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My otherwise sweet 5 mo old has a tendency to get tired, crabby and snappy with me. Usually her being tired leads to her bad behaviors of digging or chewing. When I try to move her to something else she starts to mouth at my hand which leads to harder bites with teeth exposed. It's not full aggression (probably more confusion) but it disconcerting. Who has experiences this and how did you approach it?

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My pup used to do that when she was cranky and overtired. In her crate she went! I ignored it and just learned the warning signs that she was getting it that mode, and put her 'down for a nap' before she got that revved up.

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I will also suggest a time-out in the crate.

 

When you say you try to move her, how do you move her? Move her with your hands? Pick her up? If she is crabby, she will be biting whatever is closest. Distraction techniques should help. Try to keep your hands away by distracting with a toy - maybe a fleece tug or similar. Choose a toy that is somewhat long so that your hands are on one end and she can grab the other end. Jolly her up a bit with the toy, then maybe you can pick her up - while still engaging her with the toy - and bring her to her crate for a time-out. Just a suggestion.

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I will also suggest a time-out in the crate.

 

When you say you try to move her, how do you move her? Move her with your hands? Pick her up? If she is crabby, she will be biting whatever is closest. Distraction techniques should help. Try to keep your hands away by distracting with a toy - maybe a fleece tug or similar. Choose a toy that is somewhat long so that your hands are on one end and she can grab the other end. Jolly her up a bit with the toy, then maybe you can pick her up - while still engaging her with the toy - and bring her to her crate for a time-out. Just a suggestion.

This is great advice and something I need to remember. It makes sense that she does this only when she's been awake too long or way over stimulated. It's hard to create a "time out" when not home with the crate, so need to figure out if tying her up for a few minutes will work.

 

By distracting her in these situations, is this helping her to learn that biting isn't a part of the equation or a way to get what you want? I guess the underlying concern is biting in general (which I might add she has never shown signs of) Thank you all!

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I don't know if this would work, but I accidentally discovered that when I put Quinn on my lap to brush him, he quickly fell asleep as a pup. Maybe having your girl lie down next to you or on your lap while you pet her with long, soothing strokes might help her settle when you are away from a crate. I don't know what your situation is when you're out with her, if you could take along a soft crate to put her in for a nap (this behavior sounds more like her needing to sleep rather than a time out). Otherwise, if you have a sense of how long she can be out and about before getting to this stage, plan to leave before she gets so tired or when she does load her up in the car and go home. She can snooze as you drive. :) Good luck.

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Last night she was probably a little tired by the time she got to where we were going and she started acting out. A soft crate is a great idea, I will look into those because I can take it around with me. In those times, she is very hard to keep in one place. She shows very little interests or attention toward me, but loves to do all the wrong things. She has learned that many of those get my attention, so they are high reward activities. I am leaning further and further away from correction regarding these things. Ingoring seems to work best unless she's digging up my Mom's vegetable garden in which case I try to lure her away with a ball or toy. The only problem is that she rarely forgets. She can play with the ball for a minute and then shoot straight back to the spot I was trying to get her out of. Bah!

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Camden got one of these as a Christmas gift from my awesome sister who witnessed us lugging around his massive plastic crate when we visited her in California. This thing isn't cheap, exactly, but it's been fantastic for traveling and we love it. - http://www.amazon.com/EliteField-Sage-Green-3-Door-Crate/dp/B004ZUCPUE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395165057&sr=8-2&keywords=EliteField+Sage+Green

 

It's so portable that you could probably just throw it in your car. Also, it sets up in an instant, it's so easy! This way, if you are out and about (or at someone else's house) you can use it if she's getting crabby.

 

However, if she's throwing a fit, the fabric sides would probably be easy to tear up. Wire crates can break down and would probably be very portable if you throw them in an artist's canvas portfolio: http://www.utrechtart.com/Utrecht-Soft-Side-Portfolio--Black--24-x-27-inches-MP-15134-001-i1014550.utrecht

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If the behaviors are due to being over-stimulated and needing a nap, she may pass out quickly rather than fighting the soft crate. My puppies were usually sound asleep in their crates within a couple minutes of acting like holy terrors. So a soft crate might work fine in this situation.

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It's good to hear my pup isn't the only one being a brat. She has started to get a little contentious with me. I hope it is because she recognizes me as the owner/rules guy and is testing her boundaries. I have been very watchful of her energy levels and making sure she gets downtime often. Most of the time she's nice around the house, often being a complete angel, but I'm not sure what gets at her when she decides she going to be a punk, but man does she play the roll well! I have allowed her the use of her mouth on my hands thus far and she has really gotten to where she uses her mouth softly on me. I don't tolerate her biting on clothes (though she doesn't seem to care that I don't tolerate it) When she bit at me recently she did bite harder than usual, so this worried me. I can see now how the situation may have precipitated that. I am just bracing myself for another 5-6 months of teenager behavior.

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You already got plently of advice, so I'll offer some encouragement.

 

It seems most if not all pups go thru that stage and at the time you wonder when it will ever stop, (I sure did :) but our pup grew out of what seemed like almost constant nipping at times, so stay encouraged !

 

(she's not perfect, (who is ?) but what a great improvement from the very young days !)

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Josie was 6 mos. old when she came into our lives (so I was told). I could tell when she would start picking on JJ's and Jake's last nerve. I knew if she just had a chance to calm down she would take a nap so whenever she would start picking on the boys, I would stuff a Kong with peanut butter and toss it in her crate. Before she could finish with the Kong she would be sacked out. She was so cute falling asleep with the Kong between her paws. Do you have a toy like a Kong you can put PB in? FWIW, Josie would need 3 naps a day initially then graduated to 2 then 1.

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