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Help! I've had my spoo puppy for 2 weeks and she is putting holes in all our dresses--my daughter and I are dressed in Covid-Casual all the time (loose t-shirt style dresses) and our puppy thinks that it's a game to latch on to the bottom of the dress and pull on it. I've tried saying "ouch!" loudly and also doing nothing, i.e. not engaging and waiting for her to tire of her game. Neither is working. Is there anything that might work more quickly that will save my wardrobe (and my legs?) When I try doing nothing and just standing perfectly still when she loses interest she just grabs another part of my dress! I can do "drop it" if I have a treat handy but I don't ALWAYS have a treat on me. I do wear a treat sack when I'm training her or have her outside but I don't want to wear it all day! Today I had to put her in her pen and she did fall asleep--I know you're not supposed to use the pen/crate as punishment, which is the way it feels when I put her in there when she's so wild with me....She starts puppy obedience classes in a week and a half and already has learned sit, down, and come just by my working with her. If only she will stop thinking my daughter and I are chew toys (my daughter is an adult also)....

Thanks for any advice...
 

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I tried to keep a toy near me at all times. Open puppy mouth got a toy shoved into it. I also resigned myself to the fact that anything I wore during this period was at risk. Favorite garments got hidden away until he was done with teething.
 

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I would grab Basil by the back of the scruff as a last resort when her behavior is unbearibly naughty and nothing else was working. I remember her attacking the back of my jeans every step towards the end of a walk. It's the unpopular thing to do, but after 2-3 times she stopped.
 

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I feel your pain. Bobby was SO mouthy. Lots of toys to shove in the “shark” mouth. Try not to wear clothes that flutter and fly. Age appropriate obedience training for sure!
Teach the word, “Gentle.” Feed from your hand and praise, praise, praise a gentle mouth. Give puppy appropriate things to chew. Sometimes, when Bobby was little, I would just sit with his favorite chewy toys and as he would starting chewing on me I would just put the toy right back in his mouth. I carried long soft braided toys outside so rather than chase and bite me and my clothes he could grab and bite the toy. Have stuff that puppy can chew in every room so you can quickly grab it when needed. We struggled a lot but doing these things helped a lot and eventually things got better. But it will probably be a struggle until teething is over. There really isn’t a quick solution but with consistent training of appropriate mouth behavior it will get better.
 

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My best advice: Have a variety of toys nearby at all times and (sorry to say) change how you're dressing for the next month or two.

My husband insisted on wearing casual baggy shorts around Peggy at first. He quickly adapted.

This is such a short phase, the more you can personally do to minimize the destruction, the better. I was fine in full-length or cropped leggings and a t-shirt. Loose capris were the worst.

Also, practise moving carefully and deliberately. Sudden movements are THRILLING to puppies. Make the toy exciting! Toss bits of chicken! But you stay as controlled as possible when you don't want puppy flying at you. You'll quickly discover that you have a lot of control over puppy's attention.
 

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I would also like to add, in Bobby’s case, this behavior would escalate big time when he was tired and also before bedtime. I think it’s pretty common for puppies to have a “witching hour” before bedtime. We prepared ourselves for that time as much as we could.😉
We always were looking forward to puppy “crash time” after the crazy, bitey puppy “witching hour.” 😉
Also, no skirts or dresses allowed! I learned the hard way!😂😉
 

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Basilthespoo,

Sometimes it comes to that. No harm's done even if it's not popular so long as it's just enough to stop them but no harm of fright.


To Margo,

You might try a shaker can, water bottle with a sharp distinct vocal cue. (I can NOT stress enough this is a noise to distract or interrupt their focus... NOT to scare or threaten). You can use a can or empty bottle with a few coins in it or water bottles make krinkle-popping noises. This worked well for my Giant. Rattle it or krinkle the empty water bottle as you sharply say the correction word. I use 'aaaaaah-ah'. Its how I say it. You time the sound & your word as the pup starts to be naughty. The moment the puppy is interrupted, praise the puppy. You win when puppy sees you reach for the noisemaker & stops. You praise for that.

When I correct with my verbal cue, let's say I use the word "pfui' (phooey) . So I've shaken my can or krinkled my water & said pfui. When puppy corrects behavior, the I say GOOD PFUI but rather than a correction tone it's in a praise tone. You are constantly linking commands to correct behavior with praise, mistakes with mistakes then praise when it's fixed. Puppy learns faster this way.



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Basil, it's an unpopular thing to do because when it goes bad, it can go very very bad. Poodles are super sensitive and always learning. They rarely need physical corrections.

I'd be more concerned about making my puppy head shy than about a few holes in my clothes during the mouthy teething phase. Praising for doing the right thing may take longer to pay off, but when it does, it's rock solid. And you don't risk any ill-effects.
 

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With Annie, I walked away. Puppy bites? I went to the bathroom, returned in 30 s to a min. A few times in a row? Puppy went in crate for a nap, or we went for a nap on my bed. I honestly didnt lose any clothes, except for a few pieces of laundry i left on the floor unattended which were IRRESISTIBLE. I also learned to manage her excitement levels - so play, asking for sit/down, pause, play again. If she couldnt focus to sit, she was too wound up and we needed to stop playing, or she would lose self control and become bitey. I found biteyness was either overtired puppy or puppy who needed exercise. Usually, for us, it was overtired.
 

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Olive used to do that too! It was quite frustrating.
Set up a timeout area with no toys or entertainments. Each time she bites put her in the timout area for 2-5 miniutes. Do not give in to crying or temper tantrums. Then take her out and act like nothing happened. BE CONSITANT!
 

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Olive, black miniature poodle, 9 months old
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You may want to use a shaker can or another loud object and inturupt her every time she does that.
 

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I wore jeans and long sleeves, expendable stuff, yard work wear. I added a cotton fishing vest, pockets for treats, tug toys and a leash for crazy times. It’s a phase, that floaty skirts, bare legs and nice clothing don’t work.
 

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Misha was terrible with pajama pants. Skirts or dresses would have lasted maybe 0.7 seconds. He still gets excited to see people in dresses. It's too much for him to hold composure. It did almost completely disappear with age. He is a puppy that would have required extremely harsh punishment for it to get through to him. I was not willing to try that. I used the redirection and removal of self methods.
 

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Raindrops I read your post & had a flashback to my Malinois I had so long ago. My husband freaked out when we got her home & I was walking her. He came up & the pup didn't come bounding up so he thought I lost her. I said, "Oh no, didn't lose her" I turned around & she was handing from the area where my bra fit but was hanging by my shirt. She was part maligator & part velociraptor.
 

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Raindrops I read your post & had a flashback to my Malinois I had so long ago. My husband freaked out when we got her home & I was walking her. He came up & the pup didn't come bounding up so he thought I lost her. I said, "Oh no, didn't lose her" I turned around & she was handing from the area where my bra fit but was hanging by my shirt. She was part maligator & part velociraptor.
I shudder to think what Misha could have managed if he were the size of a spoo or mal! I have often heard mal owners describe puppies like I would have described Misha.
 

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Raindrops I loved my Mal. She was very old world bred. But some more modern bred are nuts. I had 2 Dutch Shepherds who were NIGHTMARES. Birth to death the were miserable to live with. These were dogs best suited to bring out of the kennel, train, return to kennel. They weren't mine but I was raising them. Awful

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Raindrops I loved my Mal. She was very old world bred. But some more modern bred are nuts. I had 2 Dutch Shepherds who were NIGHTMARES. Birth to death the were miserable to live with. These were dogs best suited to bring out of the kennel, train, return to kennel. They weren't mine but I was raising them. Awful

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I've heard of dogs like that. I've seen many amazing mals but I think any very intelligent very driven breed is tricky to balance temperament on. Too much emphasis on any trait and things start to slip.
 

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Yes & there is so much over emphasis on extremes these days. It's sad.

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My boys came home with us on June 26. We're in Kansas. The Midwest gets really hot and really humid in the summer.
I picked my battles :). I had to give up wearing my loose, breezy summertime dresses for capris, to remove the flappy temptation and keep the nail scratching limited to my less sensitive lower legs.
I also had to stop wearing my very sentimental birthstone necklace since it dangled temptingly, and my shiny engagement ring.
It was pretty safe by fall. 🍂
 
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