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tallteacher64
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Help! I'm at my wit's end with my 14 week-old puppy! It's not the house training, as that is going very well. I'm home, so am able to keep him on a good schedule. We play/eat/go for a walk in the morning, then into the crate until noon. At lunch we eat, play, and train, then into the crate between 1-2. Out at 5:00 for dinner and time with the family until bedtime. He is attending puppy kindergarten every week.
My problem is this: he thinks I am his own personal chew toy! He bites my hands, clothes, nips the back of my knees, wherever he can get a bite. I have done everything suggested online, to no avail: can of pennies, water spraying, shunning (which is hard to do when he follows and bites). Nothing stops it. He also mounts me fairly often. I push him off and do the above responses, but it doesn't stop. Also, he doesn't bite or mount my husband, just me.
People say that he will grow out of this and will be "the best dog ever," but I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel! When does it end? What can I do to keep my sanity??

Thank you!
 

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Lloyd's mom
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My pup was the same way and I found spraying my heads and clothes with bitter apple spray deterred him. You can find it in pet stores and on Amazon. I feel your pain! I had a very mouthy guy as well!
 

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Pretty typical for golden puppies and they do grow out of it, he is still very much a baby and it can take a lot of patience and persistence. You can read through tons of threads here about it in the puppy section. It also helps to do the same thing each time so he understands the redirection. I do not recommend pennies or spraying water it can lead to other fear based behaviors. Also don't do the whole alpha thing it doesn't work causes fear and aggression. I personally use lots and lots of training and I redirected with appropriate chew toys and stuffies or a tug toy. For about 8 to 12 weeks I was constantly stuffing a toy into Tinks mouth now if she gets excited the first thing she does is scoop up a toy to get her mouth busy.

Some puppies can do this when they get over stimulated so if he won't redirect to a toy or into training (teach crate game Susan Garretts are great, teach scent games tricks, )then put him in an xpen or crate for 5-10 minutes till he settles throw a chew toy or kong in to distract then bring him out and reengage him in training. I had one that I redirected with a hard game of tug. Be consistent every time some times some puppies are more mouthy then others but they get there.
 
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Totally normal. I second everything that Altairss said in their post.

I wouldn't sit on the floor with a puppy like this or if you do, if he acts up, get up right away.

Pushing isn't effective for most retrievers; they usually like it so it's a reward and it causes them to come back harder. :)

You're at 14 weeks, you have a long way to go! Pick a way to deal with it and stick with it. It takes time, just like with people/children. There is not magic solution.
 

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Totally normal. I second everything that Altairss said in their post.

I wouldn't sit on the floor with a puppy like this or if you do, if he acts up, get up right away.

Pushing isn't effective for most retrievers; they usually like it so it's a reward and it causes them to come back harder. :)

You're at 14 weeks, you have a long way to go! Pick a way to deal with it and stick with it. It takes time, just like with people/children. There is not magic solution.
I have found that redirecting the activity by popping a toy into their mouth worked the best for me. The concept of not reinforcing the bad behavior is key in almost every training issue.
At 14 weeks you still have a puppy brain that is totally overexcited and they are only focusing on what they find immediately satisfying.
I probably violated several "proper" training concepts, but I used a lot of toys to play "tug of war" to tire them out and the moment they left the proper toy and even started to put their mouth on anything else I popped another toy in their mouth and ended the game.
 

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My pup was the same way and I found spraying my heads and clothes with bitter apple spray deterred him. You can find it in pet stores and on Amazon. I feel your pain! I had a very mouthy guy as well!
I have had the same problem and bitter apple doesn't work for all dogs. I tried it and he proceeded to happily lick it off of my hands. But worth trying it.
Riley is 5 months old and still gets nippy but it's lessening.
 

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My puppy also quite liked Bitter Apple - but she didn't like Bitter Yuck. That's another one you can try. My last puppy was a big biter - I was constantly putting a stuffed toy in her mouth. She didn't get pats unless her mouth was occupied. She was very mouthy her whole life, and carried toys around with her everywhere.

The biting and chewing, as others have said, is totally normal. It starts to ease up when they lose their baby teeth, about 4-6 months old.
 

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For dogs that lick bitter apple like it's candy, spearmint flavored binaca is an alternative. It saves furniture, too, which is nice. I had a Giant Schnauzer that was a persistent chewer. Sprayed bitter apple on my kitchen chairs, and he'd lie there and lick and chew them as if I'd slathered them in some kind of meat sauce. That was the last time I used bitter apple.
 

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With my jack russell, the bitter apple spray worked great & he never licked or chewed anything. I bought the bitter apple for Luna, she thought it was the icing on whatever we sprayed it on. It didn't phase her one bit. The biting does lessen after they lose their baby teeth as we found out with Luna.

I guess its like everyone has mentioned, you have to find something that makes her/him stop biting and use it as reward for doing so.

Luna likes attention head pats & carrot sticks. Take away any of those & she stops the biting. This works for us ... so far
 

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Kristy
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You say he is attending puppy kindergarten. When did that start and who is the person who is taking him? If it's not you, I suggest that you be the person to take him to class and get the experience working with him under the guidance of an experienced trainer. If the puppy is exhibiting this behavior with you and not your husband, it's a case of him not having much respect for your authority. Where is he attending class? Having a private trainer come to your home and give you a few lessons one on one is an excellent use of money with the right trainer.

My next question is about the schedule you gave us. He is getting a lot of uninterrupted nap time during the morning and during the afternoon. (I'm aware that you have a household to run and chores to do, this is not a slam) But understand that you have him crated and sleeping an extra 6 or 7 hours a day in addition to his night time sleep of 8 hours give or take. A normal growing puppy takes naps during the day and they need them but they are tend to be shorter naps interspersed with action. This schedule is giving him extra time to really charge his batteries. It sounds like he would really benefit from some extra time in the outdoors either swimming, hiking off leash, having a puppy play date for 20 minutes of wrestling. Have you done some networking with neighbors, friends, co workers, stop people in the neighborhood walking a nice young dog and strike up a conversation, they could be a good candidate for a puppy "friend". I have made a few friends in my neighborhood simply because they were walking Golden Retrievers and we would get together a couple times a week for 20 minutes to chit chat and stand in the backyard watching our dogs wrestle and zoom around the yard. As your puppy gets older he will need daily aerobic activity that leaves him tired and panting. Leash walks are not enough at all. His excess energy will be taken out on you in terms of biting the leash, jumping off the back of the couch and digging in the backyard if you don't come up with some more ways to drain it.

Your puppy sounds like an excellent candidate to begin teaching a formal retrieve. There are youtube videos but my favorite is a dvd by Jackie Mertens called "Sound Beginnings" it's not too early and will show you how to begin training now to build skills to have him eventually fetching and returning to heel to give you a bumper and sit and wait while you throw it for him again. This is a very good way to get proper exercise for a Retriever when you are limited on swimming and nature for off leash hikes. Get creative but start working on getting him more exercise.

In the meantime things like a plastic child's wading pool in the back yard, blowing bubbles for him to chase, playing in the sprinkler, playing with the hose, purchasing a child's play tunnel https://www.amazon.com/6-feet-Tunne...6761647&sr=8-10&keywords=play+tunnel+for+kids are good ways to get him more outlets.

Have him drag a short leash, cheap from walmart, cut of to about 3 feet, and use it to control him when he gets out of hand. Don't let him be a brat. Redirect and be very firm about your rules. There is a reason he respects your husband more than you, think about the approaches each of you take with the puppy and modify your mannerisms and your personal boundaries.
 

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Nipping has always been a weakness for Foster, too. His Puppy Kindergarten teacher made us establish a "yucky noise" when he was little. Ours is a loud, stern "ah-ah!" We make the yucky noise and put him into a sit immediately. She also recommended getting up and walking away to show him that we are not playing and we are not going to be engaged in the behavior. A final suggestion would be to make sure he has enough toys to chew on and that you introduce new ones occasionally so he doesn't get bored. We have found that when Foster gets enough exercise and has a Kong to chew on, it alleviates the nipping.
 

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Lloyd's mom
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One thing I learned is that no one thing works for all dogs. I tried EVERYTHING at one time or another, so I feel your pain. What finally did it was switching out a variety of things to chew on including freezing wet rope toys, Nyla bones, kongs, etc. what I think really deterred him though was spraying my hands and clothes with bitter apple. He finally figured out that the chew toys are not yucjy like my hands! I tried going into another room and ignoring him but he had the attention span of a gnat and it had zero effect on him at that age. Other dogs certainly my are different and what worked for my pup would t work for them. It took a lot of trial and error. A lot! Good luck!!!
 

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Puddles
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Golden puppies take more time than any puppy I have ever had and even with 50 yrs of experience wasn't prepared. We began to train the very 1st day. I started with clicker training the "touch" command so hands became a source of goodies vs. chew toys. We sat in the floor and fed every single kibble learning different behaviors. I won't say my girl wasn't a land shark but once the teething was over we never had another issue. It was worth all the time put in at the beginning, the rest of the first year was a breeze. I think the best tip was to just stand up and leave when she became overly excited. End the attack and give a brief time out.
Nolefan had some good points and happy to hear you are working with a trainer. Keep at it, it does get easier.
 
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