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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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New puppy

Hi there. My fiancé and I just got a puppy who is now 10 weeks old. We have had him for 2 weeks now.
He has developed a very bad habit of biting/nipping. I understand that it is a natural part of being a puppy. I am just wondering if anyone has any advice to help stop the nipping/biting.
When we first got him. He was very chill and relaxed.
Any in sites or advice would be greatly appreciated. We have hired a trainer who is coming on Saturday for our first session.
But any tips we can get in the mean time would be helpful.
We have tried just saying “no” “no biting” things like that.
Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 05:22 PM
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Sounds to me like he’s relaxing and is starting to connect with you and wants to play. Redirect him to an appropriate toy to chew, like a tug toy. Make sure he has something to chew during down times, like a chew toy or bully stick. When he nips during play, say “ow,” and completely stop playing for a moment. If you are close to his crate or ex pen you can return him for a moment. It only takes a moment, though, it doesn’t need to be a long time out. Then you can pick him up to play again. If he nips again, stop playing for a moment again. It will take repetition for him to figure it out, and time. It should reduce pretty quickly, but as he figures out bite inhibition there will be moments when he might continue to nip, especially when he gets really excited, so just make sure you remain consistent.

Chewing because of teething is a bit different than nipping as he learns bite inhibition, but making sure he has something to chew can help with both.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 05:32 PM
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Also, I find “no” to be one of the slowest teaching tools. It can work eventually, but teaching him what to do instead will give you results so much faster! Otherwise when you say “no” he has to figure out what you’re saying it about and guess what you want him to do. That’s why stopping playing and then starting again in a minute works faster. He learns that play stops if he nips but continues if he plays with a soft mouth, and if it’s a few times in a row with short pauses when he nips, he makes the connection faster compared to long time out. Make sure your tolerances for nipping are the same. It came up in our family because our puppy NEVER nipped me after maybe 16 weeks, but he was still occasionally nipping with DD and DH because their tolerances were higher.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 05:33 PM
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 06:09 PM
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Welcome!😀
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your in sites.
My fiancé told me tonight that today he was barking and lunching himself at her. (Not sure if this was during play time or not.) This is a somewhat new development.
Is this a “normal” thing for puppies to do while playing? Or is this a sign of aggression or something else?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Also he nips and bites when we aren’t playing with him. He will do that when we are just sitting at the table.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 09:50 AM
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Is he initiating play? There is a “play bow” and mine would do a play bow, then sort of jump in to play and get me to come, and then sort of jump back into the play bow. You can find videos of this online if it helps you to figure out if that’s what he’s doing. If he’s nipping around your feet, you might put him in his ex pen while you’re at the table for now. Feet are pretty irresistible, in his mind he’s trying to get his favorite toys to move. You can work on that during other times like playtime by pausing when he goes for your feet, or when you’re walking down the hall if he goes for them. Just so it doesn’t interrupt your meal

Keep an eye out when he does these things because most of the time it’s play, but when it isn’t, you don’t want to miss communication. Mine would grab at the hem of my pants when he needed to poop starting pretty early, he’d been home less than a month. It was pretty funny, to be honest. In a case like that you want to be able to identify it. I realized that he would circle around my legs and sit in front of me and it I wasn’t paying attention, he’d start grabbing at my pants. So I was able to immediately take him out when he did that, no more pant nipping. Puppies will have different cues and for different things, and it takes time to read your new puppy’s body language. It’s really ongoing - there are times when I’m not paying attention and miss something, and realize it later. It just happened yesterday, lol. It’s a really great thing to bring up with the trainer when they ask about your goals, especially if this is your first puppy (it was mine). Even if it isn’t your first puppy, if you had a dog and were taught about “dominance” and “packs,” none of that will apply to your experience with Havanese. It is very, very unlikely that he is nipping because of any kind of aggression at 10 weeks old, unless he is fearful and came from a bad situation of some kind. It was kind of surprising to me that he nipped a lot and acted kind of ferocious sometimes during playtime. It is completely normal, not signs of aggression, and as he learns your tolerances and learns play skills, those things will shape his behavior. If you have a tug toy, you can try some redirection with that because it gives him something to bite.

Hope that helps a little! Can’t wait to see pictures

Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 05-27-2020 at 09:56 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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This is our little guy. We call him Timbit.
I know there’s a good little puppy in there.
Today before my fiancé put him to bed he peed twice on her bed (she changed the sheets before the second time) and she had taken him out to go potty before that. So he shouldn’t have had to pee. This is especially a new thing as he has laid on her bed before while she’s watch tv and hasn’t done that before.
We are curious. We gave him a pigs ear, as when my fiancé was a kid they had a dog who loved them and thought Timbit would too. He does and chews on it a lot. Would giving him something like a pigs ear explain these different behaviours we have seen lately?
We got him for her son 8 yr old son to have a buddy. And they bonded right away, but now her son is becoming scared of the way Timbit is acting.
Any thoughts/advice would be helpful. Or are we just over thinking things?

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 11:34 PM
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He is so cute! To reassure you, he sounds like a really healthy, normal puppy to me. He’s testing the waters, exploring his surroundings, and actively trying to play with you, so in spite of mishaps, those are all great signs he’s settling in.

If the pig’s ear has any behavioral effect it’s likely to be calming because he can direct some chewing energy. I bet he loves it!

To me it sounds like insecurity around what is normal puppy behavior and what isn’t, and I think your trainer will really help to reassure you. In the meantime, remind your 8 year old that the puppy is really a baby. He has to be taught everything you want him to learn, and he wants to be good because he’s already becoming connected to your family. It just takes time to teach him to be an adult dog. Remind him when the puppy’s nippy that he’s trying to play, so his feelings aren’t hurt, but teach him how to respond by stopping play for a moment. It doesn’t mean the puppy doesn’t like him or wants to hurt him, but even my 11 and 12 year olds needed that verbal reassurance once in a while.

Regarding the bed, it might need to be treated with an enzymatic cleaner if it soaked past the sheets. If he’s peeing in the same spot, he might be able to smell it even though humans can’t. Anytime he is there, make sure he is being watched closely enough that you can interrupt him immediately if he starts to pee. If he can’t be watched that closely, give him a break in his crate or ex pen or whatever you are using for potty training.

It’s crazy, I know, but it calms down!
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