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My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:45 pm
by Pepper
Hi! I'm new to this website and I have read other topics regarding this issue but have yet to be able to solve it.

First of all a little background info, my puppy's name is Yogi. He is a male, full-blood Chow Chow and is about 10 weeks old. I got him at 8 weeks. He is an only pet.

I literally cannot even pet my pup without him biting at my hand. Even if I don't go to pet him it's like if he sees a hand, he goes for it. I realize he is a puppy and he is just play-biting and possibly teething a little but his little puppy teeth hurt for one, and for two I don't want him to grow into an adult thinking that it's okay to bite a human in any way at all!

I have tried yelling "NO!" and it doesn't even phase him, he'll go right for my hand/arm as if I didn't even yell at him. I have tried to completely stop play altogether and ignore him for a little while after he does this but he will do it AGAIN the next time I come near him. He has PLENTY of toys and bones which I will hand him in place of my arm, and I take him outside to run around about 7-10 times a day.

I love the dog but it's almost like I can't even enjoy him. I want to pet him and not get my hand chomped on. I know he knows "NO" for the most part because if he's chewing o something he's not supposed to chew on I'll yell "NO" in a loud stern voice and he will stop.

My hands are tied (and welted and cut-up lol). Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone =]

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:31 pm
by kingalls

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:53 pm
by Pepper
Yes I did read that one. It was very informative and I have been trying that method...maybe I should just keep on trying it and he will catch on. Thank you.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:23 am
by belle
Hi Pepper, welcome to the world of chows. My Yogi went through that biting phase as well, not only did he go for the hands, he likes to bite our legs as well, just keep saying "no" firmly, give him a chew toy instead and he'll eventually get it. I also used the loud noise method, I kept a tin can with coins inside, each time he is in the mode, I shake/rattle that can around to distract him from what he is about to do, it worked for me, hope it'll work for you too. good luck.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:30 pm
by bunbun
From a puppy's point of view, your hand is just another chew toy, so this is how he will play with you if he is not shown otherwise. Sit down with him for a play session with lots of chew toys. Let him chew his toys, then sneak in a pet or two. As soon as he bites, put your hand in his mouth with your wrist coming out one side and your fingers coming out the other. Hold the back of his head and push your hand gently but firmly to the back of his mouth. He will be unable to close his mouth and this will be very uncomfortable for him, but it wont be painful. Hold for ten seconds, and then release. As soon as the discipline has been administered, go back to fun-loving mum and give him praise and toys. Give him a few moments of play, abot 30 seconds or so, and then give him another scratch. He will probably try to bite again, so just repeat the discipline. Do this about 5 times in the session, and then let it go for a few hours. Your puppy should be almost cured within the first day of this training exercise, and will probably need to be reminded only once in a while in the few weeks that follow, especially when he gets overly excited. If he is not responding to the exercise, you may need to increase the time you keep your hand in his mouth. DO NOT increase the pressure, you dont want to hurt him or injure his jaw! If he starts to realize what your doing and struggles to get away from you, straddle him with your knees to hold him still. This is a good sign, it means he is learning that his actions are receiving an unpleasent reaction, he just thinks he can overpower you. Remain firm, consistent, and calm. Dont yell, This will do nothing! Oh, and if you're worried about the bites, wear heavy-duty gardening gloves during the sessions :D . Hope this helps!

- Erin and her "baby substitute", Leela

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:09 pm
by Tippsy'smom
One: Don't yell "NO!" at him. They don't understand when you yell. Just a firm "No" will do.

Two: Try a high pitched "ouch" when he nips/bites you. This is what I've done with ALL of my puppies (chows and otherwise) and none of them bite/nip)

Three: Like you said, he's a puppy, he's not gonna pick it up over night, it could take months for him to consistently not bite/nip. You've only had him a few weeks, it take TIME.

Keep trying and good luck!

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:55 pm
by BeckiHutton
When lily came to us she had problems with play biting. What I have started to do is a very loud high pitched squeak. I have only had to repeat this 2 or 3 times and that is only today that I started and it seems to have stopped it already. I hope so anyway :) hehe

Hope this helps

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:47 pm
by m_saade

I have the same problem with my pup.

I tried the firm no, yelling no, giving toys after the no, I give him play sessions and give him treats while I increase excitement and he doesnt bite.

I have tried pushing my arm into his mouth... and NONE of it worked.

He is 3.5 months now, its been a month and ive been teaching him for a month. Since the 1st day I got him.

After all these trials, the only effective way I found is to spank him on the butt directly after the bite.
he will stop biting afterwards.

But still, the spanking stops him from biting only for a day.
on the next day the biting returns and my arms are constantly scratched and red.

Please I need an effective answer because all the methods mentioned in this thread do not work at all.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:19 pm
by Rory's Dad
As the prior post said, try a yelp. Convey your pain similar to what another puppy would do. Even if it doesn't hurt, earn an Oscar and pretend it does.

Might seem like no big deal at that age, but a full adult chow that bites, even as play, will hurt.

Do not spank him. If the yelp doesn't work, you need to segregate him to a separate space.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:45 pm
by m_saade
Thank you Rory's dad.

I tried the yelp 1 month ago. It worked a couple of times but after that he started ignoring it completely.

I will give your second suggestion a try.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:14 pm
by DrewBear
Sounds like you have a "strong-willed" Chow. :? Mine wasn't nearly as stubborn when he was a pup, but I do remember a turning point. I think I sort of growled at him. :shock: Mostly I took an aggressive stance and projected dominance. At the time I felt really bad because he went to a hiding place and avoided me for a couple of hours. But after this happened, he was much quicker to stop before the play got rough. I agree this is something best dealt with while they're still very young.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:30 pm
by m_saade
Hi drewbear,

He is apparently very strong willed, he even started challenging my authority at this young age :lol:
His biting is slowly and gradually improving.

I am trying not to let him be very excited at any time..

when he is not excited he doesnt bite.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:47 am
by DrewBear
m_saade wrote:when he is not excited he doesnt bite.
That reminds me of another revelation that helped me understand his nipping. This may not apply to all pups, but mine nips when he's hungry. I was feeding him 3-4 times per day when he was young. So once I figured out this signal for hunger, it was easy to get him to stop biting in most instances.

It also seemed to help if I could get him to burn off energy by somehow inciting him to do zoomies. The trick was not to get him excited to play rough with me, rather to zoom around in wild abandon. Lots of trial and error on what to do, but eventually we figured out a routine that worked. It sounds like you're on your way to working things out. There are always challenges with a puppy, but remember to fully enjoy these puppy days.

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:05 am
by m_saade
Hmm that is quite interesting... it might be the case with my pup. Nipping when hungry.

And as a side note, I took him to the vet today for his vaccination, and he told me what you previously said.

'He is one of the most strong willed chowchow pups I have ever seen.'

As he bit him for giving him a pill.

the vet is anticipating a stronger bite the next visit :D

Re: My Puppy Won't Stop Nipping/Play Biting

Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:35 pm
by cyberfunk
Hi There,

We have a 11 month old male chow puppy and went through a very similar issue and we tried all of the suggestions above, which obviously work for the right dog, but ours is also very strong willed also and would not stop biting/nipping in the early stages of his development. The only method that was successful for us was to firmly say (not yell) "No Bite" followed by "Tito go outside" and give him a "Timeout" outside for 2-5 minutes depending on the severity of the biting then let him come back inside.

I also understand when you say "its almost like i can't enjoy him...." my wife used to call me at work in tears because of how badly she had been beaten up all day... we even took a video to show our trainer because we couldn't understand why he was being so aggressive towards us, it was actually a really stressful time and we only started to make a breakthrough when he was around the age of 7 months old, when he finished teething... The breeder of 40 years also told us its quite normal for chows to do this, so much so that she wares gumboots and jeans around her house all the time when she has puppies, which is a really good idea!

But now we have learned how to communicate with Tito and he understands when we tell him he is being good and bad we have a beautiful relationship all 3 of us, so much so that we can now feel comfortable to lie on the floor and watch TV without feeling like we are going to be murdered by those razor sharp teeth at any moment so hang in there, be patient, don't loose your temper at them despite how you feel and there is quite a rewarding relationship waiting for you in the near future!