Hi all. My new puppy is Bertie and we are having a few problems. Although in some instances he is doing well in others we really are struggling. He is 11 weeks old, mum's a rottweiler, dad's a dalmatian/staffordshire bull terrier. We have had him a week now and have learnt various commands and he responds really well to them. However..............he bites, nips, jumps etc all the things a puppies do, but it has caused a bit of a problem with my in-laws. Bertie nipped my father in law and he says he also nipped my 5 year old son. I saw him lick him, not nip him. The father in law now wants us to get rid of Bertie (which I refuse to do just yet). They have never had dogs from a puppy, they got a dog at 2 yrs old who was very well behaved and didn't do any of the things mine does. My husband is also a little nervous of Bertie too, and it shows so Bertie is reacting to this. How can we prove Bertie isn't dangerous (and stop the nipping at least) and help my husband gain confidence with him. I really don't want to get rid of him, I don't think he has been given a fair chance yet.
Thank you Rachel and Bertie.
P.S Bertie didn't leave his family until he came to us, so he was with mum and dad constantly and other dogs too.
You don't really have a puppy problem you have an in-law problem and to a lesser extent a husband problem. Your puppy is acting like a normal puppy. Puppies play, eat, poop, and sleep. What you have described is normal puppy play. Puppy nipping is usually not a big deal unless someone makes it a big deal. Puppies play with their mouths. Back when I taught classes, we would turn 8 or 10 puppies loose to play together and there would be lots of nipping tails, feet, ears, legs, snouts and any other body part they could wrap their mouths around.
If you don't live with your in-laws, I wouldn't worry too much about them. They don't have any say. Husband is another matter and you need to get him some puppy books so he sees how puppies play. There are ways to discourage your puppy from these behaviors. I prefer 2 minute time outs when the going gets too rough. Ignoring also works but 5yo son will have a problem with both of those. I think you need to hire a positive reinforcement trainer to help you with this. It's just too detailed to handle here. The trainer needs to see your puppy play and you need to see how the trainer handles him. Neither of those can be done here.
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace. - Milan Kundera
It is only natural for family members to be concerned if they think a young child could be at risk. It sounds as if they are being over protective and perhaps a bit controlling. Bill's advice about the trainer is important but I think puppy class would help too both in terms of socialisation and also helping your husband to become more confident.
Personally, I'd ban the in laws, not the dog. Just tell them not to come over. :}
I hope things are improving with the inlaws, I wouldn't ban them. I would thank them for their advice and then tell them very firmly that you have the issue under control and there is no need for them to worry.