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Hi everybody. I just joined the forum this weekend. We recently brought home a 6 week old bundle of energy that we named Julia. My wife grew up around dogs, but this is my (and my four kids') first experience with a dog of any kind. We decided to get a beagle because of their cheerful temperament and their gentleness with children. It's been 2 1/2 weeks since we picked Julia up, and it's been an interesting experience. She hasn't had her second set of shots yet, so we haven't taken her too far from home or to any obedience classes. It's just been us, her, and a lot of reading and research about puppies and dog training on the Internet. It seems like every person who has something to write about training puppies has a different opinion from everybody else.

We've got her to walk on a leash (if we can get her to stop sniffing every few feet) and play fetch with a tennis ball in a sock. She actually brings it back about two-thirds of the time! The kids absolutely love her - most of the time. And that's where my questions come in.

She has her own place that measures about 8' by 6' in our insulated garage, with a doggy-door to a 25' by 12' beagle-proof (I hope) dog run in the back yard. Our yard is fenced, but she has shown us that she can easily slip under our gates and get out of the yard, so unless we're available to watch and play with her, she stays in her run or her room.

She gets extremely excited whenever anyone comes into her area, and obviously wants to play. She lets us know this by nipping at us, biting our hands, and growling. When she bites us, we try to give her a proper chew toy and praise her when she takes it, but sometimes hands, fingers, blankets, socks (and by extension ankles), shoes and shoelaces, nightgowns and pants are all extremely attractive to her. We've tried correcting her with firm NOs, a squirt in the face, a little bop on the nose, and even a loud clap to distract her. Granted, it's only been two weeks, but she doesn't seem to get the idea. She might calm down momentarily, but the very next time we see her it's the same thing all over again.

If it was just my wife and me, it wouldn't be that bad, but when the little kids what to pet her, she scares them and sometimes hurts them with her energetic nipping.

I've tried to hold her until she calms down to let them pet her so they can build their attachment to her without fear, but invariably somebody goes in to play with her unsupervised. More often than not it ends up with one of the kids jumping or running away (which gets Julia even more excited) or crying after having been nipped. The kids have seen us use gentle correction when she nips us, but sometimes that gets translated into not-quite-so-gentle correction when the kids are scared.

Also, whenever anyone reaches for her when she's in her crate or otherwise comfortable or resting (in a lap, on a blanket, etc.) she growls and sometimes barks or tries to bite. I understand that she considers her crate her den, but should we be able to reach in and handle her without being growled at or bitten? She does the same thing when she's being overly rambunctious and we move to put her in her pen.

Obedience training is definitely in the near future, as soon as she's had her second shots and is old enough, but I just don't want to do something wrong now that will be extremely difficult to correct in the future. I also don't want the kids to get scared of her and not take this opportunity to bond with her as friends and playmates.

Sorry for the long post, but we've had a lot of questions, and it's good to find a place dedicated to living with this particular breed. Any and all comments and suggestions would be more than welcome!

Thanks,
Dustin
 

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I got my pup at 7 and a half weeks and he is 16 weeks now and he still bites!! He bites less but me and my boyfriend have to be consistent with him. We will yell oach, say no bite then walk away. Play time stops when he bites. Just keep telling yourself She's teething and it's just a phase. Our savior has been Nylabones. He loves them and they provide a great distraction and is a great teething toy. Also chilly bones help too.
 

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Re: Normal puppy behavior or something to worry ab

<span style="font-style: italic">She has her own place that measures about 8' by 6' in our insulated garage, with a doggy-door to a 25' by 12' beagle-proof (I hope) dog run in the back yard. ...... so unless we're available to watch and play with her, she stays in her run or her room.</span>

This is a mistake with any puppy, especially a beagle. Dogs are pack animals, and want to be with their pack. Isolating her is the first step to creating a problematic dog. You should have a crate inside the house to keep her in when you cannot watch her/be with her. Those crate times need to be minimized as well at this stage in her life. If your lifestyle requires many hours of crating/isolation, then the insane but effective answer is to get her a companion. Yes, another dog. The problem with that is of course twice the costs, but the deeper problem is that the dogs will tend to bond with each other and create their own little life which may or may not mesh with your family.
 

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Stopping the nipping will take time. But you can start seeing results rather quickly if everyone, including your kids, gets on the same page.

Let me preface this by saying their are varying degrees of biting. What you should focus on is hard biting. But if it's a gentle bite don't use this technique. Once she learns what will happen if she bites too hard you can start utilizing it for more subtle bites.

When your pup bites too hard you yell ouch, stop, or whatever the designated word is in your household. Make sure everyone uses the same word too. So when she bites, you say ouch very loudly to get her attention, you get up and turn away from her. If she tries to circle around in front on you you turn away again or walk away. After maybe 30 seconds you can resume play. If she does it again, you do the same thing.

What she will learn is when she bites others react loudly and they ignore her and stop playing with her. It will take time, but not as long as you may think. Beagles are smart dogs and relatively easy to train if your consistent. You should see a noticeable improvement within weeks.

Make sure the entire family is being consistent with the training and doing the same things.
 

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3 beagle puppies in the last year.
im gonna shoot straight, you may not like it.

i learned a lot from watching my two beagles play with each other. they were littermates. they were relentless with each other. i learned they can take a lot more pain than i was willing to give at first. But, when they bit too hard, the other would bark loudly and bite back. they would often play together, (biting see pic attached) but not Hard until they got too worked up.
no age is too young to correct with pain and loud noise, that is the canine way.
you must be consistent. and trust me, your pup will not only figure out who it can bite and who it cant, but will test the ones it cant from time to time as well. walking away didnt seem to do much for us. another method often used is force the dog to lie on its back in your lap, (submission) get it to calm down, and pet it nicely, then put your hand near its mouth. when it bites on your finger, leave your finger in there and squeeze its lower jaw with your finger pushing down on its tongue, saying NO firmly.
they dont like that one bit. if you do that 3 or 4 times a day, it will stop within a week.
but mainly, know your dog is normal, and so are you.
 

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I'm surprised no one has said it yet. One of the problems is that puppies should not leave their mommies or litter mates at 6 weeks. An additional week or two with the litter mates is crucial to teaching them how hard is too hard to bite. The 6th and 7th week are strictly for learning from it's mommy and litter mates on how to be a dog. That said...even if you would have waited another week or two you would still be dealing with this issue to some degree. The advice given already is exactly what I would have told you. 1. Consistency by all family members is KEY 2. do what mom and siblings do - Yelp or make a loud noise and move away from the puppy. They do learn very quickly what is not acceptable.

Congratulations on your new family member. Trust me it does get easier and this is an excellent place for advice and friendship.
 

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I was just about to say the same thing beagletails.

Six weeks is FAR too young for her to be leaving the mum and litter mates. She has missed out on two crucial weeks of social development she would have otherwise learnt from her litter mates.

The issue you are having with the nipping is because she hasn't learned bite inhibition, something that puppies learn from playing with each other - a pup will yelp when one bites down too hard and this is how they start to learn about bite inhibition, or as BT put it, 'how to be a dog'.

I agree with BT's suggestion to yelp and move away from her until she's calmed down but I would also suggest giving her a toy that she can bite to redirect her energy with. It helps pups to learn not only what they can't do but what they can do.

In regards to training it's never too early to start in some extent. You can still do very short training sessions with her every day to teach her basics commands like sit, stay and down, and also as a way to build your bond with her. Keep sessions very short, even if they only go for a minute or two initially and always end on a high note when she's still interested - don't wait for her to lose interest before ending the training.

You might like to have a read of this Puppy Development Calendar so you can best understand what stage she is at and what to look out for, especially as you bought her home at such a young age;

http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?showtopic=117592
 

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and Julia is a real cutie. I have to agree after raising two Beagles, puppies should not leave until at least 7 and half or 8 weeks but that is really kind of a moot point now - it happened - I know it happens frequently too but if it were me, it wouldn't.

Now on to the immediate need. One very important thing between the kids and Julia - the kids MUST NOT run or jump when she nips/bites - I know, easier said then done but as you know too well, that just excites her. It is now your job to help your kids learn what is good behavior to learn with the pup. I know from what I have seen and read that the nipping/biting is one of the main reasons puppies/dogs end up in shelters and rescues. But what others have said - the loud noise/turning your back - is great advice. As for getting the puppy out of the crate without nipping - make sure you are at her level when you take her out. And yes, Beagles are pack animals - isolation from you unless ABSOLUTELY NEEDE (like when you are gone) is not a good thing.

Ok - gotta get to work but I can tell that you are getting a lot of great advice already. In all the reseaarch you do, make sure you read alot about the interactions between kids and pups - a great relationship between all is possible and can be very rewarding but it will take work from EVERYONE!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the good advice. I'll try getting some of these methods in place ASAP. I think it may be harder to train the kids not to freak out than it will be to train the puppy!

Just a question - I am obviously ignorant about this, but I've read about a lot of breeders sending the puppies home at 6 weeks. If this isn't good, and can even be detrimental to the puppies' development, why do they do it? The litter we got her from was AKC registered and the breeders seemed very knowledgeable.

Thanks again for the advice, and I'll keep everybody posted.

Dustin
 

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Originally Posted By: Dustin Lovell
Just a question - I am obviously ignorant about this, but I've read about a lot of breeders sending the puppies home at 6 weeks. If this isn't good, and can even be detrimental to the puppies' development, why do they do it? The litter we got her from was AKC registered and the breeders seemed very knowledgeable.
Because they're either uneducated in this regard or they simply wanted your $400.
 

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On bringing puppies home at 6 weeks.

we brought bonnie and clyde home at 7 weeks.
they seem pretty well adjusted, no real phobias, no nurotic behavior, etc.

champ was an accident, we didnt intend to have him, but our pastor asked us to take him as a favor since his older lab was not tolerating him well and we already had 2 etc.
champ was 5 weeks. Champ has a few issues, he definately bit MORE, especially my wife. Not me so much as i employed the above mentioned tactics early on. i wouldnt call him neurotic, but when we leave, He is the ONLY one that howls or whines. He digs, the others dont (maybe just personality) he has a harder time with other dogs, seems more jealous.
just my experience.
i would wait til the end of the 6th week, if possible.
i think the one book we read was called beagles for dummies,
i also saw a great informational website that walked through the develoment stages of a dog. it was incredibly helpful.
stuff like, when you should introduce other dogs, other people, etc.
we really tried to adhere to that with bonnie and clyde, champ didnt get the same consideration.
C.
 

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I got Buddy from a breeder when he was 8 weeks old. I had to wait until 8 weeks couldnt get him any earlier.

Buddy still play bites and he is 8 months old. I have been told Beagles are very mouthy dogs and love to use their mouths for everything.

I would be a little more concearned with the growling and trying to bite you when she is laying down. That maybe can turn into something later down the road. I have never had a problem with Buddy growling at me while he is eating or if i go to pick him up while he is still sleeping.

Granted I know its their den but still that could be the beginning of her showing you she wants to be the dominant one.
 

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I did a little bit of quik research into the question of why an earlier separation at 6 weeks - don't know if this is the same reason for all but I guess it is often the case I guess it is based on the owner's schedule or pocketbook rather than what is good for the pups. It costs more to feed the mom/pups when they are kept longer - that should not enter into it but it does. Sometimes it is the owner who doesn't want to take the time to allow for a couple of extra weeks. Those two reasons I think are the major reasons unless you get a pup from a puppy mill
then the owners want to get the pups off the mother ASAP to breed her again.
 

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Our Rocky came home to us at exactly 7 weeks of age and he is now almost 10 (wow...time flies!) and we are right now dealing with a lot of nipping whenever anyone tries to pet him when he`s feeling playful. I say OW!!! and withdraw, I will even close his mouth and growl at him. We humans are the alphas and he needs to know that. My kids are 11 and 10 and my son has no problem with being dominant, but my daughter is afraid to. I told her that ultimately, she is stronger than him and she can control him physically if she has to, to not be afraid to correct him.

He didn't come from a breeder, but friends, who I found out wrestled all the pups to the ground and bit at their exposed throats to show dominance at a young age. I think that really helped a lot for us.

I think that all the advice you have been given is great and it is VERY important that everyone deal with correction in the same way. In reading your post what stands out is the growling and trying to bite when you try to handle her when she's resting...it sounds like she's trying to be dominant to me. I would really try to correct that and fast!

The book I got which has been awesome is Puppies For Dummies. Loads of great training tips and just general developmental info.

Good luck!!
 

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Hi to You your Beag n family:)

you said She has her own place that measures about 8' by 6' in our insulated garage, with a doggy-door to a 25' by 12' beagle-proof (I hope) dog run in the back yard. Our yard is fenced, but she has shown us that she can easily slip under our gates and get out of the yard, so unless we're available to watch and play with her, she stays in her run or her room.

EASY FIX....as I had to do the same with My BEAG,
ADD AN EXTENTION TO THE BOTTOM OF THE GATE, Ours is wood so we nailed another piece of wood same length to the gate that is already there, it worked wonders for the little bugger can't slip out, if it's chain or metal, try adding some type of chicken wire etc...to the bottom, this way She can have free roam of the yard:)
 

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Originally Posted By: Dustin Lovell
Just a question - I am obviously ignorant about this, but I've read about a lot of breeders sending the puppies home at 6 weeks. If this isn't good, and can even be detrimental to the puppies' development, why do they do it? The litter we got her from was AKC registered and the breeders seemed very knowledgeable.
Where I live it is actually against the ANKC code of ethics for breeders to sell pups younger than eight weeks of age, and in some states it is actually against the law to do so (even non-registered breeders must comply).

If you have a read of the puppy development calendar I linked to in my first post you'll see that the 3-8 week age is the time where puppies develop their pack skills and it's a crucial time for the puppy to spend with mother and litter mates as interaction skills are learned at this time - as well various canine behaviours are learned too, such as calming, greeting signals, bite inhibition etc.

Rocky is our boy:
Quote:
He didn't come from a breeder, but friends, who I found out wrestled all the pups to the ground and bit at their exposed throats to show dominance at a young age. I think that really helped a lot for us.
I can guarantee you it would have made no difference whatsoever... that kind of treatment is an old wives tail and completely unnecessary.

Even if it did work, it would mean only the person who did it was the one who asserted themselves and would have made no difference to your pups relationship with YOU.
 

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We also go teddy young, We knew the breeder so we didn't have to wait the full 8 weeks, teddy came home at 6 weeks. He's a ridiculously social dog, and well adjusted, we did have a nipping problem at first but we sorted that out and now he's soooo gentle, he's completely allowed to play with toddlers and babies with no worries from us. He greets them on walks etc. It IS preferable to wait but if your impatient as we were well its moot point now. Dont worry the nipping thing can be easily taken care of just follow through and be patient within a month you should be good.
 
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