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Old 06-29-2009, 06:16 AM   #1
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Default Trouser and leg biting!

Hi. My flatcoat pup is 10 weeks and we seem to have a major problem with him biting at my legs and/or trousers. I've tried standing still and ignoring him but this isn't working. He mostly does it when we are out in the garden, but occasionally in the house as well. I've also tried telling him off but all he does then is growl or bark at me. Any suggestions would be gratefully received!!

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Old 06-29-2009, 06:35 AM   #2
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It's completely normal! All puppies go through this phase, he's not being aggressive he's just testing the water and also playing.

The best thing to do is ignore it, any attention (even telling him off) can make it seem like more of a game.

My cocker spaniel Molly was a nightmare with it when we first got her as a pup and she was 16weeks old, I was covered in bite marks and scratches and she had a thing about toes so you always had to have shoes on or you'd have a cocker spaniel hanging off your feet. It hurt too!

It was all about being persistent. When she started biting we just said 'NO' in a firm tone then turned around and ignored her. Even if she started attacking your feet we would just ignore it, or I would pick her up and put her in her basket.

You can also redirect it onto toys, if he's really up for a bitey game, get a stuffed toy or something and encourage him to bite that instead. With Molly, we'd wait for her to let go of us and then we'd get a toy and encourage her to play with that, making the game as exciting as possible.

The basic aim is just to teach the pup that biting people = getting ignored/no fun and biting toys = loads of fun.

They catch on eventually!

He'll also be losing his baby teeth soon and that is the begining of a mammoth chewing phase - provide plenty of chew toys!

Good luck, puppies are hard work but brilliant.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Melamaphine, I will keep on ignoring him and doing what you say. He's great in every other way, just this biting. I suppose I havn't had a puppy for 8 years and you do tend to forget what they are like! Just afraid of getting things wrong with him I guess. Its a big responsibility but very rewarding like you say!! Thanks again

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Old 06-30-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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Mel has given you great advice. This is how little puppies play with each other, so he is trying very hard to play with you the same way. You can't start soon enough with what Mel said about teaching them that unwanted behavior only gets them ignored, but that if they want attention, they have to do things your way.

At 10 weeks he is about at the peak of the nipping too so this is the time to make sure he learns either not to nip, or that human skin is a lot more delicate than the fur covered skin of another doggy!
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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agree totally with Mel Our little charlie girl 15 weeks old was terrible for this everytime you moved she'd grab your trouser hem but I just ignored her completely to the point of still moving but very very slowly and getting on with what I was doing, she now thinks this is the most boreing game in the world and chewing our 9 month old pups leg is much more entertaining
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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I will not tolerate this habit to begin with, if it starts, I bend down, tap the pups nose with my pointer finger and say No Bite!! I then walk away or hand the pup a toy if one is available. Outside usually a ball will help alot, inside reach in its box of toys and hand it one.

The ignore method works for most all things pertaining to puppy training along with a positive correction. I also use the pinch the nose lightly method on older pups like the mother does with her mouth. Or, you can pick some hair on the back of its neck and shake gentley back n forth and move on then.

Pups try anything to keep your attention to entertain them rather than go play alone.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:37 AM   #7
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Thanks all for some very good advice! It's quite hard to ignore a razor-sharp set of teeth hanging off the back of your leg !! I will keep it up though. Also any advice on teaching him to walk on a lead without biting it?

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Old 07-01-2009, 07:31 AM   #8
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lol, yep it is hard. I suggest wearing boots! Molly used to do that kind of thing, I had a 2 inch long cut on my hand, both sides from when she sank her teeth in and I picked her off the ground trying to shake her off. Ouch.

If you can just pull him off and put him in a 'time out' in his crate/bed. The key is just making sure the biting doesn't turn into a game, if that doesn't work, keep a toy to hand and try and redirect him onto that.

With the lead, I find that putting a soft collar and lead on in the house and letting them drag it around helps them tire of biting at it as they get used to it. Then you can try picking the lead up and getting his attention with a toy or a treat rather than the lead. Just try and keep his focus on something other than the lead!
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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Thanks Mel I guess i'm finding having a puppy again is hard work lol!!
I'm glad i found you all as i suspect i will be needing lots of advice. I shouldn't really moan about Charlie as he's so good in lots of ways. He sleeps through the night from 10.30 until my husband gets up for work at 4am. He then goes back in his crate for a couple of hours until i get up. Housetraining is also going well as he mostly asks to go out. Things could be a lot lot worse lol !!

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Old 07-01-2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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It is lots of hard work, I think it's easy to forget. Molly was a little sod when she was a puppy, she was my first pup that I raised - I was 19 when I adopted her from the shelter after our rescue dog died - and I remember asking my dad if he thought she had aggression issues because she was so violent! He just assured me that all puppies were like that and showed me how to handle it - my previous dog was such a softy it was shocking to have bits of my hands/toes being pulled off by this tiny scrap of a pup. I don't think I had an item of clothing without teeth holes in it!

All I can say is that what you put in now you get back, we let Molly meet loads of people and made a point of socialising her and being firm with the rules. She's grown up into a really well balanced, dependable dog that I would trust implicitly not to bite a person now.

Are you going to enrol in puppy classes? I'm sure that would be invaluable to you
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