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Acer

Biting and Lunging

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My Lockeyed BC Acer is 4 months old. He is smart and is learning basic commands. But we are having a problem with "biting". He doesn't bite real hard, but hard enough to hurt with his sharp puppy teeth.

It appears he is doing it out of affection, but he also lunges at your face if you correct him for biting. A couple of times he has nipped my daughters on the nose. Whenever he does this I tell him no as I grab him by the snout. After this he will lick me like he is sorry. But he continues to do it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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It's natural for puppies to bite. I feel this is the most important thing for puppies to learn. Teeth to skin is never acceptable, playful or not. Always give a "no sir" or "eh-eh!" and follow up with a "no bite" then ignore for a few moments. I wouldn't grab, touching can be interpreted as a form of attention. Puppies pine for you attention. Take that away from them and they'll get the idea.

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Poppy used to do that too. When he was 6-8 wks old. Believe it or not nothing really seemed to worked until I gently rolled him on his back and stared at him until he looked away. He fought me for like one whole minute, but finally in the end he gave in.

 

One day, he had given me really painful nip on the nose, and I'd had it.

 

 

This does not work for everyone but this boy had a dominance problem and this worked for me.

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Our collie is doing this same thing. Jumping and nipping and lunging and biting our other dog.

 

I have been ignoring her when she jumps and I don't give her any affection. Then I sit down and keep her on the ground and then shower her with affection. So far it hasn't helped

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Originally posted by Acer:

It appears he is doing it out of affection, but he also lunges at your face if you correct him for biting. A couple of times he has nipped my daughters on the nose. Whenever he does this I tell him no as I grab him by the snout. After this he will lick me like he is sorry. But he continues to do it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sounds like you have a couple different things going on here.

1) nipping your daughters on the nose (and you)when playing...

You and your daughters should not get down to play so low that your faces are in danger. Stay on your feet, or sit down, but don't put your face down at puppy level. This is an invitation to nip, instigating play with another puppy, but not acceptable or comfortable to humans. Puppies learn bite inhibition through biting/nipping other dogs and puppies, then getting feedback: either continued play and tolerance (which means the bite was acceptable); or a yelp or correction (which means they bit too hard and the receiver is hurt or unhappy). By tolerating ANY biting from your pup, you are laying the ground rules for later. I let mine know by my abrupt(and sometimes surprising) reaction that any dog teeth on human skin or clothing is unacceptable behavior. Just be consistent and quick with your reactions, an abrupt "argh" or "hey", and if the pup is persistent the game ends immediately and/or pup gets a "time out" to settle down. I think often just grabbing the muzzle as a correction is perceived as acceptance. Think about how 2 pups play together - each grabbing the other in turn. They like that game!

2) The other problem is that the pup lunges to bite at you after a correction. This is one cheeky pup, so needs to have very firm black and white ground rules. I find that physically elevating the pup off his front feet works better than any type of alpha role or pinning him to the ground. Don't make it a test of wills, just a firm rule that biting is not acceptable. Anticipate when it will happen and stop it before it starts if possible. And again, your face should be turned away from the pup. If you do have him in a position where he can reach your face and he wants to lick, look up so he licks your throat/chin, not your nose. Just my 2 cents worth...

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Laurie - You always give good advice!

 

Bute is rather "cheeky" as you call it. I found that, when I went to correct him, crate him, or otherwise restrain him when he didn't "want that", he would get an attitude and become a struggling and nippy brat.

 

I would grab him by the scruff, get his front feet off the floor (at least, sometimes I get all four off and use my other hand for support) and let him know I am in control and he can't get away with anything (nipping, struggling, etc.). He got a verbal reprimand, sometimes a good but careful scruff-shake, and didn't get released until he relaxed and submited to my holding him. When he was released and he wanted to lick or "make up", I responded with a kind voice and a cuddle but I tried to not overdo it.

 

I've always been a softie and never had a pup with this kind of toughness before so this has been new to me. I have been amazed at how well it has worked. His "tantrums" have essentially ceased because he's learned he won't get anything he wants with them and he'll get some unwanted and consistent firmness from me. He also isn't nippy or mouthy because I don't allow it and because (I believe) he has learned to respect me.

 

I'm no behaviorist or trainer like you are, but these are my opinions...

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Originally posted by Sue R:

...and didn't get released until he relaxed and submited to my holding him.

Thanks Sue, I should have added that bit - don't let him down until you get compliance.

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I know some people that have Lock eyed Bcs did you speak to the breeder ,If not why not ?

Bob h

Just for my own information .

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Thanks to everyone for the advise. I will try the "legs off the floor" routine and be more consistent in repremands. I have tried rolling him over on his back, pinning him down, and firmly telling him "No"! sometimes he will submit, and other times he will struggle to get up, growl and bark at me while trying trying to show his teeth.

As to why I haven't spoken to the breeder. it's a long story, but he's no where to be found in the state of Oklahoma where I got Ace back in May. I do know he comes from good breeding.

I have had a few dogs in my life, but this is my first full blood BC. He is going to be a wonderful dog I just know it and look forward to working with him and watching him grow and learn new things.

Can you tell me what is the main difference between a "lock eye BC" and a non "lock eye BC?

The breeder worked his dogs with cattle and told me the LE/BC actually "locks his eyes on the sheep, or cow's eyes" in his case, and more or less commands them which way to move by moving his eyes. I have tried to research this idea, but haven't actually found this to be the case. Any thoughts?

Thanks again for all the info.

I really love this "forum".

Great people with dogs, who want to help other people with dogs.

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Sounds to me like your descriptor "lockeyed" is a word this individual is using to refer to a dog with a lot of "eye" rather than a breeder/kennel called Lock-Eye, which is located in Oklahoma (according to their webpage).

 

Border Collies are known for their "eye" compared to a "loose-eyed" breed (like the Aussie) that works in a different manner. It is part of the Border Collie breed's working style and individual dogs having varying degrees of eye.

 

As for the concept that a dog may simply use *movements* of its eyes to "command" sheep or cattle, I think that's a bit fanciful. Eye is a part of a Border Collie's ability to control stock but only a part. Its eye, bodily posture and movements (which can be as small as hardly perceptible head movements), attitude, and ability to "read" the stock (interpret the stock's posture and movements) in order to respond appropriately and in a timely manner, are what a Border Collie uses to work stock.

 

An alpha roll, as you described, is used by some people to assert dominance over a dog. I would avoid it myself as I think it's easily misused and potentially dangerous. As long as your young dog struggles under reasonable restraint on your part, don't release him. He needs to submit to you by relaxing and stopping the tooth-baring/growling.

 

If this is a serious issue (and for a youngster like my pup was at three months of age, it was easily dealt with and had not developed into a serious, ingrained habit but was rather a young pup testing its limits), you may wish to contact a reputable behaviorist. A dog that rebels against your authority by growling, showing teeth, etc., sounds to be not under your control and/or potentially hazardous if the issue isn't corrected properly now.

 

I am sure there are people on this forum who can give much, much better advice than I can concerning aggression issue.

 

As for your breeder, generally reputable breeders don't just "vanish" but are established, encourage feedback from their pups' new owners, and give support and advice when asked. I don't know your breeder's situation but what little you've said makes me wonder about him... Just my opinions and best wishes.

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