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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19759
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a 8 month old shih Tzu puppy that bites when I give m

Customer Question

I have a 8 month old shih Tzu puppy that bites when I give him a bath. I have tried giving him treats and peanut butter but as soon as their gone he starts biting. I have even used heavy leather gloves and he has bit through them. I bought a muzzle but could not get it on him because he was biting. I'm not sure what to do, I don't to give him a bath any more.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Are you spraying water on him or pouring water on him?

Is he standing in water or is the drain open?

When did you try to put the muzzle on?

Did you wait until he was already in the bath?

did you get him used to the muzzle before trying to use it for the bath?

Was it a basket muzzle or the other tyle that holds the mouth closed?

Has he had any obedience training?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I was hoping to get more information from you before giving you an answer but I also want you to have some tips that should help with the situation.

One of the first things you need to do is get him used to a basket muzzle. The other type of muzzle restricts a dog's ability to breath, so you need to use the basket style of muzzle. You start by putting the muzzle on your dog while giving treats and when you are just sitting around. Put it on, give the treat and take it back off. Gradually you will extend the time you leave the muzzle on and keep giving special treats like hot dog slivers while he has it on. Some owners will spread a little peanut butter that does not contain Xylitol on the inside of the muzzle to help the dog get used to putting his nose and mouth into the basket part of the muzzle. This also gives you time to secure it as well. You will be practicing this often and it will be an ongoing exercise. If you only put in on when you are going to give a bath, the dog won't let you put the muzzle on anymore.

You can also use similar techniques to get him used to a bath. For instance, have him get into or put him into an empty tub and reward him appropriately, then take him out. Like with the muzzle, you can get him to stop associating the tub with the bath. Once he seems to be doing fine in the tub or bathing container, add an inch of water. Continue the exercise of rewarding him for desired behavior with the treats and praise. You will want to extend the time he has to be good to get a treat but do so gradually. Still don't try to bathe him. Just let him get used to the water. Gradually then increase the depth to about 3-4 inches. By now he should be more used to the water.

After that, you can then work on getting him wet. You can try pouring water on him with a glass but that may be what he doesn't like. Many dogs do not like being sprayed or having water poured on them. So instead you might get one of those large sponges and use that to sponge water onto him. Once wet then you can lather him up and use the sponge to rinse him as well.

Try not to get water or lather near his eyes or nose and mouth. You might use a wash cloth to wash his face. He might object to baths due to having had soap get into his eyes or mouth.

These things should help the situation. Baths should be limited to once a month or the skin and coat becomes dried out. In additon, dry shampoo may be an option as well. They are usually a mixture of baking soda and corn meal and other ingredients.

He is pretty young and already giving you some issues behavioral wise. I suggest you start obedience training immediately or he will get worse. He has learned to control you with his biting, so it won't be long before he uses that same technique to get you to stop doing other things he doesn't like.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Just a quick note to see how things are going and to see if you found my suggestions helpful.