Our puppy, Maya, is 12 weeks old and just came home this past week. She's doing great but we're having a hard time with the nipping and jumping with our girls. They are 7 and 9 and she seems to see them as play things. Any advice?? Thanks!
You can certainly train Maya to nip less, but puppies do nip a lot. It will definitely get better eventually, as she gets older. We got Pixie at 8w, and I have a 7yo, so I've been through the same thing. She's 8m now, and the nipping is much, much less. She'll rear up and mouth my hand when she wants to play, or when we start out on a walk (because she's so excited). My son will get her riled up and she'll nip then, but she saves most of it for playing with other dogs these days. Also, her puppy teeth fell out at 5m - the adult teeth aren't nearly as sharp!
Maya undoubtedly sees the girls as littermates, rather than as above her in the pack order. You can read up on how dogs establish pack order, it will give you ideas to try at home. One thing I can think of is, when you are all going outside, always make Maya the last one through the door. Make sure you and the girls go out ahead of her.
When Pixie was nipping a lot, sometimes I would grab her muzzle, give it a quick shake, and say sternly, 'NO BITING'. When she licked our hands, we would give her tons of praise and attention, and say 'good kisses!' over and over. Sometimes I would withdraw my hand and offer her a toy to chew on instead.
Pixie still jumps and play-bites with our son. He knows what to do to discourage it, but he likes to play that way with her, so he encourages it. Of course, he occasionally gets mad when she nips too hard, but I remind him that she's just a pup, and doesn't mean to hurt him. If your girls don't want to play that way, obedience training will really help. Sometimes you can find a trainer to come to your home, or you can bring the girls with you to the class and ask the trainer to help you figure out how to discourage the jumping and biting. You'll have to train her for the Down command to help with the jumping. You can also have the trainer show you how to put Maya in a submissive position. I do this occasionally when Pixie gets too excited, to help her calm down. It's good to do this on a daily basis for a while with puppies, too.
Additional,,,get the book "be the pack leader " by cesar millian
never ever leave the pup alone with the children,
childen can confuse a pup, by allowing them to get away with things that you are trying to discourage,
everyone needs to be training they same way so as to not confuse the pup,
in my experience a confused pup ,creates a distructive pup,
it will be a bit of a job, but the result will be a happy well adjusted puppy
We don't have kids, but something I've read is to let your daughters feed your puppy. We make both of our doodles sit and wait to eat until we tell them "ok". If your children have some control over Maya's food, I think it will help her see them as dominant.
Thanks for the great advice. We've been having the girls feed her. She's been a little calmer today so I think we're making some inprovement. I've also been working on teaching my daughters to not back away or run when she jumps because she obviously thinks they are playing. This is their first puppy so it's a learning experience for all us!
I loved the book - Raising Puppies & Kids Together: A Guide for Parents by Pia Silvani,Lynn Eckhardt. I checked it out from the library and liked it so well I ended up buying a copy. It has lots of suggestions of great games the children can play with the puppy and talks about common pitfalls and mistakes.
Before we got our doodle, now 11 months, I picked up "My Smart Puppy" by Sarah Wilson and Brian Kilcommons. It came with a video of short lessons and I sat down with my ten-year-old granddaughter, who's here a lot, and we watched them. She got a lot out of it just in terms of how to discipline, and it helped that it was visual rather than words in a book.
A friend won't pat her dog, or let others do it, if the dog isn't sitting. Might be something to work on, but it's hard with young girls because they want to play sometimes almost as much as the puppy. My granddaughter has been guilty recently of encouraging Chouette to jump up on her or to play more wildly than is good for either.
Yeaahhh... as others have said, it's all about understanding the pack order. You have to let them know who is the "Alpha" and who is higher up on the social ladder from early on.
I always tried to correct my pups the way their mother or a mature dog would... I would hold them firmly by the scruff of the neck (not by the collar and never shaking them) and look them square in the eye, nose to nose. I would force the pup into a submissive position still looking up at me with direct eye contact. Sometimes I'll even growl at the pup while holding it securely. But I never hit or shake, even if the correction is for biting. It's worked for me with 3 Siberian Huskies, 2 Labs, and now Ozzie. (I've had more dogs, but they were adopted adult dogs, already trained.)