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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself and our new pup, Murphy, a red fox yellow lab. He was 8 weeks old on Friday, the day we got him. He's settling in well, only wakes up twice a night to go potty and then settles right back down. He's currently taking his after-lunch nap at my feet in the kitchen, having happy puppy dreams. :)

We're doing pretty good with housetraining--accidents have been due to my lack of noticing the signals! He wants to put everything in his mouth, which I expected, and he wants to chew on everything he puts in his mouth, which I also expected!

My question for you all is how to best teach him not to chew on people or their clothing, since he's so young and it's constant! He bit me on the cheek yesterday, not at all maliciously and luckily not hard, but I'm afraid of what could happen with those sharp little puppy teeth, and especially what could happen if one of the neighborhood kids (who of course are in love with him--who wouldn't be?!) gets too close. When he chews on people or clothes, I've been taking the object out of his mouth, closing my hand gently around his muzzle, and firmly saying "No." I then give him a toy or appropriate object to chew on and praise him for the appropriate behavior. It's only been a few days, and I know it's a long process requiring patience, but does this sound like the right thing to be doing? What else could/should I be doing? We never let the kids play with Murphy without our close supervision, of course, but still, things can happen in an instant, and I'd also prefer it if he stopped using us as his favorite chew toy! :)

Thanks for the advice. It's nice to be here!

Stephanie
 

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Hi,For the bitting, No is to general of a comand. Say No bite or Ah or something. Then give him one of his toys to chew on. It will take a while but it works. Some of the other more experinced puppy owners could give you better advice.
 

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Congrats on your new addition and welcome! I have a 9 week old and I use a firm "no bite" and give him a chew toy instead (no matter if he's chewing on me, my table, cords, flip flops, etc). It seems to be working well. Best of luck!
 

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Thanks for the advice! I also found a lot of info by looking in other threads here. And we will definitely be taking an obedience course. My sister-in-law owns two pit bulls and is fostering a third, and she LOVES obedience class--she says she'd do it just for the fun of it and for how close it makes her and the dogs!
 

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I agree, no is too vague. Our Sophie will be 4 months on Sat. We have gotten her to stop biting pretty much now. We have found that when teaching her commands, we always use her name in conjuction with the command. I say Sophie, no bite! or Sophie, Sit, Sophie shake, Sophie down. I think it reinforces their name along with the command. I too, put my hand around Sophie's muzzle. It was constant biting for a long time! Needle teeth had my arms torn up! She is smart and even though the biting is natural to her, she has pretty much stopped! Now, tearing up toys is another thing! I bought her a new one yesterday that lasted under 5 mins before the stuffing was coming out! LOL! Looking forward to pictures!
 
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The muzzle trick works for a lot of people, not me though. With Tigger I ended up moving away every time. I would walk to another room and close the door and wait a minute. At first it was annoying, he would really only start up if I sat down to watch tv or something.

With Ladybug I'm doing something new, I put my hand, open, a few inches in front of her face and block her. At night her and Tigger would want to play on the bed, they are too rough and I don't want 100 lbs of dogs playing rough when I'm trying to relax. I would try to move them away from each other and she started trying to bite at me, then she would calm down and either try to nibble on my legs or his feet. I don't know what me start using my hand like that but it's working, in all areas of saying no to things. I had to stand up a few times and do it but she knows now that I mean it.

I also started doing the watch me command in areas she ignored me. I make her look at my eyes. If you teach them to do it on command they don't consider the eye to eye stare a threat. As soon as she looks at me I let her know what I want. Too bad it doesn't work with the other one. lol.

As for furniture, I bought some of that bitter yuck stuff for the first time ever. It works, I spray it on the bottom of the couches every few days.
 

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Welcome to you and Murphy! Some people use bitter apple spray to reduce chewing. I would also give Murphy a toy to chew on when he starts to chew something he shouldn't to get his mind on what he is ALLOWED to chew. Good luck!
 

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the firm grasp on the muzzle worked great for us. Libby is 5 months old now and we haven't had biting/nipping for well over a month. and um, pics please!
 
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