We have a new lab named Regan, she's around 3 months and we are having a terrible time with two things. Number one how can we get her to stop biting? We have tried everything, I know she's a puppy, but it's getting really tough when she gets wild. Number two we have a Bichon Frise who's 5 and when she plays she's so rough that she tries to pin him to the ground, he's only 12 pounds, can anyone please help?
Hi there! Well, with labs, biting is a hard thing to break because they are very mouthy by nature. But there are things you can do to stop that behavior. 1) Yell loudly "no bite!" and stop interaction immediately. When bite starts, play and attention stops. 2) Since by nature they often need to have something in their mouth, give them something for their mouth. When we first come home, Miles is excited to see us and he wants to bite us. It's his way of saying hello and showing affection. We give him a toy and he holds that while he greets us. Now, when we let him out of his crate, he goes and looks for a toy and then comes back to greet us. My stepdaughter's lab does the same thing. It takes consistency and patience, but eventually they do learn. It's especially difficult while they are teething, which Regan is likely doing.
Not so sure about the Bichon Frise. I also worry when Miles plays with smaller dogs. Usually they figure it out but until they do, you have your heart in your throat. Supervise their play is all I can suggest. The trainer I took Miles to was good at knowing when to intervene and when not to. I wasn't so good at telling that. Maybe someone else will have some advice on this one.
MilesMom is right. It is a pain at this age, but will pass. We used NO BITE on Corby (say loudly & firmly), and stopped all play when he'd mouth us. He's now 6 months, and I can't remember the last time he did that! So just hang in there & be consistent. Giving lots of things to chew will help.
I don't know how you can handle the other dog issue. Our other dog, a Springer, is now smaller than Corby, but she was the boss from the start, and that won't change no matter how big Corby gets. It seems that your older dog isn't assuming the alpha position, so you may have to restrain your pup when playing rough with the other dog - this too will get better with time, as your dog settles.
Here are some tips and links from other members that I used that really worked with Brigetta (I would yell "ouch, no bite!" as well). Also when Brigetta started teathing she got "mouthy" again...I had to make sure she had plenty of nylabones and chew toys. As MilesMom said...be consistant. Good luck!
- "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'm not saying to do it hard.... just hold it for a second or two when he's biting you."
Quote from: labby on July 28, 2006, 02:56:23 PM
Mostly the puppy sees everyone as its littermates. What do littermates do? Bite each other, sometimes unmercifully.
If there are kids involved, its worse since kids squeal. That usually sends the puppy into a biting frenzy.
What I tell my puppy people to do is "bite" back. I've done the "OUCH" and all the other goodies and none of them work as well.
Its hard to describe, but I pinch the puppy's nose when it bites me. I grab hold of the nose between my index and middle finger and pinch hard enough that the puppy squeals a bit. As I am doing this, I say very low and growly "NO BITE". The pup is getting "bit" by the bigger/alpha dog. Usually they will attempt to bite one more time, within seconds of them getting "bit". They get bit again for their efforts.
It doesn't take many times of getting "bit" before they figure it out and stop.
"I used this method today and it was the most effective method for stopping biting/nipping that I've used over the last 10 weeks. Lexie nipped me this morning and I pinched her nose and she immediately stopped and stared at me. For the majority of the day she was a saint. She got a little nippy again this evening so I used the quick pinch and she was calm again. Great method!"
From the posts I've read from others, most dogs "work it out". I have a dachshund mix who is 10 years old and when I got Brigetta she was 3 1/2 months and would tackle Prudence- she wasn't being aggressive, she was playing like a lab puppy. However because of Prudence's age and previous health issues I would intervene when things got too rough for Prudence and say loudly "be nice", then I would let them play again and as soon as it was too much I would use the "be nice" command. Oddly enough, when I can tell Brigetta is about to run up to Prudence and I know Prudence is resting I can use the "leave it" command and she usually listens to that. When Brigetta is with other dogs I usually let them play and they usually work things out on their own.
Be sure to exercise your pup mentally and physically- it's amazing how good they are after playing fetch! I use the 5 minute rule- 5 minutes of exercise for each month your pup is. Good luck!
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
I would use somewhat of the same techniques with Lexus and our Beagle puppy... When they would bite I would grab their upper lip and pinch it (obviously not really hard, but with some seriousness) and say "Don't Bite!" When you do this you must not let go until the puppy lets go! That is very important! You must win the situation, not the puppy.
Also, another technique I would use would be when they would bite, I would turn my fingers inward if possible and push on the back upper part of their mouth. This causes them to gag (which they do not like) and use "Don't Bite!" very firmly. This, I found, was more effective because it was a much greater discomfort to them than just pinching their lip or nose. So, you set them up for "You put my fingers in your mouth and you're going to get a very, very unpleasant surprise"... Obviously, these things do not hurt them in any way, but it is very uncomfortable.
When they bite, you have to make it unpleasant for them. Just because you holler and scold them, that doesn't really affect a lot of puppies. They probably couldn't care less because it doesn't bother them personally. However, when you turn and make it very uncomfortable for them too, they don't like that at all and will stop the behavior.
Also... Something to consider... As adults, in a wild dog pack, it is extremely "disrespectful" if a dog puts its mouth on the pack leader. Any type of mouthing is unacceptable and they seriously get repremended for it! So, I always took on the energy of being very, very offended and aggravated when the puppy would mouth me at all. Just thinking that in your head and taking great personal offense to the mouthing will help you project a more serious energy about the situation. (You'd be surprised at how much that helps too.) You cannot let your mind focus on the pain from the mouthing; you must get angry and offended by it. Obviously never, never hit your puppy or yell uncontrollably at it... By angry, I mean to project that energy not do anything physical...
Another technique is to redirect to either something they are ALLOWED to bite (a kong or even a frozen washcloth are good for teething dogs) or to some other activity OTHER than biting.
We redirected Wesley's bites to kisses ("NO BITE, WESLEY! Kissy!"). Corrected the bad behavior and praised the good. It worked.
This reminds me of what I say to Brigetta now if she gets too excited and decides to bite...I'll say "No bite! Kisses only!" then I end up with a hand full of slobber!Originally Posted by dweck
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
We do this same thing with Bailey, it works to re-direct, but end up full of slobber too!!Originally Posted by Brigettas Mom