I'm sure there are a thousand discussions about this, but I'm still struggling to get Winston to use his teeth appropriately. We're diligent about making the yelp noise when he uses his teeth on us. We make the noise, walk away and ignore until he regains composure. We know it's part of puppyhood, but we really want to nip this one in the bud.
We made a 16 hr car trip to see my folks in New York last week. He was great. No pee, poop or vomit. Everyone in my family loved him, but he sometimes growled when he was over-handled. I think people just see such a small puppy and feel compelled to pick him up. Honestly, he just doesn't like it all the time (I dont blame him).
I've read all about different kind of growls: the play growl, the defensive grown and the aggressive growl. His growl was not playful but I'm not sure whether it was defensive or aggressive. He also bit my mom. Not badly, but I don't think it was a play bite. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I want him to tolerate being touched by anyone, especially kids (so far, he's been super with kids!)
Also, I've been researching leash behavior, and all I can find is stuff about the "pulling dog." what about the dog that never wants to move. I don't want to pull him, but at the same time, I'm supposed to be in charge, right?
Any thought folks?
I picked up Darcy too early (right at 6 weeks) and knew biting/nipping would probably be an issue because of it. It was. She play-bit my hand and drew blood a couple of times (she was about 3 months old). She was teething, but it was becoming a real problem. The yelping didn't work, and the "NO!" didn't work. The time-outs helped a little, just to calm her down. But I was getting really frustrated.
My vet just said to stay consistent (keep doing the yelps, No's, time-outs, and eventually she'll "get" it). One thing that helped me was to PRAISE her like crazy (and give treats) for "kisses." She seemed finally to distinguish between "bad" bites and "good" kisses. Also, I identified the time/occasion she was likely to be the most bitey. It's when she was out in the big living area, playing - she was in high-play mode, running, playing with toys. She'd see my feet and lunge at them (to herd/bite them). My reaction was to gently push her away with my hands, using a "NO!" --but that's when those two big bites occurred (my hand got in the way of her teeth).
So now, when I know she's in play "mode," I have treats at the ready (she's extra good whenever treats are in the area), and if she goes for my feet now, I say "OFF!" (without using my hands) and have a treat ready. That works very well! In fact, she doesn't try to bite my feet anymore - she licks them instead, lol.
Fortunately, after a LOT of patience and consistent training, I'm happy to report that only 3 weeks later, she's MUCH improved. In fact, she's like a different dog. She still plays and chews her toys - but NOT my hands or feet. I'm not leery about petting her (I was, for awhile!), Hang in there! It's hard work, but well worth it!