How to Train a French Bulldog Puppy to Not Bite

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your new Frenchie pup is the apple of your eye with the looks of a furry angel, and yet when he plays he's more devil than angel. Those needle-sharp teeth have left your arms and hands crisscrossed with scratches and taken the pleasure out of playtime. 

You've tried shouting at him and swatting at him, but this only seems to get him more excited and he keeps coming back for more. Much as you love him this is beginning to feel like an uphill struggle, especially since the kids are now getting screechy whenever for the puppy is near, in anticipation of being bitten. 

You don't want to give up on him, but equally, you can't risk him biting the children. 

What to do? 

Defining Tasks

Puppies have a lot of learning to do before they become adult dogs. One of the ways they do this is to explore things with their mouth. As anyone who owns a puppy is doubtless aware, they do pick up anything and everything in their mouth and require watching all their waking hours lest they do themselves harm. 

However, puppies also have needle-sharp teeth and if they decide your hand is a great toy, then this can be very painful for you. 

Teaching a Frenchie pup not to bite is crucial, since what starts with play in a pup could become a serious problem in an adult dog. Training plugs into the principle of bite inhibition, which is where the pup learns to moderate what he does with his mouth and avoid contact with human skin. This is done by reacting in a similar way that his littermates would if the pup plays too rough a game. 

Getting Started

Teaching a Frenchie pup to have a gentle mouth requires knowledge and timing, rather than fancy equipment. In addition, you need to apply the rules consistently so that the pup understands what's expected of him. Also, explain to other family members how to react should the puppy mouth them. 

In addition it is helpful to have: 

  •  Toys, such as tuggers or soft toys, which keep play at a distance
  • A separate room or space to withdraw into, if the puppy doesn't calm down.

The Teach Bite Inhibition Method

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Step
1
What is 'bite inhibition'?
In an ideal world, the pup learns self-control and stops himself from biting down on skin or a hand. This is called bite inhibition. Most pups learn this to some degree when playing with their littermates. When they bite another pup too hard, that pup will squeal or cry and stop the game. Thus the first pup learns that biting hurts and brings the game to an end. Because most pups want to carry on playing, they then learn to be more careful with how hard they bite. We want to mimic this when it comes to a pup playing with people.
Step
2
Learn to speak 'dog'
Watch a litter of pups at play and you'll notice how they squeal, squeak, or cry when another pup gets too rough. This usually causes the over-enthusiastic pup to back off a little. If the play is still too rough, the playmate may even withdraw and end the game. When we mimic this behavior, such as crying out when the pup bites a hand, this gives signals the pup can understand about how much care he needs to take with human skin.
Step
3
Prepare to play act
Now isn't the time to be introverted or shy. In order to have the puppy understand, you need to be prepared to play act big time, that even the slightest scratch on your skin is really painful. The idea being you want pup to think:"Gosh, these human's are really delicate, I'd better be really careful around them."
Step
4
Squeal and go limp
When the puppy bites your hand, immediately squeal and scrunch your face up as if in pain. Also, let the hand go limp. (Don't withdraw the hand quickly or the pup may think this is a game of chase.) Make whimpering noises and watch for signs of concern from the pup. At which point relax and carry on the game but with a toy rather than your hand.
Step
5
End the game
If you play act like an Oscar winner and the pup keeps on coming, your nuclear option is to end the game. Simply get up and walk away, preferably leaving the room. Let the pup calm down for a couple of minutes before returning. This sends a strong message that rough play ends the fun, and helps the pup learn to be gentle.
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The Teach Self-Control Method

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Step
1
Understand the idea
This method is a variation on teaching bite inhibition and works well for Frenchies that get super-excited, lose self-control, and then bite out of pure exuberance. The idea is to play in 15-second bursts and then stop briefly, only resuming play when the puppy is calm. This prevents the pup getting hyper and into trouble because he's too excited to stop himself.
Step
2
Plan ahead
Know ahead of the game what you intend to do. Also, apply the rules consistently so the Frenchie understands the consequences if he doesn't calm down. It's helpful to have a watch or phone in order to time 15 seconds and prompt you to stop play.
Step
3
Engage in a game with a toy
Sit on the floor with one of your Frenchie's favorite toys. Wave the toy around to get his interest and start a game of tug. After 15 seconds, stop the game and put the toy down. If the pup continues to play with the toy, ignore him but let him play. However, you will only pick the toy up and resume the exciting game once he has sat down and is calm.
Step
4
Wait for the pup to sit
When you pause the game after 15 seconds, wait for the dog to visibly calm. He may well sit down and look at you , wondering why you stopped the game. As soon as he is calm, praise him, pick up the toy and re-engage for another 15 seconds. Keep repeating this cycle of short play followed by a brief period of calm. This is usually sufficient to prevent the pup becoming hyper and biting out of excitement.
Step
5
When to walk away
If when you pause the pup keeps mobbing you, jumping and mouthing in an attempt to get your attention, then get up and walk away. If necessary, leave the room for a few minutes. Only return once he is calm. Again, you are teaching him that calm behavior is rewarded with more play.
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

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Step
1
Don't: Smack the puppy
Smacking or physical punishment is likely to get the pup even more excited, which makes him more likely to bite rather than less. Alternatively, if you smack so hard that it is painful, the pup may stop biting but because he is fearful of you, rather than having learned not to bite.
Step
2
Do: Supervise children with a puppy
The excited squeaks and squeals of children can quickly over-excite a puppy, and result in play biting. The child might then pull away, which gives the pup cues to chase. The child's increasing distress only revs up the pup and reinforces his bad behavior. Avoid this by supervising them at all times, and teaching children the correct way to react.
Step
3
Do: Seek professional help
If your Frenchie seems unusually mouthy and you are struggling to cope, do seek the help of a certified dog trainer or behaviorist. A young puppy is at a crucial age for learning and bad behaviors or inappropriate actions that aren't corrected now may become a big problem in an adult dog. However, professionals will be able to guide you on effective ways to nip the problem in the bud.
Step
4
Don't: Use hands and feet as toys
Never tease the puppy with your fingers or invite the dog to play with hands. This teaches him that hands are toys and therefore fair game.
Step
5
Do: Encourage play with toys
Opt for toys that remove your hands from direct contact with the dog's mouth. Tug toys, cuddly toys, or balls to chase are all good ideas. Not only do they keep your skin safe but the dog automatically looks for toys to play with rather than human skin.
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Dutch
French Bulldog
8 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Dutch
French Bulldog
8 Months

Dutch is 8 months old. When we have visitors he gets aggressive and wants to bite them. This only started about 6-8 weeks ago after he got de-sexed. How do we stop this behaviour?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ramon, There are a number of things that could be going on here. It sounds like aggression by your description, but make sure it is not just normal play mouthing. In person it should be obvious to a trainer. Assuming it's aggression, which is a far more serious issue, it could be fear based, territorial, dominance, genetic, or something else. How you treat it will depend partially on why he is acting aggressive. If it is directly related to him being neutered, then it's probably defense-fear based from being touched by strangers while he was in pain. A get them before they get you mentality, for example. It is more likely his kennel stay than actually being neutered as long as he is not still in pain currently. Your vet should be able to evaluate if there is pain still from the procedure. If there is, then that needs to be addressed first. Once you make sure that he is not in any pain currently, then I would highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to work one-on-one with you. Ideally someone from a training group that has multiple trainers so that Dutch can be exposed to a number of trainers as "strangers", so that they can build his trust around strangers and make his experience around strangers positive while showing you how to manage his behavior from your end. I find that a combination or firm interruption and refocusing on you combined with a lot of positive associations with strangers through treat tossing and calm interactions from a safe distance tend to work well, but hire a professional to help. You need someone to evaluate what type of aggression it is and to be present during training sessions to read his body language and teach you what to do while you are looking at his responses. Do not wait to hire a trainer. This problem will likely only get worse if it is not addressed and could become a long term issue. Addressed early right now he might be able to get over it completely. Make sure that the trainer you hire has successful experience dealing with aggression. Not all trainers are experienced with it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mesut
French Bulldog
2 Years
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Mesut
French Bulldog
2 Years

When my husband or me are alone with him in the bed there’s no problem but when the other one joins... he starts barking and bitting the last one that came, he starts acting crazy, jumping in the pillow, forcing himself through the pillows (always barking) and then he tries and bites (hard, as if he is mad or something)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lara, Teach Mesut a "Place" command that he is not allowed to break. As soon as he starts getting wound up or looks like he will tell him "Place" and have a dog bed or something that he must go to on the floor. To teach him "Place" watch the video that I have linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIGq_5r0DeE If he continues to bark while the bed, then teach him the "Quiet" command using the "Quiet" method from the second article that I have linked below. Once he knows the "Quiet" command, then tell him "Quiet" if he barks and if he does not stop correct him with as little interaction as you can to give a moderate correction. Teach the "Quiet" command first though or you will not be communicating properly. The correction is for disobeying something he understands. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark The "Place" command will teach your dog to be self-controlled while watching you interact, without him being able to act rudely, disobey, or get between you. You want him to have to handle the two of you interacting and to adjust his attitude by requiring him to be self-controlled and obedient. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Stitch
French Bulldog
5 Months
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Stitch
French Bulldog
5 Months

He likes to bite feet a lot. Whenever you walk past him. I have tried the bitter apple spray , yelling no and trying to walk Away . He just follows and bites at your shoes , pants anything . Besides that he is a dream fully potty trained and goes on walks but the biting is driving me insane .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vanessa, First, start by teaching Stitch the "Leave It" command. Once he knows the leave it command around treats, then practice it with shoes and socks. When he can leave the shoes and socks alone, then move the shoes and socks around in front of him and practice with those. Only reward him with a treat from behind your back or another nearby location. Don't reward him with the same treats you tell him to leave alone. You want him to learn to completely forget about the item he is supposed to be leaving alone and not simply wait to get it. When he obeys and leaves your stationary or moving shoes and socks alone, reward him with treats. When he can leave them alone while you move them with your hands, then put them on and practice walking around in front of him and telling him to "Leave It". Reward him when he leaves them alone, backs away from them, or leaves the area to avoid them. After he can do this during training sessions, then whenever he attacks you during real life tell him to "Leave It" firmly but calmly, and freeze your movement so that it will not be a fun game of chasing you for him. If he will not stop biting you when you tell him to leave it, then purchase a "Pet Convincer", which is a handheld pressurized air canister. Avoid the scented ones. You want just plain air. After you tell him to "Leave It" and freeze, if he keeps biting, then spray his shoulder or chest with the pet convincer air and tell him "Ah Ah" in a firm voice. Continue to stay still after you do this and repeat it if he goes back to biting, which he likely will try to at first. Stay calm, firm, and boring. If you start moving a lot or yelling that will encourage more biting because he will think it is fun. When he gives up and stops trying to bite, give him a treat and calmly praise him. If he stops biting before you correct him or when you tell him to leave it when he is just thinking about biting, then also give him a treat. I would suggest carrying the pet convincer and a few small treats your pocket while you are around him until he learns not to bite. It is important that you also teach him the "Leave It" command and not just skip to using the pet convincer. Do this so that he will know what to do instead of biting you and will more easily be able to control himself. Otherwise he might get more riled up when you spray him with the air. You want to communicate what he should do , "Leave It", discipline him with the air for disobedience while telling him "Ah Ah"-which means no, and reward him for doing the correct behavior so that he will choose to do the correct thing on his own more in the future. To teach leave it command check out this article I have linked below and follow the "Leave It" method found there. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
French Bulldog
3 Months
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Question
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Bella
French Bulldog
3 Months

My dog keeps biting hard to the point where I’m bleeding, we tried putting her in the cage and hitting her softly for her to stop but she doesn’t stop. She loves biting shoes and sandals. And when she’s outside she’ll jump and chase you biting.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Eaman, I would highly suggest enrolling Bella in a puppy Kindergarten class that includes time for off-leash puppy to puppy play and practices having the owners get the puppies use to being handled and touched. Puppies learn to control the pressure of their mouths by playing with one another. Check out the article that I have linked below. It has a couple more options for teaching your puppy not to mouth. Teach Bella the "Leave It" command using the "Leave It" method from the article I have linked below so that she can learn what you want her to do instead of bite, rather than simply thinking that you are playing when you correct her. As hard as it is, you need to remain calm and firm when she starts biting. It you cry out or yell, or move around a lot, then she is likely to think it's a game of chase or wrestle and will get even more excited. She sounds like she may be a puppy who needs a little more structure and consistency than some, so this is especially important for her. In general, when you give her a command that she has already learned, then also firmly but gently insist that she obey until she does. At her age this might look like telling her to sit, and then blocking her view and keeping her leash tight enough that she can only stand in one spot while you wait for her to give in. It could take her five to ten minutes to obey at first, but it should get quicker the more you practice and she learns that you will enforce what you say, since she will not get whatever else she wants until she obeys. This also looks like always going to get her when you call her rather than letting her ignore you. Keeping a four to six foot leash on her while you are supervising her can also be very helpful for enforcing commands like come and sit and for stopping the biting and keeping her still until she calms down enough to obey. Once she has learned the "Leave It" command, then use the "Pressure" method from the article below also. Act very calmly while you do this until she stops coming back to bite you. When she stops trying to bite you, quickly give her one of her own favorite toys as a reward for her obedience and good choice and to help her continue her good, non-biting behavior. Puppies need to bite and chew at this age. Their teeth are coming in and then their jaws develop. It's also how they communicate, learn about the world, play, and practice for when they are adults later. Mouthing a lot as a puppy can help a puppy learn how to control the pressure of his bite and be more gentle as an adult. The goal is to teach her how to play softly with her mouth and to chew appropriate things. Do not expect her not to chew at all. Rather, make sure that you are providing her with appropriate things to chew like medium or large Kong toys stuffed with food. You can even soak your puppy's dog food in water with a bit of Peanut Butter, loosely stuff it in the Kong, and then freeze it. The frozen Kong will give her something to do to keep her from being bored, and can relieve teething discomfort. A word of caution, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, so make sure your peanut butter does not contain that ingredient. Here is the link to the other biting article. Use the "Leave It" method first, then use the "Pressure" method once your puppy understands what leave it means if she disobeys. Also reward her for not biting you when you know she is tempted to. She may also simply need some time alone with chew toys to calm down when she gets too wound up. Keeping a leash attached to her can make her easier to catch and allow you to help her to calm down when she gets too wound up to listen. VirChewLy makes a chewproof leash if she chews her leash. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reggie
French Bulldog
10 Weeks
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Question
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Reggie
French Bulldog
10 Weeks

Hi, i am a first time dog owner and i am aware he is still very young but my husband, my 2 boys and I are now starting to wonder if this is normal.... Reggie is constantly trying to bite our hands and feet. We can barely stroke him for more than a few seconds before he starts biting our hands?! We have tried saying “stop” and “no biting” and giving a pat on the nose but absolutely nothing is helping at all... if anything its getting worse.
Im just worried that this is either not normal or its going to get worse and having young children (9&7), i cant have that.
Also he very ofter goes into “attack” mode but that is only towards me.... he acts like he’s getting prepared to pounce for my feet, growling and barking at them. It actually makes me a bit nervous haha. As soon as i take a step towards his he’s runs away but will come straight back.
He also does this to me alot when i am sittin gon the sofa? I have tried just ignoring him but he will carry on or start biting the furniture!
Sorry this is so long winded but im just a bit worried that this isnt going to get better or they maybe an issue ...???
Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gemma, What you are dealing with is 100% normal at this age -- from what you have described. This type of puppy biting is called mouthing. Some puppies are more excitable and bolder about their mouthing, but puppies this age use their mouths to learn about the world around them. He is using his mouth to learn about the world around him, learn how to control the pressure of his bite, communicate, entertain himself, soothe himself, and learn how to be an adult dog. Most of his biting his his attempt to play with you or get energy out. Because dogs live with people, people don't always want to be mouthed though. There are two things that he needs to learn when it comes to using his mouth. The first is how to control the pressure of his bite (how hard he bites). This come through playing with other puppies and being given feedback from the puppies (a puppy yelps and stops playing if the bite is too hard), and from being told by people - in a way that he can understand - when his biting is too hard. Learning about pressure is called developing bite inhibition. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Bite Inhibition" method at this age. Bite Inhibition is important because how hard a dog will bite when he does bite as an adult will depend on how well he learned to control the pressure of his mouth as a puppy. Good bite inhibition actually makes a puppy safer as an adult. All dogs CAN bite. Even the best tempered dog can bite if you frighten him, injure him, or something unexpected happens. When the bite happens, if he has developed good bite-inhibition then the bite won't be a big deal because it won't break the skin. I know of one extremely well behaved family pet who loves people. A close family friend was tickling someone in the dog's family. The dog didn't realize that everything was alright, and since the girl was screaming because she was ticklish, the dog bite the person...BUT the incident was not a bite deal because the bite didn't leave anything more than a small red mark when he bite --he had learned good bite inhibition as a puppy and only wanted to warn the person to stop them. The second thing that Reggie needs to learn is how to stop biting completely after he has learned to control how hard he bites (pressure). He needs to learn this before he hits five months of age because at five months of age his jaws will start to develop, making bites potentially harder. Right how as a little puppy, even though the bites hurt because puppy teeth are sharp! They should not be dangerous because he does not have strong jaws yet -- this is by design to let puppies learn how to control pressure before bites are dangerous. From the article that I have linked above, also start teaching him the "Leave It" method while us are using the "Bite Inhibition" method to deal with biting that's happening now. By the time he is four-to-five months old he should know the "Leave It" command well if you start working on it now. When he knows "Leave It" well and can leave objects, like clothing, alone when you tell him to, you can start telling him to "Leave It" when he bites YOU and he will understand what to do. If he disobeys the "Leave It" command AFTER you have taught it to him and he understands, then you can use the "Pressure" method from the same article to gently discipline his disobedience. It's important to teach him what "Leave It" means first in your case, before you use the "Pressure" method. If you go straight to the "Pressure" method he will probably think that you are wrestling and get more excited, rather than understanding what to do to stop the pressure. It also sounds like he needs some mental exercise to wear him out and help him focus, and some down-time to rest and play quietly. When he gets in those crazy moods that is extremely normal for a puppy his age. You can help it by making sure that he is having time to get his mental energy out. Practicing obedience commands with him for a few minutes several times a day can really help that. You can do several five minute training sessions for things like "Sit", "Down", "Watch Me", "Leave It", "Come", and "Out", or do two twenty-minute sessions, or a combination. Try to incorporate the training into daily life: before he goes on a walk, in the middle of a walk, while watching tv (practicing Down especially then), before you feed him, in the middle of a play session, ect... Biting article. Use: "Bite Inhibition" Method first "Leave It" Method by four-to-five months of age "Pressure" Method to discipline disobedience to "Leave It" command, after "Leave It" has been taught https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If he is not crate trained, I highly suggest crate training him, and giving him some time in the crate for about an hour at least a couple of times during the day. Give him a food-stuffed chew toy that he really loves, like a Kong stuffed with dog food mixed with peanut butter (NO Xylitol--It's toxic!) or liver paste. This gives him a chance to wind-down, rest, and learn to entertain himself with the toy. Sometimes puppies need to be able to rest or play quietly. They can get over-tired or over-stimulated, and will sometimes act more wound out rather than sleepy. Crate Training has a lot of additional benefits, so I recommend that the most, but if you choose not to crate train, a sturdy exercise pen is another good location for him to rest. To introduce a crate, check out "The Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked right below, or any of the methods from the second article that I have linked below (The "Surprise" method tends to work the quickest). The first article includes how to use the crate for potty training as well. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hi, we are currently going through the same thing with our 12 week old pup! She lunges at us back and forth barks and growls literally bites any part of your body she can grab! How did you get on with Reggies training? Would be great to hear from someone who’s been through the same thing.

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Leila
French Bulldog
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Leila
French Bulldog
5 Months

Hello,
Leila is an amazing dog, and really clever! She has learned a lot in a short period of time, and is very well behaved on her walks. However when at home, she’s a different dog, bites a lot and becomes very hyper. Aspecially likes to bite onto the foot, and doesn’t want to let go. When she’s in a biting mode, she doesn’t listen at all. I tried a lot of techniques to stop her, when she bites, I make her aware that it hurts and that she can’t do it, but nothing seems to work. Is there anything else I could try to do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Neda, Check out the article linked below. I suggest teaching the Leave It method, then once she knows use the Pressure method as a gentle consequence for disobeying. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, work on teaching her Out, Place, a structured heel and things that can help build calmness, respect and trust without too much confrontation. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Heel - I recommend the Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Also, you can practice something called Jazz up - Settle Down. Get her a bit excited, give a command suddenly, then freeze and wait until she calms down and obeys the command - it will take her a minute the first few times. When she calms down enough to obey, such as sit, then reward with a treat. Tell her okay or Play, then get her excited again, and repeat the whole thing. Practice this red light, green light game regularly until she can respond right away and handle being really excited and still be able to respond. This game helps her develop impulse control and calmness. Finally, when she gets into one of her wound up modes, she probably needs to rest - many puppies will get really crazy when they are overtired or haven't been stimulated mentally that day. Crate Training if you haven't already, and put her into the crate with a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy for her to calmly chew on and rest for a bit. Any time you stuff a toy without any air gaps - like a frozen Kong, put a straw through the entire toy while freezing so there is a hole in the toy later when you remove the straw before giving it to her - to prevent suction on her tongue while eating it. Stuffing toys: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/how-to-stuff-a-kong#1 Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method for introducing the crate is you haven't done so yet: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sydney
French Bulldog
16 Months
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Sydney
French Bulldog
16 Months

Only had him since october hecwas 1 in november
I have a 3 year old bitch who is really calm. Sydney constantly showing aggression to my 8 year iold daughters feet. Today he has broken the skin around her shin , he is really mouthy when trying to pet him as though adrenaline has taken over.
I am reluctantly thinking of rehoming him. He knows no basic commands but its the aggression tiwards Esme which is out of control

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vicky, I suggest hiring a professional trainer with experience with aggression to come to your house. Without more details it is hard to know what type of aggression it is and how to advise you best. Its possible that he simply never learned to control his mouthing and is simply far too rough in play - which is easier to address with more structure and boundaries. The aggression might be his way of controlling where she goes and his respect for her needs to be built. The aggression could be something more serious. Either way, training needs to happen to generally give him some boundaries in life and build respect through challenging his brain during training and practicing consistency. The first two types of aggression I mentioned could likely be dealt with with a trainer's help and not be that serious. If it is something more serious a good trainer should be able to guide you on what it would take to improve it, then you can decide further what to do. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucky
French Bulldog
3 Years
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Lucky
French Bulldog
3 Years

Lucky a fun loving and playful dog has been brilliant until she recently had her first litter of 7 puppies. Since then she has become quite aggressive with strangers and other dogs if they approach to close. The real problem we have is that she has bitten and killed 3 of her offspring in the 3 weeks since delivery. We would be grateful of any advice.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello John, I suggest a visit to your Vet. It sounds like there could be a possible hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiency, or other medical problem related to carrying and giving birth to the puppies. Being protective is fairly normal for some female dogs after birth, but more extreme aggression and certainly killing her own puppies suggests an internal issue - pregnancy and delivery is hard on a dog's body and just like people their bodies sometimes need extra support afterwards to help things return to normal, nursing will keep certain hormones elevated but your vet still might be able to help things along. I am not a vet so I suggest contacting your vet. If she continues to kill her puppies, you may need to separate them from her and bottle feed them, and I would advise starting the weaning process as soon as they are old enough to safety do so to keep them safe. I would set up the whelping area so that it is tall enough to keep puppies in but low enough that mom can come and go more easily during nursing times - instead of keeping her penned with puppies all the time. Encourage bonding but don't force anything and supervise carefully. If things get worse and you cannot care for puppies yourself you may need to reach out to rescues for help hand rear puppies. Check with your vet to get mom taken care of though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Daphne
French Bulldog
3 Months
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Daphne
French Bulldog
3 Months

Daphne is 12 weeks old. I have another 2 year old Frenchie, Ruby, who loves to play with her. The problem is that Daphne gets over excited when play biting and bites Ruby’s face. She’s broken her skin a few times and I really don’t know how to stop this. I’ve tried separating them when play gets too rough but it doesn’t do any good. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gemma, Three things: First, work on teaching Daphne an Out command, and when they play together and she starts to get too worked up, interrupt the play and wait until she calms down before letting them continue. When you are ready for them to continue, tell your older dog "Okay" or "Go Play" first and see if she is also ready to play. If she is, you can tell Daphne "Go Play" and let her go too. If not, use Out to keep her away from Ruby, put her in an Exercise Pen with a chew toy, attach her to yourself with a 6-8 foot leash, or crate her with a dog food stuffed chew toy. When she gets super worked up in general, give her a rest time in the crate or exercise pen - when some puppies start to act crazy it's actually because they are overtired unless they haven't been mentally or physically stimulated much that day. A quiet time in the crate or pen with a chew toy can help them get the rest they need and be calmer later. Out command - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Second, work on teaching her Bite Inhibition in her interactions with yourself also - which is how to control the pressure of her mouth and is something puppies learn from other puppies while young. Follow the Bite Inhibition method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Third, enroll her in a puppy kindergarten or puppy play class that has time for moderated off-leash play. When puppies play together and bite too hard, the other puppy will naturally yelp and stop playing for a while. This, along with your help, helps puppies learn to be more gentle so play can continue. Puppies and adult dogs tend to play differently so it needs to be with puppies to help as much. Just like at home, in a good puppy class when one puppy starts to get too rough or another overwhelmed, the puppies should be interrupted, calmed down, then the most timid puppy let go of first to see if he wants to go back to playing. If he does, then all the puppies can be told "Go Play" and allowed to return to playing. Good puppy play should look like a lot of supervision and interruptions when pups get too rough or overwhelmed, soft praise for playing well, and the puppies learning to be gentler and take turns being on bottom during wrestling or being chased during a game - instead of always being on top or the chaser or being overly rough. Bite Inhibition can only be learned while a puppy is young so I highly suggest joining a high quality class that really understands animal behavior, socialization, and comes well recommended. See if there is a SiriusPup (Dr. Ian Dunbar founded) type class in your area or something similar. Some pet stores and training facilities also offer free or inexpensive puppy play groups too. Petco and Pet Food Express sometimes host these. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Eugene
French Bulldog
8 Months
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Eugene
French Bulldog
8 Months

Eugene constantly bites our hands and feet, he can become over playful and growls and barks at us. I have tried, water spray, clicker training, the crate, ignoring, playing hurt, putting him in another room and none had worked. He does socialise with other dogs so had had that experience. We have two young children who don’t help with his levels of excitement. I am concerned that he is getting stronger and his play biting is becoming sore and may cause harm. Could you please give me some advice, thank you Lyndsey

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lyndsey, I suggest working on a few things to help him develop impulse control first: Leave It command from the Leave It method...Use this command to tell him to stop or not start biting once you teach the command well like the method outlines: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command (which means leave the area), use this command to tell him to leave an area, especially your kids' presence, when the temptation is too much for him. There is a section on teaching the Out command, follow that. There is also a section on using Out to deal with pushy behavior also follow that section once he understands the command, to make him leave your kids' presence. You can get between him and your kids to enforce it for them. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place command - have him work up to staying on Place for two hours. This is a good general command, teaches calmness and impulse control, and can help with management in general. This will take some time and practice, starting with just a couple of minutes on Place at first. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ At this age the biting could be partially a respect issue too. Some dogs have a strong defense drive and when you apply physical pressure of any kind they will fight back against the pressure instead of submitting and stopping the behavior. It is especially important with these dogs to use methods that teach respect but teach it using body language, consistently, obedience commands, structure, and other things that teach the dog's mind - instead of just getting into a physical confrontation with them. It is also very important for the dog to understand why they are being disciplined and to have the skills to stop themselves. Working on commands like Out and Leave It -that help the dog understand what you are asking of them, and commands like Place, Leave It, and the additional commands I have linked below can help build the impulse control and respect too. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lola
French Bulldog
3 Months
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Lola
French Bulldog
3 Months

we are having trouble with crate training, potty training, and biting. For crate training so won’t go in the crate and when she does she tries to use it as a potty. For potty training she pees and poos in the house a lot and doesn’t give us many signs that she needs to pee. And for biting she bites our feet, hands, backs, basically wherever she can get to. We can’t seem to train her. We need some help

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training, as well as the nipping. When issues start to arise while going through the potty training process, it is usually best to just wipe the slate clean and start completely over. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures. Nipping: Puppies may nip/bite/mouth for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. It also takes a little time for puppies this age to learn what is expected of them. So continue doing what you are doing, and hopefully you will find some new information to help you below. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Bringe
French Bulldog
5 Months
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Bringe
French Bulldog
5 Months

He recently started biting me out of excitement and even after I said no and no continuously, he never stops. I can understand that he wants to play with me but when he bites me it causes a lot of pain to me.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Sadie
French Bulldog
13 Weeks
1 found helpful
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1 found helpful
Sadie
French Bulldog
13 Weeks

I have a 3 yr old English Bulldog male no issues with him at all he’s very well behaved the challenge I have is we have a 13 week old french bulldog puppy female she will not let up with the older boy she’s constantly biting his face she will walk over his head whilst he is sleeping he has given her warning but she still continues I put her on her lead when she gets too much for him and tell her leave it each time she goes for him I’ve tried various methods I’ve read online,to no avail ? I’m at a loss what to try next.Thankyou

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fiona, Check out the article I have linked below and teach the Out command - which means leave area. Once pup has learned that command, you can use the section on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior to enforce the command. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Continue with tethering pup and practicing Leave It also. This behavior is partially just something that takes maturity and repetition of training for pup to gain enough self-control to learn. Practice the Bite Inhibition and Leave It method yourself with pup to further help pup learn control of their mouth. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Additionally, I suggest looking for a puppy kindergarten class or play dates where pup can practice off leash play with other puppies. Puppies tend to learn how to control their mouths best from playing with other puppies and being given feedback there during play. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Finally, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. You can also tether pup to yourself some like you are already doing. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. Reward your older dog for being tolerant and calm around pup when pup isn't looking (you don't want her rushing over for a treat too and causing a food fight), to help your older dog remain patient with pup and not become aggressive. Advocate for your older dog's space, even though that means a lot of moderating from you right now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dobbie
French Bulldog
20 Weeks
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Dobbie
French Bulldog
20 Weeks

He guards toys of his or children’s. If a child takes it away he growls and snaps at them. But I can take it away and when I say leave it he does.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. While this may seem like a troublesome behavior to correct, it's actually fairly simple. You will have to teach Dobbie that the kids are equal to you. Doing things like having them spend 5-10 minutes a day working on training commands with him, having the kids feed him, and having the kids take him on a walk will really get the message across that they are in control of his basic needs and he needs to respect them. This may take a few weeks, but you will notice a turnaround with this behavior.

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Lulu
French Bulldog
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
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Lulu
French Bulldog
10 Weeks

She keeps eating her poo and keeps biting aggressively to people when you play with her

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to send you information on nipping/biting, as well as the command leave it for the poo eating. Leave it is a great command to teach for anything you want your dog to leave alone or not go after. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Luna
French Bulldog
3 Months
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Luna
French Bulldog
3 Months

He's bitting everyone super hyper playing roughly. Nothing works time out or taking toys away or leaving the room to calm down.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Gunner
French Bulldog
15 Weeks
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Gunner
French Bulldog
15 Weeks

We have a 15 week old frenchie and he’s really nippy which I know he’s at a puppy nipping stage but it’s starting to really hurt and we have tried a lot and I’ve also tapped him on the nose once but we have tried a lot and don’t really know what else to try and idea thankyou

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Belle
French bulldog X pug
3 Months
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Belle
French bulldog X pug
3 Months

My puppy seems to be very nippy and biting a lot and nothing I seem to do is helping her calm down. I have left her alone in another room and that seems to work sometime but my partner doesn’t get interactive with the training but he loves playing with her which then makes her hyper and uncontrollable.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Remy
French Bulldog
9 Months
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Remy
French Bulldog
9 Months

Biting. Mainly he bites to get attention but we cannot do anything about it and we have tried almost everything in the books. There is just issues when we don’t have time to give him attention right then and there.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Stitch
French Bulldog
1 Year
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Stitch
French Bulldog
1 Year

My dog started trying to bite me every time I grab a napkin and try to lean up one of his mess. He used to never do this behavior before, the only recent change we've made is we got another puppy about 2 months ago and he is only 3 months old (my first pupp is about to turn 1). Could this aggressive behavior be attributed to them play biting? They tend to get a little rough, since the little one is soon to start teething. That's my theory. He's bitten me once already to the point it did hurt on my middle finger tip. he kinda noticed that it hurt me and walked away like in a sorry manner. It seems like its just getting worse and I'm afraid if we have visitors over he might do the same. I need some input....

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rogelio, This sounds like something where pup's body language needs to be observed, to tell if this is true aggression or mouthing due to over-excitement. Playing rough with another puppy could be bringing out mouthing and pup may think the napkin is a fun thing to attack. I recommend working on the Leave It command. Start with treats like the method mentions, moving onto clothing like the method also mentions, but then also include practice with napkins once pup is good with treats and clothes. Leave It method https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite You may also find teaching Place and Out helping. Out means leave the area, and when you need to clean up a mess, you could send pup to Place or out of the room while you do so, to avoid the temptation of biting the napkin to begin with. Out is also a good command to give pup when they are really wound up and need to calm down. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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