German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 133 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
I see a lot of posts about puppies nipping, which is what puppies do. I think the goal is not so much to stop them from biting, but to teach them good bite inhibition/having a soft mouth. You can do the stopping biting quickly using negative reinforcement, or teach it slowly and as positively as possible where the dog actually LEARNS bite inhibition. And a result of this will be less and eventually no biting.

That is a huge thing for a dog to learn. I have a pack o' dogs, I get foster puppies and I never have to teach it because they do it for me. Mario will in fact lick my arm in apology if he makes a mistake and mouths me.

Since most people don't have that luck there are some articles on teaching it-that is the goal, really, bite inhibition, not stopping nipping. So yeah, can you scruff or smack a puppy and get them to stop? Yes, but can you create other problems in the process? Yes. And you want them to learn to do this as they grow.

http://www.crickethollowfarm.com/biteinhib.htm The first part is the best.

http://www.phsspca.org/training/puppy_biting.htm

http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/spt/SPT_Puppies.htm
The other thing to remember is that you are replacing the playmates and mom that he knows and unless they had people spending a lot of time with the puppies at the breeder, they really don't know much about interacting with people. I think you'll all be fine! And as soon as shots are done, sign up for a positive based obedience class for fun!

I figured after people checked those articles out, they could post other things, or reinforce things read, that they did to help their dogs learn that bite inhibition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
Thank you for the articles. I am going to call a client and see if Cesar can start playdates with his female Lab pup THIS weekend. Cesar has four adult dogs to play with daily but I need to find him a puppymate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,392 Posts
This topic has been made "sticky" so it will continue to be at the top of the threads in the puppy behavior forum. Thanks Jean for these great links.

New posters: please continue to add additional links, resources, bite inhibition ideas and techniques, etc. to this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
How I teach bite inhibition is "game over". If you do not want the puppy to bite in play or mouth- as soon as they do- get up- or stand up- and leave the room... You do not see the dog following you or react. Remember- they only continue to do something if they realize a reaction..
" game Over..". Say nothing - walk out.. And its hard because you have to be consistant- that includes resting on the couch watching a movie you waited all week to see..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
im with borzoimon, when were playing, she can bite me, she does it soft, but as they game goes on, she can get a little rogher, usualy "no" calms it down but if not, i say "ow no" and walk away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I am also currently going through the little pains of teaching bite inhibition. The methodology of teaching this has been covered very well in this forum.
Odin's progress seems to be going good at times and then he gets me with a good one. I have noticed a direct relation between unacceptable bites and his need for a bathroom break. Anyone else experienced this? The little guy seems to have a way of bringing out the kid in me and making me loose track of time. My wife just informed me "It was the same with our last GSD puppy."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I'm trying to teach my new pup this stuff too.

a loud NO! from me usually gets him to stop whatever he is doing, exept biting. NO! seems to have no effect...I cant get him to stop biting me. he got ahold of my hand today and bit hard started growling and then tried to tug my hand off I said NO NO a bunch tried yelping...he would not stop I finally had to grab him with my other hand and pin him on the floor, then I walked out of the room and left him there for a few minutes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,320 Posts
Well this is timely...Max has become a terrorist lol. We are all having to keep our feet off the floor so he can't bite them! I will try these suggestions and hope it works. Either that or we are all soon to become pin cushions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Thanks everybody I was starting to get so frustrated with Baron because of the endless biting. It generally seems to happen right after I bring him back in the house from going potty. His bite is so strong that I couldnt get him off my hand today and tried to get my fingers in his mouth to get him to loosen up a little so I could get my hand back while yelling in pain. I use no in the hopes that someday it will sink in cause right now it just amps him up. Mostly I subsititute what I don't want chewed aka hands feet back of your calf, with his chew bone and rope. That works about 70 percent of the time. I'm dissapointed in myself because he is just a baby and I find myself getting mad at what he's doing. I've started using the walk out of the room technique and that seems to work. Hopefully it works totally for him but its definitely working for me so I get a minute to get my head on straight so I don't yell too loud or start having a yelling conversation with him. I catch myself saying outloud "you idiot he doesn't understand english why are you yelling at him in sentences." He's the best though cause when I'm doing that he just sits there looking at me like "whats this crazy guy doing?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
I have tried the loud no which stops him from clamping but he still bites. I have tried the walking away and usually trip over him as he is weaving between my legs. Now I am trying a yelp like a sibling which I took from advice on this site. It seems to work although it scares my husband each time I do it. He said I sound exactly like a puppy (does that mean I am really a b**** at heart LOL). Which is better than the sound he makes which sounds like a seal and CJ just looks at him with a tilted head. I guess it is just trying different things until you find something that works for you and your puppy. And works for this puppy may not work for another one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i taught my puppy not to nip by giving him my hand or fingers. when he nipped i would hold by the scruff of the neck and say "no biting". i would give him my hand or fingers again if he licked me i would praise him and give a good rubbies. it either worked or he grew out of the nipping stage. i was sitting on the edge of the bed a few weeks ago and my now 14 month old boy walked over to me and put his open mouth around my knee. he didn't apply any pressure he just put my knee is mouth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
We do what borzoimom does. Game over. If they bite, I get up and walk away. Now that Apollo is older, with all of his adult teeth present, he still chews on toys, but if I'm chillin' on the sofa, or the floor, Apollo will come up, lick my face, and plop down by my side. Zeus hardly bites at all either. It could be the method, or it could be that he saves it for his brother when they play... lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
what great info

am doing this right now saying owwwww it does work he turns his head from side to side and stops lol

thanks for the info
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
I got Zeke last Tuesday!! He is almost 9wks old and has been great.....

But his bite is becoming increasingly painful! If you are in a ten foot radius of him, your feet are in danger! And my hand was nearly punctured this morning! This thread has been very helpful, especially as a reminder that I am not alone! I wish "ow" would work with him, because I'm not faking it when I say it anymore. He just looks at me for a second then bites me harder. And carrying him is asking for it! He loves to nip the face when I take him downstairs at 6am, half asleep.

Shall I just stay consistent with redirecting and the "gentle"/"no"/ignore combo and pray that he will shape-up? I don't want to be too forceful with the little guy but I have grabbed his muzzle and pinned him a few times when he gets wild and starts growling/barking. That seems to make him bite even more like its a game.

He just doesnt take me seriously does he?! I'm about to resort to bitter apple spray on my hands (in addition to the already doused house). Could he be showing signs of "alpha" tendancies at this young age? My last dog was a lab, and as a puppy he was so gentle with his nipping. He seemed to listen and became rather submissive when he was older. I know these things can be unrelated, but Zeke has a lot of attitude!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
MLou, the biggest help for me was to really tire my pup out in ways not including my body parts. Car rides, hikes in woods, meeting friends with GOOD and healthy dogs for puppy play dates (make sure you trust the dogs to be friendly and up to date on shots).

A tired puppy listens better, learns better, behaves better and BITES less!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
I add this article to all my puppy packets
"No bite!"
Angel days and devil days: teaching bite inhibition to puppies

Q: My Dalmatian puppy is almost nine weeks old. I got him when he was five weeks. He's playful and fun but I can't get him to stop biting me. That seems to be the only way he likes to play anymore — rough! I've been telling him No!, holding his mouth shut while saying “No bite!” and even shoving my hand back in his mouth like a trainer told me to do. Nothing seems to work. In fact, he thinks I'm playing a game with him and gets more excited the more I try to stop him. Sometimes he walks right up and attacks me! What can I do? Is he vicious?
A: No, he's not vicious, he's just being a normal, rambunctious, and sometimes obnoxious puppy. To get control of your pup's biting, it helps to understand why puppies bite in the first place.
Biting and mouthing are normal behaviors for puppies. Dogs don't have hands so they investigate objects and their environment with their mouths. To a curious puppy, everything about this big world is brand new and exciting. He learns as he goes along. You can almost hear his thought processes as he discovers something he's never seen before: "Hmmm...what's this? [chomping on it] Something to eat? No? [tossing it around] Can I play with it? Maybe. Can I make it squeak?"
Playing is also a normal learning behavior for puppies, especially play-fighting. Play-fighting with littermates and other animals develops reflexes, coordination and physical skill. It also helps them develop social skills and teaches them how to interact positively within their canine society, their "pack." And it's great fun for them. Sometimes their fighting and "attacks" on us appear frighteningly fierce but to them, it's just a game. Much like a group of kids playing make-believe games and pretending to be grown-ups, puppies have their own games and pretend to be "grown-ups," too!
A dog's ability to control the force of his biting is called "bite inhibition." It's a critically important skill that every puppy needs to learn, the earlier the better. At first, they don't know their own strength nor how sharp their little teeth really are. Puppies learn to control the force of their biting from the reactions of their mothers and littermates during play and especially play-fighting.
We can teach puppies about bite inhibition, too, but some of the methods most often recommended aren't effective. Mother dogs' methods, however, are very effective, often more so than ours. I believe this is because they're speaking to their pups in the language they understand best -- dog language! A baby puppy is much too busy learning how to be a dog to take time to understand our human words and ways. That takes time and maturity. Puppies respond to dog language in a very powerful, instinctive way. We can take advantage of that by copying a mother dog's actions and using them for ourselves.
The idea of using mother dog's natural training techniques isn't new. Respected trainers like Carol Lea Benjamin have been using them for years. To understand these methods, let's take a look at a typical mother dog disciplining her brood. We'll use my Heather (Chow) and her four rowdy puppies as an example.
When a playful puppy bites Heather hard enough to hurt, she squeals in shocked indignation. The puppy, surprised at her reaction, usually hesitates a moment, unsure of himself, then tries to bite again. Heather yelps even louder this time and whirls on the puppy, growling, showing her teeth and scowling at him fiercely. Then she turns her back on him and storms away, completely ignoring him and any further attempts to get her to play. A smart puppy picks up her clear message quickly: "if you can't play nice, I won't play with you at all!"
If the puppy persists or doesn't take the hint, Heather doesn't fool around. With a menacing growl and using her teeth, she grabs him by the scruff of his neck and gives him a shake. If he sasses back, she gives him another little shake, tougher this time. She doesn't let go of the pup till he's acknowledged her authority (in dog language) by relaxing his body, laying his ears back and keeping still for a moment. Heather disciplines especially obnoxious puppies by knocking them over with her paw and pinning them to the ground, growling angrily and pinching them with her teeth. The puppies shriek but they're not really hurt. She doesn't let them up again untill they relax and lie still. After the correction, the puppy shakes his fur back into place and goes off in search of a playmate with a better sense of humor.
We don't have to growl at our puppies or shake them with our teeth, but we can modify Heather's technique for ourselves. The next time your puppy bites you, scream "OW!" in a high-pitched voice. Exaggerate a little. Then refuse to play with him or pay attention to him for a few minutes. If he doesn't get the message, give him a little scruff shake and scold him in a low-toned, threatening voice. You can exaggerate a little on that, too! Sound meaner than you really are. For puppies that just won't quit or seem to get wilder with every correction, flip them over on their backs, scold them in that same low, scary voice (growling) and gently but firmly, hold them in that position until they stop struggling.
We sometimes give puppies the wrong message about biting by some of the games we play with them. Wrestling and tug of war can encourage a puppy to bite and make it hard for him to distinguish when it's okay to use his teeth and when it's not. To make it easier for your puppy to learn good manners, it's a good idea to avoid these games.
Puppies seem to learn a great deal about bite inhibition and authority between five and eight weeks of age through play with their mothers and littermates. This is an especially good reason not to buy very young puppies. Puppies that were acquired earlier need to be taught these important things by their owners. They might require a little more intense use of Heather's methods than puppies that stayed with their litters longer. Puppies that receive little or no training in bite inhibition, either from their mothers or their people, may grow up to develop behavior problems.
I noticed that Heather picked out certain puppies for a little "extra" correction two or three times a day. She'd roll them over, pin them down for no apparent reason, growling at them if they didn't lie quietly. I noticed, too, that the puppies she chose were the most outgoing and dominant in the litter. She gave them regular reminders of her authority and the behavior she expected from them. I've found that using her technique myself works very well on puppies that've become too big for their britches!
Even with their mothers, puppies act a lot like kids -- they're always testing and pushing their limits. They have angel days and devil days. With patience, persistence and a few hints from your puppy's mother, you'll be able to tip the balance toward the angel's side!
More on kids and dogs is available in the article: Kids And Dogs: Safety first and Vicki DeGruy's award-winning column: Kids and Dogs: A common sense approach.
Vicki DeGruy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Thanks MaggieRoseLee and cancucme, I took Zeke to the park and played for two hours last night! We met a couple of really nice labs, and he was chasing them and playing in no time! He was actually more gentle with the dogs than he is with me...go figure!

After the park he was very hungry (FINALLY!), and then was so tired he didnt even mind laying down in his kennel while I watched tv.

I have been playing tug with him in the house as a way to get out a bit of his energy. Plus it is one of his favorite games. I have been making sure to touch him while he's tugging, and if he nips my hand or body I say "ow" and end the game. Is this confusing him and potentially making it harder for him to understand what is and isnt' ok?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,034 Posts
Quote:For puppies that just won't quit or seem to get wilder with every correction, flip them over on their backs, scold them in that same low, scary voice (growling) and gently but firmly, hold them in that position until they stop struggling.
This can cause more problems than it fixes.

Have you ever heard a dog make the sound "ow"? It just isn't a normal dog verbalization.

What I use is IPE - that's the word 'ripe' without the R. And you need to make it a strong/loud/high enough sound that it will startle the dog and cause them to stop biting for a moment. Then give calm praise and continue the game.

If they do keep up the biting even after the IPE, get up and leave the dog. If they won't play nice then they don't get to play at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
To go along with what Lauri is saying-I think we go waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overboard when we think we are correcting dogs/puppies like other dogs do.

Unless a dog is old, cranky, not feeling well they are really tolerant and take a long time to build up to a physical correction. At least that is what I have seen in a non-related dog pack, particularly with a puppy under 4 months.

Funny-that example is a Chow. I have a bunch of females, some with some Chow and a male with Chow in the mix and maybe for a group of puppies still in a litter, to maintain order they would do that roll or pin? But never have my dogs flipped or pinned a biting puppy of any age. I mean, a scruffing is a MAJOR correction-and flipping or pinning is life threatening.

They ipe. They give them something else to bite. They get up and ignore them. It takes forever to get them to do anything else (a little tiny neck nip-not a shake and the nip is using teeth tips only)-and by that point the puppy is generally getting the message. If the puppy is overtired (which would be my fault for not removing them) they have a harder time understanding and may end up with the tiny, QUICK nip. Again, my fault for not reading the puppy as too tired to understand that they need a little time out and a chew on something like some ice.

I just don't see these big bad punitive actions with my group, and they, in the past, have raised a number of puppies with me. And Kramer-a true alpha-just needs to give a look.


MLou-cute that the puppy is easier on the other dogs-I think that it's because they speak the same language, with no confusion. We have a harder time because we "bastardize" their language with our intepretations.
 
1 - 20 of 133 Posts
Top