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We have a 9 1/2 week old standard poodle. She has been puppy biting a lot as puppies do but no method we have tried has helped stop her. We have tried acting like we’re hurt and yelping when she bites but she barks back. We tried redirecting her to one of her many toys. We also tried just ignoring her. We know it will get better with time but we also don’t want to be reinforcing the wrong behavior or having her be unpredictable with biting when she is an adult. Any tips?? Thanks!
 

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Oh goodness. Just a tiny baby. You're doing fine. :)

At that age, have a toy within reach at all times (this means LOTS of toys, of varying style and texture) and, whenever puppy bites, grab one and make it much more interesting than you. If puppy persists with biting you, calmly walk away, count to 30, and return to play with toy. If puppy continues directing bites to you, game over. Calmly go do something else.

We used an indoor exercise pen to help with this. It's much easier to make this lesson sink in when you can easily step out of the pen. Puppy can clearly see that you're removing yourself and not merely inviting chase, and will think, "Oh no...That makes my playmate go away."

As for yelping, yeah that didn't work on Peggy either. Just got her more excited. And my silly attempts at scolding with a firm "No!" just invited her to talk back. As soon as I stopped doing that and focused solely on adding or removing rewards, she started figuring it out.

If you've not already, I recommend reading this beginning to end:


It'll keep your training and socializing on track during these critical first months.
 

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Oh goodness. Just a tiny baby. You're doing fine. :)

At that age, have a toy within reach at all times (this means LOTS of toys, of varying style and texture) and, whenever puppy bites, grab one and make it much more interesting than you. If puppy persists with biting you, calmly walk away, count to 30, and return to play with toy. If puppy continues directing bites to you, game over. Calmly go do something else.

We used an indoor exercise pen to help with this. It's much easier to make this lesson sink in when you can easily step out of the pen. Puppy can clearly see that you're removing yourself and not merely inviting chase, and will think, "Oh no...That makes my playmate go away."

As for yelping, yeah that didn't work on Peggy either. Just got her more excited. And my silly attempts at scolding with a firm "No!" just invited her to talk back. As soon as I stopped doing that and focused solely on adding or removing rewards, she started figuring it out.

If you've not already, I recommend reading this beginning to end:


It'll keep your training and socializing on track during these critical first months.
Thanks for your advice! She does have lots and lots of toys that we try to redirect her with. We will give walking away a try next.
 

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Thanks for your advice! She does have lots and lots of toys that we try to redirect her with. We will give walking away a try next.
Returning with a toy has a clear message: "Your friend is back and we can play together with this! Fun, right? No? Okay, I'm outta here."

While some aspects of training do benefit from a single consistent method, it's helpful to combine tactics in this case.

But really, at that age, I honestly don't make too much of a fuss. I just don't wear any clothes with tantalizing loose bits!

That's of course assuming the bites aren't forceful. There's a difference between playful nips (superficial) and teething nibbles (more of a gnawing), and hard chomps. It's important to have zero tolerance for hard chomps. Instant disappearing playmate.

That's where canine friends can be very helpful. They're excellent at abruptly stopping play when bites go too far. It's actually very neat to watch.
 

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(Ian Dunbar covers this thoroughly at the link I provided. He explains why playful biting is important in those early months to teach bite inhibition — i.e. teach puppy to NEVER use full force, as this becomes extremely dangerous once their adult teeth come in and their jaws are fully developed. This is especially important if puppy didn't have much early experience with other dogs, such as in cases of "singleton" pups or pups removed too early from their mothers.)
 
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