How to stop puppy biting - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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How to stop puppy biting

My community service for the week .


Does your puppy bite? Here is how to make it stop.


As with anything, your puppy is engaging in this annoying and sometimes painful activity for a variety of reasons. He / she can be teething, bored or have a strong genetic impulse to grab moving things like your clothes or hands.


Regardless of the reasoning, this behaviour is unpleasant and needs to stop.


Behavioural science teaches us that the most effective way to remove a behaviour is punishment. Now before you get your underclothes all bunched up in unpleasant places about the word "punishment" feel free to look up the scientific definition of the word.
Punishment is anything that you remove or add after a behavior that reduces the likelihood of said behaviour being repeated.
Think about that for a second and then decide for yourself about whether or not punishment is necessary for this particular problem.


Now we have discussed the means lets talk about the method:


Again, science and practical experience teach us that dogs learn faster through the application of neutral stimulus that bridge the gap between behaviour and consequence. An easy example of this concept is a clicker being used to mark and reinforce a sit.
Lets say you told your dog to SIT and he did, you then clicked and gave the dog a treat.
In this example the behaviour is the sit, the neutral stimulus is the clicker and the consequence is the treat.
Now in the above example I used the application of Positive Reinforcement to a behaviour to depict the proper application of neutral stimulus to bridge the gap between behaviour and consequence.


For punishment this concept is no different.


I use the word NO as the neutral stimulus or mark if you prefer. So in essence the word NO replaces a clicker to signal the application of punishment. Therefor the correct application of this concept is as follows:
BEHAVIOUR (Biting) >> > NEUTRAL STIMULUS (NO) >>> CONSEQUENCE (Punishment)


Now we know the method lets talk application:


How do I punish my puppy you ask? Well here are several methods that I have used in my practice and found to be effective and not harmful to the dog.


1. Collar correction: I recommend all pups drag a short line attached to their collar while they are in the house. Using this method of punishment simply involves picking up the line and applying a quick sharp pop to the line. Rinse and repeat as necessary If your pup is wearing a training collar like a choke or prong then the result will be more pronounced. Regardless of the collar, most pups find the sensation of sharp pops applied sideways to the collar to be unpleasant.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler picks up line and applies sharp pops until the pup ceases the behaviour if the pup reengages in the behaviour the handler simply repeats the above sequence.


2. Bonking: For this method you need a rolled towel or a throw pillow for the couch. Something that has some heft yet is still soft and wont injure the pup. Simply toss your bonker at the pup when you want to punish him. Throw distances can vary from a few inches to 15 feet. Most dogs do not like flying objects and have an aversion to them.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler tosses the bonker at the pup - Handler picks up the bonker and reapplies if necessary


3. Scruffing: Proper application of this method involves the handler simply taking the pup by the scruff firmly and giving him / her a light shake. *Special care needs to be taken to avoid any excessive back and forth movement. If anything you are giving the pup more of a strong vibration then an actual shake.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler tosses the bonker at the pup - Handler picks up the bonker and reapplies if necessary

4. Teeth in lips: This method is a good way to remove a pup that has latched onto your body or clothing. Simply grab the top part of the puppies jaw and push his lips into his teeth until he lets go.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler wraps hand around the top of the pups jaw and squeezes the lips inwards until the pup ceases the behaviour - Repetition as necessary

The above are tried, tested and true methods that I have used many times with great success to stop this common issue.


Some issues people run into with these methods is that the pup constantly reengages in the behaviour or does not cease the behaviour after the handler punishes the dog. In almost all cases this is simply an intensity problem. Remember, in order for the punishment to work and even be considered a punishment in the first place, the pup must perceive your method of choice as an aversive (unpleasant) experience. So if you apply your method of choice and do not see a reduction in the behaviour simply reapply with progressively higher intensity until the behaviour has ceased.


Punishment requires three key ingredients to be effective:
1. Repetition
2. Consistency
3. Intensity


I will conclude with following cautions and reassurances. The fair application of contingent punishment will not have any averse long term effect on your pup's health, emotional stability or well being. Science as well practical experience has taught us this. Teaching alternate behaviours or redirection has a very limited success rate. The application of this method will also have the added bonus of teaching your pup the concept of the word NO and actually making it meaningful. This method can be applied to any bad behavior your pup has.


Happy Training
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Edited version admin please delete previous post:

My community service for the week .


Does your puppy bite? Here is how to make it stop.


As with anything, your puppy is engaging in this annoying and sometimes painful activity for a variety of reasons. He / she can be teething, bored or have a strong genetic impulse to grab moving things like your clothes or hands.


Regardless of the reasoning, this behaviour is unpleasant and needs to stop.


Behavioural science teaches us that the most effective way to remove a behaviour is punishment. Now before you get your underclothes all bunched up in unpleasant places about the word "punishment" feel free to look up the scientific definition of the word.
Punishment is anything that you remove or add after a behavior that reduces the likelihood of said behaviour being repeated.
Think about that for a second and then decide for yourself about whether or not punishment is necessary for this particular problem.


Now we have discussed the means lets talk about the method:


Again, science and practical experience teach us that dogs learn faster through the application of a neutral stimulus to bridge the gap between behaviour and consequence. An easy example of this concept is a clicker being used to mark and reinforce a sit.
Lets say you told your dog to SIT and he did, you then clicked and gave the dog a treat.
In this example the behaviour is the sit, the neutral stimulus is the clicker and the consequence is the treat.
Now in the above example I used the application of Positive Reinforcement to a behaviour to depict the proper application of neutral stimulus to bridge the gap between behaviour and consequence.

For punishment this concept is no different.

I use the word NO as the neutral stimulus or mark if you prefer. So in essence the word NO replaces a clicker to signal the application of punishment. Therefor the correct application of this concept is as follows:
BEHAVIOUR (Biting) >> > NEUTRAL STIMULUS (NO) >>> CONSEQUENCE (Punishment)

Using this method properly will make it easy for your pup to understand that the punishment is a direct consequence of his biting.

Now we know the method lets talk application:


How do I punish my puppy you ask? Well here are several methods that I have used in my practice and found to be effective and not harmful to the dog.


1. Collar correction: I recommend all pups drag a short line attached to their collar while they are in the house. Using this method of punishment simply involves picking up the line and applying a quick sharp pop to the line. Rinse and repeat as necessary If your pup is wearing a training collar like a choke or prong then the result will be more pronounced. Regardless of the collar, most pups find the sensation of sharp pops applied sideways to the collar to be unpleasant.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler picks up line and applies sharp pops until the pup ceases the behaviour if the pup reengages in the behaviour the handler simply repeats the above sequence.


2. Bonking: For this method you need a rolled towel or a throw pillow for the couch. Something that has some heft yet is still soft and wont injure the pup. Simply toss your bonker at the pup when you want to punish him. Throw distances can vary from a few inches to 15 feet. Most dogs do not like flying objects and have an aversion to them.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler tosses the bonker at the pup - Handler picks up the bonker and reapplies if necessary


3. Scruffing: Proper application of this method involves the handler simply taking the pup by the scruff firmly and giving him / her a light shake. *Special care needs to be taken to avoid any excessive back and forth movement. If anything you are giving the pup more of a strong vibration then an actual shake.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler tosses the bonker at the pup - Handler picks up the bonker and reapplies if necessary

4. Teeth in lips: This method is a good way to remove a pup that has latched onto your body or clothing. Simply grab the top part of the puppies jaw and push his lips into his teeth until he lets go.
Example: Puppy bites - NO - Handler wraps hand around the top of the pups jaw and squeezes the lips inwards until the pup ceases the behaviour - Repetition as necessary

The above are tried, tested and true methods that I have used many times with great success to stop this common issue.

Some issues people run into with these methods are that the pup constantly reengages in the behaviour or does not cease the behaviour after the handler punishes the dog. In almost all cases this is simply an intensity problem. Remember, in order for the punishment to work and even be considered a punishment in the first place, the pup must perceive your method of choice as an aversive (unpleasant) experience. So if you apply your method of choice and do not see a reduction in the behaviour simply reapply with progressively higher intensity until the behaviour has ceased.


Punishment requires three key ingredients to be effective:
1. Repetition
2. Consistency
3. Intensity


I will conclude with following cautions and reassurances. The fair application of contingent punishment will not have any averse long term effect on your pup's health, emotional stability or well being. Science as well practical experience has taught us this. Teaching alternate behaviours or redirection has a very limited success rate. The application of this method will also have the added bonus of teaching your pup the concept of the word NO and actually making it meaningful. This method can be applied to any bad behavior your pup has.


Happy Training
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 08:16 AM
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So with no discussion of pupp's age, proper management, owner skill, previous interventions tried....

Going straight to does your puppy bite, ok, collar correction, scruff shake, or bonk it....I don't feel good about this at all. We just had someone on here with a puppy doing all kinds of appeasement behaviors and it turns out they scruff shook the pup and it screamed in fear.

I never did any of those things to my puppy. He started getting collar corrections around 9 months when he became huge and tried to throw his weight around with me.

Average joe people don't know what age certain corrections are appropriate, average joe people don't know why their puppy is biting, or even what proper management of a puppy is....
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
So with no discussion of pupp's age, proper management, owner skill, previous interventions tried....

Going straight to does your puppy bite, ok, collar correction, scruff shake, or bonk it....I don't feel good about this at all. We just had someone on here with a puppy doing all kinds of appeasement behaviors and it turns out they scruff shook the pup and it screamed in fear.

I never did any of those things to my puppy. He started getting collar corrections around 9 months when he became huge and tried to throw his weight around with me.

Average joe people don't know what age certain corrections are appropriate, average joe people don't know why their puppy is biting, or even what proper management of a puppy is....
I agree. I found keeping my puppy busy did better than crushing him.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Like many people you are over complicating a very simple solution to a very common problem. Using emotionally charged teminology like "screaming in fear" or "crushing" signals a fundemental lack of understanding of how contingent punishment affects dogs or really any living organism. I won't really bother to explain further. Interested parties can do their own research.

Many pups never develop biting behaviours or if they do do not take to it with any kind of intensity.
In these cases the behaviour will often self extinguish if they are not reinforced.

For those people that do have a significant issue with biting and aren't content to pretend it doesn't exist, wait until it self extinguishes or try to bribe the dog into alternate behaviours this is how you fix the problem immidiately.

Train a few hundred dogs of varying ages with this and other similar issues then get back to me.
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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I will also add that people that refrain from correcting their puppy until he or she reaches some magical age where it's appropriate or developes a behaviour that is aggregious enough that they feel they have no other choice do their dog no favors. If anything you hurt your pup by not showing him clarity from day 1.

Contrary to popular belief owning a puppy does not mean you have to put up with annoying, destructive and socially innapropriate behaviours.

Contingent punishment brings clarity to the learning process, makes the pup safer and also in my opinion makes the puppy stronger and more resilient in how he or she handles stress.
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:46 AM
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I have had success with option 4......pressing the flews into the canines......I suppose many will say it's wrong.....but it worked with 4 different dogs.


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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:53 AM
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I have had success with option 4......pressing the flews into the canines......I suppose many will say it's wrong.....but it worked with 4 different dogs.


SuperG
Option 4 is my chosen method too.
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:58 AM
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Blitzkrieg I absolutely don't think that people should put up with annoying, destructive or socially inappropriate behaviors from a puppy. But there are other ways to deal with them than those you described.

Is there a magical age after which corrections are appropriate/necessary....no...but dealing withthe dog in a way that is appropriate for its age IS important. I never gave my dog a leash correction when he was a baby because he had never done anything that warranted one. So should I have been popping him from day one just to teach him the ways of the world? I don't think so. He is growing into a super young adult that I am quite proud of. He absolutely had boundaries and discipline that was appropriate for him and it did not include any of the techniques you described.

There are rascal, resiliant puppies who need a lot more structure and discipline from their people. There are also lots of people/puppy combinations that I strongly believe should not be using to techniques you described, in large part because lots of people have terrible timing, terrible application or the pup's manageme t and environeent is poor and it is being set up to fail,, plus there are huge amounts of puppies out there that aren't that resilient or are really soft/submissive and this might be way to heavy handed for them.

Now you can go ahead and say a properly bred working line dog shouldn't be soft or submissive or whatever but the fact is that many people buy their dogs from bybs.

Call me emotional or whatever you want. I hope interested parties do research. There is more than one way to train a dog and not all puppies need to be handledd like this
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 10:13 AM
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I had immediate success with 3 and 4. I have used 3 with all of my dogs with great results.

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