we have a 12 week old chocolate lab and we cannot seem to stop him from biteing us. we have tried to switch up toys and give him a toy everytime he starts to bite. it doesnt matter how many times each and everyday we do this, it seems to still continue. we have tried the pinch and holding his nose. even alittle tap on the nose each time. nothing seems to work. he knows what no means and sometimes it works ..other times we are not so lucky. We have just started time outs to see if this will curve some bad habits such as him chewing on the couch right in front of us and not listening when we say no bite. how long should we keep him in time outs for? also if anyone has any more suggestions on how to stop him from biteing people it would be great. we do understand he is just a baby but he needs to learn to bite toys not people.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Labrador puppy! First of all, you are not alone. Second, this is completely normal. All puppies are mouthy. Labs were bred over generations to be obsessed with carrying things in their mouths. So Lab puppies are basically little land sharks. It seems to be worst around 3-4 months, at least it was for us. Just keep doing what you're doing. I find that the best thing to do is to get very still, fix the pup with a hard stare, and growl a soft, low, guttural growl. (Dana aka FallRiver suggested this and it really helps!) Then quickly pick up the pup and do a time out. It will work eventually, although you may feel like it will never end. I would make the time outs brief--30 seconds to a minute max. I doubt his tiny puppy brain will remember anything longer than that anyway.
You can also start working on "gentle" as a way of easing off the biting. Put a treat in your hand and let the pup go for it. If teeth contact skin, close your fist. Let him gnaw away (I subjected myself to raw skin for this, but I suppose you could use gloves). The minute he eases off the biting, give your praise word (we use "Yes!") and deliver the treat. Gradually he will learn that biting is not OK, but gentle mouthing is OK. Eventually you can dial that back further so that no teeth are allowed on human skin. This is the basic way to teach bite inhibition.
Personally, I've never had any success with yelping "ouch!" or lip pinching or nose holding. All of those either riled him up more, or just confused him.
Boy how soon you forget. Nathan I was reading your post and remembering how bad it was "land shark" describes it perfectly, have patience's with your little man he will get better! Nathan had great suggestions!
I gotta agree with everything above. I have a 9 month old Lab pup so those "land shark" days weren't too long ago. I had SOME success with the screaming or yelping when Sawyer would bite but in time he just thought it was cool :ugly:. I actually tried the treat technique and it did work...over time with alot of patience. But Labs are smart and they do catch on pretty quick....just depends on the individual dog.
Sawyer And Morrison
Lab/Basset Hound (maybe some Beagle)
hiya, we also have a lab pup called bailey, she is a yellow girl. she is just over 5 months now.
we had exactly the same thing when we first got her. she was a couple of days under 7 weeks when she came home to us and within a day or so was a fully fledged 'land shark'! hehe i love that description! anyway, i'd never had a lab before and tried loads of different things to get her to stop biting (coz it really did hurt!) the only thing we found that worked was as soon as she would bite, or got too excited and was about to try - we'd give her a 30 second timeout in the kitchen, then when she came out 9 times out of 10 she would be fine and wouldn't do it again. everything else we tried, especially making loud noises just got her even more excited.
it really didn't take too long to get her out of it, i'd say about 2 weeks and by then she stopped completely. maybe we were just lucky, but i'm sure you'll find something that works for you. good luck
I wrote a detailed post about it a while back. You can find it here:
Some people had issues with some of what I said, but I think I changed everything that was unclear in the original post. You can read the other replies if there's anything you're unsure of in that post.
thanks we will stick with the time outs for awhile and hopefully it will help. it seems to be coming along but im sure it will take some time. thanks for all the suggestion!
The most important part is that it does take time and patience. As long as you are consistent, it will get better.Originally Posted by ourbailey