I have a 15 week old yellow lab and he is being terrible right now! I love him to death but am getting sick of the biting. He loves to attack us and will bite my clothes and pants and shake his head and growl. I h ave tried several techniques to get him to stop 1) Yelping like it hurts 2) Telling him no and shoving him off (not to aggressively) 3) saying NO BITE. But none of these seem to work. The yelping one worked the first couple of times he would stop but no it seems to fuel him. I don't think he is trying to be aggressive with me, I think he thinks we are playing!! HELP!!! no
It's perfectly normal for all puppies (regardless of breed). I use a couple techniques to discourage this: 1) if the puppy bites my fingers and the placement happens to be right, I gag him by touching my fingertip to the back of his throat; and 2) when the puppy bites me, I grab his muzzle, say "no," and hold his mouth shut for a second or two.
Repeat, repeat, and then repeat some more. My current lab (13 months) got the hint after several weeks. Much of this is simply regular puppy behavior.
Thank you for your reply, sometimes it feels like its just MY puppy that does things like this..silly I know. We enrolled him in some obedience classes...I can't wait for those! I've taught him to sit but we could use help in other places!
I had a biter as a pup too. What really worked was... when she'd grab onto my hands (she usually would grab my hands) I'd actually force more of my hand into her mouth. She, of course, would try to repel my hand then. It worked pretty well.
Another idea is Bitter Apple. Spray the areas where your dog is biting. (oddly though, one of my dogs LOVED the taste of bitter apple, go figure).
We distracted Max when he was very young with a toy, try for a similar texture. If he wasn't immediately distracted, I'd press the toy firmly into his muzzle and push away (not harmfully). He'd start to chew the toy, and I'd praise the living piss out of him. Personally I'm not a fan of "no" (I'm really freaked about creating shame in my pup...don't ask why), but if the command works, go with it. You could also try the command "leave it". Use small treats for now, and practice the "leave it" command - throw something he shouldn't have and wait til he goes and gets it. When he does, say the command (try different tones, you'd be surprised what works and what doesn't). If he doesn't leave it, press your foot firmly onto the object and repeat. With the treat you can offer a trade, and the very second he drops the object/stops biting you, "Good leave it! Goooooood leave it! Good boy!" etc. and give the treat.
Those worked with Max, and he too was Biter the Terrible for some time. I noticed though that once we got Sophie, a lot of the biting behavior ceased - he was pretty good at it, but he had his moments. Now he bites very rarely.
YOur pup is getting into the stage where he'll start losing teeth soon. So just when you think it got better from the baby teeth, it gets worse when they start losing teeth around 5 months. I'd continue to be firm and replace and redirect. I'd recommend also freezing wet wash cloths to chew on to help aching gums.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Thank you all so much! I will definitely be trying these and seeing which ones he responds to the best. I am so thankful to have found this site!
Since you specifically mentioned that he bites your clothes, shakes his head and growls . . . I would definitely try replacing your clothes with a toy of similar texture when he does this. Bauer did the same thing, and our trainer told us that he needed a toy to "kill". I bought him a stuffed duck, and when he got into that mode I would give him the duck. He would immediately take the stuffed duck and bite and shake it to his heart's content. Frozen wash cloths are also great for soothing gums. Hang in there, it is maddening . . . but it doesn't last forever.
Debi and Bauer
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
Remember, "rough" is relative: You'll of course never be abusive with your dog, but sometimes a rather "rough" response to a bite (i.e. gagging the pup, a very firm "no" in conjunction with a muzzle hold, etc) will allow your puppy to become an adult dog who can live within the boundaries. In other words, don't be afraid to be the boss.
Hi, just another idea of something you might like to try - timeouts. Our yellow girl Bailey was a real biter too. As soon as she started to try & bite we would put her in the kitchen for a 30 second timeout (not as punishment), then when we let her back out 9 times out of 10 she would play nicely with her toys, but if she did it again we popped her back in the kitchen for another 30 seconds - we never had to do this more than twice & within a week or so she stopped biting. She soon realised that biting meant playtime stopped & that was no fun.
Also we stopped playing tug with her as we think this was encouraging her pulling on our sleeves & growling, as when we went to pull away she'd think it was a game!
We did try everything else as well but that only seemed to get her more excited & she'd try even harder! Anyway, I hope you find something that works for you. Good luck