View Full Version : Puppy is biting lots

Lexie in CA
5th December 2007, 02:58 AM
I'm at my wits end with Lexie. She's biting lots. Especially fingers, toes and my pant legs. When she's trying to bite my pant legs, she sometimes bites my ankle.

I've tried yelping and giving her something more appropriate to chew on or bite, but no takers. Can anyone give me any advice on what to do?

I know she's probably teething (she's almost 12 weeks) but I need to know how to solve this before she breaks skin. Thanks in advance.

we luv lexi
5th December 2007, 09:48 AM
i have a baby named lexi too and shes 15wks now, she still does this at times but always playful and dosent hurt much. i read this in one of my books and it worked well:
when she starts to bite, or nip. rub something on your finger like peanutbutter or a little bit of regular butter, this tastes good to her and forces her to lick it instead of bite it, when she starts licking say " good girl! kisses!!!" make sure you sound very excited! she will very quickly associate licking with kisses and shouldnt bite, but slather you with kisses. i did this and now everytime lexi starts nibbling i say "kisses lexi!" and she converts from biting to licking.
try it out see if you have any success, i only had to use the peanutbutter once for her to make the association.
if that dosent work spray bitter apple on your fingers and toes and she wont bite anyomore either. bitter apple can be a real life saver, if you dont have any go get some ASAP! lol
also, for the teething aspect, i give her an ice cube, since its slippery she likes to chase it around for a while and when she "captures" it the combination of crunch and cold seems to satisfy her.
hope this helps! keep us updated! good luck!

5th December 2007, 11:21 AM
That's an option to try.

As for biting fingers -- the best way to avoid this is to not have fingers in her vicinity to start with, and to wear shoes so she cannot bite toes. If she is running after ankles, she is getting overexcited and has too much freedom, too -- give her a time out in a pen or a crate. Hyper puppies are one reason why so many people swear by an investment in a quality x-pen, which is also extremely useful for older dogs, too. It sounds like she is being given too much freedom to run around loose when people are walking around and this needs to be more controlled. If there are kids around, in particular this needs to be managed -- kids should be sitting on the floor to interact. People walking around make for obvious targets and high pitched voices of kids can get a puppy way overexcited at which point they will nip in play.

If saying 'ow' or yelping or whatever isn't working it's because this isn't being done loudly and vigorously enough to startle the pup, needs to be done every time, and *takes time* to train. Also you need to simply walk away and totally avoid the pup for 5 minutes or so, so that the pup learns *all play ends* when she has bitten and upset people.

Good advice: http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/biteinhibition.html

She is only 4 months old -- this is prime nipping time and this is totally normal behaviour. To be honest this is why I often try to stress to people that a puppy may not be what they want -- puppies are not easy, they can swiftly become exasperating especially if one hasn't had a dog before or is used more to kittens and cats, and they are a huge amount of work for their first year which will be frustrating sometimes even for the most experienced dog owner and puppy lover. This nipping period does go on for a while and -- warning! -- will be replaced by the destructive chewing phase. This is all normal and is how puppies learn about the world, ease teething pain, and develop their jaws. It is important to understand this is normal and part of what puppies are about, and be aware that there's more to come; they aren't being naughty or deliberately difficult. Dealing with all this takes consistency and kind but firm guidance and *patience* just as dealing with babies and toddlers does -- just consider how long it takes a toddler to learn and understand! :thmbsup:

Puppies do mostly grow out of this phase and preventing the problem happening is as important as trying to correct it. Hence manage the puppy in such a way that she isn't being given all these nipping opportunities and get everything off the floor that you are not willing to have chewed to bits. :lol: FInally, patience and a good sense of humour are the two most valuable qualities for an owner of a puppy -- or a dog.

Scouty girl
5th December 2007, 03:49 PM
Unfortunately that's what puppies do. She's teething and she wants to bite on something. Never a nice doggie toy or something that isn't you hand or a body part. They prefer your soft flesh to a plastic/rubber toy. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. At four or five months old most of the mouthing stops. Be patient and protect yourself!

5th December 2007, 03:58 PM
when does the "destroy everything" phase usually finish? :confused: Jordi has taken to biting cables (internet, TV, iron etc :eek:) ... Any advice?

Lexie in CA
5th December 2007, 04:05 PM
Thanks everybody for the advice. I knew this was to be expected, but I guess everything is different when you're actually going through it. :o She tends to growl as well, especially when I pick her up to put her in her crate.

Also, if she does start biting excessively, we put her in her crate and after some complaining, she goes to sleep. We do have an X-Pen we put her in, but she whines and whines.

Also, as for the cords and stuff, we put bitter apple on it the first day we got her and she doesn't bite those, thank god.

Daisy's Mom
5th December 2007, 04:05 PM
I remember posting this exact same question here about a year and a half ago! So I feel for you. Daisy was an absolute terror when she was a puppy. She would literally run across the room when my kids were sitting on the floor and jump up in their faces and bite them! I posted here for advice, I spoke to a trainer, I spoke to the breeder, etc. I actually considered returning her to the breeder, it was so bad. And given that I waited 15 years to get her and researched the breed for about 2 years before getting her, that tells you how upset and concerned I was!

I'm not sure what finally worked with her. It was a combination of things, but one thing I definitely think helped was showing dominance over her when she got aggressive with the kids. I would step between them and her and move forward toward Daisy pointing at her and saying "no" sternly when she was being too rough. That let her know that I was disagreeing with her behavior. We also did puppy kindergarten and Obedience I. So she got used to watching me for cues as to what was expected of her. Yelping when she bit us wasn't working too well with her, but I certainly believe it works for some dogs. But as Karlin said, maybe I just wasn't very good at it! :) I never was much of an actress.

She is the best dog in the world now (an unbiased opinion, I'm sure :)). I am so glad we made it through that period. It truly is a puppy thing and it will get better, so take comfort in that. Daisy is gentle and sweet with everyone now, even young kids. Thank God we stuck it out through those days of stress and frustration. Next time I get a puppy, I will be more prepared for all of that, but it definitely came as a shock with Daisy. She was a very bossy assertive little thing. We had toy poodles growing up, so I had experience with 4 poodle puppies over the years. They nipped, pulled at pants legs, etc. like all puppies, but NOTHING like we went through with Daisy.

So stick with her and try to be consistent with showing her you don't like that biting behavior in whatever way you think works best for her, and it WILL get better!

Scouty girl
5th December 2007, 04:30 PM
when does the "destroy everything" phase usually finish? :confused: Jordi has taken to biting cables (internet, TV, iron etc :eek:) ... Any advice?

Scout finally stopped chewing things about three or four months ago, she's 19 months now. She is still on a seek and destroy mission as far as her toys go. Most of them are in need of repair or have been disposed of. I bought a cute little crab from PetsMart. It was adorable. I gave it to her, within five minutes there was stuffing on the floor from the crab. Oh well off to buy another toy.

Ginger's Mom
5th December 2007, 09:21 PM
I tried the bitter apple spray and it worked. :o Lots of great advices here and wish you the best luck.

5th December 2007, 10:08 PM
I would agree with what Karlin says,

the first year is very difficult with a young pup. My parents had dogs when they used to live with their parents and the only family dogs my sisters and I were brought up with was a collie (our neighbour's dog) my great aunts lab and our grandparents black lab who was born on the same day as me. My sisters and I ourselves found it very difficult to raise Rio in the beginning and it was a lot of work, nipping time outs etc, but its been totally worth it. He's a little of everyone's responsibility

I definitely want to get a Cav when I have my own family, we would definitely next time research a breeder who was health checking his/her Cavs.

The first year is a rollercoaster but once they get past that age, they do settle down :)

If we hadn't have found this board, I honestly think we wouldn't have known so much about their traits and how different Cavs are to other little dogs:)

Enjoy your time together they grow so quick;)

6th December 2007, 01:43 AM
have you given her ice cubes or ice bits? cool on their gums. frozen wash cloth with a knot in it to chew? my girl is ten months and seem to be growing up, but like someone said it's like having a baby! it's always something. mine doesn't like being in her xpen when I am home and will bark in it, but seems to know and accept its where she goes when I leave the house.

Lexie in CA
6th December 2007, 02:08 AM
Thanks everybody for good advice. I am really looking forward to Lexie being a bit calmer and out of the puppy stage. I have a chilly bone for her, but she's not liking it so far. I think it's because her jaw isn't big enough to really bite on the bone. :D Ice cube might be a good idea.