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Puppy won't stop biting

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Smarty417, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Smarty417

    Smarty417 New Member Registered

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    We recently got a new Cairn Terrier puppy called Bailey. He's the first boy dog that we have had and he's lovely. I know that puppies will bite, but Bailey seems to have really taken it to heart and will bite constantly whenever someone comes back in to the house, to an extent where he has drawn blood on a worrying number of occasions. We do have a one-to-one session booked for this Wednesday, but I'm rather worried that he's going to cause us some serious issues before then, and just don't know what to do in order to curb this behaviour as we have tried out various methods without any success. Any ideas or reassurance that this is simply normal puppy behaviour would be gratefully welcomed.
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Welcome, and congratulations on your new arrival! We do love photos, by the way - especially of pups!

    You do have to be very consistent when dealing with puppy biting. What you should aim for is every time he tries to bite, the fun stops. The easiest way is to leave the room, shutting the door or stairgate behind you (I prefer stairgates as shutting a door in his face might be a bit scary when he's so young). Sometimes giving a high-pitched yelp can help but that doesn't work with a lot of pups - it just gets them even more worked up, so you want to make your departure as calm as possible. You could also remove him from the room but that can involve extra contact, picking him up, and so on, so isn't as clear-cut to him. You could though try putting a lightweight trailing house lead on him in the house so you can lead him away to shut him out.

    You only need to give him a 'timeout' for 5-10 seconds. Any longer and he'll have forgotten what it was he did that made the fun stop. Then let him back in as if nothing happened... and he'll probably go straight for your ankles again. So put him back in timeout for another 5-10 seconds.... You may spend a whole evening, and most of the next evening, and the next doing this, but it means he'll have LOTS of repetitions of the learning experience. Eventually, you should see him head for your ankles and hesitate a moment... he might then bite anyway, but at least you know the message is sinking in so it's a sign of progress.

    Other things you can do are wear thick socks or even wellies in the house, and boots outside, and also a thick long-sleeved jacket is he's going for your arms - it limits the damage to you and your clothes which enables you to stay calmer. Old clothes are a must in general so you're not worried about damaging nice ones - I bought a thick denim jacket from a charity shop.

    Plus, always carry a toy on you so you can shove it in his mouth when he has that look in his eye.

    As well as knowing he shouldn't bite, he has to have the self-control to stop himself from doing it anyway. There's an excellent video on Youtube that can help develop impulse control:

    Hope that helps!
  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    @JudyN's advice is spot on, the only thing I would add is consistency - do this every time, and have every family member doing the same thing.
    leashedForLife likes this.

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