Mouthy puppy

Hi everyone,

We are a week into having Nilla and I am in tears!  I love her so much but the mouthy/nippy is out of control!  

She went from being nippy during play but responding to "no" and positive reinforement.  2 days ago she starting barking at me and lunging at my legs every time I am not paying attention to her!  I play with her so much and then I need to do things like cook dinner or eat dinner.  

I feel like if she is not passed out she is nipping.  

Any advice would be amazing!  

I have started listening to the great podcast but haven't gotten to the part about nipping yet.  I work full time so its been hard to get extra things done!

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  • You will definitely want to listen to the nipping part of the podcast!  Fast forward to get there. There's also a link in the show notes to the trainers video about nipping.  1) she has to bite in order to learn what her teeth do and how to not hurt.  They are sharp teeth for a reason at this stage.  React like it's very painful every time.  2) i actually asked about what to do if you're busy washing dishes!  Basically if you can't supervise and teach her, someone needs to be or she needs to be confined so she isn't bothering you or doing naughty things.  You need a break too!

    • Oh my goodness...thank you!

      I will check it out as soon as I can!  I am thinking of setting up some sort of pen in our kitchen so that she can be in there while I am getting stuff done! Our kitchen isn't gigantic so I have used that as a pen...but then she has access to me the whole time I am in there.  

      Thank you!!!

  • Does she have some chew toys? I find that having a chew toy handy all the time helps; you offer that when she gets nippy. Also, stuffed toys that you can shake at her and entice her to grab and play also helps her to channel some of that urge to nip. 
    You mentioned working full time. So, when you are at work, where is puppy? Does she have the opportunity to run & play & get some of that energy out while you are at work? 8 hours of "down time" every day is hard for a young pup and can contribute to crazy behavior when they do have the chance to play. 

    • SO MANY TOYS!  She really does love them and I do use them a lot but maybe I need to bring some to the sink with me while I do the dishes! 

      She is home/crated for about 7 hours with 3 different check in's for 30-45 mins each time to potty/walk/play.  So yes...it is possible that she has some rest and then is amped up when she comes out.  She also has been sleeping all night long so I see some of that behavior in the morning.  I have been setting up puppy playdates (she has one today) for after I am back from work.  We didn't have one yesterday and maybe she really needed it.  We live in NYC so we have to be careful while she is so young with where we are walking/what we are doing to exercise her.  It's so hard.  I totally get why people have more than one dog now!  Thank you for your advice!

  • Have you had a chance to finish listening or watch the trainer's puppy biting video?  Would love to know what you think and what you will start trying.

    • Hi Adina,

      Yes...the podcast was definitely helpful and so was the video!   I started last night saying "Ow!  That hurts!" and then trying to re-engage and praise her if she stopped the behavior.  It happened again and again but I am sure if I keep up with it, it will get better eventually.  Also understanding that the biting is important was interesting.  I had to laugh when you mentioned that when you go visit a puppy you wear jeans!  I basically have been too, in my house, and shoes all day!  I was a "leave your shows at the door" person prior to getting her.  

      I did a combination of what I istened to and watched, I set up a pen, and I have more stuff with me to distract her.  Most importantly, I had a puppy playdate yesterday.  She was really tired after that and I think it made the night overall much better.  We have another one today.  I can't have one every day so I am going to think out of the box on some ways to get some of her energy out.  

      I also sat back and thought about all that she has learned since I got her.  She basically goes potty outside, sits, is happy in her crate, stays, and is improving on her leash walking.  That is a lot for a week and a half of having her.  I think I have to appreciate how smart she is and trust the process, and her, that things are going to work themselves out with our consistency!

      Thanks for checking in!

      • Good job!  It's so much harder than you think it's gonna be based on pre-reading/watching/education.  This stuff will likely pass and you'll be surprised one day to notice "hey I haven't been attacked by needle sharp teeth in a while!"  Best of luck and keep us updated :-)

  • Stanlee, our 8 year old doodle, is a "mouthy" guy.  We taught him very early on that he is greeted only when he has a "baby" in his mouth.  (He is obsessed with tennis balls so he pretty much always has one in his mouth.) When we come home, if he comes to greet us with an open/toyfree mouth, we tell him to go get his "baby" and then we properly greet him in the manner he expects.  As a puppy it took a little time to teach him to grab a tennis ball but once this was accomplished, the nipping and "grabbing" pretty much stopped.  BTW, you can usually get used tennis balls at second hand sporting goods stores.  We have one close to us that sells them for a quarter a piece.   

    • Ha...that is adorable.  I have no idea how to teach her how to do that but I will ask the trainer when I see her again in a few weeks.  We ask her for kisses and she usually does, but the mouthyness happens more at zoomie time.  

      • You mentioned that someone comes to check on Nilla --home/crated for about 7 hours with 3 different check in's for 30-45 mins each time to potty/walk/play

        I used a daycare solution with a home based provider from Rover for when Dinah was young and I worked.  I was so lucky to find someone with real dog training skills, plus there were several other dogs for Dinah to socialize with during the day.  The sharp teeth yip has correction when the dogs play with each other.  It's expensive, but surely not more that 3 visits per day costs you. (Unless it's a next door neighbor helping you out).  I don't know how doggy day care works in NYC.  In the burbs we have designated "warehouse" areas that they gravitate to.  

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