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Teaching a 9 month old puppy bite inhibition
12-07-2013, 08:48 AM,
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aetropo Offline
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Teaching a 9 month old puppy bite inhibition
Hello! I'm new to this forum, and I basically came here because my dog has been driving me crazy with his biting. I should have nipped it in the bud when I first got him, but I think I was conflicted about which training methods to use, and so I only learned about what is probably the "correct" way when it seemed to be too late.

I have a 9 month old italian greyhound, and like all italian greyhounds, he has limitless energy. Sometimes this means that he will simply not sleep when he's supposed to, usually because he's much more interested in following me around the apartment. He'll get into this cranky, tired mood where he just won't stop biting me, and it really hurts. He'll grab onto my hands, my arms, my clothes, and then he'll snap at my face.

I tried in the past, and am now trying again to yelp and leave when he bites too hard, bu the doesn't respond to the yelp. So I end up having to extract my hand so that I can finally ignore him for a minute to teach him that it's not appropriate to bite me. I originally gave up on this a while ago because, like I said, I was conflicted about which method was best, and this seemed to be going nowhere.

Instead of yelping, I sometimes try calming him down, because I know he's sleepy, by holding him tightly against my chest, but he's all legs and very difficult to restrain. So he can still nip me pretty hard no matter what position I have him in. He's extremely flexible.

Three days ago, I finally got fed up, got a hold of Ian Dunbar's books and decided "I"m going to do it this way, and I'm just going to be consistent about it." Unfortunately, he puts a lot of emphasis on doing this training at an early age, and he gives very little information on how to deal with a dog that already has no idea how hard to bite and is set on biting too damn hard. Nevertheless, I've been consistently leaving the room when my dog starts biting me, and have seen no decrease in his biting habit in the last three days.

I'm wondering if any of you have successfully trained a bitey puppy bite inhibition this late into the puppyhood.

One thing I haven't done yet is actually doing the bite inhibition exercises where I reward him for mouthing softly. I mean, I reward him verbally when he does it, but the problem is that if he's already in a gentle mood, he'll never attack me if a treat has suddenly entered the picture, and if he's in a bitey mood, I can't get him calm enough to give him a treat. Should I actually be giving him treats for biting me hard, but not so hard that I scream?

I would really appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!
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02-22-2015, 11:38 AM,
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pandabear1991 Offline
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RE: Teaching a 9 month old puppy bite inhibition
It sounds like your dog is learning that he is not to bite hard, unless a treat is present first. When you want to break a habit like biting, best to just not allow it at all. I had an Australian Shepherd I adopted as an adult, and she had a horrible biting problem, even toward my other 2 Aussies and Heelers.

What I did: I grabbed her paw and smacked it, pointed in her face and told her no. I would separate her from the rest of the dogs for the remainder of the day (separate fenced in portion of yard), if not the next day as well. I would not play with her during her time out and simply because it was tough love and what was effective. Setting up an established time out that the dogs could recognized as time out helped more than anything. Treats were never apart of this structure, simply because I didn't want her to think they had to be in order for her to act the way she was being trained to.

It took about 3 months to fully get the biting out of her system. But, she was not in time out as much as you would think either. More of a 1-2 times a week thing, and after the 2 month process not even that.

But these are just things I did to stop her, and was quite effective in teaching my dogs to play nice. But it has to be a consistent thing. If you change the punishment every time they bite, no matter how hard or soft, there is no chance for the dog to learn what it is doing wrong or that it is an all the time wrong thing.

Hope this helps!
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