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[TANGO MUSIC PLAYING] What I've come to realize is that most of not getting bitten and teaching your puppy not to bite is a function of how you interact with the puppy. I get a lot of calls from puppy owners who are very concerned because they feel the puppy's biting is out of control. So I ask them what's going on. And they say, when we've been playing with the puppy for like an hour, and you know, we've really been rolled around on the floor with the puppy, and then the puppy starts biting. And my advice is if rolling around on the floor and playing crazy games with the puppy makes the puppy crazy, don't do it. You really do have to limit the kinds of interactions that you have with your puppy. You can't play wild games with your puppy and then expect your puppy not to bite you. It's not fair. That doesn't mean that you can't play with your puppy. You do have to play with your puppy. But the games have to be structured interactions where the puppy is learning to play in a calm and gentle way. So using a toy as an intermediary, so the puppy actually isn't biting your hands, is very helpful. I would never play with a puppy with my hands this way. You're asking to be bitten. You're inviting it. You're inviting the puppy to play in the only way that puppy really knows how, which is to bite. Calmness is a behavior. And it can be trained like any other behavior. The more calm interactions you have with your puppy, the more your puppy is going to be calm with you and the less your puppy's going to bite you. There's really no reason why you have to get bitten by a puppy, because you have opposable thumbs and a big brain. So if they start biting you, just pick them up and point the biting part away from you. Puppies are biting machines. And they'll grab anything in their line of fire. If you present your hand to your puppy, it's going to get bitten. Fortunately, it's easy to keep your hands safe, by holding the puppy and moving your hands out of the way. Keep re-gripping the puppy or giving him calming massages, and eventually he'll give up. It's not a question of correcting or preventing biting as much as it is of avoiding it. It never hurts to have an assistant distract the puppy with a toy. Emotion is an extremely salient cue for the puppy to bite. So rule number one, if you're walking or running and the puppy bites you, stop moving. Nine times out of 10, that alone will cut it off at the pass. Whenever I walk with puppies when they're young, I have food, so that I can reinforce the puppy walking next to me and not biting me. Praise and affection can also be excellent reinforcers for walking without biting. You also will find that most of your puppy's biting probably occurs in the last, say, 30 minutes before you get sick of him and put him away for a nap. Maybe you should monitor that situation and put him away for a nap just before that 30 minutes where he loses his mind. Puppies tend to get over-amped. And when they get over-amped, they bite. Many people notice that the puppy tends not to bite the adults in the house but does bite the children. And a lot of times people will say, well, the puppy's being dominant. The puppy's being dominant over the child. And I'm here to tell you I promise you that the reason your puppy is biting your children is not because it's dominant. The definition of dominant is in control of resources. So until your dog grows thumbs and learns to drive to the grocery store and buy dog food, the smallest human member of your family-- the little child that can reach up and get graham crackers out of the closet-- is dominant over your dog. Because that child has control over the resources in the household, and your dog does not. What's happening is the child is interacting with the puppy in an excited way. [CHILD SQUEALING] And when the puppy bites the child, the child has a very high-pitched, squealing, jumping reaction, which is extremely reinforcing to that behavior. The puppy loves that. It's exciting. And the puppy and the child will get in a behavioral loop. And the puppy will bite the child more. And then the child screams more. And then the puppy bites more. And it can be very hard to break that cycle. So as an adult, what you need to do is, at least for the first few months the puppy is home, carefully monitor the interactions between the children and the puppy, to make sure that there's lots of calm interaction, so the puppy learns to be calm around those children. Some of the standard interventions that are out there for biting-- I don't know, they might work on another dog, but they've always backfired for me. For instance yelping, to me, just in my observation incites the puppy to riot. Rolling the gum over the lip and hurting the puppy, again, it's just going to make the puppy a little crazy. But that's not to say that if a puppy is stuck on you like a lamprey that you're not just going to do what you've got to do to pull that puppy off. I mean, you might even have to stick your finger in, you might have to roll their lip over their teeth because they can bite pretty hard. But it's not-- you understand you're not training the puppy to do anything. You're just saving your leg from being sawed off by a puppy. Then what I'll do is I'll just pick up the puppy with the biting part pointing forward and carry the puppy off. If the puppy's been out for a long time, probably puppy needs to go in and take a nap. Or if I feel like it, I might put the puppy down and try and train the puppy now with some food and a marker not to bite me as I walk along or do whatever we were doing. You really have to make a judgment call on whether you're going to manage or train in that situation. I know it can seem like a lot of management. And you are going to have to manage interactions between the puppy and children or the puppy and non-savvy dog people that come over. And you may even have to put the puppy away in situations where you can't manage it. And it also is going to mean that you maybe can't play the kinds of games that you might find fun with the puppy. I mean fun until you start getting bitten. The good news is that if you can just manage these interactions for a month or two, the puppy is going to grow out of the biting. If you invest this management time, it's going to pay off for the rest of your life with your puppy.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 50 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: norabean on Apr 2, 2018


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