Hello, I'm new to the board and just trying to gather some information just for my own knowledge. I bought a 6 week old Lab and almost from the beginning she started biting me. Play biting I'm told this is. I did do research into the breed by reading books and such beforehand and I knew they were chewers, diggers and very full of energy, but I swear I found nothing about this biting. She is now 3 months old and no matter what method I have tried nothing has worked. I have signed us up for obedience classes at Petsmart in a few weeks.
My pup hurts me terribly with those razor blade teeth and I have to wear several huge band aides on my arms each day to work.
I was wondering, how many of you, when you bought your pup, had severe biting issues to deal with. If you did, what did you do to solve this problem? I would also like to hear if there are any fortunate souls out there that had Lab pups that did not bite the blood out of them each day.
Thank you for your input.
Baloo was a biter. I would grab his muzzle and press his lip against his canine saying "no bite!" anytime he bit me. Consistency was key. That happened every single time he bit me. His biting only lasted for a few days, with a few minor relapses along the way.
I don't know that I would use that method again with pups in the future, as realistically it's not very nice. But, it did work really well.
I know others have a lot of success using the "time out" method, where they remove the puppy to a different room when they bite, so that might be something to try.
But again, consistency is the only way you will kick this habit. Predictable consequences need to happen every single time the pup bites. Not 95% of the time, 100%. So whatever method you pick, stick to it and eventually it will work. I think a mistake people make often is that they're so desperate for the biting to stop that they flip flop back and forth with all sorts of different methods, and that just confuses the puppy and they don't learn what you want them to.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Puppies that are taken away from their pack before 8 weeks of age typically have not learned about biting. Usually their packmates will teach them when it hurts in these crucial last weeks together. So now you, the human, need to teach the puppy in the way that the puppy can learn what is and is not appropriate.
The most effective way to teach the puppy not to bite is for you to yelp - yes yelp, not yell, when the puppy play bites you. Try to make it high-pitched and sharp and as much like the sound a hurt puppy would make. Your pup will immediately stop and look at you with surprise. Do this every single time he nips you and you should find it will stop.
Quite a few lab pups are little mouthy biters ....just part of the breed. Not enough is told to the public about them being mouthy and if they are not taught bite inhibition at a young age it can become problematic in the future. After all they are retrievers. Bite inhibition is key and yes I also used the closing the muzzle shut and saying owe no bite. I would also curl his lip under so that he would bite his own lip instead of me only in severe biting when all else failed. Or if you do not want to use a training method whereby your saying no then do make a high pitch yelp. The other main key component to bite inhibition is to also pair it with a POSITIVE behvaior that IS acceptible. So when you are yipping or telling them no bite also put a toy in the pups mouth and lots of praise...yes...good pup,etc. The idea is for the pup to learn that biting people no good but toys or anything else they are allowed to carry in the mouth is great!
Sandy got past biting quickly and I had him at 7weeks. He still can get mouthy when really excited even at the age of 5years but when he gets into his mouthy urge he knows to go grab a toy or something that he is allowed to have. He also knows the word NO which is a stop whatever you're doing command immediately and then I redirect his behavior. I only use NO sparringly because like I said it stops him in his tracks.
Hope this helps...just be patient and hang in there. A lot depends on the pups temperment also as to how you train or deal with various behaviors....what may work for one may not work for another. Obedience training is always good and glad that you're going that direction.
The thing I don't like about just removing the dog from the room into a time out ,as it does not really pin point the behavior that you do not like. You need to be able to convey to the pup the behavior that is not welcome and then teach a positive accepted behavior in its place.
Anyhow, I tend to ramble. Not all labs are mouthy as I have seen some that aren't...again...it goes back to their temperment and personality.
CONSISTENCY IS VERY IMPORTANT and you must follow through on whatever training method you decide upon along with all your family members, visitors, all having the same expectations of the pup....biting is never allowed.
Sandy River Nuphar CD, RE, CGC
Sakura RA, CGC (Minpin)
Cooper was a puppy biter and he can still get mouthy when he gets excited and he is 7 months. The only thing that worked for us was to immediately stop all interaction when his teeth touched skin. If your sitting with your dog get up turn your back and ignore him for 10-15 seconds, try interacting again, if the biting starts leave the room the dog is in and make sure he cannot follow. Just repeat, repeat, repeat and then repeat some more. When your pup finally realizes that biting stops interaction and playing with their favorite person, it eventually stops. And once they lose those razors the biting just naturally gets better.
We tried yelping, closing his muzzle and saying "no bite" but any interaction seemed to just further excite him.
Good luck and hang in there.
White Springs Midnight Black Coupe de Ville
"I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch were it itches." ~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Along the lines of what Blaisberg said, when Frankie was a pup and bit me unexpectedly, I screamed. Loud and high pitched (it was real, it hurt!). He never did it again.
Good luck and stick around here if you have more questions!
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
I have never seen a decently bred lab puppy that was NOT a biter to some degree. The "no bite" gum-to-tooth pinch works like a charm. Just do it every time, and they WILL quit nipping you, quickly. Keep some unused paint rollers around to put in thier mouth after "no bite." They love 'em.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
Zak is a biter, he is only 11 weeks old and we had him at 6 weeks old, and ive been told that if we had picked him up just a few weeks later he would have been better.
He bites everything, however socks and hands are the most popular and it really hurts. The thing we do is to ignore him and just get up and walk away and its starting to work, slowly but i think it might pay off in the end.
Ill update if its works lol
"I would grab his muzzle and press his lip against his canine saying "no bite!" anytime he bit me. Consistency was key."
I agree with this method. Don't be afraid to inflict pain while doing it. For the dog it's a dominance issue. By putting the pain back on him/her, it shows the dog that you are the pack leader and will not tolerate "insubordination", for lack of a better term.
All my guys were biters as pups. Jack, my youngest, still likes to test the boundaries, but using the above mentioned method, he's just about done with his play biting phase. When he was much younger I would really have to press hard for him to get the picture, to the point of him whining. He's my slow learner. =)
Last edited by WBBDDJ; 05-19-2009 at 11:02 AM.