I adopted Sadie from a rescue when she was 8 wks old. I knew that having a puppy was going to be a lot of work, but she's far more of a handful than I expected - very strong personality and wants everything her way. If she is positive you have food or a ball or something else she wants in your hands, she will gladly sit, lay down, or shake. But any other time, it's pretty hit or miss whether she will actually listen or just ignore you. Part of the problem is she has soooo much energy. She could easily give the energizer bunny a run for his money. When I first got her she would be active for maybe 45 minutes or so at a time and then sleep, but now as she gets older the sleeping has gotten few and far between. She's just wild; she's slightly better behaved when she's tired so I've tried everything to tire her out & nothing seems to work very well. We play fetch multiple times a day, sometimes indoors I throw the ball down our hallways, other times I take her outside, if at school we play fetch in the fenced in yard, if at home I use the 25ft leash I have and take her into the field to play fetch. We also go for walks (which isn't very easy b/c she's either pulling to follow a scent trail or she's trying to play tug of war with the leash, food usually won't get her attention to distract her from these behaviors). We do longer walks at home, but at school the area we can walk in is a little smaller because I'm in Memphis and only certain parts of my neighborhood are even semi-safe. I've taken her swimming in the creek near my dad's where she had a blast running through the trees and jumping into the water. I've taken her to play with other friends' dogs (dog parks aren't really an option because there aren't any close to me - nearest is 45 min away - & the rescue hasn't given her the rabies vac. yet), the other dogs get tired but she doesn't ever want to stop. I'm not sure what to do with her to wear her out. As far mental stimulation, I work with her for short periods each day on sit, down, and come, and have started working on stay.
She's pretty terrible about jumping because she has so much energy and gets so excited, but that doesn't concern me QUITE as much as her biting. I've tried every method I've been told/read about and she's not getting ANY better. Her biting is so bad that she's almost more unpleasant than joyful to be around. I've got scars all over my hands, she's ripped my pants, ripped shirts, and she's even bitten my face on several occasions (and lunged at others' faces). You can't sit on the floor if she is in the room. Most of the time it seems like she is just trying to play, but she also does it even worse and with even more force when she gets frustrated and doesn't get her way.
I've tried tapping her nose and telling her no, pushing my hand further into her mouth when she bites it, putting pressure under her tongue, holding her mouth shut and telling her no, yiping like a puppy and stopping play, getting up and walking away ignoring her, bitter spray, hot sauce, distracting with a chew toy (which she will sniff but refuses to chew and again lunges straight for whatever body part is nearest). I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do with her. I plan to enroll her in classes at either Petsmart or Petco as soon as I move back to school this weekend, but from what I've read they don't really deal with issues like biting, and I'm a student so I can't really afford the prices that private trainers are asking, the ones I've found are asking $75 just for you to bring your dog in for them to meet it and then its up to $350 if they think they can help and come up with a plan.
She's bad about biting with other dogs too. When I took her to play with my friend's dog the other day (a 2 y/o boxer) she had a blast, and the other dog was having fun but started to get pretty annoyed with her because she kept snapping and biting the dog's ears, cheeks, legs, whatever she could latch onto. she was jumping around CHOMPING her jaws loudly and leaping at the dog, it didn't appear that she was being aggressive, she was just playing, but the other dog wasn't happy with such snappy excited behavior. My friend's parents were concerned because they said although the boxer was annoyed, she was being extremely tolerant and many dogs might not be, which could mean serious consequences if Sadie were to snap like that at them. She does that noisy snapping thing towards people too. Sometimes playfully, she'll bite your legs thinking it's a game, or she'll crawl in your lap and start snapping at arms, faces, whatever she can reach (sometimes she'll crawl into your lap with a toy in her mouth but soon would rather chew on you than the toy), she'll roll on her back and wiggle around snapping. Then there's the times she does it out of frustration. when you tell her no she turns and snaps at you, if you won't let her on the table or bed or whatever she snaps at you. if she grabs a shoe or something and you take it off her and say no and replace with an appropriate toy, she won't chew the toy but instead looks at the shoe and if you try to walk away with it she'll chase after you biting your legs.
She has no respect for any sort of authority over her and wants to do what she wants when she wants. People keep telling me that the reason she's so hard to manage is because she didn't have a mother. Her and litter were given to the rescue when they were 4 days old because the mother died and the elderly lady who owned the dog couldn't take care of 6 puppies by herself. So it was just Sadie and her littermates, no mother figure teaching her anything, so I guess she did always just get her way before. That needs to change though, she can't be the boss anymore, and I don't know how to get that through to her. I tried to contact the foster parents to see how the others are faring but they're not very good at responding to my emails, the guy had pneumonia & then it was the holidays so I don't know. I never even thought her not having a mother might be an issue like this, or maybe I would have looked elsewhere for a puppy. But I've got her now, so I'm going to make the best of it. I think she has a lot of potential. She's GORGEOUS, everyone falls in love with her (until they're bleeding and then they no longer think she's such a nice, pretty dog). I know that she's not mean-natured at heart, she LOVES meeting new people and always wants to play, she even wants to play with the cats, one of our younger cats warmed up to Sadie and rubbed on her and Sadie actually licked the cat on the face. It's a cycle, her biting makes people less friendly towards her and makes her more isolated from the group, and that in turn makes her more unhappy so she behaves worse. I've been trying my best to fight through the biting and keep her isolated as little as possible but my willpower is slowly cracking more & more. My dad was helping care for her a little in the mornings so I could get some sleep, but now I'm moving back to school and won't have his help. I will be the only one to take care of her. And it's driving me crazy, day after day of her injuring me is not working toward a good relationship between us, at first I was good at being patient, but after a little over 2 months of daily battles I'm now starting to get angry and frustrated which I know will make it worse, so I need suggestions!! [And to top it off, today small drops of blood have appeared, she is officially teething for certain, so I know that is only going to make her desire to bite everything even worse - as if that's imaginable].
Sorry for the long post! But I wanted to give as full a picture as possible. I am desperate and I hope someone can help! I got a lab puppy when I was a kid, she lived to be 14, and I loved her more than anything. She wasn't trained at anything other than sit, down, and shake but she was a GREAT family pet. I miss having that kind of special bond that only exists between dog & owner and I want to establish that with Sadie. Thanks in advance!
As for the biting Im not expert but I feel your not being consistent enough your trying 1 thing, it doesnt work so you move on instead of keep trying so she is getting mixed messages.
Also google NILIF, its an excellent plan for putting dogs in their place, very simple rules! That works a treat!
I really do feel you need to be more consistent, have her on a leash when meeting new people put her in time out when she is acting a brat, do you have a crate? Have you looked up clicker training also? Pick one training method and stick to it. Remember she is still a pup and as long as your continuous by the time she is out of adolescense she will be a mighty fine pooch. Good luck!
When our puppy would get "bity" we would tell her "no" in a calm way, and if that doesn't work the 1st or 2nd time, we would tie her leash to the nearest door knob and back away out of her reach.. Stay there for a good 30 seconds and come back (only if she is quiet and sitting down). If she is crying and barking I don't come to her. If you are doing this for the first time it may take a LONG time, but the more you do it she'll get the idea if she doesn't cry you'll come much quicker..
Anyways, we've started this in the last 3 or 4 days maybe? and have noticed a big improvement. The moment that she starts biting we say "no" and you can see her stop herself like she's saying "oh i forgot i can't do that with them" lol
It sounds to me like you are completely overwhelmed and a based on what you describe, I don't blame you. All lab puppies are very high energy and needs lots of exersize and mental stimulation but the behavior you describe is over the top.
You find a training method online or in a book but, honestly, I think you need a pro to help you. They can observe this puppy's behavior and tell you what you need to do to deal with it. However, you must do what they suggest and don't expect it to work right away. It takes a ton of consistency and patience on your part. Based on what you describe, I would look for some private sessions before joining a class.
Ann & Miles
MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
"Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1
Try finding a more reasonably priced dog trainer, maybe through 4H. Ask other dog owners you know who they used for training. I agree that you need someone there to help you. In the mean time, here's a few sites on biting that might help you.
how to train puppy not to bite
Clicker training: puppy biting and chewing
Stop aggressive puppy biting
Our puppy, just turned 4 months, and lost all her baby teeth, this has reduced A LOT of biting, and made her more pleasant company.
The vet actually called Cinder the energizer bunny. She.NEVER.stopped. EVER. For 2 1/2 years.
Training helped a TON. I thought I knew what I was getting into. I didn't have a clue. Now I can laugh about it, but I can't tell you how many nights I cried.
With consistent rules and constant vigilance you will end up with a great dog. I did. And if I can do it, anyone can.
Working with a trainer needs to start right away. They will be able to teach YOU how to handle your dog. You need to be trained how to train your dog.
Sounds like you didn't do enough research before getting this puppy. As a student, you're going to have a difficult time working in a normal consistent schedule with a young pup. Meaning, as you have different classes at different times, you need to set aside exercise time and training time in addition to you being a student, homework and if you have a job, not to mention a personal life!
She's going to nip for a while. She's going to start losing her puppy teeth soon so it's going to get worse. Get to a training class asap. Get her exercised and know that you took on this responsibility for up to 15 years. It will get better, but that entirely depends on you.
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
I've read youre whole story about youre Lab .. Congrats with it, it whould be the best 'thing' that ever happend to you in life
But, if i also read youre story, you have some little issue's, those little issues are good train, so as others allready said to you, follow some training, and give her/him a proper exercise with some mental workout