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Lv 7
Jesse asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

Is there one form of reasoning why this happens & why this question is asked so many times?

What is the REAL problem? I honestly don't get it. EXAMPLE of a question:

~I have a black lab puppy,three months old. She bites hard,your hands and your face?

She growls & attack when you try to correct her, Is this normal for a black lab puppy~

This question is asked repeatedly about ALL breeds, small, medium, large......about all seems to be a very hard thing for people to correct.

Not to sound *all about myself* but I NEVER had a problem with this. And I have had plenty of puppies in my life. Dozens.

Is there one common denominator? I honestly don't get it. I mean, the human goes to correct the pup and the pup thinks the human is *playing*.

Never have I used a correction in which the pup/dog thought I was just playing...

Your thoughts, please?

9 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ditto - this is an instinctive, normal thing that "all puppies do" (bite/nip). If it continues more than a few weeks in the pup's new home without marked improvement it tells me one of these is going on:

    (1) The "correction" is not unpleasant for the pup, so the pup doesn't realize it's gotten a correction at all - tapping the nose, laughing while giving a verbal correction, a verbal correction without a physical consequence (even if that is just a cessation of play), etc - if the pup doesn't find the "correction" unpleasant, then it won't work as a correction.

    (2) The owner has rotten timing, the puppy is getting a correction, but that correction is not being paired with the bad behavior. Most owners manage to correct biting/nipping close enough to the occurrence that sooner or later the pup catches on, but some owners wait too long or are inconsistent about giving the correction so the pup isn't sure what behavior triggers the correction.

    (3) The pup is given no option other than biting/nipping. Replacement behavior is important - if the pup is biting your toes to get your attention and NOTHING else will get your attention (that the pup knows of) the behavior will continue. Putting a chew-toy into a mouthy puppy's mouth after correcting the bite can go a long way - one of our dogs (rescued as an adult) is just a mouthy dog, but he now seeks out a toy and carries it around or plays with it in his mouth because he knows that is an acceptable replacement to mouthing humans.

    This explains if 99% of the time, there ARE some dogs that are born with temperaments such that a bark/growl is just their life-long response to a correction. I knew a very well-trained Sheltie that gave a snarl for every collar correction he ever got - never bit anyone, and I wouldn't consider him an unsafe or even an aggressive dog with the great trainer that he had, but any correction just made him angry/upset and he let that out with his bark/growl/snarl and went back to business. I've also known a few dogs that were so unstable that almost anything would provoke an attack, even when they were puppies - those were sad cases, owners did everything right, and the dogs were never safe and ended up being euthanized, they were just born "off" and nothing could fix it.

    But, both of those cases are the minority. My guess is that most of it stems from people not understanding what a correction means and how to administer it - if the dog doesn't find it unpleasant, it's not a correction and if it isn't connected in the dog's mind to the problem behavior, it is not correcting the right thing, and, finally, if the dog or pup doesn't have another outlet or option for their behavior, the behavior will not stop.

  • cen5
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    There is no doubt in my mind that this is all down to people baying their dogs. IN the current financial climate, people think that a dog can be a cheaper subsitute for a child, but then proceed to treat the puppy as they would a child and wonder hwy their dog ends up crazy. I have had a few of these tun up at my trainign schol and ask "Does the dog hate me?" to which the reply is "The dog doesn't respect you"

    In my exoerience this happens most comonly in the small breeds, or those breeds which have conventionally 'cute' puppies, the worst offenders being the lhasa apso, people getting them because they couldn't find a shih-tzu and "they look just the same". But of course their temperaments are very different. I have never had anyone bitten by a rottweiler, doberman, boxer, GSD in my class, I have had one bite from a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and have lost count of how many small breeds have bitten ther owners

  • kelly
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    It never fails to amaze me the ignorance of some . It appears many people are blind to puppy ownership and all it entails . Questions that baffle me beyond belief .. Is my puppy male or female ? My puppy has blood coming from her bum , does she need the vet ? I find it staggering such questions are asked , what ever happened to common sense ?

    I too have never experienced a problem like that . My present puppy certainly knows the difference between playing ans a correction , Dogs as we all know are masters at reading body language , i fail to see how how they could get a correction confused with playing . So it falls i Guess to inexperienced owners , that generally dont have a clue .how to train / socialise read the body language of dogs . Unfortunately it seems the dogs mostly loose out in circumstances like these , when in fact its the owners that have failed the dog.

  • 9 years ago

    I've never understood it, either, but I hear all the time of people who walk on eggshells around their dogs and are completely controlled by them....never have I had a dog that thought they were in charge of me - ever.

    I'm betting either they are correcting in a soft, friendly voice and the pup thinks it's still time to play, or they have in the past and the pup doesn't understand what's going on.

    It's hard to really understand what's going on because they use such odd language. "Bites hard" and "growls and attacks" makes you think they've got a little monster on their hands and one that is aggressive...when in reality it could just be a play growl and play mouthing. Not that it's more excusable, but we both know play behavior is far less serious than actual aggression.

    ADD: I've done the high-pitched puppy yip before as well. It isn't how I taught my dogs not to bite, but if I'm playing and they do I tend to just yip. It probably doesn't always work but it sure does get my dogs' attention, if only for a second. Of course, my natural yelp sounds like that so I'm sure they've picked that up over the years.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I don't blame the owners entirely. A lot of new owners, especially youngsters, are terrified of being thought cruel or abusive, so they don't deliver a correction the puppy will understand. There are hundreds of wishy-washy training manuals and videos out there on the web that contribute to this. I find the advice to "yelp" hilarious, because yelping is exactly what the puppy is trying to achieve with his play biting. I always respond to puppy biting with an immediate scruffing (immobilizing, not lifting the pup) and a very, very loud NO! delivered with my face an inch from theirs. Always works.

  • 9 years ago

    I find that many people seem to think that they don`t need to train a Lab because they think it`s ``born super friendly``.

    But, since you`re talking about all Dogs, these people may be first time Dog owners or first time Puppy owners. And, people tend to think that Puppies only ``just play`` which is obvious it`s not true.

    I`m not going to say too much since the youngest Dog I ever owned was 6 months old.

  • Coley
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    That is exactly never used a correction the pup/dog thought you were playing. I dont have the damn problem either. But then again I dont tap my dog with a (insert girly squeal here) STOP IT. Neither do I clamp their mouths shut, snap them on the noses or screech. One time correction DONE.

    I agree...far too many questions about this overly TYPICAL puppy behavior that it is frustrating. Then the clowns come out and say squeel like a puppy o_O Every now and again you hear someone state they *tried* that and it doesn't work (Dont think the clowns read those ones tho)

    ADD sorry missed the question. Yep there is a common denominator and that is people who are too soft and dont want to hurt the wittle puppies feelings by utilizing a REAL correction to solve a simple problem.

    ADD My AB was a monster in this regard. Granted the litter nearly ripped a nipple off of mom fighting over teats...She was a gator and never snapped but fully latched on for all she was worth. I brought her home, took her outside, snuggled a bit and put her in the crate. Then the kids came home from school excited to see the puppy. My daughter opened her crate. Gem bombed out, full of wiggly puppy energy and literally SANK every one of her teeth into Elise's ribcage. She was snarling (in play) and gave a good shake. Elise squealed in pain (mind you my girl was 7yrs old) and in one quick swoop, she grabbed the pup by the scruff, pulled her feet up and said NO BITE with a bit of a shake back. She was a bit rough...but so was pup and the pup GOT IT. Sat in front of her with the cutest little head cock trying to take that lesson in. Elise was dripping blood as those needle teeth sunk in...the pup got her good. She was funny (my daughter) She said "mom you are right...she is NOT like a Cavalier puppy. I was expecting my fingers or toes to be nipped not to be totally bit" LOL It did seem every member of the family had to take her to school once ;) But after that...she learned no one gets teeth on skin in my house LOL. Seriously it was a 2 day event to go thru all the family members. After that, we struggled for a couple weeks with puppy on pant legs. But she knew not to touch skin lol.

  • 9 years ago

    I did have that problem with my BC mix, dumbest dog on the planet, still can't make the connection between an immediate correction and the behavior - just gives a blank stare and I just know he's thinking "who is she talking to?". What gets to me is that so many questions make it a breed issue, even when the behavior is not attributable to the breed's drive. Mixes too. "is this normal for a GSD/beagle/bichon mix?"

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Most people asking this question:

    A) Do not understand puppy behavior;

    B) Do not understand Canine Language;

    C) Are children, not adults.

    Even if they have had dogs before they have not paid enough attention to the dogs to really learn anything from them.

    Source(s): 49 years breeding, training and competing with dogs of various breeds.
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