My 3 month old is constantly nipping. We absolutely correct him, but I'm just wondering...how long does it typically take before they stop? The way we correct him is to hold his jaw closed imediately when he starts to nip and say 'NO", and hold it there for a moment. We redirect to a toy if they are biting something they are not supposed to, or if they are nipping us, we do not (as that is a reward). We say no a couple of times and then get on top of him to show dominance and that we are serious. Someone today told me about putting the sides of their jowels in there mouth when they nip, so that they are actually biting themselves. Hmmm. So, two things...how long does it typically go on (I appreciate that if it is a discipline thing, it may vary). But, then also...are there any other tricks for you to share?
Abby, our older lab was the worst. She would make my ankles bleed from nipping. She put holes in the bottoms of most of my pajamas. I would just say "no" in a stern voice. I also said "no" & put her Nylabone in her mouth. She did stop but it was maybe almost a month. Consistency is important. Good luck.
Your puppy is not nipping to show "dominance". Puppies use their mouths to explore their world and when they interact with other dogs. They have to learn bite inhibition. What you are doing (with the exception of getting on top of him) is fine - redirecting him and reacting negatively when he is mouthy is appropriate. I would try YIPPING loudly - like what another puppy would do - when he connects with skin. This should make him react by stepping back/disengaging. When he does that, immediately reward him for stopping (GOOD no bite!!). If he reacts by becoming more riled up and excited - I would put him quietly in the crate for a time out (no anger, no yelling, just separate him from the group).
You can do the bit of rolling his lip over a tooth and pressing "gently" down until he feels it and yipes himself - you are not trying to injure, just impress upon him that biting hurts.
And - please reconsider the "dominance theory" you seem to have embraced. It's pretty old hat and all it teaches a dog is that their human is bigger, stronger and is inclined to be a bully - not the makings of a positive relationship. Extremely few dogs are at all interested in dominating the people in the house. Most are more than happy to be a subordinate member
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
getting on top - do you mean pinning the puppy on their back? If so, this will do absolutely NOTHING to help curb the nipping, it has no relation to it in the puppy's brain.
nipping has nothing to do with dominance, puppies bite and nip, they just do.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
My first lab (many years ago) was a very gentle soul right from the start......no nipping etc. ever. When we got Dee (our current Lab) I kind of expected the same thing, but Dee was a more rambunctious/playful pup and for a fairly brief time "nippy." I have to say that she never nipped hard enough to draw blood, but it did pinch. Personally I don't really like the idea of pushing their lip in and squeezing to cause pain. Just my opinion. Dee's antics dropped off drastically once she was done with teething and had her adult teeth. I'm sure (as with children) teething is miserable for pups. What we used to do when she was acting up is yell "ouch" and then leave the room. Frankly had we done the "dominance" thing you mention she would likely have figured we were finally getting into the spirit of things and playing along. LOL Anyway leaving the room (and redirecting to a toy) did seem to help, but to be honest the thing that helped the most was when she was pretty much through the teething phase. Once that was over she calmed down drastically and is very gentle as an adult. I hope you find the same thing. Good luck with your pup.
I would say the dominance thing you are doing is not neccessary. Our Sophie was bad about mouthing! She kept my arms and hands torn up from needle sharp teeth! We used the command "Don't Bite!" In a stern voice and held her muzzle. We never hurt her or pinched her mouth against her teeth. I think just plain NO might be a little vague, since if your boy is like our Sophie, she was being told NO a lot! We kept at the Don't Bite, and probably by the time she was 4 months she had quit. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
All of the advice you have been given is awesome. We have a 13 week old puppy and we tell Maxx "no bite", (like sophiesmom said, they hear "No" quite a bit at this age!), hand him an appropriate toy to chew on and we turn our back on him. He hates when he feels he is not being "paid attention to" so this has been effective. He still has his moments but we know they are temporary. I also agree that the "dominance stuff" is not the best approach but that is just my opinion.
Thanks all for the great advice!
What about an older lab? We adopted a four year old lab two weeks ago and he is a nipper. I expect it's due to being in a new environment but wondering how to stop it before it gets out of hand. We usually substitute our hands or whatever body part he is nipping for a chew toy.
If your dog is nipping you can buy sour appple spray and spray it in there mouth when that nip. Also you can fill a soda can with 10 pennys and when they nip you shake it. They will get scared of it and soon learn nipping is not right. Good Luck!