My puppy is 12 weeks today. We have tried everything I found in books to get her to stop nipping all of us but it is not working. I have tried giving her a substitute (toy) when she bites, putting her in her "room" or cage, ignoring her when she is nipping, saying "ouch!" and looking at her for a few seconds, Bitter Apple spray on the items she nips, ...
Please help. Puppy teeth hurt! Holes in our clothes are no fun either.
Thanks for your suggestions.
<br />Belle at 4 months
This is a topic that has been discussed SO often here -- I started posting back in January about my lab Misty (now almost 19 weeks old) -- it seems that for many of us, these lovable little balls of fur are very, very mouthy.
It sounds like you are doing many of the right things; I would suggest (from my experiences with my pup) CONSISTENCY (correct her EVERY TIME, in whatever fashion you choose -- but make it EVERY TIME). It seems to me that for each person, a different tactic seemed to work best, but the bottom line is that NOTHING is foolproof -- they are teething, they are hyper, and they like to bite/chew. I can tell you (just as others told me when I was in your shoes, about to lose my mind) that it DOES get better.
As much as I hate to admit it, the thing that worked best for Misty was finally, when I had persisted for WEEKS using all the other tactics I could find but basically to no avail -- was to pop her on top of the head, firmly, but not to hurt her. Most people here will tell you that is BAD BAD BAD (hitting the pup), but for me, this is what worked. I had consistently used NO BITE!!! with her each time she bit one of us (along with all the tactics you mentioned and then some), and I was certain she knew what the words meant (she just wouldn't, or couldn't, stop). One day, though, when she drew blood for about the 10th time, I said N O B I T E!!!!!!!! while popping her firmly on top of the head. She was startled, but it was like the lightbulb went off for her. She was like "oh -- I guess I need to listen to those words when he says them..." That, for us, was the turning point.
I am not advocating this same method, as it may or may not work for you. But I will say that consistency is most important, and that eventually, they will ease up and get better! Hang in there! I understand about the "puppy teeth hurt" and the "holes in the clothes." We were there (and still are, to a lesser degree -- Misty tore a hole in my wife's jeans just yesterday; today, she put a small cut on my hand which bled, but this is now more the exception than the rule).
I agree. I started tapping Merlin on the nose whenever he nibbled on my hand. He never does it with us now, and it was never anything to hurt him, its more of a notifier. And a "ouch" in the tone that a dog would yelp also does work.
But grrrrr, a lot of visitors to our house would allow Merlin to mouth their hands, and I would say 'no merlin' etc, but its very difficult to do any more when they think its hilarious, and sort of almost encourage him to nip. Dont let him ever get away with biting, coz Merlin is now 8months, and still mouths people. Just because of one person *shall remain nameless* encouraging him, and not listening to me. end vent.
Just wanted to give you words of encouragment! one day soon your pup will learn, be consistent, soon your wee labby will figure it out. (imo i would not pop, slap or tap the nose or head) as this may teach the dog to fear you, it will still love you but may not 'trust' you if you use physical force. again thats my opinion. i think that within a couple weeks your pup will calm down and stop nipping just keep doing what your doing and maybe try doing some quick little training moves when the bitey starts like practice sit and down and leave it to occupy her mind. Good Luck.
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."<br />Author Unknown
Patience is a virtue. And it's what's going to get you through this teething time. We were very consistent w/ "no bites", yelping, and ignoring her. It did gradually decrease and by about 5 1/2 months of age ~ when her adult teeth came in ~ it was gone.
About the only thing I've done differently to discourage it that I haven't really heard mentioned here is a scruff shake with the word no. I use the word no, and replace my hand with a toy which seems to take her attention of my hand, arm, leg or whatever. When she does it again, I say no louder and give her a shake by the scruff, she is only 8 weeks and seems to understand from momma that this means she did something bad, then she gives me a sad look and cuddles on my lap.
I'm not discouraging any idea anyone has mentioned, because I truley believe that a tap in the right context could be effective. The only word of caution, and this is an extreme case, is that I had a friend with a cocker spaniel (all little devils I think now!) who's primary punishment for everything was getting corrected by hand on the muzzle or head and the word no, he became a someone mean pup in old age and would growl and nip more aggressively when corrected. That won't happen if you have a good relationship with your pup, but this was just an extreme case.
We have started positve training puppy classses.
I am sure this will all help.
The trainer said to keep giving her something else to distract her or ignore the behaivor we do not want. In time she will stop nipping and want to positive reactions from us. Ignoring her when she nips is good because they want your attention. If you take it away it is not what they want or are trying to get by nipping.
Time will tell I suppose.
<br />Belle at 4 months
I have gone thru this twice in the last year seeing that I have 2 puppies (1yr and 22 weeks). Petals was really bad about nipping and biting to the point that my wife would really cry because she thought Petals didn't like her. All I can tell you is 2 things
1) it will pass in time....keep toys around and when your baby goes to nip do a "No Bite" and replace with toy and say "Good Girl/Boy". This will show her that maybe the arm is not a good thing and the toy is ok. Patience! Patience!
2) A tired pup doesn't nip!!!! Take the pup for walks....Start to teach the pup sit and heal and stay... When Petals would start to act up we would take her for a walk around the block and she would tucker out and no biting.
Labs are going to be a mouthy breed....My 2 babies now all they do is mouth each other. That is what they do!!!! what else can I say. Good luck and know that they love you!!!!
Read my blog http://blog.justlabradors.net/petals/