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Thread: Biting (at wit's end)

  1. #1
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    Default Biting (at wit's end)

    Our bully Lennie is 7 months old today. The play biting has always been an issue, but the notion that once the teething stops it'll get better has kept us relatively sane, and time outs seemed to be working. But lately it's just been escalating. He gets into his maniac puppy state more and more often, and won't stop attacking feet, shins, knees, calves, hands -- pretty much any appendage he can get his mouth on. He doesn't break skin, but he does leave bruises and red marks. My husband or I try to stop him or try to walk away, and he thinks we're playing so he just bites more. Even when he's not in his manic play state, he'll bite. This morning he got my toe when putting on a sock nearby was too much excitement for him.

    At more than 50 pounds I can no longer just pick him up and put him in time out. I kind of have to grapple/drag him, with him trying to bite me the whole time. I'm pretty much near tears or worrying about this nonstop, although that's a lot to do with the fact that I'm 7 months pregnant. I just have this fear that he'll be play attacking me when I'm holding the baby and I'll drop her or something. Or that he'll bite the baby trying to play with her. I have visions of this maniacal bulldog that will never calm down and we'll have no choice but to re-home him, which horrifies us.

    I blame a lot of his behavior on his testicles, which seem to have been gearing up in the past few weeks. He's getting neutered on Wednesday as aside from the biting, he's starting to roam about and run away from us outside. I keep telling myself that this will help a lot.

    I'm just looking for reassurance and any tips you might have in dealing with this excessive biting. Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    I have replied in other threads of this nature so if you search on other threads for review it may help as well. Your right, at 7 months and the dog getting bigger and heavier especially with you being pregnant is a bad combination.

    Even if he is playing you should be able to demand he stop and obey at any givin time so you have to address the alpha role with him and practice it EVERY day, with Everything you do from walking out the door to go to the bathroom making sure he sits and does not go through the door until you say 'come' etc, to feeding waiting for a command before eating, remove all toys and let him play on your demand etc etc.

    It's hard to tell what level of alpha role you have from above, but you have to establish the ability to stop unwanted behaviour and redirect him when you need rewarding good behavior.

    It is a long process and if you haven't addressed this before now it's going to be harder than if you started at a puppy stage.

    If you have to go back to a leash indoors to hold him back and make him sit at doors etc you may have to do that also but everyone including your husband etc has to have control over him and rewarding good behavior while correcting unwanted behaviour.

    Kain also does the play biting as he is only 5 months but we have been working awfully hard redirecting this when he does it but is still a work in progress. It's apparent for my wife as an example she does not have the same authority with him and wants to play fight back so she has a worse time and I have to step in and correct him at these times as well as running to the bedroom and jumping on the bed is not an option obviously.

    When play biting, "SHHTT" and redirect the biting to a bone or something you want him to bite on. Also take him for walks regularly and burn off his extra energy so when you have him around the house he will rest and nap instead of full of energy and hard to control. A tired dog is a good dog!

    Hope that helps, short on time but do some searches and you will find other threads such as this also.

    Vince

    P.S. Check this thread also http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...questions.html
    Last edited by Vince00; 05-07-2012 at 02:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    I have been experiencing the same thing with my almost four month old and the only thing that helps me is the "water bottle" all I have to di is pick it up (maybe have sprayed him 3 times) but now he runs away. Before I go for the bottle I try to re-direct with a toy, I always say in a loud stern voice, "no biting" and he normally stops. It is constant - on a daily basis, 100 times a day - he's getting better but not fully resolved yet.


    Best of luck to you, I know how you feel...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Thank you. I'll search for other threads.

    I admit we do not have a good stop command. We do always say NO! or Shhht, and try to redirect. One issue is sometimes something to redirect him to isn't close at hand. If he still keeps going for what he shouldn't instead of what we're trying to give him to bite, then we either walk away and don't play, or he gets put in time out. It's just that he'll get a few nips in as we either walk away from him or put him in time out. If we get him to reset, he'll listen. We're just having trouble getting him to reset when he's in that highly playful, agitated state. We have resorted to the alpha roll before, which actually usually works. in resetting him. We've just heard so many mixed things about it that we're not sure if it's a good idea.

    We don't make him sit before he goes out or eats and wait for us to okay it. We'll need to try that.

    We recently started walking him three times a day to burn off energy. He is not the greatest walker. He doesn't pull his leash. It's us pulling him because he refuses to move, but he has gotten A LOT better with that. He's a better mover than he was.

    We did the water bottle once when he was really young, and he negatively reacted to it -- as in it just made him more nuts. The container of change also didn't work. He just thought it was another toy to try to grab.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    I don't like the water bottle idea as stated he now turns and runs, that is just another symptom for a method of escape. Fight or flight, if he can't fight he will flight and that is no better as you haven't finished showing him that is NOT ok.

    When you do correct him you have to follow through 100%, for example if you go to stop him nipping and you give him a quick finger bite and get his attention, if he just starts nipping you more or changes to you, you have to keep walking in on him until he submits and either sits, or gives in (you will know as the behavior changes) and he goes back to the good dog.

    It is important that you don't let the play time escalate to the red zone so you have trouble bringing him back, if you sense him starting to get excited nip it in the butt and stop it before it goes to far and your success will be alot higher.

    As for timeout, I don't do that so can't speak on it but if you are correcting as mentioned above you should not need a timeout location as the sheer correction should be addressed and passed at that time, when you put him in timeout and he gets a few bites in as you leave that is a big problem, again you need to complete your correction until he is fully submitted so I sense the alpha role is not established or respected from him.

    Keep in mind during feeding etc by making him wait for command, feeding him 'after' the humans etc are all ways to show him who is boss, if he doesn't listen to one of you get that person to do the feeding etc. Find the spots where the dog is taking alpha role and snap him back to reality

    Stay calm and assertive and try very very hard to not get upset with him.

    While walking when he starts to fall behind give his harness (try not to use a leash) a quick tug to speed him up, if he pulls or goes ahead change direction or stop and restart to show him you are the leader at all times. I had a heck of a time getting Kain walking as well so know what you mean by putting on the brakes. Make sure he is not trying to stop for a pee or poo but keep the leadership and be in charge not letting him call the shots when he will and won't walk.
    Continue to walk proud and know he will follow instead of hoping and checking on him constantly, believe he will follow and he will Wow if it was only that easy! lol

    Hope some of this helps, i'm no expert just following what I suggest on a daily basis and having really good success.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Thank you. That really helps a lot, as did your response on another thread regarding the alpha role. It sounds like we really need to work to prevent him from getting to his crazy play time red zone and not back down when he's biting but still remain calm. I have trouble with the latter. His nips hurt and I just want to get away from him, plus my hormones aren't exactly conducive to calm assertiveness. I'm just going to have to work on that.

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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with your bulldog. My wife and I are new EB owners as well. Spike is 10mths old now and he sometimes gets playful (with butt in the air) and tries to nibble or nip at my toes. When he does that I either raise my 1) voice in an authoritative manner and say "NO" or "SHHHTT" 2) snap my finger and point at him. 3) Last resort is to roll up a newspaper and smack him on the butt or with a slipper.

    I agree with Vince that you take the alpha role as they are in the puppy stage. As these dogs are inherently stubborn and want to be the boss I feel you need to show them who is the "pack leader" Think of him as a rebellious teen who doesn't want to listen to anyone. Spike bit me on the ear once when he was a little younger. My response was bite him back on his own ear. Enough to make him yip a little but not break his skin. I know that sounds crazy but he learned his lesson and doesn't do that anymore.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    has your dog humped or shown any type of aggression towards you or other dogs? If yes i think neutering him will defintely help, but you must work with him and don't give up on the training part because that is key at such a young age. If he did start the humping phase then neutering him will stop this and he will hopefully be less aggresive. Good luck and let us know how it goes, my pup rocky has just started humping and we noticed his behavior has also changed ( he has become a little more agressive he can get whiney and barky if he does not get his way) Just wanted to know is he also spot peeing?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Yes, he has started humping a bit (the other dogs at doggies daycare, where we take him for some extra socialization), and yes he's started to mark outside. That's why we're hoping the neutering helps a bit.

    He's wonderful around other dogs and people. He definitely doesn't act like an alpha then, but like a big submissive dope, showing his belly to any dog or any person who will let him.

    Thank you to everyone. We'll work on training and making sure he knows who the alphas are, and will let you know how it's going.

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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Thanks for the great thread! This sounds just like our Sir Boddington and to hear sage wisdom really has given my wife and I someplace to start!

    -DK

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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Dogs don't understand the concept of a "time out". It's a dog - not a child. Vince00 has given some great advice here and the only thing I can add is to continue like you are doing. 1st - disagree with the behavior you don't want (however you do that - be consistent)
    2nd - redirect to an appropriate behavior.
    Your dog wants to do what you want. Sometimes the confusion is in what you WANT -- rather than what you don't want which is usually pretty clear to them. Help him figure out what you do want.

    Bea was a little barracuda. Oh my hands looked like hamburger for a time. I know your pain! Be patient and keep at it. You can do this!

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    Default Re: Biting (at wit's end)

    Quickly skimmed through the thread and unsure if Lennie's your first dog but have to mention taking obedience lessons with him if you haven't done so. Even taking just the beginner's class will do wonders as the trainer should teach you how a dog thinks, what to do when they react and how to be consistent. You can look at it as just not training for Lennie, but also training for yourself. Reading the 'how to's' is a lot different from actually experiencing it. Hope your fam finds a balance, especially before your baby joins it.
    "I am normally not a praying man, but if you really are up there, please save me Superman!'' - Homer J. Simpson

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