Our 3 month old cocker spaniel pup is a biter... she loves our fingers and if our faces get close to her she goes for our noses or ears. She does is playfully but hasnt learned that she's biting too hard to be playful. We have tried leash corrections, growling then walking away, growling while holding her snout, pressing down on her lower jaw (our vet told us this) and i've even smacked her a few times. She pierced my hand last week (OW!). She seems to think we are playing with her when we do this because she'll just look at us for a second and then lunge for the hand again. Any other suggestions?! And is this pretty normal? And should i expect this to be over when she's done teething ( i reaaaaly dont think this is a teething thing, but everyone just says "she's a puppy, she's teething" which i dont think is a legit excuse for her little teeth gnawing)?? And by the way, she's absolutely darling :-) Check her out: http://www.dogster.com/?47111
I'd give you a few suggestions but you seem to have already used them. Have you tried trading in your hand/face for an actual chew toy that she could occupy herself with?? Or once she bites you you can say "ouch" or "ahah" then ignore her for a few minutes then try playing with her again. If not try walkin away from her, if she tries biting at you when your walking away seperate yourselves by you going in your room or something, and a few minutes later try playing with her again. Sorry if this doesn't work, I haven't had a problem with biting until my own damn poodle bit me today...yeap.
Yeah, I think honestly, and i'm going to get beef for this, but the smacking thing works the best.. She really pays attention to what were doing when she gets a smack on the butt or snout. I'm also going to take her to obedience school. i've gotten so many rave reviews about dogs that have been, as far as behavior goes.
Kai - I agree with you - Minnie only pays attention when I "dominate" her - i.e. grabbing her by the scruff of her neck, or holding her on the ground. Granted, she's almost 8 mo. old, and about 85 lbs, but she still play bites when she is excited - I have tried everything you have, including spraying her in the mouth with Binaca, nothing besides "showing her who's boss" works. I do feel horrible about it, but if I've exhausted every other option - (are there more?) I feel your pain!
Thanks Minerva... She's such a little bully :-P I always say she must have been the bully of her litter because she'll be the boss around any dog.. we have a collie neighbor that she routinely 'beats up' (not really, she just jumps on him so much it sends him in hiding), we have another shih tzu neighbor that *hides* from her. we had to take his little bell off so she couldnt find him :-) ha! She's not really a chewer, and i know she's got to be teething so i think that perhaps she's trying to get rid of that pain by chewing on us (would you want a rawhide or some realllll hide :-) ) I guess i'll just keep doing what I think is right, because we've tried everything that the puppy books say to do with no avail...
Duncan did this for what seemed like forever. When I saw him for the first time at the shelter, I could tell he was a chewer. After a few days at home, he was a CRAZY chewer. I know it is wrong but a few times, when he really bit hard I tapped him on the snout. Well, for him it only made it 10 times worse. Then he thought we were playing. Duncan would bite/chew everyone, but was even worse with guests that would come to the house. It was like he was trying to grab them with his mouth to make sure they wouldn't leave. I would have to agree with a previous post about giving him the right things to chew. Duncan is a year now, and he is still not completely over the chewing/biting thing but it is much, much better. He has tons (and I mean tons) of chew toys in a little basket. He is only happy when they are thrown all over the house too. Obedience school is a fabulous idea too. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time to work with Duncan myself in obedience, so I sent him to a day school where they taught him all the basics over about 2 weeks. It was not cheap, but he is like adifferent dog. Now, even when he does bite, he knows what the word NO means and stops immediately. Just don't worry - your little girl will get there. She is so adorable. Duncan is part cocker too (I think). You can see him at http://www.dogster.com/?40070
Here is a another way you can approach the problem. Like other techniques, sometimes it works, sometimes not. When the dog bites you, instead of yelling or trying to be dominant, whimper and whine like a puppy. If the puppy stops and perhaps cocks her head, you're starting to get through. This technique will work when the puppy simply doesn't understand that her behavior is painful for you, and the puppy whimpering noise lets her know in her language, "Hey, you're hurting me." You'll probably have to repeat the whimpering a number of times as the puppy tries to figure out how rough is too rough, but as long as she pauses when you whimper, you're on the right track.
Some dogs just don't get the idea on biting being painful, yours sounds like one. My suggestion is that you make yourselves taste so nasty the dog doesn't want to bite you. You can do a couple of things. First you can fill a spray bottle with 1/4 vinegar 3/4 water. When your dog bites you, spray it full in the mouth or on the nose, ideally right when she bites you and say 'no bite!' The strong smell is very very offensive to dogs. Keep the spray bottle nearyou at all times until she learns. Another suggestion is, put some vinegar, lemon juice, or even tabasco sauce on your arms and hands. Any time the dog puts its mouth on you say 'no bite!' so it learns to associate the bad taste with the words. Lots of dogs go through this stage in life!
Tara--- Luuuuuuuv those little curly q cocker ears :-). Such a CUTIE! Proto -- she's got pleeenty to chew on, and we try to switch it so she's biting on that instead of us. I suppose its working :-/. And we're defnately going to be attenting obedience school -- i'm starting school again in fall and i just have to try and find something that coordinates. Minni- yay, my pup is normal. mmm vinegar. i'll try that out and let you know how it works -- thanks