View Full Version : Biting!!!!

5th July 2011, 08:25 PM
Alfie is a sweetheart, but his biting is a bit of a problem. He bites when he greets people, ( tail waggy biting) he bites when he is excited generally, He bites particularly badly when I put his collar or harness on. Some of the bites are really painful and draw blood as he chomps down so hard. Any tips? Is this usual at this age ( 11 weeks ) ?

many thanks


5th July 2011, 08:44 PM
Snickers is the same age and he bites when he's playing or if I'm holding him on my lap and he's bored. He will stop or do it more softly if I squeel, which is how Peanut learned not to bite. However, since he has two dog siblings, it's a little easier for him to learn how much biting is okay. I saw on Dogs 101 that if you rub frozen butter on your hands, it's supposed to teach them that your hands are for licking not biting. Maybe that would help.

5th July 2011, 08:49 PM
It is normal but not acceptable -- he should be near the point when nipping is becoming a rare event :thmbsup:. This is a really critical training period for him as it is the time he must learn bite inhibition. If you look at the links pinned in the training section you will get tons of information on working on puppy nipping in a positive, productive way. Also be absolutely sure to download this free version of a well known training book from Dr Ian Dunbar:


Here is the core bit on puppy biting: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppy-biting

5th July 2011, 08:52 PM
Alfie sounds like a spunky little guy. Yes, at his age it is common for puppies to use their teeth. This is why I personally prefer pups to go home at 12 weeks. By then their mom and littermates have taught the pup how to use its teeth correctly.

When he uses his teeth you can "yelp" to let him know it hurts, if this makes him excited you can cup your hand over his snout and tell him firmly "no". I also carry a toy with me for the first few weeks a puppy is home to give to the pup anytime he starts to use his teeth on me. If you can teach the dog to chew on a toy instead, they will sometimes opt to carry a toy when they are excited. Cavaliers are generally very soft dogs, and take little correction to change a bad behavior. My boy responded very well to a yelp from me and toy exchange.

5th July 2011, 09:07 PM
I feel ya or should I say I feel Toby! I had to explain to my gym trainer why I have scratches on my hand. We are constantly putting toys in his mouth. We have started no bite training of our own. My husband is brave so I have let him try this first. He puts the treats in his hand and close it into a fist. When Toby starts biting, licking and trying to get to the treat in his fist he says "off". Of course this takes awhile for him to understand but once he stops and just sits my husband gives him one of the treats in his hand. he repeats it again. When Toby is ok with my husband then I will try it.
For me I use the toys and just say off. If he gets to be too much for me I put him in his playpen to play alone for awhile. They say that you should leave the room instead of the dog but I do not trust him in the living room alone yet. They pretty much say to ignore the dog when he is not being good. Then come back when he is calmer.
I cannot wait until he is vet ok'd to be around other dogs. We will be starting dog training once he is cleared. Our vet says no dogs until after his 3rd set of shots on Aug 1.

5th July 2011, 09:45 PM
Agree on the benefits of puppies being homed a little later than is still the norm -- puppies homed at 12-14 weeks or so are so much better on nipping and much better socialised, because their sibs and mum will teach most of what they need on bite inhibition and general polite interaction. Siblings and an adult dog or two quickly put manners onto rude puppies in far more effective ways than humans. Thus they are just so much easier for new homes. Plus they tend to be well on the way to being housetrained as they have had the example of mum and often other adult dogs in the home. All these things are great frustrations for new puppy owners and are often reasons people give up on their puppies or fail to get them trained, as these tasks seem so daunting.

But for those with young puppies, this task falls (painfully) to the humans! Kittens are much the same -- when I used to do some cat rescue I'd put foster kittens/litters in with my cats Ambrose and the late and lamented Quincy as these adult boys just loved kittens -- they were great at playing with them and also teaching them not to nip. Much better than my hands for that job! :)

5th July 2011, 10:00 PM
At 17 weeks, Ollie's getting better about the nipping. BUT I always keep chew toys at hand and shove them in his mouth if he starts chewing on me.

5th July 2011, 10:06 PM
We currently have a foster kitten who is about 8 1/2 weeks old. Rose has been more than happy to "show him the ropes":biggrin:!

For Rose, we had a "Yip!!" session where she would put her mouth on me, and I would YIP! (actually more of a high pitched "ARP!" lol) and she finally made the connection and was done with the nipping shortly thereafter. It was really kind of funny- she would look at me big eyed after I yipped, look back at my hand, and look back at me again like: OH! That's yours?? :lol:

5th July 2011, 10:21 PM
Thank you everyone. Yes I was aware of the importance of bite inhibition and right from the start, tried the 'ouch' and provide a toy chew approach. He has lots of them, and the Kong types too. I guess I will just have to persevere !

5th July 2011, 10:51 PM
Yeah I've tried the "Ouch" approach and he doesn't care, pretty much just keeps going. Don't worry, Alfie will get it soon! You can do what my parents did with their collie, use gloves! Their skin tears easily and my dad has diabetes so open wounds was not a good thing. The gloves helped them a lot LOL

Thank you everyone. Yes I was aware of the importance of bite inhibition and right from the start, tried the 'ouch' and provide a toy chew approach. He has lots of them, and the Kong types too. I guess I will just have to persevere !

6th July 2011, 11:54 AM
I agree with the "ouch" approach. The key is to REALLY squeal yourself. It has to make him jump so he knows exactly you dont like it.

Hang in there you'll get it:biggrin:

6th July 2011, 12:13 PM
Ok I will squeal louder :smile: Goodness knows what my neighbours must be thinking. If the Police come to the door I will know :rotfl:

6th July 2011, 04:13 PM
The first time I really shrieked after being bitten, Oliver jumped back and stared quizically at me as if to say "why are you making that noise?" :rotfl:

6th July 2011, 04:30 PM
Ok so I tried squealing OUCH and felt as though I was squealing in a pitch only dogs can hear :rotfl: But it worked and he ran away and watched me for a second then came back and chewed on his toy. I wonder if I will have to go that high pitch all the time. I feel bad for my husband who cannot get that high LOL
I hope I didn't wake the neighbors :slp::sl*p: