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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Im new here. I posted once weeks ago with a puppy question. Anyway, My basset is named Penelope and she is about 15 weeks now. She is a basset artesian, basset hound mix. We love her so much. She is so smart and very willing to learn. Her housetraining is going great also. About 80% there. I have one question though...

I am having a hard time getting her to stop play biting. I do what the training class/books say to do. That helped a little bit but she still does it from time to time. I think I need a more creative approach, any ideas? I have small children. She does it mostly to them which is partly the problem because my kids can't react properly to her play biting. She is improving though, but not as fast as I would like her to. Thank you!
 

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:( I'm having the same problem with Max. He's 18 weeks and he's a wonderful boy, but the play biting gets really irritating. He seems to get so excited when he wants to play that he forgets we're not puppies. I've also tried all the text book methods which seem to work once or twice, but then stop. I would love some unique ideas too. Any adivce would be appreciated!!
 

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The way I did it is to yelp in high pitch to startle him and immediately stop and leave the room completely ignoring him. Then come back after some time to make up. He will try biting again, and then you yelp and ignore him again.
It needs to be done in constant basis to get the effect.
If you are playing with toys at that time , make sure you took the toys as well so he can't play by himself.
The idea is to make him associate biting with the loss of playmates. Everytime he bites, suddenly things get real lonely and boring.

I would tell your children not to play face slapping, rough housing, tug of war.. at least until your dog understand not to bite and master the "leave it" and "drop it" command.

I know this sounds like a textbook... but, it worked for me and I think the key is the time and constant correction. Usually, we often too quick to give up.
 

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Flash always did bite as part of play, but it's very, very, VERY seldom much more than my hand getting thoroughly slobbered on while in his mouth and with him making oh-so-ferocious basset noises. On those very few occasions when he's gotten a little too wound up/excited and actually started to bite down, all it has taken was the verbal 'go easy!' (combined with removing my hand from his mouth) to get him to stop. The message he gets from this is "biting starts, playing stops" ; he's an intelligent dog who would much rather play than not play, so he gets the message.

:)
 

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If you had got two pups together like I did, you'd see that they spend a lot of time "play-biting" each other and I suppose if they don't have any siblings, they do it to people! They'll grow out of it sometime! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you! I guess the most important thing is she is making progress so I just have to be patient. I did hear that giving your pup chances to play with other dogs help in this process as well. She is getting her last round of shots on Saturday. Soon enough, I will be able to take her to puppy playtime. Thanks everyone for the help. Good luck Love Maxwell with Max.
 

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One of the reason why it help to have another puppy is because the other puppy (the one getting bitten) will usually yelp and stop playing with the puppy that doing the biting.
This in itself is a correction of some sort.. So, in the absence of other dog, the owner becomes the one who is responsible to teach him/ her not to bite.

keep at it.. You'll see results sooner or later.
 

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One of the reason why it help to have another puppy is because the other puppy (the one getting bitten) will usually yelp and stop playing with the puppy that doing the biting.
This in itself is a correction of some sort.. So, in the absence of other dog, the owner becomes the one who is responsible to teach him/ her not to bite.

keep at it.. You'll see results sooner or later.
you would think so, but our male pup is the instigator, our female pup is bigger, stronger and faster. Usually when she gets him down and he yelps, she stops, but then he gets up and starts it again. Actually it does help.
It would help more if he had sense enough to leave her alone for awhile after.
When either try to bite us, we use one of three commands depending how hard or persistent they are about biting. Starting with Ahhh!, No! then Don't Bite! If they get to Don't Bite, occasionally a tap on the nose goes with it. Usually we push them away or move away from them and they go back to biting each other. Even when they do bite now it is much softer than it was at first. We got then when they were 11 weeks old, and have only had them for 5 weeks so they are still in the rambunctious age so I don't expect the bite training to be over for some time. Mostly trying to make sure they don't bite hard first.
 

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Yep to stop ours from play biting us I would say "Oowieee" really loud. And "Don't hurt momma". That pretty much was all it took. Just had to reinforce it when she got to rough. It does help having two around though as they can play better with another dog than they can with you. You can't give them the same kind of attention another dog can. I'll never be without two.
 

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actual trying to stop play biting is a poor idea. That is because in the right circumstances any dog can and will bite. So while you have the oppurtunity in puppyhood to teach the dog to have a soft mouth ( bite inhibition) that is so when the do bite they do not harm. As for play biting yes they do grow out of it. but if they are not taught bite inhibition at an early age they will never learn it and will always be a potential danger.

Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It
Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.
So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn't in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It's your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.
A story... Ian Dunbar tells a story of a bite incident he had to asses. A Golden Retriever therapy dog was leaving a nursing home and his tail was accidentally shut in a car door. The owner went to help, and the dog delivered four Level Four bites before she could react.
FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:
* Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
* Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
* Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
* Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
* Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
* Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.
Technically, the woman received a Level Five bite from a long-time therapy dog. Dr. Dunbar wasn't the least bit surprised by the bites. I mean, the dog got his tail shut in a car door! Of course he bit! What shocked Dr. DUnbar was that a dog with no bite inhibition was being used as a therapy dog.
"But he's never bitten before." Of course not. And barring an accident like that, he probably never would have. But an accident is just that. An accident. Unpredicted. What if it had happened in the nursing home?

I have small children. She does it mostly to them which is partly the problem because my kids can't react properly to her play biting. I have small children. She does it mostly to them which is partly the problem because my kids can't react properly to her play biting.
Don't allow the puppy access to the kids until it is over the play biting and teething stage.
 

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Yeah I have to agree he's right... Roxie and Beau still do mouth us but of course it is just what I call play biting and it is barely till the teeth touch the skin and they never press down further. They are both very good dogs in terms of that. But yes I remember those puppy days well. OUCH:eek:
 

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I have read all about bite inhibition, and I use some of it myself, but like all things, and all dogs, and all people, no one way of doing anything ever works for everyone.
 

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but like all things, and all dogs, and all people, no one way of doing anything ever works for everyone

from Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
And about the yelping out in pain technique. I hate when people suggest this as if it is the Holy Grail of stopping mouthing. It totally depends on why the dog is nipping, how you yelp and how they respond to the yelping. With some dogs this idea alone can stop nipping and play biting in its tracks. But as you have discovered there are other dogs who are simply more triggered by the response. And you actually escalate the intensity of the behavior.
We can't ever just say if a dog is doing X behavior that a handler should always do Y handling technique. It just never is that black and white.
Its all about probabilities. If a dog does X behavior and the response is Y technique than we can often say there is a high probability of a particular response happening with most dogs. There are some fundamental things that are very high probability that apply to many dogs that do nothing or get a completely opposite response from other dogs.
Run away there is a good chance the average dog will follow or chase. Squat down or make little cooing noises then the probability is high they will come closer. But you must always take into account the dog's personality, relationship, situation, current emotional and mental state, temperament and history.
Run away from another dog and them may take you down with a bite in the butt. Squat down for and make cooing sounds with an abused fear biter and you may loose your nose.
It looks complicated when plotting it out but in general people have a much better feel for what the dog's probabilities for certain things are then they do in applying that knowledge to specific situations.
90% of the time if I clearly define something for owners and ask what their dog will likely do, they have a wonderfully detailed knowledge of what their dog will probably do. But most people don't look at the perimeters objectively or with clarity and worse they fall into a pattern of waiting until the dog has done the thing they don't want that they knew was probably going to happen. They then respond to what the dog did even though they could have predicted the Undesired response a week ahead of time.
 
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