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Old 07-14-2009, 05:54 AM
384 posts, read 1,931,701 times
Reputation: 214


My 8 month old dog is biting my children unprovoked. I understand that puppies bite when the get all riled up and kids move fast around them, but my dog will just run over to my child and attack him for no reason. It is driving me crazy. He is a good dog besides this. My children are very nice to him, never tease him, or hit him. How can I stop this behavior? We have tried to prevent this from the very beginning by not letting him mouth us, no tug of war, or anything. He will all of a sudden chase them and try to drag them down by the pant leg and gnaw on their legs, arms, hands, face, whatever he can get. He isn't a hyper dog besides this. I take him to puppy obedience class right now. Does anyone have any helpful advice? I hate to get rid of him but I can't stand it.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:14 AM
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,331,384 times
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When you see him headed toward one of the children say "NO!" firmly and sharply while extending your hand with your palm wide open. If he is charging the child, his nose should run into the open hand. If he doesn't get the message, hold his mouth closed and again, a sharp "No!" Ignore him when he does this. If this does not help, put him in a crate without toys until he calms down.

Now, having said that, I disbelieve that your children do not tease or otherwise harass the puppy when you are not looking. I would never leave the children alone with the dog because the dog does this with the children and only the children and not you. I say your kids are not being honest with you and the puppy is aggressive because of them.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:14 AM
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,053 posts, read 19,263,463 times
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I would ask the puppy obedience instructor, but usually 8 month old puppies bite things and sometimes people. They are just like little kids. Don't be too quick to get rid of him, especially since there doesn't appear to be any harm. The kids need to redirect him somehow, and there are a lot of people here who can tell you how to do it. We have always thought of the biting as natural for a puppy and the biting never lasted.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:18 AM
7,079 posts, read 33,210,058 times
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Well, he IS a puppy! And this is what puppies do to elicit play.

How are you playing with him? It sounds like he has a LOT of energy to expend. One suggestion is that you go with him to obedience class. Find classes that use ONLY positive methods (you need to ASK) - no leash 'pops,' no alpha rolls, no 'corrections' - and go with him. It's going to really help calm things down.

How often do you take him for a LONG walk? A mile or two? Letting him out into the backyard just isn't enough for many dogs, especially puppies.

A tired puppy is a good puppy.

What arre you giving him for chew toys? How about some Kong toys, filled with non-fat, plain yogurt and frozen? This keeps my dog occupied for almost a half hour every morning when I leave for work. Get a hold of some Kong toys and use them.

Do you play 'fetch?' Dogs' favorite game (along with 'chase me' - which is one game I don't recommend). Make your dog use energy through TRAINING.

Again, the basic obedience class is a whole lot of fun and it'll really exhaust your boy. And a really long walk EVERY DAY will also help.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:18 AM
269 posts, read 922,282 times
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Ditto everyone else. It sounds like your dog is either trying to "play" with your children (remember that dogs play with their mouths) - has your dog bit your children to the extent that they bled/needed stitches? If your dog wanted to "attack" your children, they would be bleeding.

The best way to teach a dog not to mouth humans is by giving him something he is allowed to mouth!! While saying, "no" can be effective to stop the behavior, you're not actually teaching the dog what he is allowed to do. How frustrating it must be to only be told what you can't do and never what you should do!!
If they are too young to be a part of his training then they are too young to be left unsupervised with the dog. If your kids are old enough to help, then have them do the following:
When the dog starts nipping, you/your children are to give the dog a toy that he is allowed to bite and chew on. Then when the dog bites the toy - praise him a lot!! Don't have a toy handy? Buy some - an 8 month dog should have *tons* of toys lying around.
Yelling/grabbing the dog by the snout only teaches the dog to fear you but doesn't teach the dog what they should be doing instead.

If your dog is actually trying to attack your children, it sounds like you need to step up the NILIF (google it if you aren't already doing this). And it also sounds like your children are not treating your dog the way it needs to be treated. Talk to your instructor for some positive ways your children can interact with your dog. (constant hugging, petting, grabbing the face, kissing is not the way to interact with a dog)
Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:06 AM
7,079 posts, read 33,210,058 times
Reputation: 3997
I also think that the 'no!' maneuver is not helpful. Especially with a hand with your palm outstretched. Dogs, especially small ones, are fearful of things that come from above, especially hands, and this action will make him hand-shy and MORE likely to be fearful and perhaps do some real damage.

I, too, kind of don't believe that your kids don't tease the dog when you're not around. They should NEVER be left alone without supervision.

Please look into obedience class, and DO give your boy a LOT of exercise, in the form of walks every single day!

Dogs, especially puppies, are WORK and you need to put time into them. They're not on autopilot and are not going to behave unless they know, through classes and training, what it is you want from them. They're as much work as a small child.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:34 PM
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Sounds like your puppy is trying to be one of the pack and find his place in the pecking order. You didn't mention how old your children were, but if they are old enough, perhaps they should be part of the training. Take them on walks with you and make sure they are in front of the dog at all times. teach them simple commands that they can use to help in training and how to give treats for a job well done. That will help him find his place. Once he does, he will be happy and so will you.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:05 PM
4,948 posts, read 15,741,015 times
Reputation: 2831
Well, You enjoy the puppy, and the children also? Get a crate, and you, yes you, as you do with the
children, give the dog direction, the children, and puppy ? So, if you really wish to have this dog,
kids, have no role into what is to be. You, and you alone walk the dog, etc., then start with a sit,
and stay. Leave the rest out! Or place the dog in a safe home! Really it seems as you have a good dog.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:07 PM
Location: NE Pennsylvania
19 posts, read 69,314 times
Reputation: 25
When my dog was a puppy he liked to chew my hand while we were sitting on the couch, I'd give him a bit of a poke, tell him NO!, and replace my hand for a toy which he'd happily chew. He seemed to learn that only his toys were to be chewed and the only thing he ever destroyed was a sponge mop! It was the typical confetti scene, lol.

I think what you need to do is to put a long line on your pup... like a 50 ft light line from the hardware store and let him chase the kids, and when he goes to nip them pull him off his feet by giving a quick tug on the line, and/or train the kids to give him a stern poke while saying no!

Or perhaps even better, get the kids to wrestle (no running needed) with him and when he tries to nip them, poke him (Cesar Milan style) with a firm No! So basically you need to set up a condition where he'll get excited and try to nip as part of his "play". Set it up in a way that you can give him a correction. Usually, putting a short line on him will help in grabbing him. Remeber, the correction needs to be as close to the unwanted behavior as possible to be effective rather than confusing.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:34 AM
6,764 posts, read 18,968,174 times
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My dog is rather strange in that she will still mouth my husband and my son (both of whom she 'likes' better than me, and I would say my husband is 'top dog here.'). She doesn't do it to me. I do the ah ah noise and she stops...

So you can try that noise when she mouths...ah-ah (I learned it from It's Me or the Dog).
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