Just got a 4-5 month old black lab. He's such a sweet dog! It's only been 2 days with him so far. He has a lot of separation anxiety from his previous owner, who raised him since probably like 2 months old. She did a great job, and I don't want to destroy everything she's done -- please help!
His playing involves jumping on you, and trying to bite. If you play with his rope or squeakie toy, he just wants to play tug of war. And he growls, and bites in the meantime. He really really wants to bite the hands and arms. Like all the time. He's drawn blood many times.
(as a side note, he's kinda cute in the cage once he calms down.. he plays with his squeakie toy monkey, and "talks to it" .. it's awesome because his talk sounds like a monkey going "ooh ooh aah aah", no joke!)
As to the biting I've tried the Ouch, or yelping thing. It's worked sometimes, but he forgets a lot. I'm going to keep doing it, but unfortunately sometimes I think it just makes him more excited. He keeps on going. When that happens I just get up and stop playing with him. Then I usually crate him again. I really hate having to crate him all the time, but otherwise he just keeps jumping on me and tries to bite.
He won't play with his rope or toys unless you're playing tug of war with him. I do think the previous owner probably let him be dominant a lot. On walks he pulls really hard. I feel bad having to restrain him, but
I know he just wants loving attention, and wants to be with me to play. I wish he could calm down after a while, and just hang out with me or learn how to play with a toy. And I'd like to figure out how!
New home...means it's easier for you to establish Alpha. You just need to do what Alpha dogs do. Eat first, go out the door first, say when its time to play with toys, train him, don't praise when he jumps - make him sit, etc....
As for the biting and saying ouch thing - well that will take a few weaks for sure...they won't learn that over night. Say ouch or yelp real load and then ignore the dog for a minute and put the toy away if need be.
Things need to happen when you say its okay to happen. All this is easier said then done for most people, including msyelf. Good Luck.
The biting DOES get better, trust me. Buddy (6 months) was ALWAYS biting, and mainly it was ME he would bite so much. I constantly had scratches and bites on my hands and arms. I just realized when I read your post that he doesn't bite nearly as much now. I have no marks on my hands or arms anymore. Now he still does bite at times, but it's more mouthing, he doesnt break the skin and he stops immediately when I say "NO BITE". I think he's mostly done teething so I'm sure that's the reason it's gotten better. So take heart, it gets better!
Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement. I need it!
I was allowing him to teeth some, and it wasn't too bad. WHen he plays with his toys he shoves it in my hands and face, and then starts biting really aggressively. I usually stop, but this time didn't He bit my thumb pretty good. About an inch drawing quite a bit of blood. I didn't get too mad at him, crated him up. He doesn't know any better, and yells for more attention. It'll definitely be a work in progress type of thing!
Earlier in the day I let him out of the crate some, and he was ok just hanging out in the computer room. I'll have to do that some more, and practice letting him out. He likes his new Kong treat dispenser, and still talks to his monkey a lot so overall I'm pretty hopefuly.
Whenever Buddy would bite me, I'd say "NO Bite!" and give him something he COULD bite, like one of his toys. Don't let him bite you if you can help it. If you are consistent and keep telling him no, then substituting a toy instead of your hand, eventually he will learn. Buddy knows now biting is a no-no. He still will try it, but he always looks up at me like he KNOWS he's doing wrong, and like I said, he doesn't bite hard like he used to.
Biting does get better. He's teething now, so he needs to bite. I would get a couple of washcloths for your pup, soak them in water, and freeze. Then give the frozen washcloths to your pup. He'll have something to bite on, and the cold will make his gums feel better.
Also, it will be helpful to get your pup (and you) into some type of a training program. There are usually training clubs around that have training classes for all ages and levels. It will help you and your pup establish the leader/follower roles, get some of his energy out, and provide mental stimulation for the pup. When my Scotty was younger, I used a powder room as his time-out room instead of his crate (the crate is dog's den and you don't want it to be associated with punishment). But I think it's perfectly ok to get your pup into his crate with a Kong when he needs calm down.
ARRGH!! I've had two deep (ie bleeding wouldn't stop for like 5 min) today I didn't handle the second one so well. Told him bad dog, and put him in his cage.
This guy seems really rough at play. I'd say he's probably anxious and just wants to play, but auugh!. He knows he's supposed to play with his toys, but when he's free he'll lunge for my hand (and just got my thumb pretty deep about 30 min ago). When he DOES have the toy, he keeps on biting for my hands and legs in the process. I'm going to keep up the no bite stuff if I can, but it's frustrating.
Thanks for the advice on using the cage as punishment, I didn't think of that. I'll look for some training classes in the meantime. I'll have to take him to his vet soon anyways so I can get some health information and his shots. They will hopefully know of some good trainers or groups locally.
Overall I think right now I just need patience. I hate being his chewtoy, but I guess that's how it will be for a while. Again though, all the input was greatly apppreciated!
I can sympathize with you, my pup is 17 weeks old and is a biter (I feel like I'm going to confession). I was telling Connie, AngusFangus, that I would get sooo frustrated with her. I would try the "no bite", ouch, yelp, yikes, scream, and every other sound that could come out of my mouth. I finally stopped that because it only served to excite her more. Then I tried the "turn around and walk away" tactic and I ended up with my shorts around my ankles on more than one occasion (pretty scary site for my neighbors!)
She's stopped biting my ankles and is really doing much better on her biting in general. When she does bite it's not nearly as hard (I guess this is the bite inhibition kicking in). What's working for me is that I quit saying "no bite", I usually just say "ehhh, ehhh" or "no chew". I lavish her in praise when she chews her toys and other appropriate objects. I've also taught her to kiss on command, every time she licks me I again lavish her in praise, "good kisses". Now we have little lickfests at night instead of chewfests, I can deal with that.
Good luck and be patient; it frustrating, but it does get better.
Do NOT punish the dog for biting you by putting him in the crate. The crate needs to be a 'good' place -- a place he associates with nice things, not punishment.
That said, I'd keep a leash and collar on this dog during the day, the better to correct the jumping and nipping. When he bites, give a strong collar correction and tell him firmly NO BITE! You may then want to substitute something (as suggested above) like a toy. But when he gets the idea, definitely praise using the same terminology (GOOD NO BITE!).
Gently but firmly place your hand on top of his nose, curling your fingers around his upper jaw so basically you hold and press his cheeks on his own teeth. (I hope that made sense)... I'm not saying to do it hard.... just hold it for a second or two when he's biting you. This is how we make Ender drop something even when he REALLY doesn't want to but normally he's pretty good about it now.