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TRAINING TIPS CONTINUED

I hope that you find these tips helpful for training and understanding your puppies behavior. One question that has been asked to many breeders including myself is: my puppy bites me with his mouth is this normal?


That is normal as that is the way that puppies are used to playing. It is our job to teach them that this is not an acceptable way of playing. This training like all other training has to include everyone in the family.


Consistency is Key so you have to do this every time the puppy displays the behavior that you are trying to correct.


If the puppy is playing in a manner that is not acceptable i.e. nipping at hands or feet tell the puppy a firm NO and then walk away and ignore the puppy for 10 minutes.


If you’re playing with the puppy and the puppy starts to bite during play tell the puppy no, interrupt all play and ignore the puppy for 10 minutes, than you can play again.


If the puppy growls or acts inappropriately, say "no!" sharply and withdraw your attention. No eye contact and definitely no touching until the puppy is relaxed and calm, at which point you can pet and praise the puppy.


If the puppy keeps going up the behavior, calmly remove the puppy from the room using the puppy’s collar or a leash.


Do not EVER pick a dog up because of bad behavior, it is a reward.


Proper discipline could be a firm sharp NO, a spray in the face from a water bottle. Telling the difference between aggression and just stubbornness can be hard here is an article from someone that felt their bulldog puppy was being aggressive and the answer that the trainer had to offer.


Also, check out below for a couple of website links that you can check out to get more advice on puppy training and puppy biting!


http://www.fidosavvy.com/puppy-biting.html

http://www.fidosavvy.com/how-to-train-a-puppy.html


Aggression and Stubbornness in Bulldog Puppy - By Mo, (South Africa)

I have a 9 week old female bulldog puppy; she is getting overly aggressive and stubborn. She chews and bites anything and everything, that is common behavior but she seems to be more intent on biting feet and toes as well as hands and fingers. I tried to use the mother training technique of pinning her down each time she bites me or barks at me, but it seems to have only worked the first couple of times, however now she comes after me immediately as she gets back on her feet. I am very worried about this as she seems uncontrollable and I don't want her to be an aggressive pet even for visitors and when I have children. How can I stop this behavior without laying a hand on her because I am fast running out of patience.



THE ANSWER

Hi Mo!

What you're describing isn't truly aggressive behavior, its normal puppy behavior but it does sound as though your pup has a bit of a dominant personality - and bulldogs are known to be stubborn. Pinning her down or using the 'alpha roll' is likely to be unsuccessful as it simply increases the emotional level of the behavior and encourages her to continue. Shouting or physical corrections have the same effect.

Puppy biting, nipping and mouthing is often an attention-seeking behavior, but it can be an attempt at dominance, and is part of natural play between pups. Right now your little girl is treating you like a sibling, and you need to help her to learn that you are higher up in the 'pecking order' than she is..... but not by being physical.

Start working on teaching her how the 'pack hierarchy' works in your home.

Make sure that she 'earns' everything, from her meals to her treats/walks etc. by having her 'sit' (and make sure she obeys) before putting down her food dishes, clipping on her leash etc. Also, be sure that you go through doorways first, eat first (don't feed her at the same time that you eat) and so on. I'd also suggest enrolling her in a basic obedience class at one of the local dog obedience schools. It will help you both learn to communicate better and to understand your relationship.

Also work on basic obedience commands and training at home, you can learn more about this on my How To Train A Puppy page.

Raising a puppy is like raising a child, and it takes lots of time, patience and consistency to teach them the correct behavior and how to fit in with their human pack. But pups do want to please their owners, and are eager to learn, it's often just that they don't know what is expected of them and are following their canine instincts.

Given time, love and patience your pup will learn the right way to behave and your relationship will blossom.


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