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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
Mikie and Daisy's Mom
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Puppy Biting

Morning, I have a beautiful Cholocate and Brown 12 week old Havanese who loves to bite, me! Now I have owned dogs my whole life most recently 4 TT's or Tibetan Terriers and they all bite as babies HOWEVER this one does not get the idea that it is not a wanted behavior. I cannot find a way to stop it and since I take prednisone he just slices right thru my skin.

Also, although he will go outside on demand, he also goes in the house as he does not know how to tell you he wants to go out.

I need ideas!


Last edited by nanfis; 07-05-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 09:46 AM
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Aw, twelve weeks is so young and fortunately still a very trainable age. I don't have my Hav yet (getting her mother's day weekend at 11 1/2 weeks), but I had a yorkie for 15 years who nipped a lot as a puppy, and I've been doing a lot of reading on the topic of puppy training lately. Just finished "How To Raise a Puppy You can Live With" by Clarice Rutherford & David H. Neil, you could get it on Amazon, it covers bite inhibition and all the puppy training stages. Ian Dunbar is also a highly recommended author on positive dog training.

What I plan to do, and what I think would be recommended for the nipping is that he needs to be told in his own language that it hurts, you don't like it, and will withdraw your attention when he bites, even though in his mind he is playing. A "yelp" from you, or maybe a sharp "ah ah", then turn your back and ignore him for a short while. You may have to do that a number of times repeatedly over a period of days or weeks, and he will get the message eventually, if not immediately, that biting stops play and therefore is no longer fun. Some people will replace the hand with an acceptable chew toy and then praise so he gets the message that chewing is OK and encouraged on the right objects. I didn't know any of this when I had my yorkie as a puppy, we mostly just told her no, and she grew out of the behavior in a couple months, though possibly by our body language and putting her down because we got tired of being chew toys, she got the message.

As to the potty training, what I've read is you need to start with close confinement when you can't watch them (crate if it's not too many hours a day) or better yet at this age an ex-pen with a potty area, never letting them out of your sight when they are not confined so that you have the opportunity to catch them in the act and correct if they're using your living room rug, quickly taking him outside to show him where it is OK to go and praise. If he's getting away with it in the house, that's how he learns it's OK to go there, particularly if the area isn't thoroughly cleaned with an enzymatic product that gets all the smell out. Basically, set them up for success by being watchful, taking out often with praise for doing it right, and don't give him opportunities to go where you don't want in the house.

As to shredding the pads - what I've read is that is something particular to havanese - for some reason they love to shred paper. He might grow out of it, but I've read you can buy frames to hold the edges of the pads to deter that. You could also try dog litter in a shallow litterbox as an alternative, or the UgoDog or Wizdog like some people use here (a grate in shallow pan, you put the pad or newspapers underneath the grate). And just keep focusing on outside potty to where you won't need pads inside anymore if he never gets over the shredding urge.

Good luck! He's cute!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 09:47 AM
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oh, and I just re-read your post, if you search here or google the bell technique, many people like that one. Hanging bells on the door and batting them with his paw or nose every time you go out to potty (not play), he will learn to start ringing them on his own when he needs to go out.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 10:09 AM
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Here is an except from "After you get your Puppy" from Dr. Ian Dunbar:

Bite-Inhibition Exercises

Please read this section extremely carefully. I shall repeat over and over: teaching bite inhibition is the most important part of your puppy's entire education. Certainly puppy biting behavior must eventually be eliminated. We cannot have an adult dog playfully mauling family, friends, and strangers in the manner of a young puppy. However, it is essential that this be done gradually and progressively via a systematic two-step process: first, to inhibit the force of puppy bites, and, second, to lessen the frequency of puppy bites.

Ideally, the two phases should be taught in sequence, but with more active puppy biters you may wish to work on both stages at the same time. In either case, you must teach your puppy to bite or mouth gently before puppy biting behavior is
eliminated altogether

Inhibiting the Force of Bites

The first step is to stop your puppy from hurting people: to teach him to inhibit the force of his play-bites. It is not necessary to reprimand the pup, and certainly physical
punishments are not called for. But it is essential to let your puppy know that bites can hurt. A simple "Ouch!" is usually sufficient. When the puppy backs off, take a short time out to "lick your wounds," instruct your pup to come, sit, and lie down to apologize and make up. Then resume playing. If your puppy does not respond to your yelp by easing up or backing off, an effective technique is to call the puppy a "Bully!" and then leave the room and shut the door. Allow the pup a minute or two time-out to reflect on the association between his painful bite and the immediate departure of his favorite human playmate. Then return to make up. It is important to show that you still love your puppy, only that his painful bites are objectionable. Have your pup come and sit and then resume playing once more.

It is much better for you to walk away from the pup than to physically restrain him or remove him to his confinement area at a time when he is biting too hard. So make a habit of playing with your puppy in his long-term confinement area. This technique is remarkably effective with lead-headed dogs, since it is precisely the way puppies learn to inhibit the force of their bites when playing with each other. If one puppy bites another too hard, the bitee yelps and playing is postponed while he licks his wounds. The biter soon learns that hard bites interrupt an otherwise enjoyable play session. He learns to bite more softly once play resumes.

~ Angie ~
Mom to Baloo

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 11:45 AM
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I know what you are going through...Dexter is getting better with the biting, but it is training every day and to keeping him worn out helps. So, get that exercise in for your pup.

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 12:06 PM
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Welcome to the forum, nanfis! Your Hav is too cute. I LOVE TT's! There are some members here that have a TT as well as a Havanese.

I suggest you do a search in the "training" forum for "bell" and you will see quite a few threads on that. It's what we had to do with Ricky at 4 mths. It is great! Takes consistency or it won't work, but you might find it helps.

Hello. My name is marj and I have MHS.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” -Guillaume Apollinaire"
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