How to Train a Shih Tzu Puppy to Not Bite

Medium
2-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Imagine that you have just brought an adorable Shih Tzu puppy home. He is so adorable and you are so excited to raise him and show him off. You invite your neighbors and their four children over for dinner. The kids are so excited about the cute puppy. They go into your den after dinner to play with him with his toys. A couple of minutes later you hear the three-year-old let out a loud cry, and when you and her parents rush over to see what's wrong. Their five-year-old informs you that your pup's teeth hurt too bad for him to play with him, and that the two-year-old got her hand caught in the cross-fire of your puppy's teeth and the rope toy that she was playing with. There is no real damage done, only small red marks from the pup's sharp milk teeth. The real injury is just emotional, but you still feel sad that the kids are afraid of your puppy, and you wonder what you can do to teach her not to bite, especially before her milk teeth turn into adult teeth and her bite becomes strong enough to puncture the skin.

If this scenario sounds all too familiar, then you are not alone. Almost every dog owner with a puppy desires to teach his puppy not to bite. It is completely normal for your puppy to mouth you at first, but it is also very important to help your puppy learn how to control her mouth before her sharp little milk teeth are exchanged for adult teeth, and her young puppy jaws for strong adult jaws that can apply enough pressure to break through the skin.

Defining Tasks

While it is very important to teach your Shih Tzu to not bite before he gains his adult teeth and jaws, in order to avoid truly harmful bites, it is also important to teach him right now so that he does not frighten children or people who are not used to puppies. For most people, puppy mouthing is also just plain annoying. After all, nobody likes to be poked with tiny needles all the time, and that is exactly what sharp little puppy teeth can feel like.

While teaching this, if you are using 'The Leave It Method' or 'The Pressure Method', then it is very important to act calmly and be firm when you tell your pup to "leave it" or apply pressure. If you become loud, excitable, or angry, then your pup is more likely to get excited or fearful himself, which can increase his biting. Most puppies think biting is fun, so the goal should be to make biting boring and no-nonsense, so that he will decide to do something else instead.

With all of the methods, it is very important to praise and reward your pup for doing the correct behavior when he could be biting instead. If your pup chooses not to bite when you know he wants to, or if he listens to your "Leave It" or "Aha", then praise him and offer him a treat or one of his toys instead. When your puppy gets very excited and wound up, give him one of his own toys to bite on, to help him make the right choice and keep his mouth off of you.

If you are using 'The Bite Inhibition Method', after you say "Ouch!" when your puppy bites you, then act very boring while you ignore him during the five or ten minutes. He will likely try to get your attention by barking at you or biting your pants or shoes. If you can, simply ignore this, stand completely still, and wait until he stops. Wait until he has left you alone for at least five minutes before you call him back over to you. If he will not leave you alone or if you prefer to leave the room, then walk out of the room during the five to ten minutes, so that he cannot try to get your attention at all. If he is barking, then wait until he stops to return to him.

'The Bite Inhibition Method' works best for young puppies. It teaches your puppy to control the pressure of his mouth in addition to teaching him to stop biting completely towards the end of the training. Learning how to control the pressure of his mouth while he is young is extremely important because it is this skill that will usually determine the severity of a bite later on in his life. Most dogs will bite if they are injured, frightened, or pushed too far. How serious that bite is will depend on the level of control that a dog has over his mouth when he does it. Because your pup will gain new adult teeth and adult jaw strength soon, and because this method can take longer to teach before you reach the point where biting is not allowed at all, this method will only work for young puppies. Plan to reach the point where your puppy is no longer biting at all by the time that your puppy reaches five months of age. If your pup is a bit older or you do not want to tolerate any form of biting before that age, then use 'The Leave It Method' or 'The Pressure Method' instead.

If your pup is closer to a year of age then 'The Leave It Method' is probably the safest method to use. If your pup has ever shown any form of aggression, not including normal puppy playful mouthing, then do not use 'The Pressure Method'. Instead, contact a trainer in your area and work on the aggression and biting under your trainer's supervision. Aggression is best treated while a dog is young, so start early.

Getting Started

To get started, if you are using 'The Bite Inhibition Method', then you will need to be able to say "Ouch!" in a loud, high pitched, and slightly dramatic way, to imitate the yelp of a puppy. You will also need a firm resolve, calm attitude, and the ability to be boring while you are ignoring your dog. When you return to him, you will need to be able to forgive him for the bite and go back to enjoying him again.

If you are using 'The Leave It Method', then you will need small treats that smell good to your pup, household items that your pup loves to grab, including several different articles of clothing, such as shoes, socks, gloves, jackets, pants, or backpacks. You will also need a calm and firm attitude.

If you are using 'The Pressure Method', then you will need a firm attitude, perseverance, the ability to withstand your puppy's biting or a thick glove that you can put on if he tries to bite you, that you can keep with you all the time when you are with him. You will also need to be able to be boring and calm when your pup gets overly excited. For all of the methods you will need patience, a good sense of humor, and to remember that puppy biting is normal. Your guy simply needs your help and time to learn what to do instead of bite, such as chew his own toys.

The Bite Inhibition Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Say "Ouch!"
To begin, play with your puppy. Whenever your pup bites you hard enough to cause pain, say "Ouch!" in a loud, high pitched voice, and stand up, cross your arms, and ignore your puppy for five minutes. When you say "Ouch!" try to sound like another puppy that has been bitten, yelping loudly.
Step
2
Call your puppy back
After five minutes, if your puppy is leaving you alone, then call him back over to you and tell him to sit. When he sits down then resume playing with him again.
Step
3
Repeat
Continue to say "Ouch!" in a high pitched, loud voice every time your puppy bites you hard enough for it to hurt. Do this until he begins to bite more softly.
Step
4
Decrease the pressure
When your puppy is using his mouth more gently, then say "Ouch!" whenever he applies pressure when he bites, even if it does not hurt. When you say "Ouch!" this time, walk out of the room and stay gone for five minutes.
Step
5
Return
After the five minutes are up, then return to where your puppy is, call him over to you, tell him to sit, and then resume playing with him or petting him. Repeat your "Ouch!" every time that he applies pressure when he bites, until he is even more gentle with his mouth and does not apply pressure anymore.
Step
6
Remove biting
When your pup no longer applies pressure when he bites, then whenever he touches you with his mouth at all say "Ouch!", and leave the room for ten minutes. After ten minutes, return to where your puppy is, call him over to you, and tell him to sit. After he sits, then resume playing with him or paying attention to him again. Repeat this until your puppy no longer bites you at all. If there is no one else in the room with your puppy to supervise him, and he cannot be trusted in the room alone for the ten minutes that you are gone, then stay in the room with him but stand up, turn your back to him, look away from him, and ignore him for the entire ten minutes. Stand still and be extremely boring while doing this, even if he barks and pitches a fit.
Recommend training method?

The Leave It Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Grab treats
To begin, grab lots of treats that your puppy loves, that smell good to him. Go to a calm location and call your Shih Tzu over to you.
Step
2
Hide treats
Next, place a couple of treats into your hand and close your hand around them, then place the rest of the treats somewhere nearby, where you can reach them but your pup cannot.
Step
3
Add command
Let your puppy sniff your treat filled hand and tell him to "Leave it". Wait until he stops trying to get the treats out of your hand. When he does, praise him and give him a treat from the treat pile with your other, free hand. Never give him the treats from your closed hand though. Practice this until he will immediately leave the treats in your hand alone when you tell him to "leave it".
Step
4
Increase difficulty
When your pup will immediately leave the treats in your hand alone when you tell him to 'leave it', then gradually make the command harder and harder as he improves. To increase the difficulty, first place the treats on the floor and cover them with your hand or foot. When your pup masters that, then move away from the treats, but be ready to cover them again quickly if he tries to get them. When he has mastered that, then drop the treats near your foot while telling him to 'leave it'. Be ready to block your puppy or cover the treats with your foot if he tries to get them though.
Step
5
Add household items
When your puppy has mastered leaving treats alone then practice with other household items that your pup loves, using the same steps that you used before with the treats. Practice with lots of different types of items but make sure that you include clothing articles, such as socks, shoes, gloves, jackets, backpacks, or pant legs.
Step
6
Put the clothes on
When your pup has mastered leaving household items alone when you tell him to, then put on the clothing articles, such as socks, a jacket, a backpack, gloves, and any other article of clothing that your pup likes to bite. Tell your pup "leave it" whenever he tries to bite you or something that you are wearing. Also tell your pup "leave it" whenever he tries to bite you at this point, even when you are not wearing those specific items. When he stops biting you when you tell him to 'leave it', then praise him and give him a treat. Do this until he no longer tries to bite you anymore.
Recommend training method?

The Pressure Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Apply a bit of pressure
Whenever your puppy bites you, tell him "Aha" in a firm but calm voice, and press the side of your flat hand into the back of your puppy's mouth, where his jaws meet each other. Do this until he tries to spit your hand out on his own. The area in the back of your puppy's mouth is sensitive, and applying pressure there makes biting you less fun for him.
Step
2
Repeat
If your puppy tries to bite your hand again as soon as your remove it, then repeat pressing it into the back of his mouth while telling him "Aha". Do this every time that he tries to bite it again, until he gives up. Expect your puppy to try to bite your hand again after you do this, at first. He might think that you are playing with him at first, but he should soon get tired of it and decide that it is not fun anymore if you are consistent, firm, and calm. If your puppy is closer to a year or has shown any form of true aggression, other than normal puppy mouthing, then do not do this. If he is older, then use 'The Leave It Method' instead. If he is aggressive, then seek out the help of a professional dog trainer in your area, and work on the biting under his supervision and guidance.
Step
3
Reward with a toy
As soon as your buddy stops trying to bite you, then praise him and give him one of this own toys to bite instead.
Step
4
Practice
Practice pressing your hand into the back of your puppy's mouth anytime that he bites you. If he tries to bite an area of your body other than your hand, then tell him "Aha" and block that area with your hand. If your pup tries to bite your hand that is blocking him, then apply pressure to the back of his mouth when he bites it. Repeat this until he stops trying to bite you.
Step
5
Reward stopping
If Fido stops trying to bite you as soon as you tell him "Aha", before he places his mouth on you, then also praise him and give him one of his own toys to bite instead.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Ice
AnimalBreed object
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ice
AnimalBreed object
8 Months

My puppy poops any where

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

Hi! I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training. 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.

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Question
Pepper
AnimalBreed object
One Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Pepper
AnimalBreed object
One Year

He never stops barking and he always bites if you try to pick him up and he responds to no type of training. could you tell us what to do. we do everything for him, it just breaks our hearts to see him bite us.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
672 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sai Tanay, At this age the biting is an aggression issue and not puppy mouthing like the article talks about. First, you need to work on adding more structure and building respect. Check out the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Second, you need to work on getting her used to being handled. To do this you can feed her her meals one piece of food at a time and every time you give her a piece of food gently touch her. For example, with one hand gentle touch her side while you feed her a piece of food with your other hand. As soon as finishes eating the food, stop touching her. Practice this with the areas she tolerates most, like her side, and work up to other areas such as touching ears, paws, tail, belly and eventually mouth. When she can tolerate being touched everywhere else, then gently lift her while feeding her treats, then put her right back down after. For the barking, check out the article that I have linked below. Use the "Quiet" method and the "Desensitize" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
AnimalBreed object
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
AnimalBreed object
2 Years

Just rescued. Mouthing and housebreaking are biggest issue. Guess she is about ten lbs plus and will be spayed next weekend. She is almost two years and a Shih tzu blend. Adjusting well for second day and very loving.

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

Hello! I am happy to hear she is adjusting well. I am going to send you information on potty training and nipping. Some of the information might sound a little remedial, as these are "new puppy" behaviors. But she is in a new environment, and sometimes wiping the slate clean and starting fresh is the best route to go when bringing home a new pet of any age. I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training. If you don't see progress within about a week with the potty training, it might be wise to implement the use of a crate to aid in this process so she doesn't keep going inside your home. 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 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. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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fluffy
AnimalBreed object
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
fluffy
AnimalBreed object
2 Months

to train her for poop and toilet, not to bite and not to eat anything except their food.

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

Hello! Below is information on nipping/biting, and potty training. You can also teach Fluffy the command "leave it" for eating inappropriate things. I will include that as well. 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. 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. 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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