Hey guys! We've had Piper home for almost a month now (she's just shy of 4 months), and she's been really great. Though we are having some issues during play time, or anytime really. Piper seems to be a mouthy dog - whether we're putting on her harness or going to pet her or even playing with a toy. Derek (my boyfriend) and I have been trying the "yelp"/ignore technique, but it doesn't seem to be working on her. If we're sitting on the ground, and she bites us, we yelp and then get up to ignore her. Problem is, she then goes for our pant leg or shoes. When we try to leave the room, she's still nipping at us while we go. I've noticed that she tends to do this more to Derek than to me. Piper is also super mouthy when we're putting on her harness, and sometimes will get her mouth stuck on the strap when we clip it in (silly dog!). She will also jump up a lot, either in the air or up on our laps (if we're sitting on the floor). I'm guessing she's doing this because when she jumps for a toy, we pick it up over her head.
Any advice on how to calm her down during play to lessen the mouthing and jumping?
Make sure your yelp is high pitched and dramatic. If she continues pick her up and put her in a puppy proof area for a short time out. If she grabs at your pant legs do the same thing. She is still a baby so will not necessarily get it right away but will need you to do it consistently. I always put mine in the gated kitchen but a hall way or x-pen will work fine. The trick is for it to be boring. You might have to do it over and over at first,Fun must stop when she bites you. Also make sure that she is getting frequent short walks to help expend energy.
If the yelp/ignore isn't working then I would pick her up and put her on "time out" for 5 minutes every time she does it. She will figure out that biting means the play time ends, just be consistent with it.
Bitter apple spray! Spray on leash/harness BEFORE putting on her, let her taste it and she will drop it. Bitter apple spray can be used on most clothes and shoes with out any problems. Two minute time outs when biting hands, pick up and put in kennel for two minutes (no talking or distractions). Let her out, then if starts again do it over and over until she gets it. Biting means no one plays with me. Also you can spray it on your hands just make sure to wash with soap and water before removing contacts!!
I am currently using the two minute time outs on our new rescue puppy who is constantly jumping on our older corgi and it sometimes takes 3 or 4 times in a row and then he starts to calm down. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your suggestions!! We've been putting Piper into a Time Out in the kitchen, and she seems to be slowly understanding it. We might try the Bitter Apple, though she likes to eat regular apples so I'm not sure if that's going to do anything ;) I guess persistence is the key.
Just keep at it and she will get it. Bitter apple spray does not smell or taste anything like apples. It is non-toxic, food safe, bitter yucky stuff, sold at pet stores and some grocery stores, great for biting, nipping and keeps the shoes from having teeth marks!!
I like using the bathtub as a time out place. Scout has never liked baths from the moment I got her, so I feel it's appropriate to put her in a place she doesn't like in the first place. I've only had to use time out twice for her dog aggression issues (after she went after my parents' dog once and my uncle's dog once, and it got the point across fast. She is no longer dog aggressive and gets along with everyone!