he attacks me !

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by funnysky, May 25, 2011.

  1. funnysky

    funnysky New Member


    Luffy is 9 weeks old and I can't stop him from biting me or anyone. I have bought so many toys to prevent him from biting but he loves human skins. I tried ouch method but it didn't work.
    I used mother method (grabbing his neck and putting him on the floor) and he goes berserk. Ever since I used mother method he became more aggressive. He is the official boss of me. How can I be his pack leader and stop him from attacking me?
    any other method suggestions?


  2. Charliegirl

    Charliegirl New Member

    It may not seem like it now, but it will pass quickly. My girl is 7 months, and she used to be a terrible biter. Everyone in puppy class was horrified at the marks she left, while their small pups didn't leave a nick. Nowadays, the worst she does is lick our hands as she passes by, or licks our bare feet when she can't find her chew toy. My best suggestion would be to put her in another room or her crate when she gets aggressive and you can't stand another minute. I've tried all of the methods, from holding her muzzle, saying ouch and no, ignoring her, rattling a can with coins, etc., and all of them work about the same. Absolutely invest in lots of proper chew toys, kongs, and bones - for Berners, they are like soothers for infants. If your boy is happily distracted, he will be less prone to come looking for your hands and feet. There are a lot of good suggestions for toys on this website. Good luck and don't be shy about coming on here to vent!
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  3. funnysky

    funnysky New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply!
    I have bought so many toys for him but he is not interested in them at all. When I put him in his crate he will bark like there is no tomorrow. My neighbor already complained and I am kind of afraid he will do it again. I will try to put him in the crate once again and hope it helps. I so envy you that your bernese is behaving like an angel now! thanks again for your input

  4. Chardy17

    Chardy17 New Member

    I feel your pain (pun intended). Bruce responded well to when we would go "ouch!" and turn our backs like we were in serious pain. He didnt like seeing us look hurt and we could definitely tell. He wasn't happy how we looked the other way either. Dogs know when someone is in pain.. You could give it a try :)
  5. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    He isn't your boss or being dominant he is a baby.

    He needs some training and to learn bite inhibition.

    Heres the link. Hope it works. Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily

    He will become more wound up if you grab him by the neck and pin him down. I would also urge you not to tap him on the nose not sure if you have or were thinking about it as you could make him hand shy.

    Try teaching him get a toy it will not work overnight but believe me with a bit of patience it does work.

    We would every time Ollie sadly no longer with us taken too young give him a toy when he went to make contact with us and we would say get a toy and distract him. It worked a treat took a while but it worked along with using the bite inhibition technique.

    Please remember he is still very young and I would imagine not been away from his litter brothers and sisters long he has to learn a whole new way of life with his human pack.
  6. funnysky

    funnysky New Member

    thank you so much for your help
    I really appreciate it
    the website you gave me is very informative
    I will try my best to follow the instrucitons
    thanks again !!
  7. easchaars

    easchaars New Member

    We are experiencing the exact same thing with our 11 week old puppy that we have had for 3 weeks. He wants nothing to do with toys. We have tried everything: rolling him over (he gets very calm until we release him, then he's right back at biting us), shaking a can of pennies at him (he stops for a second then barks at the can or us), ignoring him (makes him bark more), spraying Bitter Apple on our skin/clothes, putting a toy in his mouth (he doesn't want it), and trying to distract him. None of it has worked. The one thing we have done that makes a little difference is giving him a 'time-out' in his crate with a blanket over it to make it dark. We wanted it to be different than when he is in there for bed because we didn't want his crate to be a bad place. It seems to calm him down, but sometimes it takes a few time-outs before he is not barking or nipping at us. He is also bad when we first get home and is nipping at our ankles and biting our shoes or clothes. If we tell him "no," he just starts barking at us. Hopefully it will get better, but just know that we are going through the EXACT same thing!
  8. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    You are very welcome keep us updated on your progress.

    He is teething so that is why he is biting so much and their teeth are like little needles.

    Some ideas to help with the teething are take a tea towel and make it wet wring it out and freeeze he will love to chew on it obviously supervise it as you do not want him eating bits of it. The other thing is a carrot freeze it and he can eat that. It is nce and cold and hard and helps ease the pain in the gums.

    It will stop for a while when he gets his adult teeth but it will start agian fairly soon afterwards while their adult teeth settle into their gums this too can be a little uncomfortable for them.

    Is he your 1st Bernese sounds like he is ? These dogs cannot be trained the way say Labradors etc., can be trained you imprint on their life very early and they remember things they are very sensitive dogs but can also be very stubborn you have to get the training exactly right or you have a shy dog or a very withdrwan dog.

    They need firm but fair and calm training no shouting no yanking no pushing or pulling. Good luck.
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  9. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    Your puppy is very young too and again not been away from his/her litter siblings very long at all. The crate ideas is a good one. I would urge you though not to shake a rattle can at him/her or roll him/her onto his /her back.

    Heres the link I gave to funnysky re: teaching bite inhibition.

    Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily

    Also to help with the pain of teething wet and then wring out a tea towel and freeze it and supervise your puppy when you allow him/her to have it and also freeze a raw carrot and they can eat them too. These things help ease the pain your puppy is experiencing while teething.

    Bernese are very sensitive dogs so need fair but firm training they do not respond well to pulling, yanking, pushing etc.., and by doing these things when they are young you can leave yourself with a host of problems.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  10. funnysky

    funnysky New Member

    Thank you so much for your input again Lynn and easchaars.

    Yes, he is my first bernese and my first dog. I was bit confused and lost but you guys put me on the right track. I did the yelping method and it is working pretty well so far!! He doesn't bite as much anymore and when he tries to I give him a toy. Like Lynn said, key is consistency. I am realizing more and more how important that is.
    Easchaars, I can totally relate to your problems.
    I've tried everything that you said but it didn't work. I think the worst was the mother method (where you grab their neck and pinning him down)
    I didn't try yelping because I am a guy. I can't make that kind of high pitch and it is embarassing! but I gave a try and it is working.
    I was surprised. when he bites my hand I yelp take the hand out and he looks at me as if I am really hurt and stops. I was amazed. then, i would give him his favorite toy. I repeated this process several times and he is not attacking us anymore.
    I hope this helps
  11. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    So glad things are already beginning to work. Well done.

    Ollie was my first Bernese but not my first large dog and I had a great learning curve but I did do a lot of research before getting him and learnt the best way to train was firmly, fairly and consistently. They are like no other breed.

    Enjoy him he sounds like a lovely boy and will become a true and loyal friend.

    I will be going through this whole process again at the end of this year after losing Ollie in February this year. I have learnt a lot with Ollie so will be even better prepared this time around.
  12. funnysky

    funnysky New Member

    so sorry to hear about ollie.
  13. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    Thankyou. He was not destined to be with us for long. he had lots stacked against him.

    It was only February this year we had to say goodbye to him and it is still very painful he was such a brave boy at the end.
  14. Barneys Mom

    Barneys Mom New Member

    Lynn, my heart goes out to you over losing Ollie so early. I guess the best way of looking at it is that even if there weren't as many years as you would have liked, the years you did get were perfect and you gave him a great home :) That's the thing with pets, and large breeds in particular - no matter how much time we have with them, it's never enough!!

    To the folks experiencing the biting, Barney was TERRIBLE with it at first! We tried the ouch, yelping, the Dog Whisperer "Tsst" with the claw, poking him in the neck, grabbing his muzzle and holding, etc. Nothing deterred him.

    The only thing that seemed to work was issuing one warning (either a loud "NO BITING" or picking him up by the scruff of the neck while supporting his breastplate) and then if he went to bite again, he got a "time out" - we'd walk away from him, cross our arms and look up at the ceiling or sky. About 30 seconds of that was enough that Barney would calm down and play nicely.

    He's almost 4 months old now, and the biting has stopped but every now and again he'll get wound up while we're playing and go in for a bite with his mouth open, remember at the last minute that he's not supposed to do that and turn his head or just poke us with his nose. It DOES get better, but like the other Berner Parents have said, consistency is key - it felt like we did the "NO BITE" and ignore combo 8 million times a week, but he did get it.

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