discipline is play time

    • Puppy

    discipline is play time

    I got my dog Tater, at an animal shelter, he was three months old, he is now seven months old. He is part Bassett Hound and part Welsh Corgi, When I go to discipline him for biting, he still thinks biting peoples hands is fun, he always thinks i'm playing, so he never takes me seriously. It's driving me crazy, I don't know what to do! I give him bones to chew on and everything, I can't get him to stop biting on peoples hands, it's not agressive biting, it's the biting where he thinks peoples hands are like bones. But i'd love to find a way where when I tell him no that he would take me seriously and not think it's time to play. Please someone help!!!
    • Gold Top Dog
    Biting hands is fun and it is play for a young dog. If you are "disciplining" him in any physical way, you're just playing along.

    Best way to get a mouthy young dog to knock it off is to stop all play when the biting starts. That means, getting up and walking away, leaving the room if you have to, or going to a corner and facing the wall (I know that sounds weird but the pup doesn't know that what you're doing is something humans think is really boring, all the pup knows is that you're totally ignoring him).
    • Gold Top Dog
    How do you "discipline"  him?  This problem is common and is usually because the "discipline" has involved retaliation of some sort (pushing the dog away, holding his mouth closed, "biting back" via a pinch or slap or saying things like "No!"  or "Stop that!")  All of these things are regarded by the pup as either play or aggression, both of which commonly cause him to escalate his response.
     
    Bite inhibition should have been curbed looooong before now, as he is now that much older and also at puberty it will take longer to fix.
     
    Has he been to a good puppy class?  Puppies are good at teaching one another how hard is too hard when playing.  If he has not been to a class, get him into one WITHOUT DELAY.  If he HAS been to a class, book him into another one to continue the training that the puppy class started.  This will help enormously.
     
    Make sure he has plenty of chews and toys freely available to chew on and meake these as appealing as possible.  He is likely to be teething so chilling or freezing his toys will soothe the pain in his gums and be preferable to him.  Soaking and freezing rope toys or knotted wash rags makes good teething toys, as well as frozen chunks of raw veg (not potatoes though as they are poisonous!)  Praise him up one side and down the other if ever you catch him chewing on a "good" thing!!  Too many people forget to do that and simply get on with things while the pup is being good and convenient and the pup learns that biting and chewing inappropriate things is a sure fire way to get your attention (in other words, your discipline is backfiring and he is perceiving it as rewarding on the most basic level)
     
    Every single time you interact with him make sure you have a suitable chewie to stick in his mouth with one hand to keep those teeth busy while you pet him with the other hand.  Never wrestle or play physically with the puppy, but always have a toy in your hand for him to direct his teeth on to.  Any time his teeth touch your skin yelp OUCH! and then move away without a word or a look.  Seperate yourself from him (go out of the room and shut the door for instance) and wait 30 secs-1 min then go back into the room, but again don't speak to or look at him.  Wait for him to be calm and then call him over for a cuddle or a game, but repeat the moment teeth touch skin - even if it appears accidental.  If he gets over excited, end the game before he begins nipping, thus setting him up for success.
     
    You need to be very very consistent and make sure anyone else who interacts with the pup follows the same rules.
    • Gold Top Dog
    You've gotten some very good advice.  If you want some step by step help in solving some of the more common behavior and training problems in a nice way (so much less stressful on you and the dog), read "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller & Jean Donaldson.  I think you and your pup will be happier.  [:)]
    • Puppy

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