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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I have talked about this subject lately, but I am getting more and more frustrated with Calvin and I don't know what else to do. He is constantly biting! I mean constantly. If he is outside with us, he is biting his leash or trying to bite me, if he is in the house he is biting the couch, or rug, or table or ME! I'm not talking about sometimes, I mean ALL the TIME! To the extent that I have sat next to him with his collar on him telling him "NO BITE" over and over until I just loose my patience with him, or he bites me too hard and I just have to take him outside. BUT, as soon as I go back out to try again, he is biting at me while I am trying to get him in. He is 13 weeks and I don't know what else to try. I tether him to me while in the house, but he just nips at my calves or feet. I am crying as I am typing this because I feel like a bad parent. I don't know if he is trying to dominate me or just doing what all puppies do. He has a yard full to chew toys. I want a dog that will hang out with us, but I am getting tired of the fights. HELP! Leslie
 

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oooh. Don't cry. This is puppy stuff, but is amazingly frustrating. I know it can feel kind of hopeless. But it WILL get better. A couple of suggestions:

Do you use Bitter Apple? I used to put it on everything, and though it didn't ALWAYS work...it was a deterrant. For a while, when the doods where 3-5 months I used to carry a bottle of it around with me. After the first few times they really wouldn't control their mouths I would squirt them right in the mouth with it. I hated to do it, but I was getting serious wounds occasionally and once we really thought I might need stitches. I cried and cried and went to bed, ordering my husband to have the beasts gone when I got up. I was mad and sad and frustrated beyond belief, so I've been right where you are. After a couple of squirts of bitter apple, you just have to carry the bottle around and show it to them.... with an occasional reminder.

But here's the thing...it really is normal puppy behavior. Think about how a baby has to put everything is his/her mouth. Some are more oral than others. Luckily most of us don't have babies with sharp little puppy teeth. It will get a lot better when he loses his baby teeth.

You're not a bad parent, you just have a very oral puppy at a very difficult stage. Keep correcting, but also be patient....it WON'T last forever.

Also, one more note. We found that lots of chew toys just made them all boring. We kept tight control over them and gave them a "chew time" a couple of times a day that was pretty intense. (We called it cocktail hour!). It seemed to focus the mouthing a little on these periods of the day and they would go after the chews so intensely that I actually think their mouths got tired. Just one more thing to try.
 
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Hang in there Leslie! You are not a bad parent and Calvin is not a bad dog. Calvin is doing exactly what a puppy is programmed to do. I found a good article, here is an excerpt:

I allow the puppy to play and socialize with other puppies and well socialized adult dogs. This way he will have an outlet for his normal biting behavior. This will allow the other puppies and dogs to teach him to inhibit the force of his bite. By playing with other canines he will continue to learn to communicate with his own kind. The best place to take a puppy for socialization, play and an education is a well-run puppy class.

Meanwhile I start to teach the puppy the word OFF. This is done with the use of food. I have found it to be very successful in teaching the puppy not to bite. I start out by putting a tasty piece of food, maybe a hot dog treat, in my hand. I close my hand making a fist. I place my closed hand in front of the puppy's nose. He know there's something very good there and offers all kinds of behaviors to get the food. He will probably paw my hand, lick my hand, nibble my hand. The more persistent the puppy is, the longer it will take till he gives up. As soon as his head backs off from my hand, I say OFF, open my hand and offer the treat, tell him TAKE IT and Yes when he does. I will continue to place treats in my closed hand until he no longer tries to give certain behaviors to get the treat; going through the ritual each time by saying OFF, TAKE It and YES. After doing this a few times a day for a couple of days you should be able to say OFF, before he attempts to get the treat. I then use a more powerful treat to see if he understands the word OFF. If he does I apply it to his biting behavior. When he is soliciting play by biting or mouthing my hand, I make a fist and say OFF. When he backs off, I make sure to get a toy or a treat immediately, in order to reward him for the right choice. This does work -- teaching our puppy the right behavior.
http://vizsladogs.com/ARTICLES/pupbiting.htm

I have found if I can keep her mouth occupied with a toy, then she can't bite. Favorite toys have been the stuffed duck or goose that quacks or honks (Labs love them), ice cubes are a good distraction, teaching 'kisses' instead of bites. I also tried spraying the bitter apple in her face when she bit, but decided I couldn't do that to her. It has worked for others, though.
Try not to let the chidren 'rile' him up. (Not that they are, I just know here when my nieces visited things were alot worse. She seemed to view them as playmates and nipped at them, too.)
I also keep her in one area of the house using baby gates. If you can keep him in the kitchen area, then there is less furniture/rugs for him to bite at. It will also allow you to easily 'escape' when you don't want to deal with him anymore :lol:
Keep to a schedule. I walk her in the morning and in the evening and also spend about 20 minutes devoted just to training her (although training goes on all the time).
Keep his leash on in the house when you are with him, so you can grab him easily to correct him.
At 20 weeks Bella still bites and 'pulls' at me with her mouth, but it has gotten MUCH better. I still cannot just sit with her on the couch without her trying to nip me so I know exactly how you feel, because I have felt the same way. I do know that it will get better, and it will keep getting better as they grow up. Before you know it, you will have that dog that will hang out with you and this will all be a distant memory (kinda like chilbirth :lol: ).
 

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one of my puppy parents had this same problem and she called me ready to give the puppy back, we discussed puppies and teeth and she really wanted to keep trying. I have always been told that puppies play with their mouths with litter mates. (puppy bites in pups are a concern and breeders check their pups every day for signs of infection)
as this is play for them the pups have no clue it hurts YOU.
but you need to tell them it does so in addition to providing them a bunch of chew toys as a lot of people mentioned and giving a No or OFF command we have found and the vet also verified and recommended a squeeze to their mouth. I prefer thumb on the roof of mouth finger on top of snout, others squeeze the cheek. whatever works for you. your dog will cry out and he will then understand what he is doing hurts you.
he bites you he gets a squeeze. he realizes that what used to be a puppy game is now not very fun and it hurts.

if you are not comfortable with this technique then please dont use it,
for me and for my puppy parents it has been a lifesaver. I seriously think you do it less than a dozen times and sometimes only once or twice depending on the dog, but you do have to mean it and be serious.

good luck.
 

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Had this problem start, a long time ago, and then stopped right away...

Bandit was biting on my forearm one day, and after learning/reading about thetechnique, tried it...

I took my right hand, grabbed his lower jaw, and proceeded to push my thumb as far back as possible, triggering his gag reflex (not making anything come up, just uncomfortable), well he didnt like it at all, I had to do it less than a handfull of times. He quit and all was well in the world.

I did get scraped and clawed at a fair bit, but he learned, stopped, and there was much rejoicing.

It sounds harsh, much like a pinch collar, but really those two things have performed night/day changes in behaviour and as such, I FULLY support them.
 

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Boy, you have been given some excellent suggestions! I am certain that you can find a good solution with these.

I wonder how old Calvin was when you got him? If he was under 8 weeks of age, he probably didn't have enough time to learn from his littermates that biting is not okay.

No matter the cause...the fact remains that you are extremely frustrated by his behavior. If the methods mentioned above don't work...I think they will if you are consistent with the one you select...then as a very last resort, you might need to get a soft muzzle for him.

I hate muzzles...really hate them. I know, people say that they are harmless, but to me they just seem horrible...still, if you are at your wits end and can't get his biting under control, rather than to let it cause you such frustration you might need to use drastic measures.

Personally, I think that your smart little Dood will quickly learn the boundaries...so take heart, it will be okay soon!
 
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NurseLeslie I am going through the exact same thing with Boyd who is 13 weeks tomorrow. This morning was absolute Hell taking him out to the back yard. He was more interested in launching himself at my legs/arms/hands and biting, then he was in exploring nature. Add a few barks in there and I'm sure the neighbors were loving me (it was 6:30 a.m.)....

We are doing the kisses and praise when he licks (which he seems to get most of the time) but there are certain times when he is just too frenzied to do anything but bite. This a.m. he wasn't even interested in an alternate toy, he just wanted a piece of me!

So hang in there, you have a gal in Virginia who is going through the exact same thing. :)
 

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find a trainer that can teach you how to properly use a prong collar. this will enable you to teach your dog how to behave.
 

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Sorry to butt in as a newby! I have owned and trained many large breed puppies. I teach my pup when and just how hard he is allowed to mouth me. A pup learns with his mouth, in some ways like a baby, its a feely, touchy tastey sort of thing. He loves you and is trying to communicate in a puppy way! When you play with him and he bites even a tad bit to hard, scream a loud NO or OUCH! Pretending it was very painful! Don't wait until he bites hard! I let my pups mouth my arms and hand gently, just waiting for them to go a little to far, so I can correct them. IMO, he dosen't know or understand that he is hurting you! He does not want to hurt you! You must let him know, how to interact with you, as far as mouthing is concerned! He wants to be loved and played with. He wants to learn how to play with you, but you must help him!

Good Luck!
Denise
 

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Denise, thanks for your input! I am happy that you feel comfortable in contributing...that is what makes this forum so special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I also appreciate the advice, Denise...BUT I do say NO and OUCH very sternly, but he keeps-a-bitin'....I am now just saying "no biting" and getting away from him...Moving away and turning my back. If he is still within reach, he will often bite my calf..OUCH! I say it again and move further away. I am at a loss and grasping at straws...I have consulted a few trainers and they assure me that he is just being a puppy and he will grow out of it. This is my hope. I do tend to believe it because he never growls or shows any other aggressive behaviors. Leslie
 
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I tried the thumb on roof of mouth and pinching snout this weekend with Boyd and it really worked. He didn't squeal but he squirmed around a lot and then calmed down and played with his chew toy.
 
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I would say I held it for about 10 -15 seconds and I kept saying "No biting!" and looked directly into his eyes until he looked away and then I released him.

He's still catching a bite in here and there but I honestly think it helped! Can't wait to show the hubbie when he gets back from his trip! :)
 

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my parent had the same results - excellent! :)

labradoodles really do want to make you happy, they just dont always know how at first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, this morning started with a bang. Non-stop biting no matter my intervention. I tried the pinch on the top of the nose and roof of mouth. He did not cry out, but I was pinching pretty hard, I tought. I was afraid I was going to bruise him. He, of course, chomped down on my thumb as I was doing it, so that was no fun....I'll keep trying. The other frustration is that he is on the leash in the house, (because that's what everyone recommended)....and he is constantly biting the leash and making it impossible to correct him....I think he figured out that if he has the leash in his mouth, then I can't correct with the collar....I tried to distract with a little traing in there, but he was not listening and I got too frustrated so I put him back outside. SO, I'm crying again.

It is my most sincere hope that he is about to loose those baby teeth soon and he will mellow out with the biting a bit. It clouds everything at this point and I feel like we are making no progress in other areas.

We are starting puppy classes mext month....God help me!

Leslie
 

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Puppy Biting

I have tried everything to stop Denver from biting me. He thinks I am his personal chew toy. My arms are covered in bite marks. Two days ago I started saying the words "Yip,yip yip" in a very high pitched tone. Denver has stopped biting me I can hardly believe it as he was a frenzy puppy who bit me from morning til nite and I would just cry and feel that I must be the worst puppy owner there is. So hang in there and keep trying everything until something works for you and your puppy. I have read all the books and tried all the advice and this is the only thing that has worked for Denver. Believe me you will find the answer as Denver is the same age and was out of control in his biting.
Good luck and know in your heart that things will work out.

Blueteal
 

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I found if I put my fingers in Ottos mouth and said gently he just mouthed me, I can go all around his mouth touch his teeth and he touches me gently, now he is cutting his adult teeth and he is no different, try useing a finger tooth cleaner in his mouth this will let him get used to your fingers, they feel as if they are biting if you pull your hand away quickly, then say NO bite. Good luck I know it is hard but you will get there in the end and reap the benifits of having a lovely dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks you guys....I am trying....Today I used a food treat and told him "NO BITING" when he bit my one arm. IF he even stopped the downward motion of his jaw, i would tell him 'good boy' remove my arm from his mouth and present a treat. I'm thinking it would not be unlike the "leave it" command. I am asking him to 'leave' my arm alone. It worked except that as soon as he had eaten the treat, he came back to bite me again....Smarty pants....He can't obey a command to stop biting-therefor getting a treat- if he is not biting me in the first place....Leslie
 
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