Luna bites. A lot. Still. She will bite our faces, hands, ankles, and everything in between. The problem is she has many if not all of her adult teeth, so she draws blood. Is there any way we can get her to stop biting so much? Thanks!
Hello Marisa, First, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections to come to your home and assess the biting. I am assuming the biting is out of excitement but without more details I can't say for sure what you should do. If the biting is in response to you doing something that she does not like, that is a respect issue and probably a learned behavior, possibly fear also - that type of biting is more related to aggression and sometimes a lack of trust. If the biting is in response to movement - because she is a herding breed, then you need to deal with her desire to control things. At her age, I am assuming based on what I know that the biting is due to excitement and she simply doesn't have good bite-inhibition - which is where she controls the pressure of her mouth. If the issue is excitement, then it's time to correct harder than you would with a young puppy at this point. I suggest teaching a 'Leave It' command and using that command when she starts to get too rough. Once she understands 'Leave It' fully, then you may also need electric collar training to give you the amount of non-physical correction with the consistency that you need. For this, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced with e-collars and has excellent reviews and experience with this type of behavior. Here is a link to the 'Leave It' command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite The 'Leave It' command is a first step because she needs to clearly understand what she is supposed to be doing instead of biting when you tell her to stop by saying 'Leave It'. Understanding gives her a chance to obey and succeed. If she doesn't obey even though she understands - which it sounds like may happen, then an electric collar e-collar is usually what I recommend to enforce your 'Leave It' command. Doing it this way disciplines her disobedience and not something more obscure that could be confusing. It may sound harsh but a high quality electric collar will have at least thirty different levels, letting you adjust the level to just what she needs in order to respond and not too high. It will also let you correct her without touching her - the touching will probably get her more wound up when she is in that state. You want something that will 'snap her out of it' and interrupt what she is doing without physically harming her. Once she stops, then you can give her something else to do instead, like 'Come', 'Sit', 'Down' or focus on a toy. She likely needs to be given direction with a command when she gets worked up like that. Do not buy a cheaply made e-collar. Poorly made (which are often less expensive too) e-collars can be dangerous due to malfunctioning. Garmin, E-collar Technologies, SportDog, and Dogtra are good brands. Find a trainer who can assess why she is biting, teach you how to properly use the electric collar, and figure out what level to set it to (called her working level - a good trainer will know what that term means. If they don't know what a working level is, then don't use that trainer). If she is biting due to herding or true aggression, then you will need to tackle that in some other ways too. Biting at this age like you described is most commonly associated with excitement and plain rudeness though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My little girl will not stop biting our ankles and hands. We have tried giving her a used sock to chew one, many toys, and snacking her nose. But she will not stop. When we try correcting her she begins to get very aggresive and bite more..please help
Hello Lynsay, It is completely normal for puppies to do a form of biting called mouthing. That's how they learn, relieve boredom, and sooth themselves. It's also how they learn how to control how hard they press down with their teeth - if they learn that now, then they will actually be safer later as an adult. Puppies learn how to control how hard they press (called bite inhibition) by playing with puppies and getting feedback from people. Check out the article that I have linked below. Starting today, follow the "Bite Inhibition" method and use the yelping to help her learn. Also, start teaching her "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method found in that same article. When she gets good at the "Leave It" command and can leave clothing articles alone even when you are moving, then you can transition to having her "Leave It" when she wants to bite you. Stop giving her sock as well - that will cause confusion. When she is older and understands what "Leave It" means, then you can use the "Pressure" method to gently discipline her when she does not obey your leave it command and keep biting or start to bite. Biting article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite It's important to teach leave it before disciplining because when you discipline her now, she either thinks that you are rough-house playing also, or she is probably getting defensive because she doesn't understand why you are doing it. You need to engage her brain and help her learn what she is supposed to be doing (controlling how hard she bites - through the Bite Inhibition method, and stopping biting completely - through the leave it method). Once she understands the rules, then when you discipline her, she will understand the correction and be able to respond correctly. Some dogs have a defense drive, and the more rough you get and pressure you apply, the more they fight back - it's a natural response, and you need to engage their brains instead of just doing something physical on it's own. Puppies are mouthy for several months. The training will help her learn by five months not to bite anymore, and how to do it gently while she is little and learning still, but do not expect the training to work overnight. This takes time. Puppies need to use their mouths. They just have to learn how to control the amount of pressure and what to bite and when (toys and other puppies during play - gently). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Austrian Shepards are herding dogs, so they will typically nip at your heals; however, our Aussie, Finn, has not done the typical nipping, he continues to jump up and bite us. We have tried the Ouch! method and have used clickers and treats, but neither of those seemed to help at all. What do you recommend we do now?
Hello Jessie, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Leave It" method. After you have taught leave it, give him the leave it command when he tries to bite or looks like he is thinking about biting. There are two other methods in that article that you can try as well, but I suggest trying each method for at least a month because no method will stop the biting immediately for most puppies. They have to learn to control their mouths gradually during the first six-months of puppihood. Biting is natural - control is learned, but do help him learn by teaching him "leave it". You should see gradual improvement and be able to tell that he is understanding the command with practice, if it is working. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite For the jumping, take a step toward him when he jumps and cross your arms and act really boring. When he stops jumping and calms down or sits, then reward him with a treat for being calm. Jumping is an attention seeking behavior typically so the goal with jumping is to show a dog that you want them out of your space (by stepping toward them), to not give them any attention for jumping, and to give them attention when they do something nice instead (like sitting - which a dog conveniently can't do while jumping)...teach him the "Sit" command and when you first practice with the jumping, tell him to "Sit" when he stops jumping - to help him learn what to do instead of jumping. When he gets good at sitting when you tell him to, then simply remain quiet when he stops jumping and let him start guessing what to do, until he guesses that he should sit and does it. When he sits, reward him right away. This will teach him to automatically sit for attention instead of having to be told to do it first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have a mixed Australian Sheppard with black lab. He is very active, jumping and nipping. We’ve used you Ouch method. However we are having to reinforce it everyday and it doesn’t seem to stick more than 24 hrs. When can I assume he’s got the training down and won’t hurt guests or strangers. I want to use a trainer but we can’t start training until he’s 14 weeks. Is this too late to train?
Hello Helen, Teaching puppies not to bite is something that takes closer to three months not days or weeks. He should be gradually improving and the biting should be getting softer and softer as you work on it. Check out the article that I have linked below and also work on the "Leave It" method. Leave It will take time to teach for him to get to the level of self control needed so use the Ouch method still while teaching it, but leave it tends to work well when they get a bit older to stop the biting completely. The article linked below was written for Shih Tzu's but the training is the same for other breeds too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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