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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you had a problem with your boys/girls using their mouth on you when they want to play? Not vicious biting, just the puppy nibbles that no longer feel like puppy nibbles now that he is 7, going on 8 months old. He grabs my hand, or ankles in what he thinks is a gentle grasp...............but it's not gentle enough.
We have a 7 year old son that doesn't want to play with him anymore because he is so rough. We have scolded him, made him sit/stay until he calms down some, we have even used the squirt bottle like you would for a cat, which works but only as long as you are holding the bottle!
I have owned 3 other dobes in the past, 1 female and two males, all at different times, and none of them were so rough with their teeth. With their feet, and horsing around YES, but not their teeth!
Any advice????????
 

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Jasmine was really bad when teething I was covered in little bites. But it did get better by playing with her with a toy. Everytime she would nip I would tell her no, wait and then give her a toy, mostly her stuffies. I think at Orson's age the adult teeth are just starting to set in place in the jaw. This may have something to do with it???
You can try ignoring them completely by first acting as though it really hurt and then leave the room. There are a few threads that deal with nipping..check them out and good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have looked at some of the other threads, and most of those techniques just don't work on him.
He has plenty of toys, and chewies, and when he starts to get carried away with me or my husband we tell him to "stop and go get your toy" this works SOMETIMES for us, but never for the kids. He is getting older now and has his grown up teeth, I thought this behavior would have passed by now!
 

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Yogi is 6 months and is the exact same way and his supposed nibble is getting much harder as his jaw strengthens. I have tons of chew toys around and every time he starts, I grab a toy and replace my arm with it. I don't allow children near Yogi because of this. I know he's only playing, but I don't want anyones kids to get hurt from this and make the parents think Yogi is mean.

I'm hoping that by telling him NO and replacing the arm with a toy will eventually stop him. That simple trick has worked perfect on teaching him not to chew on things like furniture or rugs. He learned that real quick and easy, but seems to be having trouble with this one.
 

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Acooper does he only do this when the kids are trying to play with him?? How old are your kids? Are they roughousing with him or throwing a toy or ball for him?

I'm sure the more experienced dobe people will chime in. But I think he knows he can get away with it with the kids. You guy's need to be right there and give him a firm correction when he does it with your kids. I would then put him in a down stay for a few minutes or crate him.
 

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Java would do the same thing, and it wasn't until I let out an honest yelp that the ears went back and she sat down, just looked at me. I told her 'No Biting' in a firm voice, didn't yell. Giving a chew toy as a substitute helps and yes, this too shall pass...
 

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My dog often wants to do those mischievous "puppy" nibbles too. After spending some time with our Doberman rescue organization's trainer, I learned to just gently hold his mouth shut and tell him "no biting" when he gets into that mode. For my dog, I can practically predict when he'll do it. First, he'll roll on to his back. Then he'll start pawing. Next comes that puppy "smile" which immediately precedes the nibbles. Right when he does the "smile" I grab his mouth and let him know that the nipping isn't acceptable. I'm not rough, but it's enough for him to get the point, and he usually keeps on playing but without the nibbles.

Then there was another situation where he would do "drive by" nips. These were precedes by those puppy "idiot runs" when he starts zooming around the yard. Sometimes he would do a little nip as he ran on by. Perfectly timed e-collar corrections stopped these bites.

FWIW, I had initially tried the screaming "OW!" but that never worked with my dog. It appeared to makes the bites more interesting for him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okie-dobie said:
Acooper does he only do this when the kids are trying to play with him?? How old are your kids? Are they roughousing with him or throwing a toy or ball for him?

I'm sure the more experienced dobe people will chime in. But I think he knows he can get away with it with the kids. You guy's need to be right there and give him a firm correction when he does it with your kids. I would then put him in a down stay for a few minutes or crate him.
Unfortunately no, he does it when he is in the mood to play with the kids, we have 5 kids, ages....17, 15, 14, 10, and 7. I think you are totally right about the getting away with it part, I have noticed a pattern that escaped me before.........He really likes guys/boys to rough house with. We have 3 boys....17, 10 & 7. He treats them all like his personal property, but the 7 year old can't hold his own with Orson and so that is the one I have rescue all the time. He rarely if ever tries to rough house the girls. He does get carried away with me occasionaly when we are playing with a toy or ball, but he really doesn't instigate on purpose with anyone but the boys.
 

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Acooper said:
Unfortunately no, he does it when he is in the mood to play with the kids, we have 5 kids, ages....17, 15, 14, 10, and 7. I think you are totally right about the getting away with it part, I have noticed a pattern that escaped me before.........He really likes guys/boys to rough house with. We have 3 boys....17, 10 & 7. He treats them all like his personal property, but the 7 year old can't hold his own with Orson and so that is the one I have rescue all the time. He rarely if ever tries to rough house the girls. He does get carried away with me occasionaly when we are playing with a toy or ball, but he really doesn't instigate on purpose with anyone but the boys.
Typical teenage boys! I personally would ask the boys to stop rough housing with the dog. Maybe this is what's causing all the nipping...or at least contributing to it.
 

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I went back and looked up this behavior from one of the training classes I went to for puppies. Here's an general over view of how they approached this nipping and mouthing behavior. Its a good read from a general aspect. To me it sounds like the other boys are able to deal with the behavior but the younger one can't. I would get them to all stop rough housing with the dog to stop this behavior.

From St Huberts puppy kindergarten training excerpt.

"Puppy Nipping and Mouthing

Most puppies are perpetual biting machines. Puppies often nip or mouth the clothes and body parts of people and other animals as a part of play and in greeting. Puppy biting, although at times quite annoying and sometimes painful, is, in fact, a normal and essential developmental behavior. At this age, puppies are both actively teething and interacting with their new surroundings and pack members as puppies usually do… with their mouths. Although puppy mouthing is normal and natural and isn’t usually intended to do harm, it can tear clothes and results in cuts and bruises on bare skin. Conversely, the strong jaw of an adolescent or adult dog can inflict serious injury if the dog is not taught to inhibit the force of her bite. Addressing the nipping and mouthing problem in stages will help to teach your puppy to soften her mouth and not use her teeth to get your attention. Be patient. Don’t expect this to work miraculously overnight. Shaping any behavior or eliminating an unwanted behavior takes time. If you are not having success after a month, please speak with your trainer.

• Teaching acceptable behavior. Rather than just focusing on eliminating the biting, you must also think what you really want from your puppy instead. I your puppy nips or mouths people when they pet her, try giving her a tasty bit of food or a chem. Object to occupy her while you pet her, or teach her to sit quietly for a tidbit when you try to pet or greet her.
• Minimizing inappropriate behavior. Never encourage your puppy to grab you or your clothes. If she does or nip you or your clothes, cross your arms and look away from her or walk away from her so she learns that nipping gets no response from you. Don’t laugh, look at her or give in to her play as this rewards the behavior. We do not recommend roughhousing with puppies, since you are inadvertently encouraging her to bite your hands. If your puppy is worse when children are playing, try to keep her separated from the play or put her on a leash so her behavior and be controlled. Never let children tease or excite puppies into nipping and mouthy behavior.
• When your puppy is biting, you must teach her that biting hurts. Puppies are very good at teaching one another this through their interactions and play sessions. If you watch the puppies during playtime, one might nip at another pup a bit too hard and the “victim” will let out a yelp. The result is, play stops. But only momentarily. Dogs don’t hold grudges. They quickly resume play and the “bitee” learns to use her mouth a bit softer to keep the game going. We recommend you use the same technique, one the pup understands. Whenever your puppy places her mouth on your body or clothing, let out a very loud “OUCH” so she knows it hurts (even if it doesn’t, don’t let her know the truth!) For some puppies this will startle them and inhibit their biting. For some puppies, it may actually increase the biting. Try to find the correct pitch that gets the point across. After you yell “OUCH”. Leave the room for 30 seconds – time out - and return, making another attempt. If, after several sessions, the puppy is still biting, ask yourself how much exercise the puppy got that day? If it wasn’t adequate, this may be your answer. If it was, then discontinue this exercise. You may want to try other ways to punish this bite behavior. Try making a loud sound from a whistle or air horn. To make any punishment work whether yelping or loud sounds, you must catch hr in the act, not afterward and you must punish her every time she nips in order for it to work. Pet her quietly or give her a chew toy when she does stop the nipping to reward the calm, relaxed behavior. Don’t punish her by hitting, slapping or kicking or other physical means. This sort of punishment can cause fear or aggression or even make the problem worse. "
 

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I hate being mouthed--so my puppies all learn very young that putting their mouth on any part of me or my clothing stops all interaction immediately.

The information that Kratty just posted is very good in general. The only part I disagree with is the business of treating to distract the puppy. I've seen it done and frankly think it sends at best a mixed message and at worst the message is that if the puppy bites they can then expect to be treated.

I don't hold mouths to stop biting--it rarely will extinguish the behavior and often will be taken by the puppy simply to be another variety of play.

I've had excellence and generally rapid success with stopping the interaction with the puppy as soon as it is obvious that the pup is getting amped up. I like to avoid those needle like puppy teeth entirely if at all possible. But a nip, nibble (they are all bites--and I don't want any!) is an immediate OUCH!!! from me and I leave the area.

It's true that puppies learn bite inhibition from their mother and their litter mates and that is really where it is best taught but I frankly don't want my dogs biting me (even if it is properly inhibited) and my goal is to stop it entirely. They can bite toys, bones, balls etc and in my household the rules are hard and fast.

Consistency in training not to bite is probably the most effective thing you can do. Which is why I don't allow nibbles, little nips etc--dogs don't make the kind of fine differentiations that people do and I really don't care to have to start working the biting kinks out because a puppy who is learning rules doesn't "get" the difference between nip, nibble and bite--I feel you'll have much better success and quicker results by treating it all as a bite....period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to everyone for the advice, I agree about the boys rough housing since I became aware of the pattern...........unfortunately the dog usually listens better than the kids! But I am going to try to keep reminding them of how important Orson's behavior is and they must help and not hinder the situation. It can be very difficult to have consistancy with such a large family for the dog to interact with daily.
 
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