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what to do when puppy nips hands?

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        06-03-2014, 02:38 PM
      #11
    Trained
    You don't need to smack her, she's playing and hasn't been taught what hurts in a way she understands.

    The way I have always done it is to set them up to fail, by which I mean, nip or even mouth your hands. The SECOND your hands are in her mouth or she hurts you at all, let out a LOUD "yelp" and then get up and immediately walk away from her. Ignore her until she calms down. At this age once she calms down I would ask her to sit, calmly praise her, and then go back to playing. It might take a little bit longer because she is older, but I've never had this method fail and I have helped raise hundreds of pups. It works because you are relating to her in behavior that makes sense to her. This is the same way pups play with each other and their mothers and learn what is acceptable and what is not. It has the added benefit of teaching a dog bite moderation, especially in regards to people and that is a very important skill for a dog to have in my experience.

    There are several problems with hitting her, one is making her hand shy and the other is escalating the "game." It is surprising what a playful puppy can turn into a game... It does work with some dogs, but not all. The muzzle thing can and does work as well, I'm just not a fan of it myself. Probably because I've been using the "yelp and ignore" method for longer and haven't really needed anything else.
    Wallaby, Remali, smrobs and 2 others like this.
         
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        06-04-2014, 10:28 AM
      #12
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    

    There are several problems with hitting her, one is making her hand shy and the other is escalating the "game."
    There are different ways to attain the same goal, so the OP can choose which way she wants to go, but I just wanted to comment that neither our puppy or my horses are head/hand shy. When they deserve it, they get smacked.

    There's a difference between abusing an animal and giving them punishment when they deserve it.

    If you have an older dog playing with a puppy who nips or bites the older dog .... what is the older dog going to do? Yelp (say "ouch") and run to hide the corner? No, probably not.

    The older dog is going to get after the puppy for over-stepping their bounds, either with a return bite or a growl, or some sort of aggressive "I'm the boss" action.

    Same concept.
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        06-04-2014, 10:53 AM
      #13
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    There are different ways to attain the same goal, so the OP can choose which way she wants to go, but I just wanted to comment that neither our puppy or my horses are head/hand shy. When they deserve it, they get smacked.

    There's a difference between abusing an animal and giving them punishment when they deserve it.

    If you have an older dog playing with a puppy who nips or bites the older dog .... what is the older dog going to do? Yelp (say "ouch") and run to hide the corner? No, probably not.

    The older dog is going to get after the puppy for over-stepping their bounds, either with a return bite or a growl, or some sort of aggressive "I'm the boss" action.

    Same concept.
    There is nothing wrong with smacking a dog or a horse, but smacking a dog in the face is a good way to make them hand shy. Maybe your dogs have not come up hand shy, but I would hazard a guess that you haven't trained hundreds or thousands of dogs. Some dogs it won't phase in the slightest, other's it will make hand shy. Why risk it if there is a better way? There is a very good reason why the top field trial trainers in the US will not hit or punish a dog on it's face and that is because it carries a very good chance of making a dog hand shy.

    Actually, YES the dog does "yelp" and occasionally will grab the young dog (note I said grab, not bite) and hold them momentarily. Very often they will get up and ignore the young dog afterwards. It's not "running and hiding in the corner" at all and I didn't give that impression. It's removing your attention from the dog (which they crave) and it is a very effective punishment.

    I have been watching large packs of dogs interact with both puppies and young transplants a great majority of my life. I have watched many young dogs be put in their place by an older dog. Even rough or overly exuberant ones. Dogs do not escalate nearly as quickly as you seem to think and they don't jump straight to the harder punishments that would be the equivalent of a smack to the face. They generally start with removing themselves or restraining the pup being a PITA, it's only when there have been repeated attempts to teach the pup correctly that they escalate to an equivalent of a smack on the face.
    Remali likes this.
         
        06-04-2014, 11:41 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
    There is nothing wrong with smacking a dog or a horse, but smacking a dog in the face is a good way to make them hand shy. Maybe your dogs have not come up hand shy, but I would hazard a guess that you haven't trained hundreds or thousands of dogs. Some dogs it won't phase in the slightest, other's it will make hand shy. Why risk it if there is a better way? There is a very good reason why the top field trial trainers in the US will not hit or punish a dog on it's face and that is because it carries a very good chance of making a dog hand shy.

    Actually, YES the dog does "yelp" and occasionally will grab the young dog (note I said grab, not bite) and hold them momentarily. Very often they will get up and ignore the young dog afterwards. It's not "running and hiding in the corner" at all and I didn't give that impression. It's removing your attention from the dog (which they crave) and it is a very effective punishment.

    I have been watching large packs of dogs interact with both puppies and young transplants a great majority of my life. I have watched many young dogs be put in their place by an older dog. Even rough or overly exuberant ones. Dogs do not escalate nearly as quickly as you seem to think and they don't jump straight to the harder punishments that would be the equivalent of a smack to the face. They generally start with removing themselves or restraining the pup being a PITA, it's only when there have been repeated attempts to teach the pup correctly that they escalate to an equivalent of a smack on the face.
    Devil's advocate question here:

    We have a friend on the police force. He has been to the training sessions where they are training police dogs. When a police dog messes up, they literally "hang" the dog by it's collar, so forcefully, for so long, that the anal glands blow. I am not exaggerating.

    Why don't the police dogs become "leash shy" from being jerked like that?
         
        06-04-2014, 12:05 PM
      #15
    Trained
    The ones that would become leash shy from being jerked around like that have long since been weeded out of the population more than likely. I know less about police dog training, but I would hazard a guess that it is a lot like police horse training in that the the ones that cannot handle the pressure are culled. My aunt had a cull, he had a weird switch where he'd bite under pressure. He never made it to the higher training because he couldn't handle it. You could probably assume (although I am wary of assumptions) that the culls are probably dogs that would not react appropriately to being hung by a leash. Not to mention the fact that police dogs are generally bred for the vigors and stresses of their work. Not generally the type of dog that is going to become fearful of something easily or they wouldn't be able to do their job.

    Do you know what collar conditioning is with field trial dogs? It looks absolutely terrible, but very few dogs cannot handle the training because it is with a purpose of teaching the dog how to handle pressure. When conditioned appropriately very few dogs become collar shy, although it does happen. That doesn't mean you can put a collar on a dog and use it without the dog becoming collar smart or shy. The dogs are conditioned to accept and understand the collar and what it entails. Dogs that cannot handle it are culled from the program.

    Smacking a dog in the face for playful nipping is an escalation beyond what the action deserves. It shouldn't be the first resort, it should be the last. I have hit dogs in the face, but it was when I had 120lbs of German Shepherd (that cull from above) hanging onto my knee when he snapped. A puppy nipping at my hands? I'll try the yelp and walk away method first, then the mouth grab, and very last a smack. Slow escalation of punishment is the way to retrain this type of behavior most effectively. Smacking has it's place, but it's not the first thing that should be tried. ETA - I have NEVER had to move beyond the mouth grab and I've only had to use that with the really obnoxious pups.

    If we want to apply it to horses, think about all the little body signals a horse gives before punishing an unruly colt. Their very first reaction is not to go after the colt with intent to hurt. There is loads of body language that occurs first and then they are usually chased off with threatening behavior, if (and only if) they don't move fast enough (which shows their submissiveness) are they bitten or kicked.

    In just about every healthy animal-animal interaction there is a slow escalation of behavior. It is very rare that there is a jump straight to the physical in an "aggressive" manner. It just makes sense to consider that when you are training an animal. Just like riding. When you're teaching a horse to yield to your leg, do you give a ton of pressure before it even understands? Or to you begin softly and teach?

    This is a similar situation. This pup doesn't understand that what she is doing is wrong because she has never been taught. She has to be taught what is appropriate and the best way to do it is to use a language she understands.
    smrobs, TessaMay and littlebird like this.
         
        06-04-2014, 06:09 PM
      #16
    Foal
    To prevent hand/head shyness for both horses and dogs, I pop underneath their mouth so they aren't really sure what hit them, they just know that when they nip it's uncomfortable. I don't really call this hitting because there is little force behind what I'm doing. It's hard enough to get their attention and I firmly say "NO!" It might take a few times but they will learn. I've done this to all my dogs and horses, including my extremely head shy abused mare, and it has never resulted in head shyness. In fact my mare is completely over her shyness and I can pet all over. Whatever you decide to do just make sure to be patient and firm.
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        06-05-2014, 02:52 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Thank you for all the helpful replies :). I will try all the methods and hopefully she will quit. Also I was not saying that the punishment is abuse, but that she was abused before she came to me and that combined with her 'careful ' nature means that she will become scared of something extra quickly. (we actually wanted a guard dog.... )
    Posted via Mobile Device
    MN Tigerstripes likes this.
         
        06-05-2014, 09:42 AM
      #18
    Trained
    If she is already somewhat of a fearful type make sure you socialize her rreally well. She might still make a decent guard dog, maybe even better because she might be more willing to bark, but if you don't socialize her and trained her well she couldn't of becoming a fear biter which is a very difficult situation to handle. Find a couple training classes in the area and the like. She needs to see "life" I'm a positive manner and even more so now given her age.
    Remali and BlueSpark like this.
         
        06-05-2014, 12:50 PM
      #19
    Trained
    First, I apologize for all the typos, I was using talk to text and apparently it didn't work very well.

    Second, I asked a friend who has trained and worked with a good number of dogs, rescue and otherwise, about your situation. She did suggest the yelp/walk method first and then the mouth grab thing, but she also suggested "replacement" which is basically giving her an appropriate chew toy when she is mouthing at your hands.

    I wasn't sure how you are currently dealing with her regarding this issue, but she brought up a good point that I hadn't considered. If you are acting "fearful" when she is nippy/mouthing at you, it's likely that you are inadvertently reinforcing her behavior. Esp given her own fearful nature, basically a positive reinforcement from the "rush" of your fear.

    She did agree that smacking shouldn't be your first option, esp with an already fearful dog. You don't want to make her more fearful, punishing and training fearful dogs is not something that should be taken lightly. There is a very real risk of making her more fearful or having her snap on you someday.
         
        06-05-2014, 01:31 PM
      #20
    Trained
    I'd grab her, flip her over on her back, and tell her a stern NO, and hold her there for a few seconds. Then release and praise praise praise.

    You need to learn alpha dog behaviors.

    I know when I have successfully become "pack master". My dogs aren't allowed to have their head above mine. It's a show of submission and respect. I get on all fours and lower my head. If they don't lower I go after them and reprimand them. Repeat until they get it.

    I also teach them to respect my boundaries and everything else that's off limits by allowing them to approach something or do something I want off limits and then take a sharp inhale. They know NO is a SERIOUS infraction, but if I take a deep breath they know to stop whatever and pay attention to me. Really promotes them listening for slight inaudible cues and makes for a responsive and attentive dog.

    So before your dog nips, take a sharp breath in and say a long deep NOOOOOO. Then gradually just move to the breath. You'll be suprised how quick they catch on.
    Flip and hold, intake and no, when she slips up.

    Good luck!
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