Biting Cocker Spaniel

by Claire
(London)

This Cocker Spaniel Puppy Likes To Bite Shoes!

This Cocker Spaniel Puppy Likes To Bite Shoes!

I have a cocker spaniel puppy who in nearly nine weeks old. I've had him for a little over a week and at first he was settling in really well. In the last couple of days he has developed a habit of biting, nipping and it really hurts!

I have tried everything the experts say to do - yelping out loud, ignoring him, saying no sternly, clapping my hands, banging a pot, etc.

He might stop for ten seconds but then starts again right away. It's also hard to ignore him when as soon as I disentangle him from my leg he's straight back on with his razor teeth. How am I meant to deal with this? I have been reluctant to use his crate as a time-out because he is very good in his crate and I don't want to have him equate it with being in trouble, so that the crate becomes a problem too.

However, ten minutes ago I snapped after repeated attempts to stop him nipping and put him in his crate. He is now quiet after five minutes crying - have I done the wrong thing?

I feel that he is a little under-stimulated, but he won't listen or pay attention when I try to introduce new training tips to stimulate his mind, no matter how patient I am with him (he just runs around crazy and nips when he comes close to me), so all I end up doing is throwing a ball around which he loses interest in soon enough.

How can I teach him more stimulating games if he won't listen at all? We can't go on walks for another three weeks until his inoculations are finished.

I am going crazy! What can I do to stop this behavior before it becomes permanent? I know it's only been a week and I never expected training a puppy to be easy but I feel like he is worse behaved now than when I got him, and I want to deal with the behavior as soon as possible.

I feel like all I'm doing is shouting at him right now and he will grow to hate me!

Help!

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Puppy Biting
by: Pauline (Webowner)

First of all, take a deep breath - hold it for 5 seconds and let it out slowlyyyyyyy!

You poor thing, you sound so harrassed!

I think you're right when you say your puppy is understimulated.

Try to tire your puppy out. If you have a garden, or a friend with a garden, get out there with your puppy and let him run about. Teach him as many puppy games as you possibly can.

When you're indoors, have regular play sessions with him and don't forget to change his toys so that he doesn't become bored with them.

Your puppy is still young. I recommend you continue with the puppy obedience training and only move on when you're certain he's fully learned each command.

The exercise and play sessions will give him the physical stimulation he needs and the training will stimulate his mind.

A tired puppy is less likely to get up to mischief and will be better behaved.

If you are stressed and/or upset, your puppy will pick up on it. If you shout at your puppy, he may think you're playing and think it's a game - thus compounding the situation. On the other hand, your shouting at him may frighten him and could cause your puppy to become aggressive (fear aggression).

I fully sympathize, it's not easy looking after a lively little puppy, but you must continue with the bite inhibition training - for his sake and for your sanity!

Try not to shout - stay calm and matter of fact.

Read through our article on Puppy Biting and start the training again.

Make sure he's got enough teething rings or puppy chew-toys. If he bites, give him a chew-toy. If he ignores it and tries to bite you, yelp loudly, and ignore him. If he continues to bite, give him some 'time out' - 60 seconds or so should be enough.

If you're worried about putting him in his crate as a 'punishment', simply leave the room if he won't stop biting. (So long as the room is safe for your puppy to be alone for a minute or two.)

The key to getting this right, especially with an insistent puppy, is patience and persistence!

Enjoy your puppy - don't lose heart!


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