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Bitey Poodle.

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!


What's Cooler- Than Being Cool?- Ice Cold!
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 5:29pm PST 
Ice is an amazingly biddable dog, would do anything for a bumper throw or a good rough pat. His only behavioral issue is his inability to close his mouth when he's excited. He's bitten my thigh pretty badly, going for a tennis ball, and gets my hands all the time when we're playing with the bumper. I'm not willing to stop playing tug or anything like that, since that's a fairly big part of his training. Another mouthy issue is that sometimes he's just really excited and swings his head around with his mouth open. At our last dockdiving event, he got so wound up on the dock that he was spinning and screaming with his mouth wide and I had to pull him from finals because I really didn't want him to slice me open on the dock. This REALLY isn't an aggressive bite thing, much more that he is just so incredibly excited. Right now, I remove him from the source of excitement and make him calm down before he is allowed to do anything else.
I'm working with a trainer, obviously, but I was looking for some outside input. I love his drive and excitement, and I'd rather not cut down on that.
Shane DEC- '08-JAN '12- RIP

In dreams I walk- with you..
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 6:26pm PST 
Have you tried blindfolding him? Maybe if he can't see the tennis ball or bumper he won't get as excited shrug

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 7:35pm PST 
When you are playing with the bumper, what would happen if you immediately stopped all play as soon as he touches you with his teeth?
Would him knowing that play time ends if he mouthes a big enough deterrent?


Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 8:15pm PST 
He sounds incredibly "hard mouthed" if you've ever heard that phrase.

How you fix it depends on why he's like that.

If it's the result of him being pulled from the litter too early and not having adequate time to develop good bite inhibition then I'm inclined to be in the camp that there's not much you can do short of wearing gloves during handling for the rest of his life.

If it's an issue of far too much pent up drive you can help him expel some of that over exuberance by running the poop out of him before you intend to work him.

If it's an issue of anxiety manifesting, usually due to an intense desire to please and fear of "doing it wrong," then you're going to want to take a step backward and get him to realize that you'll love him even if he flubs. Add more opportunities to be silly and have fun into what you're asking him to do.

If it's an issue of all out fear, usually of punishment, the same above applies. Scale back on the negative reinforcement and pressure you're putting on him.

The last scenario is (more commonly than many would be led to believe) one of giving too much reinforcement while training "take" and/or "hold." One gets a little too excited when pup grabs that bumper the first time and wants to reinforce what he was doing was right. Paying attention to the force used in that gesture can often times take a backseat to the sheer joy we feel when we see the dog making an valiant effort to complete that retrieval sequence for the first times. Completely by accident then you end up reinforcing a REALLY snatchy crunchy punchy grab. You need to take things aaaaaaall the way back to the beginning if you think that may have been where all this started and teach him to instead take things gently. Our Hoyt was a very punchy grabber, we came up with some super interesting exercises involving whole raw eggs and peanut butter and hummus covered marshmallows in his early training to curb that lol

There are plenty of implements and training exercises you can utilize in tandem with the above but I'm not sure how serious you are about finding a remedy for this or of your overall training style.

Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 8:22pm PST 
Seriously irritated that I am due for bed and all I can hear is alright alright alright alright alright alright alright............

.:now we gonna break this thang down for just a few seconds....
now don't have me break this thang down for nothin',
I want to see you on your badest behavior!
Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!
Ah! Here we go now,
Shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it.............:. party

What's Cooler- Than Being Cool?- Ice Cold!
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 8:40pm PST 
It isn't just when the bumper is in my hands Rexy, in dockdiving the bumper is in the pool.

Thanks for your response Trigger, Ice was with his breeder and at least one littermate until he was a year old, so I doubt that's it. His mother and grandmother both pull the bitey hand crap though. My training style is largely positive with a healthy dose of whatever works. I think your last option sounds like the most realistic, as he is desperate to please.

What's Cooler- Than Being Cool?- Ice Cold!
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 8:42pm PST 
And you are most welcome for the song lyrics. I wouldn't have named him Ice if I'd know I'd be singing that and Ice Ice Baby for the rest of his life.

Giant Shih Tzu
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 3:22am PST 
LOL @ the "Hey Ya" lyrics, Trigger..... laugh out loud