Very nippy and bitey puppy
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Thread: Very nippy and bitey puppy

  1. #1
    Ciara is offline Junior Member
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    Default Very nippy and bitey puppy

    Hello there,

    i know that there are a lot of threads addressing biting, mouthing and nipping in puppies but none of them address the specific issues that we are having (that I have found anyway).

    We have a 11 week black lab puppy, Ciara. We've had her for 3 weeks now and she is getting her commands and doing OK with the housetraining. The problem I have with her is her biting.
    I know that this is puppy behavior and that she is just playing but I am not sure how to address this.

    She will nip and bite at me and my clothes. When she does it to my partner it is enough that he just makes a loud noise or turn his back and she will stop, sit down and wait for him to engage her in play again. But when she bites and nibbles at me she doesn't stop when I make a noise, she just continues with more gusto. I have tried folding my arms and turning my back on her, but then she just bites the back of my legs, knees or ankles until it hurts enough that I have to move - at this point she grabs on to my trouser leg or jumps up and grabs my jumper sleeve or arm.
    She has managed to break the skin several times, a few times through jeans and my thighs and arms are covered in bruises.

    For 2 weeks I have been trying to redirect her biting onto a kong or other chew toy and when she refuses to let go of me I have left the room (to try and mark that this is not appropriate play). But it just seems to get worse and the other day she was also biting one of our guests.

    I emailed the breeder who advised me to grab onto her scruff, but her on her back, hold her there until she calms down and then praise her. I have tried doing this, in the process she bit my hand and arm and it took ages for her to settle down. On top of this I am worried that it is not effective, that she is either in pain or scared or that she thinks that it is some hilarious wrestling game.

    I am worried because she has recently started doing it to guests in the house, although it was bad enough when it was only me. She is not doing it to my partner, so it must be something that I am doing - I just don't know what to do differently.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    Persevere ! You are doing all of the right things, and the light bulb will turn on in her head eventually.

    Not sure that I agree with the breeder's advice, although that ethod is recommended for dogs who have not been socialised and tend to attack other dogs.

    i really sympathise as young Labs can be persistent little sods, but keep doing what you are doing and she will come round and realise the errors of her ways.

    I think that you are being too kind as your partner is more successful. Let her know that you mean business ! Scream when she bites you to let he know that it hurts ! Keep on with the time out. Give her crate time ( with treats ) so that it's not punishment to give yourself time out and stay calm !

    Nothing abnormal here !

  3. #3
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Is your voice higher pitched than your partner? That may be an incentive for her to escalate and excite her.

    I disagree with your breeder - that technique is an alpha roll and it is far more likely to get a puppy more worked up than calm her down. Old school dog training.

    I would take this puppy and crate her when her play is getting out of hand. I would also work to make your reaction to her stern and in as deep a voice as you can manage.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    DJsMOM is offline Member
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    We had this problem with DJ too (now 4 months). I yelped when he bit me, loud single clap when he tugged at clothes & made him sit & stay when he jumped up. Its tiresome & frustrating but the penny does eventually drop. I taught my son - a high voice for a good boy, a low deep voice for a bad boy! Hope she settles soon.

  5. #5
    Ciara is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you everyone!
    Yes, my voice has a higher pitch than my partners, but even when I speak at my lowest she still goes for me. I'll keep at it though!

    And I am glad about your input re holding the puppy down. It seems contrary to all the other ways in which we interact with and train her so I am glad that others, with more dog experience than me, agree on that.

  6. #6
    Ciara is offline Junior Member
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    UPDATE:

    The biting has stopped!

    It has been over for a few weeks now and I am just writing this for others that might be looking at this forum in the future with the same problem.

    It took a while but it has stopped. One thing that worked for us in the end was keeping an indoor line on her and when she attacked my leg or arms I could grab ahold of that and keep her at a distance from me. It meant that I was able to leave without inadvertently playing tug-of-war with my clothes, which is what she wanted all along, now she will just come over with her toys and drop them at my feet or push them against my leg. Which is so much more pleasant than being chewed to bits!

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    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the feed back and great news - Glad for you all !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciara View Post
    UPDATE:

    The biting has stopped!

    It has been over for a few weeks now and I am just writing this for others that might be looking at this forum in the future with the same problem.

    It took a while but it has stopped. One thing that worked for us in the end was keeping an indoor line on her and when she attacked my leg or arms I could grab ahold of that and keep her at a distance from me. It meant that I was able to leave without inadvertently playing tug-of-war with my clothes, which is what she wanted all along, now she will just come over with her toys and drop them at my feet or push them against my leg. Which is so much more pleasant than being chewed to bits!

    I will have to try this... Lucic stops biting when I command him to but not when my wife/kids do...
    ~Paul



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