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 Post subject: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:35 am 
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I have been reading the forums for quite a while now and we have recently brought home an 8 week old named Cooper, we have had him for 2 weeks now. (So he is 10 weeks)I really need some advice!

Bit of history on us, we have had 2 cockers in the past, but have always adopted as adults. I did not have any experience on picking a puppy, etc. I watched numerous videos / read many articles on how to pick a puppy. This is our second dog from the same breeder and our other cocker was an angel.

So we brought our wonderful boy home, and the second day once he got comfortable, he started biting and growling at just myself. Not my husband or kids, he play mouths /nips at them, but nothing like he is with me. He is wagging his tail when engaging in this behaviour, but I need to get it to stop. I have been reading all sorts of information on this, and nothing seems to work for us. I have yelped, ouched, I have left the room and as soon as I return, he is at me again. I have put him in a short time out, doesn't help either. I bought the bitter apple spray, and sprayed it all over my pants and feet, but he loves it! I am using firm Stops, ouches, and yelping really loud. Nothing seems to make him stop. I am at a loss of what to do now, or how to make it stop.

Any advice that you have for me would be wonderful, or even a been there, done that and my puppers is great now!!


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:59 am 
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Hi: Welcome to the forum! Well, you have a teething puppy, so his behavior isn't all that unusual. If he had stayed with mom and siblings for another couple of weeks, they would have addressed a lot of that and put him in his place. I'm guessing that you are his primary care giver, so that is why he is directing his behavior at you. Have you tried to distract him with something ELSE to chew on when he's attacking you? Like a bully stick, or a kong-type toy? It takes consistently replacing the "bad" item with something good and then praising him when he starts to chew on the acceptable item. Try to make it into a positive situation where you can then praise him instead of scolding him for bad behavior. And honestly, it just takes some time and patience to get them out of that stage. Once he starts to lose his puppy teeth, that behavior should lessen.

Maybe someone with a little one will be able to give you more specific advice on what has worked for them. My youngest dog is 18 months and has mostly (but not completely) grown out of the biting stage. She will still grab onto my socks and pant legs on occasion - but she's just being a little stinker when she does that.

Please post a picture of Cooper (instructions are under important notices section) - we'd love to see him!

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Your Cooper sounds just like my 14-week old Rocky. He directs most of his biting and barking at me. He occasionalyl nips at my son and tries to get the socks off his feet, and he bit my hubby once and never again. But me, well, he seems to think that I am his personal chew toy. With much help from teh posters on the forum here, I have tried to distract him with other sources of amusement. He is what I have dubbed an "industrial" chewer. Just last night I went to a local small business in downtown that is a pet store and bought him a new chew toy. My guy is teething something awful too. I got him a recycled firehouse toy that you can put an empty water bottle, tennis ball or squeakers in and then close it using industrial strength velcro. Rocky likes pinecones so the water bottle sounds like a pine cone and the fire hosue material is good for him to chew. He chewed on that thing for 30 minutes today when I came home to let him out at lunch.

My suggestion would be to keep doing what you are doing. Sharp "no's" or "ouch", time outs, or distract him with another industrial strength toy. Kongs are great. I stuff mine with peanut butter, and i mean stuff it. Rocky digs into that thing for good chunks of time tryign to get the peanut butter out. When all else fails and his butt is still a wigglin', I bring out Wilson and we play with Wilson for a while. Wilson is his tennis ball. We call it Wilson because he didn't understand the word "ball" and they are Wilson balls. Now if you ask him to play WIlson, he wiggles himself into a frenzy!


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:08 am 
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He's just a puppy and will outgrow this behavior. :dk

When my puppies used to engage in this behavior, especially on my hands, I would stick a finger into his mouth and poke gently. It redirected the behavior immediately. :th-up

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:00 am 
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I used the rocks in the coffee can method for training my pups. Shake it loud and it will startle them so they will stop. Just make sure you duct tape the top well if you have kids that will also be using the can, I learned that the hard way! Some people recommend the water spray bottle but I couldn't get that fast enough. I always had that can at my side, and it worked well and quickly for unwanted behaviors for my 3 pups.

I saw on Vistoria Stillwell once that to encourage kissing and discourage biting puppies on hands to spread butter on your hands so puppy will learn to lick, not bite, but you obviously cannot do that to your pants and feet!

Please post pics of Cooper!

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:29 am 
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Always try to have a toy in your pocket (I know, easier said than done). When he starts pulling on a pants leg, wave the toy around near his face and distract him. This works best with a soft, longer type toy that you can really wave around. This should distract him and make him focus on something appropriate to bite/play with.

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:44 am 
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Kasey does this to me too! We put rocks on a few 20oz pepsi plastic bottles to shake at him when he attack my feet or pants...seems to be working so far. We are going to get him kongs and some more chew toys today. He has numerous plush squeaky toys, but I think he needs some bully sticks or kongs while he is teething.

Courtney

Kasey 11-06-11


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:40 am 
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Thank you for all of the great suggestions. I should have noted in my initial post that I have been replacing a toy in his mouth when biting, it just doesn't seem to work the majority of the time. It wasn't really the biting that was bothering me, as I knew to expect that, it is the growling.

Things are getting a bit better each day and I am just thankful that we have him!

Here are a few pictures: And yes, he has a tail, docking is illegal here in the Province I live in, in Canada! I haven't had a cocker without a stumpy, and it certainly is different!


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:46 am 
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Look at that cute little face! And I love that second picture of him in the snow, which is really a good way to take a picture of a black puppy.

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Emma - 6/23/10 -
Waylon (non-cocker, terrorist) 2/1/01 -

Shiloh - 4/5/95 - 5/23/11 RIP, sweet girl


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:30 am 
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Aww, he's cute! I have the same thing with my 3 month Cavalier puppy at the moment. A lot of the time distracting with a toy works, but not always. She is also fixated on biting her 'older sister' which is not appreciated! I often find that when she gets really really manic, it's a sign of getting over tired or over excited, and if I can hold her still or just put her in a crate and leave the room, she will fall asleep. But mainly it's just a case of redirecting the teeth, and waiting for them to grow out of it!

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:55 am 
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Thanks! I think he is cute too.

He has been improving slowly over the last few days. I know now that slippers make him go crazy, so I haven't been wearing them, they were a good protection for those sharp razors!

We are starting puppy classes on Jan 25th, I am hoping that will help as well.

I really do appreciate all of your responses and I am glad to know I am not alone with the growling etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy biting and growling
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:11 am 
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Hi everyone - greetings from Harrogate in England. We got Bella on Monday. She'll be 5 months at the weekend and we're her second family. I think she must have proved too much for them but they played down her energy, hyperactivity AND her biting! I'm hoping it's mainly a teething thing and that she'll calm down with time and training.

Just wanted to say thanks for some great tips, will definitely be putting some into practice! Bella is our first ever puppy so we're very new to this. In hindsight she's maybe not quite the right breed to alleviate our 6 year old twin boys of nervousness around dogs but they're getting there! I have a very cute picture of her but the file button is greyed out for some reason?


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