Help! Biting, aggressive 9 week old lab!
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Thread: Help! Biting, aggressive 9 week old lab!

  1. #1
    scsilver is offline Junior Member
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    ExclamationHelp! Biting, aggressive 9 week old lab!

    Our male lab was purchased from a breeder. He was one of the "little" guys in the litter and clearly has demonstrated the behaviors as such. He will take the few pieces of food and run, etc.. Initially he was extremely timid and shy. He has been with us for two weeks. Now he seems to be on the other end of the spectrum and has exhibited some aggressive behavior. I know all puppies chew and latch on. He has numerous toys, etc.; we "trade" out. However, he does not just chew, or latch on, he bites hard enough to draw blood and is clearly growling not in a playful matter. I have five year old twins. They are supervised all the time with him, but now are afraid I am telling them not to move while he is biting the heck out of their legs so he doesn't think it is a game. They are versed around dogs. When you pick him up to stop the "attack" he is snarling and snapping. I have never experienced this with a puppy. I took him to the vet and his is perfectly healthy. I contacted the breeder who has not contacted me back. Do I crate him when he does this?? I need advice....We spent $1000 for him, and the thought of hiring a trainer so soon...He is exercised daily and has been alone once in two weeks. PLEASE help! THANK YOU!!!! Is this abnormal???

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  3. #2
    ScorpianAbarth's Avatar
    ScorpianAbarth is offline Senior Member
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    I'm dashing out now, but just wanted to let you know that that sounds perfectly normal! He's started to settle into his new home and is coming out of his shell. I can guarantee he isn't growling - a 9 week old is never 'aggressive'. Lab pups have shark teeth and love to play, even if to you it doesn't seem like a game! At 12 weeks my boy scarred my foot just from getting excited to see me - blood etc. None of what you are experiencing is aggression!

  4. #3
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Part of your puppy's problem is that he should have spent another week with his littermates - every week is critical in their learning bite inhibition. Puppies removed from the litter before 8 weeks are often mouthier than those who've had the time to learn from their peers.

    If you have someone (friend or relative) with a reliable vaccinated adult bitch - have them spend some time together. She will probably be the best thing for him as she will put him in his place.

    If that was my puppy, he'd be getting time outs when he behaves like that. It's not a problem to crate him when he is out of hand.

    And - it's really not aggression. Temperament issues don't show up in babies. It's high spiritedness in a puppy without much bite inhibition.

    Is he silver?
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    maloneandme is offline Senior Member
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    Yep, this sounds sooooo familiar! :P Great advice given!


  7. #5
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    lisa is offline Senior Member
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    Completely normal... He's not being aggressive, he is being a puppy. When I purchased my first lab over 15 years ago, my children were scared to death of her after a week. She got comfy in her new surroundings and began acting like puppies act. Agree w BigBrownDog if he had stayed until 8 weeks he might be a little better. Be patient, my Gracie was very very mouthy until almost a year old, she is 2 and still gets a little mouthy when she is very excited. I can only tell you it gets better with time. Enjoy him now, before you know it they are not pups anymore. Good luck and keep us posted on the lil guy

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    slackercodemonkey is offline Senior Member
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    Get bitter apple spray from the pet store. Spray it towards the puppies face when they get out of hand. My puppy used to get out of hand with my wife playing. A couple of sprays and my puppy wised up. Now she wises up by just seeing the bottle. Make sure that you shake the bottle before you spray though. When I write towards their face I don't mean dowsing the puppies face in the stuff just close enough that the puppy can smell it.

  9. #7
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackercodemonkey View Post
    Get bitter apple spray from the pet store. Spray it towards the puppies face when they get out of hand. My puppy used to get out of hand with my wife playing. A couple of sprays and my puppy wised up. Now she wises up by just seeing the bottle. Make sure that you shake the bottle before you spray though. When I write towards their face I don't mean dowsing the puppies face in the stuff just close enough that the puppy can smell it.
    I'd try plain water in a spray bottle first. Bitter Apple is really supposed to be applied to objects to keep a puppy from chewing.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  10. #8
    Laceezmom is offline Senior Member
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    If you were to look back to October you would see I posted something about "shark biting." I have black lab number 3, we have had them one at a time so have had 30 years of handling these dogs. This was the best bred and most terrible puppy of the three. I was really close to giving her back to the breeder. I had to throw away several shirts and some pants which got holes and kept the antibiotic ointment and band aids on the kitchen counter.

    Now, I have an angel. Two things happened. My son came home for Thanksgiving with his ten month old Irish Setter who corrected my pup and her nip for three days sraight. The setter is not all that bright but he was patient. Second we started puppy kindergarten at 12 weeks and the trainer taught me some tricks and the pup turned around.

    Use the bitter apple on your twins pants to reduce biting and tell them never to get on the floor with the puppy. Using the crate at hyper times is good - do not scold him at the same time just crate him.

    I hope things get better for you. I am happy to have persevered. We passed kindergarten and are now studying Intermediate Good Manners.

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    slackercodemonkey is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrownDog View Post
    I'd try plain water in a spray bottle first. Bitter Apple is really supposed to be applied to objects to keep a puppy from chewing.
    My trainer told our puppy class that when a puppy gets ornery and won't snap out of it to put a spray of bitter apple in their mouth. I found that a spray in the direction of the puppy worked great.

  12. #10
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackercodemonkey View Post
    My trainer told our puppy class that when a puppy gets ornery and won't snap out of it to put a spray of bitter apple in their mouth. I found that a spray in the direction of the puppy worked great.
    I bet it did. But I imagine it hurts if it gets in their eyes, no? I prefer not to dole out painful corrections to a puppy.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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