4 SIMPLE Exercises That You Can Do To STOP Puppy Biting

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– Today I’m joined with Heather and her German Shepherd puppy Remmi, and we’re gonna talk a little
bit about how to reduce some of the nipping and biting that she’s getting with her puppy at home. Now, he has learned that he’s not allowed to nip and bite her husband, but he’s still being a
little bit naughty with her. So, we’re gonna focus on several exercises that are gonna help establish
ourselves as stronger leaders, that actually has nothing to
do with biting whatsoever. There are a few skills
that are gonna allow us to be in a leadership role that are completely non-confrontational. I’m Kayl McCann, welcome
back to McCann Dogs. (guitar strumming) (puppy barking) We wanna make sure we’re
not intimidating the puppy, but at the same time,
unfortunately for us, – Good choice. – males have a little bit easier time being a little bit more no-nonsense, and it’s not uncommon
for puppies in a family to start to respect the
men in the household, more so than the females. And that’s not always the case, though. Sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s like the husbands
are like the pussyfoot, sitting like they’re very
gentle with the puppy and the women are like, “All right now, so let’s get this going!” So it’s not always the case, but it is super common for that to happen. And what happens with
puppies when they’re young, is when they come into a
family for the first time they are evaluating every
single person individually, so they’ll evaluate the adults, they’ll evaluate the kids. Do you have any kids?
– Yes. – So they will generally, they’ll figure out, okay,
who here is in charge, and then who here is more
like my playmate or whatever. And then, unfortunately, if you’ve been trying to
establish yourself as a leader, and you haven’t, maybe,
done it with good timing or maybe not even known what to do, or how to do it, Remmi might be saying “Okay, I wondered if you were in charge, “and now I kinda know, “because you’re not really
taking charge of me.” And then, they sort of learn that they can push you
around a little bit. But then also, there’s
like so many other things that happen on a day-to-day basis that will allow you to establish
your leadership towards him in a very non-confrontational way, ’cause it’s, biting is usually a product of not being a good leader
in other situations. And sometimes, if you
can fix those things, the dogs start to say, like, “Oh, I think I need to
be more respectful”, and then they don’t even try to bite. So, I think those are some of the things that we’ll try to go over today. So, the good news is, in the 10 minutes that you’ve been here, your puppy’s been like a perfect angel, and although it’s crappy,
because it would be nice, if he was coming in and like
showing us his true colors. At the same time, we also can see that there’s a pretty
nice little puppy in here, and that we just have
to be getting it out. So, one of the things that
I think is to your advantage is how much he’s into the food. Rem! (smacks her lips) What’s this?
– Oh, he loves his food. – Which is really, really helpful, because we can use the
food to help teach him to accept other things. So, one of the things that you
need to get comfortable with, is being able to take control of him, because we’re gonna also
have to do that sometimes, when we need to discipline him. And if the only time you’re
taking hold of his leash, or taking hold of his
collar, is in situations where you’re telling
him he’s being naughty, then, sometimes it’s
not like good balance. So I’m just gonna show you what we’re gonna have you
do with him in a second. You’re gonna get some food on his nose, and at the whole first
part while I was talking, did you see how Kim was feeding him? – Mm-hmm.
– When she was doing that, she had a loose leash and
she was rewarding him always for paying attention just
to bring the engagement in. So, while he’s sort of
distracted to the food, I’m gonna take my hand
and put it in his collar. And then, I’m just gonna reward him, and I’m gonna condition him, when I take a hold of you,
yes, good things happen. I’m gonna take a hold, good things happen. And then, when I feed him, you’ll notice, when I take my hand away, the food goes away too. Because I want him to
assume when I take a hold, yes, good boy, what I don’t wanna do is keep holding, keep holding, keep holding, keep holding and wait for him to make an error. I would do that eventually, but I’m gonna be able to just grab, yes. And the name for this game
is called Collar Grabs. It’s not really very exciting! (all laughing) But it’s basically just teaching the dog if I’m gonna take a hold of you, really good things are gonna happen. – Mm-hmm. – Maybe we’ll have you try that. So, do you wanna grab, give her a couple – Yeah.
– of your little treats. – Come here, pup-pup. So you’d have to do
this when he’s on leash. – Okay.
– So that you can have good control. So, basically, what you’re gonna do, is use the food now to
bring him in front of you, and cause him to be attentive. There you go.
– Should I have this closer? – [Kayl] Nope, that’s perfect. Now, just take ahold of his collar, and then say yes and feed.
– Yes! – Good, now let go. And then do it again. That was perfect! Yes!
– Yes. – [Both] Good. – Good, now, see how he
just put his paw up on you? – Yeah.
– That is a bit, (claps) dominating.
– Oh. – It’s subtle, but it’s a bit dominating. So when he does that, I
would flip his paw up. You don’t even let him do that to you. Okay, bring him around in front. – Felt like. Okay, come here. (smacks lips) – Okay, no, so what you’re saying, you felt like it was like, sort of, like a shake your paw thing.
– Yeah. – And in some situations it can, but not when you have dog
that thinks it’s also okay to nip and bite you. He’s basically just sorta saying “I’m gonna be a bit pushy,
I’m gonna be a bit pushy.” So, even though he’s not doing anything technically wrong,
– Mm-hmm. – That is a very subtle
thing that you can address, just very gently. You don’t even have to
make a big deal out of it. Okay, buddy, let’s try
again, so, show him the food. – I also noticed he only did that with me. – Yes, that’s right.
– Yes, oops. That’s my fault.
– Yep, good. Yes, good boy, okay. The other thing that you could be doing when you take a hold of him, is be deliberate, yes, and then reward. Because that word, yes,
you’re gonna be able to use in so many situations,
because yes right now, the focus of the reward is on the food, but eventually, the word yes is almost gonna become the reward. You wanna do it a couple
times with him, Kim? – Yep, mm-hmm, hey, buddy. – So she’s gonna get him engaged, and then she’s going to take his collar. – Yes.
– Yes, and then reward. Good. – [Both] Yes, good boy. – And see how when
she’s taking the collar, she’s not being gentle about it, but she’s also not being rough. She’s just being very matter of fact, and that engagement with the
dog also goes a long way. And it could be, that could
be what your husband’s doing. He’s just sorta, (claps) getting in there and getting it done, and not really, like, being cautious about it. He’s just being confident and direct, and that’s really what the dog needs. Do you wanna try it a couple more times with him yourself?
– Mm-hmm. – We’ll hand you some treats.
– Some more pieces. – So, take the food and lure him, so he’s sitting in front of you, so he knows it’s about you now. – Yes.
– Now, take his collar. – Yes.
– Yes, then feed. Ah-ah. – See, he only does that with me. – Yep, good so try it again,
and if he puts his paw up– – Oh. – There, good, that’s better. Good, take his collar. Yes, good! When you feed him, take
your food and put it more towards his face.
– Oh. – So he doesn’t have to reach towards you. – Oh, this way.
– There, yeah. Good. ‘Cause when I hold it here, being a puppy, he’s gonna
say, “Oh, the food’s there!” And he’s gonna try to run towards you.
– Yeah. – So you’re just gonna sort of take it towards him a bit more. Okay, one more time, that was great. – Yes.
– Yes, there we go! And then, the last five you got no paw, and you got attention. – Mm-hmm.
– Good boy. Yeah, it’s funny, because
sometimes people think that like, biting is all about,
like addressing the biting. But you actually can teach your dog that you’re a strong leader
simply by interacting with, the way you interact with
him when you feed him, the way you interact with him
when you put his leash on, the way you interact with him when you let him in and out of his crate. Those times are situations
where the dogs really will feel, the difference in your leadership. And it’s why, often, when
Kim and I are teaching, a puppy will be biting their handler, and then when we do
something with the puppy, they won’t even try.
– Yeah. – And it’s because they have like, a sense of reading us a bit differently, because we sort of have a confidence and a way we do it, because
we’ve done it for so long, and then we’re very comfortable with it. When you’re brand new learning with it, those are sort of things you have to learn a little bit more about as you go along. Something as subtle as
putting his paw up is, is really, that itself isn’t a big deal, but it sort of opens the
gate up for him to say “Okay, well I’m allowed to put
my paw overtop of your arm, “which now means maybe I’m
allowed to jump on you. “And if I’m allowed to jump on you, “maybe I’m allowed to grab your clothes.” So, if you start by laying down the law, and being really black and white with something that’s very small, that isn’t a big deal to even correct, then you sort of, start to show a stronger presentation of leadership, without actually reaching to the point where it gets to be this bigger problem. But unfortunately, when
you’re a new puppy owner, and you don’t really know, a lot of people will see
signs like this and think, “Oh he’s being so cute,
he’s putting his paw up.” Or in a really, another
common we see this, Kim, is when we’re doing downs, and the dogs roll over on their back, and they’re like rolling
around on their back like this. And a lot of people will say,
“Oh, he wants a belly rub.” Well, then when Kim and I
see it, though, we think, “No, he’s about to bite you.” Because the dogs say, “This
is so, this is so fun. “Look at me.” Boom! (laughs) And then they go from there. So, when we see a puppy do that, we don’t get mad or angry, but we just stop the issue
by just lifting the puppy up, and then going to something else. So, we don’t even have to correct them, we just can read the signs that very quickly is going
to lead to a problem, but then we nip it in the bud. So, the next thing that I’m gonna show you is an exercise that we call You Decide. And then, we basically put all of the responsibility on the dog. And what I’m gonna do, is teach him to have a bit of self-control. So, we can see that he
really likes this food. What I’m gonna do, is
I’m gonna try and see if I can teach him to leave the food alone in order for me to reward him. So if I, I think I’m just gonna
use one piece of food here. Rem. (smacks lips) What’s this? Sit for a sec. Good, so I’m gonna hold it open, and if he goes for it, I’m gonna close it. (dog whining) Yes, good boy. Now, that was an accidental reward, because he happened to see a
distraction at the same time. But I’m gonna roll with it, okay? So, I’m gonna show him the food. I’m gonna open my hand. Yes, good! And when he makes the decision, yes, good, to not go for it, yes! My god, you’re so smart! Good. Yes! So, see, how he’s learning, that “When I go for it, it disappears.” So I’m gonna pull it away, pull it away. Yes, good boy. So, do you see how when
he tried to go towards it, now all he’s doing is leaning his head in, but I’m not even accepting that. I’m basically, ’cause I’m
gonna show it to him again. No, he tries to go for it,
and I’m gonna pull it away. Pull it away until he, yes, excellent! He shows a little bit more self-control. So, again, this is putting me in charge, but I’m basically just playing
a dorky little game with him, where basically I’m saying,
“Here’s a distraction, “but how do you get it?” You get it by showing me self-control, and then I’m gonna give
it to you from there. Does that make sense?
– Mm-hmm. – It’s really easy, but it’s a lot harder than you think.
– Oh, yes. – And one of the things that’s
so challenging about it, Remmi-roo, come here. (smacks lips) Puppy-do, puppa-do. Is how fast you react. So, do you happen to know how quickly a dog learns information? So if you do, if they do
something right or wrong, do you know how quickly you would have to give them info about that? – Two seconds?
– That’s a good guess, it’s only one second, though. – Oh.
– That’s good. Most people say like five or 10, so that’s a really good
guess on your part. Yeah, so it’s only one second. So, basically, if I was
to hold the food out, and then I was to let him get all the way to the point where he could
even take food from me, and then I pulled my hand away, it wouldn’t make as much sense to him. What I’m doing, is I’m watching
the puppy really closely, and I’m reacting to his thoughts. I can see him lean forward to sniff, and so I’m reacting very quickly, but I’m being just as quick to show him the reward from there. Do you wanna give it a try,
and I can talk you through it? – Sure, sure.
– Yeah. I think that would be good. Yeah, we just do it with little treats. So, you’re just gonna
put one in your hand, and you’re just gonna– – Is he on a good angle?
– Yeah. Okay, now hold it.
– Oh. Am I too close?
– Yep. You’re a little bit too
close, hold it here. Now, close your hand if he goes forward. Close. Good, open. Close. Open. Yes, feed. – [Heather and Kim] Yay! – Good, now hold it open in front of him. Close. Nope, you’re not going anywhere. Sit, you’re good. Open, close. Close. Yes, feed, nice! Good! And again, it’s not even a big deal, it’s just a silly little treat game, but at the same time, it’s not silly in the fact that you’re teaching him, “Guess what, I’m in charge here.” And it’s not a confrontational way, you don’t have to worry
about having any discipline. It’s just a way where he’s saying, “Okay, I actually have to obey here.” “And when I do, great things happen. “And when I’m being a
little bit pushy, I don’t.” So, what happens with dogs
is they always wanna do whatever is rewarding to them. That’s what their life is all about. It’s just “How can I get a reward here?” And what we need to teach the dogs, is that rewarding comes
through doing things for me, not for yourself. Doing things for me,
and when I can get him to do things for me, and
then he learns it’s like, “Oh, okay, this is a pretty good deal.” Then, what happens, is
he starts to look at you in a different light,
because he basically says, “How can I please you? “Because when I please you, I love things, “like things happen really, “that’s so wonderful.”
– Yes. – [Kayl] And I think, sometimes, people think in order to take charge, you have to be like this
great big drill sergeant, and like have all these rules, and rah-rah-rah.
– Yes. – It’s not even about that, it’s just about giving the
dog a clear understanding of what they can and cannot do, and then following through with it. So, I wanna just talk about what Kim’s doing with Remmi here. Because one thing that’s
really difficult about puppies, is they typically don’t
have a very good off switch. And unless they’re in their crate, when they’re out and about, they’re busy, and they’re getting into stuff. So, all we’re doing right now, is we’re training Remmi
just to lay calmly. Kim, talk about what you’re
doing there with him. – Yeah, this is basically a rule out game. So, he has two options. He can either get up and monkey around, and not get any reward for it.
– Such as this. (Kayl laughs)
– Like this. – Or, he can remain in the down position, and be continuously rewarded. Now, I’m feeding several
small pieces of food, so it’s not about the size of the treat, it’s about the frequency. So, what I’m looking for is, oopsy, his choice to hold that position. Now, I do have my foot on
the leash a little bit, so that he can’t go too far away, but I’m not pinning him to the ground. So, I wanna make sure that it is up to him to hold this position. – Yes!
– Yes, good. – It’s basically a
problem-solving exercise, and what Kim is doing so well, that she maybe doesn’t even know she’s doing so well,
– Yes. – is every time Remmi gets up, she’s using a bit of food
to get him back in position, but she’s not feeding Remmi right away. And, why that is so important, is that if your dog gets out of position, and you lure them back in, and then you feed them right away, the dog will actually pair, “I get up, you put me down,
and then I get a treat.” So, what Kim’s actually doing, is she’s waiting until Remmi is showing that he’s able to hold position, and then she’s yes-ing and rewarding. Her foot’s on the leash, but you can see she’s
not holding him there. It is tight enough that he can’t run away and go do his own thing, but
the leash is totally loose, and now, again, he’s
problem-solving again. This is the first time he’s seeing this, really.
– Yes. – And again, she’s rewarding,
as he settles into the down. And again, we’re not
mad at the dog if they, what he’s trying to do
here, is figure out, “What can I do to get a reward?” He’s offering a sit, and
then he’s sort of saying, “Okay, I’m gonna go do my own thing.” We wouldn’t let a puppy just
walk away from work like that, we would wait ’til it was our idea. So, Kim might get one or
two more reps out of him, and then what she would
do, is give him permission to disengage from her. And I think that’s another thing that people don’t realize as well. They sorta go “Oh, the
puppy’s not interested”, and then they stop. Well, the puppy is then
saying, “I get to choose “how long I listen to you.”
– Yes. – So, we would be strategic about how long we push the limits. Like I’m not gonna make
a 14-week-old puppy lay here and do this for 10 minutes, that would be asking too much. But I might say, “Okay,
you’re gonna do this “for two minutes or 30 seconds.” And then I’m gonna tell you,
“Okay” and let you disengage. But then I would start again, so that it’s I’m starting the exercise. I’m finishing the exercise. Again, puts me in a more
leadership position, but without having to have
a ton of confrontation. So, one of the things that I think is important to address too is, since we were sort of on
the topic of multiple commands, is things like teaching
him to respond to his name, or saying sit or whatever it might be. If we’re giving the command
over and over again, and he’s not actually giving the response, it also teaches them that
he gets to hear our voice, and then not listen. So, we also wanna make
sure that he understands that when we give a command that he needs to respond to that. Now, because he’s a puppy,
what we would do to begin is we would say the command, and then we would show him how to do it, so that he wasn’t really being wrong, he was mostly being set up. So, I think what we’ll,
exercise that we’ll work on next is a little bit on how to teach him to respond to you, when you call his name. So when we begin, either Kim or I can even show you a
couple of times as well, we’re gonna say his name and then, without expecting that he turns initially, we’re gonna put food on his nose, and then we’re actually gonna use the food to get him to respond on the first try. So I’m gonna start off by showing you a little bit on how to get the
dog to respond to his name. So, you can see, I’m getting
zero attention right now. So, if I was to call his name, there’s a pretty big chance
that I would get zero response. So, what I’m gonna do is
get close with the food. Remmi! Yes! And you’ll notice, when I called him, I loosened the leash, so that
I’m not forcing him to come, I’m basically bribing him to come, and encouraging him to come with the food. So now I’m just gonna, okay. Okay. Let him get disengaged. Remmi! Yes! That was actually kinda cool, ’cause he almost offered to
look a little bit on his own. Good boy. Okay. And, again, there’s a lot of merit in me giving him permission
to disengage from me. Look at you. Remmi! Yes! Now, I’m being a bit sneaky here, and I am actually utilizing the fact that Remmi’s checking in
with me, so that when I call, there’s a huge chance
that he actually turns. Remmi! Yes! Good boy. Try one more. Remmi! Yes! Good boy! And again, it’s not, Remmi, Remmi, Remmi, Remmi, Remmi, Remmi. Yes, good boy.
(all laughing) As he ignores me, it’s here’s your name and
here’s what I want you, yes, good boy. Here’s what I want you to
do, when you hear Remmi. Yes! And I’m waiting for me, for my dog to give me attention. So, see how I didn’t yes
him quite as fast that time? It’s because for a second he was checking out the food on the floor. This is the type, yes! Of engagement that I’m looking for. That was so good puppa-do! Okay. So. I’m gonna have you try it now. So, here’s what’s gonna happen. You’re gonna have the food in one hand. I typically will have
the food in my left hand, just because, for further training that’s what you’ll end up doing. Your leash is gonna be
gathered in the right hand. – [Heather] Are you
right-handed or left-handed? – I’m right-handed.
– Okay. – Mm-hmm, because that way you have full control of the leash.
– I find this one awkward. – Yeah, once you get used to it, you’ll be a bit more comfortable. So, what’s gonna happen, is I’m gonna kinda cause
him to be distracted. You’re gonna say his name
once, and then right after that you’re gonna put the food on his nose, and turn him so he’s focused,
and then you can say “yes”, and give him a little
bit of the cheese, okay? (Kayl smacking lips) Call him. – Remmi.
– Yes, good. Really good. And he’s not very
distracted, which is great, but if you need to, put
the food a little closer. Pup, pup, pup, pup, pup, pup! – Remmi. – [Both] Yes! – Okay, come back over this way. Come towards me. (smacks lips) Come. – Rem.
– Yes, good boy! Good man, okay, come and try it again. (Kayl smacking lips)
– Gave him a freebie. Over here, ooh. – Pup, pup, pup, pup, pup, pup. – Remmi.
– Oh my goodness! So, do you see what
your puppy’s doing now? He actually is turning
before you call him, because he started to say “Ooh,
mom’s got the good stuff.” Okay, see how he’s trying to jump up at you?
– Yes. – When you feed him, feed, there. Now feed him. Yes. Always look for what
behavior you’re getting, yes and reward him again,
when you’re rewarding him. So now, you have a puppy sitting
on a totally loose leash, and offer yes and feed him again, and offering you attention.
– Yes! – That is super! All right, I think we
need to make it harder, come on over here, that was great! Here pup, pup, pup,
pup, pup! (smacks lips) Good, oh! (Kayl laughs and claps) Wow! Do you see how quickly the reinforcement starts to change the dog’s like, feel? Ah, ah, ah, settle! And reward. – Yes.
– Yes, good. So, the moment you get
something you don’t like, so see, he, uh-uh! You gotta stop him and take the leash, and tell him knock it off. Settle. Good, and now we’re
gonna loosen the leash. Now we can reward him. – Good.
– Yes, good. So, your timing of your
reward is very good, so I want your timing of
when you don’t like something to be just as quick.
– Okay. – [Kayl] There, reward him again. Yes!
– Yes. – Good. So, if you get any jumping, or sort of like, pushiness, you can take a hold of the leash. And what I did is I grabbed
the leash with two hands, and I just sort of used my leash to tighten his collar around his neck. And as soon as he was
being a good boy again, I put all the slack
back in the leash again, so that he’s making his own choices. Reward him again, what a superstar! If you’re looking for a video to help you specifically
address puppy nipping, make sure you check out
that video beside us. And if this is your first
time on the channel, make sure you hit that subscribe button. We publish brand new
videos every single week to help you have a great family member. And on that note, I’m Kayl McCann. Thanks for watching.

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