Well, here I am again. Yesterday evening was rough. Mason is starting to come into his own and is doing the play biting (i.e. grabbing pant legs, biting ankles, barking/pouncing). It was like he was possessed or something. One of my books described this behavior as the "hound from hell" and that this is normal puppy behavior that needs to be controlled. I guess he thinks that I am a littermate and not the boss. I want to get this under control now. Last night, however, I was just getting frustrated and kept saying "Mason, no, Mason, no bite, etc". It just made it worse.
Is it possible for me to get back on the right track today or is the damage done? Does time-out for puppies/dogs really work?
Please advise. Thanks.
***Edited By: wantamaltese on 3/30/2006 9:15:31 AM*** Reason: Typos.
My Yorkie/Maltese was like that. I remember walking with her attached to my pant leg. Ohhhh and those sharp little puppy teeth!! The worst is the licking your face then suddenly biting your nose...gotta love that one! I found the best method is again the one most books recommend. The sharp yelp, I mean a loud sharp yelp when they bite you and walk away. It really does seem to startle them. It's funny, when I first took her to puppy kindergarten at 13 weeks. There were 9 of us in the class with puppies all about the same age. From shih tzu's to Mastiffs and that was absolultely the number one issue. The one lady with a lab had hands that looked like hamburger. Again that was what we were told to do. It will work, but don't expect it to work over night. You will find it will get less and less as the weeks go on. The other thing I found worked wonderfully well was to spray Bitter Apple on my hands or bottom of my pant legs. It tastes disgusting and they stop pretty quick!
I'm glad to hear that this is normal puppy behavior. I have not used the "Yelp", but I've said "Ouch" really loud and high pitched. He would stop for a minute then start back up again. I'm going to get some of the bitter apple.
My 4 month old bichi-poo also does this. He is so hyper some times and he does the attack licking your face and grabs on to my pant legs and god forbid you pick up one of his toys he is in attack mode. He wants to wrestle me for the laundry.. Some times its cute but it get annoying. He doesnt climb on me and lick my face and bite like he does every one else, he knows i dont like it and i say be nice to momma and he leaves me alone and goes for someone else.. But the kids let him do that to them so he thinks he can still do it. But now they are relizing that it isnt fun when he does this every morning to wake you up. LOL And he gets in his flipped out running around back and forth like something is chasing him and does it for 15 minutes or so. So i to am glad tho that my boy isnt the only crazed pup out there..LOL
Tapettyjohn, oh my gosh! Do we have the same puppy? My doesn't lick my face, I don't allow it. I'm going to try some of the methods that were suggested. I am so intent on getting Mason under control. I don't like this behavior at all.
I also read an article online that said not to yell "No", but to say it in a low, serious voice.
Its not really what your saying, its how and when you say it. The puppy biting, grabbing pant legs is not because hes a pain in the arse or cause he knows you don't like it.
Its simply a part of puppy development, learning how to manipulate the other litter mates and anyone in its environment. Picture a puppy running around, playing, and grabs your pant leg, you stop what your doing, make eye contact with the puppy, touch the puppy(push away) and then speak to the puppy (talking or yelling no, don't do that)) These are all fantastic in the puppies eyes. So pulling on pant legs, gets me a ton of attention. The puppy doesn't know pulling on pant legs, is wrong, or bad behavior.And dogs don't understand human language, body language is their main language. They can be taught to recognise a word, like "sit" or "down", through practice. When you start training a puppy, they won't learn over night, it takes time. Sometimes several weeks. For eg. Learning the sit, is really learning a habit. You can teach a puppy to sit on command, and teach him to just sit to get your attention instead of pulling on your pant leg (if you respond to the sitting even when you don't ask for them) Starting today I want you to watch your puppies behaviors, every time the puppy sits (on his own) I want you to say "Good Puppy" Even when hes playing by himself. You can use treats to encourage him/ When the puppy lays down on his own, I want to again tell him hes a good boy. Other then that go about your buisiness, actually ignore him, unless you catch him sitting or laying down, then come to life and tell him what a good boy he is. Keep the praise short, and then carry on with your day. If the puppy starts to pull on the pant legs, you should freeze, look away and fold your arms. Just stand there till the puppy loses interest. It may take a while cause before he got all that attention for it. If he stops pulling, backs up looks at you and then sits down, tell him hes good for that behavior. Behaviors are just behaviors to dogs, its up to us to react to the behaviors we want, and ignore the behaviors we don't approve of. Those ones will slowly evaporate, unless there is a pay off for the puppy. Every puppy/dog deserves to be taken to a training class or something similar. Training classes are to help owners learn how to communicate with their dog(body language), on the dogs level. Sorry so long, got a little carried away.
In reference to the comment you made about: "Picture a puppy running around, playing, and grabs your pant leg, you stop what your doing, make eye contact with the puppy, touch the puppy(push away) and then speak to the puppy (talking or yelling no, don't do that))"
That was exactly what I was doing on Wednesday night. I just lost my cool and obviously that was what was getting him worked up. However, last night, I kept my cool and maintained control. When he grabbed hold of my pant leg or bit me I let out a loud "Yelp", folded my arms and turned away from him. He stopped, sat for a minute and went to find a toy. It worked beautifully. He was still running around like a maniac, but didn't do any damage, which was fine. I am so proud of myself and Mason.
I started teaching him "come" and "sit". I think he's catching on pretty well. I make him sit before I give him his food. It's all so rewarding.
I do have a question about human behavior. One of my husband's friends came over yesterday evening for a few minutes. Mason was so excited to meet someone new and he tail was going a mile a minute. However, this guy started rough house with Mason and letting him bite, everything that I'm trying to keep in check. He kept telling me, "Well he's only a couple of months old, he'll grow out of it." Can one person undo the work I've put into Mason? I was irritated because this guy got him all worked up and then just left and I was left with a hyper puppy. This is a legitimate concern, right? I'm not being too strict, am I?
MamaMia, thanks for your advice as well, and thanks again to everyone else.
The guy had it half right, you should have your hands in their mouth alot, but the second part is to react with the loud Ouch!(then freeze) when you even feel the slightest bit of pressure of teeth. But after the puppy backs off a bit, you should offer your hand back. Your giving him the opportunity to learn what it feels like to have flesh in his mouth, and at what pressure is acceptable and will keep the play going. If he continually puts pressure, the games keeps ending, cause your stopping when there is pressure. If you never offered your flesh, or put your hand in his mouth, never allowed him to bite, he will not know how much he can put pressure, These puppies grow into adults, that never got this training, are the ones that bite and leave a puncture wound, as opposed to the puppy that gets that training early, gets into a situation where he may give a warning nip, but never actually touches the skin, they sort of just turn on you a bit to warn you that what ever your doing hurts or they a scared or what ever. Sorry... in conclusion, he should not be rough houseing with the puppy till hes a bit older and has good bite inhibition. But One visit from an inexperienced stranger is not going to mess up the puppy. Just keep up the training on your end, and when it comes to strangers, let the puppy interact, but remember that you are responsible for what he learns early on, you have every right to stop unacceptable horse play at this early age. Instead have yummy treats to give to strangers, so they are more likely to ask the puppy to sit or something. Theres always someone out there that thinks he knows better then you, and its not always the case.
Sue, thanks again. You are very knowledgable on this puppy stuff. I'm still learning as I go, and it gets confusing when one book says to do one thing and another book says something totally different.
I have been letting him bite my hand, but then when he bit too hard I would give him one of his chew toys. Once again I will use the "yelp"/ignore action.
***Edited By: wantamaltese on 3/31/2006 3:52:41 PM*** Reason: Add
The little guy was at it again this evening. He figured out that he can fit under the sofa. He was just all over the place. He even got a hold of one of his wee wee pads and starting running around the house with it. I finally (calmly) had to put him in his pen, and he is surprisingly resting quietly.
Is it a sign that when puppies start getting very bratty that they need a rest like kids?
When do they grow out of this phase? I keep telling myself that it's only temporary and I can make it through.
Again, if he bites your hand (any teeth pressure) don't reward him with a toy?? Do the ouch thing, and restart the game. Then when hes playing well with you, get a toy and play. But don't let him think, "Ok, bite her hard and I get to play with a toy, with her" If the little guy is grabbing things and running around the house with it, hes probly trying to get a reaction from you. Don't run after him, Keep things handy like treats. Call the puppy to you and offer the treat, when he drops the object "say drop it" And then offer the treat with "Take it" Then give him an appropriet toy and say "Take it" When hes playing with his toys, tell him hes doing a good job. Sounds like a Lab puppy.
***Edited By: sue on 4/1/2006 7:39:29 AM*** Reason: cbgnzxcgf
Cody, 1-1/2 yr Bichon/Westie mix used to do the same things, he stopped the ankle and pant leg biting on his own but the hand thing took a lot of patience and correcting, even now once in a while he will bite a little harder than I would like and all I have to do is look at him and he backs off. Bitter Apple didn't work for us, Cody likes it! All the tips were good and I had used some of them myself. Good Luck!
I've been doing all of these things, but it still isn't helping that much. Once he gets hold of my pants he doesn't let go even if I do ignore. He keeps pulling and pulling. Finally I pick him up and place him in his pen because I've had enough. I do it calmly though. And as I'm picking him up he'll be squirming around trying to bite my hands.
I can't wait until he grows out of this phase. I especially can't wait to get him into Basic Obedience.