Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Riley is quite the nipper. She sometimes nips the kids to the point of bringing blood and is holing their clothes. She occasionally nips the adults, but not like she does the kids. Often it gets to the point where an adult has to intervene and stop her.

Currently I hold her muzzle and tell her no... but she often resumes nipping right away. After a few of these interventions in a row, she seems to stop for a while.

Any suggestions how to help her stop this or will she just grow out of it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,949 Posts
Speedy,

You need to put a halt to the "nipping". I don't know how old Riley is it sounds a lot like puppy behavior. If she "nips" the kids I would not allow her to play with the kids until you succeed in extinguishing the behavior.

Young dogs often respond to children as if they were puppy pack members and puppies bite each other--when bitten other puppies bite back. It's one of the ways that intelligent dogs learn bite inhibition. But a puppy isn't going to learn it from a child.

You will have to teach Riley that this is unacceptable. Holding a muzzle and saying "no" is rarely effective--puppies usually take this to be some form of reciprocal "play". A more effective method would be to scream loudly as if you were being hurt (and it sounds like you are) turn your back and walk away--do not continue to interact with Riley. If that does not settle her down I would do time outs in a crate until she has settled down and calmed herself. I would also keep acceptable toys handy and before the play escalates to painful biting I would hand her a toy and stop playing with her. If she is already jacked up enough to be biting I'd crate her and give her an acceptable toy.

Most children aren't skilled enough in dog training to do this sort of thing effectively.

What exactly will work depends on Riley's age and your childrens ages. But the behavior is VERY unacceptable and if (as I suspect) Riley is young it will be more unacceptable the older she gets.

If Riley is aready an adult and behaving like this find yourself a good canine behaviorist and be prepared to get into a heavy duty training program to extinguish this behavior.

By the way, have you posted this same question (slightly differently worded) to some other Dobe lists? There is someone asking essentially the same question and has received several similar answers regarding how to treat the behavior.

Also--if Riley bites the children (using teeth is a bite--calling it a nip doesn't make it any better) you, the adult should immediately intervene--say "no bite" or whatever you chose as a command and do a brief training session--a sit, a down anything will work--again, if Riley doesn't settle down, be prepared to crate her. I'd be keeping a leash on her around the house so that you can immediately correct her--but better would be to not let her play with the kids until the behavior itself has been modified.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Riley is 12 weeks old: DOB 8/22. Kids are 7 and 9. I have not posted this to other boards. This is the main one I frequent.

I'm open to suggestions how to correct this behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,330 Posts
Java was the worst little nipper - she'd use her front teeth and gave new meaning to the word 'Pinscher'. If she'd nip, I'd give her a scruff shake (just enough to get her attention) a firm (not loud) NO and then into the crate if she tried it again. I swear there were days when after being told NO she would look at me and then try to get a second nip in to see just how serious I was.

This biting is part of puppy play, the only exception being that kids don't bite back for puppy to learn that this behavior can backfire. It's the consistency on your part that is most important. Dogs do what works and once puppy learns that nips lead to a 'time out' in the crate, when she'd rather be with the humans, the nipping will lessen. Time helps as well, but since those little teeth really hurt, as you know, you just can't wait for puppy to grow out of this stage.

More walks/exercise might help as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,069 Posts
Dobebug posts some great suggestions. I found though the saying "ouch" thing did not work at all for *******. I would leave the room but when I came back, it would start all over again. I found this really bad when she first started teething. I mean I thought I had a killer dog on my hands..lol Everytime she would bite me, my pants, I would tell her no bite and then give her a toy and play with it with her. If she was to excited and this was not working I would crate her. I found alot of the time this happened she was pretty tired and once I crated her she would fall asleep within minutes.
I would also give her big knuckle type bones (raw) to chew on, this kept her busy for an hour or two.
Think about upping the exercise, a tired puppy will sleep alot!! ******* has just started to be very soft when putting her mouth on me. We are working towards her not doing this at all. For me this was the only problem I really had with her, but day by day it get's better. At 12 weeks of age the biting is just starting to get really bad. Take a deep breath, don't get mad at her and be consistant....IT WILL GET BETTER!!!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,593 Posts
yeah I agree...perhaps teaching your puppy "settle" when he gets jumpy and nippy. also if he starts to do it you can say no and give him something else to do...like a bone or a ball...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,330 Posts
Micdobe's suggestion is something we'd do also - give Riley a toy she CAN nip at (a stuffie w/ a squeeker).

Good luck - you have your hands full with two little ones plus your Dobergirl!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragment. While I don't want her to see being crated as punishment, it sounds like redirecting her attention to a play toy and/or being crated is worth trying.

It's not so much being mad at her as it is frustrating behavior. We have a long way to go in our training. It's a process...
 

·
Extraordimary
Joined
·
4,989 Posts
I'm always kind of amazed at the amount of people that hold their dog's muzzle in this situation or who touch the dog when they are displeased. Dogs see this as praise - they want to be touched and held. The last thing you want to do when you're displeased with a behaviour is touch them/hold them. It's a mixed message.

I watch novices do this at obedience class all the time. The down exercise is one where it often occurs. The dog gets up, the person helps it down and then stands there holding the dog down and when they finally take their hands off, the dog stands and they get all frustrated and keep trying to hold the dog down with the same result. Each time it makes a mistake, the person holds it and the dog is pleased so keeps repeating the mistake. The people get more and more frustrated, the dog gets more and more confused.

In this case, puppy gets attention - she gets her muzzle "held". It's not unpleasant, it's not undesirable so she has every reason to keep repeating the behaviour.
 

·
Extraordimary
Joined
·
4,989 Posts
Okie-dobie said:
Think about upping the exercise, a tired puppy will sleep alot!!
This advice gets thrown out to Doberman puppy owners a lot, and it is NOT advice that I agree with, necessarily.

IMO, the goal is not to create a tired puppy. The goal is to train the puppy to be a good puppy/dog regardless of whether it's tired or not.

Upping the exercise leads to a vicious circle where the more the puppy/dog gets, the more it wants/needs. Of course I believe that every puppy/dog should receive moderate exercise but people shouldn't have to spend hours a day tiring out their puppy/dog so that it behaves as an end result. I'd rather put the time into training, not tiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
MaryAndDobes said:
This advice gets thrown out to Doberman puppy owners a lot, and it is NOT advice that I agree with, necessarily.

IMO, the goal is not to create a tired puppy. The goal is to train the puppy to be a good puppy/dog regardless of whether it's tired or not.

Upping the exercise leads to a vicious circle where the more the puppy/dog gets, the more it wants/needs. Of course I believe that every puppy/dog should receive moderate exercise but people shouldn't have to spend hours a day tiring out their puppy/dog so that it behaves as an end result. I'd rather put the time into training, not tiring.

Agree 100% <vbg>. I used to give and follow the same advice, until I understood it builds endurance and canine athletes more than it helps teach manners and self control. Of course, all dogs should receive moderate exercise daily, but most Dobes shouldn’t need over the top amounts, all day, every day, just so they are manageable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
I just give lots of toys and re-direct behavior into something appropriate. When they are that young puppies just mouth (this is not the same as biting -many people call it biting) so I keep lots of toys on hand to help, as seen in these pix



Dobebug gave you really great advice that will help if you follow it.
Young puppies are mouthy and need something to mouth on. Hands and clothes are usually in their face (sometimes waving right in front of them) and easily accessible so they use those until taught otherwise.
I say no so the behavior is stopped and then redirect behavior to a toy. Most puppies pick up on this really fast.
Don't worry, with proper training this should be a short puppy phase.
Enjoy your puppy, this stage flies by so fast...
Here are some links that I hope might help a little bit, good luck:

http://www.dobermantalk.com/showthread.php?t=2181&highlight=mouthing+puppy
http://www.dobermantalk.com/search.php?searchid=12779&pp=25&page=5
http://www.dobermantalk.com/showthread.php?t=1623&highlight=puppy+biting
http://www.dobermantalk.com/showthread.php?t=1217&highlight=puppy+biting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
Another puppy pic, you have to be careful b/c some Dobes will "eat" their toys, some start earlier than others, if you notice this, take them away and change to safe toys only. I never leave puppies alone unsupervised with soft toys or rope toys or toys they could digest. Nylabones, Kongs, Orbees, and other safe toys go in the crate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
mary

MaryAndDobes said:
This advice gets thrown out to Doberman puppy owners a lot, and it is NOT advice that I agree with, necessarily.

IMO, the goal is not to create a tired puppy. The goal is to train the puppy to be a good puppy/dog regardless of whether it's tired or not.

Upping the exercise leads to a vicious circle where the more the puppy/dog gets, the more it wants/needs. Of course I believe that every puppy/dog should receive moderate exercise but people shouldn't have to spend hours a day tiring out their puppy/dog so that it behaves as an end result. I'd rather put the time into training, not tiring.

Totally agree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
speedlever said:
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragment. While I don't want her to see being crated as punishment,
I wouldn't worry about crating your puppy when she is being bad. The crate is a sanctuary for them to go to in both good times and bad, and even though she is young she either knows that or will learn it quickly. She won't think the crate is a bad thing unless you are using it SOLELY for punishment, and not as a regular part of her life like it should be. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,069 Posts
MaryAndDobes said:
This advice gets thrown out to Doberman puppy owners a lot, and it is NOT advice that I agree with, necessarily.

IMO, the goal is not to create a tired puppy. The goal is to train the puppy to be a good puppy/dog regardless of whether it's tired or not.

Upping the exercise leads to a vicious circle where the more the puppy/dog gets, the more it wants/needs. Of course I believe that every puppy/dog should receive moderate exercise but people shouldn't have to spend hours a day tiring out their puppy/dog so that it behaves as an end result. I'd rather put the time into training, not tiring.
I don't think exercise leads to a vicious circle, at least not in my experiences. And yes you are right the goal is to train the puppy...no kidding! I don't spend hours a day tiring ******* out just so she can sleep the day away..lol. I believe a puppy or dog once it has the "zoomies" out of it's system is much easier to train.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,069 Posts
And yes a puppy that has had some exercise will sleep alot. Is there a problem with this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,330 Posts
The good news is that puppies do grow out of the stage. The nipping turned to gentle mouthing of my hand when she was in my lap snuggling, at which time I'd hold her Nyla bone for her, and then that behavior disappeared and all chewing was reserved for her bones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
Okie-dobie said:
And yes a puppy that has had some exercise will sleep alot. Is there a problem with this?
Most puppies sleep a lot period. If you don't give them an acceptable outlet for their energy, like toys, short walks, etc. they will find one on their own, which is many times not acceptable to us. All dogs and puppies need some exercise every day and need to be socialized a ton and need to experience their world, learn new things, play, go to training class, etc.

I don't think anyone was saying there is anything wrong with puppies sleeping (which they will do often regardless of us wearing them out or not) -and there isn't anything wrong with exercise per se, the problem is when they must be exercised for excessive long periods of time just to be good. This breed is really easy to train and yes of course they need exercise, but I think Mary is saying there is a point when too much is too much.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top