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Old 04-02-2010, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Lunging and biting!

Hello all! I have read a lot on this site about puppies lunging at your face and biting a lot. I am new to the breed and first time puppy(have had adult dogs) to boot!

Well.. I have an 11 week old male that has been lunging towards my face and my feet and legs and growling/barking etc. Would you consider this aggressive or just play? And how would you suggest I redirect him to no biting. I have tried the following:

-saying "ouch!" and pretending to be hurt (only fuels the fire of play and biting)
-sternly saying "no bite!"
-Ignoring him (which causes him to bite at the back of my legs/feet and bark louder or become rambunctious with biting other objects which in return gets my attention to make him stop)
-spritz with water

I know he is getting into teething which would explain gumming things and chewing.. but lunging/biting/barking?

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Definitely not aggression. He's being a normal dober-boy!

There are numerous threads on puppy biting- use the search option on the top right:
Nipping...


Also- if you are uncertain of the behavior look into training classes or a trainer.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoosetheDobie View Post
Hello all! I have read a lot on this site about puppies lunging at your face and biting a lot. I am new to the breed and first time puppy(have had adult dogs) to boot!

Well.. I have an 11 week old male that has been lunging towards my face and my feet and legs and growling/barking etc. Would you consider this aggressive or just play? And how would you suggest I redirect him to no biting. I have tried the following:

-saying "ouch!" and pretending to be hurt (only fuels the fire of play and biting)
-sternly saying "no bite!"
-Ignoring him (which causes him to bite at the back of my legs/feet and bark louder or become rambunctious with biting other objects which in return gets my attention to make him stop)
-spritz with water

I know he is getting into teething which would explain gumming things and chewing.. but lunging/biting/barking?

Thanks!
Without seeing the whole body language, it is impossible to diagnose over the internet.

It's common type of puppy play, but if you think it might be an issue, I'd have a quailfied trainer come for a visit and take a look at it. IF it is aggression, it would be very serious at this age.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep a tuggy toy at hand, tell him "ouch" and "no bite" and redirect him to the toy. Don't tug too hard this young and make it a lot more fun than attacking you.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When he is jumping, nipping, etc. and won't redirect to a toy, or listen to your "no", he may be really overstimulated--which often means exhausted and overactive, just like the two year old child who crashes right before falling asleep. You can try isolating him in a safe quiet place for a few minutes--you may peek in a little later and find him asleep. At any rate, removing all access of yourself from him is definitely NOT something he wants and is the ultimate reprimand. That should help him learn to calm himself and act more appropriately (eventually *sigh*)

Also, especially if he's starting the teething phase, give him something like a Kong toy, filled with something like peanut butter and frozen--it's a great soothing chew for sore gums.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
Without seeing the whole body language, it is impossible to diagnose over the internet.

It's common type of puppy play, but if you think it might be an issue, I'd have a quailfied trainer come for a visit and take a look at it. IF it is aggression, it would be very serious at this age.

If I were you I'd get some professional advice as soon as possible. I have had Dobie pups do this and it was not in play. If that is the case, you need to get on top of this very soon because that boy is going to get bigger and bigger and soon you may loose the ability to control this issue.

This could be play, and I hope it is, but it can very easily translate into farther things down the road that you may not want. Get some help and find out for sure before it becomes an issue while you still have the option of control.

Sorry to those who have not owned the old style Doberman...once in awhile they do come up. Those Dobermans need a real firm handler; but they work like you know what....they will out do most of the regular Dobermans but there is a price.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is absolutely normal puppy/play/explore actions, NOT aggression. He's 11 weeks old and is exploring and using his body to play act all the activities these little fellas can do.

You are his leader and it is up to you to learn how to train and redirect and lead him in the ways you want him to grow. They do not come out of the packaging pre-made. That's what we do, as 'parents'.

I support what you ARE doing. It's just that you need to do it over and over and over again, until he begins to get the idea. Firmly and with kindness. It takes a lot of time and patience and in time, these normal play-acting, behaviors will diminish, until he learns when and where it's appropriate.

I'd go easy on the water spritz. The other suggestions should work much better.

When he play lunges and play bites, redirect him to an appropriate tug, chew toy or activity that you feel is appropriate. Again, and again and again.

At 11 weeks you so DON"T need a behaviorist to discern this very normal behavior.

There are many, many thread on DT about new puppy owners misinterpreting this very normal behavior.

Please use the search function and search 'posts' that contain the words puppy and puppy biting and 'puppy aggression' and you'll find post after post of more guidance like this.

As soon as he is finished with his vaccinations that make him safe to be exposed to public areas, I highly recommend OB classes. You'll learn a lot about what is normal, a lot about your puppy and a lot about you.

Good luck and congratulations for beginning to share your life with the most lovable and fun creatures on earth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoosetheDobie View Post
Hello all! I have read a lot on this site about puppies lunging at your face and biting a lot. I am new to the breed and first time puppy(have had adult dogs) to boot!

Well.. I have an 11 week old male that has been lunging towards my face and my feet and legs and growling/barking etc. Would you consider this aggressive or just play? And how would you suggest I redirect him to no biting. I have tried the following:

-saying "ouch!" and pretending to be hurt (only fuels the fire of play and biting)
-sternly saying "no bite!"
-Ignoring him (which causes him to bite at the back of my legs/feet and bark louder or become rambunctious with biting other objects which in return gets my attention to make him stop)
-spritz with water

I know he is getting into teething which would explain gumming things and chewing.. but lunging/biting/barking?

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Even if it is just play it needs to be corrected unless you want a problem later and it is easier to stop a behavior before it is a habit so the sooner the better. When GKar was that age I would grab him by the scruff of the neck and give him a shake or two and telling him no and bad for things like this that could be dangerous. He knows that playing is allowed but there are rules and up to a point I get to set them. Scratches and even a puncture or two have occured over the years but all within the rules of play.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caramella View Post
This is absolutely normal puppy/play/explore actions, NOT aggression. He's 11 weeks old and is exploring and using his body to play act all the activities these little fellas can do.

You are his leader and it is up to you to learn how to train and redirect and lead him in the ways you want him to grow. They do not come out of the packaging pre-made. That's what we do, as 'parents'.

I support what you ARE doing. It's just that you need to do it over and over and over again, until he begins to get the idea. Firmly and with kindness. It takes a lot of time and patience and in time, these normal play-acting, behaviors will diminish, until he learns when and where it's appropriate.

I'd go easy on the water spritz. The other suggestions should work much better.

When he play lunges and play bites, redirect him to an appropriate tug, chew toy or activity that you feel is appropriate. Again, and again and again.

At 11 weeks you so DON"T need a behaviorist to discern this very normal behavior.

There are many, many thread on DT about new puppy owners misinterpreting this very normal behavior.

Please use the search function and search 'posts' that contain the words puppy and puppy biting and 'puppy aggression' and you'll find post after post of more guidance like this.

As soon as he is finished with his vaccinations that make him safe to be exposed to public areas, I highly recommend OB classes. You'll learn a lot about what is normal, a lot about your puppy and a lot about you.

Good luck and congratulations for beginning to share your life with the most lovable and fun creatures on earth.
EXACTLY!!
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molari View Post
Even if it is just play it needs to be corrected unless you want a problem later and it is easier to stop a behavior before it is a habit so the sooner the better. When GKar was that age I would grab him by the scruff of the neck and give him a shake or two and telling him no and bad for things like this that could be dangerous. He knows that playing is allowed but there are rules and up to a point I get to set them. Scratches and even a puncture or two have occured over the years but all within the rules of play.
When Kyrah was little we did the ouch and turn away, the redirect with a toy and lost play time. It has worked but it took time. I redirected her from bouncing on my terriers also and saying stop it and the joy of seeing her redirect instead of breaking the back on one of my terriers was great! (She would start to play with one of them and if they didnt engage she would run to her stuffie or toy and come running back to me or them) I still have to tell my 14yr old occasionally that she needs a toy in her hand b/c she is giving Kyrah no option as to what she is to play with as she is using her hands waving back and forth on the side of her face and running from and chasing her. Kyrah has never had a grabbing or shake I have been very firm on that with my family. I never wanted her whipped either she has had one swat from my hubby even after I had stated several times not to (of course I wasnt home) and he barely popped her and she was not very happy and very stand offish of him for the rest of the evening and she even looked at him funny the next day lets just say he has never popped her again as he was very shocked at her response. I dont think Kyrah has yet to be yelled at in a mean way thankfully I didnt get a dobe before my patients set in or those cute little eyes have some sort of magic power not sure LOL
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molari View Post
Even if it is just play it needs to be corrected unless you want a problem later and it is easier to stop a behavior before it is a habit so the sooner the better. When GKar was that age I would grab him by the scruff of the neck and give him a shake or two and telling him no and bad for things like this that could be dangerous. He knows that playing is allowed but there are rules and up to a point I get to set them. Scratches and even a puncture or two have occured over the years but all within the rules of play.
I disagree with this advice and most on this forum, who are experts at what they do with their Doberman's will disagree with this. Grabbing a puppy by the scruff of the neck and shaking him a time or two will teach him nothing except to fear his owner.

It's really not recommended by those that know what they're talking about.

Plus, it doesn't have positive results and won't gain you what you are wanting to build in your puppy: confidence, respect and safe direction.

Grabbing an 11 week old puppy and shaking him a time or two makes me angry just to think about doing it, can't imagine what it does to the puppy.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ohhh that's true. I forgot that the pup was only 11 weeks old.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks Caramella! Your advise is great and reassuring

Was at the vet today and she also spoke the same way with play. She said we could have him play with dogs that are up to date with vaccinations. We had our friend with a 3 yr old female dobe come by.. played his little heart out and now he is passed out! tuckered him out.


thanks all
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoosetheDobie View Post
Thanks Caramella! Your advise is great and reassuring

Was at the vet today and she also spoke the same way with play. She said we could have him play with dogs that are up to date with vaccinations. We had our friend with a 3 yr old female dobe come by.. played his little heart out and now he is passed out! tuckered him out.


thanks all
Awww, you just made my day! Love those happy puppy days!

Good for you, sounds like a fun day!

Thanks for letting us know about your happy outcome.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I disagree with this advice and most on this forum, who are experts at what they do with their Doberman's will disagree with this. Grabbing a puppy by the scruff of the neck and shaking him a time or two will teach him nothing except to fear his owner.

It's really not recommended by those that know what they're talking about.

Plus, it doesn't have positive results and won't gain you what you are wanting to build in your puppy: confidence, respect and safe direction.
Well...I like to think I know what I'm talking about, and I think there *are* situations where it might be appropriate to scruff a puppy. I'm not the one who brought the method up, as I generally don't think it's a good idea to talk about any kind of physical correction online-this is best discussed with whatever trainer you're working with. But I can't say the method is without merit in all circumstances, either. I've certainly seen it have positive results, and not affect confidence level or respect.

Training has to be tailored to fit each puppy, and some of them *are* more determined than others. I'd definitely try other methods first, but there have been times when I felt it was time to try something more effective, scruffed a puppy and never found the puppy was the least bit afraid of me afterwards.

In general, I think what makes a dog afraid of the handler after a correction is if the handler doesn't "recover" the dog afterwards. If you correct a dog, it's your absolute responsibility to follow that by praising the dog when it offers the desired behavior. IOW-it's not really the method that might cause fear or lack of confidence, it's the method not being used correctly.

Last edited by Murreydobe; 04-03-2010 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Murreydobe View Post
Well...I like to think I know what I'm talking about, and I think there *are* situations where it might be appropriate to scruff a puppy. I'm not the one who brought the method up, as I generally don't think it's a good idea to talk about any kind of physical correction online-this is best discussed with whatever trainer you're working with. But I can't say the method is without merit in all circumstances, either. I've certainly seen it have positive results, and not affect confidence level or respect.

Training has to be tailored to fit each puppy, and some of them *are* more determined than others. I'd definitely try other methods first, but there have been times when I felt it was time to try something more effective, scruffed a puppy and never found the puppy was the least bit afraid of me afterwards.

In general, I think what makes a dog afraid of the handler after any correction is the handlers doesn't "recover" the dog afterwards. If you correct a dog, it's your absolute responsibility to praise the dog when it offers the desired behavior. IOW-it's not really the method that might cause fear, it's the method not being used correctly.
Well I have to say I am quite sad that someone who is so respected on this forum would support scruffing an 11 week old puppy to a new puppy owner.

Even if you do support this, I'd think you'd not want to support this to a new puppy owner, out of context and without taking some responsibility for the follow up.

To each his own.

I'm sure you're not gonna die because I'm disappointed.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by caramella View Post
Well I have to say I am quite sad that someone who is so respected on this forum would support scruffing an 11 week old puppy to a new puppy owner.

Even if you do support this, I'd think you'd not want to support this to a new puppy owner, out of context and without taking some responsibility for the follow up.

To each his own.

I'm sure you're not gonna die because I'm disappointed.
As I said, I'm NOT the one who brought the method up on this thread-but I'm not going to sit there and see the method be damned across the board, either. I've raised puppies who were scruffed when I thought it was necessary-not a single one was the least bit afraid of me, or could be considered lacking in confidence. I could say I'm disappointed in you for perpetuating a theory I think is absolute nonsense..but I don't think either of us need to personalize a disagreement about theory.

I think I *did* take responsibility for my comments-if anything, I provided quite a bit of educational information in my post. Mentioning that physical correction is something novices should discuss in real life with a trainer. That training has to be tailored to each individual puppy. Discussing that praise ALWAYS has to follow correction. This is solid information in any thread, but especially one where any form of physical correction has already been brought up.
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