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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 4 month old female for 7 weeks now, and all she wants to do is constantly nip and chew on myself and my girlfriend. We've tried pretty much every method we could find online, but none of it has worked. We tried yelping/saying ouch and walking away, immediately ignoring her when she bites, holding her lower jaw with our thumb inside her mouth then redirecting to a toy, holding her muzzle and saying no bite, and teaching her off by holding a treat in our fist and rewarding her when she stops biting at our hand. She behaves when we first start playing with her, and saying off works when she starts to bite, but after 5-10 minutes she gets excited and then nothing stops her. She has no interest in any of her chew toys, just us and our clothes. She doesn't even seem to mind us holding her lower jaw, she just twists around so she can keep biting our thumb, then when we let go she goes right after our hand again, seems to just make it worse. In the last couple weeks she started rolling over and acting like she wants her belly rubbed, then when I do she starts kicking and trying to chew on my hand, like she's luring me in. She's very smart, only took 2-3 tries to teach her sit, stay, come, and off, and she seems to know that she's not supposed to bite/chew on us, but when she goes into play mode she's intent on doing it anyway. Yelping and ignoring her also just seems to make it worse, she'll grab hold of our pants when we try to walk away and won't let go. It's to the point where we can barely have her out for 30 minutes before the biting is so bad we can't do anything with her. Any ideas? Could it be a dominance issue or something?
 

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Holier Than Now
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Nah, it's not dominance.

Congratulations, you have a pup who will likely--if you proceed with patience and consistency--have super great bite inhibition as she matures.

The good news is most of this will calm down by about four to five months, as she's finishing her teething and ready to "drive" her adult set of toofers, just as Mother Nature intended all along.

Here's a good article, don't know if this is one you've read or not, but it will give you a set of steps to evaluate and see if you're missing something or not implementing in the most consistent way (remember, the most effective reward is the "slot machine" type reward so one or two payoffs will destroy all your hard work from the 98 times you ignored her).

Bite Inhibition Article

Now, all that said, I too had a pup who was quite happy to ignore the ignoring and take a cessation of interaction as an invitation to chase and bite. I ended up having to step up my game, with her, and HolePuncher (as she was nicknamed) ended up getting to do a whole bunch of thinking games, impulse control games, and Leave It work.

Worked a wonder with her, might help you too. Try kikopup's training videos on youtube for further tips.

Edit to add: Oops, sorry, poor reading on my part, just saw she's four months now, and you are perhaps her second home? Do you know if she left her litter siblings and dam at an early age? (Prior to eight weeks)
 

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Could it be a dominance issue or something?.............NO...don't be scared, of pup !!

My puppy girl loved to bite my hand (luckly, not my legs).
I use to make a game of it, and hold her bottom K9's to wind her up...with a 2 finger lock.
Plus, if one puts your fingers behind the back row of teeth, their bite doesn't hurt...LOL...just feel gum pressure.

My dog was toy driven and teaching her FETCH / COME was key.
While played tug-of-war together, your not getting bit.
Bite Inhibition / soft bite was practiced with puppy, every single night & stroking muzzle.
- but she took my "OUCH" serious, maybe I just said it like I meant it
- we use to have "fight night" in bed to, for 5 minutes morning & night
So I traded my scrapped forearm...for more game motivation & jaw muscle control.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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Could it be a dominance issue or something?.............NO...don't be scared, of pup !!

My puppy girl loved to bite my hand (luckly, not my legs).
I use to make a game of it, and hold her bottom K9's to wind her up...with a 2 finger lock.
Plus, if one puts your fingers behind the back row of teeth, their bite doesn't hurt...LOL...just feel gum pressure.

My dog was toy driven and teaching her FETCH / COME was key.
While played tug-of-war together, your not getting bit.
Bite Inhibition / soft bite was practiced with puppy, every single night & stroking muzzle.
- but she took my "OUCH" serious, maybe I just said it like I meant it
- we use to have "fight night" in bed to, for 5 minutes morning & night
So I traded my scrapped forearm...for more game motivation & jaw muscle control.
"fight night" is often the way to go, but it is initiated by the command and ended once rough play hits, but you start again and have fun
They figure out, what your doing and enjoy play fighting. That's what dogs do, so channel it, rather than supress it.
 
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You are in the same boat as alomst everyone here... You own a doberman puppy. My arms and hands were shredded. My nice shirts and pants now have tears and holes. The good news?? It will gradually subside. I was going nuts about the biting and couldn't even enjoy a minute with my puppy. I also tried everything like you did. My pup is now almost 6 mos and he has calmed down so much. He used to be very evil, now he is just less evil!:). He still has his moments with the biting but we can now enjoy each others company and he they understand more as they mature. Plus the teething didn't help. It will get better with time, be patient. Good luck!
 

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Just think, with all the biting, your significant other can buy you new clothes. I scored this week, with 3 new sweaters. Plus I use the ripped ones, for soft rags on my Harley. Sounds like a winwin to me. LOL
 

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"fight night" is often the way to go, but it is initiated by the command and ended once rough play hits, but you start again and have fun
They figure out, what your doing and enjoy play fighting. That's what dogs do, so channel it, rather than supress it.
Amy is way to old for fight night now...but i also trained my sons YorkiePoo this and Trevor jumps up on my lap with a stuffies, to play tug, and I am always testing him by rotation my fingers in his mouth (in the evening).

When the 7 lb. little boy sleeps with my wife, Amy and I...in the morning he will run up to my hand, and starting fighting (soft bite) with me. I taught him this game 5 years ago...he still likes it.

Dad is the "fight night" guy (in the family), so my wife does not have to deal with the puppy teeth / if my wife ignored Amy, she would happly fight with me...lol...and I enjoyed giving her drive, eye focus, soft bite and command training (all in 1 fun exercise play game).
 

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We call Callie (our 9 weeker) Dobershark, jaws, chomper.. the list goes on! We've been using this video: Stop puppies biting- clicker dog training - YouTube

She rocks! clicker training is the best thing ever, imo. I just can't rave enough about it! It just works so well, and its really really cool to watch them learning.
 
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I just want to mention that not all puppies are the types of dogs who can sit and play for longer that 15 minutes without guidence. I know we want to "hang" with the puppies but some pups need short times for that. Play for your pup should probably be guided as in trick training and impluse control. She should have active play times then put her in a pen with toys. She sounds extremely active and smart. Have you taught her to fetch? Try that, you must direct the play and if she starts in on you do something else. The bitey behavior you describe sounds as if she get bored and since she is teething it feels good to bite on you, as it has become a game even though you didn't mean it to be. Are you in a puppy training class with her? Maybe you should consider it if you aren't as she sounds like she needs a lot stimulation. Luckily this is something they mostly outgrow.
 

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I've had my 4 month old female for 7 weeks now, and all she wants to do is constantly nip and chew on myself and my girlfriend. We've tried pretty much every method we could find online, but none of it has worked. We tried yelping/saying ouch and walking away, immediately ignoring her when she bites, holding her lower jaw with our thumb inside her mouth then redirecting to a toy, holding her muzzle and saying no bite, and teaching her off by holding a treat in our fist and rewarding her when she stops biting at our hand. She behaves when we first start playing with her, and saying off works when she starts to bite, but after 5-10 minutes she gets excited and then nothing stops her. She has no interest in any of her chew toys, just us and our clothes. She doesn't even seem to mind us holding her lower jaw, she just twists around so she can keep biting our thumb, then when we let go she goes right after our hand again, seems to just make it worse. In the last couple weeks she started rolling over and acting like she wants her belly rubbed, then when I do she starts kicking and trying to chew on my hand, like she's luring me in. She's very smart, only took 2-3 tries to teach her sit, stay, come, and off, and she seems to know that she's not supposed to bite/chew on us, but when she goes into play mode she's intent on doing it anyway. Yelping and ignoring her also just seems to make it worse, she'll grab hold of our pants when we try to walk away and won't let go. It's to the point where we can barely have her out for 30 minutes before the biting is so bad we can't do anything with her. Any ideas? Could it be a dominance issue or something?
She is probably teething and her gums hurt. You said she is very smart it could be this is her way of telling you she is hurting and to help.

Have you tried giving her something of value to chew on. I gave my puppies pressed rawhide bones and the appropriate raw bone.

What do you have her out of for 30 minutes
 

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Holier Than Now
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*cricket, cricket*
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could it be a dominance issue or something?.............NO...don't be scared, of pup !!

My puppy girl loved to bite my hand (luckly, not my legs).
I use to make a game of it, and hold her bottom K9's to wind her up...with a 2 finger lock.
Plus, if one puts your fingers behind the back row of teeth, their bite doesn't hurt...LOL...just feel gum pressure.

My dog was toy driven and teaching her FETCH / COME was key.
While played tug-of-war together, your not getting bit.
Bite Inhibition / soft bite was practiced with puppy, every single night & stroking muzzle.
- but she took my "OUCH" serious, maybe I just said it like I meant it
- we use to have "fight night" in bed to, for 5 minutes morning & night
So I traded my scrapped forearm...for more game motivation & jaw muscle control.
I'm not scared of her, it's just pretty much impossible to do anything around the house with a puppy latched onto our legs and feet, and whenever we try to pet her she tries to chew on our hands. Saying "ouch" or yelping doesn't seem to affect her at all. She starts out soft then starts biting harder as she gets excited, saying ouch or ignoring her seems to make her bite harder if anything. She's also spending more time in her crate than we'd like, which I'm sure isn't helping. We've been having her out to play for an hour or so, until she gets really wound up, then we put her in her crate or gate her off in the kitchen for an hour to calm her down and so we can get some stuff done. She hates being away from us, and when she's in the kitchen she just stands at the gate and barks, and now she's started defecating in there as well, whether it's anxiety or she's doing it to get attention I don't know.

I thought tug of war and rough play was usually discouraged with larger dogs such as Dobermans? How do you teach them to stop playing rough when playtime is over? She likes playing fetch, but eventually she gets bored and starts jumping and chewing on us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
She is probably teething and her gums hurt. You said she is very smart it could be this is her way of telling you she is hurting and to help.

Have you tried giving her something of value to chew on. I gave my puppies pressed rawhide bones and the appropriate raw bone.

What do you have her out of for 30 minutes
Sorry for not replying sooner, computer was broken for a few days. We don't give her rawhide because she'd eat it, but we've tried pretty much everything else. The soft Nylabone for puppies, Kong toys, rubber squeaky toys, rope toys, stuffed animal toys. She loses interest as soon as she realizes she can't eat them. She does like the edible Nylabones, but they only keep her busy for about 5 minutes, and they're starting to get expensive. We did find her first lost tooth, and she has a couple others that seem loose.
 

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I almost feel like she's not getting enough excersise or stimulation. Are you doing any training with her? Also I don't know if crating her while she's all wound up is a good idea. I'd take her for a walk to drain that energy. I really think she needs some training ASAP. Maybe do I puppy kindergarten type class so she can burn some energy there. Also she's probably teething. My boy is the same age and he teething like crazy. Get her toys you can freeze, bones, deer antlers, bully sticks anything to keep her busy and to help the teething. Don't let her sense your frustrated that just adds fuel to the fire.
 

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Sorry for not replying sooner, computer was broken for a few days. We don't give her rawhide because she'd eat it, but we've tried pretty much everything else. The soft Nylabone for puppies, Kong toys, rubber squeaky toys, rope toys, stuffed animal toys. She loses interest as soon as she realizes she can't eat them. She does like the edible Nylabones, but they only keep her busy for about 5 minutes, and they're starting to get expensive. We did find her first lost tooth, and she has a couple others that seem loose.
It's most likely her teeth causing her to bite. They hurt a lot so try to give cold things to help her.
 

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How much sleep is she getting?
How much outside exercise, walking is she getting?
Do you have set patterns or schedules?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I almost feel like she's not getting enough excersise or stimulation. Are you doing any training with her? Also I don't know if crating her while she's all wound up is a good idea. I'd take her for a walk to drain that energy. I really think she needs some training ASAP. Maybe do I puppy kindergarten type class so she can burn some energy there. Also she's probably teething. My boy is the same age and he teething like crazy. Get her toys you can freeze, bones, deer antlers, bully sticks anything to keep her busy and to help the teething. Don't let her sense your frustrated that just adds fuel to the fire.
You're probably right, but we've tried keeping her out and tiring her out, she just keeps getting worse, and we end up frustrated, giving her a time out at least calms her down for a little while. Might be because it's been pretty cold, but she doesn't really like walks either, when she's outside she's only interested in trying to eat mulch and leaves, then she wants to go back inside to play. We go over the basic training every day, live in a small town so haven't been able to find any puppy classes nearby. Tried giving her frozen toys, doesn't like them either.
 

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You're probably right, but we've tried keeping her out and tiring her out, she just keeps getting worse, and we end up frustrated, giving her a time out at least calms her down for a little while. Might be because it's been pretty cold, but she doesn't really like walks either, when she's outside she's only interested in trying to eat mulch and leaves, then she wants to go back inside to play. We go over the basic training every day, live in a small town so haven't been able to find any puppy classes nearby. Tried giving her frozen toys, doesn't like them either.
She sounds like how diesel was. He loves leaves and grass and all that which is annoying but luckily he's calmed down on it. I know it's really really frustrating. I made a whole thread about how I thought my puppy hated me cause all he did was bite me and was so bad but he has gotten better. You seem to be doing everything just give it time. I know that's not what you want to hear but she has to learn that biting won't get her anything. Ignore her when she bites as hard as it is try it so she realizes she gets nothing from you if she bites and also try to hide your emotions. It sounds dumb but dogs can sense that and if she knows biting you and going crazy makes you angry and crazy she's going to keep doing it and it will get worse. I used to put myself I'm a time out and go in another room away from diesel so I could cool off and he wouldn't sense it and then go back and try again.

Also like nubis'sdad said get her on a schedule if she's not already. It will help so much and you'll know when to expect things out of her.

Another thing always keep a stuffie handy and put it in her mouth every time she bites. Then hopefully she'll learn she gets something shoved in her mouth if she bites. Also crazy but I spray bitter apple on my hands and pants just a little and diesel won't bite for a little cause he doesn't like it (most days he doesn't like it sometimes he does haha)
 
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