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Old 06-17-2006, 10:07 PM
KyleH186 KyleH186 is offline
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Default 9 week old lab...biting problem

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.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:27 PM
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GSDlover_4ever GSDlover_4ever is offline
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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.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:58 PM
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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 !
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:03 PM
KyleH186 KyleH186 is offline
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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?
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:07 PM
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Does he have any toys???
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:53 PM
KyleH186 KyleH186 is offline
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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.
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Old 06-18-2006, 01:42 AM
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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.
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleH186
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?
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.
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Old 06-18-2006, 11:12 AM
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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.
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