So I just adopted a basenji lab female puppy, 9 weeks old. She was in a litter of three, all girls. She rests and plays, chew toys, bones etc., but her play escalates and she wants to bite toes and fingers. We are caring and loving with her, and put her in her crate forms timeout, but nicely, not yelling and screaming. I think we are doing a number of right things, but obviously not. Please offer some suggestions. Thanks,bernie
Puppies are learning bite inhibition right around this time. You should be working on teaching her the acceptable ways to play with her mouth. The good news is, it's also a good time to teach them mouth handling, and get her used to looking at her teeth, brushing her mouth, poking around her tongue, etc. Here's a good article from Karen Pryor about foundational handling for soft mouths: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/168
There's a good set of links at the bottom of this page, too: http://www.doggonesafe.com/teach_puppy_not_to_bite
Trog wanted to chew on my wrists and ankles till he was about 6 months old, every time he tried to chew, I put a nylabone in his mouth and indicated to him that was what he was to chew. Remember a tired puppy is less likely to get into trouble, wear her out, lots of walks and play, followed by treats and naps.
Playtime stops when she nips at you. You can try saying "ouch" or "yelping", which may or may not get the point across, but ignore her for a brief time, then play can resume if she refrains from nipping. If she persists and won't leave you alone, a time out is a good idea, but need not last long. With repetition, she will discover it is much more pleasant when she does not nip.
Agree, a tired pup is usually a good pup, so if you can find an acceptable activity that wears her out, that is all to the good. Chasing and play fighting games should be avoided! That said, chasing a lure (not a person) can work well for activity. A toy or plastic bag attached to a fishing line or lunge line can work well for this.
Hardest part of having a puppy I found was puppy biting, don't give up, though it does take time. I used the method eeeefarm describes plus adding in a toy to chew in place of toes and hands and be consistent and everyone should follow the same method so puppy doesn't get confused, just when you think it will never end, it stops. Remember it is normal puppy behaviour and your puppy isn't being naughty she just needs to learn from you what is acceptable. Good luck.
Jolanda and Kaiser
Playing by mouthing is how she played with her littermates and Mom (or any other adults in the house)…. so it is totally normal... if too rough with her littermates/adults, they would yell/squeal at her... Takes time and patience to teach what is acceptable as what she is doing is normal for dogs. Will not change overnight... and likely will last till she is done teething....