I have a 15week old shih tzu (i got her at 8wks). She is doing pretty good- we are working on her going to that bathroom outside-but she only pees outside- she has bm accidents in the house but we are working on that. Anyways–she ussually only bites me and I tell her NO and pick her up my the scruff of her neck and she just thinks im playing and will either bite again or bark and bite. I have tried ignoring her when she is barking but she just won’t stop. I am running out of ideas… help!!!
Your puppy most likely gets too excited when playing with you. But you must stop this behavior NOW! Puppies nip for many reasons – because they are teething, as a way to play (as they do when they play fight with other puppies), or just because they think it’s fun. But no matter the reason, it is a habit you can’t allow your puppy to develop.
(As a side note: puppies who have been taken away from their mother and litter-mates too soon frequently have this problem. They usually learn from nipping litter-mates and their mom how hard is too hard. Their mother will not tolerate a hard nip from the pup and will give the pup a ‘correction’ for such behavior. Likewise if they nip a litter-mate too hard. The ‘play’ turns into a serious matter – and their litter-mate will retaliate to teach him not to nip that hard again. Of course, the puppy should not be nipping humans at all – not even lightly.)
Biting people can *never* be tolerated. To deter this behavior you can begin by acting like the pup’s mom would act. You could grab him by his muzzle hold his muzzle closed and say (very sternly and sharply) "NO!" or "OUCH!!". And most importantly STOP playing! Play time is over the instant he bites!
For the really stubborn puppy, put him on his back every time he nips – and hold him down until he calms down and gets the message that you are top dog. If he is little, you can do this in your arms. For the larger puppy, do this on the floor.
Playing tug of war with a puppy encourages him to use his teeth in play. So can wrestling. Instead of these trouble-causing games, you must show him in the beginning that you are top dog. And that goes for everyone in your family. Your family is in danger of future aggression and real biting from a dog that thinks that he is equal to or above you or any member of your family.
You must never tolerate the nipping behavior. No cheating! Your puppy must receive a correction (and a stopping of any play) every single time he nips – and as soon as he nips. With patience, persistence, and consistence, you should be able to break this habit before it becomes dangerous. If you find that your puppy does not respond to these tips it is
*important* that you seek personal professional advice before the situation poses a threat to people with whom your dog could potentially come into contact. Do not wait for
serious consequence before seeking professional assistance. Ask your vet or local humane society for a referral.
As to the barking – try to tire her out – so that she is too tired to bark continuously. If this fails try squirting her with water every time she barks. Try not to let her know YOU are squirting her. Try to get her to think that every time she barks she get a squirt of water (on the back of the head from accross the room or wherever.) You don’t want her to know that you squirt her or she will think it is safe to bark when you aren’t there. They also sell citronella collars that spray the dog every time it barks – but I’d safe that as an absolute last resort.
I could give you some tips on the potty training too – but you didn’t ask.