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Old 05-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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Question Play Biting

My yorkie, Max, has been living with us for three months now. We adopted him from the humane society, and they estimate his age to be about a year and nine months. He had lived in at least three homes before we adopted him, so we don't really know his past history.

Max gets in these moods where he just starts biting your hands and feet and tries to play tug of war with them. He goes from laying down resting to jumping up and deciding to play the biting game. If you hide your hands and/or feet, he nips at other body parts.

I have tried ignoring him (he just jumps up and bites my shirt or bites my heels) or crating him for a time out to rest (he is so hard to catch when he gets in this mood and then runs back and nips you again). I have also used the jar of pennies and the squirt bottle without success. He definitely thinks it is a game, and he thinks it is quite fun. But, it is no fun for us.

Anyone have a dog like this? Any other techniques to get him to stop biting? I am running out of ideas and my hands and feet hurt.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
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I also wanted to mention that we have tried the yelping and making different noises when he bites, but none of the noises phase him at all. We have also tried sticking a bone in his mouth, but that does not deter him either.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnydey View Post
I also wanted to mention that we have tried the yelping and making different noises when he bites, but none of the noises phase him at all. We have also tried sticking a bone in his mouth, but that does not deter him either.
He sounds like he's still in his puppy mode. Give it time. Seems like he
has had no training. Be patient. Sticking a bone in his mouth is good,
however, you might need to do that for a week before he gets it.
Be firm in your voice, don't yell tell him NO in a very firm voice and mean
it. Don't laugh because he'll know the difference. Time out in his create
don't do it either. His create should never, ever be used as punishment only a pleasurable place for him to go. Please understand that these guys learn
fast but you must be repetative on a constant basis and don't give up.
They are stronger in their way of thinking then we are so it's important not
to give up. Very much like bringing up a toddler. Be the boss and the mommy
but don't give up. Once you accomplish one thing there is always another
hurdle to get over. Good luck

Last edited by ARCHIE; 05-29-2008 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:19 PM   #4
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Sounds like he wants to play. Get a toy and try to play with him that way and see if that is what he wants.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:29 PM   #5
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I have tried playing fetch with him or tossing his toys around, thinking he might want to play, but he ignores them in favor of our hands or feet.

I agree about the crate. I don't want him to associate it with being bad. My husband, who works from home and is with him all day, just gets so frazzled and sticks him in there because he knows it calms him down. I have only done it once when he bit me so hard that blood was running down my leg and needed to tend to my leg and get him to rest.

He has had some training (6 classes so far). The trainer said he was very smart, and he learned everything in two classes. Problem is that he likes to bark at other dogs because he wants to go over and play with them. So, that resulted in him not passing the training class and moving on to higher classes. We are working with him at home still.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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My puppy is 6 wks old and does the same thing......I wear big, fluffy slippers and long sweats when I'm home with her.....my arms look like I was in a fight with a thorn bush......my skin rips easily and I bleed.....I use bones, play toys, anything I can put in her mouth.....but if she is really wild and wound up, I take her outside and she loves that......or I throw a toy for her to fetch. Anything to get her off my feet and hands. LOL
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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Our 14 week yorkie loves to nip at us. Which we know is normal because he's teething but it hurts, so we had to teach him. We went out and bought a spray bottle and it worked like magic. We only had to spray him once or twice and he caught on.

So as soon as he/she starts biting/nipping hide the spray bottle behind your back (never let them see what it is) than once he bites, spray in the face and say no in a firm voice.

Like I said, we only had to do this once or twice and he doesn't bite at us anymore.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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Since he's been in three different homes and is approaching two years old this pattern may be pretty well set. You might want to try putting stick deodorant on your hands when he gets the notion to nip. If you have ever had this in your mouth it's like biting a green persimmon. It will give him an unpleasant association by teaching him that you don't taste good. I have used it on the end of my nose to train puppies not to lick. It typically works for me after just one or two times.

He may have had someone encourage this behavior as a puppy in one of his previous homes, don't give up on him you can change behavior unless he's overly aggressive. Chances are he will lose some of the puppy play attitude on his own in the next few months. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:50 PM   #9
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My yorkie is 11 months old, and he has had a real problem with this as well. He has greatly improved though! Ignoring them really does work. But you have to REALLY ignore! First I would say "no bite" really firmly and put him on the floor. Then I stood with my back to him and my arms crossed and looked straight ahead. He would not give up easily...jumping at me and nipping my pant legs. But, no matter what he did I did not move and I did not look at him. I would hold this position for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. And, he would always give up eventually because it just wasn't any fun when I was just standing there like a statue. Once he was off finding something more interesting to do I would go back to what I was doing. For awhile he would immediately come back at me and start nipping at my hands and feet again, and I would have to repeat the whole process all over again. It took several repititions of this before he finally would completely give up. But, he always did give up. After a couple weeks of this he very rarely nips at me. And, now when he does I don't have to be quite so extreme. I just say "no bite" really firmly and put him on the floor. This is enough for him to leave me alone now. It is a very frustrating habit, and takes a lot of patience to break, but you can do it! I never thought I would get Sebastian to stop and he is so much better now! Good luck
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyancer View Post
My yorkie is 11 months old, and he has had a real problem with this as well. He has greatly improved though! Ignoring them really does work. But you have to REALLY ignore! First I would say "no bite" really firmly and put him on the floor. Then I stood with my back to him and my arms crossed and looked straight ahead. He would not give up easily...jumping at me and nipping my pant legs. But, no matter what he did I did not move and I did not look at him. I would hold this position for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. And, he would always give up eventually because it just wasn't any fun when I was just standing there like a statue. Once he was off finding something more interesting to do I would go back to what I was doing. For awhile he would immediately come back at me and start nipping at my hands and feet again, and I would have to repeat the whole process all over again. It took several repititions of this before he finally would completely give up. But, he always did give up. After a couple weeks of this he very rarely nips at me. And, now when he does I don't have to be quite so extreme. I just say "no bite" really firmly and put him on the floor. This is enough for him to leave me alone now. It is a very frustrating habit, and takes a lot of patience to break, but you can do it! I never thought I would get Sebastian to stop and he is so much better now! Good luck
Thanks for the advice. Cooper is 8 months and a total love. But when I play with him he gets overly excited and starts nipping at my hands. I am going to try your technique!
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:58 PM   #11
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In addition to ignoring the dog, it should help to put bitter apple spray on your hands. Let the dog lick your hands and he'll soon find out that it is one place where he doesn't want to stick his mouth.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:20 PM   #12
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Thnaks for the advice and tips!!!!
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:33 PM   #13
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My 9 week old doesn't nip, but does play bite. Whenever she does it to my hands I say NO in a firm voice and distract her with a toy. She really likes playing tug'o'war with a play rope. I also got her a nylabone so she gets her chewing fix. She seems like she is learning fast. A couple of times playing she got a finger and stopped and backed away. I think she was expecting the NO. I have been consistent and made sure any family member playing with her is too. I agree that consistency is the key. Also, find her some toys to take it out on too.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:41 PM   #14
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Chewie has always been a hand chewer/nipper up until I saw the show "It's Me or The Dog" on Animal Planet today. They had a family with a energetic yorkie and was a big nipper. The trainer lady said as soon as they attempt a nip, yelp loud, as high pitched as u can do it and do it every single time they try to nip on you. This is a familiar sound to them because if your yorkie was hurt all of the sudden, he/she would yelp really loud too. I tried it with Chewie and after just once, it really bothered him that he thought he was hurting me. I did it over and over. Eventually he would show the urge to nip, but would hold himself back. It was pretty neat to watch and much easier on my hands and toes. Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:48 AM   #15
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I saw that show too. Seems to work better than NO. Lots better. The high pitched yelping sound gets her attention a lot more.
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