My Puppy Merlin Bites My Ankles!

by DI
(Berkshire)

Puppy Biting Hurts!

Puppy Biting Hurts!

After my puppy has had a poo (never after a wee) he goes a bit manic and will try to bite the feet of whoever has taken him out.

He really growls and it's a bit scary so I wear wellies now so he can't hurt me. I have tried standing still but he persists.

What can I do to stop this behaviour?

Reply from Pauline (Web-Owner)

Hi Di,

Play biting is a natural part of a young puppy's life - it's how they learn and develop. (They don't have hands, so everything goes into the mouth!).

However, we need to teach our puppies 'bite inhibition' (not to bite hard) and that biting humans is not acceptable.

If your puppy tries to bite your feet, stand perfectly still and say 'Ow' and then 'No' in a loud voice to let him know that a) his biting hurts, and b) it's not acceptable.

By standing still, you're showing him that you will not 'play' with him when he bites. However, if he's become over-excited, he may not listen or obey anything you say at that point.

If this happens, when you're out with your puppy, use his lead to keep him away from your feet. Try to anticipate your puppy's actions. Immediately after he's finished his poop, (and before the thought of biting your feet enters his head) tell him he's a good boy and give him a small training treat. Calmly say to him, 'let's go' and start off on your walk again. No excitement at this stage as it may set him off on a biting bout.

If you feel you need to, distract him with a toy. Roll a ball on the ground in front of him. He'll likely follow it and begin chewing on that instead of your feet.

Continue with his puppy obedience training each day until he gets every one of them right first time....and don't stop there, use these commands every day before you give him anything - affection, food, play, etc. He must learn that there's no such thing as a 'free lunch' - he has to work for anything you give him. Solid training will also help your cocker spaniel to grow into a well-mannered little dog.

You can learn more about puppy biting here and this article about how to train your puppy may help too.

Please let us know how you both get on!

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Biting Puppy
by: Joli

Yes, I've seen that too. My dog goes mad after he's had a poo - he runs away like he's being chased by the devil!

My take on this is that it's an instinctive thing, something that he can't help. A bit like before going into battle your bowels empty to make you lighter and more able to run......I know it sounds mad, it's just my opinion.

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