Hi guys! We just adopted a 3 yr old black lab rescue this afternoon and things are going very well. He seems very comfortable in the house and loves the yard. I thought I was fully prepared for caring for a Lab. I new their personality and basic breed info so my next question is probably going to make me look like an unprepared mommy.
I don't think Thunder was pet much before us because every time I go to pet his head or neck he turns his head around and sort of "bites" it's not a real bite but more like he is mouthing my hand/wrist. It doesn't hurt and it is not a huge deal but I would like to stop him from doing it. I know Labs are known for having a soft bite for bird retrieval. But I would like to just affectionately pat his head or scratch his ears with out having to fend off teeth or slobber (yes I know slobber comes with the territory but I should be able to just pet him without feeling like I just got a bath right? )
I am sorry if this is in the wrong section. I went to the puppy training board but I want sure if things would be different in terms of an adult pup biting and a baby pup biting.
Any help is truly appreciated.
Thank-you for rescuing him. I would go slow. He is in new surroundings and may be nervous. My first thought was that he may have been hit at some point before you got him. Try just going slow with him until he is more comfortable in his new home. Do you know anything about his previous owners?
Good job on the rescue BTW.
Thank you for replying. No we know nothing about his previous owner, but from what I can see he looks to be a purebred. He came from down south. I know he is going to need some time to adjust and get more comfortable. I just want to make sure I am consistent from the word go. if there is something I should do to show that that is not acceptable behavior? He had and is somewhat trained. He will sit before eating (with some reminding) he doesn't jump. Considering he just joined our family he listens very well. He was found as a stray.
He only does it periodically. When I clip his leash on then when I go to pet him. It seems like he is trying to play with me and I am happy to (can't help it) we have an appt to see our vet on Tuesday and he was being boarded in a vet prior to coming up. I will mention that to our vet when they meet. I'm probably just reading too much into it.
He may stop this behavior once he gets to know you and trust you. I wouldn't make a big deal of it to him yet. Let hime settle in and get to know you first. Then, if he continues to do it, you can train him not to.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
start petting him under the head (chin and bottom of the neck). let him come to you. Give him time to adjust and relax. Expect some new behaviours to pop up with time as he adapts and gets comfortable. they often start testing boundaries after awhile.
it sounds like he is just mouthing. I would just say no bite. but I would also relax on petting the top of his head for now.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Just speaking from my own experience. I adopted my Pug from a rescue 3 weeks ago. When I got him, one of his eyes was a bit gunky. I tried cleaning it with a wet tissue & he tried to bite me. VERY unusual for a Pug. I took him to the vet the next day & was told he had glaucoma in that eye & there was a 90% chance he would lose it. He had to have it taken out by Friday. I hadn't even had him for a week when that happened. Since the surgery, he's been a happy normal dog & is adjusting really well to his 1 eye.
I hope you don't have a similar experience but it's best to get him checked out. Let us know what the vet says.
thanks for all the advice. we'll see what he vet says in the mean time i'll try to pet him in different ways. he has already stolen my heart. right now he is intent on catching his tail. :-D
Some Labs (who are very, very oral as a breed) like to use their mouths when they are excited. My younger dog would "hold" my hand at times when I got home from a trip. We've generally discouraged this and redirect him to hold something else - like a toy. Now he will run and grab a toy when I walk in the door every day.
Some dogs do the other kind of mouthy where they do inflict some injury - also out of exuberance or lack or training. There is quite a lot of info on the puppy board about training out mouthiness. You can search using "biting" or "nipping" or "mouthy" as key words. I really don't see this as aggression or defensiveness at all.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.