We have Ella, a 10 week old lab who is very sweet but gets very mouthy when excited. She has responded well to my husband and I showing her a treat then closing our fist and yelping when she bites, then giving her the treat when the bites change to kisses. Our 8 year old daughter, Claire, is doing the same but the more she yelps the more Ella bites her. Claire's natural instinct when Ella comes after her is to run but that just makes Ella go after her more. We have told Claire to stay still and yelp when Ella nips her but she just won't stop. We realize that Ella probably sees Claire as just another puppy but we need to find a way for her to respond to Claire as well as my husband and I.
That brings up a couple of questions.
1) How do I get Ella to stop biting Claire. She has really marked her up with some nasty bites that are more than nips.
2) Is is ever ok to grab Ella by her scruff to pull her off our daughter or to let Claire grab her by the scruff. We have done it gently when we can't get ahold of the rest of her wriggly body and she doesn't yelp in pain.
Any advice is very much appreciated.
Brent and Dawn
There's some really good advice in the "our best advice" sticky up top, including biting.
Good luck with her.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
You are right that she sees your daughter more as a playmate than a leader which is why it will take much longer for her to break the habbit with her. I think mainly you or your husband have to try to supervise her when she's with your daughter when she gets to mouthy ignore her. Leave the room for a second if you have to. I know some who do a scruff shake but not everyone likes the idea. Your daughter needs to learn not to run away from her too like you said it only makes it worse because she think she's playing a game.
Read the Our best advice thread too there is a lot of good info in there.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
How funny...we have an 11 week old named "Ellie" AND she is a REALLY bad biter also. We are having trouble getting her to stop. We are trying to be consistant, but it is very frustrating. She is the absolute worst in the morning when she gets up.
You have to be really firm with her and let her know that behavior is unacceptable. I had a similar problem with Miles and my granddaughter when he was younger. I found that telling my granddaughter what to do and expecting Miles to respond to her was futile. I had to supervise and be on him consistently.
Now, they are the best of friends and he will respond to obedience commands, such as DOWN for her. She is only 3. So, for awhile, it'll probably seem like an eternity, it will be tiring for you to keep on top of it, but hang in there, it will get better! Just to give yourself a break, you may want to gate her in a section of the house so that Claire can have some peace.
<br /><br />Grand River Run Genaration "Miles" CGC RN, RL1, RL2, RA, CW-SR, C-OB1, RL1X, RL3, RE
I think it's absolutely okay to grab her on the scruff - simultaneously saying the command you plan to use (no or no bite). Immediately offer up a toy to replace your daughter. Teach your daughter to be firm with the pup, too. Ella is trying to compete with your daughter and needs to know she can't just do what she wants.
If your pup is in a constantly 'crazed' environment, she's not going to learn to settle. If your daughter is trying to do a quite task (books, video, etc) and the pup won't settle - that might be good time to put her in her crate. I've always believed that pups need designated nap times, just like children. She's still so young, that she's not always ready to do this on her own.
Time and patience will do the trick. I got our first Lab when I was home with a 5, 2, & 1 year old. It's was tough the first year, but all worth it in the end.
Brenda from Connecticut
You are describing to a "T" my pup, Misty, who is now 16 weeks old. We've had the same issues with her and our 5-year old daughter. I don't have any additional advice to offer, other than to be CONSISTENT with whatever correction you choose (and to resort to a "time-out" of some sort, away from you (or your child), when she just won't settle. However, I just want to encourage you. Misty has gotten MUCH MUCH better. All my cuts/scabs are nearly healed into nice pink scars now : , and I rarely get a new, fresh cut on my hands. PROGRESS!! Seriously, though -- with persistence, and consistent correction, it WILL get better. Misty is a sweet dog, but for the first several weeks (through about 12 weeks old), we only saw her "sweet" side for just minutes a day. The rest of the time, she was like a great white shark. I posted about a thousand posts to this board similar to yours; the advice I got and the reassurance I received were great. Now, I can offer that to you. If you have patience and give consistent correction, you will begin to see the "sweet" side of your dog much more often. There once was a time we could not even pet our pup -- that was simply an invitation for her to gnaw on our arm or hand. Now, she will plop herself in our laps, lay her head down, lick us a few times, and then go to sleep. SO sweet! Hang in there!
We had the same problem when we got Rocket at 7 wks old. He would constantly bite on my 6yo son, me, anyone.
My son would do the "turn your back on him and ignore him" thing, but it only led to my son never getting to play with Rocket because he was always turning his back.
When we started puppy kindergarten, they told me to do the same thing - but it wasn't working. Then they told me to do something different. It worked, and it has also worked with two of my friend's puppies - one a lab and one a weimeraner.
It sounds worse than it is:
I would play with Rocket allowing him to put his mouth over my arm and bite me, then I would push my arm towards and into the back of his mouth while simultaneously saying "NO BITE" in my "growly" training voice.
First, when you are doing this, they release their grip and they don't hurt your skin compared to when you are ripping your arm out of their baby teeth clenches. The first couple of times will certainly startle them since they are not expecting it.
Second, they don't like it and don't want you to do it. You start to notice they will begin avoiding that type of confrontation.
Third, when they do play with you appropriately, be sure and tell them "good girl"/"good boy" so they know so.
After I did it a few times, I could actually put my hands on his mouth and play around with him. When he'd open his mouth I'd say "No Bite" and he wouldn't. Before I knew it, he wasn't biting at all. I had my son watch me and do the same thing while I watched them. It just about eliminated the problem very quickly. Later during play if he did it again, forgetting the earlier lesson, I repeated. By the following week's class I was able to report to everyone that my dog wasn't biting anymore. I started him in puppy kindergarten at 9wks old, so I had him trained not to bite by 11wks.
He's 9mo now and to this day he doesn't bite any of us. I even test him sometimes to see if he'll play hard with me, but he never does.
I DO, however, encourage and praise licking. We love kisses at my house and I get lots and lots of them!!!
<IMG SRC="http://usera.imagecave.com/mmalley/31625d31a9d782b8_o-copy.jpg"><br />ROCKET....the Best Dog Ever!!!
Steve & Mich-encouraging for me to hear as well. Thanks I'll try and remember it tonight when I turn my back on Shelby and she bites the back of my thigh-LOL.