My 14 week old Pit Bull-Boxer-Shar-pei mix puppy, Nya, is smart and rambunctious! She knows just about all of her commands, but can be hard headed and willful. My biggest problem is her jumping up on me and others, all the while she's nipping with those sharp teeth of hers.
I understand that she is still teething, but omg! She will usually get down and stop the biting when told to do so, but I can see it in her eyes when she is just going to be stubborn and do what she wants to do. My main concern is when she gets older and bigger. I need to find the best way to nip this behavior in the bud now, before it gets out of hand. Thanks for any advice in advance!
By gatala from Richmond, VA
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I could tell you, but it would take many paragraphs to explain the instructions.
I don't know where you live, but is "On Demand" on your television with your cable company? If so, go to the "On Demand" channel, select "tv series", then look for the tv series "It's Me Or The Dog". The woman who does the training at people's homes is named Victoria and she is great. I live in Florida and this program is on Saturday mornings.
Victoria has a great technique for teaching dogs not to jump up and/or biting and she accomplishes teaching the dog in a matter of minutes; then leaves & the owner of the pet(s) have to continue the teaching every day. The short of it is Victoria turns around & ignores the dog when it starts jumping or nipping. I've learned how to stop my 8lb. Maltese from jumping on people when they come into the house just by watching Victoria on "It's Me Or the Dog".
Cali thinks everyone loves & wants to play with her, but sometime they don't.
If you don't have On Demand on your tv, I would strongly suggest renting a couple of her DVDs.
Hope this helps.
At 3.5 months you are well into the teething stage. :) Here are some fun and interesting places to start doing research.
I have been here for hours sometimes researching and learning from Ed Frawley and his German Shepherds. He is so gifted! Here are my lessons I have taught my rescues that I have been lucky enough to have, and they all learn..they are so smart it takes a little thinking to think ahead of them. That is why I like this breed so much, they think things out and also sometimes forget and get carried away, they love to play so much!
First of all, any pit is going to scratch, bite, etc with their new razor sharp teeth and it will take a period of time to teach them out of this behavior. Get the medicine ready to put on your scratches, etc until he or she gets out of this behavior.
Never play tug of war. This is not fair. A pit puppy has an enormous love for life and games, and more than likely was taken away from his mom before he should have been and never learned that biting hurts, when playing. Mommy usually shrieks back at him and bits him perhaps, our equality of that would be scruffing him about the neck. And saying no and a little shake. I said little, we are not trying to kill the dog, just get it's attention in it's little happy, hyper and very loving mind!
Any kind of rough housing is not fair to the dog. It is telling him to get hyper and uncaring with what he does with his mouth. I call this making a puppy act "Hyper".
There is no need to do this, they have enough confusion trying to figure out their world as it is. Be soft. Use soft words until those teeth hurt you and then let out a shriek of horror as if you could not believe the pup would even dare do that. When it looks at you, look at it and say Ouch that hurt and make a frown, quit playing and walk off.
The longer the pup has been doing this the more instances you will have to train this way. They are not trying to be mean. They are just doing with you what they did with their litter mates. There are pups with soft personalities and pups with "do or die" personalities.
You don't want to over correct a soft puppy and you don't want to undercorrect a overbearing pup. The least I have had to do to a pup is to shriek in pain, and scruff one for a few moments for a couple of weeks, and the most I have had to do was to grab back feet of an older pup, and hold him off the floor for a few seconds until it calmed down. It was playing with an older dog who bit at them and that always starts a showdown doesn't it?.
It is much better to try to start obedience in other areas and not make this the central area of training. I would look on the above site and start rewarding things like sitting, coming to you, etc with treats. They are so smart they need something to do.
Next time the pup grabs you and bites and gets all hyper do these things: Shriek out and say that hurts and end the game by going and doing something else. Do not hit the dog, that tells the pup that you are even rougher and so he can be also.
In the video listed below, you see a how a pit will act. They are shaking the dog back and forth, but I would not do this, it is kind of a funny video, but if I was holding this darling little pup, it would be so much simpler to scruff him, which means not too hard, but grabbing the back of the neck and a tiny shake and a shake. It would just be easier. Once the biting slowed down, then I would do the shriek, but they have to be calm enough to listen to you. First the scruff, and if they don't stop, then stop the playtime. Try again later.
Give the dog lots of toys and put them in the mouth within two seconds of them trying to bite your hand. That is a form of redirecting and this works good with most pups. Lots of play, jumping outside and running around is great as long as he is not overtired. It is good to have a sort of schedule for the pup and have him have things to look forward to like sitting with you at a certain time of the day.
I have found the idea of a dominant roll to be ridiculous. When the dog is full grown and you roll him over to show who is boss, you could lose a face. Do not do a power roll with your dog, ever. You will find the more you talk to the dog in different tones of voices and drop treats when you see him playing quietly or sitting or behaving well, you will do fine.
This is a great video about teaching a dog what to bite, and this is so true, coke plastic bottles are so fun without their lids.
I have always used a squirt bottle to train my dogs to not jump or bite.
When the dog approaches you and you see the jump coming, step into the dogs space, step forward which makes the dog step back. When the dog has to step back (harder for a dog) you win, so to speak. Do not back up, you lose and the dog wins. Then when the dog backs up reward the dog with a small treat, like a Cheerio or a piece of dog kibble and pick a command like " settle down" "no jump" or whatever, always use the same command. Dogs are smart, they get it, when they do right, they get a reward, when they don't do right, they get no reward. What you probably have is an Alpha dog (both males and females can be Alphas). Never, never back up. When training a dog, always give praise for doing the right thing.
I see that you have lots of advice already, and I have not read through it all. I will just say that you need to treat your puppy the same way its mother would. A puppy's mother and litter mates will not put up with nipping. They will ignore and refuse to play with one who bites. When your puppy realizes the attention stops every time she does this, she'll learn. You can apply this to jumping too. She only gets attention when all four feet are on the floor. She jumps, you turn away.
I am sure you have a lot of other good advice here too and it will probably take a combination of tips to be truly effective. Good luck.
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