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Puppy biting kids

Discussion in 'Pit Bull Puppy Discussions' started by Pumpkinsm0mma, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Hello 2 1/2 weeks ago I adopted a 12 week old Pit/Boxer puppy. She is now 14 weeks. My husband and I vowed to do right by her and make sure we were raising a stand-up doggy citizen.

    In the past 2 1/2 weeks we have made sure to socialize her with old dogs, puppies, big dogs, small dogs, and everywhere in between. We've made sure to socialize her with people ages 0-90. We don't play tug of war with her, we don't let the kids run around her, we don't wrestle or rough house around her or with her, we take her on car rides, we take her on walks, crate train, we have visitors and she visits other homes, we are on the ball with potty training, etc.

    She is enrolled in and attending AKC obedience classes. We train with her every day and she knows (although doesn't always obey) the commands of sit, stay, down, crawl, leave it, and gentle.

    I told myself that I would never be one of those people who got a dog, ruined him/her by being a crappy owner, and then got rid of him/her. I don't believe in that and it kills me to see others do it. I read up on pit/boxer mixes and aside from the normal stigma on some occasions, everything I saw said that they are great family dogs. The people who rescued the pups said that they met her parents and both were sweet dogs.

    But I'm starting to have second thoughts because of her biting at my kids. I get her mouthing and chewing because she's teething, but today she ran at my 6 year old son (I have a 6 year old, 9 year old and two 11 year olds) and grabbed his shorts and started pulling on him hard and relentlessly and he hadn't been doing anything to provoke her. She clipped his skin when she did it and he was crying and scared. Twice more later on she lunged at his legs, trying to bite at him, once when his legs were bare because he had just gotten out of the shower and had his undies on which he sleeps in when it's hot.
    I know that training comes in to play here, as does just being a puppy, but I can't let my kids get hurt while she learns. What do I do? I feel like I'm doing everything right but that it's just going wrong.
     
  2. leavesofjoy

    leavesofjoy Big Dog Premium Member

    It really sounds like you are doing everything right! Don't beat yourself up, and don't think it's all going wrong, she's just a puppy and puppies are sometimes....evil.

    You're there and the best judge of her mindset when it happens, but it sounds just like the phase my boy went through when he decided that was a fun game and the way we should all play. It doesn't sound to me like she was provoked into any aggression or that she's not a good sweet dog, just that she's a puppy with rude ideas about what good play behaviour is. But you're right, your kids shouldn't get hurt while she learns.

    For Griffin, what worked was as soon as he started nipping, chasing, grabbing, playing like a jerk- he got scooped up, carried out, and to a solo time out in a safe place. We used his crate, that's controversial, but it worked for us. It takes many repetitions, which is aggravating, but eventually she will learn that acting that way results in boring alone time ending the fun.

    It might also be helpful to keep her on a leash when she's with you and around the kids, so it's easy to grab control of her the moment she gets out of line. For the first few months of Griff's puppyhood with us, he was either tethered to me, on a leash in the same room as me, or safe in his crate.

    Since she is learning things, are the kids involved? I also think maybe if the 6 year old does some training with her, he will seem more like an authority and less like a target! Can he sometimes work with her on her commands and tricks? That might shift the balance a bit and teach her to respect him more. Plus, more training is super tiring, and that should take some of the wind out of her sails.

    It really sounds like you're working hard and doing great, don't despair!

    -MN
     
  3. Mister

    Mister Little Dog

    Don't see any mention of game playing. Pups need more play time than owt else to burn of excess energy. Games such as tug of war, fetch etc are all beneficial to having a well rounded pup.
     
    ETRaven2, Kit, Michele and 4 others like this.
  4. leavesofjoy

    leavesofjoy Big Dog Premium Member

    Good point! Play some games you approve of, or else pup will come up with her own.

    Also, because someone's gonna ask sooner or later, can we see pictures of your puppy? Please? We love puppy pictures! :D

    -MN
     
    Kit, Nat Ursula and Capt. Roxy like this.
  5. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Puppies are a ton of work. I had a boxer puppy who behaved like that too. I recommend an ex pen, a crate, and a leash. If left unattended at all the puppy should be crated. It should always be watched in the ex pen so it doesn't climb over and develop bad habits. Don't let him run around leashed. Ours ate three leather leashes so far. He needs to be watched at all times when he is not in his crate. The ex pen is great because he can run and play but not develop bad habits with the kids, etc. I wish we had known about that when we had him. It took us a while of teaching not to grab onto shirt sleeves and pjs and pull. I just learned that you can buy a cover for the ex pen too. That is nice because you can attach the ex pen to something so they don't push it around the house and you can cover it so they can't get out.

    Be extra careful because he might jump up and nip your kids lips.
     
  6. pitbulldogs

    pitbulldogs OHMUHGERD Staff Member Administrator Premium Member

    I have to agree with Mister.. When i seen "NO TUG OF WAR" i instantly thought that is exactly what i WOULD BE doing, not trying to avoid it. As everyone stated, puppies can be assholes, plain and simple, we have had a new puppy every year for the last 3 years, me personally? I am about puppy-ed out (unless Vicki breeds Sally hehe). Just keep at it and expect a puppy to do puppy things, like poop, pee, bite, nip, zoom, romp, act crazy, spin in circles, tear shit up ect. as they don't know what you expect of them yet, they need to learn boundaries. Do not expect them to pick it up right away either, when training and teaching a puppy, consistency is key, you need to stay at it, be dilligent.

    Here is a few things that may help a bit.

    #1 Get a good little chew for the puppy, when he starts teething you can thank me later. A puppy Nylabone would be a good start.
    #2 Get a couple small toys, this includes tugs, ropes, soft squeaky toys ect. Never leave any of the toys out, period. You may leave the Nylabone out if you want.
    #3 Work the dog in such a way that it is fun for the pup, things that make the dog want to respond and engage with you. When i say work, i mean basically get the pups attention and do little mini workouts with him. Keep it light and short for now. The pup won't know he is working but he is.
    #4 MENTAL EXERCISE < this is an important one, try and stimulate the pup by teaching him commands, this will also tire him out some as well which will help with all the rowdyness.
    #5 The main goal should be trying to get and keep your dogs attention. This way it is much easier to redirect any unwanted behaviors. use voice commands along with hand gestures. All my of dogs will stop dead in their tracks when they hear me snap my finger and they look at me for direction, i will use my pointer finger to keep their attention briefly and then i can give a command.

    Anyways, those are some things that have worked for me raising a new puppy every year for the last 3 years lol.

    20229386_10155351143255482_5762369709297350467_n.jpg
     
  7. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    If the pup tries to nip the child, replace that behavior with a positive behavior (chew toy).
     
  8. Worg

    Worg Little Dog

    What is the reasoning behind avoiding tug of war? As long as you teach your puppy to release on command and keep it confined to toys, I don't see a problem.
    I feel it could be beneficial as it teaches the pup to keep that kind of play to the toys and only when initiated by a human. It's a great release of energy as well.

    I also wrestle with my dogs, though I am more careful with my current Pit mix because she has horrible bite inhibition (I did not raise her, I got her a few months ago at 3 years old) and leaves me bruised.

    Puppies are often jerks and will test humans and other dogs constantly and see what they can get away with. Bite inhibition is a pretty important thing to teach puppies, but it can't be done by completely avoiding play that includes their mouths. My hands look horrible the first few weeks of owning a puppy, but they gradually learn and play more gently. It also helps once they get their adult teeth because puppy teeth are MUCH sharper.

    This kind of behavior, just based on this post, sounds like normal puppy behavior that can be solved with age as well as giving the pup a good outlet for its energy.

    The only other thing I have to add is yes get some good toys, but don't over do it. Often when dogs have too many toys they get bored more easily. I have maybe 4 toys for my dog and they get put away except for one 'indestructible' ball until it's play time, otherwise she will get bored of them or lay down and completely destroy them.
     
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  9. LeighAnn

    LeighAnn Little Dog Premium Member

    My first dog as a 16 year old girl was a boxer.. let me tell you, till this day, that dog had more energy than any other dog I've owned up to this day. I raised him from a puppy of 7 weeks up to his sudden death of heart failure at 5 years old. I can only imagine the energy a boxer/pit mix has because I read that Pit-Bulls require a lot of excersise and play time ( 4 hours a day in some literature).. but I'd like to know who's dogs on this forum are doing that.. That might be a long stretch.

    So, from everything I've read about the play biting, I agree.. Stimulate them with games and exercise. A tired pup will be the most well behaved pup in my opinion.. They don't have any pent-up energy, their mind is more relaxed and they tend to be much easier to train during this stage ( in my unprofessional opinion ).. I just know this is what has worked for me.

    In remembrance of my Tyson..
    IMG_20170831_081740_332.jpg
     
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  10. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Oh, so cool. The Vet told me that the first year with a Boxer puppy is super tough. mine used to pull knives off the kitchen counter top, yank on the hose that was attached to the house, and chase a basketball around the fence line like a Tasmanian devil. He made his own spring pole and was seen swinging from the tree on a daily basis.
     
  11. LeighAnn

    LeighAnn Little Dog Premium Member

    That's sounds about right.. lol.. I honestly think Tyson, my boxer, is the main reason why I fell in love with the bully breeds. Such personality.. it just seems to take a more assertive owner than other breeds. You have to stay on top of them or they will try to get away with everything. I liked the challenge though.. Still miss the guy, but I'm the type of dog owner that won't own the same breed more than once for fear of disappointment due to unfair comparison.
     
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  12. Thank you for your input! I will definitely put your suggestions to use - especially having my kids train with her.

     
  13. We do play fetch although she's still grasping the concept of bringing the back. We have been told by the group that we adopted her from and the trainer, not to play tug of war with her so we haven't been doing that, but the trainer did have this toy that he made for dogs to chase that she LOVED so maybe I will make one of those for her to play with. Thank you!

     
  14. Of course!! She flops her ears every which way lol. 20170912_082529.jpg 20170923_115611.jpg

     
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  15. Thank you for all the suggestions! I will look into the ex pen.
    Th
     
  16. Thank you! Sorry my phone is being weird when I try to reply to people so this is going to be short, but i appreciate all you're suggestions and sharing your knowledge.

     
  17. Thank you for your response! They told us not to play tug of war around her or wrestle with our around her, stating that it could lead to aggression. I let her mouth my hands and tell when she bites down too hard to try to teach her bite inhibition. She can be so sweet. When I say "gentle" she knows to take the treat gently with just her front little teeth. She has a kong, a furry rabbit with a squeaker, a chewing bone, a shoe, and a pair of socks knotted together so not an over abundance but I do leave them out all the time and maybe I should stop doing that. I'm glad to hear it's normal puppy behavior.

     
  18. Aww what a sweet looking dog ♡ ... and thank you for your advice!

     
  19. leavesofjoy

    leavesofjoy Big Dog Premium Member

    Well, I take it all back. It MUST be all your fault, because no one that cute could ever be bad or unruly, not ever! ;)
    It's a good thing puppies are so cute that we fall in love with them instantly, before their rudeness fully shows itself.

    Also, another vote for tug. I heard all the same advice against it, and it makes some sense in a way, but we ignored that advice because we all love tug, and it is really tiring for puppies. It's a great way to teach all kinds of rules, since they love it so much, you can use that play drive as a reward. We play tug every day for at least a few minutes, and it's one of the highlights of my day, and Griffin's.

    -MN
     
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  20. Mister

    Mister Little Dog

    Your trainers talking out the wrong hole, stating tow could lead to aggression is an idiotic thing to say imo. Getting a pup to bring a toy back is fairly easy, throw it as soon as the pup gets the toy, crouch down low encouraging the pup to bring it back by making sweet squeaky noises or whatever attracts the pup to return to you, more often than not they fetch the toy with them.
    Considering you've only just got the pup your possibly overloading the pup with to much to soon. If I were you I'd teach the pup one parlour trick at a time and only move on to the next when he's mastered the previous trick. Teach him to sit, once he's doing that reliably then move on to down and so on.
    I don't consider a pup nipping to be normal behaviour. Probably because I've never had a pup persist in doing it. A good loud angry no, shut away and ignored in it's crate for half an hour or so usually sorts em out.
     
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