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DakotaSouthFive, Other
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 10019
Experience:  Therapy Dog Evaluator,AKC Evaluator, 27 years dog behavior,modification, Emergency Pet first aide in disasters
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My 6 month old mix breed (part spaniel, part terrier) is

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My 6 month old mix breed (part spaniel, part terrier) is biting me. He has always has done since we had him at 8 weeks but I just thought it was teething. It is getting worse not better. I think it is playing on his part because if it was real aggression it would be worse but as it is I am covered in bruises and its really painful when he gets carried away. I have tried all sorts. Most advice says turn away and ignore him but that is not easy when his teeth are digging in to your hand or foot. When he is not doing this he is a lovely dog but I can't carry on like this much longer. Any advice is appreciated.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today. It may take a few minutes for me to type a personal response or type questions regarding your situation. Your patience is very much appreciated

I am reading your question now.

Thank you for your patience.

After reading your question you are dealing it seems with typical puppy behavior and the advice of turning away is good, because when you turn away the puppy is not getting any attention. When a pup gets attention for this, even negative attention , you are rewarding the behavior. However sometimes just turning away does not work.

I am going to suggest that you start with some training so the dog knows what to do when he comes up to you. I am going to suggest specific toys to help with impulse control.

How much training do you do with the puppy?

What type of toys does he have?

What commands does he know?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Sally
Theo has not been to any formal training classes but I have done some basic training with him. He knows Come, sit, paw and sometimes lie down. He is pretty good, especially if there is a treat waiting. He is walking nicely on the lead and off the lead will come back when called almost 100% even when he is playing with another dog. He is never aggressive with other dogs and does not do the biting with my six year old daughter, thank goodness. It seems to be me and other adults in the extended family. He has a range of toys from cuddly ones to chew toys. Even if I offer a toy, if he is in biting mood he will avoid the toy and grab my hand instead.

Thank you for that information. I am working on your answer now. Please give me a few moments to type it up, my fingers are a bit slower these days!

When puppies are acting out in such a way it usually indicates that the mind is not being used as much as it should be and that the pup (like kids) has not yet learned impulse control. When this happens the dog is over stimulated and basically has a hard time controlling itself , much like a child in a tantrum.

To help with the behavior I would like you to do more short training sessions, about 20 minutes each time , but do this throughout the day as your time allows. By doing this you are teaching manners and impulse control.

Positive based training is the best so I will direct you to links for clicker training. You do want to get the command leave it down 100% so you can give that command the moment the dog starts to nibble you the first time. When this command is taught well , you can use it for many things, from chasing cars to anything you want the dog to leave alone. People don't often use this command correctly, they think it is just to leave food alone, but it can be use for almost everything you don't want the dog to have, do , or go after.

He is only six months old so many of the commands you teach now will go unheard when he starts adolescence in the next month or two, so training has to be continuous.

The next thing to teach is the name of a toy that he likes so you can redirect his biting to getting a toy that you will toss to him and play with for a few minutes.

I would like you to invest in dog puzzles, these work the dog’s mind and when you work the mind the dog gets tired. There are many available in pet stores or Amzaon.

The harder the puzzle the better.

I think once you get started on training ( and no formal training is needed) it is more the time you put into the training that will help you .

Clicker training/positive method training/ print off

video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos

clicker leave it

Here are a bunch of dog puzzles on amazon. If he tears up stuffed animals stay away from those and stick to puzzles that he has to find the treat. These use the mind much better.

And instead of treat all the time, you can take his daily dose of kibble and use that so he has to work for his food.

I hope you have found this information helpful,but if you have any question please feel free to ask them here. If you are satisfied with the answer, please don't forget to rate me so I may be compensated for my time by the company. Today and tomorrow there is a contest going on for experts, but only if we get a 5 star rating will it apply:)

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you Sally. I will step up the training and try the puzzles. Is this behaviour common in puppies? I have had dogs before and never come across this biting. I know you shouldn't look at these things from a human point of view but it has left me feeling upset and angry that the dog I love so much could do this. I know that dogs don't see things the same way we do. Do you think with more training and stimulation he will grow out of it?

Yes I think with training he will do much better and when you give him a behavior that is positive that he will be rewarded for, the biting should be phased out. Generally when we have undesired behaviors in dogs, we re focus on the good behavior which will be rewarded, thus the old behaviors seem to phase themselves out. You are basically teaching him a different way to get your attention.

Keep in mind that dogs, like people are born with different personalities so they behave differently.

For now, concentrate on any time he comes to you and he just sits in front of you he gets a click and a treat. Soon he will learn to just come to you and sit rather then bite.

DakotaSouthFive and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you very much.

You are very welcome. Have a wonderful New Year!