Puppy rearing advice needed, please

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Estherfromjerusalem, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    My oldest daughter Debbie has six children. She has just taken on a puppy (called "X") from my son, a bachelor who is hardly at home and therefore can't raise the puppy that he received as a gift. It is a beautiful dog, a golden retriever, pedigree. It is champagne colored. Gorgeous. Until he bites! The veterinarian told Debbie that he, too, has a golden retriever, and the biting will probably go on until the age of about 9 months. It bit Debbie in her thigh and she had to have an anti-tetanus injection. Of course, one of her twin sons (aged 16) is supposed to be in charge of this dog, it is supposed to be his, but of course guess who is doing just everything for the dog -- Debbie, of course.

    Anyway, I wondered if any of you have any suggestions of what to do about this biting, how to train the dog to stop it NOW. He has loads of toys to play with, and he gets taken out for walks. I know he is a puppy and is being playful, but if anyone has any concrete suggestion just how to train him not to bite, I would be most grateful.

    If not, I am going to strongly suggest to Debbie to get rid of the dog. She has enough to cope with in her life.

    Thank you,

    Love, Esther
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When animals play together and one gets to rough for the other, the one just stops playing and walks away. That's usually enough to stop the behavior. And that's what I've always done with both my cats and dogs when they get to rough. I just stop, ignore it (the animal) and walk away.

    Biting because of aggressiveness is different, but this sounds like play behavior.
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Here's my 2cents. (Used to train dogs.)

    He needs to be on a spiked choke collar. He's a big dog and needs a jolt. They bite when they get excited. It's not a mean jesture...it's playful. So here's what you do.

    Choke collar on. It will not hurt them, but get their attention. Take him for a walk. When you see the energy level rise, you give a sharp yank of the chain and immediately walk in the other direction. It redirects their attention. It doesn't take long for them to realize that being excited and biting gets them no attention.

    In the house if he bites, you immediately leave the room. Attention is everything to where he can't get to you. Close the door. It will take many attempts, but as soon as he realizes he doesn't get attention for that behavior he'll hopefully stop.

    Finally, when you come back in, give him some kind of chew toy. If he chews...reward him with a doggie treat.

    So, it's NO...leave the room, come back with a chew toy and reward. Over and over again.

    Hope it helps.

  4. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much Wyntersgrace and Abbey. I will pass both of those on to Debbie.

    Love, Esther
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Hi Esther!

    OK, I fully realize that this is going to sound really goofy, but it works. Puppies need to learn that they they don't get as rough with people and bite like they did with their brothers and sisters. When they bite another dog too hard and hurt them, the dog they bit will yelp in pain. And it's usually immediate and it's LOUD! When a puppy gets carried away and bites you playfully, what you want to do is immediately react with a loud noise just like another dog would ... the louder the better, even if they didn't really hurt you! Cry out in pain like he really hurt you, as loud and shrill as you can manage, loud enough to startle him. You're not yelling at the puppy, you're reacting LOUDLY to his painful bite just like another dog would. They understand that. Then immediately walk away and pay him no attention for a while. That's what another dog would do and that way he knows that he's hurt you by biting and that it's unacceptable. I know it sounds silly, but if you do it enough they will soon learn that it's not OK to bite and nip at people. It may take them a while, but they do learn and it really works.
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I guess the only other thing I can add is that when you're trying to change a behavior, NOOOO treats unless you are in the 'training' mode. No drops of scraps at dinner, etc. Only when you are trying to redirect the behavior.

    The dog will quickly learn that the only way to get a treat is to behave properly.

  7. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Good advice, Donna. When you say NO, you need to say it with force, then walk away.

  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That doesn't sound stupid at all. I was playing with Taz once when he was younger. We were doing the "slap the dog on the cheeks" thing and he was "going for" my hands. At one point, he accidently caught me in a downward motion with his teeth while I was bringing my hand up and back. Laid my thumb wide open (but no stitches needed). I didn't yelp but I did make a noise and left the room to go check it and clean it. When I came back in, poor Taz was devastated. He knew that he had hurt me but I also knew it was an accident. But from that day on, whenever I did that with him, he was so gentle and made sure that he didn't get close to my fingers. So honestly, that sounds like a good idea. The next time he does it, make a noise and leave the room. Or just say no and leave the room. He'll get the picture eventually.

    He sounds beautiful by the way!
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    The idea is to YELL really loud, high pitched, just like another dog would! Don't look at them when you do it because you want them to know you're reacting in pain, not think that you're yelling at THEM. Scream and yipe like a hurt puppy if you can manage it, and you have to do it immediately after they've nipped you. That way they know they've hurt you, and when you walk away from them and stop paying attention to them, they get the idea that that kind of behavior with people is unacceptable. It may take a few times but most of them get the idea pretty quickly.
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Miss Molly used to bite. hard! when she was a pup. We were told the same thing as Donna ---to yell "OUCH" as loud as we could when she bit, then leave.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Yup. It is the high pitche yell LOUD that will work. It gets the message through. My mom used that and then leaving the room to train our 1/2 lab 1/2 irish setter dog. It worked so well we could take STEAK or any other treat from the dog - ANYONE could at ANY time. She was totally gentle with her mouth. Retreivers are easier to train to be gentl with their mouths because they were bred to bring back things with-o injuring them.

    Good Luck to Debbie, Esther. It is hard to handle a dog AND kids, in my opinion.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yep...just think like a momma dog would be when teaching a puppy not to bite her. If a puppy bites a momma dog too hard she growls, yelps and nips back at the offender while semi lunging at him. This is basic doggy language for stop that you stupid mutt!

    We have been known to yelp and growl loudly at a pup before banishing them to time out.
  13. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    Call me crazy (it's ok :laugh:) but when all our puppies went to new homes and we kept Zeus, he wasn't into biting us but chewing on everything he could find. I bought him an everlasting bone ~ he can chew to his hearts content but the bone won't break or get smaller. We've never really dealt with the biting issue ~ even during play he'll move his open mouth toward you but once he feels your fingers/hand in his mouth, he stops in his tracks. Zeus and his momma are labs so they are also a bigger breed.

    Good luck stopping the biting action! But I do have to laugh at imagining all of you yelping away lol :whiteflag:
  14. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    I just want to thank you all for your replies and for your caring. I don't know why it hit me so hard last night. My husband has been e-mailing to Debbie back and forth, and he forwarded their correspondence to me. I saw it at 2:30 in the morning, and I don't know why it affected me like that, but I just cried here at my computer, the tears just poured down my face. And I'm not that sort of person usually, I don't cry very often, but the thought of Debbie having to cope with that on top of everything else she has on her plate just threw me. (And maybe being grossly overtired also had something to do with it!!!) That's why I asked you guys for advice, and I have just copied and pasted all of this thread onto an e-mail and sent it to her. I hope her English is good enough -- I think it is. (They are a Hebrew-speaking family, but she knows English well.)

    So thank you again, my friends.

    Love, Esther
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Esther, I think you got good advice.
    I was playing with the dogs and they would play bite at my arms. I was instructed that this is a bad habit since they are big and could get confused if it were someone other than me. Now there is no question. No teeth on people, no jumping on people and no attention when there are poor doggy manners. A loud "ouch" or "stop" seems to halt them in their tracks.

    There are two doggie training shows on US tv. One is american called the Dog Whisperer. He suggests exercise, discipline then love. Americans over love their dogs before they do the exercise and discipline. The other is a Victoria(English) dog trainer. She has the same sorts of suggestions but it is for a British audience.

    Tiring the dog out makes it more willing to follow the rules that are taught but everyone has to be consistent and using the same sort of rules.
  16. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Fran, thank you. I have just copied and pasted your reply too in an e-mail to Debbie. She lives at the northern end of Israel, just north of Haifa, which is quite a long way from Jerusalem. Otherwise I would go over there and explain it all to her. She is a very responsible wife and mother -- I would say "over-responsible" and both my husband and I are really concerned. My husband said he had a thought that he would drive up there and bring that dog back here, but I won't have it -- I do NOT want to be tied to the home any more. I want to be able to go away when I feel like it without making arrangements. I have done my bit with eight children and I want to be a free agent now.

    So who knows what will happen. Maybe things will calm down and they can somehow discipline that dog using the advice from here. I do hope so.

    Anyway, thanks for your help.

    Love, Esther
  17. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm sure they will be fine Esther. Sometimes the one's that are "super moms" are the best at getting animals to follow the rules. Yes, the dog may still be spoiled but spoiled AND disciplined is possible. The pup sounds like a beautiful dog....maybe she can "treat" him to romps on the beach. (If I'm not mistaken Hafia IS on the coast isn't it?)
  18. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I just came in from meeting my neighbors. They have a golden retriever that is tied to the most intellectual thought out chain. He can run the entire backyard with no problem. But...he has more energy than a puppy, and a puppy he is not.

    So, I was chatting with them and the dog is literally choking himself to death because he's so excited. They rescued him from the shelter. I said, "Mind if I step in a bit?" No! Go right ahead.

    So the dog basically mauls me for a few seconds until I reach his collar. He does have a spike collar on. I gave that thing a couple of sharp jolts...dog stops. Within 10 minutes he was fetching a ball, bringing it back and sitting until the next ball was thrown. He now knows sit and down. When he'd try to jump, everyone turned around and walked around the corner of the house where he couldn't see them. When he'd calm down, we'd turn back around and give him a good pet AFTER he sat down. It literally only took about 3 times for him to get the hint.

    I love dogs. I want one. And a cat. No difficult child's, though.

  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Esther -

    Congratulations on your new granddog. (you thought I would miss an opportunity to wish you a welcome to the gramma grandog club? Nonsense)

    Pootie is an American Bulldog mix. Mixed with I am fairly certain piranah. My first day with her at home she was in the yard, I sat down and she ran across the yard full speed, at me, jumped into the arms of a waiting Namma and bit the ever loving grissle off the inside end of my nose!!!!

    In tears I yelled out what DF can only describe as Chihuahua gets foot caught in door. Yipeeeee yiiiiiiiiiipe yIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIpe. Immediately she went into a submissive back flop and the slow thumping of a tail told me she didn't mean to bite.

    It's almost instinctive when you have a puppy to pet and play with it's snoot. Touching and feeling those tender, swollen, ultra sensitive baby teeth that fall out around 13 weeks - can mean about the same thing to us as if we were patted on the cheek while waiting for a root canal. WHY people insist on making a dogs nose 1st priority in petting and then pull their hand back when it bites is BEYOND me. (DF is famous for this and it annoyed me to the point of finally petting HIS face and mussing up HIS face and saying - WHAT? Makes ya nuts doesn't it? Don't pet the face - there is a whole dog to pet. OY!)

    If you have access to a pet store (never shopped in Jerusalem so I'm not in the know) BUY THAT PUPPY A KONG. Buy the red one or the black one in a large size. Technically it's a CV boot off a volkeswagen dressed up as a dog toy. They are EXCELLENT for voracious chewers and teethers. Also (if you have ice in Jerusalem) give him PLENTY of "snacks" making a HUGE deal about "Want a snack" (hand ice) "Snacks ARE GOOD" (hand ice cube) GOOD Mmmmmmm MMMMM You take a bite - here have some. It helps their teething and sore gums.

    Also ANY TIME you are petting that pup anywhere (but the face) and it attempts to bite IMMEDIATELY you in as STERN and LOUD and DEEP like a man as you can say 2 words - ONLY 2 - never more than 2 - and bellow out NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BITE. Almost as immediately you can hand a puppy a Kong or a Nylabone or a rawhide chewie and say - Treasure - TREAT - and then when the dog stops "mouthing", has been scolded, and GETS AN IMMEDIATE reaffirmation that TREATS come with NOT biting - then you are setting a pattern.

    WHEN DOG STOPS BITING - HAND TOY and RE-enforce with words like GOOD (hand bone), TREASURE......and then walk away.

    Currently Pootie holds the worlds record for the most ice cubes bobbed out of a water dish, which coincides with longest snorkle by a bulldog. OH....

    Also - a wash cloth tied in a knot, soaked in water and thrown in the freezer - ?? EXCELLENT for babies and puppies to teeth on - the cloth of the terry cloth is soft yet durable enough to 'cut' gums and the ice is soothing. We LOVE knotty washcloth.

  20. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Just to clarify so I don't get a scolding by Star :916blusher: when I played with Taz and his handsome face, it was done with his permission. Of course, when he was a baby I used to rub his cheeks like you do on a cat. From then until literally his last breath, he loved it and that's what I was doing to him when he passed.

    But....we never let anyone else do things like that unless he knew them and trusted them. He was good about giving us signals if someone was doing something he didn't much care for and we would take care of it.