• We are finding our way with our beautiful B-boy, Imhotep, Imo for short! I spent the first two nights with my head in the crate to help him acclimate; he slept with his head on my neck and occasionally batted my face with his big paws.

    Now to my question, I'm sure you know what's coming... when he gets excited he starts to nip and then it turns into biting, then no amount of NOs can get him to stop, we think he thinks it part of the fun. I've taken to wearing thick hoodies, to protect the skin I've got left... lol sort of. This behavior is always connected to excitement and 95% of the time he is a perfect gentleman.

    Oh, wise Basenji Forum Sages, any thoughts, tips or blood banks (he has never drawn blood -yet) that you would recommend? Any feedback is welcome.

    He's eating well, he's coming along with house training, he sleeps just fine and has no problem being touched all over. We walk him and play with him regularly.

  • There are a number of threads on here about puppies biting that might give you some ideas, but the first thing is that when he starts to get excited and nips, the play stops and you ignore him. Turn your back, look away, walk away if necessary. If he persists then restrain him until he quits it. "No" is an important word. Do not use it unless you are prepared to enforce it. When you invoke "no", it means "stop what you are doing right now" and you do not want him to learn to ignore it.

    As you get to know your pup better, learn what triggers the biting behaviour and try to head off the impulse before he starts, by interrupting the actions that trigger it and asking for something else, e.g. if you have taught him to sit, ask him to do that, then praise when he does it.

  • Food for thought: Your pup is teething and one of the best way to resolve the nipping and biting may be to sooth the irritation in his gums.

    Take an old wash cloth, soak it down and wring it out. Toss the wet twisted washcloth into the freezer. When he gets nippy, tell him 'no' and redirect his attention to a game of tug with the frozen wash cloth. It's the same principal as a child's teething ring. The cold will sooth his gums. Meanwhile he learns a new game and (fingers crossed) finds better things to do than nip at your heels.

  • As noted by eeeefarm there are a number of posts about puppies and biting... keep in mind this is what they do in the litter.... don't know how old this pup was when you got him... but the fact that it starts when he is excited... is a big clue.... you need to stop this before he gets out of hand. You need to redirect him... otherwise regardless when he gets "wild" this is what would happen in the litter and with any adults in the house including, not limited to his Mom.... they would correct him on the spot.... you need to scream... when he bites... and stop all play... you need to redirect the behavior before he gets totally stimulated... Depending on his age it has nothing to do with teething.... teething starts at 4 to 5 months and pups even stimulated are just that, has nothing to do with teething

  • @elbrant - By the way Elbrant.... tug of war is NOT a good thing to do.... redirecting the behavior is....Something like tug of war teaches them to "win".... and honestly you will regret that later on.... if you do something like that, you need to be teaching "leave it".... and when they do, they are rewarded for that behavior.... and you can also teach "replace it".... teach the leave it with a better replacement then what they have... needs to be a high value replacement

  • Aghhh, puppy teeth! Terrible little needles! So many good suggestions here. I would add, that you can have pup drag a short, lightweight leash in the house when supervised, so when your guy begins to bite, you can stand up, grab the leash, and give a sharp (not crazy harsh) tug or snap and in a growly voice, say, NOOOOOOO and then move towards him to make HIM move out of your space with his needle-toothed excitement. His mom would have not moved out of his way, she would give him "what for" in the form of a growl, and would stop him in his tracks. If teething is an issue, definitely try frozen kongs, or the washcloth. I am a behavior trainer and mom to 5 B's over 25 years, and MANY fosters.. I have no problem with tug of war, but YOU must end the game. Personally, I would use the leash to make junior stop biting you FIRST..he must calm down for 15-20 seconds.. . and then plop that washcloth or other frozen toy into his mouth, and let him tug away, as a reward for calming down and acknowledging your correction. After all, he is doing the behavior due to puppy energy, so nothing wrong with letting him release it, as long as he does it correctly, i.e. with you in charge as the "pup parent." Good luck!

  • Bully sticks saved me when Trigger was teething.

  • @tanza said in Thin Skin, OUCH!:

    .. tug of war is NOT a good thing to do.... redirecting the behavior is

    I suppose this depends on the owner and what kind of relationship they want with their dog. Lots of people engage their dog in a little tug without giving up their leadership role. Regardless, the concept is that the nippy behavior is redirected to something else, and the pup learns to chew or bite on an object that is acceptable.

  • Wow, Wow WOW!!! Thank you all so much. We'll give it a try and if I'm able (wink) I'll let you know how things are going. Your comments, support and experience are greatly appreciated. Many Thanks. Imo says thank you too.

  • Hello hello we are going through the same phase but already see a progress. Our puppy is almost 13 weeks old. Here are the tips what helped us:

    1.routines - if it is not teething, then u have a superexcited or tired puppy - learn to read your puppy. 🙂 Basically help him to fall asleep and let him calm down. Our puppy can get too tired in the evening and starts biting a lot. It is a sign for us that he needs to sleep. Then we put him to his crate.
    2.leash - our puppy had almost always a leash for some time to stop him. We called it time out. Stars crazy leg biting - time out.
    3.set play time - after each walk - we actively play with him. Let him remember these preciousmoments of spending time with u. Take a toy and make it kinda alive by your voice. U dont need to do a crazy running. Throwing a toy is just fine. But the game should be interesting for him. Better to play 2 min actively before he changes his focus. Rule is it is you who should end the game not him. During the game we kinda touch him all the time. Then we go away and dont interact with him for 10 min. He usually plays with his toys after. The best moments to play is when u come home or after being out with him. Then he will remember - positive emotions and when in the future u ignore him - it is easier for him to understand that he did smth wrong.
    4.our puppy learned the command sit very well. When he starts biting to refocus him - we say sit - praise. Or refocus by a toy.
    5.chewing sticks - after food we have a special ritual when our puppy sits on our knees and chews his sticks. We noticed that even now after food and play - he takes his chewing stick himself and go to his crate.
    5.kartong pape boxes 📦 - we have them On the floor all the time. You can put goodies in them, close them and let your puppy destroy them. So much fun and hours of playing. Our puppy forgot our furniture.
    6.some biting is okey - when he bites softly Or when he socializes with us.
    7.dont be afraid to show a bit of power - not physical power but a right amount of angriness if he does bite u hard. We usually say very harshly no, deep tone of the voice and we can nicely move his mouth by a hand - nicely no physical power. We dont allow any leg or clothes biting. Its very dangerous cos what if we step on him - so no no no. Our puppy learned to drag our attention by biting our legs. So we are in the process of killing this habit. :)))
    8.your reaction to say know no - it should be very quick. Otherwise he will not understand that he did smth wrong.
    9.lots of patience and love - your puppy is a normal basenji puppy - nothing wrong with him. Basenji puppies bite a bit more than other breeds.

    What didnt work for us:

    1.constant saying no - like ajajajajajajaj and with very funny voice or nononono - it triggers him to bite you more
    2.running away from him
    3.overplaying with him
    4.ignorance - sometimes works sometimes doesnt.

  • @oli-s said in Thin Skin, OUCH!:

    7.dont be afraid to show a bit of power - not physical power but a right amount of angriness if he does bite u hard. We usually say very harshly no, deep tone of the voice and we can nicely move his mouth by a hand - nicely no physical power.

    I agree with this completely. A lot of people say you should never show anger, but dogs understand anger, as it would naturally come from their siblings and adult dogs if they are out of line. What dogs do not understand is discipline "in cold blood", emotionless discipline, which I believe to them is confusing. Actually, most of us will display anger that is perfectly apparent to the dog, even if we think we are not doing so. Dogs are very good at reading body language, and if it is at odds with our tone of voice I think that can be confusing. JMHO after years of working with both dogs and horses.

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  • This brings back memories when my B was much younger and she use to eagerly like to play. She would “gingerly” bite w/out any force and I was amazed that she would not hurt me - I often thought -“her Basenji mom and siblings must have taught her well” -because she knew not cause any harm but wanted to have that physical interaction and play.

  • @tanza listen to these ladies and gents, follow their lead.....they have helped me with some tough love, working with my 2 year old Thor to reduce this same behavior.....the B babies grow in B boys and girls and the biting just get worse. For me these built in Alphas will take the lead if you don’t stay at least a half step ahead of them.
    Thor is a work in progress, I wish I had found these warm loving and knowledgeable people when my B boy Thor was as young as your. congrats on the new member of your family.

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