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View Full Version : Really Mouthy Puppy - Need Advice?



BostonGirl
17th May 2007, 05:33 PM
Bella is 4 months old now and she is a very mouthy puppy. She is constantly biting everything, us included. Her bites are really starting to hurt and I'm wondering if this is normal. It has gone from a puppy chewing thing to what seems to be just a biting thing. She will even growl when she gets really into it. We always tell her no when she does this and I have even tried the Cesar Millian "hand like a dog mouths thing on her neck." Nothing seems to work - she seems to take any kind of discipline as an invitation to bit harder. She seems to take us pulling our hand away as a game to try to catch it. I also will leave my hand there and not pull it away and constantly say "no" but she doesnt stop. We also put a toy in her mouth instead but she seems to find fingers much more appetizing. She isnt always like this - only when she is in a hyper mood but it does kind of worry me. I want to kick the habit right away before she thinks biting people is okay. I could just be over-reacting as I know puppies are teething but I need your advice. Is this normal? Will she just grow out of it? If not, what are some tactics that might work to get her to stop? Thanks in advance!!

vikki
17th May 2007, 05:46 PM
my pup 13 weeks is pretty much the same way. I think it's normal and they will outgrow it. but others who have more experience than I do may know for sure. I think all you can do is to keep redirecting her with a toy. someone mentioned the 3 strikes and you're out rule. if they don't stop by then put them down. I have been doing all of the above, plus telling her no. it seems that she is still biting when she is worked up, but now (sometimes) she bites a bit more softly.

inca
17th May 2007, 06:00 PM
or make a loud noise like your really in pain .......

nxhawke
17th May 2007, 06:08 PM
My two have never growled or even nipped or chewed on anything they werent suppose to. But they always have rawhides and we never played tug-o-war with them. My dog trainer told me to never play tug-o-war with them because this is a reward for the dog showing aggression.

Kodee
17th May 2007, 07:35 PM
Kodee was like that and on rare occassion still is, if very excited. I found trying to "correct" it just heightened it. When I went the route of avoiding it the mouthing lessoned. I avoided it by distracting her in situations I knew it would happen. I.E. When a new family/friend arrives into her gated area she got really excited and went to greet which quickly turned into clawing legs and when you try to pat hello her nipping hands and finally grapping pant leg as you tried to walk away. Not a pleasant experience for anyone.

We solved it by putting a basket of toys/treats by the front stairs on the other side of the gated area from her. Every morning I took a long 3ft blanket braided and had it ready after I greeted her to pull behind me - she chased it thus saving my legs. When my daughter got home from school Kodee wants to jump in her lap but at the same time got so excited she started mouthing her hands etc.. I told her (she is not young but 19) to not sit without a bone or something to calm Kodee while she sat in her lap. That sort of avoidance worked to lesson it happening therefore her learning the bad behaviour. When all else failed the yelp loud and stand up and leave room (doing this with consistency) for a few minutes worked. It alone I dont think would have as we would have been leaving her every other minute so reducing the amt of times we neede to (with avoidance tricks) made it sink in to her. As well she had to sit as I said gentle to get any treat. If she moved forward at all, I said ah, then gentle as I slowly - really slowly moved my hand towards her. Now I say gentle when she is playing and she backs down.

arasara
17th May 2007, 07:42 PM
She's likely starting to get into the teething stage. Make sure she has plenty of things to chew on. I used a chilly bone for my 2 dogs and they loved it.

I think growling for puppies this age is more of a way to play - not anger. Generally 14 week old puppies are just finding their vocal chords :P. They just want to play. Kosmo and Faith both still growl like crazy when they are playing with each other or me.

I found the best way to get the dog to stop is to scream OUCH! and put the dog away from me. It's hard, but eventually they will outgrow it :)

niamhx
17th May 2007, 08:23 PM
Hi finn is the same he's 12 weeks old and is always biting. He caught my 5 by the ear when he leaned down from the chair to give him kisses and pulled him off the chair by the ear it really hurt :(

We found the best way and what a vet told me years ago was to say no and put them out of the room straight away when they bite its working with finn. it only has to be a for few minutes:D

angie
17th May 2007, 09:37 PM
jadan used to do this as a pup and we did what you do too. ouch! redirecting the chewing etc. time out is a good one and he will grow out of it but you will have to keep it up and NOT let him get away with anything you dont want him to do as a grown up. i wouldnt let jadan greet people until he had calmed down first and then he had to sit and them come to him, ignoring him first while he showed off. now he play fights with my son sean but if i come along and say uh uh he will stop straight away. we played tug of war with him as a pup and taught him to drop and let go on comand very early on. our trainer said that he growls at his toys not us and you can tell because when he does let go he is still smiling waiting for more, but the growling stops. im sure others on this site have more advice but it doesnt happen over night. its an everyday thing. :) at four months he is exploring everything with his mouth just as baby would only he is more mobile so will come into contact with more things and as they dont have hands there mouths do just fine. replace everything he chews on that he shouldnt with something he should and tell him hes a good boy with lots of praise when he chews on the right stuff. jadan loves cardboard tubes and we would put him in a box just so he could chew it to bits (watching he didnt eat any!)

molly
18th May 2007, 01:41 AM
This article is by Ian Dunbar a noted animal behaviorist. It is old but still very pertinent. Hope it helps. Your puppy is playing with you and you will need to teach it limits. They learn! Do you have him in a puppy class? They will also help you with this.

http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bitestop.htm

Linda'nQuincy
18th May 2007, 05:18 AM
Quincy was also a very mouthy puppy up until he was 8-9 months old. All of the above suggestions worked to some degree for us. However, the one thing that finally broke him of the habit, most of the time, was a spray bottle of old after-shave. Our breeder suggested spraying it on our hands, feet, or? whenever Quincy began to nip. It worked--he hated the taste! I also found it worked better than Bitter Apple on a few things he attempted to nibble early on. (small table and a footstool) Once he got the hang of it, all we had to do was bring out the bottle, and he backed away. Placing him slightly away from us in his X Pen was effective as well.

lb0024
18th June 2007, 10:23 PM
I just saw this post, but had to reply. Molly is the same way, and I do the same things ("OUCH!", "no", give her a toy to chew (fingers are apparently much better :-| ), but she still bites.

I do like the after shave idea, though. I don't have any around, gotta think of something else, but I might give that a shot. And maybe the x-pen too. :)

Thanks for the ideas.

PS I read somewhere that occasional tug of war games are okay after your dog knows the "drop it" command... and one other one, but I forget which one. I thought that kind of made sense because then ultimately you are still the alpha dog...

OhMarley
19th June 2007, 03:35 AM
Bella is 4 months old now and she is a very mouthy puppy. She is constantly biting everything, us included. Her bites are really starting to hurt and I'm wondering if this is normal. It has gone from a puppy chewing thing to what seems to be just a biting thing. She will even growl when she gets really into it. We always tell her no when she does this and I have even tried the Cesar Millian "hand like a dog mouths thing on her neck." Nothing seems to work - she seems to take any kind of discipline as an invitation to bit harder. She seems to take us pulling our hand away as a game to try to catch it. I also will leave my hand there and not pull it away and constantly say "no" but she doesnt stop. We also put a toy in her mouth instead but she seems to find fingers much more appetizing. She isnt always like this - only when she is in a hyper mood but it does kind of worry me. I want to kick the habit right away before she thinks biting people is okay. I could just be over-reacting as I know puppies are teething but I need your advice. Is this normal? Will she just grow out of it? If not, what are some tactics that might work to get her to stop? Thanks in advance!!



This is exactly the same as marley!!!! We've asked at both his puppy classes what to do as he's drawn blood from biting so hard!!! We were told as well to yelp like he does when he bites, we were shown a way to restrain him ... I'll try to explain it.. when we are sitting on a chair with him on our lap if he bites we hold him firmly with our hand under his shoulders if your doing it correctly he can't bite you its great hehe, then we go back to running our hands over him if he doesnt bite lots of praise if he does a sharp AH AH and the hold, its been really good!
If he just goes beserk he's put in timeout for 1 minute then let out.
We were told that a lot of the biting they will grow out of, its a lot to do with age and teething but its more about setting boundaries now of what is and isn't acceptable and not encouraging the biting.
Putting toys in him mouth for biting rather then out hands hehe!
Anyhow it is all a learning curve, ask around, read up on it and try and find something that works for you...it can be really frustrating but i'm glad to read this as I now feel like its a normal behaviour not that my puppy is maniac!!!! :D

noa_mills
19th June 2007, 08:06 AM
I'm so relieved! Our Jordi is 3 months old and a very active baby. We spend a few hours a day away from him as we both work. When we get home, at first he's really sweet, then moves on to biting and growling, sometimes he bites very, very hard :( We try to distract him with a toy, we ask him to be gentle, we make pain noises when he bites too hard. As soon as he growls we put him in a crate for some time out, but he is still very persistent! My only consolation is that he has stopped biting our feet & trousers, now it' s "only" our hands. I hope he grows out of it, because it's not fun to put him away when you really want to spend as much time as possible with him. I will read the article & try it out :xfngr:

But like I said, I'm relieved it's normal puppy behaviour and not unusual :rah:

Emma n Renco
19th June 2007, 09:50 AM
Harvey bites a lot but if he has your hand he usually bites carefully to see if there is a reaction from it before biting harder. Usually we yelp loudly and ignore him for a few minutes and he goes to find a toy to play with. We are fed up as he is 5 months old and although we are seeing a slight improvement it would be nicer if he just wouldn't do it. There is one funny thing though, his canine teeth have fallen out (we managed to save one) so although the replacements are on the way up at the moment he can't cause any pain to us ha ha... We have been told it is like teething with a baby and when his big teeth are through and not bothering him he will stop... we'll see.