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Emily still nipping

Posted: 12 Mar 2016, 21:15
by Emily doodle
Hello everyone,
We are just one week in with our emily. It has been hard work but I'm hoping it will start to pay off..

Our biggest problem is nipping. We have been trying to replace with toys but sometimes that's not working. Her nips are also getting a bit stronger and a couple of time been accompanied by a small growl. Is this normal?

When she does it we say no. Put her down and give her a toy. However, because the kids are young it sometimes really hurts them...any ideas appreciated , gillian amd emily ☺

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 12 Mar 2016, 23:39
by suzi23173
It is normal but quite upsetting. The thing to realise is that you won't suddenly come up with a strategy which will switch it off. She will grow out of it when she gets that that's not how you play with people and suddenly it will stop. That may be with different people sooner and others later depending on how they handle her and how consistent they are.
It's kind of like when the penny drops rather than finding an instant cure.
Keep up what you are doing. Different pups respond to different things- yelping, turning your back, putting her out of the room offering a toy to bite etc. They do start to get a bit bolshy hence the growl- not wanting to be brushed or have feet wiped for example. Use treats here and praise when she complies.
I might have said this before but what helped us with all biting, stealing food, snatching treats, snuffling plates etc was to teach "off" meaning get your nose/ teeth away from me/that. Basically offer a treat but when she goes to take it say "uh-uh- off" and when she has pulled her nose away give a much better one from the other hand. When she bites use "off" and she should pull her nose away. It's was really useful for us and when she got it, soon after the biting stopped. Hang in there- she will get it. Xx

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 14 Mar 2016, 07:14
by Emily doodle
Thanks suzi, we will start to use off and see if that helps. She is a great wee girl and so much fun so I'm sure we will get there. The only other problem we have is that she won't sleep past 5 am. ....yawn!! She whines in her crate even after she has been out to the toilet. Any tips ?

Gillian and emily

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 14 Mar 2016, 08:20
by o4d
This sounds so much like Harvey it's unreal! To stop the nipping I use several tactics. However I read it's important to first reduce the strength of the nipping to the point it doesn't hurt at all before reducing the frequency of the nipping. This is because even if they don't nip, if they are provoked as an adult dog the bite can cause serious harm. If they're trained to have soft mouths (shouldn't be too hard with two retriever breeds, or should it? :P) then even if they bite when provoked if should, hopefully, not cause serious injury. Once this is done they should be trained to mouth less frequently. I don't remember where I read this but Ian Dunbar sounds familiar. I replace my hand or foot with a toy, squeal and leave he room when he nips hard and then come back to make up, ignore him etc. and I feel as though his nips are becoming less hard with one amongst them which is too strong at which point I would still say ouch and leave etc. Hopefully both Harvey and Emily can get over this habit easily! I've been up since 5AM while writing this thanks to his defence he was asleep since 9PM. Have you posted pics of Emily anywhere? Would love to see her!

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 14 Mar 2016, 11:28
by suzi23173
That's a very good point about the bite reflex and definitely something to be considered and encouraged. Just to add that having done a combination of all I describe above, Tess has an extremely good no bite reflex.

I think some people advocate letting the pup bite you and pushing down to make it unpleasant or other ways to train to be soft mouthed such as gun dog training would require. I'm sure I read Ian Dunbar on it too who's ideas are always kind and positive.
We didn't do anything like that or anything special to teach it.
We just simply reinforced that you don't bite people or chew anything you haven't been given, or bite the brush because you don't like being brushed.
If Tess catches you with her teeth when playing now which is always your own fault- she never nips now, she immediately reduces pressure and pulls away and is devastated- she squiggles and fusses you and wants to kiss you and make sure you are ok. I do make a point of squeaking still if she does catch me- just to let her know it's not a good thing.
It amazes me how she just knows- we play violent tuggies with my hand right by her mouth, both of us growling and snarling and she never gets my hand. If she does its my fault. That's such a far cry from my bitey pup.

She was so bad, I had her in a pen and if I went in to play with her, after a minute she would attack hands, feet, thighs anything. It was horrible. I wouldn't leave her bored in there so I would play with her through the bars with a long plaited fleecey tuggy. If she ran off with it, I couldn't play so she learnt to bring it to me. If she did catch me then play stopped and I would leave the room for a short while , then go back and make up very quickly. After a while, I realised I could poke my fingers through to get it and she didn't bite them and then I was able to go in and play with her and eventually of course, there was no need for the pen. It was all gradual and now she's such fun to play with. She plays now like a crazy puppy but without the biting.
Regarding the waking up, some people have found that when they left the crate open the early morning barking stopped but I guess she's too young for that. We had the pen so she could pootle about so she didn't wake us up. Tricky- I'm sure it will get better and she'll soon be sleeping in like all true teenagers! Xxx

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 14 Mar 2016, 14:26
by KatyM
Winnie, 15 weeks, is getting much better with nipping now! She does still nip but a sharp 'ah!' And she stops straight away. It just takes time and consistency.
Bite inhibition is so important! We let her play with our hands, adults only, and if we feel her teeth on our skin we do a loud 'ah!' And stop play. It really works! She is learning to be much more gentle with us. I'm amazed that my 2 yr old can play with her and Winnie is using her mouth but has never hurt her!
It does get better, be firm and consistent. It's hard work but great when you start to see results.

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 15 Mar 2016, 10:16
by Jay128
We were lucky Poppy was never that mouthy but if she did start we squealed loudly, it shocked her and she stopped. Luckily my boys were older so would all do the same thing, it was a case of training them more than Poppy. I also hate being licked by dogs and as soon as Poppy licked anyone she was dumped on the floor and ignored for a few minutes.I can now be nose to nose with her and she won't lick me, she doesn't even lick the boys. She will occasionally try to lick visitors but if she does they are asked to send her away and ignore her and it soon stops. The nipping stopped pretty quickly as she hated being ignored.
Hopefully you will find the input from people on this site as invaluable as I did. I have the best behaved well rounded girl I have ever had and I can only put it down to the help I received here. Consistency was one of the best pieces of advice.
Sometimes it feels like things will never get better but in a few months when you look back you will see how far you've come. :D

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 15 Mar 2016, 23:41
by Emily doodle
Thanks so much for your replies everyone. I have started to squeal when she bites me and the kids. I am concerned at the increasing force of them. She caught me earlier and it was really quite sore. I just want to know we are doing the right thing to help her become a lovable wee girl.

I can't wait to start training to make sure we are doing all we can...

Gillian amd emily

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 16 Mar 2016, 00:11
by suzi23173
Hang in there- and start training now. The more commands and words she knows the easier it with be to interact with her and get her to do what you want.
Do it in short, fun bursts. It will also tire her out in these early days when walks have to be short. Maybe think about a clicker as they are really good at getting things across. Google it or ask on here if you want to know more. Xx

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 21 Mar 2016, 21:38
by Emily doodle
We have had a dog trainer come and spend 3 hours with us at our house. He has given us lots of tips and confidence that with consistency things will improve.

A lot of what he said was commander sense but he gave us a tip for negative behaviour and it has helped already. He encouraged us to growl and clap loudly when she nips/jumps up/does anything we don't like. He explained about us being the leader of the pack but was very gentle in his approach.

I feel so much more confident now....long may it continue

Gillian and Emily

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 22 Mar 2016, 10:11
by We5Kings
It's good that you feel more confident. But the Pack Leader theory has been debunked( there's lots online about this-Positvely,Victorua Stilwell) Dogs aren't wolves. I'm sure Emily will grow out of her nipping and that you are doing really well, I just felt this was worth mentioning. Anny

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 22 Mar 2016, 17:45
by Ianto!
As Anny says, the wolf pack theory has been debunked - it was erroneously based on a captive group of wolves which were not (as they would have been in the wild) based on a family unit. However, your trainer sounds as if he is into positive methods and I would say if your method is working and you feel confident in it, stick with it. There are so many different opinions in dog training, it can be really confusing...

Our Ianto was a little terror for biting, and I despaired at times. The 'yelping' only made him more excited and bite-y! Then we discovered that he was worse when he was over-tired, and introduced him to Time Outs... He is great now - it just takes time and consistency.

I would advise you against training your puppy not to growl - growling is a warning, and a dog who is not allowed to growl may go straight to nipping or biting.

Anne, Ianto & Wyre x

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 29 Mar 2016, 21:14
by Emily doodle

It's us again. A very dejected/disappointed mummy to Emily. So the growl/clap worked for wait for it......a day they hasn't really worked since. As someone said at times she thinks it's a game.

I'm really at my wits end with her. I was under the impression before we had her that ladradoodles were quite a biddable bread and were good with kids. She terrorises my three and has them in tears every day. I'm very nearly there myself today....

I feel terrible but I had to put her in her crate earlier at bedtime as she nipped my little girl then growled at me. I know the crate shouldn't be used for this but I'm at the end of my tether.

We had also started to change her food to Eden on the advice of the trainer but she is pooing 4 -8 times day and night having only introduced 20 grams out of her 90.

Sorry to be so negative it's just not what I expected.

Gillian and Emily

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 29 Mar 2016, 21:42
by Ianto!
I'm sorry you're feeling so upset, Gillian. These puppies can be a trial... as I know only too well. but don't feel bad about putting Emily in her crate. She needs to learn her boundaries, and being put away from the family will help her to realise that her bite-y behaviour isn't what's needed...
I used to get so frustrated about Ianto nipping - it felt as if he'd never learn... As I've said before, he got over-tired, and putting him in his playpen helped to calm him down. They don't have to stay for very long, but it also gives you a valuable breathing space too.
Perhaps the energy from your children is helping to 'wind her up' - try to make sure that she has plenty of breaks from them.
Doodles are often held up as being 'ideal' dogs, but they are all different and have their own characters. Mine was a little Gremlin!! But he's settled into a lovely little guy, who loves children (and everyone else in the world - except the Westie 'round the corner! :wink: )
They do get better.... Does your trainer have a 'lifetime' contract? (Some say that you can contact them any time after they've been to see you, and they'll give more advice.)
Hang on in there... I've been there; have the t-shirt (the jeans, the trainers and the scabs) to prove it....
Anne, Ianto & Wyre xx

Re: Emily still nipping

Posted: 29 Mar 2016, 22:28
by Doodle Dee
I'm so sorry you are still having problems it shouldn't be like this but sometimes it is. I think if you hav a trIner to 'watch' what is going on just to see the problem from far to try and work out the problem.

Also can it be that Emily was good for you when you reacted but the children aren't following through. Children can be very much playful and the pup can't differentiate between playing with the , the squeals when she nips and the attention she gets from it all

Lulu will still mouth people occasionally but never me. Her reactions to me are completely different to others. Thank goodness she stopped the nipping but it was much hArder for me to stop her nipping the kids because of their squeals whenever she did. Teaching Emily and the children to play nicely together and giving them all time out may be the way to go. It does chAnge honest. It more consistency than anything else.

Find a way to go with yourself and the children. I had a small tin box with some nails that I shook above her head. It is not everyone's idea and I may be told off but it did work a short sharp noise and got her attention and She stopped what she was doing. She didn't know where the noise came from though. It just got her attention.

Good luck and remember she can feel your feelings and exHasperation.