Biting or just playing??
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Thread: Biting or just playing??

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultBiting or just playing??

    OK I have read back through tons of posts, and waited a day to see if it would get any better, but Gannon has turned ino a wildman. He is only 7 weeks.... this started yesterday morning. We were really mild with him today in hopes it would curb it a bit but it seems worse.

    He has gone after my 4year old numerous times at the back of her legs when she is walking, she is not screaming, she is really good and gives him a good firm NO and walks away if she can. If he is jumping and biting at her she just stands still and shouts NO Bite at him until I intervine and give him a chew toy. He does the same thing to me on occasion.

    Then there is me. He bites me quite alot, I will sit on the floor to play with him and he will just start biting, I know this may be play nipping but it seems a little weird as he does it instantly even if we are being calm and using low tones and slow movements. Then there is the LEASH..... when we leash him to go potty he will wiggle and squirm until he gets a hold of the leash, when you try to get it out of his mouth he clamps down on it and growls..........

    Then there is his crate... he is now as I type trying to rip it to shreds, he is in there going crazy at his pad and even growls at it..... He was being psyco dog a few minutes ago and was biting everything in site so I thought I should get hime in there for a while, well when I threw his toy in there and told him to go get it instead he turned around and nipped my hand.....

    I use a sharp no bite every time he bites, if he goes for me a second time I give him another NO BITE and hold his muzzle, then I get up and ignore him. When he is freaking out there seems to be no stopping him and no diverting him.... I have sprayed the bitter apple on the leash I saturated it this morning...

    He is also asking(walking around the kitchen whining and going to the door and whining even louder, a few minutes ago he even let out a loud yelp...) to go outside like every 10 minutes, most of the time he just goes out and starts digging? Or chewing grass? Or playing attack the leash.


    What am I doing wrong...??????? I mean at his point he is not even cute anymore, unless I stay on the other side of the room and watch him from a distance.

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Hi!

    You're not doing anything wrong. I don't have the best advice on this because we too had the wild, nipping puppy, but I want you to know that you're not alone. Many of us have experienced the "wildchild" labs. Personally, I tried "no bite", yelping, ignoring, etc. When I would turn my back to walk away from her she would grab my shorts and I ended up bare bottom in the backyard. All of my sweats now have little holes in them.

    Laura, Labby, posted a suggestion that I wish I had known about when Lexie was at her worst and that was to pinch the pup's nose when he/she nips. That did work with Lexie, it would startle her and she would stop.

    What I can tell you is that this gets better with time. As your pup gets older the behavior will decrease. All of the techniques for bite inhibition will take at least a couple of weeks to "click". There is no real overnight solution that I know of. Your pup was pretty young when you brought it home and they say that between 6-8 weeks puppies learn bite inhibition from their mother and litter mates. If I read correctly, you got your pup around six weeks, so you'll have a little extra work to do.

    Lexie loved to chew on the leash...She still walks with the leash in her mouth sometimes. Quite honestly, I gave up fighting her on this because she was so nippy. She likes having something in her mouth when she's on leash, so now I usually give her a ball on a rope to walk with so she doesn't grab the leash.

    I never thought Lexie would stop, but she did. Unfortunately, then she started teething and she's very mouthy right now, but even that is decreasing.

    One thing that did really help me is that I spent a lot of time training Lexie. When she would get wild, I would pull out the training treats and start working on training her. This refocused her attention and seemed to work pretty well. We did a LOT of training when she was really little. I would do short 10 minute sessions every hour we were home.

    I would take the pad out of the crate; don't leave it in there for him to destroy and eat. Do you have a kong? If so, give him a kong in his crate. If you don't have a kong, get one.

    Please know that the nipping does get better; it just takes time and patience. There are a lot of experienced lab owners on the board and hopefully they can provide you with more suggestions.

    Robin

  4. #3
    Fallriver's Avatar
    Fallriver is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Read the below article. One disclaimer...instead of saying Ouch in a high pitched voice, I would growl it and bit and freeze completely. The high pitched squeaking seems to increase the puppy's drive to bite, and freezing and stiffening completely makes it very clear to your puppy that they have ended the game.
    Teach your puppy that they can influence stoppage of play by controlling their level of bite



    © 2004 Ian Dunbar

    PUPPY BITING
    Puppies bite. And thank goodness they do! Puppy play-fighting and play-biting are essential for your puppy to develop a soft mouth as an adult.

    Puppy Biting is Normal, Natural, and Necessary!
    Puppy biting seldom causes appreciable harm, but many bites are quite painful and elicit an appropriate reaction—a yelp and a pause in an otherwise extremely enjoyable play session. Thus, your puppy learns that his sharp teeth and weak jaws can hurt. Since your puppy enjoys play-fighting, he will begin to inhibit the force of his biting to keep the game going. Thus your puppy will learn to play-bite gently before he acquires the formidable teeth and strong jaws of an adolescent dog.
    Forbidding a young puppy from biting altogether may offer immediate and temporary relief, but it is potentially dangerous because your puppy will not learn that his jaws can inflict pain. Consequently, if ever provoked or frightened as an adult, the resultant bite is likely to be painful and cause serious injury.
    Certainly, puppy play-biting must be controlled, but only in a progressive and systematic manner. The puppy must be taught to inhibit the force of his bites, before puppy biting is forbidden altogether. Once your puppy has developed a soft mouth, there is plenty of time to inhibit the frequency of his now gentler mouthing.
    Teaching your puppy to inhibit the force of his bites is a two-step process: first, teach the pup not to hurt you; and second, teach your pup not to exert any pressure at all when biting. Thus the puppy's biting will become gentle mouthing.
    Teaching your puppy to inhibit the frequency of his mouthing is a two-step process: first, teach your puppy that whereas mouthing is OK, he must stop when requested; and second, teach your pup never to initiate mouthing unless requested.

    No Pain
    It is not necessary to hurt or frighten your pup to teach her that biting hurts. A simple "Ouch!" is sufficient. If your pup acknowledges your "ouch" and stops biting, praise her, lure her to sit (to reaffirm that you are in control), reward her with a liver treat, and then resume playing. If your pup ignores the "ouch" and continues biting, yelp "Owwwww!" and leave the room. Your puppy has lost her playmate. Return after a 30-second time-out and make up by lure-rewarding your puppy to come, sit, lie down, and calm down, before resuming play.
    Do not attempt to take hold of your pup’s collar, or carry her to confinement; you are out of control and she will probably bite you again. Consequently, play with your puppy in a room where it is safe to leave her if she does not respond to your yelp. If she ignores you, she loses her playmate.

    No Pressure
    Once your pup's biting no longer hurts, still pretend that it does. Greet harder nips with a yelp of pseudo-pain. Your puppy will soon to get the idea: "Whooahh! These humans are soooo super-sensitive. I'll have to be much gentler when I bite them." The pressure of your puppy's bites will progressively decrease until play-biting becomes play-mouthing.
    Never allow your puppy to mouth human hair or clothing. Hair and clothing cannot feel. Allowing a puppy to mouth hair, scarves, shoelaces, trouser legs, or gloved hands, inadvertently trains the puppy to bite harder, extremely close to human flesh!
    Off!
    Once your pup exerts no pressure whatsoever when mouthing, then —and only then—teach him to reduce the frequency of his mouthing. Teach your puppy the meaning of "Off!" by handfeeding kibble (see the SIRIUS Puppy Training video). Your puppy will learn that gentle mouthing is OK, but he must stop the instant you ask him to stop.

    Puppy Must Never Initiate Mouthing
    At this stage, your puppy should never be allowed to initiate mouthing (unless requested to do so). Please refer to our Preventing Aggression booklet for a detailed description of the essential rules for bite-inhibition exercises such as handfeeding, play-fighting, and tug-of-war.
    By way of encouragement, mouthing-maniac puppies usually develop gentle jaws as adults because their many painful puppy bites elicited ample appropriate feedback. On the other hand, puppies that seldom play and roughhouse with other dogs, puppies that seldom bite their owners (e.g., shy, fearful, and standoffish pups), and breeds that have been bred to have soft mouths may not receive sufficient feedback regarding the pain and power of their jaws. This is the major reason to enroll your puppy in an off-leash puppy class right away.
    Should a dog ever bite as an adult, both the prognosis for rehabilitation and the fate of the dog are almost always decided by the severity of the injury, which is predetermined by the level of bite inhibition the dog acquired during puppyhood. The most important survival lesson for a puppy is to learn bites cause pain! Your puppy can only learn this lesson if he is allowed to play-bite other puppies and people, and if he receives appropriate feedback.

    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Thank you Robin, it helps alot to know we are not alone, that we do not have some crazy dog on our hands, literally... You made me laugh out loud too.

    And thank you Fall River the article is a very good one and I hadn't seen it yet. Most of the articles I have read seem to indicate that you need to stop the mouthing all together, not to play certain games that will provoke him to bite etc. ... What a boring life for a puppy not to be able to play a little tug o war I was thinking, but I swear his ropes were about to go in the garbage yesterday.

    I read another article about the bitter apple spray to hopefully get him to stop coming after us from the back... if I can ever figure out how to angle the squirt around my body instead of into my legs.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar is a really good book (so is Before You Get Your Puppy). I wish that I had read it earlier. You may want to pick it up. I totally agree with FallRiver, the yelping stuff just seemed to make Lexie even more wild.

    I now can laugh at my early days with Lexie. At the time it wasn't so funny, but it DOES get better.




  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Don't worry it will get better, we PROMISE.

    If you can find another dog...adult dog with a high tolerance for puppies.... for him to play with that will help too. Autumn was a HORRIBLE puppy...TORTURED my then 7 yr old son but with Gunny he mostly bit Autumn (pay backs 8) ) and Autumn "taught" him to be nice.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    This post makes me feel better as well. We got Baxter at 6.5 wk and he has been biting ever since the first week we brought him home. I can relate to all the torn pj pants, exercise pants, and long sleeve shirts. It made me laugh to read that. Baxter is 5 months and is improving some with the biting, but still has several moments of intense fixations on biting. I too sit on floor with Bax and he will usually want to start biting. When playing fetch he will sometimes start biting me instead of fetching. He is currently getting his permanent teeth in so I'm hoping after that he will calm on the biting a little. It is frustrating though because my forearms stay scratched or scarred most all the time. We have tried every technique mentioned to us and nothing works.
    At what age should it stop or really improve?

  10. #8
    ThatsMyGirl Guest

    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Quote Originally Posted by dailtl
    At what age should it stop or really improve?
    For us ~ I found that it really started to decrease around 4 1/2 months ... by 5 months there was very little. It does seem to be connected to teething. You really can not expect "no bite" to be like teaching your dog to sit ~ biting is an ingrained, natural canine behavior. Just continue to be very consistent & make sure everyone in the house is correcting the behavior.

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Quote Originally Posted by dailtl
    At what age should it stop or really improve?
    I too had/have this problem with Bailey, torn pants/shirts & all. She is now 6 months & has most of her adult teeth. I have noticed a gradual decline in the biting in the past month or so. More recently she mouths more than bites, it's soft & of course not as sharp as the puppy teeth. We still curb the behavior, but at least see an improvement.
    Hang in there!!

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Biting or just playing??

    Quote Originally Posted by dailtl
    This post makes me feel better as well. We got Baxter at 6.5 wk and he has been biting ever since the first week we brought him home. I can relate to all the torn pj pants, exercise pants, and long sleeve shirts. It made me laugh to read that. Baxter is 5 months and is improving some with the biting, but still has several moments of intense fixations on biting. I too sit on floor with Bax and he will usually want to start biting. When playing fetch he will sometimes start biting me instead of fetching. He is currently getting his permanent teeth in so I'm hoping after that he will calm on the biting a little. It is frustrating though because my forearms stay scratched or scarred most all the time. We have tried every technique mentioned to us and nothing works.
    At what age should it stop or really improve?
    This is me. I have little holes and rips in all of my comfy pants. My arms were covered in marks. Lex and I would be playing ball in the yard and she would suddenly "go off". She's about 5 1/2 months now and it's getting much better. She's still mouthy at times, but it's nothing like it used to be; we go days now without any incidents. I think she's almost done teething, so I'm very hopefull that biting with cease within the month.

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