My puppy WILL NOT stop biting!!! Can I use a muzzle?

My 11 week old Boxer will not stop biting! I got her when she was 6 weeks old, I know that's before the Mother had a chance to instill bite inhibition in her, but the breeder had some family medical problems and needed to leave the litter to be with her Mother so those that already put their deposits in were asked to pick up their puppies. She has had a biting problem since day 1, I've asked for advice on here for it before. I've tried everything I have read up on i.e. ignoring her, giving her a chew toy instead, spray bottle, "OUCH!", loud GROWL, grabbing the nape of her neck, holding her mouth closed and say NO BITE, at the advice of a trainer hold her bottom jaw and my finger be under her tongue and say NO BITE. Well, nothing has worked. She is staying with the trainer for 10 days as of Nov 26 to be trained. I HAVE TO STOP THE BITING NOW! She is leaving bite marks on my 4 children. I'm thinking of buying a muzzle to put on her while she's out of her cage, what are your thoughts?

Asked by Member 899376 on Nov 17th 2009 Tagged biting, muzzle, puppy, training in Behavior & Training
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The best thing is the yelp and remove your hand and go away. Behaviorists have proven that puppies have learned much of what they are going to learn by 6 weeks, so leaving her longer wouldn't have helped much. If fact, the longer you leave them, the more ingrained biting play becomes. They are much slower to accept changes after 12 weeks.

Sending her to the trainer may help. One big difference between a trainer and most dog owners is the consistency they apply to the problem. You need to show zero tolerance for biting. It must always mean the loss of your company. It will still take a long time, but eventually she will quit biting as long as you always correct her. How you correct her may be less important than it being each and every time.

Teaching the children to leave when bit should be fairly easy and very important.

Please don't muzzle her.

Aster answered on 11/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bam-Bam, CGC

You got her at 6 weeks. She's 11 weeks old now. You mention 7 methods that you have tried to get her to stop. Thats more than one method a week. How could you possibly be consistent enough with ANY of these methods if you only did it for a few days and moved on to something else? Poor pup... Probably is so confused, and here you are grabbing her neck and holding her mouth shut and growling at her and shoving your finger under her tongue.
Pick a method and STICK TO IT! If you get frustrated, THEN WALK AWAY don't take it out on the pup! Muzzling her won't teach her that it's wrong to bite, it'll just prevent her from doing it. The behaviorist where I work says that it takes 2 weeks of complete consistency for a dog to really have that "light bulb---I get it!" moment. However, your four kids come first. If she's leaving bite marks and you don't have the time or patience to train her... Maybe it's best to seek a more appropriate home for her.

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 11/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer


I have to agree with bam bam, use one method.
And 11 weeks and biting, this is normal puppy behavior, this what they do growing up. Then about 6-10 months they start to shed their baby teeth, more chewing.
I am not trying to be mean but an older puppy would of maybe been better since you have 4 children and it is very hard to watch a teething dog baby at the same time.
utilize your crate also. If you can not watch the pup every sec. then a crate keeps everyone safe til you get the kids up and around.
Use toys to play with your dog, buy a flossie rope and also the kongs. When the dog starts playing(biting) place toy in the mouth or let him bite it, when he does, Praise the pup. In time the pup will know it is alright to bite the toy not you.
Stick with that. Spray bottles, yelling, holding her mouth can be Praising. So, stick with one thing, I would do toy a toy that is fun.
No muzzle.
Also make sure you have a play area outside for the dog to burn off puppy energy

Dieta answered on 11/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with all the others, especially about using aversive methods. Spray bottles, yelling, grabbing any part of her body, all these methods might stop her biting, but at the expense of her fearing you, avoiding you, and probably instilling other negative behaviors. It will also teach your children that it's OK to be physically harsh with your dog, and it is definitely not behavior they should be modeling.

Find a trainer who uses humane, positive methods. Sending her away may not help, and may be traumatic. Read The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, and/or anything on puppy training by Dr. Ian Dunbar. While you're learning about non-aversive methods, keep your kids and puppy separate using an X-pen and/or baby gates.

When Katie was a nippy pup, we used "ah, ah" as a signal she had hurt us. If she stopped, we praised and gave a toy or treat. If not, we calmly and quickly took her outside for 5 min. She soon learned that biting people meant isolation, but biting toys meant play time!

Katie answered on 11/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer