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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys thought I would reach out to y'all to ask a few questions about my pup... We've only had him home 2 days (He is 8 weeks), but he is adjusting really well, is super playful, fast learner (my wife and I are trying to catch up on the learning curve), and loves to curl up next to me in my chair.

Few positive points... he doesn't whine in his kennel at all at night, and during the day he will go lay down in it or right outside of it because he knows it is his place, and he is really good at not messing in it. Already learning sit for food and a treat, and is starting to respond to his name better.

Now for the questions I need help with. (this is my first gun dog)

1. He is as mouthy as every other Boykin, but he has not learned to control his bites so he nips constantly, and it hurts. He doesn't really respond to a loud NO, OUCH, or to a yelp... tried to do the lip pinch but its proven hard to immediately enforce, so when he bites we swat him on the butt and say NO and then offer our hand again and if he just licks it we praise and pet... this has seemed to work really well so far, but by swatting his rear right now will that lead to problems later with a healing stick, or with walking fetch, or will it be good by actually teach him earlier what negative pressure is? (I know Boykins can be sensitive, but nothing really bothers this guy, and I'm making sure to watch that he isn't scared by the pressure)

2. He is very possessive... he chases/retrieves the bumpers I throw when I tease him and pump him up, but the best place for this is in our small living room (don't really have a traditional hallway)... when he gets the bumper he runs straight back to his kennel with it... I've started to sit by his kennel when I throw retrieves and he will come back to me... I pet and praise a lot hoping that he will let go of the bumper (so I dont have to take it from him), but sometimes when I pick it up on the ground he'll latch on and think its time to play tug-o-war... do I need to be concerned about this? and if so how do I correct it at an early age and get him wild to retrieve?

(Because I know someone will ask I am using Hillman's Puppy DVD and will be switching to Smart Works at about 6 months)

Pup has an amazing pedigree, I just want to make sure I am doing everything I can to bring out that instinct properly from the beginning. Thanks in advance!
 

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He is really young.... let him be a puppy..... all sounds perfectly normal to me.....I wouldnt concern myself with anything but the biting at this point. I also think you are probably doing alright there as well. I played tug o war with my pup a lot, but I also started teaching the command drop as well, at the same time. But hey, your pups just a youngin, you have plenty of battles coming..... just enjoy the puppy breath.... Good luck!
 

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One of my current dogs tank was the worst biter I've ever had in a dog. He was the kennel bully when he was a youngin. When we finally got him home the biting continued. He does it out of love and excitement but still it's not good. Even knowing all this once he got a little older it didn't take long to correct.

At 2 days home I would let him enjoy his surroundings. Him nipping at you is very very normal. Even if it gets a little excessive just say no. and pull him back. Most dogs I've had learn pretty easy because if they bite no loving...if they don't bite lots of loving. They use their mouths like hands. Even with Tank where it was excesive it was still easy to break him once he got a little older. No need to be loud, scary and stern yet. You will have all the time in the world to be the boss...

Lastly I'm far from a pro but be careful with any expectations on retrieving at a young age....especially this young. Every retrieve should be fun no matter what even if he doesn't bring it back. Too much too early is extrememly detrimental...I've seen it with my own eyes. Two of my Uncles dogs are now gunshy because he thought he knew his dogs were ready....to this day the old man still thinks it was the dogs not him.
 

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I have 2 Twelve week old Boykins....Your Pup is their Uncle I believe. :)

My advice would be to let him be a Pup....Slowly start working on Sit,Heel,Kennel,Fetch using his name and a small cord so that you can reel him in if he deviates.....Potty training is my challenge....My pups are peeing and pooping machines but the now do all the above commands fairly consistently at 12 weeks....HERE is our current hunting command that I introduced strongly this week....I use a Tree with the lead wrapped around it....Whistle to Sit....and 3 Whistles to HERE!!!!....They are progressing nicely.

Bruz
 

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For the biting problem grab him across the bridge of the nose, a firm shake and a loud no just like his mother would do he will get the idea fast. On the retrieves sit him up in a hallway where he has to run past you or back to you and don't play the game to0 long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! The biting is getting better even after a day of enforcing it and he is having lots of fun sitting for food and treats... its amazing how smart these LBD's are!
 

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Letting him put ur hand in his mouth shows that you trust him. Let him do it as long as its not painfull. Correct him if its to hard, but praise him if it's nice and soft.
 

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I like a mouthy dog my english setter had the same problem as a pup now he is 2 years old and has a super soft grab but works nicely with birds not one has ever had a hole punched in it. I let him grab my hand as a puppy but if he grabbed to hard I flicked his nose and he learned real fast if hes not gentle it hurt him as well.
 
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