(Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada)
we got our puppy when it was 8 weeks old and now he is just over 10 weeks and recently he has been snapping his teeth at us and our 4 year old daughter.
when we try to discipline him (teddy) by firmly holding his mouth shut and saying " no biting" he continues to snap and sometimes jump up and snap!
what can we do to prevent him from doing this any further , and are we disciplining him correctly?? thank you
Snapping, biting and mouthing is very normal puppy behavior, but it definitely needs to be discouraged early on. It sounds as though you have a puppy who has a fairly dominant personality, and he is trying to exert his authority over you and your daughter. Again, normal but needs to be controlled.
The method you're using is often successful when the water-spray bottle fails, but in some pups it can just agitate them and make the biting worse. Which is what seems to be happening here. Sometimes just holding the pup by the scruff of the neck and giving him a gentle shake, or holding him still in that way for a few seconds while correcting him can help. Puppies are so individual and often it's a case of 'trial and error' to find out what works best for your puppy.
I'd switch to using the small breath-mint spray tactics (you'll find this and more advice on my Puppy Biting page. Give him a quick shot of the spray directly onto his tongue whenever he bites or nips. Don't raise your voice, shout or act in a way he might interpret as combative though. He will see that as a challenge and bite back. You want to project an air of calm authority.... calm voice, slow deliberate actions. Be patient and consistent and he will eventually get the picture.
If in spite of all corrections he continues to bite, tell him "NO BITE" very firmly and put him in his crate (or a separate room). Continue to tell him "NO BITE" as you do so, that way he will associate the biting with his confinement.
I know that you don't generally want to build negative associations with a crate, but I've found this to be successful when all else fails (of course you still need to correct him as described first) and not caused any problems in terms of crate training in my pups.
I'd also advise that in general you behave in a way that will help your pup to understand that you and your family (including your 4 year old) are 'in charge'. Involve your daughter in feeding, grooming, training and so on, so that the pup sees her as being above him in 'rank'. Teach him to sit (he probably already knows this) and make sure he 'sits' before being fed, given a toy, taken for a walk, petted..... etc. Your daughter can do this to, even if she needs a little help at first. He needs to respect you all. That alone will help to lessen the snapping.
Enrolling him in a Puppy Class at a dog obedience school is a good idea and will help you both communicate better.
I hope this helps, just be loving, patient and consistent and this stage will pass :o) Best of luck.