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Old 09-17-2007, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default A few puppy questions

Hi everyone,

Have a few puppy-related questions to ask, if you would be so kind as to offer any tips for me!

1. At 6 weeks, Nellie hasn't learnt bite inhibition yet - when she mouths a bit too hard, we yelp or cry out, and refuse to play for a few seconds. If she persists I say ah-ah, then give her something else to chew (and praise her up when she chews it!). But sometimes she gets really excited and nips really hard regardless - she's left some vicious teethmarks on my ankles and on my arm, and on Kris's hand! What's the best way to handle this so she learns control from us - are we on the right lines?

2. She seems to have a real temper, and when thwarted (i.e moved away from chewing the wrong thing, or away from some place she might get hurt, or back in her crate when she wants to run around and play in the middle of the night), she throws a tantrum - she snarls and squeals and savages at your hands like some demented gremlin. We say ah-ah very firmly, but that seems to make her madder! I guess this is again down to not having her mum around at this age to tell her how to play nice. What do you think is a good way to deal with this?

3. More of an adult dog question really - Lucky, my mother-in-laws 3 year old Patterdale, seems to have adjusted to Nellie's arrival in her house very well. She was of course intrigued at first and wanted to clamber all over the puppy, pin her to the floor and bark at her - but thats improved over the last day or so! She's still fascinated by her and likes to get up close, and she even tells her off in a very motherly fashion if the puppy gets too bolshy. Very useful for us really, and Nellie loves her (the rough coat is great for dangling from). But Lucky also gets carried away - occasionally she stands over the puppy and barks right in her ears, nudging her roughly in the head. She has never shown any inclination to be really spiteful, but she can be very persistent and obnoxious with this behaviour and will fight and struggle when we try to remove her. Any ideas on what's on her mind here?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Suze xx

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Old 09-17-2007, 03:16 AM   #2
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Hi I hope I can help with your questions

1. I would not be exspecting her to have learnt not to bite at 6 weeks! It may take a couple of weeks you are doing the right thing

2. I would ignore her and when she settles down praise her.

3. Maybe she is jeolous of the puppy or is mad that a new pup is coming into her home.I would suggest giving her time to adjust to the new puppy but make sure the puppy does not get hurt.

I hope I have helped with the questions

Goodluck and happy posting



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Old 09-17-2007, 04:59 AM   #3
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OK Suze,

Firstly in the UK, no reputable breeder should be letting their puppies go to new homes until the age of 8 weeks. She needs those extra couple of weeks with her mum to show her how to behave, it is soooo important for them.

This behaviour is part of learning for her, she is testing your bounderies.

At 6 weeks she is too young for you too expect her to be learning this behaviour is not on. This will be learned over the coming weeks and months.

You could try a water spray bottle, like hairdressers use, and spray it at her when she goes to mouth you.

You could also try Bitter Apple spray on your hands, hopefully she wont like the taste of it and it may put her off wanting to taste your hand.

You could also try taking her out into the kitchen for a time out, if she likes company then this will be a harsh punishment. Leave her there for 5-10mins. Whenever she mouths take her back to the kitchen (or wherever) and repeat until she gets the message.

The method I use, which some people agree with and have great results is scruffing and pinning. When the pup goes to mouth you or exhibits behaviour that you deem unacceptable, you grab the scruff of the neck and pin them to the floor. Hold them there until they submit (start rolling onto their back and legs in the air) I would say wait until she is a little older maybe about 10 weeks.

Whatever method you use, stick to it, puppies need to know what equals a reward and what equates to time out.

Last edited by Syler; 09-17-2007 at 05:55 AM..

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Old 09-17-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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Hi Curlysue......sounds like you have a handful there. Don't worry this can be corrected. And we won't say we told you so ....(sorry about that). But seriously, Bruno was the same way when I got him at 6 weeks old but he also growled at us when we picked him up too. When he would bite us hard I would just pinch his lip back hard (not anything cruel) but just to get his attention that if he was gonna bite me then I was gonna give it back and that mine was not going to be pleasant. Same as if he would of stay with the litter, the other pups would be teaching each. Took awhile to learn....but eventually he did learn I think when his adult teeth came in and yes, those puppy teeth sure do hurt!!! Now he has the most gentle mouth ...a complete turn around from when he was little. You'll need to teach her that you are in control and as soon as she is old enough go though the puppy obedience class for learning this and also socialization.

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Old 09-17-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
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Thank you Bailey-lover, Syler and Brunosmum. I'll let you know how it goes!

Suze x

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Old 09-17-2007, 01:17 PM   #6
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Oh boy! You've got a handful. The good news is that Brunosmom is right that this too will pass if you handle your little demented gremlin (cute description) properly.

1. Bite inhibition is going to take time. You're going about it in the right way so just be persistent.

2. When she displays this behavior, I would turn my back to her abruptly and walk briskly away from her & walk out of the room to leave her to her own devices until she calms down. I would repeat it no matter how often she does it. She'll soon learn that this behavior doesn't get her the attention she is seeking.

3. As long as your adult dog isn't being too rough, I would let them sort things out. Your adult needs to be corrected if she's too rough but I'd use sit/stay or down/stay to gain calm/quiet. Put one or both on a leash if you have problems getting them to be together in a calm manner. I suggest you try a few calm/quiet training sessions daily until they understand the concept.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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Hi CurlySue,
You've gotten some good tips, maybe I can add a wee bit to help.

1) At 6 weeks, the puppy biting and nipping is just starting! You'll need all the patience you can find to deal with it and hopefully you will have it sorted out by about age 4 months.
How to: Stop puppy biting / nipping

2) Agree with KatznK9 - if you don't reward her for undesired behavior, she will eventually stop. It will take a while, but she will stop.

3) Agree with Katz again-this is between them and as long as neither one is getting hurt I would let them take care of it.
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