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  #1  
Old 5th October 2009, 06:25 PM
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Unhappy 9 week old puppy constantly biting my kids

We brought Cali home a week ago and she is always attacking/biting my kids, especially my 4 year old. My daughter cannot even be in the same room as Cali when she is playing or Cali will focus on "getting" her. My daughter has numerous bite marks. I feel so bad because I do not know what to do. I have to include my daughter when we are playing with the puppy but I am scared for her getting hurt too badly. Just today when we were leaving to pick up my other kids from school I sent Emily out first with Cali and not 5 seconds later my daughter was screaming because Cali had her by the dress and had bit her leg. She just will not let go. Any advice? I keep Cali gated in the kitchen (her crate is in there too) as much as I can but I do not want to keep her in there all the time. I have read about when the puppy nips to make a loud yelp and turn your body away. But this is not working. Cali is relentless. I have had to start putting her in her crate when she acts this way, even though you aren't supposed to use the crate as punishment. Please help!
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  #2  
Old 5th October 2009, 09:22 PM
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Puppies are mouthy, and in case you missed this, boxers are notoriously mouthy. Bite inhibition is not an overnight fix, so yelping or ultimately leaving the pup alone for a few moments after biting too hard will need to be repeated over a matter of time. Here are a few articles that might help you:

ClickerSolutions Training Articles --

As far as the kid, you need to make sure you are managing the situation so this puppy doesn't have a chance to harm the little one. Never ever leave them unattended together and manage their interaction...A leash is your friend. I can assure you, your pup doesn't mean any harm, but at this stage in their lives they are figuring out their world with their mouths and four year old looks like a big play toy.
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  #3  
Old 6th October 2009, 11:34 AM
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also make sure you have plenty of doggie toys at hand, and if you can let your children know that when they play with pup, it is with the toy. Toys are an excellent distraction away from hands

 
  #4  
Old 10th October 2009, 01:05 PM
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Had same problem early on with my 3 year old daughter. First thing I did was work on bite pressure. Training was always done by the pack leader (myself in our case). Advice taken from others I used the "ccchhhhtttt" followed by a little "snake bite" with my hand to the shoulder. I'm told this is what a pack leader canine would do. Then I ignored him for awhile using the command "gentle" when returning to play. I also used lots of toys as mentioned to redirect the activity. Puppys chew and it gets worse when teething. Once I felt the pressure of the bite was under control I began to teach him never to take a toy from the hand unless the "take it" command was given. I believe this is important with youngsters around.

To be honest though, I wouldn't expect too much at 9 weeks. Puppys are puppys and it may take more "growing" up before you will see the effects but stick with it. Positive reinforcement worked much better than scolding or locking up. We use a crate for "time out" but that's all it's used for. Boxers, as we found, are good learners but always challenge to make their way up the pack. Family first... dog second... and they need to know that IMO. Russell is now a year old and my daughter (4 now) handles him better then my 11 year old son. It will be fine just stay consistent and best of luck.

 
  #5  
Old 10th October 2009, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leibldg View Post
Had same problem early on with my 3 year old daughter. First thing I did was work on bite pressure. Training was always done by the pack leader (myself in our case). Advice taken from others I used the "ccchhhhtttt" followed by a little "snake bite" with my hand to the shoulder. I'm told this is what a pack leader canine would do. Then I ignored him for awhile using the command "gentle" when returning to play. I also used lots of toys as mentioned to redirect the activity. Puppys chew and it gets worse when teething. Once I felt the pressure of the bite was under control I began to teach him never to take a toy from the hand unless the "take it" command was given. I believe this is important with youngsters around.

To be honest though, I wouldn't expect too much at 9 weeks. Puppys are puppys and it may take more "growing" up before you will see the effects but stick with it. Positive reinforcement worked much better than scolding or locking up. We use a crate for "time out" but that's all it's used for. Boxers, as we found, are good learners but always challenge to make their way up the pack. Family first... dog second... and they need to know that IMO. Russell is now a year old and my daughter (4 now) handles him better then my 11 year old son. It will be fine just stay consistent and best of luck.
I think you've been a little led astray by all the "pack leader" maniacs out there...

You're not a dog, your dogs knows your not a dog and there is no possible way we can ever emmulate dog behavior effectively, so it's pretty pointless for us to try.

 
  #6  
Old 11th October 2009, 04:32 PM
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We brought our Maggie home at 7 weeks old, I had been told by several people that Boxers are very sensitive dogs, and they definitely love to please. This has turned out to be so true. My husband loves to play rough with Maggie and this started as soon as we brought her home. I would have to say that he is the one that taught Maggie to be gentle when biting. Maggie did draw a little blood from him a few times with those sharp puppy teeth. But the Yelping when she bit to hard did work for him. Then he would refuse to play with her. She hated that. With me I do not play rough with her, and never have. When I noticed she was in the play mode I would immediately get a toy and put it in her mouth, I have never allowed her to bite my skin. The word "no" was used alot!!! She knows what that word means. And "Good Girl" when she is behaving with lots of praise works wonders. We have 3 grandchilren, ages 9, 6 and almost 2. She has been exposed to them since day one. But under constant supervision, and I taught them how to bring her a toy to chew on and to throw it and she would go get and bring it back. She is wonderful with children now, she thinks she is one of them! Its alot of work, but boxers really do want to please you. My husband still has his rough play with her every day, but she mouths him and never bites. If you listened to the sound she makes it would scare you. But she is actually just playing! Good Luck
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  #7  
Old 12th October 2009, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehayes21 View Post
I think you've been a little led astray by all the "pack leader" maniacs out there...

You're not a dog, your dogs knows your not a dog and there is no possible way we can ever emmulate dog behavior effectively, so it's pretty pointless for us to try.
LOL. Wear the pants. Group leader. Head of household. Pack leader. Bring home the bacon. Different words same meaning. Point is the humans know it, my cat knows it and now my dog knows it. Never bite the hand that feeds you.

BTW - I know I'm not a dog and the dog knows I'm not a dog but when will he realize he's not human?

 
  #8  
Old 13th October 2009, 05:40 PM
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Cali sounds much like our dog Tyson at around the same age. Tyson would always try to bite me and my girlfriend especially around the ankles. And as you already know, those little razor sharp teeth HURT!!! So I can definitely see your concern with your pup around your children.

We'd do the BITE INHIBITION and in a few weeks he learned that biting was undesirable. More than seeing an immediate turnaround, we saw his biting behavior curb slowly within a few weeks. As long as you keep up with the Bite inhibition, he'll come around.
Also, around that age, their baby teeth are coming in (which might be a reason why they are biting so much in the first place) so it helps if you give them something to chew on. Tyson seemed to enjoy rawhides or chillybones.

The biting was just something Tyson had to grow out of.. hope Cali grows out of it quickly too!
Good luck!!

btw, tyson does have his moments even at 5 months, but he massages our hands instead of biting down.
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  #9  
Old 13th October 2009, 05:47 PM
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Also, instead of using the crate as a timeout area. You can use the bathroom or any other puppy-safe rooom. As long as the room is uninteresting to your pup, he/she will get the idea that biting will lead to another trip to the boring room

We actually combined timeout and bite inhibition as one or the other seemed to not work individually. I'm not sure if tyson was just too young to get it, but after a few weeks, he started understanding consequences of biting humans.

 
  #10  
Old 26th October 2009, 03:06 AM
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Hi there!
I'm new to the forums, but not new to dogs and kids

I would approach this from both sides - your skin kids and the puppy BOTH need to learn how to interact with eachother. I would start by tethering the puppy as much as possible, so you are right there to correct Cali when she gets too rough. We used a sharp "NO" and if needed a light scruff shake.

For now, I would not let the kids play with the pup until Cali learns better self control. (She will!) What they CAN do, is participate in the feeding, training (sit, down, leash walking) and snuggling. Teach your four year old to pet the puppy CALMLY while Cali is in rest mode - right now Cali associates kids with play, you want her to also associate kids with calm interactions too. We've always told our kids - if you're wild, the dogs will be wild too - with a great dane pup, they learned fast that calm is much more fun!

When you feel Cali and the kids are ready to start playing, use lots of toys so Cali understands that her mouth goes on toys not on skin. Rope toys (long toys) are best to keep little fingers and puppy mouths separate. Teach a "drop" command with the toys, also good for learning self control.