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This Is probably a common age old problem by now regarding my 3 month old pup jack who keeps mouthing/nipping most of the time it seems to be in play but now and again say if i remove him from the couch or try to groom him with a brush he nips at my hands and snaps in the air in a rebelious way i know this is natural for pups but it seems to be getting worse with the nipping.


I've read a few articles and the consensus seems to be with time outs stop play method but we have tried this now for over month and it hasn't stopped or even reduced his actions we have also tried yelping and growling noise's as a response to his actions but i think he just see's this as play as he continue's even more so.


Jack is very clever and learns very quick he learns tricks on command with a reward basis in only a couple of lessons using a clicker but he seems stubborn with the mouthing sometimes it appears that he knows what he is doing is wrong but still continues this behaviour is worst in the afternoon we call it the mad hour and can only seem to confine him to his crate for his saftety as there is no stoping him as his darts around the house banging in to things.


On one occasion i tapped his nose and shouted no in reaction to a harsh nip that broke my skin he looked startled then licked my hand i praised him for that and for that evening he didn't nip again


i'am also worried for my 6 year old son as he nips and snaps in play i stopped my son from playing with him in the mean time until this stops


Ive even taken him out on long walks and plays before the mad hour but still bounces back full of energy when we are back.


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"mad hour" sounds like an over tired pup. With my 13 w/o I get him out the crate, he has exercise/play, short training session Then he hangs out with me with appropriate toys/chews until he starts acting crazy. During this time I praise and reward calm behavior. When the crazy behavior starts, it's nap time. I put him is his crate for 1-2 hours and when he get comes out he's much better.

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I am just wondering about the "growling" at him. In my mind, it is either a hurt yelp, or a firm "No." Followed by giving him an appropriate toy or a time out, depending on the context. I wouldn't be surprised if he thought you growing at him was play.

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The little guy is in full teething mode. Puppies are super oral at this time. He's got a couple months of this left still. He also sounds like he does need a nap and just like human kids puppies behave rotten when they're over tired. Try to make sure hes on a regular nap schedule and plenty of approriate chew toys. Toys are definately worth it and have to be replaced frequently. Fortunatly puppies do grow out of this problem.

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This "mad hour" is very normal puppy behavior. I agree with the advice already given of making sure the pup isn't just running around overly tired and making trouble. I'd try to be pre-emptive about it. The moment you think "uh-oh, puppy is about to have a mad hour" grab a nice treat or chew and plop him in the crate with it. My guest is he'll be out like a light in no time.

Regarding the biting, this too is normal puppy behavior but you want to nip it in the bud... pun intended. What worked really well for me was when my puppy nipped or used his teeth on my skin I'd let out a loud, high pitched "OUCH!" You need to put on an academy award winning performance... dramatic is good, even if the nip didn't hurt you one bit. When you do this you are communicating in the exact same way puppies communicate with each other. When one puppy gets too rough the others will let him know with a high pitched squeal and normally all activity will stop as everyone regroups and accesses the situation. His reaction that you described in your original post, of stopping what he was doing and licking your hand, was extremely appropriate and shows he DOES have good manners! In that moment you managed to successfully communicate with him that he'd gone too far and played too rough with you. This alone makes me think the "ouch"technique will probably work well for your pup. Yes, you may feel extremely silly doing this but I found it to be a very useful technique and didn't involve a lot of yelling "no" at the puppy. Also, remember patience is key. Your boy is just a baby but he'll get it so long as you are consistent.

ETA: Re-reading your post I saw you have tried yelping when he plays too rough... I'd just add that after you yelp or say "ouch"you should immediately stop all interaction/play. This reinforces that playing too rough just results in no playing at all.

Oh and... welcome to the boards! You do know that as a new BC board member AND the owner of an adorable baby border collie you are required to post many, many puppy pictures, right? ;)

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This is a good example of a time that a crate (and crate-training) can really come in handy and accomplish a couple of things. First, crate-training is good training for a number of situations - time at the vet or a boarding situation; rest time due to injury, surgery, etc.; learning "quiet time" (give a pup a good chewie for this one); confinement for safety when a pup can't be monitored; as an assist to house-training; as a "safe place" when things are going on in the house (vacuuming, company, strangers, other instances that might either upset, distress, or lead to bad habits); and so many more purposes.

 

It might also help when he gets tired and nippy - he can go in the crate with something suitable to chew on (good for teething stages!) and chill a while, while your clothes and hands stay safe.

 

As for the rowdy nipping and biting - his mother and his siblings would not generally tolerate behavior that is over-the-top. I may be swimming against the tide of many people here to say that I don't tolerate it either. If the "try this first" methods do not work (stopping all motion; yelping; turning your back; time out; etc.), then I resort to taking hold of my pup (don't have one now but have had several) by the scruff of his neck (behind his head) with one hand, gently lifting his forepaws off the ground and using my other hand under his chesk to support his weight; and saying firmly and with a low or stern voice (high, reactive voices often just excite a pup as Mara pointed out), "No." Once the pup stops resisting (no wiggling, no whining, no trying to turn around and get at my hand) and relaxes, he is told he is a good boy and I lower him slowly and release my hand slowly. If he stays calm, fine. If he gets rowdy again, I do it all over again. And, for a pup that really gets angry when I restrain him like this, I am not adverse to lifting him (again, my second hand is supporting his body) off the floor entirely and essentially holding him in a vulnerable and helpless position until he stops resisting, calms, and relaxes.

 

There is nothing hurtful in this but it is psychological - it demonstrates to him that the behavior is *not acceptable* and that I am *in charge*, and I find that it works wonders with a pup whose play behavior is just too much and who does not respond to the "kinder, gentler" reprimands already described above.

 

Not everyone will do this or even approve of it but it is something I have found effective and it is not harmful to the pup. These dogs thrive with clear-cut boundaries, understandable communication, and a sense of order in their lives. Some never, ever need anything like this but some may benefit from it. One woman in a class I assisted with had hands and wrists that were covered in fresh and healing puppy teeth slashes, and could not bring herself to effectively reprimand her pup (long story) - his behavior was ingrained and habitual and out of control. He wasn't a bad pup but she was doing him a great disservice by not setting boundaries, communicating with him effectively, and providing structure in his life.

 

Your mileage may vary and best wishes to you!

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It's not only the yip that makes this method effective, just as important is stopping all play and interaction with the puppy when it happens. The puppy nips out of excitement during play. When the play consistently stops, she or he isn't having fun or getting attention any more, and should learn the cause and effect of this pretty quickly.

 

Leaving that important step out and resuming play or any kind of attention immediately after the yip isn't going to have the same effect.

 

Of course, there could be some puppies who prove the exception to the rule, but it seems to work pretty well for most pups in their interactions with litter mates and other dogs that it's definitely worth giving it a good go before dismissing the method out of hand (not that you're doing this). Sometimes it takes more than just a few times for it to sink in. And sometimes the other puppies or the adult dog will give the offending pup a quick snark before ignoring it, too. So for a pup that's not learning quickly, a stern rebuke may be in order, too.

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I actually have no problem at all with Sue's technique when dealing with an exceptionally stubborn, hardheaded or willful pup. I don't think I'd ever suggest it as the first thing you try with a puppy (nor do I mean to imply that she suggested that, either) but when push comes to shove the puppy does need to learn what is and is not appropriate.

 

The way the OP described his pup responding when his puppy actually did hurt him by breaking the skin sounded very appropriate. I just thought having him make a big scene like that every time, even if the nip didn't actually hurt, might drive the message home to the puppy. I also totally and completely agree that if you don't follow up the "ouch" or yelp with putting a stop to all fun it's not going to be very effective. The way I understand it, the yelp or "ouch" is the communication while the halt to interaction and play is the consequence.

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I am just wondering about the "growling" at him. In my mind, it is either a hurt yelp, or a firm "No." Followed by giving him an appropriate toy or a time out, depending on the context. I wouldn't be surprised if he thought you growing at him was play.

I tried yelping but as a man found it hard to get a high pitch noise as a yelp and it just made my mr's laugh with the attemps at it.

The breeder who recommended the growl describing it as this would be how the mother would communicate as a sort of warning to the pup but it did only encourage him with me doing this.

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Thank you all very much for your advice it's a great help i think the family and myself have to focus on consistancy all being on the same page will help.

Jack will be attending his first obedience class next month i will keep an update on our progress.

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You recognize two very important elements for success - consistency which includes everyone in the family using the same approach. I can't overestimate the importance of this.

 

Well, and the importance of having fun with kids and dogs at the beach!

 

Best wishes!

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I don't have anything useful to add except that I have a 3 month old puppy (my second BC puppy) and that sounds exactly like her.

 

I try hard to catch her eye and make her look at me when she gets carried away with the nipping - a "why are you doing that hurtful thing to me" expression usually works and creates a (temporarily) contrite puppy who just wants me to smile again. That's the warning. The next look, if the behaviour happens within a few moments is, "Well, I am not going to play with such a rude puppy." I then walk away. If that does not work and she persists in chasing me/biting at my feet or legs or biting at my hands I wait until her teeth connect again and then I banish her. If I am inside, she must stay outside on a tether. If I am outside, she must go inside to her crate room (not in her crate). And I make a deal of it - I won't look at her, if I must be in the same area, I sit with my back to her or pointedly ignore her.

 

This is all done calmly - more as "consequence" than "punishment".

 

Failing to respect a person's personal space is a HUGE deal in an adult dog so I work really hard to get her to understand there are social rules and they apply to ME too.

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