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 Biting Help!

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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Biting Help!   Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:58 pm

I have a 12 week old little guy named Okami who ONLY wants to chew on my socks, underwear, knee caps, things, calves, toes, feet, and furniture. I finally found some rawhide alternatives he likes (the cats also like it and steal them which is possibly a part of this issue) but when he does start chewing on them they only last until my husband or I move, then he gets distracted and starts chewing on something naughty. How do we teach him what to chew on? We both love him so much but his biting and chewing is driving us crazy. He bites really hard and has drawn blood a couple times. He finally got cleared for puppy play time at PetCo (he had to wait two weeks for his first round of shots to protect him) and we plan on bringing him two days a week. We also enrolled him in puppy class but the trainer we want doesn't have opening until the end of October and if nothing changes in the next month I am going to lose my mind.

He is also super super picky. We've only found one kind of treat he likes and he doesn't seem to care about food OR attention from us. He also doesn't like any toys for more than one second. We finally found two toys he does really like but they're actually from my parents' dog who just died so I have no idea where they came from or where we can get more.

We just need something to try to get him to stop biting/chewing on us. We tried putting vinegar on our hands to deter him from biting us because it tasted bad and he just licked it off of us.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:29 pm

Bitter apple spray or linseed oil might be more effective in the taste department. Vinegar diluted in water is actually really good for them and if a dog will take it that's a good thing. Teething will be beginning and biting will ramp up a lot during this. They need to chew during this. Frozen wet towels make good interim chews, just take away before they start eating them. Keep things picked up obviously. Puppy proofing is a must. You may look at hymalayan chews. They are fairly tough and long lasting. Rawhides are always questionable and soaked in chemicals to make them the way they are most of the time. What do you do for exercise?

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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:23 pm

He gets 2-4 walks a day at about 1-1.5 miles each plus puppy play time for an hour at petco on the weekends and outside play time. The raw hides aren't actual raw hides, hence the alternative, to avoid all those nasty chemicals. We'll try bitter apple next.
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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:31 pm

And I'm okay with chewing and understand it is necessary but not chewing on my feet or furniture.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:50 am

1.5 miles multiple times a day is a lot of walking for a young puppy. Open growth plates are very vulnerable to damage at this age. Rule of thumb is 5 mins per month of age per walk, At 12 weeks it would be about 15 minutes of walking per walk and the walk should be an easy stroll and not a pavement pounder. I would look to really kick up the mental stimulation. Look into puzzle toys you can hide high value treats in like smelly dehydrated liver that will hopefully do decent to get his attention. Go ahead and start training at home even though you are already signed up for the class. You can run a dog to death but if they don't work their brain they will still be wound for sound and get into trouble. Working on basic obedience should help with a lot and when he knows sit if he starts to misbehave by biting you or something he shouldn't then you can put into a time out. You can also try to play hide and seek with the toys that he does like.

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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:21 pm

Thank you! We've tried smelly treats like that and he just doesn't seem too interested in them, he definitely is not a food driven dog. He'll usually take one or two but then loses interest in them completely and wants to do the naughty behavior like chewing our toes and feet. His walks definitely aren't "pavement pounders" but more so strolls around the neighborhood. We don't have a fenced in yard and all he wants to do outside in our backyard is eat slugs, so he doesn't burn off as much energy outside in the backyard so we supplement it with walks. Also the walks only last 30 min-40 min tops but my husband and I play Pokemon so we bring Okami with and we stop quite a bit to play that and what not.

We're definitely trying to work on obedience at home but like I said earlier, we haven't really found a treat he likes. We have some bacon flavored treats that are the only ones he's still interested in. I think if we were to step it up we'd have to do just cooked steak, chicken, liver, etc. which we can't really put in those toys.

Our biggest problem is just how do we encourage him to chew on his toys instead of us and furniture. We have a million toys for him to choose from, he just prefers our feet.

Also, what kind of mind puzzle games have you come across? I've seen a few but none that I think he'd go for.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:07 pm

Hi Meghan, I too had a demon puppy from hell that was not food motivated. Some tips........ Hand feed meals, at least a solid portion of each meal, if he gets grabby use eheh be gentle, if he is gentle verbally praise. Buy non bleached cow ears and split elk or moose antlers, they last a while and typically those type of treats seem to work for those who don't care for food. When he gets bitey with you redirect using the eheh and hand over a cow ear or antler. Obedience training will work and tire him, use it with the hand feeding and the walks. Building a bond really helps, so when hand feeding make him sit, verbal praise and then food. When walking do commands, do it as an out of the blue type thing, walk for a few minutes and then just say Okami sit, verbal praise and then do a "let's go" or whatever you are using. Walk a little bit and Okami lay down, verbal praise and let's go. Rinse and repeat. You can do this in the house as well. I did this along with property boundary training, so you don't have to leave the yard, but doing these things will produce a more mindful pup. Keeping him on his toes, so you are one step ahead of him, will tire him out. I have no puzzle ideas for you. I did all of this type of training, probably 20 times a day with my girl, she is a very obedient girl at 5 years old, and because the biting is normally because of boredom and wanting attention, making her work for everything made for less biting. Lastly, altho many say no, I did use the tugs with Miya, I think the biters have a higher prey drive and tugs seemed to work for Miya. I started and ended the game, me showing I am in control and gave boundaries on what is acceptable behavior. During a tugs game, if she dropped the tug I would give a command, she did the command I praised and game resumed, and repeat using different commands. With her I never used NO I always used eheh, so during the game if she got too wound up and started nipping at me a quick eheh Miya get your tugs and the game started again. Redirection and focus training is very important to this type of puppy. Forgot to mention, to teach focus, on the walks, when you have him in a sitting position, say Okami Watch me and point to your eyes. This will tech calmness and focus onto you. Puppies who are extremely mouthy requires more work for you, but the trust and bonding will make for a better behaved adult. They are a handful, because they do not respond to treats, but they seem to thrive on praise. They also take the NO word personally, so I never used no with Miya, always eheh and redirect and praise.
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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:28 pm

Thank you MiyasMomma! He is a little puppy from hell but I can tell he craves play and walks and time outside, he just doesn't know how to do it safely and appropriately and I don't have any experience with puppies this naughty. We do actually hand feed a portion of meals for two reasons, we want to prevent food aggression and because he has a hard time focusing on eating if it's out of the bowl. Something about eating it out of our hands appeals to him and he eats more that way (some days he isn't even coming close to recommended amount and other days he'll eat it all without prompting).

I'm really interested in stopping him during walks and engaging his busy little mind that way because knowing him I think it would be more challenging than a puzzle game. But to start, if he doesn't know the commands (because dogs don't inherently know English) do I -gently- push his little bum down when I say sit? Or try to get him to naturally sit and then say sit and praise? And did you switch up the commands several times a walk or work on one command until he knew it and then add in a second and third?
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:03 pm

Yes you can assist him in the commands, so push his butt down (gently of course Smile ) and when he is sitting, the verbal praise will be Yes Okami good sit. Eventually he will do it on his own and then it's good boy. It's definitely a work in progress, and I did assist in every command so she knew what I was asking of her. I taught her to shake in 15 minutes, so I assure you he will pick up on that very fast, and you will need to come up with a massive amounts of commands. I also used several commands in a walk, of course somethings will be assisted by you until he gets what you are asking. But like property boundary training I taught stay on the path and stay with momma, to encourage her not to roam and not to pull. I also changed that up thru the day, so sometimes it was all about sniffing and just being a puppy, but that too encourages other commands like leave it and drop it. The hand feeding, oh shoot I still do it, and yes it encouraged her to eat more, MIya is very, very lean, more so than most huskies, and it also help in food possessiveness. You can also look up on you tube for Place command, it worked well for my gsd, she wasn't a puppy from hell, but she is a very excitable dog, so I did place command with her. Back to Miya, yes she probably knows over 100 commands, tricks, words, and short sentences because I did everything centered around her. I can't tell you how many times I felt like crying because I just couldn't figure out how to reach her, time outs, ignoring her, verbal cues like no bite just did not work for her. They are communicating to you that they have a need that is not being met, so it is more like we don't know how to speak husky more so than them not knowing English, lol. This type of training is only limited on what you can think of, since they have a huge capacity to learn, and they take praise as an extra gift from their human. My gsd is food motivated, but I also trained her thru praise only as well. Once we understand how happy they are when you say good boy/girl, you will understand that they prefer our love vs food. Some things Miya and Sofie know are inside, outside, wait, stay, let's check the mail, time for breakfast, eat your dinner, lol. I mean it is all on you and what simple verbal cues you can come up with and clearly be able to relay that to your pup. Using the same thing over and over they will get what you are asking. So repetitiveness that is clear and concise.
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mmlozinski
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:10 pm

Thank you so much! This is the most helpful thing I've seen yet. I really agree with you that his biting is telling us something I just didn't know what more we could do besides walk and play and it just isn't stopping, so I'm sure challenging him more is what he needs. I've been at the point of impending tears because he just won't stop biting me no matter how many times we say no bite and give him a toy. I'll be trying these tonight!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Biting Help!   Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:37 pm

I'm glad I could help, and feel free to ask anything. It makes life easier knowing you are not the only one with a difficult puppy. I will say, this will make for an incredible bond when he is an adult. So you may not see success over night, but you will notice a difference fairly quickly Smile

Edit, when Miya was 4 or 5 months old, part of our socializing was taking her to Petsmart, thinking she was very behind in puppy training class, when the instructor asked what she knew, the instructor told me she was beyond their most advanced class, so lol it does pay off.
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