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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy biting feet

Hi All,

I am mommy to Sadie, who is now 14 weeks. We've had her for about 6 weeks now, and have had an issue since we've brought her home... she bites my feet whenever I walk! She bites my toes, my pant legs, my ankles.. and it is driving me absolutely crazy. For one, obviously it hurts like heck, and two.. while trying to navigate around her, I twisted and fell, and tore my meniscus and dislocated my knee cap in my left knee. Ouch!

I have tried every recommended training trick that I can find. I have made a high pitch puppy noise - but she thinks that's me playing, and attacks harder. I have shaken a can with coins, squirted her with water, said a very firm "NO BITE!", given her a time out, distracted her with a toy, treats... nothing works. I have tried the ignore method, and this causes her to jump up and bite the back of my knee. The more persistant I am with any of these methods, the more agressive she gets. It's definitely seems defiant, like she's saying "you can't tell me what to do, take that!".

I just don't know what to do. I'm not going to wait for her to "just grow out of it", she needs to learn that this is not okay. It hurts, and is just driving me crazy. I know a lot of puppies do this, and I'm hoping someone will have a good method that I haven't tried yet.

Thanks so much.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 07:03 AM
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It may not make a difference in your case but Zelda has obvious preferences for certain pants/shoes and I just avoid wearing them. She can't resist licking bare toes so I never go barefoot. But she doesn't care much about biting jeans and some shoes are less fun for her than others.

I use the yelp and stay still method, which it sounds like you already do. Sometimes I've even thrown myself a pity party and generated real tears for her. That usually makes her come offer kisses, which I reward like crazy, unless she's just in serious high play mode. When I successfully distract her with a toy, I also praise like crazy every single time she accepts the distraction. I also praise her for sitting with a toy at my feet when she's not chewing on my shoes. If I actually catch her eyeballing my shoelaces but then making the choice to play with a toy instead, we have a big praise party.

One last idea. Maybe restrict her space more so she can't follow you as much?


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 08:24 AM
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Isn't that the most annoying thing, plus you even were injured! Timmy was/is a foot biter and he's almost a year and a half. I just plain yell "NO!!!" at him. I'll stop walking and sometimes even clap my hands while I'm yelling at him. He's a pretty sensitive guy and I never yell at him unless he's biting feet. I have trained my family to do the same thing. Sometimes I'll catch him before he starts and just sternly tell him "no." now if we could only stop the barefoot toe licking.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 08:44 AM
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Dexter use to do this too....I would stop walking, "no touch" ignore. Walk, if Dexter did it again.....stop...."no touch"



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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 10:02 AM
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Diva did this when I first brought her home. I think she was trying to herd me. So, whenever she would start I would stop in my tracks and walk backwards for a few paces. This way she learned the nipping had the opposite effect to what she wanted since it made me start going the wrong direction! She doesn't do it anymore, just runs ahead to say "come on come on!"


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 04:11 PM
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Welcome to the forum. This is most often attention seeking behavior. Put her on a leash and let her drag it around. When she decides to nip, tie the leash to a fixture and walk out of reach. When she's calm, go up to her calmly and hold out your hand ,hopefully until she licks it. If she does, calmly scratch her under the chin and release her. Try not to rev her up right away , maybe offer a toy for her . If she repeats the nipping , start over ,and repeat if necessary. Hopefully soon she will realize that licks equal freedom and more play, and that nips equal not so good.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that Sadie only does this to me. She does not try this with my husband or anyone else who enters our home. Also, she is only defiant to me as well. I am firm with my "NO BITES", and instead of giving me that apologetic look and backing off... she crouches down, leaps and tries to bite me in the face or wherever she can reach. Also, only me. If my husband tells her no bite, she stops.

I can't figure out what it is that I'm doing to make her this way to me. It doesn't seem to matter what I'm wearing - she's destroyed many socks, and it doesn't matter if my pants are long or short. I also don't understand why she seems to try and challenge me. My husband says it's because he's big and scary, that's why she listens to him.. but I am very firm and lower my tone when telling her no. I don't even have a high voice to begin with.

I will definitely try the leash trick, thanks for the help!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 04:11 AM
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I'm not sure if this helps but my cat is exactly the same. I'm the one she plays with, which often turns into jumping at me and biting or scratching. She ignores me when I tell her to get off furniture etc whereas my husband only needs to speak to her and she obeys.

I think it's because I did all the wrong things when we first got her so now she thinks she's superior to me or I'm just one of her siblings.

It may be worth you reading up on some of the recommended behaviours to show you are pack leader, eg eating before her (or pretending to eat her food first), entering/exiting doors in front of her, taking away the toys at the end of play, walking in front on walks.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I will definitely read up on the pack behavior. When we first got her, I probably treated her too much like a baby.... but she was so cute and tiny! This is my first venture back into dog life since my pekingese of 18 years passed away, and he was just a good boy from the day he came home at 6 weeks (young, I know.. but he was a runt and the owner was just going to dump him at the HS, my dad rescued him for me).

I have my "Dog Training for Dummies" book here with me, and I will for sure be reading up on the pack leader training for myself. I just did the little dog personality quiz, and she scored as "Prey/Aggressive".
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoh View Post
Hi, thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned that Sadie only does this to me. She does not try this with my husband or anyone else who enters our home. Also, she is only defiant to me as well. I am firm with my "NO BITES", and instead of giving me that apologetic look and backing off... she crouches down, leaps and tries to bite me in the face or wherever she can reach. Also, only me. If my husband tells her no bite, she stops.

I can't figure out what it is that I'm doing to make her this way to me. It doesn't seem to matter what I'm wearing - she's destroyed many socks, and it doesn't matter if my pants are long or short. I also don't understand why she seems to try and challenge me. My husband says it's because he's big and scary, that's why she listens to him.. but I am very firm and lower my tone when telling her no. I don't even have a high voice to begin with.

I will definitely try the leash trick, thanks for the help!
I think you definitely need to get a good, positive based trainer in there to WATCH what's going on between you and your pup, and give you suggestions on how to handle it. If it's only happening to you, something you are doing is causing the pup to react this way. And it's hard to give good advice long-distance, where we cant SEE the dynamics of what is going on between the two of you.


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