Puppy bit out daughter :( - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 07:43 PM
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I thought this was an interesting article a veterinary mom posted in a moms group I'm in. It talks about how watching dog body language is so important... but does this apply to puppy normal biting? We don't have a puppy yet and it's been awhile since I've had one... is this article at all helpful for devotednurse?

Why Supervising Dogs and Kids Doesn’t Work | Robin Bennett

And the title is maybe a little misleading. It should be "learn dog body language in addition to supervision" or something like that... sorry if this doesn't apply here!
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 07:58 PM
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 09:19 PM
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We went through this with our, now 8 month old puppy, Comet. He was SO mouthy and isn't 100% over it. But it's improved tremendously!

I had bite marks, scratches, scrapes, you name it. I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old and it was quite a challenge because my puppy was pretty convinced that my son was put on this earth to chew on!

As one forum member wrote, I didn't seen any type of improvement until 16 weeks. In fact, I don't mean to scare you, but for us, it got worse before it got better. I only tell you this so that you can be extra careful because it won't get better for awhile and you don't want your 3 year old scared of the dog or your dog thinking that the 3 year old is a wonderfully fun, excitable chew toy. It's frustrating, exhausting and daunting... I understand because I felt the same way. But I promise that if you stick it out and work with a good trainer, things will improve and you'll all learn to live together safely.

Even after 16 weeks, it took until about 6 months before I saw a marked improvement where I felt like my kids could pat Comet at their leisure without "getting him too excited" (which really just meant paying any amount of attention to him). But, even now, they aren't allowed to be alone with him at all. Even my son who is a very responsible 8, will skip, run or giggle in such a way that makes Comet want to chase him and bite his clothes. So our house rule is that you can't be alone with Comet and that an adult has to be there. It could be viewed as extreme, but I want them all to have a great relationship so that we can get to his wonderful adult years without any major issue.

As others have written, you have to keep a close watch. Here were the only "solutions" (really coping mechanisms) I used that helped us:
  1. Keep your dog on a leash at all times indoor (except when crated or unsupervised)
  2. Have a LOT of bully sticks, tendons and various other yummy chew toys to redirect your puppy when the biting starts. I kept one in my back pocket at all times. I also ALWAYS had treats in my pocket as a diversion.
  3. If your puppy is getting mouthy and won't be redirected, give him a rest in the crate (he may be overtired and fall fast asleep... if not, he needs a break and so do you)
  4. Have your husband tether the dog to him if he can't keep a watchful eye on your 3 year old and puppy (I did this when I would prepare meals, etc. and it kept Comet from going after the kids while I was moving about the kitchen and couldn't focus my attention on the kids and the dog... it also allowed Comet to have more freedom and spend less time in his crate)
  5. Never let your 3 year old and your puppy be together unless they are closely supervised and by closely, I mean close enough to either grab the puppy, grab the child or grab the leash - your sweet puppy will continue to bite and you can't expect your 3 year old to follow directions when being bitten or chased
  6. Know that it will get better, it's just a phase and you just need to manage this stage so that you can all get to the other side happily
It's exhausting, I completely understand. I honestly had no idea how limited I would have to keep our puppy to keep everyone in our house safe and happy. As a result however, Comet is happy, my kids are happy and my husband and I are happy. While Comet spent the first 7 months closely watched and is still limited in the house, he didn't care one bit. He's graduated to various other parts of the house when the kids aren't home and when they are, I still keep a watchful eye. He's 50+ lbs now, still gets mouthy from time to time and still isn't allowed to be with the kids unless an adult is present. He's now a teenager and with that come some other challenges, but he's happy and so are we.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 11:48 PM
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What about finding a trainer that will take him in for a week or two and train him every day. Instead of a short visit to your house. It will cost you more money. But individual training would probably be much more beneficial. Just a thought.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 12:00 AM
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When we brought River home our daughter was two yrs old. We kept her on a short leather lead and I had her follow me wherever I went. Mornings where worse for my daughter not a morning person so River had some kennel time then and the rest of the day out and about. Kept dog toys everywhere for redirecting her to those and treats in the pocket. A fun activity we did for both to burn some energy and be able to interact with each other was a bubble machine. River is a yr old now and my daughter is 3. She introduces me to her everyday as momma this is my friend. It will get better with time.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 12:05 AM
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Murphy was an awful puppy when it came to using those sharp little teeth. I had marks all over my arms. It was a very tough time. BUT now, at almost three, he is the most gentle dog I've every owned. He is wonderful with my grandchildren. Christopher, my ten month old grandson, feeds Murphy while in the high chair. Murphy is so gentle it amazes me. Give it time as your puppy is very young and still learning. I agree keep close watch but this too shall pass I'm sure and you'll have a wonderful gentle pet.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 02:16 AM
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Yes, my golden girl was a landshark or alligator mouth, for the 1st,6mths.
Exercise yr pup before letting yr kids play with him so that some of the pinned-up energy can be released.
Always supervise their playtime and that will pass, with age.
YOU can start basic education, at home and retrieving which will also help withthe mouthing.

My Golden's slideshow:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3cQhJc2LDM
My Hovawart's slideshow:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh_1toD6xtc
If you don't like a wet,shedding dog,don't get a golden or a Hovawart!.
RIP,My Beloved Priska & Titus!.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 04:17 AM
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No kids in our house, but I'd like to share how my puppy's going so it'll give you some hope!
Sunny was a biter and I can honestly say I cried everyday for first two weeks. I STILL have bloody scratches, scars and bruises all over. Whenever I laid down on the floor even just sat on the floor, he'd jump and try to bite my face and hair. He'd go for my ankles all. the. time. I tried yelping, saying NO, redirecting, bitter spray on me and timeouts and it seemed like nothing worked.
But, I noticed a dramatic decrease in biting at 12 weeks, but then it got worse again. He's now 15 weeks old and he has hardly been biting for the last 10 days! He is obsessed with all his different toys and will go for them, so always try to redirect. I can lay on the floor now and sometimes cuddle him without getting mauled. I thought it'd never get better, but it has improved tremendously. It'll probably get bad again in later teething phase, but for now it's great. Hang in there!!
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 01:14 PM
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I have a young 3 y.o. (birthday in Dec.)

It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep them safe even if you are within arm's reach. A nip can happen instantly-- dogs react much more quickly than we do!

What I would do, if you don't already, is to work on a soft mouth. Get your hand in your pup's mouth and let him mouth it. If it's too hard, yelp and go limp, then get it out. Wait a bit and try again. Do not attempt when your pup is already wild. Then, keep upping how hard is too hard-- eventually even just a little bit too hard should cause you to yelp.

This helps because when your dog nips, he should be able to do it gently-- have control of his mouth.

I think you read my thread earlier-- where I taught my dog to go up to my child, greet her, then turn back to me. The greeting is sort of vague at this point. Sometimes he'll go all the way for a pet, sometimes not, but the point is for him to turn back to me after he goes up to her. Since you are using the clicker, click just before the puppy reaches your daughter. Then he will turn back. Then start clicking when he turns around to you on his own.

Now I've been working on adding a verbal cue. I thought it would be fun for it to be: SAY HI! I do it this way-- when he is ALREADY on his way to say hi to her (I do not want to ever force him to, though he always wants to!), then I say, "Say hi!" Then he will go up to her, and I click and treat when he turns to come back to me, as long as he's done it politely (no jumping or mouthing).

The other thing you can do is click and treat at your daughter's feet. All four of his paws are on the ground while this is happening-- right close to your daughter. His treats are right on the ground-- the ground is where the good stuff happens!

But, as much work as we've done, my puppy still gets excited, still jumps, still wants to chew on her boots or hood, sometimes wants to jump up to bite her hair, etc. so I keep them separated a LOT. It is much better, though-- he still goes after our clothes, but it's maybe once a day. And, as long as I have a toy on me at all times, it will happen ONLY once during that time, because then he will go for the toy. I expect it will be a long, long time before I can be assured that he will not mouth due to overexcitement. He is not super mouthy, but he is a puppy!

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 01:47 PM
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It will be better when your puppy loses its needle-sharp milk teeth. But Goldens sometimes stay very mouthy for a long time, sometimes their whole lives, and if that's who they are then there's no way to eliminate it completely. You just have to manage it.

My youngest, Ziva (my profile pic and the dog in the right hand photo in my signature) was like your puppy, and maybe even worse. Her way of showing affection, of being excited, of expressing curiosity, and of playing were all the same thing: bite! (Or, more correctly, mouth!) We were bloodied on almost a daily basis until her adult teeth came in.

She is now 16 months old, and she still does it. Not as much. And it doesn't break the skin anymore. But it's who she is, and rather than try to make her into something she's not, we have learned to accept her as she is and try to channel her mouthiness into harmless ways.
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