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 No-bite Command

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Vetsky
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PostSubject: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:59 am

So Riley(11 weeks old) has been very playful and has been nipping all of us.  We started teaching her the no-bite command.  When she nips at us we will say no bite and give a light correction using her leash.  We have been doing it for about a week and it has worked very well.  It has come to the point where the words work without any correction.  Especially for my two daughters, which is amazing.

When I play with Riley we get a little excited together.  Whether it be playing tug, or me just chasing her around the back yard.  Her instincts kick in and she wants to play bite with me.  Which I know is totally natural.  When I give her the no bite command she does not know what to do.  She does stop nipping at me but then she backs up and barks.   I almost feel like she is confused and does not know what to be doing and gets frustrated.  At that point I usually calm her down and we just hang.

In the end I do want her to be able to calm down and limit the biting and nipping, so I know that is working.

Any tips, hint, comments?
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:13 am

Well it sounds like you are indeed confusing her. If you get her riled up and excited and then correct her for the reaction of that ......that's the very definition of mixed messages.

Personally, I think puppies that young should never be wrestled with or engaged in tug. These types of games simulate rough, play fighting and for a Husky puppy, that means automatic teeth-on-skin. It's not biting in the aggressive sense, of course, but it still hurts like heck and can damage human skin very easily.

My suggestion is keep up with adament " no bite" / "off" commands and stop provoking her with mixed messages. She's too young rightt now to learn that behavior A is appropriate in context X but not Y, because in every situation she just wants to do what is normal for a husky puppy to do: use her teeth with her pack mates.

When she's older and more cognitively advanced and more bonded with you, you can then use this drive to your advantage by actively engaging in wrestling and you on all 4s , roughhousing, etc and promoting teeth -on-skin. This will cause her to start gooey eye loving you, trusting you, and respecting you. Her adult teeth will be much more tolerable and if you have remained good about proper bite inhibition training, it will be a light pressure and not a bite.

Huskies need to mouth. You have to teach context and this can be best done after the needle sharp puppy phase. She is going to do it enough on her own already , so don't provoke her with rough play, despite how exciting it might be (before the razors).


Last edited by seattlesibe on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:18 am

I know the instinct so often with puppies is to roughhouse and excite them because it is , mostly, really cute to see but I can't stress enough that the most important thing for her to learn now is calmness.

No teeth-on-skin is one of the most difficult life lessons you'll teach her and you almost entirely avoid the problem with calmness training.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks Jeff,

Yeah, that is the reason why I posted the question.  I know I'm sending her mixed messages.  Thanks for the advice.  I will stop and focus on the no bite command.  

We have also been redirecting the nipping with toys.  It really is amazing a week ago my wife would have said what an issue Riley had with the nipping now it is no big deal.  They learn so quickly, so I do agree that the mixed messages need to fixed, in other words I need to be fixed. Smile

Thanks again.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:28 am

Redirection with toys is great, just try only giving her toys (a privilege) when she's calm and settled. She's trying to play with you, right? Teeth = social bonding.

So if she gets excited, rather than always redirecting , try waiting for her to calm down and stop nipping and then invite her over. Teach her that bonding with you results from calmness, not excitement.

Calmness training relies on the conviction that it is the key to good stuff. Her excitement can be channeled later with roughhousing, working, running, sledding, etc. but for now its all about pack mechanics with your family and that should be all about calmness and earning rewards through it.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:35 am

Oh yeah, it could also be very helpful to find play dates with dogs her age so they can have their razor wars with each other. It's very good for them, just inappropriate and dangerous right now for human skin. Puppy socialization class is money well spent. Link's nickname was Too Bad in his, for too much wrestling and teeth.

Sorry for the typos, I'm on a bus. Should be all fixed by now, hopefully.
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:38 pm

Ha no problem on the typo's.  I appreciate all the comments.

We have two doggy friends that she plays with.  A huge 80 pound golden and a smaller cockapoo(sp).  It is so much fun watching them run around.  Once she gets her last shot we will expose her to as many other dogs as possible.

Back to the calmness training.

I have also started working on "stay" and "leave it".  She has the waiting for her food down pat.  I will say "stay" and "leave it" She will wait for the "take it" command then start eating.  

On the leave it command, we will start playing with a toy.  After a min or so I will say leave it, and stay.  She will then sit, and wait for me to give her the take it command.  Some times I will manipulate the toy to see if she will take it without the command.  About a third of the time she lunges for it and I need to correct her.  Although it has only been a few days that we have worked on this. So I expect this to get better with some more time.

While she is sitting waiting for the "take it" command, is that considered "calm" behavior?
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:59 pm

Jeff gave excellent advice, the why's and how to's. (have read several similar posts of Jeff's explaining this, I feel he explains it best). They do learn bite inhibition or control as they age. Now that Miya is past puppydom, we rough house, and she knows the difference between hubby and me, she never gets an ouch out of me, hubby she will bite just slightly harder and will get an ouch out of him, yet she never breaks the skin on either of us. That was never the case when she was a puppy, so we played different games, like fetch. Funny she knows what "get an appropriate toy"means, we still use the command if she gets too crazy. I am curious as to how Jeff(Link) feels about a structured, short, after walk, game of light tugs would be? We taught Miya drop it, leave it, get it and enough with her tugs toy after she was already slightly tired. So Jeff(Link) what do you think? What's your opinion on that type of tug play?

Renee
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:03 pm

Sitting and waiting is calm, good for you btw, although it may be a short lived calm, but she is getting the point. Again we still do this type of play, the enough command for us means we are done even if you're not and you better settle down, or we are walking away. Like Jeff said they are learning pack dynamics, so the idea of her sitting and waiting is testing her calmness, and following your direction.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:24 pm

Exactly. Sitting and waiting is great calming behavior. No food or toys or affection if barking, jumping, zoomies, etc as well. You wanna get yourself off on the right foot prior to adolescennce. Link can finally "just hang out " (facetious command) in public after months of being ignored while being a brat. Having to be the bummer to other people who "don't mind" misbehavior isn't easy, but i persinally hace no issues with establishing boundaries.

Renee I personally have never played tug with Link because I don't enjoy it at all. But I think the key is waiting for an appropriate age where 1) they know you're in control and 2) its a form of energy release/bonding gained through your interaction is the key. I don't necessarily buy the " you should win" because you should be doing it for your dog's benefit and releasing energy. You can lose tug and be in control.

Jen and I share a brain and she has more in depth info on tug play. You should ask her if you want more info.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:27 pm

I wrestle and head butt and push/shove with Link down on all 4s about 3 times a week and he mouths me like crazy . Afterwords, he stares at me lovingly and follows me everywhere.

That's what I do for tug style play.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:39 pm

Perhaps Jen will check out this thread. Miya is a month and a half older than your Link, so no more issues on our part. However, I have encouraged others to read you biting threads before because you explain the dogs behavior quite well. Most people feel tugs is a game to encourage biting, I was merely asking what your opinion was, if you felt it did encourage biting in the context of how I incorporated tug play into our training. Also I never had the mentality of win or lose, hmmmm interesting concept, with the light tugs game, if she dropped the tugs then we did a command, then played tugs and when she dropped it did different command. Perhaps I never played tugs the way others do, I felt it was a good way for her to expel excess energy,keep her mouth occupied and command training all at once, and oddly she taught us how to play the game. Jeff that is how we play tugs to a certain extent as well.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:56 pm

Two other things I wanted to mention, Miya was 1.5 years old by the time I found this forum, my training techniques may be off the wall, but they worked, I have a well mannered husky, every time we did something whether walking, playing, eating, I incorporated some form of training into that activity. The other thing I learned from my mom, was a happy, respectful dog is a dog that wins and loses at game play, I followed that concept as well.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:21 pm

well said .

I'll take trust and respect any day over obedience.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:54 pm

@seattlesibe wrote:
I wrestle and head butt and push/shove with Link down on all 4s about 3 times a week and he mouths me like crazy . Afterwords, he stares at me lovingly and follows me everywhere.

That's what I do for tug style play.

I can't wait to do this, but I do understand that Riley is too young.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:57 pm

Truth is I play tug with Riley simply as a means or interacting with her.  Other than training or giving her affection I'm not sure on other things to do with her at this age.

One thing we do is tie a small piece of twine to a rope toy and have her chase it.  While it is not really a game of tug.  It usually ends up as one once she gets it.  Then we reset and start again.


Last edited by Vetsky on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:22 pm

Jeff(Riley), we do understand that it's difficult to do the right things with your puppy. Keeping them entertained, proper exercise, proper training. I play tugs in a similar manner as Jeff and Link does(another thing taught by my mom, try and be at their level when playing, since you're part of their pack). Certainly you do have to wait for that, but they grow quickly, Miya has been about the same weight and height since she was about 6 months old, the rest of the time she has been filling out. So when I say they grow fast they really do. I found that playing fetch with different sized balls, different textures helped with the play aspect. We play soccer, I use a tennis ball to bounce up, a squeaky ball to help with no biting. I'll throw a ball, roll a ball, bounce a ball. We play chase, and if Riley is anything like Miya she'll teach you a few games. Very Happy bounce I also don't think her chasing the tugs is a bad game, especially since you do the reset.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:40 pm

Thanks Renee,

So far Riley's has had zero interest in balls, although to be fair I have not really given her a chance.

I will try some of the ball games tonight and this weekend. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:51 pm

It was funny to see her with the squeaky ball, she still has it, I thought for sure she would destroy it since everything else with squeaky she did. The first time she picked it up and squeaked she looked as though she was hurting it, so when she plays with it she's pretty gentle, haha. And it's her favorite ball.
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PostSubject: Re: No-bite Command   Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:07 pm

Ha! That is awesome. Great story.
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