5 month old puppy - aggressive biting. Teething, or a bigger problem?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #1
    I just adopted a 5 month old....something mix. Maybe yellow lab and shepherd, no one really knows, that's the beauty of rescued strays I guess. He's already at 36 pounds so he'll be a pretty big dog. He's a good boy but he's teething, so he gets into aggressive fits of rage where he'll start biting me and running all around the house destroying what he can, until he settles down.

    I have tried everything I could find online to get him to stop, but it doesn't work. Toys will distract him for a couple minutes. Frozen kongs with treats and peanut butter inside will distract him for a bit longer. Yelping loudly as suggested by some does not work at all. I've also had someone suggest I just stand completely still and ignore him and he'll stop, but that's easier said than done when you have a big puppy with sharp teeth biting into your skin. If I start pulling my hands and feet away, he thinks it's a game and that only encourages him. I have cuts and bite marks up and down my hand and arm from him. Eventually, he'll wear himself out and settle down, right now he's napping quietly.

    I was 10 the last time I had a puppy who was teething, so I don't remember much, but I don't remember her biting. She would chew anything she could get her mouth on, but never people. This guy though likes using human flesh as a chew toy. Any suggestions, or is it something I just have to deal with until he grows out of it?
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    At five months, both male and female dogs will be coming into sexual maturity; do you intend to neuter your dog?

    I know you asked about teething, but you also mentioned aggression; I'd imagine that neutering may well serve not just to ensure that your dog won't father (unwanted) pups, but that it may also serve to reduce the level of aggression displayed even as he is teething.
     
  3. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

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  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    Hm. I had assumed that neutering might deal with some of the aggression, but, as that has already been attended to, we must look elsewhere for solutions.

    Are there any dog training classes nearby?
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    Crate the dog when it has a moment, while in the crate provide either a frozen carrot, 1 a day no more or it'll get the *****.

    Empty 500ml coke bottles without the cap and label and frozen rope knots are also great.

    Obviously as the coke bottle breaks up you'll need to replace it ;)
     
  6. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #6
    Yes, training is definitely in the plan.

    Thanks, I'll try the carrot.
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #7
    Try the bottle too. The noise will stimulate him and then he will wear himself out quicker ;)
     
  8. John Jacob, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016

    John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

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    #8
    Is he at home all day, and does he get enough exercise? Puppies that age have a lot of energy. If you're a runner, take him out for a run every morning and make sure he's nicely tired out. If you're not a runner, take him out to a park where dogs are allowed off leash, and make him fetch the ball a few hundred times. Of course, don't start him at Olympic levels straight away, work him in to it slowly.

    In addition, make sure he understands biting is wrong. Use the word NO loudly and in a stern tone whenever he tries to bite you. Also, grab him by the scruff of his neck and rub his nose on the floor if he continues the behavior, repeating the word NO all the time (this is how a mother dog would discipline her puppies). If even that doesn't work, use a rolled up newspaper on him.

    For what it's worth, some puppies do bite at this age, but they eventually grow out of it. My parents got me an Irish Setter, Skipper, when I was eight. He used to bite a lot as a puppy. And a dogs milk teeth are *sharp*. I still have a scar on my calf where one of his teeth sunk in.

    But when Skipper turned maybe eight or nine months old, one day it occurred to me that he hadn't bitten me for a while. And he grew in to a 120lb, gentle giant. A couple of years later, my parents had my sister. As a baby, she would climb all over Skipper while he was sleeping on the floor, and pull his ears, nose and tongue and poke his eyes. And Skipper never retaliated or hurt her in any way.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Great post, brimful of excellent advice and warm memories.
     
  10. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #10
    I take an old rolled up t shirt, tie knots in both ends and play tug with my dog. She loves it and it will usually wear her out.
     
  11. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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  12. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #12
    Part of the responsibility of dog ownership is learning to train your dog. We don't give a baby a pacifier and walk away. Confining a dog to a crate without constant supervision and training isn't the solution either.

    Like a baby, a new dog whether it's six weeks, six months old or older, requires an investment of love and training. Done properly the reward is many years of happiness.
     
  13. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #13
    Tube socks work well too.
     
  14. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #14
    I wonder if he's attempting to be the Alpha?




    Or he could just be a kid :D
     
  15. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #15
    The problem with using old clothes as toys as it inspires the dog to go after other clothing.

    It's all about training and discipline. If you have a lab or a breed that loves sucking down food, you're in luck. They tend to be very reward motivated.
     
  16. juanm, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016

    juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #16
    I speak as someone who has had a lot of dogs (over twenty dogs if you count the rescues I fostered short term, so I know a thing or two about dogs). All of them have been very well behaved.

    All puppies (especially the males) go through a phase when they try to test their power over you. Make sure they understand you're the boss.

    They have NEVER seen the inside of a crate, and I take them out for a walk as often as I can. 3x short walks/day + long walks in the forest on the weekends. They are dogs, they were born to run all day, so make sure they get a lot of exercise, that's where they spend their energy, and they'll see you as the pack leader.

    Make sure that they get in touch with other dogs, don't be the ******* who prevents his dog from communicating with other of their species. Don't force them, though, and big dogs can be imposing to smaller dogs, so it's easier with similarly sized dogs.

    If a dog bites me playing it's okay, but if I feel like he's testing me, I'll say firm NO! , perhaps grab him (gently, never hurt it) by the neck until he's calm, and then ignore him for a while.

    Consistency is the key with dogs. Whatever you decide the rules of the house are, stick with them, and enforce them every time.
     
  17. Volusia macrumors regular

    Volusia

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    #17
    A tired dog is a good and happy dog. Lots of exercise!
     
  18. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #18
    For the OP, I've owned several dogs over the decades and the kind of behavior (described as aggressive biting) I've never seen puppy or adult, and it sounds quite troubling. I had a dachshund who was at home by himself while I was at work, and when I got home he'd race around the house, but he was small enough that no harm was done and there was no agressive biting.

    How is your dog with food? You should be able to take his food from him without being bit. And another gauge, can you roll him in his back (submissive position) without him becoming aggressive? It seems like advice and training from a professional would be a good idea. I'd also be concerned if any small kids are around.
     

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