Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

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BigK75
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Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by BigK75 » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:29 pm

Hey Guys,

We have a Brittany Spaniel who is extremely loving and smart. He is exactly four months old today. I cannot get him to stop biting. I have tried everything from this is your fur baby and you cannot discipline him crowd (that does not work at all) to the discipline of yesteryear. I have tried grabbing him by the scruff, tried putting my hand in sideways, time out, I have tried hold his mouth shut for a few seconds, I have tried pinning him (gently) by the neck on the floor. Nothing seems to change. He keeps nipping and biting us. Its not super hard but it is enjoying and worrisome. Not if he will grow out of this or is this indicative of a bigger problem.

I am also having issue with him going pee in the house. He has bell he ring to go outside but has not associated that peeing must be done only outside. He keeps peeing four or five times a day inside the house. Not sure what to do with that either. On the plus he does seem to poo outside for the most part other then one or two accidents a week.

On the other hand training is going well he can sit but does not always want to when leaving the house. I always have him sit when going outside and staying until I walk out the door. The one issue I have is that I basically have to push his bum down for him to sit when walking out the door. When training with treats he sits no problem so he understands the command. Today I left him inside the house then went for a walk by myself and that seemed to at least get him to sit later in the afternoon when we went for a walk. All the other commands such as come, whao/stay, heel are going okay (not great but okay).

I realize this is not a puppy training forum but I cannot go on reddit because I am again I am dealing with the fur baby crowd and not someone who understands a hunting dog.

Thanks,

Claude

shags
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by shags » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:30 pm

It sounds like you're doing pretty well with your pup. Four months old is young yet, keep working on your commands and he'll eventually get it.

IME some pups want to be more dominant than others, and take more convincing to stop that biting and nipping. For my pups with that mindset, I get rougher with them than with 'normal' puppies. Come down harder on him. For me, that's a scruffing and a firm NO! and I leave no question that I Mean It, Buster. Do it the second he starts in, don't wait until he's all revved up. If your wife and kids can't discipline the pup, stand by and do it for them. As a side note, if you have kids you might want to think about teaching them to not rough house with the dog until the nipping is under control unless you are right there to take control of the situation.

As for peeing indoors, don't wait for him to ring his bell; take him out more often. I like to put pups on a lead and use a command just as they begin to go; I use 'hurry up'. Then when you're traveling or somewhere you want things taken care of quickly, he'll pee when you want him to and not fiddle around sniffing and stuff. If you want to just turn the pup out in the yard to go, stick around until he pees so you know the deed is done. Sometimes they get distracted and forget to pee until you bring them back in :roll:

I know what you mean about the fur baby crowd. My granddaughter is having a hard time finding s general training group for her pup...the ones local to her are no slip collars, no prong collars, no telling the dog 'no', etc. Cookies, rainbows, and unicorns only! 8)

Dakotazeb
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by Dakotazeb » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:26 am

Sometimes giving a pup too much free run in the house makes it more difficult to potty train. I would crate him in the house for a few hours at a time. When you let him out take him outside to do his thing and when he does praise him. It won't take that long for him to learn where he is suppose to go. Put the bell away for now.

FYI, the Brittany is no longer called a Brittany Spaniel. The Spaniel name was dropped back in the 1980's. Today they are more commonly called an American Brittany or a French Brittany.
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cjhills
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by cjhills » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:23 am

Dakotazeb wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:26 am
Sometimes giving a pup too much free run in the house makes it more difficult to potty train. I would crate him in the house for a few hours at a time. When you let him out take him outside to do his thing and when he does praise him. It won't take that long for him to learn where he is suppose to go. Put the bell away for now.

FYI, the Brittany is no longer called a Brittany Spaniel. The Spaniel name was dropped back in the 1980's. Today they are more commonly called an American Brittany or a French Brittany.
This is my take also. If you are not using a crate do it.
Let him out more often and he will learn to go out to the bathroom outside. Some puppies just seem to have a hard time learning that the inside is part of the den. Some puppies get to busy and wait until it is too late.
Be a little tougher when he bites. He needs to learn that biting is not tolerated. The smaller he is the easier it is.....Cj

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Sharon
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by Sharon » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:15 pm

Although it is a drag, I take my pups out every hour and use the command "hurry up" as Shags does. They learn from a behaviour becoming a habit. I also have a dog door to the outside which helps a lot.

"We have a Brittany Spaniel who is extremely loving and smart. He is exactly four months old today. I cannot get him to stop biting. I have tried everything from this is your fur baby and you cannot discipline him crowd (that does not work at all) to the discipline of yesteryear. I have tried grabbing him by the scruff, tried putting my hand in sideways, time out, I have tried hold his mouth shut for a few seconds, I have tried pinning him (gently) by the neck on the floor. Nothing seems to change. He keeps nipping and biting us. Its not super hard but it is enjoying and worrisome. Not if he will grow out of this or is this indicative of a bigger problem." quote Big K75

No fur baby crowd here. I believe in a little pain occasionally. Sounds like you have a dominant dog. If "pinning him gently" hasn't worked nor "holding his mouth shut for a few seconds", I would hold his mouth shut to illicit some pain. That will work. When pup's Mom dealt with him as a 6 week old, she would elicit some pain to make her point. She wasn't very gentle. :)
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birddogger2
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by birddogger2 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:54 pm

Can't help you with the potty training...all my dogs are outside dogs...not permitted in the house unless they are recuperating from surgery or something similar.

As far as the nipping is concerned...I will share a comment : "What you allow, you encourage."

If a puppy was being a PIA to its momma, what would she do? She would pick it up by the scruff of its neck with her teeth and give it a shake and a growl. Probably wouldn't be all that gentle either.

I have had "bitey" puppies. The kind of pups I buy are pretty high octane and they are usually the alpha pup, or want to be. I grab them by the muzzle as they try to nip and bite them on the nose. Not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to hurt and have them squall and pull away. I will also make growling noises. Then when the pup come back toward me, I put my hand out... palm up. More often than not the pup will approach and then lick my hand, for which it gets praised.

Some have taken a couple or three "lessons", but most figure out that biting and nipping at me is a bad idea. Most calm right down when they hear me "clear my throat", because they kinda know what comes next if they don't cool their jets.

What you allow, you encourage.

RayG

PS - Just remembered...Years ago I had a pup that was real stubborn about the nipping thing. After several "lessons" I got aggravated and I grabbed his lower jaw with my hand and clamped down as he tried to bite me...rolling its jowls onto those needles they have for teeth at that age. That little bastard got me good but I got him better. He bit down a bunch of times but I didn't let go. He never tried it again. The holes in my hand healed up just fine...Shoulda tried that when wearing a leather glove. Oh well.

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RatDog
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by RatDog » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:34 pm

I have a Britt that is a little older than yours so I am just coming out of the puppy experience, at least from 8 weeks to 6 mo then he did a stint at the trainer. We were totally overwhelmed by the biting; It was constant. We had a lady who trains for obedience and agility kind of stuff come to the house and do a consultation. For better or worse she was a total hippy and convinced us to avoid negative reinforcement. I know this isn’t the most popular approach around here but we just constantly redirected to bully sticks, tracheas and other “permitted” chew toys and he grew out of it. He will still get nippy if he gets overly excited but if you give a stern no and pretend like he’s not there he knocks it off.

Potty training was tough for us. You’ve gotta do the crate at night! Avoid letting the dog out when it is whining and scratching at all costs. Leave him in there for just a couple of hours at first before waking him up to go out. Slowly increase the time as you are successful. The point is beating him to the punch and not rewarding the undesirable behavior of barking/whining. Breaking mine to sleep through the night in the crate was really hard. We have a small house and it’s tough to just let the dog howl and ware itself out but you’ve gotta do it.

There were times when during the day we would set a repeating half hour alarm on either my wife’s or my phone and take him out to avoid accidents. It doesn’t last forever, you just have to be consistent and it’ll turn. I got discouraged enough that at some point I called the vet to see if the dog had a kidney problem because he was peeing so often. This is corny but I viewed it as accidents in the house were my failure to read the dog and set him up for success. I never disciplined him after an accident where I didn’t catch him in the act. When you do catch him in the middle of going it’s a great opportunity; run up shouting no and usually it’ll freak them out enough to stop immediately then pick him up and carry him outside and wait until he finishes and reward. We turned it into a game trying to see how many days in a row we could make it without an accident.

FWIW I would stay away from sit until you get some of the hunting commands squared away


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Featherfinder
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:07 am

I have had customers come here with scabs on her hands/wrists or bite marks! I ask, "What happened there?"
Next thing you know, they are crying!?!?! They then confess that the pup is hurting them/their children.
Some people are so kind hearted and gentle and struggle with what a pup might need. I don't think every resolve should be physical. You can redirect a pup HOWEVER as Shags and RayG alluded to, there are pups and there are pups. For me, the pup has a say in the resolve.
For the lady with the scabs, I resolved their problem right then and there....done....no more biting/nipping. I showed them how to ensure it never happened again too. It paralleled what RayG suggested.
Here is the thing about house breaking. You need to manage both food and water intake. I NEVER free feed my dogs. Dogs come here and are picky grazers (free feeders). I fix that within a week. In order to get an athletic performance you need to work at mental and physical fitness as well as DIET.
Dogs here are all considered athletes. As such, I need to know they are fueled to work. Fueling/diet affects their learning as well as their physical ability. I need to know I'm working with a dog that has "gas in the tank". How am I supposed to know what a picky free-feeder has eaten prior to working? How am I to know when they need to air out?
I start out managing water for all my personal dogs. I don't deprive them. I simply ensure they understand the windows of opportunity available. There is little worse than a field trial competitor that is water dependent! Yes...dependent...learned from his/her owner!
You can't leave food and water out and expect a pup to become like clockwork regarding house training. Be fair. Watch, manage, learn what works for your pup. Done properly, they are regular, more healthy and better fueled.
My dogs learned to poop before running at a trial. It isn't science if you are doing your part. I say, "Make a mess" while Sharon and Shags use "Hurry up". You can use whatever works for you.
Be firm. Be fair. Be consistent.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:52 pm

Ray has it. Never allow ANY pipe to bite you; that's the cardinal sin. I do same as Ray. First I pinch their nose so hard they scream and command NO! If that doesn't work I hold the mouth shut and bite their nose, not muzzle. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PLAY BITING! ALLOW NO PUP TO BITE!
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BigK75
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by BigK75 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:40 pm

So I got way tougher on him and it seemed to stop the biting. He nips a little but nowhere near what it used to be. I would like to thank the forum for all of the advice. The toilet training is getting better as well and we are down to one to zero accidents a day.

I am now starting to become a happy dog owner. Thanks for all the advice :)

Claude
Last edited by BigK75 on Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sharon
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Re: Need advice on my Brittany Spaniel puppy problems

Post by Sharon » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:05 pm

Always great to hear someone tell us that the advice helped. Thank you.
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