Biting puppy

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Member Since
Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 8:15am PST 
I have a 4 month old mini Australian shepherd. He is a wonderful dog. He just seems to be biting us excessively. I know he is a puppy but he gets going and just wont stop. We are trying the yell and move method the trainer has told us but he gets worse when we do that. It seems worse for my 8 and 9 year old kids. He rips clothes and scratches. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 8:27am PST 
Yelp and move certainly didn't work for Mulder as a puppy either, who was high drive and took that as some sort of challenge. "Oh that hurt? Good, need to bite harder..."

What I did, was a crate time "chill out". If he would get into a mood and start going at it particularly hard, I would calmly lead him to the crate and leave him in there for 5-6 mins until he calmed down. Then he got to come back out and try again... if he started up again, rinse and repeat.

You just have to be careful not to make it a "punishment", as you don't want the dog to associate negative things with his crate. Don't scold him or put him in there too roughly, gently lead him. Try putting a kong or other good toy in there with him, or give him something else to chew on.

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 10:23am PST 
Good advice. Yelping does work for some dogs, but it also doesn't work for tons of them. As a first line of defense, I usually freeze and look away, ignoring the dog for a few minutes. If he doesn't seem bored and disappointed by that response and is still jumping and biting, I agree, into the crate for a timeout. Someday I am going to make a list of the bazillions of worried posts about Tasmanian devil puppies to reassure new dog owners. It really is normal as long as there aren't other signs of resource guarding or aggression, and bite inhibition is a much longer process than we would like. I expect you'll have a quantum leap when he's done teething (and his teeth stop feeling funny). Lots of exercise helps a lot, and so does having really exciting chewies.