Nipping and growling

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Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 15:02

OK guys please put my mind at rest. I have a 10 week old that is nipping and growling. Now I know this is normal behaviour of a puppy but please tell me it does eventually stop. I am trying the firm no followed by placing a toy in his mouth (easier said then done when he hanging of ur clothes) but some times this seems to hype him up. Basically I suppose I'm after support and tips so anyone got any. at wits end
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by LizP on Tue May 31 2016, 15:25

Yes, it does stop but there are things you can do to help. First of all, don't bother with the 'no', it doesn't work as puppies don't understand it and it can in fact make matters worse. The first thing I'd suggest is to teach 'leave it', which you do by pairing the word with a treat that is shown when he has a toy or something, which he will then drop in order to get the treat. You give the treat as soon as he opens his mouth. Set this training up with easy things when he's not excited to make it as easy as possible. Give him a toy, then show him the treat and ask for 'leave it', then give the treat. Repeat this 3 or 4 times in a session, and do several sessions a day. You should soon be able to get easy 'leave its' without showing the treat first.

Once he understands the command, you can apply it to any situation where you want him to open his mouth and drop what's in it, including your clothing/finger. That should then allow you to give him the toy instead.

The other thing I'd suggest is to be absolutely 100% consistent that any time his teeth come into contact with any part of a human body, including clothing, that you get up, walk away and, if possible, close the door behind you. He's doing this because he wants you to play. Your response is the complete opposite. He should learn that using his teeth with you in fact drives you away. It will be a pain sometimes, when you're watching telly, on the phone, eating a meal, but it is important that he never gets any attention from you (even 'no' is giving him attention).

The order of play is to walk away if you can, but otherwise to use 'leave it' (e.g. if he's actually hanging off your arm!).

Make sure you do play with him so that he is getting enough attention, but only when he keeps things measured and doesn't nip/growl. As soon as he does that, play stops.

You might need to persevere, some dogs get it straight away and others need time, but you should get there in the end.


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by dizzy on Tue May 31 2016, 15:36

I found the best thing to do was ignore ours. He was a terror for nipping (really hard) and biting our clothes. We did try loud yelps, but he thought we were playing! In the end we used to walk out of the room for a minute to show him that we wouldn't play if he kept nipping.
It stopped gradually over about 8 weeks, with just the odd incident when he got too excited. It is hard work, it seemed endless at the time, but well worth it as he's really gentle now. Just hang on in there, they do grow out of it!
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 17:15

I tried the yelping as well as couple of times and found the exact same thing about the excitement. I have started the leave it command done it 4 times he left the toy for the treat and managed to nip me getting the treat lol. Will have to be more careful giving the treat. Will do a couple more sessions today. Thank u for sharing your tips Smile
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by LizP on Tue May 31 2016, 18:51

Sounds like a lesson or two in patience might come in handy! Wait a couple of seconds before giving the treat. Only give it when he is being patient, never for nipping. If you do want to give the treat immediately to reward something super good straight away, or if you're strugging to give the treat quietly, you could just drop it on the floor.



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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 19:50

Oh that's a good idea dropping it on the floor. He does seem to get very excited about the treats so this evening we had some very excited nipped and growling/barking so he went in time out(I think about 3 times) but after the last one came out sat down and started licking me. Progress
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Jenc on Tue May 31 2016, 19:57

Oh puppy time, cant forget those teeth Surprised Liz has given great advise, I cant add to that, all I can say is they are very intelligent & he will learn quickly. Just be consistent with the training Big Grin Love Struck


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 20:01

I plan on it. Just gotta make sure hubby does as well. Tell you what I forgot how sharp puppy teeth are.
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Jenc on Tue May 31 2016, 20:03

Consider yourself reminded Laughing Yes hubby needs to do exactly the same as you to train him Big Grin


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 20:05

For once my nagging will have a purpose lol. Oh I can assure you my hands and slippers are very well reminded. Both have been severely battered lol
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by -Ian- on Tue May 31 2016, 20:51

It does get better and there has been some great advice above. Stick with it and you'll soon be past this painful stage


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 20:59

Thank you Ian I do plan on keeping with it and when he is not being a rat bag with the nipping he is so dopey and loving, currently asleep on my lap. It's just nice to hear someone say it does come to an end lol
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by -Ian- on Tue May 31 2016, 21:22

Laughing ... They are soooo loving but those teeth !!

The good news is the sharp teeth don't last long but the playfulness lasts a lifetime, my girls about 10 now and still acts like pup at times Big Grin


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Tue May 31 2016, 21:36

I like the playfulness that's a nice trait. But I so can't wait to get rid of the puppy teeth. Wink
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by TwoSocks on Wed Jun 01 2016, 12:37

Walking out the door and closing it behind me was the only thing that seemed to get through to Una, who was 6 months old and very mouthy.

It did seem that it would never end but I realised the other day that it's not on my mind anymore and she's only had about three instances of "mouthy" this month Smile
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Wed Jun 01 2016, 18:54

Thank you for that Ange it's nice to hear that others are through it. To be fair today he already seems much better. He gas been bit nippy but not so much of an 'aggressive ' growl with it today. I do appreciate every ones input. Thank you
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by Steph7990 on Wed Jun 15 2016, 18:38

OK. So to deal with the nipping at home is fine u put him in timeout. I have now started taking him out for walks what do I do when he is hanging of my trouser leg (in public) and growling then. I can just feel all these people looking and thinking oh it's another vicious staffie and I don't want that. I mean he is still only 12 weeks. Help me please.
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by smudge95 on Thu Jun 16 2016, 09:52

hi try distraction when out walking - get a special toy that he loves to play with and take it out on walks with you- don't let him play with it indoors , so when he sees it out it gets his attention because its sooo special . you can try treats but as you say he gets excited when he sees them I would try the toy, worked for Buddy when he goes to grab you step to the side and turn him and have the toy in your hand and really make a fuss with the toy to get him to turn his attention to it as soon as you have his attention walk off holding the toy in view once walking again put the toy out of sight - obviously if you are in the park let him have the toy to play with but take it away after a short while so the excitement of seeing it again on the walk does not disappear . this also works well for when you are doing recall training use the toy to get him to come back to you .. good luck it does get better:)
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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by LizP on Thu Jun 16 2016, 16:04

Good idea from Carol. It is undoubtedly play so giving him something special he can play with is a great way of dealing with the problem.

Have you worked on 'leave it'? If not, I'd strongly recommend you get that one nailed so that, if he does grab hold of something you don't want him to have, you can ask him to let it go without it turning into a tug of war which will only ever perpetuate the behaviour as it's a brilliant game.


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Re: Nipping and growling

Post by TwoSocks on Thu Jun 16 2016, 19:09

Oh that brings back memories, and let me apologise now for the incoming ramble Smile

My memories are mainly of Una with the leash wrapped round a railing back in Feb as she was having one heck of a hissy-bitey-jumpy-attention-me-now fit. Now that would be her at 8 months old and I was trying to be cheerful and say to the other dog walkers passing by "oh she's being a terrible teenager" (facepalm).

Then there was the day I was out on my early solo morning walk with her and she got all mouthy and ripped the back of my cagoule, I was standing facing a tree trying to ignore her while holding onto the leash so she wouldn't be able to get away and into mischief. Walk of shame with the ripped cagoule back home.

Honestly it does get better and the most excellent thing is that you have a 12 week old puppy, he's going to catch on quicker than our lass did. The "leave it" and the "enough" commands are excellent.

We mainly use "enough" with Una when she feels compelled to cuff grab us or she's getting rough with her doggy friend. We've also got a couple of staffy friendly toy rings that I use when out myself - as she's hanging onto one I can get her to "leave it" by waving the other one around. She then goes into a sit and only gets to "take it" when I give her the "take it" command. It's sort of like a tug on the move game. Smile

Jan and Feb were her worst months - she was a right wee horror. Each month since then has got better and better, we only had three instances of mouthy-jumpy in May and this month, well I don't want to jinx us but we're doing good Smile
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