My lab puppy Gemma is 3 months old and usually very sweet, but her biting/chewing problem is terrible. I realize as a lab, she's going to be full of energy all of the time, and I've tried my best to wear her out. This little gal bites HARD. I've tried a few different techniques...
I've pinned her to the ground (as suggested by Cesar Millan), and wait until she "surrenders," but she hops right back up and goes after my face and arms. I've done this repeatedly and consistently. No change. Also, I have tried giving her a time-out, by getting up and leaving the room when she bites, and counting to 60 before returning -- In hopes that she would learn to correlate that biting = me going away. Yelping doesn't help anymore either. This actually had a little bit of a positive effect the first few times, but now she just comes back and bites even harder. And finally, I've tried redirecting her biting. So when she comes after my arm, I usually have one of her chew toys on hand and will put that in her mouth instead. This is the most effective method so far, but it only distracts her for a few seconds.
I've read about people "bopping" their pups on the nose and telling them no, but I honestly don't like the idea of hitting her -- However hard or soft.
Can anyone offer up some advice?
Personally, I would never listen to anything Cesar has to say. I have watched videos on youtube where he has been abusive in training dogs. Plus, the "roll" for submission is an old school approach and most of us on this site would not recommend doing it. With that said, puppy biting is a hard thing to break them of. My hands and arms were a torn up mess before Sophie finally figured out what all the fuss was about. You need to find the method for you and your pup and stick with it. Changing training is just confusing. What we did, was put a hand around Sophie's muzzle and in a stern voice command "Don't Bite!" We did this everytime she chomped on us. Still, it took about a month of sticking with it before she finally got it. Mouthing when playing is so natural to a puppy, that is a tough one to break. You are correct when you say you don't think bopping the nose is a good idea. Never hit or bop your puppy. Good Luck!
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
What Sophiesmoma said is exactly right. When Jack was a puppy I was working with the public with my scratched up hands and arms and explaining all the time "New puppy" Be consistant, have everyone use the same command. She'll get it. At 3 months, she's still very young. Never, ever hit her. Patience, repetition, time, love..... Before you know it she'll be a big girl and you'll be saying "remember when she used to bite us all the time?"
Along with verbally correcting, you might also try putting something distasteful on your arms and hands (lemon juice or bitter apple spray) as long as its not harmful to you or the dog.
We are currently dealing with this with our almost 10 week old pup. Along with what everyone else has said, we found keeping the puppy tired works wonders. I taught him games like fetch which keep him away from me and we play those games when he is in a particularly bitey mood. I try to prevent biting along with dealing with it when it happens. Know your pup's moods, stay standing to play with her, etc. what has also worked well is puppy play dates. If your pup has had her shots, is there another friendly dog who can come over to play with her? You'll be amazed at what another well-trained dog can teach her. A tired pup is the best pup!