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Biting

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

  
Kevin

1218728
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 21, '11 6:02pm PST 
I adopted Kevin (ACD/Catahoula mix) almost a month ago. He's been great. He's friendly, energetic, smart, etc. About a week in he started play biting, he wouldn't press down, just liked to have your hand in his mouth. I tried to stop it early and hired a trainer. She told me to yelp whenever he bit down, which I did, and he couldn't care less, and to use bitter apple whenever he bit, which I also did, and he just learned to run away at the sight of the bottle. Clearly by the time I would have gotten him, it would be too late to correct him. I'm looking into more trainers, because I am really unhappy with the results of this one, but I really need some help until I hire one. My favorite one so far, and the one I'll probably end up going with, is not available to start for another two weeks, and I really cannot wait that long. Last Friday, I took him on an hour long brisk walk, to tire him out and get him exercised (he was recently neutered so I didn't want him running or jumping like he usually does) and as we were reaching home, completely unprovoked (no one else was around, no dogs, nothing happened) he jumped up and grabbed my arm, and bit down really hard. It's been getting progressively more aggressive, but never like that. He broke skin a little, and now I have two huge bruises on my arm. I need advice on how to stop this behavior. He's only six months old, so I want to resolve this while he's still a puppy. Also, what should I do in the act? How do I get him to stop biting, and what correction should I use while it is happening? I would really appreciate anything at all. Thank you
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Paislee

play hard, power- nap, eat fast.
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 24, '11 6:45am PST 
Hi! what a cutie! Ok, first of all the bitter apple is for coating whatever they may be chewing or licking, not for punishing the deed just for deterring. Our similar mix is the same way with my daughter, never with me though. My daughter is very soft hearted and not a firm leader, bad with a Houla. Though they are sensitive enough to hold heavy handedness against you forever, they also need a strong enforcement of rules because they are one of those 'extended puppyhood' breeds. Both these breeds use their mouth extensively to get their target to do what they want ACD's for nipping and Houlas for grabbing their target and wrestling it to the ground or heavy handed intimidation of big strong livestock so their first instinct is going to be to use their mouth to get you to do what they want. That has to be discouraged quickly. I agree with the yelp, stick with that tactic but make sure you are making eye contact with the dog when you are expressing the displeasure and this takes a while to get through so be patient and consistent. Keeping plenty of toys around to give an acceptable alternative immediatly after is also a good tactic. Establishing a working relationship with your dog with frequent daily training session going over the basics and introducing new behaviours helps your dog to learn focus and then makes it easier for you to redirect the dog when it is doing something unacceptable. It is much easier to teach a dog what you want it to do than to teach it what you don't want it to do. So when the dog nips and bites you would 'yelp' (personally I practically roared the one time she bit me) and then have the dog sit or lie down or whatever to redirect the unwanted behavior and then praise for the acceptable behavior. I keep reading how Houla traits breed out quickly after just one cross but my girl is just 1/4 houla her maternal grandfather was full but she acts so much more like a houla than a ACD. Much less eager to please her handler and much more interested in destroying something or taking someone anyone down for the victory of the conflict at all costs. All old time Houla breeders suggest the same thing, you cannot be violent but you cannot be meek to own a Houla they need firm direction because they are tenacious forces of nature. At the same time they want to be your partner so they need a lot of consistant interaction to get to know what the expectations of them are. Lastly, they need some pretty intense excercise to allow them to be calm enough to accept training, a walk on a leash is not usually enough. You may want to look into the option of biking with your dog or training fetch, frisbee something to get some of that energy used up to allow your dog to be able to be calm enough to learn.
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Kevin

1218728
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 6:12am PST 
Thanks for the advice. Kevin gets a lot of exercise and I always make sure that he's panting by the time we finish. I do obedience training with him and he understands whats asked of him so quickly. Someone told me that saying no bite and pulling on his collar every time he bites would help, and I have to say it has. I've even noticed that he doesn't like having my hand in his mouth at all anymore, let alone biting down on it. The yelping thing didn't really work with him. Each time I yelped, he got excited and went for another bite. I was told that it could be a result of leaving his mother and litter too early. Anyway, his biting has gotten much better and he's really becoming a wonderful dog. Thanks again
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Tonka

1181271
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 16, '12 11:57am PST 
Mine is 17 months old and still doing it. I've been told to really focus on impulse control exercises. Problem is, we do a lot of the practicing indoors, and he doesn't generalize it to outdoors very well. Today I tried keeping his leash attached while we were out in the backyard. If he started jumping and biting, I'd step on his leash, and say "time out." After about 30 seconds, I'd release, and he'd go on his merry way. I'm hoping this works. He especially does this when I'm wearing gloves.
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Finnley

1229727
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '12 7:47am PST 
It's been a while since your post so I hope you have resolved the issue. We have the same problem, our puppy (4mo) is constantly biting at us. We have been consistently saying "Ouch" to her when she so much as puts her mouth on us. She has almost stopped and when she does slip and do it, we say ouch and she will usually follow it with a lick. Ouch seems to work, it doesn't come out sounding very friendly so the tone helps as much as anything. Hope you're getting along better!
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