Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my 3rd post about my now 10 week old GR Maya. She is wonderful and we love her. Because of this, I want to make sure that we start her out on the right foot with discipline. I know that the typical "Biting Pup" is very cliche since most pups deal with this sort of behavior. Here is the problem, not only have I been getting conflicting advice but NOTHING has been working.
This is the situation:
Maya nips and bites incessantly when we are spending time with her and we know that this is how GRs play and learn. They experience the world with their mouths.
We have had our first puppy classes and I brought this up to our trainer who told us to use the "OUCH!" method and then skulk away. Or, equally good is the "OUCH!" method and then stare intently at your Golden while remaining very rigid.
She demonstrated this in class with a pup that getting bitey with her owner who was trying to keep her still. The trainer picked her up and as soon as the pup nipped at her she did the "ouch" routine and the dog froze and stared intently at her and then calmed down. It was amazing!
After trying this with our dog she just doesn't care and sees this as an opportunity to nip at us when we're not moving! She continues to nip despite the "intimidation."
The other method we have been trying is the "light" muzzle grab. When she bites we grab her muzzle gently but say "No Biting" very firmly. We have been doing this consistently for about 2 weeks and she has gotten even MORE bitey!
I know that a lot of this is normal but I'm just not experiencing any success with the methods that are SUPPOSED to work. I believe our dog is a very dominant pup who will need a firm hand in training (This is what we have been told).... I'm just not sure how to proceed at this point.... and thoughts?
 

Attachments

·
Old Gold is the Best Gold
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
When she bites, you can stick your thumb on her tongue while your other fingers are on her lower jaw and hold it there. They hate that. Also say "NO!!!!" in a firm voice. If it gets very very out of hand I *GENTLY* take the scruff and hold it firmly without lifting the dog at all, and growl NO!!!!!! and walk away. Repeat as needed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,907 Posts
I hope it's ok to post info from other forums, this is from a posting by run by a trainer in Michigan. She is very, very good and I trust her advice. You can read the whole thread at the link, below is a copy of the part I thought might be most helpful.

She mentions Bitter Apple, it's also a good method to discourage biting, but you need to spray it on the things she is biting, your hands, clothes, whatever she is biting, and reapply it often.

obediencedynamics.com :: View topic - 6 month old puppy bites me, loves everyone else? Any advice

"If you are giving her corrections and she comes right back at you for more and your corrections only work for a moment, she isn't taking you seriously. YOU have to make her take you seriously. Which means you're going to have to use a bit more "force".

I'm NOT telling you to get crazy with her!

Since the scruff shake isn't working and she's pretty much learned that after the scruff shake, she still wins - you have to try something different. I suggest tightly wrapping your hand around her muzzle and giving a firm squeeze. You want her to give a whine. Trust me when I tell you that the whine isn't because you're inflicting pain; it's because A: it's an uncomfortable feeling and B: she just lost control. She won't like it. At the same time you are squeezing her, in your lowest, slowest, most evil voice (no yelling though!) give her a strong NO BITE! Then let go of her muzzle and attempt to ignore.

If she comes back at you for more, do it again and squeeze harder. Make her whine a little more.

I know it SOUNDS harsh, but it's truly not. You have to make the dog believe you and if your corrections aren't strong enough or "right" for the temperament of the dog, you will never win. She'll keep getting the best of you.

Molly needed this kind of correction. But if I ever gave this kind of correction to Reason, he would never get over it!

Also, the bitter apple will actually help more if, instead of spraying it directly into her mouth, you spray YOU. Cover your hands or whatever in it and when she reaches up for a bite, she'll get your body part in her mouth and think BLAH! I'M NOT DOING THAT AGAIN! Make sure to also issue a NO BITE at the same time!

Spraying it in her mouth will take longer for her to make the connection in her head of what she's doing wrong..what she's being corrected for. And just remember, bitter apple doesn't last forever. Not even for hours. You're gonna have to keep spraying until she makes the connection."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
OK, I already know my post will not be useful so I am expecting a groan or two. Absolutely nothing worked with Molly. Turning my back on her and ignoring her ... she really didn't care, she just went on to do other naughty things while I wasn't looking. Bitter apple? She seems to like it. A loud OUCH! She says, "so what?". "No Bite", "OFF", "NO". She just looked at me sweetly and continued to bite away. The only thing that had any effect at all was to put her in her crate. I would just pick her up, say we all need a time out, close the door and she goes to sleep.

She's close to 5 months old now. It's been a rough few months but things are much improved. She's learned to control her bite and it's down to a couple of episodes a day now, where it used to be constant. I still crate her if she seems to be getting over excited or out of control. She still goes in and goes right to sleep every time.

Continue to correct her, even though it doesn't seem to work. She will eventually get the idea. Molly did. My husband and I were both tough on her and she is devoted to us.

I do have one thing that worked. I filled a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water. When she starts jumping and biting and treating me like a dog friend I spray her in the face. Now all I have to say is "I'm getting the bottle" and she stops immediately.

My post is probably discouraging, but please hang in there. Eventually she will settle down. You probably just have a feisty girl just like mine. Keep working with her and plan to ride it out.
 

·
Griff's a Muffin Thief!
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
Maya sounds like she's responding a lot like Griff. Believe me - I tried just about every technique I could. This is what worked best for Griff but every pup is different - you have to use what works for your pup:

Try your best to keep substituting something that she CAN bite on - like a toy or bone and praise her when she chews the right thing. I found little time outs worked too - not in the crate but seperated from us by a baby gate. If she wants to bite - then playtime is over. Puppies like children will become more naughty if they are overtired too. If she's been out to potty, has played for an hour, then it's crate time for a nap. Stay above her while playing - if you're at her level - you're fair game and she will treat you like a littermate. ~Chomp!~:doh:

Try not to wear your best clothing :no: around her until you've got this licked - funky sweats and jeans around puppy!

By the time Griff was 4 months old we were pulling our hair out. AngelKody suggested the coins in the can and for Griff it worked like a miracle! One day of giving that can a little rattle when the teeth came out and he was pretty much done with it. We rarely have to use the can now - a simple no works with a stern voice - yes he still tries but he's not ruthless like when he was little. (He tries when hubby decides to play wrestlemania with him. Ugh! :uhoh: )

Just remember - they grow up much faster than children and you will be through this before you know it!
 

·
<---Bring on the grub!!!!
Joined
·
3,737 Posts
Your puppy WILL grow out of this! It is actually a very important part of her development...this is an interesting article that will hopefully help...

The Bite Stops Here
I agree. Your little one is only a baby and it will take time and will not happen overnight. Some pups are more "bitey" than others. Jack wasn't much of a biter but Biscuit was and it took a long time for him to "get it". He is still mouthy but he has great bite inhibition while playing with me.

Emma and Tilly: I was just telling someone about this method (The Bite Stops Here) tonight but couldn't remember where I saw it. Thanks for posting it. I'm going to send it to my friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I am going through the same biting problem with my 10 week old Crystal. She has bitten through two wires - a clock and my router, luckily, both devices were off at the time, not to mention my rug; which has already seen its day from my last puppy and a cat. She is constantly biting also, even when we just try to pet her and have quiet!!! time with her. Everytime she tries to bite, we put a toy in her mouth. We constantly say no when she bites our hands, arms, legs, shall I go on.... She is slowly getting it, but it is very frustrating. It is good to know that the consensus seems to be that she will grow out of this. Everyone tells us how sweet she will be, but it is hard at this point to imagine it. I am going to try some of the suggestions, and also read the links that have been listed. Thanks to all.
 

·
Old Guy
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
Golden Retrievers are very different from other breeds of puppies when it comes to 'biting' and that's why many of the methods suggested that work on other puppies do NOT seem to work on so many Golden puppies. For some reassurance you should read this older thread and this one also.

And here is a quote of mine from another old thread on Golden puppy biting (and more)...
"First of all, let me say this... it sounds like you have a very NORMAL puppy... but remember he is a puppy with no self-control, he is purely driven by instinct at this point... that's perfectly normal behavior. He will bite and jump and go crazy a lot more over the next couple of months before the self-control begins to 'kick in' and at that point you can begin some real training. Until then you must exercise a lot of patience. Yes, do something about the biting now but do NOT expect any major improvements for at least a month and a half... see the thread entitled "biting" for more details. I might also recommend you use a crate for 'time-outs'. There are times when any corrections on your part will only seem to feed his craziness or you get so frustrated with his wild behavior you just want to shake him or smack him... DON'T, this is when a 'time-out' is needed... for the both of you. Simply pick him up and put him in the crate and do NOT let him out until he has been quiet and calm for AT LEAST 5 MINUTES... in 'puppy time' that will seem like forever but it is necessary otherwise he will just rev right back up again. And you'll find a little exercise will do wonders... walk him or play with him to the point where HE wants to quit and then stop and let him rest/sleep. You may find yourself doing this 5 or 6 times a day at first. Little puppies have small capacities for all things... so lots of small meals (3 to 4 a day) are necessary, lots of poop and pee breaks (take outside first thing in the morning, last thing at night, right after every nap, right after every meal, and at all other times approximately every hour), and lots of little exercise periods (these may only last 15 or 20 minutes at first). Don't let anyone with a different breed of dog tell you what is 'normal' puppy behavior or development... Golden's are different! They simply take longer... but, like a fine wine, they really are worth the wait."
 

·
Old Gold is the Best Gold
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
Goldens are dogs and all puppies need to learn bite inhibition and have the natural drive to nip and mouth. All drivey type breeds do. Pit bulls, GSDs, Goldens, Labs, etc all are similar as puppies. I allow my puppies to mouth me to a degree, and learn their own strength. I do NOT allow painful bites.
 

·
Old Guy
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
ACC... I've had a number of other puppies in my life and NONE had displayed anywhere near the fanatic nipping behavior that Sidney expressed. I was on another forum at that time and got so much conflicting advice... everything that worked on other pups did NOT seem to apply or have any affect on Sidney. I finally found out that the few forum members who told me "The biting will slowly abate by itself whether you do anything about it or not" were absolutely correct and since then I've met quite a few Golden puppy owners and have found that advice to be quite accurate... and also very comforting for a Golden puppy owner who's puppy doesn't respond to the "Ouch", "Spray bottle", "mouth clamp", etc. methods that everyone says should work. And every week or two this forum gets the same question about a biting Golden pup who doesn't respond to all the 'usual suggestions'... followed by the inevitable questioning of their pup's temperament being at fault... and/or the escalation of harsher corrections being employed, which don't work (they can actually cause a much worse situation to develop)... unfortunate when some patience is all that was really required. At 14 weeks of age when the brain finally develops the ability to assert some self-control over the biting instinct, many owners suddenly think whatever method they were trying at that time is THE method that worked... wrong! it was simply a matter of time. To get a better idea of what I'm referring to please do go to those other threads and actual read what's there. And if you do a forum search you will find other older threads from puppy owners that seem to confirm.
 

·
Old Gold is the Best Gold
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
I absolutely agree that it does just tend to pass as they age... :) I tend not to worry over it too much. Luckily with no kids it's not a large concern for me. I can only imagine it could be in a busy family household.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
I will vouch that it really does get better with time. Molly just turned 20 weeks old and I'm just now starting to see a huge improvement. She was one of the stubborn ones. She got me good today, but it was just once and she knew it. She's got a thing about chasing dust rags, sponges, any circular motion with my hand. She went for the cloth, got me instead.

I sat her down, showed her the blood, shook my finger at her and she came over and licked me. I honestly think she felt bad. A few weeks ago she just didn't care. Just keep letting your pup know that biting you is not acceptable and eventually she will get it. Stock up on Neosporin and bandaids while you wait.
 

·
Old Guy
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
I just lost a long post due to my Internet connection malfunction... Grrrrrr! I hate when that happens.

Anyway the gist of it was... I don't advocate doing absolutely nothing but rather continue doing whatever you've decided on... "Ouch!" or "Spray bottle" whatever... but don't let it escalate or get you to question your puppy's temperament ("Is he just a 'bad seed'?"). Have patience, you will begin to see a real improvement at about 14-weeks of age... and from then on you will slowly begin to see glimpses the wonderful, gentle adult Golden your puppy will be growing into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
We tried all of the suggestions above with Summer and many more. We went crazy trying to deal with the biting until she was a little over four months and things slowly got better and better. Now Summer is six months old and never bites. I thought we would never see that day come! One thing that we did use that hasn't been suggested is Binaca Breath Spray. It comes in a small can that you can put in your pocket and works quicker than lime juice or bitter apple. She hates it!! We still use it when she barks. We give her one warning and if she barks again, it's the spray! Try to stick with it and try everything. Don't give up and eventually you will see results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I could have written this post myself- our 13 week old is a constant biter. We have tried everything except the bitter apple- distractions, firm yell of "No Biting", "NO", pushing her jaw shut, and time outs in the baby gated kitchen where she eventually falls asleep. Her biting seems to have gotten worse since we got her at 7 weeks. But she starts her first obedience training tonight so hopefully we'll get some good advice there. Good luck and know that eventually she will grow out of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,569 Posts
In response to the Bitter Apple Spray....
Bought it, used it, Dog LOVES it. :doh:
Is it Grannick's? If not, give it a try. Tucker loved the "other" bitter apply spray. Hated Grannick's.

With Shadow, we just replaced our body parts with chew toys. He did still chew on fingers and such, but I kept replacing the foot, arm, leg etc with the toy. One day, it all just stopped.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top