on your arms, which should teach the dog to lick and not bite. I didn't do this, b/c by the time we got this suggestion, Zoe had grown out of her biting phase.

    Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    [

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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    I know it sounds stupid,,, but it has worked well for me;
    Be the bigger dog.
    Growl VERY loud (and long) and authoratively (scream it!) then follow immediately with a VERY loud woof with authority and end the session immediately.
    Something I learned from a Momma dog, and it works great.
    If you've become the authorative (pack leader) the dog will cringe with an "Oops!" expression immediately. Must be immediate.
    Don't overdo it like on everything. Keep it in reserve for them "can't have that" times.
    Growl with mouth open, airway clear, emminating from way down deep. Kind of baritone and loud. You should feel your belly rumble when done effectively. Like a dinosaur(?).
    Sounds stupid,, but very effective.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo317
    I always suggest the nose pinch/tooth to lip. It is mildly controversial, but it worked like a charm for us.

    Firstly, he is playing, don't worry at all about aggression.

    Having said that, he does need to learn that using his teeth on people is NOT an acceptable way to play. Whenever Baloo bit me or Dan as a pup, I would put my hand over his nose and squeeze a little, while pressing his lip against his canine tooth.

    The trick is to be lightning quick (as in, less than a second between when he bites you and when you execute this strategy) and consistent. Meaning if he comes back at you, you do it again, until he stops. He'll quickly realize that biting people reaps undesirable consequences for him.

    Good luck! And hang in there, it does pass!
    +1

    It will pass but it takes time. It's not immediate and even when they are older puppies, they get riled and forget.

  8. #6
    Joey is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I was also wondering if there was anything that I could do to stop the biting even before it happens? When he is in the play bow, he is staring right at me and I'm not sure if there's something I can do with body language or eye contact to not have him run at me. I would like to redirect it if I could, maybe I should keep a secret toy in my pocket so when he comes, I can distract him with that?


  9. #7
    amazongold's Avatar
    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    How are you playing with him before he does this? Strictly retrieving-type play, or do you ruffle him up, rubbing him hard, pushing on him, anything physical? That could be a trigger, I know it is for Buddy.
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

  10. #8
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Sounds like what Rocky does when we "play fight". I'd love to be able to "wrestle" with him but he goes at me like I'm a dog (biting anything and everything - and thought he is play biting, thus not puncture, it doesn't feel all that great!)
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  11. #9
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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Kassa used to do this as a pup and my brothers five month old Dalmation does it.Those puppy teeth are horrible.

    They get over excited and don't know when to stop. A trainer told me to crate Kass the moment we see her starting to get excited. It helped. I learned to read the signs and walk away.
    My brothers children get Tilly excited and she runs down the hall biting anyone in reach. As soon as everyone ignores her she goes to her bed and calms down.

    As others have said it will pass. All part of the puppy stage.


    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
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    Baloo317's Avatar
    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: play bow = biting me!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I was also wondering if there was anything that I could do to stop the biting even before it happens? When he is in the play bow, he is staring right at me and I'm not sure if there's something I can do with body language or eye contact to not have him run at me. I would like to redirect it if I could, maybe I should keep a secret toy in my pocket so when he comes, I can distract him with that?

    That's a good idea.

    Or you could try just ignoring him as soon as you see it start. The play bow means "come play with me". If you turn your back, that's a pretty clear sign you're not interested.

    I don't know that I agree with the "no wrestling" rule. Dan and I get down on the floor and wrestle with Baloo all the time, I just taught him early on that one of the rules of "the game" was no teeth allowed. I don't want him to think it's OK to start using his teeth if a child came up to him and roughed him up a little, so I play that way to ensure he understands the no-teeth rule. I'm pretty sure I'd have a hard time convincing that kid's parents that Baloo was just playing when their kid runs away screaming. :-\
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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