biting and dominance
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Thread: biting and dominance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Defaultbiting and dominance

    We have a 7 month old yellow lab that we are having a major problem with and are hoping someone could give us some good advise. To start he is going to be fixed next week and we hope some of the problems will lesson. When we brought him home and to this day he bites. We immediatly sougt help because nothing we tried worked. That help and other stuff we have tried has not worked either, he is getting bigger and still biting and I know this is a major problem and if we can't find a way to get him to view us as the boss (or pack leader) it can only get worse. Please if anyone has advise let me know. We have tried just about everything but obviously it didn't work. Darnel and Bo

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    How much exercise (physical and mental) does he get each day?

    How old was he when you brought him home?

    If you play with him, what games do you play?

  4. #3
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    Puppies use their teeth to play and to test out objects. Nuetering isn't going to chance one thing.

    Just be consistent in your commands and corrections and redirect the dog to an appropriate chew toy when he bites your hand. Get him interested in a toy and tug a little with him.

    My boy bit during play until about a year, and then it stopped. And we have absolutely no dominance issues with him at all. And he's intact too.

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  6. #4
    LJ Guest

    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    When I adopted my Border Collie mix, Lucy, at about 10 months of age, she was still very mouthy. The approach that worked very well for me was that any time she put her teeth on me, I *immediately* yelp "OUCH!!!!!" and then remove my attention for about one minute. After a minute, I start paying attention to the dog again, but the very second teeth touch skin, attention is removed again.

    The keys here are:

    1) Timing; the very moment teeth touch skin, you have to react *immediately* to establish cause and effect.
    2) Consistency: You MUST not pay attention to the dog for a full minute, so that there is no reward for the biting behavior.

    Also be careful about how you are behaving around the dog that might be misinterpreted as invitations to play, or provide more temptation than the dog is developmentally capable of resisting at their age. Fast moving hands, lots of excitement, pushing the dog away and yelling, etc., all can serve only to increase their arousal level, and hence, reinforce the biting behavior.

  7. #5
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    Welcome to my world.

    We had severe mouthiness and biting with Angus. Oh my. Believe me.

    I agree with what LJ said. I also agree with CYNLABS. For us, it just took time. Seven months is still a puppy. Just be consistent, don't inadvertently reward him for the biting by getting excited (seems like part of a game to them), and lastly, wait.

    I would NEVER have believed Angus would grow out of it. It went on for what seemed like forever. And then, one day, it just stopped. Now, that's not to say that he isn't still mouthy. But he's much more gentle. Now, I even play with his mouth, or allow him to put his mouth on my hands, just because he likes it so much and it seems to be an important part of how he communicates. As long as he's being gentle, I don't mind.

    Good luck! Hang in there! It really will get better.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  8. #6
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    I remember your puppy shark posts. And look at you now. ;D weeks away from an obedience trial...

  9. #7
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    ;D kaytris! Gosh, I know. It seems so surreal to think about it...!

    I remember you helping me a lot with advice through those puppy shark months, too.



    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  10. #8
    gingersdad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: biting and dominance

    I got advise on this board when Ginger was a puppy that worked like a charm. When ever she bit me I sprayed a shot of breath spray in her mouth. It didn't take long before just the sight of the spray and she would stop biting.
    Ginger Owns Mark & Lisa

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