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Old 08-31-2006, 05:03 AM   #1
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Default Puppy problems

Hi,

I am new here but have joined as this seems to be a valuable resource of information for people like ourselves.

We are now the proud parents of an 8 week old Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Female). We are both besotted with her but we are having a few difficulties and require some advice and assistance. For the most part Roxy is very gentle and plays calmly, but on occasions she becomes aggressive and bites or pulls at our trouser legs and won’t let go, if you tell her “No”, or try to lift her of it just makes things worse, and she will start growling. Her biting starts of just as a tester but then she will grab hold and won’t let go, if you move, she just gets worse.

She has lots of chew toys specially for teething pups along with various others. (What age do they teeth from and too? – approx)

We have tried ignoring her when she does it but this had no impact and she thought us turning round was part of the game, and would continue. So we then adopted the rule, that if she bit we would “Yelp”, if it continued we would let out another high pitched “Yelp”. If this didn’t work, we would then get up and walk out of the room for 30 seconds so that she lost her playmates. But this is difficult as getting out of the room is difficult without her following. I don’t want to have to place her in her crate as we want her to feel that she can go there and feel safe, and not for it to be a place of punishment. In addition to this she is given plenty of praise and treats when she behaves.

So my questions to you are, how do we get her to stop biting, or are we already doing the right thing, its just we need to be persistent and constant in our approach.

How do we discourage her from pulling our clothes?

Many Thanks for you time and guidance, its greatly appreciated.

Thanks

The_Lynx_Effect
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:35 AM   #2
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Have I said something to offend people? Nobody is replying. I don't expect essay writing , just some reassurance that we are doing the right thing.

Thanks

The_Lynx_Effect

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Old 09-01-2006, 07:05 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome

Sorry no-one replied - we're not normally like that!

Roxy is gorgeous - I'm not surprised you're besotted

Re the biting - yes you are doing all the right things. Try making the yelp a lot louder and longer - have you heard a pup yelp? It's a proper loud noise, so go for it The walking away part is good too, although at that age you don't necessarily have to actually walk away, it's more withdrawing yourself from play. So if you're in the front room and she bites, yelp, and then sit up on your chair and pointedly ignore her/watch telly/paint your nails or whatever. The message you are giving her is 'if you bite, I won't play'. At 8 weeks she will catch on very quickly, but I can appreciate it probably feels like you're going no-where for a while...
Teething starts around 4-5 months until up to 12 months. I didn't really notice worse chewing with my pair - as pups they chew a lot anyway as they are getting used to their teeth. But if she does seem to be chewing a lot, get one of those raggy ropes, soak it in beef stock and pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, they are a godsend for teething pups.

Your clothes - hmmm I think that's just a continuation of the mouthing (biting), but you could certainly use the yelp technique for that too.

In the meantime, enjoy your puppy and keep us posted on her progress. We'll try and reply a bit quicker next time

Jane

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Old 09-02-2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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Hi, ahh your puppy is gorg!! We've got 2 Cavalier K C Spaniel cross Chihuahuas. One is a year one 10 weeks. The puppy was chewing at some wires and even a firm no did nothing to discourage her. So we used a method we used with our other dog to discourage him doing things. We got a small bottle and filled it with a few small stones. The other day she was chewing at the wire again so i got the bottle and shook it twice, not too hard but hard enough to make her jump. It seems to have worked because she hasnt been near the wire again. She walked past it about 10 mins after i had done it and she looked at the wire and gave it a wide berth. Maybe this would work for you? They associate what they are doing with a noise that makes them jump so they don't want to keep doing it (hopefully).

Good Luck
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:29 AM   #5
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Hi and Welcome
I think the reason you are not getting a reply is that you have posted a difficult question and are already doing everything you should be! It's easy to reply when someone has no idea what to do.

I think you are already taking the correct approach. The only thing I can possibly think of might be to have rope toys handy. If her pulling on your clothing is a way of getting a game of tug, then corrective action might be to substitute a toy that is appropriate for tug.

At the same time, you can't really separate this behavior from the overall picture. If you are not practcing the "nothing in life is free" technique, now is a good time to start. Even if your puppy wants to play tug, you should not let her play with you unless she "asks" politely. This should be in the form of you telling her to "sit". If she does not sit, you donot do what she wants.

Anyway, good luck.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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Hello, sounds like you're doing all the right sort of things to me too. I wonder whether when she gets more aggressive it might be worth using a 'time-out' technique. Maybe you have a room you could safely pop her in to let her calm down when she goes over the top like that? We have a baby gate on our kitchen so when my pup goes over the top I just pop her in there for a few minutes if she isn't responding to 'no' and the other things you're doing. I really doubt its 's a nasty growl, probably just a puppy play growl. I actually usually find that when I put Bonnie in a quiet place for a few minutes to calm down I go back in to let her out and she's gone to sleep - bit like a tired child getting more naughty!

My older dog used to hang off my clothes, especially my dressing-gown and she just grew out of it really. Just keep telling her 'no' and I'm sure once she's grown up a bit she'll stop. I also found with my older dog that making a yelping sound and ignoring her didn't work at all to help stop her puppy biting whereas my new puppy is responding to it well. Maybe you could try putting your finger on your puppy's tongue and saying 'no' firmly? It worked for Meg and she was devil with biting! And it doesn't hurt them at all.

Hope this has helped a bit. Good Luck

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:21 AM   #7
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Hi Guys,

Many thanks for your reply's its greatly appreciated.

As for the progress this was slow to begin with, and seemed very in effective. After the 30 second timeout she was just as bad, if not worse. She has plenty of toys including one of the ropes with the nots on the end. I since began reading other methods at stoping a pup from biting so hard. I began wondering if she thought she was top dog so to speak.

The new method seems to be working very well, Roxy has basically stopped mouthing me hard and its more like gentle nipping crossed with licking.

We use the same principle but after three "ouch" or "yelp" I gently grab the scruff of her neck (gently) and growl back. Upon doing this she stops. She is then given lots praise and lots of strokes on her head and back. I suspect this is close to what her mum and dad would do within the pack.
My partner still needs help with this as she is scared to grab the scruff. But the persistance in now paying of. I'm really pleased with her as she now sits on command (most of the time).

Thanks again for your time and help.

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Lynx_Effect View Post
.

We use the same principle but after three "ouch" or "yelp" I gently grab the scruff of her neck (gently) and growl back. Upon doing this she stops. She is then given lots praise and lots of strokes on her head and back. I suspect this is close to what her mum and dad would do within the pack.
My partner still needs help with this as she is scared to grab the scruff. But the persistance in now paying of. I'm really pleased with her as she now sits on command (most of the time).

Scruffing - That's what I do with mine when they are little, but tend not to advocate it as you need to be very careful a)to grab in the right place so it tells them off and not hurts them and b) that it's done at the right time.
I could not explain it correctly and would have to demonstrate.

OK, you're using it and it works. Once pup gets past about 5 months you need to stop. Simply because Mum would never scruff past this age (and most pups are removed by 8 weeks....). I would also say to your partner, if she's not 100% confident about scruffing, don't do it!
Only use it at extreme moments when nothing else is working ie almost never!!

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Old 09-04-2006, 11:26 AM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the forums from me and my Gang. Your puppy is gorgeous.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:32 AM   #10
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Hi everyone,

just thought I would give you an update on how things are going. Roxy is turning into a little angel, she is only really mouthing very softly now, and this only happens on rare occasions. We stopped grabbing her by the scruff as this seemed to be having an effect on her in a bad way. She began to almost snap at you when you went to stroke her. What has helped though is the breeder contacting us to tell us one of Roxy's sisters had been returned and did we want her. We didn't, but my partners mum has taken her in and given her a good home. Roxy and Ellie play on a daily basis with each other. Ellie is quite quiet but bigger than roxy who is very active. Lets just say Ellie has put Roxy in her place. she is turning into a little Angel and now knows the commands Sit, Stay and come. She is also going toa puppy party at the vets to see some other dogs of simliar age. Should be fun!

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