View Full Version : I need HELP with my puppy biting!

14th March 2006, 03:01 PM
My puppy "Calvin" is 10 weeks old and he is biting a lot! He has been doing this since we got him at 8 weeks. He gets in these wild moods and bites all of us. He just bit me so hard it broke the skin on my finger. I have talked with my vet about this at his last check-up and he said I should hold his mouth closed and in a mean voice say "No Bite" well I do that and pretty much as soon as I release him he is still nipping. Sometimes this will correct it. My other Cavalier did not do this. I would love any suggestions you all may have. I have read in a puppy book that if you don't stop this he may keep doing this into adulthood.
Thanks! Leah

14th March 2006, 03:10 PM
Hi Leah

I wouldnt worry too much yet. I have a 7 month old male cavalier and he was exactly the same as Calvin at that age. Me and my husband were going round the bend wondering what on earth we were going to do. We had been told that he would grow out of it but we still worried. Anyway by the time he got to about 4/5 months old it just stopped. He never bites now. I know exactly how you feel though i remember how i felt but i hope i can be of a little comfort in saying that everybody was right. Our cav did grow out it. They bite everything at that age because they are teething i think. Well that is my experience. I know all dogs are different. Calvin is still very young so lets hope it will pass soon. Is he also very exciteable. I think that is a male dog thing. Maybe i am wrong. Was your last cavalier a male too?

14th March 2006, 04:27 PM
Thanks for responding. You made me feel better hoping he will outgrow this. Our last Cavalier "KC" was a boy. He was so sweet and NEVER bit anyone. We got him when he was 11 weeks old and I do remember him being very playful and active but don't recall any biting. I bought Calvin a Nylabone and tons of toys for chewing. Hopefully, this behavior will pass. He is very, very sweet and loving too, he just gets in these crazy puppy moods!
Thanks, Leah

14th March 2006, 04:48 PM
Young puppies commonly do this sort of puppy biting. I would not hold his muzzle closed but every single time he tries to bite make a very loud, startling 'AH!!" and then turn away and ignore him for several minutes. And I mean *ignore* -- no eye contact, no touching, nothing. Move away so that he cannot continue to play. This is how puppies learn to inhibit their puppy bite -- by their siblings and adults dogs yelping then *totally ignoring them*. Nothing is as quick to make a pup rethink what it is doing than to have no one play with him!

Alternatively, you can say 'AH!" (which basically just startles him enough to make him stop completely) then hand him a nylabone or other puppy chew toy. In other words, substiuitute an appropriate chew toy for your hands, feet etc. But you will not always have a toy to hand to substitute in, in which case, follow the above directions.

Here is some excellent advice:


Note that praise for DESIRED gentle behaviour is important for puppies!

One of the reasons many breeders feel 8 weeks is too young for pupppies to be separated from parent and siblings is that by 10-12 weeks -- as you have noticed -- mum and siblings and generallythe breeder's family have themselves taught the pup more polite behaviour (the same holds true for kittens incidentally).

It is very important not to slap or hit the pup for wrong behaviour -- just as someone wouldn;t slap a baby for normal but sometimes irritating human baby behaviour. That's also why I don't like holding the dog's mouth shut -- which is frustrating, unwelcome behaviour from a human and in some dogs might provoke a snapping response. Vets BTW are not generally the best behaviour instructors, I have found! It's not really their area and I've been horrified at some of the things I've heard vets say in a well-intentioned way. Better to leave the medical advice to them. :)

14th March 2006, 07:47 PM
Karlin's advice is very sound.

One thing fo teething I found to be effective was to dampen a flannel and put it in the freezer - it's very soothing. Also you can use Raggers in the same way.

14th March 2006, 08:56 PM
Leah, my little Isabelle did it all the time when we first got her. We'd sternly and loudly say "no bite" and then turn and ignore her. It didn't take long before she stopped.