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How many treats is too many??

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Maggie Mul, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    I am asking this as I feel as though I am constantly giving our pup treats! She eats 3 meals a day and we are battling a major ankle/hand biting problem. Based on some info from another website which someone recommended on here, (Thank you!) I have got 30 pea sized treats in a container and every time she shows good behavior (without me asking for it) I throw her a treat. I like the idea of this as it is showing her she gets rewarded for the positive behavior. To be fair, she hasn't got many treats from this tub yet!! I am then rewarding her for wees and poos in the garden and continuing training for 10 mins each day. Additionally for the ankle biting issue, which is so bad I am getting upset about it all, I am doing a clicking noise to distract her from my trousers/ankles/hands/arms ( not really working yet!) and then when she looks up, throw a treat and distract her with a toy.........SO in total, she could be getting quite a lot!! Should I worry about this or just max out and reinforce all the positive stuff with treats? Thoughts please?
     
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  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm a believer in heavy rewarding. Make sure they are mostly healthy treats and then give them freely whenever you think she's earnt one! Obviously you don't want her to pile on the pounds, so if she's kibble-fed you can simply take them out of her daily ration. If not, then you might want to use a good-quality kibble or other healthy training treats and just reduce her main meals slightly. Or you can use diced raw carrot - in my experience, this comes out the other end pretty much as it went in!

    You can still use more high-value, possibly less healthy treats for when she's been REALLY good, or for important skills like recall (where kibble might not be tempting enough if she's having a LOT of fun).

    Keep at it with the ankle biting. Some pups are land sharks, but with training they do grow out of it eventually.
     
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  3. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    The ankle biting is taking its toll. Really hit a new level a couple of days ago and no idea why. It's mainly me so goes for, I am trying to stay strong but it is exhausting and draining!!! She hasn't let up this afternoon and I had to distract her with toys, games and some crate training games for 1.5 hrs......As soon as I move she is on me!
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Boots are your friend!:)
     
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  5. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I can't remember - what breed is she? She still is very young, but she may also be teething which will make her worse than before. I can't remember if this has been discussed before, but the key approach I'd suggest is (a) carry a toy at all times to shove in her mouth before she grabs your ankle, (b) encourage her to enjoy chew toys (some are particularly good for teething, or you could try freezing a wet flannel to chew on which will help with sore gums - whole carrots can be good too) and (c) timeouts: they only need to be very short (say 10 seconds) - don't say anything, and either remove her from the room, or leave yourself. Stairgates are really useful here!

    She may be getting overaroused with all the games you play with her, so teaching a good 'settle' (on her bed) can be helpful too. Oh, and impulse training! There's a great video on YouTube called 'It's Yer Choice' which will help with that.

    A few layers of thick socks can help with keeping yourself calm too:D
     
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  6. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    Yes, we have been using the impulse training video and that is going well. We had an order of different chews last night and we were able to have a relatively calm breakfast without her biting our ankles as one kept her busy for a while!!! I am on another dog training group on Facebook and now know that this is very common and lots of other people are going through the same thing. I am trying to be as patient as possible but when it starts at 6:30am it is exhausting!!! :( However, it is improving. Originally I would say Ah! Ah! and literally had to put a piece of chicken right under her nose to get her off my legs/ankles/trousers and distract her, then we would play. However, she would come straight back and we would repeat the same thing. Eventually I stopped the chicken and just used toys, this is working now. Also, when I say Ah! Ah! Maggie she stops, but keeps hold of my trousers and looks at me as though I am spoiling her fun and then........she let's go!!!:):):) It only lasts a few minutes but at least she is listening and today I was able to walk around the kitchen and drink coffee! Yeah!!!! Slow and steady wins the race!!!:D:D:D
     
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  7. Mrs S

    Mrs S Member Registered

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    We are also going through the ankle biting phase. It really hurts!! Can normally distract him with a toy or we will give him a command like sit and reward him when he's sitting quietly and not biting... Only get a moment of relief though then he's back to biting. It does wear you down... I feel your pain!
     
  8. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Definitely! I have a pair of fleecy slipper boots that did a wonderful job of protecting my ankles.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    To be honest I think walking out is best. The dog learns teeth on skin = end of fun. It may take a little longer with yours @Mrs S as he is a little older but if everyone is consistent he will get the message.
     
  10. Maggie Mul

    Maggie Mul Member Registered

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    It has been almost one month since I posted about the ankle biting and @Mrs S, it is improving so hang on in there!! The children no longer wear socks around the house and this has helped for them. Our pup has stopped actually biting my skin (mostly!!) and now just hangs on to my trousers. Jeans have been very helpful but it is getting hot again here now, so won't be wearing them for much longer!! At first, I tend to just stand still now there is no skin contact, as it's not painful and I wait for her to let go. Eventually, she gets bored and does let go- then I distract her with a toy/game. If she comes back and does it again, I go through the same routine. On the 3rd go of her doing it, I walk away and leave her alone for a minute or so, a kind of time out, I suppose. So essentially I give her 3 chances and then leave.(Time out) When I come back, if she starts again, I leave straight away for a little bit longer. I am no expert and we are finding our way with our puppy, but we have seen some improvements using this strategy. She is 4.5 months old, so am hoping she will grow out of this phase soon!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
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  11. Mrs S

    Mrs S Member Registered

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    Giz is 6 months, distraction seems to work better for us then walking away as he just follows you or latches on and really gets his teeth in. Starting puppy classes next week so hoping we will start to see some improvement
     
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  12. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    great strategy :)
     
  13. Saffy.

    Saffy. Member Registered

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    Gemma would whine and cry for her treats whenever she saw them in the kitchen, so i started hiding them but she knew we had them in and would still whine and cry for them, i mentioned it to the vet on one of her check ups and was told to try her with carrots instead of treats, so i bought extra tins of carrots and added some to her dry food and she loved it, and on sundays when we had a roast dinner, chicken or beef, Gemma would have some with her carrots. It kept her weight down and stopped her whining for treats, although she did have some occasionally at mums:)
     
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