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Old 09-14-2006, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Why am I always the chew toy?

Maya is a Schnoodle/ Pomeranian (mostly Pom). We are having a power struggle between the two of us. She thinks she is in charge. She constantly has to bite an chew on my hands and arms. It is beginning to hurt (a lot!). Even doing what the vet has recommended is not doing much good any more. Placing her on her back, holding her muzzle with my thumb and finger and telling her "no" sternly. I have yet to bite her back(LOL). It's almost as if she is laughing at me. Don't get me wrong she is very sweet too. Does anyone else have a Pom that started out like this? I guess I'm curious if this is typical or if I am just not being firm enough. I understand that part of it is puppyhoood and I feel silly asking after rasing 2 litters of Golden Retriver puppies, but any advice would be great.

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Old 09-14-2006, 08:05 AM   #2
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Did you let her chew on you as a young puppy? If so, that may be why you are having a harder time with her habit. It is not a bad thing, it will just take time.

When you do the muzzle correction, are you holding her between your legs so that she cannot struggle, with your thumb on the top of her muzzle and your hand cupping it until she sighs?

When she sighs, you know she has given up. If you take your hand off when she whines or cries, she has won. Whining or crying or growling in puppies is a method of manipulation to get their way, much as human children often scream and cry to get their way.

Also, you must be consistant. IF she is being bad, punish her each and every time she does the behavior. If you do not, she will be confused, and her behavior will be inconsistant.

Only praise her when she is at a calm state. If you pet her when she is biting you, she will get the idea that biting is "ok." Therefore, make sure to reinforce only the behavior that you find desirable.

Hope this helps! Cute pup!
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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She is 15 weeks old and was not well when we picked her up. Her true personality only came out about a month or so ago. She stops squiriming but goes right back after the hand when I release her. I'll listen for the sigh tonight as I know it will happen again.

Thanks! Her cuteness keeps her out of trouble sometimes!

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Old 09-14-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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Most Likely Your Pup Is Learning Bite Inhibition. She Would Do This With Other Dogs, But Since She Is An Only "child" That Is Why She Is Biting You. If The Stern No Isn't Working, You Could Try Something That I Have Heard A Lot Of. If She Bites You, Yelp Like A Dog, Loudly, That Way She Will Get The Point. That Method Seems Highly Suggested. At 15 Weeks, I Don't Think That She Is Trying To Take Charge. But You Don't Want To Let It Continue. Don't Try Holding Her Muzzle Shut, Because She May Just Try To Bite You When You Release. Some People Suggest Getting A Water Bottle, And Squirting Them Every Time They Do It, But Some Say Not To Do That, And I Agree, It Could Just Give You Another Problem, She Will Be Afraid Of Water.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #5
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How I break mine fairly quickly is take your fingers, place on top row of teeth, roll the skin under them and lift up quickly while say NO BITE ANYMORE, this makes them bite theirselves. It hurts them .....NOT you and they quit. They bite the skin on outside of lip on top teeth, it works for all of mine and then some I baby sit.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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Hello,

This sounds very normal at 15 weeks and I agree with Pitguy67 that she is learning bite inhibition. With my first labrador she was a devil with this biting and was actually quite old before we managed to get her out of it. We were nearly pulling our hair out and tried SO many different methods to try and stop her. The only one that worked for us was when she did it, putting your thumb or finger on her tongue, looking at her full in the face and saying a firm 'no'. Water bottles wouldn't have worked cause labs love water and I would say for some dogs it could make them fearful. My new puppy who is 12 weeks so not much younger than yours has responded really well to us yelping and we teach all our dogs the word 'gently' when it comes to their mouths so that they don't bite too hard when playing or grab food out of your hand. Our older dog now has the softest mouth, so it's just about finding a technique that works for your pup. They all respond to different techniques in different ways

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Old 09-16-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
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I don't agree with placing her on her back. If that is supposed to be the "alpha roll" thing, it is controversial.
I think Pitguy has given you good advice, it is just a matter of her needing to learn where your pain threshold is. And it takes time, no matter how consistent you are, they just take weeks and weeks to finally stop. Make sure you have a REAL chew toy handy and give it to her when she wants to chew, as soonas she chews on it, praise her.
Otherwise, be patient and good luck!
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:38 PM   #8
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We too tried all of these suggestions when River was a puppy and going through his biting stage and they all worked for about three days at a time!!!

The thing that worked for us was a combination of things - if he bit too hard we yelped and re-directed his attention to a toy (he now knows if we say "toy" he is to go and get one of those to play biting games with) and every now and then he'd just go way over the top so we either yelped and stood up and ignored him until he calmed down and then if he continued on after that he went to time out (which for us was the bathroom) - only for about 30 seconds to a minute and didn't talk to him when he was let out until he either went for a toy and sat down quietly. This worked brilliantly for us!!! Good luck with finding what works for you - it can take time but you'll eventually find something that works for your dog!

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Old 09-17-2006, 08:06 PM   #9
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Please do not do any physical corrections to the pup. Bite inhibition is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to learn and she needs to learn to gradually reduce her bite until it is no more.

Here is an article written by Dr. Ian Dunbar on bite inhibition and puppies:
http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bitestop.htm

The yelp and withdraw method takes time... but any good training method will take time and patience. By time, you should really give it a month before you should expect to see results.

And, to be honest, I thought I tried everything to teach Maddi not to nip when I got her at 16 weeks. I rolled her, I rolled her lip onto her teach, I scruffed her, I clamped her jaw shut... none of it worked out (and I still have a toothy dog). I wish that I'd heard of positive reinforcement and the yelp-withdraw method back then...
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