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Thread: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

  1. #1
    Newbie csmith78's Avatar
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    Unhappy Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    I have a beautiful 4-month old English Bulldog named Maggie. Maggie is a sweetie and I love everything about her...except her mouthing!! She is super mouthy and nippy. When I pet her, it turns into her biting at my hand. She bites at feet, legs, pants...anything she can put her mouth on, she will! I have tried all of the training tricks including:

    1. Give her a chew toy to distract and show her what is okay to bite and what is not. She doesn't care. She will chuck the toy down and try to bite/mouth again.
    2. Leave it - I have tried the "leave it" command. She ignores me.
    3. Yip like a puppy and pull arm/hand away - This eggs her on! When I yip in pain like a puppy and pull my arm away, she barks and jumps all over the place like it is a game.
    4. Spray water/canned air and say Stop - again, this just encourages her. She barks and jumps all over the place trying to bite more.

    I am at a loss here! She is such a great dog - but I can't let her bite when I try to pet her! I am super frustrated and have to stop this behavior! Any suggestions?
    -mags-jpg

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    mer55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Welcome to the world of puppyhood! I have a 3 month old and could have written your post! You will see lots of posts and threads on this which will tell you this is completely normal! You are doing all the right things! You have to find what works! A few of those methods worked only for a short time for us, some not at all. I find if I switch things up, it helps. The most effective thing for us has been to crate him when he does not respond to redirection. He gets 2 chances and then it's in the crate. If I think he's tired, I will leave him there until he falls asleep and let him nap. If he has just gotten up and is like this, I will sometimes have to crate him 3 or 4 times til he finally finds a toy to chomp on. We call him our " furry jaws"! You should see my arms and legs with all the little puncture marks! I have so many holes its no wonder I don't leak when I drink!! From what I am told, it will all go away before you do! There will be others along to help too! Maggie is just beautiful by the way!!
    "We never really own a dog as much as they own us!"

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    sweetpeasmom2008's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Sound like typical bulldog puppy behavior! The thing to remember is this to shall pass it just takes time!

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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    We had a hard time with Aubie biting when she was a pup. We tried everything, but it felt like it was hopeless. Here's some advice I gave recently in another thread:

    Just be consistent and make sure you try to keep your emotions in check. I know Aubie could tell when I was mad and she would feed off of that energy, making her not listen one bit. Nothing worked to keep her from biting it seemed. If she got too out of control, we would put her on her side and make her stay until she calmed down. That is the only thing that would work at times, but she also learned who was boss then too. She grew out of it in time, and I believe once we figured out that worked, it didn't take long for her to learn her boundaries and behave. Also, start teaching her other commands (a food/treat reward is a big motivator for bullies--or at least was and is for Aubie!). Teach him sit and stay, then make her sit and stay until you give the command for her to eat at meal times. Teach her tricks and make her them for toys when you are playing with her. Teaching tricks will direct her energy into something positive instead of biting and being nuts.

    Just be patient and consistent! She will come around in time.


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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    The only safer attempt we found of approaching Bacon when he was in the psycho shark tooth puppy stage was to approach him with your hand open flat and your palm facing his mouth. When doing this he is unable to bite you because it's a flat surface. The other thing we did was to take you finger and stick his cheek in his mouth so he bites that and feels that it hurts. Other then that, stock up on peroxide and band-aids for the next few months until she grows out of it.

  6. #6
    Wrinkle Wiper Luci Jo's mama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    my Lucy is the same way!! and I have a little toddler running around that gets the brunt of it!! I have found that pulling her scruff of her neck with a really fast jerk and yelling no loud enough to scare her for a second .....works..after I do it like three times she finally gets it...she's doing much better this week, I am actually proud...I'm not hurting her at all, jus startling her...and when I try to pet her and shes being mouthy with my hand I just put at toy in her mouth and hold it for her to chew on and pet her body with my other hand...I then wait to pet her til she's relaxed..when I first got her it was hell and I was second guessing getting a puppy with an 18 month old baby but it's already gotten better...shes 14 weeks old best of luck to you, this will all stop after teething..
    first time owner of a sweet baby girl bulldog named Luci Jo

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    Kennel Cleaner Benedict2013's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Benedict does the same thing, but mostly to my 11 year old son he thinks he is his personal toy I feel so bad we have tried everything you mention also, but no success so far.

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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    I can't add much more to the advice you've been given ... and it does sound as if you are doing all the right things already!!

    I know this stage can feel endless ... but you get there in the end. So don't despair, just come here to vent when it feels as if it's becoming too overwhelming. You will get there .... I PROMISE!!

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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Amber is 14 months old now and will still mouth my hand when she is tried but once I give her a toy she will suck on that and fall asleep. She only does it when she is tried but up until she was about 10 months old she was constantly after hands, feet, pants and shoes. My grandsons shoes still are one of her favorites to go after the minute he comes in the door but I think it is more a game for him to chase her now. Good luck.

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    Newbie csmith78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Thanks for all the advice! It's good to know that this is common...and commonly frustrating!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    Quote Originally Posted by csmith78 View Post
    Thanks for all the advice! It's good to know that this is common...and commonly frustrating!
    Bitter apple spray helped Bea the Puppy Piranha when it seemed like nothing else helped.

    Note of advise: do NOT lick your own fingers after application. It tastes like crap.

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    Default Re: Bully is a bully with her mouth!

    In Cesar Millan's book "How to raise the Perfect Dog" he says "avoid the common mistake of yanking or pulling your hand away when you sense the dog''s teeth digging into your skin. This kind of motion triggers your puppy's prey drive and will only increase her excitement. Too much petting - longer than 5 seconds at a time, - pulling the hand quickly away from the mouth- and raising the hand in a repetitive motion above a dog's head, will actually encourage play biting."

    "When they test the limits of my tolerance, i would gently but firmly cup their necks or the top of their head with my hand curved into a claw shape that mimics another dog's mouth mimicking what their mother or another dog would do in the same situation"

    "Don't over correct don't pinch and don't hold on too long after your puppy has relaxed because she might interpret this as a further challenge. If you are worrying about your own discomfort or injury you will be projecting a weak energy to your puppy. She will not respect any limits if you are in a weak or unsure state of mind"

    Hope this might help. It is important to never get angry or punish because Bullies never back down and never give up if challenged. What might work for a puppy in terms of some corrections can often be a challenge or a game for the adult. It is the breed. So positive reinforcement and treats for good behaviour and redirection and / or management ( ie in the crate until settled but not as punishment) with calm assertive energy are the most productive ways to get the behaviour you want. If you need to find your good energy putting you Bully in the crate or going into another room until your regroup, or get over the pain is helpful.

    Believe me most everyone here has experienced this as part of puppy hood. It does diminish. But even now, if Miss Tallulah is tired/ anxious or desperately needs to get my attention ( like needs to potty) and I am preoccupied and not reading the signal she will mouth me with a little bit more pressure to get my attention. Then I will say "uh uh! oh no! kisses please" and she will start licking immediately. The kisses are because I used to put honey on my hands and while she would lick it I would repeat " oh nice kisses - good girl" again and again. More important than letting your Bully know what you don't want is to tell them what you do want them to do instead. It is easier to replace unwanted behaviour with what you want than to leave leave a vacuum where they are not sure what to do instead.

    Sorry to be so long winded but I know how desperate I felt when this was happening to me. All the best!

    “Happiness is a warm puppy.”
    Charles M. Schulz



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