Im new to this forum and have found it very useful to get advice and ideas on how to train puppies. I have an 8 week old male lab (need to get a pic of him up soon), who came home to us last weekend and the first days have been so much fun, but also a lot of work! He has settled in our home really well, but was wondering if anybody has any good advise on how to calm him down before bedtime. During the first nigth he wailed for a while before falling asleep, but that stopped already on day 2. What he tends to do now is to get really hyper just before falling asleep. So for instance, we would have been playing as normal, and I can see he is getting tired, but instead of calming down he gets hyperactive and really start jumping on me and biting hard, and stop focusing on the toy we had been playing with earlier. Then all the sudden when Im thinking "He will NEVER calm down" he just slumps down on the floor and snoozes off to sleep. This is not necessarily a problem but as I do need to be firm with me when he gest too "aggressive" and say "No bite!" this tends to put a sour note on the end of our plays... Any ideas on how to calm him down when he gets hyper like this? Ive tried taking him in my lap and giving him a toy to bite but like I said, even though he bites in toys during "normal" playtime he just wants to bite on me before going to sleep. He doesnt do this with my partner and our househelp!
I would say the extra play is good it will help him sleep through the night. The biting is bad though, there are many methods of detouring this and you have to find the one that works for you and everyone has to be concistant in doing the same thing every time he bites.
What worked best for me was to hold the top of the nose with your thumb on one side and forefinger on the other side and slightly press in on the sides of his lips. Not enough to make him bite them but just enough that he notices. While doing that give a firm "no bite". For me it only took a few corrections for Mocha to get it and same with Zeus. Some dogs will take longer though depending on how long they have been doing it and how determined they are. Also it may help to just leave the room. Ending the play session lets him know it's not an appororiate way to play they don't like to be ignored. Sometimes this is hard though and they will just bite at your legs or pants or whatever.
When Milly gets hyper during play (which she does constantly as she is only 10 weeks old) we usually don't mind except when she bites or jumps up. If she bites I screech "Ouch" and ignore her until she has calmed down. Once she's calmed down play resumes, when we're playing and she's being nice and not hyper we give her lots of praise and then "ouch" and ignore her when she's not playing nice. If it's really bad we leave the room or put her outside/tie her up for 5 minutes (she HATES being tied up) She's learning really fast, I still have a few tooth punctures on my hands but she's getting better every day.
Also, making a loud non-appealing noise takes Milly's attention away from hyper play and she stops and STARES at me before coming up to me for more play which I then ignore. She'll sit and cock her head to one side and look at me and you can almost see her thought process "why did we stop? what happened? what did i do?" until she slumps into a down position and rests her head on her paws and waits for a response from me.
It's only worked because we've been VERY consistent. I don't want a bitey/jumpy dog that people don't like to be around so we want to nip it in the bud fast. You feel silly screeching out in the yard where your neighbours can hear you but it's well worth it.
Thanks for the tips! We are working on getting our little superactive friend to "play nice" and he seems to be getting the message! I also find that the "screeching" works best - when he bites and I screech properly he just stops and stares at me... and he has even gone from biting my legs to licking them instead! Charming...