Q: How do I train a spontanious puppy who bites everything and can't focus on anything?
July 18, 2012 | By SilverUnicorn | 2 answers | Expired: 1287 days ago
I got a new puppy and her name is Cookie she bites everything and cannot foucus on anything .
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Jul 18, 2012
You didn't say how old your puppy is, but for the most part, biting is a perfectly natural and necessary phase of development especially when they're teething. At 6 mo. old, puppies are actively teething. If it fits in their mouth, they'll bite and chew it. Make sure you make every effort to socialize your puppy to different situations and people. Socialization and bite/chew inhibition training kind of go hand in hand. Don't ever hit, slap, thump, or yell at your puppy for biting and chewing. That will make her fearful of you or she'll think it's part of the play and will continue to bite. Use positive reinforcement (praise, treats, toys) to encourage good behavior. Don't roughhouse with her, play tug of war, or those kinds of games if you don't want to encourage the biting. Make sure she has plenty of chew toys, physical and mental stimulation. There are several methods to stop biting/chewing.
One is redirection. When she bites on someone or something she isn't supposed to, redirect her attention with an acceptable substitute like a chew toy. As soon as she starts to bite, say "No!" in a very firm voice and then replace the unacceptable item with the chew toy. If she's teething, it's sometimes helpful to give them ice cubes to shew on to ease their gum discomfort.
Another option, if she's biting people, is to make her think she is hurting you. When she bites, cry out with an "Ouch!", pull your hand or whatever body part away and stop playing with her for a while.
Teach her the "Leave it" command as soon as she learns to focus and concentrate.
Rub your hands or whatever she's biting with Bitter Apple so that she has an unpleasant experience when biting unacceptable things.
Always redirect her to her toys. Always praise her when she uses a soft mouth and ignore her or pull away from her when she uses her teeth. They learn better and are more confident if you use positive reinforcement versus negative. Present yourself as a firm and in-control pack leader. Dominant dogs especially need firm consistent leadership.
Whatever method you choose (and there are dozens of options) be consistent. Don't let her get away with it one time and then correct her the next.
As far as lack of focus, well, she's a puppy. Again I don't know how old she is, but puppies don't have much of an attention span. It's never too early to start training though. Around 8-10 weeks you should start light, easy obedience training. Get them used to collars, harnesses, and leashes. It's too early to teach commands, but at this age you can acclimate them to sitting and laying by guiding them down with treats. It's also a good way to teach them to use a soft mouth when taking things from your hands. You can start doing some serious training at 12 weeks. Just remember their attention span is still a lot shorter than an adult dog's. Clicker training is a good way to get their attention. Train her in an area without distractions.Use a leash to keep her from walking away. To get her to pay attention to you, ignore her until she looks at you, then click and give her a treat. Click and treat every time she looks at you. If she doesn't look at you in the beginning, you can make a sound to initially get her attention, then click and reward, but phase out making sounds as soon as you can. Slowly increase the time between clicks. When she's not looking at you during the training session, ignore her. As soon as she looks at you, click and treat. This teaches her that good things happen when she's pays attention. When she gets to the point that she's looking at you about 5-6 times in a minute, you can add distractions to the training. If you can't get her to focus, decrease the number of distractions. Always vary the amount of the reward and the length of time she has to look at you before receiving the reward.
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