My lab is 5 months old. He has 2 favorite things eating and playing fetch. Yesterday after 25 minutes of fetch in the house he placed the ball on the sofa waiting for me to pick it up. I told him no more and to get some water which he knows 'water'. He barked a few times, then he bit my thigh. I got up put the ball on the shelf and gave him a toy to chew on. He didn't want any of his chew toys, he wanted the ball to be thrown. It was near dinner time so I fed him, walked him and he took his nap. His mind was cleared of the ball. Today I went through the same thing. He will flick the ball onto the sofa or drop it on the sofa right next to me, if I take to long to throw it he becomes mad, barks, and tries to sink his teeth into my leg. Do I stick him in his kennel for timeout? Get a pinch collar on him? He's been pretty frisky at even 8 weeks, my hands and forearms are still healing from months ago. I hope this is just a phase with his teeth coming in, when he does fetch the ball he chomps the crap out of it. My vet suggested for me to grab his mouth to clamp it, not hard and tell him no biting. I tried it twice, when I say no biting, he gets mad. Anytime that I say NO he barks at me.
What training have you done with him? This behavior is wildly inappropriate and would get a serious immediate correction from me. How are you currently dealing with this? If my dog put his teeth on me with the intent of injuring me or forcing me to do something, he'd hear about it loud and clear, he'd get removed from my environment (crate or separate room or outdoors) and would know he was in real trouble.
I have been working with my foster, who likes to lunge for objects and has no self control when it comes to waiting for something to be thrown. I don't let him dictate the play. I won't tug the object out of his mouth - he has to give it up. I won't throw it again until he sits. I am adding in a bunch of exercises for him throughout the day to lengthen his ability to wait for things.
A pinch collar is really only for additional control when walking a dog as an aspect of training. It is not a tool for correcting behavior in a situation like this.
I think you need to do a lot of additional work with this dog. More training, long walks and unleashed running outdoors (in an enclosed environment since I doubt you have recall on him), plus mental exercise should yield you a dog who is easier to live with.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Crates should not be used for punishment. I used to just leave the room and close the door behind me when my puppies got bitey/overly excited. Gave them time to calm down and they learned they lost their favorite plaything (me) when they behaved badly.
Cornerstone's Lady Cassandra CGC (Cassie) and Cornerstone's Lady Rebecca CGC (Reba)
Born to love and be loved 7/31/2010
Sit, down, paw, high five, back up, stay w/ distance and duration, pee and poop, recall works 80% of the time, if I say or yell "ready" without fail he will run towards me for the ball, he also knows "ball" is playtime. "Where is your ball" he will locate one. He also knows his boundaries in the backyard - electric fence. I never hit him or tapped him to snap him out of bad behavior. I have in the past pointed to his create when he bit me and he walked in and sat down. When I tell him "No biting" he does the butt to the ground and runs around like a wild dog. I can snap him out of the wild running by just saying ball or ready, also when he bites and acts like a monster, ball or ready snaps him out of it, all other commands mean nothing. From 6am till 10:30 pm he is always with someone, must be watched at all times. He gets plenty of naps in during the day and night . We play fetch several times a day inside and outside to the point where he isn't as focused with the ball and then we call it quits. As excited as he is for the ball, if I give the command sit, he will sit and will stay and wait for release. He also knows the drill when being fed, sit and stay until released.
I've tried leaving the room several times, he barks and then starts digging and chewing on things he knows he shouldn't. He has a playpen that when I attempt to leave him for bad behavior he pee's on spite. He doesn't pee in the house only when he acts up and I leave him he pee's. At 10 weeks old he was I think the term is talking back. I have no doubt that he is a smart pup but doesn't seem to like to be corrected.
Thanks for clarifying the pinch collar. I had to ask because I was uncertain. At 5 months old can it be possible he is showing his dominance?
Last edited by ggecko; 05-20-2013 at 01:33 PM.
Personally I'd crate him. I know it's not supposed to be used as punishment, but you're getting bitten. Crate him before he bites when you're done playing ball. Let him calm down and let him out again.
Worked for Sam. She wouldn't bite, but had the crazies after her walks. 10 minutes of forced calm down time and she was fine. She loved her crate until we had to return it.
I'm the wrong person to talk to about dominance because I think it is a grossly overused term and usually misapplied. Dominance in animal behavioral science refers strictly to control of and access to resources like food, territory and mating. I don't subscribe to the famous TV dog trainer's viewpoint. The term "dominance" is misapplied when we talk about uppity teenage behavior - which is what this sounds like.
Personally, he sounds to me like a dog who just needs more exercise than you are giving him. I realize you are playing fetch with him until he loses interest, but that is probably not wearing him out.
And, I think that there is mental stimulation value that comes from getting your dog off your property and out into the world that similarly satisfies a need for them. I know that mine are much better and easier when they have had good long walks in the county park at the end of my block.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Dominance is a word thrown around wayyy too often these days. Everyone thinks their dog is "dominant" these days. You have a PUPPY, who is becoming a teenager.
Your dogs needs more exercise, more VARIED exercise and more mental stimulation. Fetch is great for the body but does NOTHING (or little to nothing unless you make it a hide and seek kinda game) for the brain. Labs are dogs that were bred to use their brain, to work. You need to challenge the brain, work it.
Go for walks with your dog. It will help him to get off your property, will do a great deal to help socialize him, work on his leash skills, maybe even meet new people and dogs. Doesn't have to be an hour walk. Start with a 20 minute walk daily, maybe 30 on the days you have time. On weekends drive somewhere new for a walk.
Swimming would be a great exercise too. Low impact on joints.
Play dates are awesome.
New experiences are important for a growing puppy. New places, new people. This is the time whenyou want to bring your dog everywhere and anywhere so he leans to accept change and new things. New places also stimulate his brain. A 30 minute walk in a new environment can be as good as a 45 minute walk on the same path you take daily!
I would toss in a good treat or stuffed kong, be pleasant about putting him in the crate (don't toss him in there, force him in there or be stern - just do it calmly and reward him in there).
re-reading your post. I would consider taking a break from fetch for a few days. if he is that intense, it's beyond a game and possibly an obsession and that is NOT a good thing. I would introduce fetcing is a calm way. Making him sit before I throw the ball and if he is mibehaving put the ball away. I would NOT play fetch indoors if he is that wild. Outdoors only.
Obviously you would need to replace fetcing with another physical active (I listed many above)
Thanks for the tips / suggestions and defining dominance. Just a few things he's done that led me to ask... At 9 weeks he was chewing on my arms like it was a piece of steak. He would then mount my arm when I sat in his playpen with him. At 4 months, early morning walks down the block after he finished his business he puts his head down and grabs the lead a few inches from his collar. He then puts his head up high with the lead in his mouth and leads the way home prancing (follow me). Now with the biting of the thigh when he doesn't get his way. Yeah I guess that sounds more like a teenager........
As for exercise he does get out for a walk. When I say he loses interest in the ball and we call it quits, he gets the ball but looks around for something moving and walks it back. He isn't as focused as when we first start. This is around 30 minutes of full out running and jumping into the kiddie pool to dig / splash the water. I do have a fairly large koi pond that he can go swimming in once he learns not to chase or go after the fish.
He does get his kong wobbler every evening, and a stuffed kong when he needs to unwind.