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Miggy is so good and doing amazingly at house training. The cats still hate him but they are having a little more interaction. If anyone has cats and can give advice I thank you in advance.
One other problem we're having is biting. When we pick him up he tries to bite our chins or anything else he can get hold of. He chomps on our fingers constantly. I keep telling him no bite but he's not getting any better. Somewhere I read to give him a nose hug but he hates that and actually growls. I'm worried this may get out of hand (pun intended).
 

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Hi Sami,

I don't know if my experience with cats will hold true for yours but I had two cats, Lily and Callie, when Vinny came into our lives. He was (he's over the Rainbow Bridge now) a very good Beagle/Springer mix and really didn't bother the cats much. They were very upset with him being an "intruder" in their space. But as time went on they found that their place in out hearts was not changed. I would love them up each individually and the only times when Vinny would play-chase them were when they would strike back -- some batting on his nose (no claws). If they ever growled Vinny would know they were seriously threatening him and he'd back off right away.

I think it just takes time for the pecking order to become established and for them all to get comfortable with the status quo.

I hope this helps. Each animal is an individual and it's hard to say what will happen, but I think things will get better. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Monica and Daisy /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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Nikki was a biter too! What finally worked for me was to be very clear that she HURT me.
I would pick her up and as soon as she started to bite I would scream OUCH!!
And immediately put her down for a time out. When I played with her - as soon as
she would bite, I would scream in pain and yell OUCH!! and immediately
stop playing. After awhile she finally realized that biting would get her NOTHING.

I remember being VERY frustrated. I always kept a chew toy handy too. I would
say NO and then shove a toy in her mouth.
 

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Suz,
That worked for us too. I made the 'hurt puppy' sound when Maggie bit....and then ignored her for awhile. It worked.

As for growling, that may be another issue. Don't ignore that. When Miggy growls, firmly push his body to the ground, look him in the eye, say "NO" firmly....and his proper response should be to look away (which shows submission). Same with the nose hug, if you use it and he growls, say NO firmly and look him straight in the eye. HE should be the one to back down.
 

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Have you ever watched puppies play fight together? They're constantly biting at each other and no one gets injured. If you watch, when one does yelp the others usually back off immediately. What Miggy is doing is perfectly normal.

Also, Miggy is still a puppy and very curious about everything around him, especially you. He's not really biting, it's called "mouthing." Remember, he doesn't have hands and fingers with which to touch, handle and feel things. His mouth is all he has. Of course, he'll go through teething and will want to chew on everything in sight, but that's another issue.

As far as the mouthing, you can break him of it if you wish but I've always let my dogs use their mouths to examine me. They almost always eventually grow out of the mouthing period. I also let them play bite my hands, fingers and arms while play fighting with them, I just set a limit. As soon as they start using too much pressure I say "easy" very sharply. After a while they'll learn how rough is too rough. I've never had one of my dogs bite in anger.

This "easy" command also works with dogs that are too enthusiastic when trying to take a treat from your hand. My border collie had that habit at first, and several times she accidentally nipped my finger while grabbing at a biscuit or a bit of people food. I started holding the food out where she could see it, then saying "go easy" as a reminder, then I'd lower my hand to where she could reach it. She'd always take the food from my hand very gently.

As for the growling when you try to discipline him, it sounds like you've got an alpha on your hands. That you do need to deal with. You need to convince him that YOU are the alpha dog in his pack. One of the best ways to do this is whenever he growls at you (not when playing) get him on his back on the floor and hold him in that position until he stops struggling. Do this each time and he'll soon learn who the real boss is.

This is also a good way to determine a puppy's personality when you trying to decide which one to adopt. Just put the puppy on his/her back and hold it there. A puppy that submits without fuss will generally be easy to train and will see you as the leader of the pack. A pup that struggles to get up will need more work and a firmer hand.

I can't recommend staring down any animal. To them it's a challenge. Better to imitate the mother or other alpha by putting them on their backs.
 

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Biting and nibbling on people is often a sign that puppy was taken away from Mom to early. Sometimes during the 7 to 10 weeks, Mom starts disciplining puppy. It is during that time that Mom teaches puppy not to bite her. Puppies taken too early from Mom by the breeder or sold prior to 12 weeks often don't make the difference between what play is acceptable with a figure of authority and what is acceptable with other dogs. The lesson is thus left to the owner who, unfortunately, can never do it as easily as Mom would have. On occasion, a pup a little bit more stubborn, will try it over a figure of authority eventhough Mom as done her job.

Dogs hate beeing ignored. So one of the best way to stop this is the "Game over" technic. As soon as puppy start biting, put your hand behind your back, saying "No", turn around without a word and live the room. Ignore your dog for 5 to 10 minutes depending how stubborn he is. Soon, your dog will learn that biting = no more contact.
If he bites also while you are petting him, the correction is the same.
It can take a couple of weeks for the dog to stop totally but he will. After a few days to a week, you will notice that he no longer bites and then he will start again. Do not discourage. He only does that because he is testing to make sure there is a link between the biting and the no more game. So simply continue with the same technic and this will reinforced the idea that yes, he was right in his deduction.

One more word: The technic has to be followed by all members of the family, including children. Beagles are smart enough that they could understand that it is a no with Mom or Dad but it is OK with everyone else.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 
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