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Old 05-23-2008, 03:01 AM   #1
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Hi,

Does anyone have any tips on calming down a puppy when it gets over excited? Lyra is not allowed to go for walks until Sunday due to her jabs so I think she is just getting bored with the same old toys and playing either in the lounge or the garden and going stir crazy.

She's become very distructive, chewing at the furniture and biting. We have tried everything to stop her biting from removing her and trying to play with her, from telling her off which makes her do it more to be honest! In the end, we had enough and put her to bed (it was 10.30pm) and went to bed ourselves.

This morning, she was still hyper and worst of all she bit me really hard on my hand! I was playing with her, throwing a toy and she was bringing it back to me, but when I went to get up ( I was sat on the floor) she just grabbed hold of my hand a bit down really hard. I was so upset rather than tell her off, I burst into tears! I eventually put her to bed as I couldn't deal with her while I was so upset.

I am worried that she is becoming aggressive and it's something we've done. She doesn't seem to listen to me anymore! I am really hoping that this behaviour changes once she can go for walks, but I am worried it's too late.

Is this normal for puppies to behave this way? She is 3 months old.

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Old 05-23-2008, 04:07 AM   #2
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It's time to teach her bite inhibition, between now & when she's 4.5 mths old. Whenever she bites or puts teeth on your flesh or clothes you yelp "ouch" & give her a short time out/end play session for no more than a minute, then come back & try again. If she hasn't been to a puppy kindergarten you should enrol her now. They usually take them up to 16 weeks old. You can also try handfeeding. Doing the "ouch" if she bites take the food away for 30 secs & keep doing this until she will take the food gently. If she puts teeth on your fingers, she doesn't get her meal.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
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Thanks April,

She's pretty good with food so far and is quite gentle when taking treats. It's just when she gets over excited that the biting is bad. We've tried holding her snout and saying "NO BITE" but when we let go, she takes a swipe at us with her mouth open and tries to bite again!

My husband used to let her soft bite when we first got her, saying she was just playing. I think this is what has made her worse. I never wanted her to bite at all. I think he realises now this may have caused a problem. I know some people advocate soft mouth, but I would rather they didn't bite at all, that's just my personal opinion.

My sister-in-law had the same problem with her puppy a short while ago. The biting got so bad she didn't know what to do. A friend told her to bite the puppy back on the ear. She did this, and the puppy has never bitten her since! I thought this was a bit extreme, but now I'm in the same boat, it doesn't sound like a bad idea!! Anyone heard of this?

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Old 05-23-2008, 05:56 AM   #4
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Hiya,

Ouch, poor old you! If its any consolation yes, I think its pretty normal, Nellie was just the same - she is now 10 months and has a nice soft mouth these days.

I have heard of the age-old method of biting the puppy on the ear and I've heard its effective, but personally I wouldn't try it! There are much better and more positive methods to use, without ruining her confidence in you.

She simply has to learn that using her teeth is not part of normal play with humans. Use the method described by April - the moment she closes her mouth on you, or you feel her teeth scrape your skin, give a good loud yelping "owch!!", and leave your hand/wrist/ankle (whatever part of you she wants to chew on) where it is - she should back off instantly and switch to licking. Don't snatch your hand away as that might encourage her to keep grabbing at you - stay still and keep making loud ouch sounds until she releases.

Then walk away from her and do something else for a few minutes, before resuming play.

This is a bit hit and miss granted, but it is effective gradually and teaches the dog that its okay to play - without teeth. I wouldn't advocate holding her snout either, they really resent that and in any case, it rarely works!

Have patience, she is just testing your limits and is bored of being stuck indoors. Try inventing hide and seek games, and do little 5 minute sessions of training with her to keep her mind occupied - sit, stay, walk on the lead etc (if you have enough room). Training will tire her out mentally.

Good luck!

Susie

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Old 05-23-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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I wouldn't worry too much about whether she's 'normal' - she is by the way!

When Molly was a puppy, she was the first one I had ever raised and I thought she was nasty for a while. I was absolutely covered in bites, every item of clothing had tears in it and at one point she bit my hand, sunk her teeth into the palm and I picked her up off the ground while she still had her teeth in me (ouch!!)

It took me a while to realise she was just being a puppy, and my dad showed me how to teach her bite inhibition. It took ages with her but she's now soft as a lamb with people and has never once shown the slightest aggression to anyone. She lets kids pull her about and is perfect.

Distraction works wonders, Lyra's at the age where she's getting adventurous and everything is a learning experience, like a toddler her brain is a 'sponge' at the moment. She's learning what she can do and you need to start creating boundaries. With Molly I used toys to distract her and got her to attack these to let out the energy, if her teeth made contact with me then the game ended and she got put in her basket.

It won't happen overnight, you need to be persistent but don't worry, you will get there in the end. It might well take months to fully go away, but consistency is key. Dachies are not very easy to train, we've had a few and the last 2 pups my gran had are still a bit unruly at 7 years old - i've tried endlessly to obedience train them but they look at me like i'm mad!
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Hiya

This is a stage that all puppys go through. When mine done it to me i would squeel in a hi pitched voice stop play stand up turn my back and ignore them for a minute or to. When they calmed down start play again. If it happened again repeat and so on they do get the message in the end. Also with the chewing of furnitur put somthing that tastes nasty on it i.e vinegar i did this when Jess started to chew a piece of skirting board behind our back door, she soon stopped. But they do start to get a bit stir crazy needing more to do , try somthing to stimulate her mind like. Hide and seek. With treets or toys. Hope this helps a bit.

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Old 05-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #7
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Hi Lyra, it sounds like there are two different things going on - one is the nipping and one is her getting excited. I think for the second one if you see the signs of her going crazy on you, just be very calm yourself, and if you say anything say it in a soothing voice until she backs off a little.
There is a little info here on puppy biting / nipping that might help
http://www.dogforum.org/showthread.php?t=9741
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:01 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, for all the helpful tips and advise. I will certainly concentrate on the yelping thing again. I did try it before, but forgot about it as it wasn't working too well, so I'll try again!

Can't wait to take her on her first walk and work off some of that excess energy!

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