9 week old lab...biting problem

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by KyleH186, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. KyleH186

    KyleH186 New Member

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    Ok, so i have had my yellow lab for 3 weeks now, he just turned 9 weeks old. He is a great dog, and very energetic, loving, and is learning very quickly. He already knows the Sit command, is leash trained, and getting closer to being house-trained. However, he has a huge issue with biting. I am home from college from the summer, and living with my parents. He used to nip at everyone. Now he only bites me. I have been arguing with my parents because they advocated the use of using a newspaper if he bit, which they did for a few days. This worked for them, but finally i decided I didnt wan't my dog being exposed to that. I am trying to use the ignore/walk away method but it is failing miserably. He won't bite my parents anymore and it makes me think its cuz they used the newspaper....

    This is what I do when he starts to bite. First he usually tries to bite my pants. He latches on and growls and pulls at them. I can't ignore him because I don't want him putting holes in all of my pants. So I try walking away, which means I have to manually pull him off of my pants, and push him away. I know this is rewarding his behavior but what other choice do I have?
    Then I walk away and he follows me, I usually have to leave the room in order to get away. (This presents a whole new problem, I can't leave him unsupervised in a room, so I can't even stay away for long.) I am almost out of ideas, and am starting to worry that somehow I am turning a yellow lab into an agressive dog.


    note: I also give him plenty of exercise so it is not an issue of unused energy.
     
  2. GSDlover_4ever

    GSDlover_4ever New Member

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    Your dog sees you as part of his pack. And he communicated and played with his littermates through biting, you have to direct his bting to something other than yourself. Hitting with the newspaper can work but makes your dog shy when you reach around its face. It really is not necessary. I would just put a toy in his mouth and say good boy, and if he bites you say "no" fiemly and physcially (not harsh) remove him and put the toy back in his mouth.
     
  3. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    This is a puppy issue... he was only 6 weeks old when he left the litter. #1 fault. With Labs being #1 now... one really has to watch the breeding and pup socialization. Too many purebred labs are showing up in HS and rescue today . ... my family has adopted three. Please be patient with alot of TLC...this is not a biting issue, but a normal play he should have had with his siblings. I had a new owner who was so upset because her pup attacked her robe in the morning.... for God's sake , dress then !
     
  4. KyleH186

    KyleH186 New Member

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    I realize that labs are mouthy dogs, and I also realize the negative aspect of taking a lab from its litter at 6 weeks. However, I feel like this reaches beyond the realm of play. He will growl and bark at me when he gets into his fits, and his biting becomes ferocious, he will clamp down and shake, even if my hand is what is in his mouth. Is this normal puppy play?
     
  5. jess2416

    jess2416 Who woulda thought

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    Does he have any toys???
     
  6. KyleH186

    KyleH186 New Member

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    He has about 6 or 7 toys that we rotate. Sometimes those distract him but other times hes more interested in my flesh than his toy.
     
  7. LabBreeder

    LabBreeder Guest

    It sounds like he's bored and wants to play, IMO. I have a 13 wk old Lab (got him at 8 1/2 wks) and the only time he mouths or nips is when he's bored and wants you to play. He had more socialization than yours did as a puppy and apparently learned when to bite and when not to. If he bites or growls and pulls give him a rope to tug on...or a kong toy to teeth on. Play with him more, but not rough play where teeth are involved. If he nips at you, tell him "NO" and give him an appropriate toy to bite on.
    Like others have said; he was removed to early, needs his biting redirected and IMO needs more play time.
     
  8. GSDlover_4ever

    GSDlover_4ever New Member

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    My puppy gets like that when he gets mad. He growls and bites. He doesnt like to be held so one time when I picked him up he bit me in the face. I grabbed him by the scruff and bit him back. He gave me the WTF? look and didnt bite again.

    Also Labs have great prey drive so the grabbing and shaking is normal for a dog with a high prey drive, just not on you.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Please don't take the advice to attack your dog. First of all, it won't do anything for your relationship. Leaders (alphas) DO NOT act that way. Subordinants do. If you want your dog to respect and trust you, be a benevolent leader. How long have you been trying the ignore route? Has everyone in the family been consistant on this? If what the pup has been doing up to now has been reinforcing, has been paying off for him, that behavior will continue. It wouldn't exist if it weren't reinforced somehow. Distract, give an alternative, reward for that. End all playtime immediately and/or remove the pup calmly from the group for a couple of minutes. Be consistant. Reward for gentle play and gently mouthing. Let pup know that human skin is fragile and it hurts.

    Removing the pup so early from it's littermates caused him to miss out on that very important lesson about gentle mouthing vs. rough biting. But you can teach him if you show him what you want instead. Just remember to prevent any payoff for behavior you don't like and reinforce by reward behavior you do like. Everyone who interacts with him must be told to do the same. Punishment for something the pup doesn't understand is not fair and he can't understand why he's being attacked. Sure it will stop a behavior, but the side effects are damaging. It tends to stop a lot of behaviors...shuts a dog down. It hurts your leadership status and relationship with your pup.

    I just can't imagine biting a nine week old pup, hitting with newspaper, grabbing his muzzle....He's an infant, for goodness sake.
     
  10. MomOf7

    MomOf7 Evil Kitty taco eater

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    There are several techniques to use. Try the less intrusive/forcefull first.
    I have always tried the NO! If that didnt work within a reasonable time I would hold the puppies mouth shut being careful not to block his airway with a sharp NO BITE! If he does it again Same thing...hold the mouth shut saing NO BITE!
    This has worked for me although I havent really had a huge problem with my lab pups biting. Only the ones I buy from other breeders:D Go figure lol
     
  11. laneyandme

    laneyandme New Member

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    i had a very similar problem with my puppy. it was so bad i almost had to give her away. i asked everyone for advice and i got a lot. i was so desperate, i tried everything. i had wholes in all my clothing and was afraid my puppy was going to grow up to be an aggressive dog. it was very stressful.

    what ended up working for me was yelping and then walking away. i have a bathroom with a baby gate on it so i would put her in there. she got the message quick. i used to yelp but not walk away, so she'd bite harder. not good. i still have to put her in the bathroom sometimes, but she's gotten a lot better.

    i also got some advice from kevin behan who wrote natural dog training. he
    suggested that i was over stimulating my puppy inside. he suggested that i only play with her outside. i also stopped picking her up, touching her so much, and cuddling. in other words, i gave her her space.

    ifound too that she tended to bite when she needed to go to the bathroom, when she was tired, and when i took her toys away from her (while playing catch... you know i would want to throw it again, and she would want to just chew on it...).

    i was very releived to notice she didn't bite other people... just me...and that's gotten better. i had to be pretty pro-active though.. i hope something in here helps..
    good luck!
     
  12. girlbuffalo1

    girlbuffalo1 New Member

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    Biting

    We pick wrigley up by the scruff of the neck and stare him in the eye and say NO very firmly. We then put him down and give him one of his acceptible toys. It has worked pretty well!
     
  13. :-O

    This sort of "training" is not necessary for a baby puppy, it could be physically damaging.

    I would not recommend this technique for puppy mouthing.

    :-O
     
  14. tinksmama

    tinksmama New Member

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    redyre... help please, you seem to have lots of sensible advice- how to tell the difference between normal pup biting and when she's getting nasty? I intend to read those others links you posted, but Tink can get snappy with the kids ,for instance if they pick her up,and she doesn't want to be, she used to growl, but twice now she's "bitten" them, not really a bite, but a scratch with her teeth, is it possible we're playing with/handling her too much? I try to be sure the kids are supervised when they're with her,they can't just go pop open the crate whenever...
    I spend a lot of time teaching the pup and kids to play together, fetch, tink has to be nice and wait for toy, to get her to understand they're 'higher' in the pack than she is, she's 13 weeks now- It really bothers me if she gets growly or snappy at them, and wonder if it's partly a fear reaction, from being startled...I never had this issue with dog1-
    would puppy classes help this? and if so,what to look for? I noticed that a strong, aggressive response from me just makes Tink more negative at the moment, so i try not to do that- this a.m., I did holler b/c she 'scratched' ds when he tried to pat her while she was playing, I can't let her continue this behavior, not with kiddos to consider...
     
  15. laneyandme

    laneyandme New Member

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    i forgot to mention that k.b. states that you should never tell a dog "no" for biting.. it's natural for them. i will just create confusing and resistance that will probably show up somewhere else.. it's better to work with the dog in other ways. ie. time outs, bones, walking away.. stuff like that... i've found it really works. when i tell laney "no bite" she looks at me frustrated and doesn't know what to do. i find then she gets MORE aggressive... that's just my dog. Keven Behan's book was pretty interesting. you can also email him...
    good luck to you!
     
  16. stevinski

    stevinski Int CH - $uperBitch

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    ok so i have a 15 week border terrier
    we got him at 10 weeks and he had a serious biting problem!
    and i mean really serious, like you could be playing with him and then he will get really excited and he will start to bit onto you and puppy teeth are SHARP!

    this is what worked for us

    first you must know the difference between biting and chewing, when he puts his mouth around your arm and starts to chew getting slightly harder everytime, then you know that hes chewing, this is not acceptible for him to be chewing you,

    so when he starts chewing, you say NO in a firm voice then replace your arm with an acceptible chew toy, if he returns to chewing your arm, say no in a firm voice and remove yourself from the situation, by either leaving the room or placing him on the floor.

    you'll no when hes nipping cause it generally hurts more but he will release straight away!,
    when he starts to nip, you say no in a firm voice,
    if he carries on to nip you then you remove yourself from the situation by either walking placing him on the floor if you on a chair and ignoring him or leaving the room,

    when he starts to bite which you will no cause it will hurt and he wont let go as quickly!
    when he bites that is competely unacceptible!
    first you say no in a firm voice,
    if he carries on then spray him with a water bottle on the nose while saying no in a firm voice, then remove yourself from the situation.

    The reason why you spray him with the bottle and not remove yourself straight away is because if hes holding onto you then it will be hurting alot and getting him off could aggitate him more.
    the spray bottle just gives him more of a shock and becaue you said no at the same time, he will then start to realise that the word no will come with a negative response.

    The reason for removing yourself from the room is because he is just playing but he has to realise that it is hurting you, so when you leave the room, he realises that the play has stopped and he doesnt like that, so if you leave the room when he starts to nip or do something wrong then he starts to realise that if he does that then you will remove yourself from the situation and the fun will be over.

    we now have a water bottle in every room of the house, just incase.
    you can get then really cheap from any garden center

    theres lots of methods for stopping a puppy biting, but i got a terrier which are really stubborn and notoriously hard to train but we're getting there.

    Not everyone will agree with my methods but this is just the way that we did it and it worked for us!
     
  17. julieandchili

    julieandchili New Member

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    Here's what Ive been doing.
    At one of his mealtimes, I set his bowl up and just grab a handful of food. I get down on the floor with him and open my hand and in a sweet voice say "Take one". After he takes one I close my hand around the rest of the food. I say "OFF" as he nips, claws and bites at my hand to get the hidden food. When he has stayed off for 3-5 seconds, I again open my hand and say "Take one". Ive repeated this for either his whole meal or until he seems to be getting bored and isnt hungry anymore.
    So far, he seems to be catching on that the word "OFF" means do not touch.
    LOL...no idea if this is standard training....im a first time puppy owner.:rolleyes:
    But it seems to be working. If Im playing with him and he starts to nip, most of the time if I say "off" he seems to get it.:)
     

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