Puppy nipping...

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by KyleH186, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. KyleH186

    KyleH186 New Member

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    I recently purchased a purebred yellow lab. I got it from a breeder, but probably not the best breeder because he was only 6 weeks old. I have had him for 5 days now, and so far he is a joy. However, he has a small problem with biting/nipping. At first it was kind of cute, but they are starting to hurt, and I want to "nip this in the bud" for lack of a better term.

    I have been told that puppies taken away from their litter before 9 weeks don't learn that biting hurts. I have tried pretending that im a dog, and yipping and moving away from him when he bites. This just makes him think its a game and he will chase me around. I have tried giving him toys, and he likes them, but he has a short attention span and will sometimes choose my arm over the toy. I have tried putting him down and subdueing him, but that just seems to make him angry, and he gets up ready for more.

    My uncle actually bought a female from the same litter, so I was thinking of letting them play together to interact, but will this be enough? Will this go away in time? I don't want my lab biting people, even if he thinks he is just playing.
     
  2. Owly

    Owly New Member

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    Hi!
    Your dog has this bahaviour because puppies want to have a place in the "pack",and of couse they try to be the first dog.But you should never allow this because you will have problems later.
    First,show your dog that you are the leader in everything,and not him.You can do this using a few tricks.You should mark a limit where he is not allowed.When you go out of the room,you should go first,not the dog,and if he goes somewhere he shouldn't,just slam the door in front of the dog.(But be careful,don't hurt his nose or head).
    And as with the play.everytime the dog starts nippnig,immediately stop the game and just ignore him.If he goes after you,leave the room for a short period of time,and then continue.You can also say "NO" when stoping him from nipping.;)
     
  3. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    You're doing the right thing by making a sound and moving away, but it might not be enough.

    Try this:
    Next time the pup nips, stand up and walk away. He will surely follow you and try to play, but just ignore him completely. Owly was spot-on, just ignore him. I'm not so sure about the door slamming, but just walk away and ignore.
     
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn ZooMaster!!

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    Hi there and congratulations on your new furbub :) This is an exciting and wonderful time for both of you. It also is learning time for you both too. You are right, in that part of that important learning for pups, is being with their mum and littermates for at least 8 weeks. This way they learn manners from both mum and their littermates. Bite Inhibition is one of them, as you have discovered.

    I haven't had a puppy for quite a few years now, but I often found when trying to help pup learn these things, is that when he nips, and if ignoring him, or stopping play and moving him away, or moving away from him isn't working, you could try a loud OUCH!!! when he nips. Then remove yourself from him and all games and attention ceases. Often they do associate the OUCH with the fact that what they did, might not have been the best thing to do :) Keep consistant, and don't waiver from this, especially other members of the household, and visitors as well. He will get the message eventually, with time and patience, and consistance.

    Good luck and may you both have many happy years together :)
     
  5. LabBreeder

    LabBreeder Guest

    It sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far. (With the exception of slamming a door on him) Have you tried directing his attention to a game of tug-of-war when he starts nipping? Will he retrieve or fetch for you yet? What about basic training (sit, come, lay, etc)? It's never to early to start and it may take his mind off of nipping. He'll be learning something, not nipping, and getting praise/treats for being good and listening. Keep him occupied and playing WHEN you want to play and HOW you want to play. He will learn that biting is not allowed if you continue with consistant training and redirecting the bite to something that is allowed to be bitten on.

    *FYI - He'll probably start jumping up onto people soon. As soon as this starts, train it out of him...don't let him do it. The longer it goes on the harder it is to stop. He's not being mean or agressive but wants to be on eye level and get attention.*

    Good luck! Mine's 4 1/2 months old and my 2 year old Lab and him have a good old time together. She will put him in his place if he jumps on her or nips at her to hard during play. He's learning from her and us.
    It takes time...but it will get better. :)
     
  6. girlbuffalo1

    girlbuffalo1 New Member

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    Nipping

    When Wrigley tries to nip he gets picked up by the scruff of his neck and told sternly no..and all play stops....this has worked pretty well for us.
     
  7. weylyn

    weylyn New Member

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  8. Owly

    Owly New Member

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    Hi,about the door slamming,I have wrote it on the internet,when reading about how to establish your place in the pack.This way the puppy understands that tyhere are some rules he should know and obey them.I don't mean to hurt the dog, NO,NO WAY,NEVER that is why I said that be careful.
     
  9. LabBreeder

    LabBreeder Guest

    You don't need to pick a dog up by the scruff and tell them "no". Just tell them "no" and redirect attention. You could end up hurting the pup that way and then he won't trust you or want anyone to touch him around his neck/head area. JMO
     
  10. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    Whether it is pulling the scruff or slamming the door, you're essentially punishing the puppy for normal behavior. Puppies are supposed to bite! They learn bite inhibition with their littermates without any door slamming or scruff grabbing.

    If a puppy bites its littermate, the bitten pup won't want to play anymore and will walk away. Standing up, walking away, and ignoring the bite shows dominance without causing fear. If you really want to make your point, do as LabBreeder suggested and say, "No!" and point at the ground or something. (My dog uses hand signals just as much as my voice. I can use either to convey a message.)
     
  11. LabBreeder

    LabBreeder Guest

    My youngest Lab is 4 1/2 months old. He weighs 54 lbs. There is no way that I'm going to scruff him or slam a door in his face. He may look like a big boy, but he's still a pup and learning. He still nips...it's a puppy thing. He gets excited and will bite further up the toy than he's supposed to and may nip a finger or part of my hand. He's told, "Gunner! No bite." I look at him with my eyebrows drawn down and my head turned sideways so I'm looking at him "angrily". He will stop what he's doing, look at me and (sometimes) offer a paw. We stop playing for a minute and then I pick up the toy and offer it to him so he can continue playing.
    You don't need to do anything "physical" to prove you are dominant. Stern voice and look, a gesture, redirect attention, walk out of the room for a minute or turn your back on him and ignore him for a minute.
     
  12. Zephyrpower

    Zephyrpower New Member

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    I've heard a lot of people say to hold their mouth shut and say "NO Bite" or "Bad Dog" then redirect their attention to something else like a toy that they like.


    But Like a lot of people, my experience started out as a puppy that just came back trying to bite harder. I'm still using that method but it seems to have limited effectiveness, sometimes he'll submit and lay flat on his belly and barely make an effort to bite me when I pull my hand away....other times he dodges me and seems to think it's still a game, either way he usually ingores me saying "No"!
    I've also been combing that exercise with waving around a Kong on a rope or some other distraction and playing tug of war with it. I was almost afraid that would cause him to continue playing rough but I just found this article

    http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/archives/bite.txt

    I think I might trying doing this instead of holding his mouth shut. I'm not sure is this is a good method and I hope I haven't caused any permanent potential problems but I think I'm going to start using the above mentioned idea on the link and the other ideas in this thread.

    Also, just out of curiousity, I have a German/Lab mix and I'm wondering how long it usually takes them to respond to this training and stop biting on a regular basis?
     
  13. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    Can you let the littermates play together daily? There are things they learn from litter mates that you cannot duplicate. If you bite too hard or too much, the other pup will do one of two things: (1) stop playing or (2) bite you back!
     

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