Help wanted for biting Scottish Terrier puppy

A reader writes:

I have a 4 month old Scottie who constantly bites me. I have tried everything the vet and trainer have recommended. Every time I leave for work he is biting my shoes, but mostly he bites the back of my ankles and my hands sometimes drawing blood. I have wanted a Scottie since I was a child, I love my dog so much but i just do not know what to do anymore. Anything at all I would so much try and appreciate.

Yes, we can help. Bridget was a terrible biter as a puppy and is pretty much cured except for the occasional foot-biting incident.

What I’m about to recommend will be controversial but it works and no one gets hurt.
We have also used the spray bottle training method successfully on cats so that’s the Scottie News‘ official endorsement, “Works for hard-to-train cats and terriers and you can buy it at the dollar store.”

Here’s a discussion of the spray bottle dog training technique.

12 thoughts on “Help wanted for biting Scottish Terrier puppy

  1. I agree, the spray bottle thing worked wonders on my cats. I didn’t need to try it on my puppy. The thing I found best for biting was instantly stopping what ever I was doing when the biting happened (what ever game we were playing etc). It she didn’t stop, I didn’t look at her, or even really tell her off, it was ‘frog march’ (not carry) straight to the toilet/laundry/bath room (what ever room you can shut the dog in where they won’t hurt them selves, there are no toys and no people) then, and this is the hard bit, she had to stay there for 10 mins or for 5 mins after she stopped barking or carrying on, which ever happened first. This was the method recommend by my dog school.
    I only had to do this 4 or five times, the whole time she was in the monster phase and although it was very hard on me, she never seemed to mind, she was always much calmer after a bit of time out and never held a grudge.
    The only thing is to stick to it! It is hard, but well worth it in the long run, especially if you remember that you will have your boy for 10-15 years and a bit of an investment in the first few months can save you years of heartache and problems!

  2. These are all good things to do! With my litter of pups, I had to yelp scream LOUDLY every time they bit. All but one would stop and look at me. The one this didn’t work on, (she actually bit more…a real testy one), I had to turn her on her back, (catching her was fun!), turning her face around, (she wouldn’t look at me while she was on her back), and biting her nose firmly while growling!

  3. Well, Bridget, didn’t outgrow her ankle biting, but it is now just an occasional nuisance as opposed to a landmine-like force which kept you isolated on the couch.

    Also, B. is the feisty pup, who interpreted most ceast-and-desist actions undertaken before the spray bottle, as an invitation to bite more.

  4. Well gang Holly does occasionally nip at our shoes when we are leaving the house. This behavior comes and goes with a cycle I have not been able to figure out. The nipping is a the shoe laces and not the ankles and never draws blood. She does often try to pull my sox off so she can lick at my feet. The worst part of this is the holes in the sox. I wanted to use the spray bottle or water pistol to help the training but the rest of the family thought I was an ogre. What is one to do?

  5. We had to put a leash on Sophie in the house so she could be easily caught and then as soon as she did something inappropriate, like biting, we would immediately, without saying anything, march her off to the bathroom and leave her. Whenever we were ready we would go into the bathroom to wash our hands and leave the door open so Sophie could get out. For two weeks we had to refrain from cuddling her and also feed her by hand. Sophie quickly learned that the bathroom trip meant she had misbehaved. The hand feeding meant that good things came from her uprights and the lack of cuddles meant that we did not accidentally reinforce her bad behaviour. It worked. The most difficult part was the hand feeding because it took time! Sophie is now 3 and we still use the leash if someone new is visiting … It simply puts us at ease because we know we can catch her if need be, but, it is very rarely necessary!

  6. my name is Juliette Andersen and i have a dog as Scottish terrier and she bites all the time the feet, noises and more. i need a help to help her stop biting me and my family. her name it lily bear. and she its a good puppy and she cute anything do with her i just need help with her. pleases help me with her.

    Thank you
    Juliette Andersen and Lily Bear-Andersen

  7. My Scottie (Jock) is doing the ankle, toes and foot biting as well – however He is also starting to snap at us. He is generally a good puppy but this snapping at the air is getting to be too much. We paid good money for our registered Scottie and my husband is about ready to call the breeder and get his money back!

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