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Old 01-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Humping is not usually about dominance - in a pup especially I suspect it is much more a matter of playing at behaviours he might need as an adult. If you don't like it, distract him with a small toy or a chew, and praise him for playing games that you prefer.

I would do something similar to protect Maggie. I'd make sure she has a safe place where he cannot reach her, whether in a crate with an open door or on a chair - anywhere she can retreat to and feel safe. Then whenever he begins to play roughly, distract him, ask for a brief Sit or other momentary pause, then play a rambunctious game of tug or tummy tickling with him. If he plays with her in a way that she enjoys, lots of praise for both of them!
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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In a puppy that young, I agree the humping isn't about dominance it is most likely just exploring things to do. Redirect him away from it if it really bothers you.

Always make sure your older dog has a safe retreat. I would also not ever leave them unsupervised together (I assume you aren't doing this, but want to emphasize it). Your old lady deserves peace in her space. I haven't dealt with this in dogs, but have had cats with age differences and had a long term illness in the older one that necessitated lots of management of one of the younger ones who saw Olivia's illness as an opportunity to be very bossy. It took lots of work to keep it all in balance.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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We are going through all of the same stuff over here with our 11 week-old Standard. This forum has offered so much great advice and Ian Dunbar's methods are fantastic.

In just a matter of days Wade has gotten SO much better with the bite inhibition using the yelp and ignore method. That said, he'll still go for a hand, leg, shoulder - you name it - if we're sitting on the floor playing with him and he's all zoomed up. But again, it's getting better. I've been using bitter apple spray on my pants the past few days when I take him outside (he's been prone to biting my pants on the way back in) and he REALLY does not like the bitter taste, so that has helped. Sometimes we spray it on our hands when we know we are going to be playing with him on the floor, and it helps, but he'll still make mistakes in the heat of playing (sometimes I wonder if he just confuses my hand with his toy for a moment!)

Anyway, the best thing we've found is definitely the Dunbar method. When they bite too hard - 1) Yelp 2) Ignore for several minutes 3) Return to the scene of the crime and see if the biting continues. If it doesn't, praise. If it does, yelp again and repeat. Wade gets so bummed when we leave in the middle of a play session, and I think that's why this method is working. His sad little defeated moan is hilarious.

Good luck - we're all going through the same thing at this age
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I want to thank everyone for replying. Sophie is getting better in controlling the force of her bites (that, or my skin got used to it...).

Anyways, while ignoring her for a minute seems to work, a new problem arrived. She has now learnt to get on our bed all by herself and my desk is connected to the bed so she usually climbs on it, too. I don't really like the idea of having a cat-like climbing puppy, so i always tell her "No" and put her down but she climbs over and over. It only stops after prolonged time-outs. Any ideas?

What seems to be getting worse, however, is her attitude, if i can say so. I try to keep her mentally stimulate, she now likes longer training sessions, but as soon as she gets bored of that, when i try to get away from the training room she starts pulling on my feet. I usually ignore her, but as soon as i walk again, she restarts the biting process. And, worst of all, everytime i tell her "No" or "Off" she wants to bite through my jeans and starts barking.

This is happening for any reason, whenever i tell her no. I figured it out that she does it when she wants to sleep or is hungry/thirsty but she is not in the mood of running to the door for me to open it. So i have to make guesses until she is pleased.

I really want to stop this snapping at my feet and sometimes even hands. I just don't know if it's playing anymore. I imagine it also happens when she is in a playful state, but at the time i play for 1 minute with her and let her with her toys, but the other times it happens when i walk down the hallway and i stop her from "chasing" my feet. Just now she got turned on by my grandma's new house shoes, when she was told "No". In these moments i can't pick her up and get her out of the room/put her in a room because she bites me.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Is she biting you as a game, or because she is angry? To a dog the attention of "No! Get off! You are such a naughty puppy!" while pulling your foot away and shaking her off can seem like a wonderful game. Standing quite still, silently staring at the ceiling, then praising her and playing with her the instant she lets go may be a more effective way of changing her behaviour. If she is regularly picked up and put into a time out it is understandable that she might start to object to being picked up...

I found that staying silent, and communicating with Poppy entirely through gesture and body language was extremely revealing - it made me realise how confusing my constant burbling must be to her! Try the experiment of not speaking - stand tall and look away, use the flat palm of your hand in a "Stop!" gesture, see how she reacts to you shifting your balance backwards and forwards ... then, when you do speak, try to ask her to do something she knows well, like Sit or Wait, rather than just using meaningless words like No or Stop it. Very, very difficult for us verbose humans, but usually very effective!

Pups - and dogs - learn to do what works. Chasing and biting feet is fun, and no doubt gets a fun reaction. I'd try a new game - can she walk down the hall with you WITHOUT biting at feet? Every step without biting gets quiet praise and a small treat dropped on the floor. Every biting attempt means you freeze, then go back to the beginning. Five steps without biting earns a really fun game with a tug toy. Then gradually increase the number of steps to earn a reward.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It sounds like she is just hungry for attention, and you are giving it to her when you respond verbally in any way or do something to try to please her (like letting her out/giving her food). We've found that the most successful action when Wade acts up is to give him a stern look (and/or yelp) then walk away. He is always looking at our eyes to see what we are about to do, so when our expression changes to upset or disappointed he seems to know - sometimes he even lets out a frustrated groan. Then we leave the room and that's the ultimate punishment. When he settles down we return and "make up."

When we are walking in the yard with him and he tries to bite our legs we yelp and then FREEZE (do not move at all). Once he realizes that his biting is not going to get him attention he stops and looks for something else to entertain himself.

The other thing - are you regularly confining her (like not just for punishment)? I wonder if she is not getting enough quiet/alone time - dogs need this. We have Wade in a pen with his crate in it. He spends most of the day in the pen (with toys) and we let him out to go to the bathroom, to train, and to play. Maybe your dog needs more of a schedule. When puppies don't have a schedule they often feel aimless and confused and feel like they need to take control and this can manifest through acting out (I am not an expert but we've been reading a lot of dog books!)

And also, remember to stay calm. It'll get better
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh one more thing! We've bought several Kongs that you can stuff with treats or kibble. We've been stuffing with kibble and then giving these to Wade and it totally entertains him (it's like a game to get the kibble out) and it teaches healthy, appropriate chewing while also tiring them out.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the answers! She is doing better with the biting and leg chasing, but i now need some other kind of urgent help!

My dad just came home from the hospital, he is recovering from an illness and needs quiet. However, Sophie has been whining all day long in front of his door so she can go to him and play. We can't let her do that just yet. I am waiting for her leash to arrive, but while i'm waiting for that, what can i do so she doesn't have her mind set on that anymore?
I tried everything: giving her all her toys, trying to teach her some tricks, but she would run away from me and be back whining and scratching at the door.

Any ideas? I really don't know what to do anymore. She is peaceful only when she is in my arms or when i take her to the balcony so she can smell some fresh air. If i had knew of my father's illness i wouldn't have got a dog, but now it is done and i can't just make her disappear.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Have you tried Kongs? Start with fairly easy fillings (some kibble loosely packed, for example) and build up to frozen mixes. It may also help to get her really tired with games and exercise outside, and then let her pay him a visit - even sleep on his bed for a while if that is medically OK. I've found even puppies can often sense when someone just needs to sleep - and once she knows he does not want to play she may settle more easily. I had a young pup while I was going through chemotherapy - she was amazingly good at just settling down and keeping me company (fortunately I had good neighbours who made sure she had walks and fun when I was at my worst).
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with fjm that if you can give her things to keep her busy in or near her crate, kongs or puzzle toys that would be good. I also think that if you can let her see your dad when she is quiet (tired) to reassure her that he is there and let her see what is going on it could help. Lily and Peeves are always pretty quiet when one of us is sick. They are both also pretty relaxed when we take them to the nursing home where my boyfriend's mother lives.
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