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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy biting/chewing

So our first week with Comet is almost over . He really is doing well. He has "sit" down to a science and we are working on "down" next (he almost has this one ). That all said, I have a few questions that we need some help with.

He is constantly trying to bite/chew on our hands, feet and clothes. We are saying "NO" sternly and also trying to "yelp" to show he is causing pain (even though he really isn't). We are also redirecting with chew toys, etc. It doesn't seem to stop him though and he comes right back to us to nip a bit more. Sometimes, especially first thing in the morning and late afternoon, he is especially aggressively nippy, sometimes even followed by a bark or two.

How long does this "stage" last typically before they learn not to nip and bite people? Also, during the agressive times, could it be a signal of hunger, or are the 2 not related?

Since the 2 times we let him out of his pen, he peed on the floor, we now enter his xpen to play with him and he loves that. However, when he gets too nippy, is it best to just leave the xpen? Want to do the right thing here, so if staying in the xpen and continuing to correct him / redirect him is the way to go, then that is what we will do. I just don't like to keep saying "NO" all the time...

On a side note, we have bought him several Kongs and we stick freeze dried liver in one end and try different things inside (kibble, Kong biscuits, Iam biscuits, peanut butter, etc.) and he seems to lose interest after a couple of minutes. We have even tried feeding him by Kong and it almost is like he just doesn't want to bother. Everyone tells me their dogs LOVE their Kongs and can't put them down - is this something he will grow into? We were hoping to distract him with the Kongs to help with the biting as well as provide distraction when we start leaving him alone, but at this rate - don't think it will work... Ironically, the one thing he LOVES to bite/chew on is his BED!!! We have to constantly remove the bed from his xpen out of fear that he will just destroy it. We feel bad that he then only has the tile to lay on, but not sure what else to do (you think spraying that sour apple spray on the bed would be a good idea?). We do put the bed back in once he is calm and tired though...

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your replies!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 11:37 PM
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Brody used to drive me nuts with his constant biting at me and they'd hurt! Yelping didn't phase him in the slightest. Time outs didn't seem to really bug him either, he'd be right back to it. He did learn to turn nips into licks with a "no bite" command.

He actually still does nip when he's really really hyper (which is always when we go to bed), but it's more controlled now. He never comes even close to any sort of breaking skin, he sort of just grabs with his mouth and if I say "no bite" he immediately changes it to a lick. I honestly can't think of any one thing I did to make it better, but obviously I did something since he does know what "no bite" means so he did learn.

Brody liked to bounce his kong to get plain kibble out of it, but he wasn't very enthused over peanut butter or banana so I never really found a mixture to put in it that he'd go crazy over for any period of time. Probably something with cream cheese would have worked better for him. His Kong is misplaced now and he really isn't much of a chewer anymore anyhow so I've not bothered to replace it.

Tracy and Brody

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.
- Josh Billings
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 12:39 AM
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Some dogs are more food motivated than others ..

Also, you want to start leaving him SOON, start small, a few minutes and slowly increase the time. Do not make a big deal out of leaving OR coming home, actually IGNORE him for a bit when you first get home!!

I didn't have a nipper, BUT I would thinking LEAVING the x-pen immediatly when he starts nipping would be the thing to do. DON'T say 'no' don't say anything or have any reaction other than to get up and leave. simply and quickly.

Tammy and Tillie
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 11:02 AM
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I agree with Tammy, just walk out of the ex pen when he starts biting, trust me he'll learn fast if he wants you in there playing I better stop biting. Timmy has a barking problem and my trainer said to just walk away or turn around and totally ignore him. Part of Timmy's problem was my continual begging of "no barking" "be quiet" etc... that's what he wanted to begin with, attention. This has helped, but now he's moved from not barking and running on our legs Timmy's trainer said he's a "player", persistent, resourceful and smart (bad combination ). Anyway that's my two cents. I've learned that this journey is an evolution, you need to adapt sometimes frequently, until you find what works best. These guys are SO SMART it's scary and they are always one step ahead of you.

Timmy is not a big fan of Kongs either, there's nothing wrong with Comet not liking them, it's just not his "thing."

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - I think we will try leaving the xpen and see if that helps with the biting.

We did try leaving him home last night while we ran to get some drive through around the block and after 5 minutes, he had peed on the ground in his xpen (I was watching on our doggie cam) and so we turned around and came home so I could clean it up. Today - we tried again and it went much better. We tired him out by running outside and tried 3 different Kongs with various treats inside and it actually did keep his interest today until he fell asleep until we got home (yay!).
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I forgot to mention - he loves to chew on his UGODOG. Since it is in his xpen, is that considered fair game to chew on? Or is it appropriate to correct him to not chew on that even though it is in his xpen?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 11:38 PM
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You must have a big x pin. I cant imagine playing in the one I have. All puppy's like to bite its just what they do. I think some do more than others because I was in a pin while picking out Maddie with about 13 baby havanese. I'll never forget this one little one he kept biting my toe and it really hurt.
Maddie and I had so much fun playing with a ball she liked that much more than biting. But she would run across the whole living room. The exercise and fun was well worth the possibility of a accident.

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yes our xpen is about 18 square feet so plenty of room for a couple people to play in there with him. We can't play with him outside his xpen yet, since everytime we have tried, he pees on the ground. We do play with him in our fenced yard though and he loves to run out there .
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