We have a 3 and a half month old Choc Lab along with 7 year old twins. I have read all the posts and comments about puppy biting and we are trying all those mentioned; yelling ouch, having toys and bones on hand, redirecting but it doesn't seem to work. She won't bite my husband at all and if its just her and I she is fine I tell her to stop and give her a bone and she is fine but throw the twins in and its a problem.
My question is because of the twins (Sinnamon thinks my son is her personal chew toy most days) not being able to train her very well (they push her off and she just thinks they are playing more) we have taken to putting the puppy outside on her chain by herself for five or ten minutes to try and calm her down. Has anyone ever tried this before, will it work or not? I don't want to be doing something that will make her mean or hate us later.
I know she is puppy and we have to patient but really how long does the biting thing usually last?
I don't think chaining her up will work. I know some people advocate a brief time out when pup is getting too riled up, but it just hasn't worked in my experience. (For what it's worth, it doesn't work with my human kids either, so maybe it's me that's not doing it right)
I have 7 year old and 2 year old little humans, and Luci (8 months) gets way too out of hand and extremely mouthy when they play together. It's like they feed off each other's kiddie energy, and within minutes everyone is bouncing off the walls (sometimes literally!) I usually wind up sending the humans to another room to play to give Luci a break from them. Also, when Luci is feeling calm, I have my 7 year old work with her on a leash. This helps build's my daughter's confidence with handling Luci (she starts to act timid when Luci gets mouthy, which of course makes Luci worse). Oddly enough, Luci pays better attention to my 2 year old, who isn't shy about telling her to "go away and lay down" when she is getting out of hand.
I don't have children so I don't know about child-puppy dynamics. But if I remember correctly an 8-month old pup is still "getting her chew on."
I don't think your dog will understand that being chained outside has anything to do with her nipping. What I did was to smear peanut butter or cream cheese on the web between my thumb and first finger and let Cooper lick it off. If she accidentally nipped I would startle her with an "OW!" She seemed to catch on pretty quickly that hands were not for biting. But she wasn't a big biter in the first place. Well, it worked for us, for what it's worth.
sending her outside alone isn't training. it's avoiding the problem that will just keep rearing it's ugly head and only get worse as puppy gets bigger.
You need to train the kids. Not saying that is any easier than training the puppy, but they need to train the puppy as well. pushing her off just exites her and starts a good game of pounce/bite/wrestle. Same goes if they are using a high pitch voice when pushing her off. If the oww is too pitchy/whiny it may sound more like an invitation to play. They need to do teh same things you and your husband do, with your help of course, and train the puppy. NOW while the puppy is still small.
The biting lasts awhile, it depends on many things like how effective the family is at training and how much training/exercise the puppy gets.
I highly recommend getting all teh family registered for puppy classes (they generally allow kids to come too). It will help everyone work with the puppy, and maybe having a trainer work wtih the twins will help them apply the training.
Get the kids involved in training overall. Have them feed her (with you there) and do a sit/stay (if you have not trained this then do so, then have the kids do it). Have the kids participate in training sessions. Once you haev trained the puppy to do something like sit, then the kids need to practice too. Puppy needs to learn that the kids are not litter mates but extentions of her owners (you and your hubby).
Last edited by Tanya; 07-12-2013 at 09:31 PM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Your puppy looks at the kids as his litter mates and wants to play with them like she would her siblings. Tanya is right, the kids have to use the same training mode you have chosen. We put a hand around Sophie's muzzle and commanded Don't Bite everytime she bit us. Even the neighborhood kids knew this and did it when she mouthed them. We all stuck with it, and about a month in, Sophie suddenly figured out what the fuss was about and stopped. If your kids don't carry though with the same proceedure as you do, the mouthing won't stop. Good luck.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Thank you everyone for the great advice, I'm really glad I asked. We have trained her to sit, lay down and stay and she does this for the twins as well so they do know a bit about training. I guess all I can keep doing is having them distract her with the bones and if that doesn't work sending them away from the situation to defuse a little. I was thinking about getting some of the longer bones so that when they try to put it in her mouth she doesn't get their hands like she does ours. My brother in law has an older yellow lab so we thought about 'borrowing' her to come and play with Sinnamon so she can learn the pack mate, not biting dynamics.
Thank you Tanya for the article as well.
Great advice from Tanya, as always. As well, I would not chain a puppy outside & leave it unsupervised... even for 5 minutes. Think of a puppy as you would a child, he could wrap himself up & choke himself in a matter of a minute. I'm not a fan of unsupervised tie-outs for dogs of any age, but particularly a puppy with so much energy & lack of training. Is your property fenced? But as mentioned above putting him outside is avoidance, not training.