Archived Message

Unique Biting

by Ariel Macalalad

My wife & I purchased "Gizmo", a 2 1/2 month Maltese, last week. The puppy will frequently nip and bite at my wife's hands and fingers when she pets and plays with him. On the other hand, Gizmo will not bite me at all. Gizmo will also show these biting tendices when other's try to pet her. Does the dog think I'm its mother ?


I can't imagine that the biting you talk about is aggressive at 2 1/2 months old. When Pentium was very young, he didn't seem to understand the difference between licking and biting (biting = nipping and licking at the same time). It took time, but when he bit us we would say "no bite!" it a stern voice (not yelling or angry), then heaped praise when he licked and kissed us. This inevitably got him excited and he bit us , but you know, ... he gained more and more control after about a month and we haven't had problems since. Just keep working with your little one and the rewards will become quickly evident.
-Chuck Norman - Pentium and Princess

Soft hands make a better chew toy.... Tell your wife not to let him chew on her now as it will be hard to break later. When mine chewed on me, I would act like it hurt, letting out a little yelp like a puppy sound and tell them no bite and give them a chew toy. When they hear the little yelp, they stop immediately and look at you, it is so cute. They get the idea after a few tries. He is very young yet and so it might take him a while to understand but continueing the motions will teach him the difference.
-Marsha A.

Ariel, Pixie used to do the same thing when she was that age. I never encouraged the behaviour. I have found communicating in the dog's body language as alpha has been extremely positive for me. I would cup my hand over Pixie's muzzle and look her straight in the eye and say, "Ssstop Bite!", give her a chew and repeat the gesture when ever needed. She has since grown out of this behaviour. Now when I cup my hand over her muzzle it's for a different reason (a nose hug) which gives her a sense of security and reaffirms my alpha position. I find that Pixie will actually put her muzzle in my hand from time to time for me to give her a nose hug after which she licks my hand showing her love for me. Dogs learn quickly when they know what you want and are firm about it.

My Wolfy who is now 11 months used to bite a lot when he was younger. I resorted to yelping (that way he knew it hurt me) and he would stop and give me licks (kisses) realizing what he had done. Occasionally he does bite my hand gently which is just his way of saying he wants to play so I replace my hand with a stuffed animal or toy which he enjoys tugging at and pretend fighting while I maneuver the toy. He REALLY enjoys that activity.
-Celine Nadon

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