View Full Version : Biting and growling

3rd February 2007, 03:42 AM
This usually happens when I'm outside with Ollie just playing ball or something. He runs right up to my feet and starts growling and biting really hard! :shock: If I move or say anything to correct him he just gets more excited like it's part of the game. I usually end up picking him up just to get him to stop biting my toes but I don't think this is a good method.

Also he is still very bitey! Usually when I'm doing something like picking plants out of his coat or giving him a quick check over. He also always bites when his in my arms and I'm taking him to the toilet or soemthing. I can't yelp and ignore him when I'm carrying him, I could drop him!

Any suggestions or help? Would be very appreciated! :flwr:

3rd February 2007, 03:21 PM
It sounds like Ollie has hit "the stage" of biting. Good news is that it will probably pass as he gets older, though it certainly cant be ignored now.

I think you're right that picking him up when he bites is not a good way to deal with it. To Ollie, he finds that he gets held and cuddled when he bites. So he'll bite whenever he wants a cuddle, and cavs LOVE to cuddle!

When you're playing and he starts to growl and bite, give him a stern No! If he continues (and he probably will) end the game. No play. Period. Ignore him. If he continues to nip and bite at your feet (and he probably will) you will need to put him in time out. An xpen works well for time outs, but a blocked off kitchen or bath is also a good idea. When he is calmed down, you can let him out again.

You'll also need to make sure that he has plenty of good chew toys at hand, so that if he's not excited and playing but just wanting to bite, you can redirect his behavior to an appropriate object.

3rd February 2007, 05:39 PM
I agree totally with Cindy on this one. ;)

Faith is in that biting phase now - she's not teething but she likes to bite for the fun of it. When she bites my pants while I walk by or whatever I just say "AHH AHH" and grab her toy and give that to her instead. She's a smart little fart - I am sure Ollie is too. ;)

Good luck!

3rd February 2007, 08:41 PM
Thanks Cindy and Sara :)

The thing is we're usually in the garden when he starts the growling and biting behaviour so the only way to get him to time out is to pick him up and walk with him, which usually takes 10 seconds anyway!

Does this mean he won't relate the biting to the time out? :?

3rd February 2007, 09:36 PM
Yeah, if he does it mostly when he's outside, he's probably starting to learn that biting is outside play or that when he bites outside, he gets picked up. Is he on a leash when he's outside? Why do you have to pick him up??

If you want to stay outside (being outside seems weird to me now; we're lucky if we're in the double digits!) but Ollie is being a pest and ignoring him and stopping play isnt working, do you have some place outside that you can put him? An xpen outside would work fine. This, of course, is if you're needing to stay outside.

If you're outside just for Ollie, and his play is inappropriate, outside play time ends. Don't pick him up, just go in. If he's fixated on biting you, he should follow you inside. Once inside, if he continues, then time out. If he behaves inside, then you can cuddle and praise him for being good.

The key thing to remember no matter what the situation is, that the negative behavior does not result in anything good or positive. Play ends, no attention. Reward the positive behavior (letting him out of time out when he's calmed down). Make sense?

3rd February 2007, 09:51 PM
Thanks Cindy, Yep it makes sense.

Well it's REALLY hot here (in Australia) and it's much nicer playing outside where theres a nice breeze and lots of grass. I put him on a leash when I want to practise leash training but he gets very agitated if I just stand in the one spot and his on the leash. He starts jumping around and usually can wriggle out of his puppia. He doesn't mind it when I'm walking around the backyard, he just follows me.

The reason I pick him up is because theres about 7 steps leading into the house and I know stairs aren't good for growing puppies. I have to admit though sometimes he runs up (or down) them before I have any chance of stopping him.

I've tryed turning around and just ignoring him but the skin on my legs doesn't agree with that method :|

Whe I pick him up I try to take him into the time out room straight away but he has a new game now. When I reach down to try and pick him up he just runs in the opposite direction :sl*p: I don't chase him I just wait till he comes to me but that can take a while!

3rd February 2007, 09:54 PM
Could you try distraction with a favourite toy or food ?

When he is doing the undesired behaviour give him a command eg, sit and then praise with a food treat striaght after.
Not sure if that will work but maybe worth a try. Sorry no advice for the biting when your holding him or trying to groom etc. I'm sure someone else will be along to help soon.

3rd February 2007, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the idea I'll try that next time :flwr:

3rd February 2007, 10:07 PM
:lol: Sorry for laughing, but Ollie sounds like the perfect little mischief. Dont you just love this age?? Now you know why so many people swear they wont ever go through puppyhood again!

I wouldnt worry about those few stairs. If he's willing to go up and down them on his own, he'll be okay. You just dont want him running up and down and up and down full flights of stairs (not yet anyway!).

I know its hard to be stern to the little guy; even when he's naughty he's cute! If he runs away from you when you go to pick him up, run away from HIM. He wants you to chase him, which is a GREAT game to a pup. So, play...but make him chase you. And he will. When he catches you (probably biting at your ankles) grab the little guy. At this age, it is important not to play the chase game where you chase him. Always have him chase you if you want to play. That way, he learns to go after you rather than run away from you. (If he comes to you during this game, it's akin to returning on a recall. Picking him up then is rewarding him for coming to you.)

A food lure might work, but you want to make certain that you always make him do something desirable before giving him a treat. Make him sit, not bite, something before treating him.

Remember, he's just a pup and he's going through a stage. Some day will be good days, and some days you'll get frustrated. Just do your best and try to be patient. He'll hopefully calm down as he gets a bit older. Hang in there!!

3rd February 2007, 10:42 PM
Thanks for all the help Cindy! :D :flwr:

I'll try the chasing thing, just hope I don't land in poo! Haha :lol:

Ollie has RASCAL branded right across his forehead! In invisible ink of course ;)

13th February 2007, 02:45 AM
Hey Em, any luck with the biting? Hope Ollie's behaving himself now.

13th February 2007, 03:00 AM
I dont know how old Ollie is, but my 9 wk old has just started this. I find it happens right before she is going to crash - sort of like a baby that needs to wail to let the stress out before it falls asleep.

As well, I just took Kodee out the front door today and at first it went well then she just went nuts - running in circles, got herself tangled - here she is on a 6' lead and me like an idiot couldnt even catch her, wow she can somersault any which way she wants to avoid me! Personally, I find they are actually frustrated at this point - they are tired, but want to play, they get excited but scared of the new or big open spaces - a little too much all at once syndrome.

I like the suggestion of carrying treats and distracting with a request and then reward - after about 3 attempts if it keeps up - i'd go in for a bit. I find the best time to go out is after a nap when they are still a bit groggy and not as easily excited since they are relaxed. I think the hardest part is to remind yourself they are a puppy - cause it almost seems to us that they dont like us at that moment. But alas they settle down later and only want a cuddle so we know better ;)