Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits
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Thread: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

  1. #1
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    DefaultPuppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    Hi All, I have a 9 wk old Lab pup named Indy and thought I'd ask a few questions. I have a few books but they dont seem to answer these questions well.

    My main issue is stopping rough play and play biting. We have cats so that's the main concern. Currently, when I play with the dog we roll around and stuff, I already play fetch with him (although he doesnt give it up too easy yet), I also play tug of war with him. He likes to thrash his head around when attacking the toys and he gets pretty into it. I'm wondering if I shouldnt play tug o war, or help him get really riled up. When he does ive noticed he'll bite a bit more and a bit harder. I usually correct him with a sharp "NO" or "NO BITE", and sometimes it works but if he's really riled it works less. I want to do whatever I can to create a docile dog for the future. One of my books says KONGS will help EVERYTHING! I swear, this author owns Kong stock. But we have a few kongs but they're not going to solve every situation.

    Also, if he does bite, what should i do. Is he too young to punish in anyway? Even by just saying "NO!"? I'm not talking about hurting him but it seems I might want to start early in stopping bad behavior. I guess it's automatic for me, I already do say "NO!" with quite a few behaviors, and it does mostly work, i'm just wondering if it will work long term.

    I'm trying first to start good behavior with positive reinforcement with treats and much praise. This has worked really well so far with house training. Also, when we used to go outside to the potty , he didnt want to come in! So i used treats and praise to lure him back into the house and it works almost every time now, he loves comin in now. BUT, some behaviors can't be taught or stopped with positive reinforcment, namely stop biting people and things. Indy doesnt seem to mind the taste of anti-chew sprays on the furniture! So what sort of punishment, if any, should i do on the pup?

    I guess one more issue is he doesnt like to follow me on the leash yet. Any tips in this department? He sometimes resists the way i want him to go and i end up pulling the leash, but i'm pretty sure this will only make things worse in the long run. Should I use Ceasar techniques or what?











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  3. #2
    KTB
    KTB is offline
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy
    Also, if he does bite, what should i do. Is he too young to punish in anyway? Even by just saying "NO!"? I'm not talking about hurting him but it seems I might want to start early in stopping bad behavior. I guess it's automatic for me, I already do say "NO!" with quite a few behaviors, and it does mostly work, i'm just wondering if it will work long term.
    Our puppy class trainer has helped us not use the word "no." As someone who hasn't had a dog before this was a little tough to get used to - I had read it many times but had a hard time doing it when I had a puppy nipping me!* Anyway, what we do instead of saying no is get him to do something we want (sit, shake or more commonly look) and then reward the good behavior.* Our puppy does very well with this and even though he is teething pretty seriously now he bites much less and when he does it is softer mouthing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy
    I guess one more issue is he doesnt like to follow me on the leash yet. Any tips in this department? He sometimes resists the way i want him to go and i end up pulling the leash, but i'm pretty sure this will only make things worse in the long run. Should I use Ceasar techniques or what?
    At 9 weeks he is still a baby - don't expect too much from him.* We lured our boy around with a stick or a toy when he was that age (someone more skilled in training dogs would probably say that is a bad move too but it worked!) and a few weeks later graduated to "look." Ours was older when we learned about "look" but getting his attention on the walk and reinforcing it with treats and praise made a huge difference.* By 12 weeks he was walking fairly well and now at 4 months he is walking very well with a generally loose leash.

    Also - I am a big fan of Cesar Millan's show and read his book - being a leader for the dog seems like a universal concept. The thing to be careful of (especially with a little pup) are the corrections.* Save the strict training for obedience class when he is older - shape his behavior with positive reinforcement while he is a baby, he will soak it up like a sponge (if anyone disagrees please let me know - I'm no expert and still learning myself* ).

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    Thanks KTB.

    Yes, if anyone disagrees, and believes there are cases for "NO!" or mild punishment , let us know.

    The stick idea was good for following on a leash and also I'll bring some kibble for him to look at to maybe help him in smaller increments. I've been using liver treats for everything but dont want to use too many.

    I suppose I'll also just try to distract him with something when he's doing something wrong rather than punish or "NO!". Let me know if you disagree here. I dont want the pup to be unhappy thats for sure.

    Anyone got a good age at which time you can start using "NO!"? or other things?

    We're Ceasar Fans too btw.

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    He's a cutie. I wouldn't play tug-o-war with him until his adult teeth came in because you don't want to pull those out.
    Olie

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    He's cute! I hold Miles face in my hands and firmly say "no bite!". He's getting better but he'll still play bite. Playing with other dogs also helps them learn bite inhibition.

  8. #6
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    NO is too general a correction - the pup doesn't understand the behavior you're asking him to stop.

    NO BITE, NO VISIT, NO BARK, NO BEGGING, NO WHINING are all much more specific and will (EVENTUALLY!!) get you a better result, especially when you pair them with praise (NO BITE/Good no bite... NO BARK/Good no bark!) Consistent wording + consistent praise for the good stuff = a speedy learning curve.

    The best correction at this age for biting is an immediate end to play. You offer a firm NO BITE and get up from the floor, put the tug away, and leave him for a full minute or two. Other techniques include substitution of something he CANNOT bite (fingers) for something he can (Kong!).

    If it becomes extreme and you feel some retribution will drive the point home (you've got a REALLY headstrong dog!), take his bottom lip and curl it over the bottom teeth. That way, when he's nipping your fingers, he's also nipping his lip. Then look right in his eye and say NO BITE and praise when he lets go.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    What we did and still do is when Sadie starts to bite too hard we yell "OUCH" (which stops the hard biting) and do this a couple of times. If she continues to bite hard, I say NO BITE and walk away. For the most part just yelling ouch works great. Think about when they are playing with their littermates, the littermates yelp loudly when they have been bit too hard and then walk away. Kinda the same concept.

  10. #8
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: Puppy Bite Inhibition, Play Habbits

    Thanks a lot for the responses. Ok, so it seems people are reprimending their dogs, verbally. Some people say that you shouldnt, I thought that was a bit extreme to NEVER do it in cases like biting.. i mean you just gotta say something.
    Substitution and walking away are both good strategies.

    Thanks guys.
    Here's his Dogster page so far.
    http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?i=413382


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