We have had our 11 week old lab puppy for 4 weeks now and we have tried everything to get him to stop biting on us, and nipping at our heels and legs. I have honestly tried every approach I have read on the internet. I have tried "no bite"...yelling it and saying it firmly and saying it softly. I have tried holding his mouth together with makes him come back at me harder, i have tried a water spray bottle and he still bites me even though he doesn't like the water, Ive tried the can of coins to startle him and its useless, giving him a chew toy sometimes works but most of the time he bypasses the toy and clamps down on our hands. I end up having to put him in his crate for a time out as my hands can't take anymore. We take him for long walks to tire him out but it seems the more tired he is the more he bites until he eventually falls asleep. We love Bauer but its very hard to pay attention and love him when he doesn't listen to anything we say. :no: My husband has a pretty booming voice and when he bites me and hurts me I can be quite loud but it doesn't seem to bother him at all. NOTHING IS WORKING...He pulls on his leash also and if I give him a tug to pull him back he nips me....PLEASE HELP!! Any advise would be great. I want to sign him up for puppy class but I'm not sure if will do anything for him..its also expensive. We're tired and fed up and really need some sound advise. The vet keeps saying "its normal" but I NEED SOMETHING THAT WILL WORK and an EXPLANATION as to why he's like this...nobody seems to be able to give us that...
Thanks in advance to anyone that can help......
If Bauer is nipping when you correct him on the lead I think that he may consider himself "leader" of your family pack. You are going to have to knock him down a few notches to try and teach him his place! (my opinion, other JL members may disagree)
When walking through doors, you go BEFORE him. When you are sitting down, you both sit on the lounge and he is on the floor one level below you. You and your husband should eat your dinner before his and crate him where he can see you're eating and then only when you finish is he allowed out to have his. There are many more things you can do along these lines to help. Also I think puppy pre-school would be great for him, and lots and lots of obedience!
How much exercise are you giving your puppy? What kind of collar and lead are you walking him with? Also, if you have had him for 4 weeks and tried all the things in your post - how long are you sticking with each method? Consistency with a method that gives you small improvement is required to gain more of an improvement, everytime you give up on one method puts you straight back to square one.
Modified to add: If yelling at Bauer and crating him doesn't help, have you tried simply to ignore him? Turn your back on him when he is naughty, pay him no attention, make NO eye contact. He is probably nipping you for more attention and yelling and bellowing at him is giving him what he wants, a reaction. Most puppies are naughty to gain your attention. Not giving them that attention squashes alot of the reason to be naughty!
I agree. Your pup definitely thinks he's at the top of the pecking order & unless you stop this NOW, You're in for a lifetime of misery. I would be making him sit & wait for his food. When I feed my 2, I give the commands, SIT!, NO!. They know not to touch their food until I give the command OK!. Only then will they eat. I'll make them wait anything from 30 seconds up to about 5 minutes. This reminds them that I'm boss of the house not them.Originally Posted by sarahnye
As for leash training, get a leash with a choker chain (if you don't have 1 already), keep the dog on your left side at ALL times. Most dog trainers will tell you to hold the handle of the leash in your right hand & the short end of the leash in your left hand. This gives you full control of the dog & prevents him from bolting or straining at the leash. If he does, the choker will kick in & he'll soon realise not to do it. It will also teach him that you are the boss in this situation too.
I strongly recommend taking him to obedience classes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you haven't had much experience in training dogs?. If not, then you'll need all the help you can get. Ask your vet if they hold puppy classes or can tell you who does. The cost will pay for itself over time when you've raised a happy & obedient dog.
It is normal but also very hard to deal with and frustrating.
The thing that has worked the best for me is to place your hand around the top of their muzzle and gently pinch in with your thumb and index finger where their gums meet the teeth kind of and give a firm no bite! then walk away and ignore them. He will probably come after you biting your heals but shut the door and ignore him for 30 seconds to a minute then try again. There is nothing wrong with crating him for a bit if you need a break but don't make it a punishment spot and yell at him when he's going in there you want the crate to be a safe place. The main thing is to be concistant you said you've tried all these things but you need to find one that works some and continue to do it the same way every time to actually have it help. Everyone needs to do it the same way too. Normally lab pups start teething between 4-5 months and the nipping is wrose then if not corrected early because they want to chew to make their gums feel better. Make sure to have plenty of chew toys to give them or a frozen stuffed kong or wet a washcloth and tie it in a knot and freeze it and give him that to chew on.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
I wanted to add the puppy class would be a great thing to get into it's good for socolization and to help you understand how to teach your puppy.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
I agree with above posters. I know obedience classes are pricey but we haven't even completed Leonidas's puppy class and it is already well worth the money. Have you tried introducing a clicker? That has really helped us. The book "Complete Idiot's Guide to Labrador Retrievers" helped me a lot too and it talks a lot about being "ALPHA" to your dog so they know you are in charge. Good luck...
It is very important to identify what type of biting it is. Aggressive / dominant biting is something you need to worry about and correct immediately. Playful biting is completely normal and to be honest, no matter how much you try to stop it, it will probably continue until the pup grows up more (they grow out of it eventually).
Misha was terrible from 3 to 6 months and it gradually dissapeared. she still likes to grab my hands when we play but she´s now very gentle. Homer still grabs me always when he rolls on his belly, but never hurts me. Labs are very mouthy, I´d say its in its genes, they just love to have things in their mouths.
In my case (as in yours) I could say NOs a thousand times, flick her nose, close her mouth, you name it, I tried it, nothing worked. I ended up just controlling the intensity, if she got too rough she was definitely grounded, but otherwise I ended up tolerating her behaviour, it was useless to get angry, she was just a pup.
I will disagree with this though 11 weeks is to young for a choke collar right now concentrate on getting him used to the leash play a game with some treats in the back yard hold onto the leash when he comes around here volenterally praise and treat him then move away and repeat if he follows and stays close give him a treat. This way he associates being close to you with yummies. Eventually work your way out of the yard to to longer stretches of him being close to you before treating.As for leash training, get a leash with a choker chain (if you don't have 1 already), keep the dog on your left side at ALL times. Most dog trainers will tell you to hold the handle of the leash in your right hand & the short end of the leash in your left hand. This gives you full control of the dog & prevents him from bolting or straining at the leash. If he does, the choker will kick in & he'll soon realise not to do it. It will also teach him that you are the boss in this situation too.
If you want to use some type of training collar I would try an Easy walk harness or Sensation harness. I prefer to wait on the choke chain until at least 6 months.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
The only thing that stopped mine biting was biting their ear when they bit. I held the dog down and bit their ear (i heard this is how their mother told them off). Worth a shot though?
An explanation of why he is like that? well, he is a normal Lab puppy. You have a biter that is for sure, but rest assure that it is perfectly normal behaviour. Corrective methods don't work for every dog. It may work for a Lab of a sensitive disposition, but if you have a typical, stubborn, bull-headed Lab pup, they won't have much of an effect. Biting is Bauer's reward. If the reward is greater than the consequence (correction), he will only continue to bite.
First thing is first -- this has nothing to do with being the "leader of the pack". Your puppy is biting because a.) he is a puppy and b.) because he can. Again, it comes back to the reward/consequence cycle. Pulling on the leash has nothing to do with being "leader of the pack" either. Dogs pull on the leash because they think that it will get them where they want to go but faster. In comparison to a dogs natural pace, a humans natural walking pace is S-L-O-W. Therefore, without training them otherwise, they are going to pull. Another major contributing factor to dogs that pull is lack of direction. You cannot just 'expect' a dog to walk nicely. Without direction and proper training they will become confused. WITH proper training and direction you will be setting them up for success and not failure. Start the process slowly, don't expect miracles overnight and set realistic training goals. Given that he is only 11 weeks old, walks should be kept very short and sweet -- no more than 10 minutes maximum. "Long" walks will stress his growing joints and wind him up rather than calm him down.
As for the biting, here is what I would do. Set your crate up in your family/front/living room. When he is older and has a solid 'down-stay', you can do this with just a bed and not the crate. Sit down, read a book, watch TV -- do whatever you do in your front room. Have Bauer loose with you, but have a bunch of tasty chew toys secretly at your disposal. The instant he starts biting, correct him verbally, have him 'sit', give him the toy and direct him to his crate. Do this EVERY time and you are slowly breaking the cycle. Just correcting him as you were doing previously didn't work because there was no follow through. You need to follow up the verbal correction with an action -- redirecting the behaviour from something negative to something positive.
You should sign up for a puppy class, too.