Search Chandra's Blog
Blog Tags
"Apparition" "Art of Spiritual Warfare" "Best in Show" "Body of a Girl" "Exposure" "Gone with the Wind" "Half a Life" "Husband and Wife" "My Foreign Cities" "Myth of You and Me" "Open Your Heart with Gardens" "Stiltsville" "Substitute Me" "Temptation by Water" "The Bird Sisters" "The Book Thief" "The Guardian Angel Diary" "The Heroine's Bookshelf" "The King's Speech" "The Language of Light" "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" "The Mobuis Striptease" "The Peach Keeper" "The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted" "The Wednesday Sitsters" "This House" "Unintended" 50th Book Club Prize Pack act 'as if' Adam Levine adoption adventure advice Alpha Male Ann Hood Anna Cole Atlanta attachment parenting authors autism babies babywearing bad reviews bats beach house believer Ben Bethany Hamilton Betty Smith Big Nate birderd birthdays biting Blizzards blog hopping blog tour blogging blogswap blurb body image book book clubs book tour Books and Books Boudreaux boys breastfeeding Bridget Asher brothers Buffalo News Caeli Widger cake California cancer caramel oat bars Caribbean Carol Shields Carolyn Haley cats Cayman Cayman Compass Ceausescu chameleon Charles Bukwosi Cherry Cheryl Chick Lit Plus Chickens childhood CHOP CHOSEN Christina Shideler Christmas Christmas cards chuffy Cinderella clothes coconut water color Colorado comedy community connected contests cooking co-sleeping cow milking craft criticism Crown Publishers cry it out Dakota Darin Strauss David Lipsky dawn Dawn Chorus Daybreak 27 Destined to Fail Diana Abu Jaber Diane Lockward DOG BLOG Dog Whisperer dogs domestic ritual Dr. Anna Leahy Dr. Karen Monroy Dr. Oz Due Uve editing editor education eggs Elizabeth Scarboro Emily Kennedy Erin Blakemore evening walk expeditionary learning Exposure Facebook fake it til your make it Falcor family family bed fan mail fans farm life favorite books feminism Fon Wang Forrest Free stuff friends friendship gardening geography gluten-free goats God Grand Family Grant Schnarr grey hoodie grief guest blog Gyllian Davis Hannah Shelton Harper HarperCollins Hayden HHarperCollins hockey Hoffman's Natural home homeschooling homework Hondiuras Honduras horses hospitals Huffington Post Huffington Post divorce editor ice hockey Ilie Ruby inspiration International Women's Day iPhone island living 'It Takes a Village' Ivan Jungé J Jane Austen jasmine tea Jeffrey Eugenides Jenna Blum Jessica Keenan Smith Jessie Jonah journals Judy Blume Julianna Baggott Kelly Simmons Kid History kids Kristin Kimball Labrador Laos Leah Stewart least favorite word letting go Lincoln Pierce Linda Davis Linden Lisa Belkin Lisa McKay literary agent live in the now living with less Lois Alter Mark Lori Odhner Lori Tharps loss Lost Boy love language love story Lucky jeans Maggie Nelson magic Maria Massie marriage Martha Beck Max Maya Ziv meat Meg Waite Clayton Melissa McNallan Melissa Senate memoir menagerie mentor Michelle McGee micro fiction mindfulness miracle Miranda July modern living mojitos momstinct money mothering MoxieMomma nachos NAIBA New Year Newfoundland Newfoundlands Nichole Bernier NRA Nutella NYTimes NYTimes Motherlode ocean Opening Heavens Doors optimistic orphanage paint Paleo Comfort Foods parenting patience Pay it forward persistence Perthes Disease Peter Pan phobia Piper pizza plot poetry ponies Portland Psychology Today publication publishing puppy puppy breath puppydom Pushcart Prize Q&A quilts Quinn readers reading Rebecca Gyllenhaal Rebecca Rasmussen Remy resolutions retreat review reviews revision ritual rockclimbing romance writer Romania running Sally Kim Samantha March Samoyed Sampson sangria school SCUBA secret confessions security senior project Sept 11 serendipity sewing sexting sexy SheKnows Book Club PIck of the Year SheWrites shopping short fiction SImon&Schuster simple life sister sister-cousin sisters slings smells snow snow day songs Sophie space exploration Spain Spanish spiders sshort fiction Starbucks stuttering style Summer reading sunset Susanna Daniels Swedenborg swimming teens Thanksgiving the climbing tree The Four Ms. Bradwells" The Grain Exchange The Name Game Thelma Zirkelbach Therese Fowler THUMOS TIME magazine tingarita Tourettes tradition travel Twitter two lives ugly dolls unschooling Utila wedding whale sharks white wine William Faulkner winter Wisconsin worry write your life writing writing and parenthood YA Fiction yoga Zulu

Weekly Dog Blog -- Sampson, 12 weeks

Age: 12 weeks

Weight: 33 lbs

Folks, Sampson is in the figurative dog house. Don't worry; he's still right downstairs on the cool bathroom tile, sprawled out over the air conditioning vent, sleeping in his baby Superman pose, front paws out.

Oh, he is still charming and sweet with me, still follows me like Mary's Little Lamb and eagerly anticipates my commands. But this BITING OF MY PIPER HAS GOT. TO. STOP. 

He never does it to me or J and only makes halfhearted nippy attempts at the boys, but his thing with Piper is obsessive.

It's not just being 'mouthy' or 'chuffy', as Piper calls it. He actively seeks her out and then lunges and bites at her stomach or delicious honey-brown limbs. Not aggressively, but like a littermate egging her on. Like the way her brothers poke-poke-poke each other in the forehead until they get a response. On walks, he will be as docile and obedient as you can imagine, and then suddenly he'll get a glimpse of her little buns and CHOMP. Last night, at the end of our walk he was tuckered out and being so well-behaved, I let him off the leash, and he went right for her, putting a hole in her bathing suit and a mark on her sweet olive skin. 


I have read endless online articles and asked anyone with recent puppies how they have handled this. We have tried distraction, having Piper constantly have toys in hand. We continue to have her be the treat girl and do training sessions for sit, down and stay with him every day, during which he is great. But as soon as her supply of treats runs out, she becomes the biscuit and can yelp SIT SIT (which with her little four-year-old inflection sounds quite a bit like a curse) all she wants and end up rewarded with a solid chomp to the wrist. 

I have had her YIPE like a littermate who has had enough. J taught her to hold Sampson off by the scruff of skin around his neck and tell him NO, but this only works so long as a grown-up can come and take over the holding while she scampers to the safety of the kitchen counter, the back of the couch or her room with the door closed.


The miracle here is that Piper still loves him, despite the scars, that she still starts out each day as though it will be better. But what kind of message is that for her? For him? The only other thing that works (temporarily) is to have J or me supervising them and then intervene, grabbing his scruff and holding Sampson back, telling him NO BITE loudly and firmly when we catch him in pursuit. Even then, sometimes he will bark defiantly at me, angry at being thwarted.

I do praise and reward the positive--the times when he lets her walk by without even attempting a nip. I do walk together with them, Sampson on a leash so that he can experience being out and about with her without biting, while keeping her safe. I am trying for vigilance and consistency, those hallmarks of decent parenting, because I want my two littlest to be able to live in harmony. I am ready for professional help, to sign them up together for obedience training where I hope someone who has seen this before will give us the right tool for our arsenal.

But while I am waiting for that, I'm hoping I have a reader here who has been there, done that, and has a solution? Please?


I am sure this is temporary. I asked a mother whose Newf is two years old now how they handled it and she couldn't remember it at all, so she said it must have passed quickly. As with all the unpleasant phases that our children have undergone-- toddler Max's horrific, purple-faced Ben 10 alien transformations that always preceded a solid, mortifying playground punch--we will simply love Samps through it. How could we not?

guzzling from the fountain at the 4th of July races

Reader Comments (2)

"I would like to say he is very disturbing to Piper, so I don't like him either."
"Aunt Chandra should grab the scruff of his neck and say "No Sampson, No."
"Piper will be safe with her mother. I do not like that when you take off the leash, Sampson starts running at Piper."
"Piper should pick him up, carry him to his mother, and say NO BITE!"
We think Sampson is like the little brother Piper has never had. He reminds Imogen of how her little brother acts some times.

Oh, Im! Piper loves you for looking out for her! (And we love your bitey little brother too.) xo

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChandra

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>