Please help... 6 month old puppy bites like crazy.

Hopefully someone can offer us some advice. I'm afraid if things don't change around here, I'll have to choose between my OES and my husband.

We have a 6 month old OES named Farley. I think he has all or most of his adult teeth, but he bites like crazy. I have the bruises on my arm to prove it. Whenever we try to scold him for it, by smacking his nose or butt and telling him no, he gets SOOO hyper and starts barking.

Another problem is that he will bark NONSTOP when my husband and I sit down to eat a meal.

HOpefully, someone will have some advice!
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Hi. I'm not sure how much I can help, but I have a 3 year old sheepie who is a barker, which they are known to be. Before I left his dad he would always bark at us when he was not getting undivided attention. We used a baby gate and whenever he barked he went into the kitchen. I found that when he barks there is something he needs-- food, out etc. At three he is getting more possesive of me, but I'm the boss and I think he knows that without a doubt. I am not an expert, but with the biting its needs to get nipped in the bud (pardon the pun) asap. It can only get worse if it is not taken care of.
Hey, welcome to the board! I'm sorry it's causing so much stress. I swear I have to hold my heart sometimes when I dealt with Yuki as a puppy. I had to breath in real deep. hahaha

The smacking him on the nose or butt will NOT help but trigger MORE and MORE aggression (barking, biting).

Have you tried bitter apple spray? If not, every time ..............and I mean seriously being on the ball and EVERY TIME he barks, spray him once in the mouth. If he's one of the dogs who hates the taste, it will curve his behavior.

...along with trying to steer your dog's attn. to doing something else like chewing on a toy or a different more pleasing behavior.

We've learned that you can't just fix a stubborn dog's behavior with a negative. Two seconds later, they may be the type who does it again unless their behavior is steered to do something else.

With TIME....... lots of patient but consistant TIME will go away.
No hitting is necessary, and as Jo said, will not help. It will make things much worse.
If he bites, firmly say no, then turn your back on him and ignore him. Some also find yelping like a puppy or saying Ouch! helps because he WILL learn that it hurts. He should have learned bite inhibition from his littermates and mother. How old was he when you got him? Perhaps he was taken away too early.
As far as the barking goes, that particular kind of barking sounds like he is trying to dominate you. I would suggest crating him in a separate room while you eat for one thing, not as punishment, just so he is somewhere else. Half the battle is preventing behaviors in the first place.
I would try the "NILF (Nothing In Life Is Free) approach to let him know who's boss. Make him sit for EVERYTHING. Food, water, being petted, to go outside, whatever. Hand feed him for a bit, and also, before you put his food bowl down pretend to eat a bit of it yourself, and then give it to him. He needs to know you are in charge.
Perhaps some obedience classes are in order as well. Is he neutered yet? If not, this will help as well.
Good luck! :)
Welcome to the forum :)
I definitly agree with getting Farley obedience training (even better if you can get someone that is familiar with Old English Sheepdogs). One other thing you may want to do is to get a trainer to come to your house to see Farley in action. You can then get immediate help and guidance on how to stop the biting.

Good Luck

Jennifer, Baxter, Cassiopia and Sharkey
im sorry to hear youre having problems with farley, he sounds a bit like walter when he was a pup. they just get so wound up and crazy it can drive you nuts!

as for the biting- what everyone else said is right... i used to give walter a smack on the nose or the butt and he would either go nuts or get aggressive. you have to ignore him when he bites. stop playing with him, stop giving him attention, just turn your back after a firm 'no'.

for the barking- if its only while youre eating its probably because he either wants attention, or is mad that hes not part of the group (doesnt sound like begging?). try taking him out to run around right before your meal so hes not full of energy and begging for attention. as for him being mad that hes not part of the group, it seems as if this coupled with the fact that hes biting, means he thinks hes at your level in the pack. try separating him while you eat either by a crate or a gate so that he knows he is lower than you in the pack. id also suggest searching the forum for some of the 'nothing in life is free' threads.... by following this method farley will start listening to you more in general and in turn will be more inclined to not bite and to stop barking when you set firm rules for him!

hope that help! im by no means an expert but walter earned the nickname 'cujo' during his adolescent years, so i can offer you waht worked for us!
As Johaeyo mentioned, the bitter apple spray works for us. He hates it so much that all we have to do is pull out the bottle and all bad behavior stops immediately.

The NILF approach mentioned by Willowsprite is also very successful for us. In fact, we just started obedience training last week and our trainer encouraged us to hand feed our dogs an entire meal once a week... forever. Require the dog to work for every handful of food. She says it's a great way to remind the dog of pack status. She made an interesting point - people assume that once they establish themselves as the "alpha", that the role is set in concrete. But in dog packs, there is a constant reevaluation of status so you have to constantly remind the dog that you are the pack leader.
Thanks for the advice!!

We got Farley when he was 8 weeks old.

We are currently looking into agility classes (to help burn off some of that energy), so maybe that will help some. But, do you think a behaviorist will be more beneficial than a trainer? After all, he knows or is learning the basic commands - sit, come, shake. etc.

We did try crate training when we first got Farley, but that was a total disaster. Everytime he went in the crate he would go potty in it and make a mess of himself. We can try putting him in another room while we eat, but he is SO attached to me, I'm afraid this will make the barking worse. He thinks he needs to be rightnexttome all the time.
I would think that ALLOWING him to always be next to you will not help the problem, but that's just an assumption. Try putting him in another room (or crating for dinner) and giving him something to do. giving him a bone he loves or getting a kong filled with cheese or peanut butter. You could find kongs at any major pet store or online with google. This should be long enough to eat dinner and eventually he knows the drill ................................with lots of time. I always think we should try to get things "our way" when the behavior is distracting as much as possible or "they get their way" ...making the problem worse or stay.
Bailey's Mom wrote:
The NILF approach mentioned by Willowsprite is also very successful for us. In fact, we just started obedience training last week and our trainer encouraged us to hand feed our dogs an entire meal once a week... forever. Require the dog to work for every handful of food.

I just finished feeding Lucy when I read this and pictured myself feeding her handfuls or her stew-like wet dog food. Gross!
Also start by training him for short periods of time. Put him in his crate, close the door and then reopen it. Next time, close it and leave him there for 1 minute. Progressively up the amount of time you are crating him for. Also, do not just run to him if he is barking, whining, growling whatever. That is like he is calling you to him and also that he can command you. Only return or give attention when he is quiet and calm, do it on Your terms.
Definitely no hitting. They view that as an act of aggression and figure, if you're being agressive towards me then I'll be aggressive right back at you.
Shout Ow, Hey or whatever and then ignore him. Physically walk away, seperate yourself from him. They hate to be ignored and if you refuse to pay him attention, negative or positive he'll get the hang of it quick enough.

Don't forget that you're not the only one in your household. Everyone needs to do things the same way EVERY time.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
ButtersStotch wrote:
Bailey's Mom wrote:
The NILF approach mentioned by Willowsprite is also very successful for us. In fact, we just started obedience training last week and our trainer encouraged us to hand feed our dogs an entire meal once a week... forever. Require the dog to work for every handful of food.

I just finished feeding Lucy when I read this and pictured myself feeding her handfuls or her stew-like wet dog food. Gross!

LOL! I think the assumption was dry food. But, considering the circumstances I give you permission to wear rubber gloves :twisted:
Lucy's the last one that needs to be hand fed. I can feed her food right from my mouth she's so gentle. I figured that out when i was lying the floor eating pretzels one night. I called her over and asked for a kiss with the pretzel in my mouth and she just gently grabbed it and ate it. She doesn't even make contact with my face she's so good. It's very cute, although I can see people thinking it's gross until they see her do it!
i had to hand feed walter for a while.... let me tell you dry food or not it is GROSS. (and this is coming from someone who has no problem letting her dog lick her face) ill spare you the details but i will say that dog slobber + dog food = something you do not want all over your hands
Farley wrote:
......We can try putting him in another room while we eat, but he is SO attached to me, I'm afraid this will make the barking worse. He thinks he needs to be rightnexttome all the time.

In your sentence, "We can "try"............., but "I'm afraid" this will........." Dogs pick up on everything, including brain waves or so it seems. :roll:
Keep the alpha attitude at all times and follow the NILF advice.

One thing you might try is feeding him while you eat, only in another room of the house. If he doesn't eat, skip mealtime that day and try again the next day. I promise he won't starve himself. It will kept him busy and make him feel a part of the pack as well. But, ignore any and all pleas from him (barking) while you are eating. They're just like kids, they figure out how to work you and then use it against you. You have to do the same only in reverse. Trick him into not knowing "what" is going on. In other words, distract him.

Crate training is a great tool. Some dogs will mess, but most won't if the crate isn't too large.

The main purpose of my post is to let you know how important it is for him NOT to think he "needs" to be "right next to you" all the time. I've bred and raised OES for many years. I was a "stay at home" OES mom. I have only one dog now, she'll be 15 in Dec. She'd never been away from me longer than 14 hours, the one time I went to the boat. :oops: I had to leave her (health reasons) with my sister a few months ago, whom she knows and loves, but on the 4th day, I returned home to find she had almost grieved herself to death due to my absence. She cried constantly, wouldn't eat and paced practically the entire time I was gone. It took about 3 days for her to recover. All she did was sleep. I know this is a little off topic, but everything we do now, has consequences later.
one thing I have found that works, but you have to really keep on with this, its not an overnight solution - when he bites, never ever hit or shout, but clap your hands lound and say no in a firm voice, then get a toy and reward him for stopping - think they call it noise averstion therapy. one message I read on here made me laugh, saying she had the bruises to prove it - you should see my arms and ankles, but with lots of patience and time, I'm sure he'll grow out of it
when Darla was a small pup, she would nip and those little puppy razor teeth hurt like the dickens. Problem was she would nip the noses of small children when they went to pet her....couldn't have that. So we started to firmly say "NO BITE" when she made her move and shake our finger at her. Dogs definitely know when you are not pleased with them if you use that scolding tone of voice. And yes consistentcy is the best thing. EVERYONE must do this or he won't get it. Good luck!
May sound silly, but when I had a pup that was biting too hard for too long, when it bit me, I'd yell OUCH, and then place its paw in its mouth and apply a little pressure to show it what it felt like. Not saying to let em' have it like they do you, just a slight pressure. Seemed to work for me most of the time. But, instead of the NO BITE, I'd say "EASY!" Kind of stretching out the sound of the word like ezzzzzzzzzzzy. lol Good luck.
Another way to get her to stop biting and i dont know if you will agree. But when bobby used to bite we would get a roll of newspaper and hit it against our hand and the noise would be enough to let him know it wasnt a good thing to be doing and say very firmly NO . I also dont believe in hitting or kicking as a punishment it just brings on more aggression .
I just thought of another way to stop him . Put baby lotion where ever he normally would bite Hands ect . He will then associate the horrible taste in his mouth with biting . He should stop after that. Good luck Let me know how you get on.
I too am having trouble with Lucy biting me. I've tried the yelping and ignoring, doesn't work here. She grabs at my hands and lunges and bounces off of me. She broke the skin tonight, when I took her out and I had to tackle her to the ground and hold her down for awhile. She just turned 6 months. And she is sooooo gentle taking her dog treats and she lets me remove anything from her mouth. I just had her spayed last week and the instructions read "No rough play" for a week. Yeah right!
Ignoring the behaviour doesnt really work in a lot of cases . they just do it more to get a reaction from you. Try clapping you hands loud or get rolled up newspaper and hit that off your hand loudly and firmly say No. Another way is to put babylotion on where ever the dog nips he will soon learn to associate the horrible taste with the bad behaviour and it will hopefully stop. Good luck.
I had a dog trainer give me a very easy tip on stopping a puppy from biting. When they bite tell them no and grap the top of their nose and roll their lips under their K-9's with your thumb and index finger. When the dog bites down on your fingers they also bite their lips. Believe me this is a simple trick that works very well. I only had to do this 2 or 3 times before my OES learned not to bite. Once and a while she will try to nip again but the lip roll stops it right away.

Also, everyone in the house must do this or they will take advantage of the ones that don't.
When they bite tell them no and grap the top of their nose and roll their lips under their K-9's with your thumb and index finger.

This can also back-fire and make the dog head-shy or aversive to people touching his mouth. Hard to examine teeth in that case, or remove burrs, or groom, and also may cause the dog to feel he has to defend himself. Any time you are holding a dog or restaining him in a negative way it can make him feel like he has to protect himself.
hi we also have a 6 month old puppy who used to bite a lot. we recently got a training video called the perfect dog. in this video it shows you how to stop this. it seems mean but really its not and it works! she dosent bite nearly as much and shes still getting better. using both hands, take your left hand and hold the back of your dogs head. with your right hand open and palm down place your hand in the dogs mouth with the part between your thumb and index finger as far back in its mouth as possible. after doing this push back with your right hand further into its mouth. dont push hard enough that it may start to actually hurt the dog but your showing the dog that it shouldnt like your hand being in its mouth. hold it there for about 10 sec and afterwards make sure that you pet the dogs head like normal so its also showing that it dosent have to be scared of your hands either. our dog ava didnt like it at all but she dosent bite as much anymore either and it dosent hurt her. but at the same time you have to realize that your dogs a puppy and puppies chew a lot. also get the dog some chew toys. something that it cant destroy in one play time. weve also found out that letting her have a lot of exercise helps with her excessive chewing. pups have a lot of energy and without exercise they chew and bite on things to use this energy up. hope this helps
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