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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to you all,

This is my first post here to please be kind :)

Recently (10 days ago) we purchased a Chi, very well behaved, quite timid at first, after first day she came out of her shell and was very loving and it was obvious myself and my wife are pack leaders.

We have enforced feeding rules, toilet times, and ensured toys are given as a reward not as a standard response to anything.

Things have been going very well indeed, so well "Bella" will go to the door bark once, when the door is opened she will go to the toilet outside.

Over the past two days she has started to become slightly aggressive in her play. If I go to stroke her or massage her she 1 in every 3 times tries to bite me (never actually does) and then barks. Jumps up with her front paws, lands on the ground and does it again snaps and barks. It seems innocent and very puppy play style but I need to figure out what is causing this and how to nip it in the bud.

I have tried distraction methods when she is settled like teaching sit and down which work very well, but just want to resolve this.

Many thanks to all
 

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I'm not quite sure what the problem is. From your description, is sounds like very typical play for a puppy, now that she's gotten settled in and is more comfortable and secure in her surroundings.

You don't want to let her bite you, or do anything to encourage her or make her believe that biting is OK. So, for example, you'd only play with her with a toy, and let her bite and tug on that, rather than on your hands or fingers.

Puppies are supposed to play and act crazy and be hyper. It's part of their growth evolution, their maturation process, and how they learn. So, at her very young age, I'd be less worried about nipping anything in the bud (as in squashing or eliminating a behavior) than I would be encouraging and channeling the play into productive and learning experiences.
 

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I agree with Ronni. She is playing. For us, we were thrilled to get our second because they do all of their jumping, romping, play nipping with each other. Her early toilet learning is outstanding!
She sounds like a perfectly well adjusted puppy!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your advice, it is very kind. I am really looking forward to becoming part of the forums (if youll have me hehee)

Toilet training is coming along even better now and we are now able to leave her over night without taking her out and she is happy to bark once (you can tell the difference) and she goes out. Its amazing.

Plus my wife & I have been working with her and she can now sit, high 5, lay down all on command and shes just under 11 weeks, its pretty good, but the nipping and biting is getting pretty bad to be honest :( We have tried yelping, saying no, pinching her back like cesar suggests with a "pssshhh" noise nothing seems to be working.

What has everyone used to try and stop or reduce nipping/biting?

Thanks
 

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She's most likely cutting teeth, which makes chewing and nipping even more appealing to her. Have you tried substituting your hand/leg/arm with a chew toy?

It sounds like she's very smart. Push her away when she starts in, and say "no" in a firm voice. You may have to do this many times before she catches on, but she will.

Really, it sounds like typical puppy behaviour to me...Just part of having a dog in the family!
 

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Jazz was the most determined biter I have ever encountered :( I did everything you did, and NONE of it fazed her in the least. I've had dogs all my life and I'd never dealt with such a dedicated biter till her. I rescued her at 3 months of age, and she came that way.

First of all, like I mentioned earlier, do not EVER allow her to bite you in play. Don't use your hands as toys. EVER. I don't think you're doing that, but it's a point I can't stress enough. Don't allow anyone ELSE to do so either, or it will just confuse her.

With Jazz, what I finally ended up doing was this....and it's hard to explain so you can understand it, so feel free to ask questions. When she started to bite, I'd slip my thumb in her mouth and press firmly on her upper palate, while at the same time wrapping my first two fingers around her upper snout and squeezing a bit for a few seconds. It sounds nasty I know, but honestly it doesn't hurt (she never yelped or anything) it's just really, really uncomfortable for the dog. So basically you're applying upward pressure on her upper palate with your thumb, and downward pressure on her snout with your fingers.

She HATED it. Absolutely loathed when I did that. And I did it EVERY SINGLE TIME she tried to bite me, even being sneaky and engaging in things that encouraged her to bite...not being so obvious as to just LET her bite, but engaging in play I knew would cause her to want to. I did that for about a week. The first couple of days she'd go right back to biting as soon as I let go, and I'd just repeat the grip. About the time I was starting to think it wasn't going to work, I realized she wasn't biting as much. Progress! After about a week, the biting had stopped completely. For probably a couple of months after that, she'd occasionally start to bite, and I'd immediately apply that hold again. It's like she just temporarily forgot or something, and holding her like that would remind her "Oh....yeah....that's right, I'm not allowed to bite."

The behavior has been completely eliminated. At 1 1/2, she's never forgotten the lesson. The key is consistency, you have to do the same thing EVERY SINGLE TIME. That, and using enough pressure that it's obviously uncomfortable. Jazz would paw at my hand and work her mouth trying to dislodge this foreign...thing....that was making her uncomfortable.

It worked for me, hopefully you'll have the same success. :hello1:
 

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For Ein, I taught her "no" as her first command. When I say no, she stops what she's doing and sits and looks at me. She learned the sitting thing all on her own. No means, stop what you're doing, for us. Whenever she bites, I say "no", then give her something appropriate to chew on. You tell her "don't do this, do this instead". Also, puppies just have to explore the world with their mouths, whether that is biting or licking. Try to encourage licking instead of biting, if your puppy chooses to lick when she would normally bite, reward that! It does sound like you're doing everything right, it is just persistance that will win. Keep up the good work and she'll get it!
 

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Both of my chi babies bit alot as babies. I had a toy (one was a rubber duckie, one was a fishie, also rubber) and they got those put in their mouths the MINUTE they started to chew on me!! It worked. But again consistancy is key. You have to have the toy with you (mine was in my recliner, as that was where they did their chewing!) It lasted about 2 months. After awhile they looked for their toy to chew. Good luck Sue
 

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Welcome to Chi Ppl :)

Your puppy sounds very normal for her age. Please don't anticipate aggression. You
are setting appropriate limits for her and she will probably turn out to be a wonderful,
happy little Chi!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for all your wonderful advice.

I have been working hard with her and trying avoidance techniques like giving her a toy instead of biting me. Praising her for a lick and not a bite, trying the ice cubes. Even tried the thumb in the mouth (gently of course) but I am unsure if this is a teething thing as when she plays with a toy she will drop it wait about 5-6 seconds then lurch and bite me.

Its really strange.

I have also tried the yelp, and also a NO, but both end up with her barking and thinking its a game and thus bites more.

Is there any one technique that I should stick with as I have tried to do one solidly for a few days to ensure she gets the idea but nothing is helping.

I know she is a puppy/baby but I want to try nip this in the bud but at the same time embrace her puppyness :)
 

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Whatever you choose, consistency IS the key. With Jazz, I spent probably a week on each attempted correction, before deciding it wasn't doing anything and moving on to something else. A 10 - 12 week old puppy typically isn't going to get the idea as swiftly as an older dog, they're too hyper with too short an attention span, which is why I'd suggest giving the correction a good week to sink in, before deciding it's not working. Even with the thumb in the mouth solution that finally worked for me, it was a couple days before I even BEGAN notice that hey, maybe she's not biting as much? And a week before there was noticeable, consistent improvement. And even then, for a couple months after, reinforcement was needed. So give it time with each. Too much switching between one correction and the other will just confuse her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Tink.

I was worried I was changing tactics too soon.

Persistance is the key then :)

Even when she is mischievous I cant help but smile as Im sure everyone else does as they look so innocent.
 

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Thanks Tink.

Even when she is mischievous I cant help but smile as Im sure everyone else does as they look so innocent.
Yeah, I think we've all been there done that lol! I think when my dogs are at their MOST mischievous is when they look the most angelic, and make me laugh the hardest! :D

I've had dogs all my life, and I don't think I've ever been as entertained with any other dog as I have with my two chihuahuas. :love2:
 

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Yeah, I think we've all been there done that lol! I think when my dogs are at their MOST mischievous is when they look the most angelic, and make me laugh the hardest! :D

I've had dogs all my life, and I don't think I've ever been as entertained with any other dog as I have with my two chihuahuas. :love2:
I have never had a dog and did not ever think I would. I like dogs but just found the ones I liked slobbered all over you or were just too big for the house.

When I saw this one my wife did not need to convince me to get her at all, I was happy to take her straight away.

I'm just shocked at how quickly they learn.

Heres a few pics of the cheeky Bella
 

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She's a real cutie. :)

Yesterday Piper ran up the length of the bed and promptly bit me on the nose - inside my nostril, even - hard enough to make my eyes water. Not thinking, I gave her basically the same treatment I give my big kids; I took a fold of loose skin on the side of her neck lifted her up a little bit and said a very firm "no". I set her back down and promptly told her she was a good girl and gave her a pat on the head. When she moved as if she was going to bite again I repeated the word no, again very firmly. She stopped opening her mouth and licked me instead.

I wouldn't use this type of correction on a very timid or submissive puppy but Piper is a little shark and I knew that correcting her the same way another dog would would be effective and clear. The trick (and most important part) to a good correction is to make sure that after correcting a poor behaviour you immediately praise the cessation of that behaviour, otherwise it's not always clear what it is that the puppy or dog is being corrected for. I don't like simple redirection for exactly this reason... You're not communicating to the puppy that there was an undesirable behaviour and will actually increase the propensity of some dogs to continue the bad behaviour when they make the logical leap that biting human (for example) = fun toy to play with.

I believe that the second most important part of a good, fair, and effective correction is that it is no more or less than what is required to achieve the desired result. If I thought that glaring at Piper would cause her to comprehend that her behaviour was unacceptable then I would use that as my correction. By the same token, I would certainly not have 'spanked' her for the bite as that would be excessive and would have caused her undue stress and would quite possibly have scared the living daylights out of her. I do not have any qualms about using physical corrections but they must be APPROPRIATE physical corrections.

Remember to be firm and CALM when giving corrections, don't take the bad behaviour personally (because it really isn't), and follow the three "istents"; insistent, persistent, and consistent. It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with your puppy and I'm sure you'll get this sorted out as well. :)
 

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Bella is beautiful! You can tell she is smart and full of the dickens. I have a sable too! How much does Bella weigh? I think she is bigger than my 2 pound 14 month old Sparkles.
Welcome to Cp!
 

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Thank you to you all for such nice words. She certainly is beautiful.

Unsure exactly on her weight, Ill do that later this evening and post back. However she has grown about 1 inch longer since we got her which looks so much when holding her.

Thanks Christina for the comments on training, they will come in useful.

I have been working on a few of the techniques you have all suggested and she seems to have calmed the biting down a lot, however when she does go for one a sharp "no" seems to stop her dead in her tracks.

Its all puppy play at the end of the day and I don't want to stifle that as she needs to learn how to be a puppy/dog but at the same time she needs to know the boundaries.

I am so close to getting another one from the same litter as there are still two left and one of them was the one I wanted to get at the same time as bella.

Training has come on in leaps and bounds, she can now happily sit, stay, high 5, she also plays fetch a lot which for the first few days she didnt know to bring the rope back, but now she seems to love it.

I have her enrolled on a dog training class to get her socialised properly, but need to wait for the vaccines to kick in before she can meet other dogs :(

Another thing I was looking at was agility, or anything like that as she loves climbing and running and finding things. Anyone got any ideas to try and keep her busy?

Thanks again everyone (oh and bella says thanks as she is currently barking/howling as I'm typing this)
 

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She sounds a sweetie and you're doing so well with her.Have you tried google for agility classes or your vet may know of some near you
 
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