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Honestly, I have NO idea what I'm doing :D I've just been following advice from these great people here. I would have been so lost and in deep doodoo if I didn't find this site. And its deffinately nice to know that so many people have been where we are now and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
 

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Honestly, they are so good at testing our patience and trying us but as said above, he is a baby. It is not about him telling you what to do, he is begging for direction from you. Trust me, he does not want to be "in charge" of you. He wants direction and guidance from you and most of all he wants to please you. These dogs thrive on routine and it is so important you structure your day to give this puppy the time he needs to learn. Do not expect instant changes in behavior, it takes time and repetition. Classes are awesome and will be helpful in teaching you how to communicate with your puppy. I do promise you it will be so worth it in the near future. The more effort you put in the better the dog will be.
 

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When I got Kassa my neighbour said just as he thought his dog was doing well it went pear shape and he had to retrain her. By this time I really wondered why we had the silly idea of getting a pup. A trainer told me we often think they know what we want and stop the training when they don't know.


I am not saying do this as each dog and situation is different, but want to tell you what happened with us.


Sometimes things seem counter productive. Erns was untrained when I got him and misunderstood things so would bite or growl. I would tell him to get off the bed. He growled at me so I gave a more sterner command and pushed him. He got off so I praised him and often a treat. You would think what is wrong with her...treat for growling or biting.
I was praising for the good behaviour getting off the bed. It didn't take long before he got off the bed or other naughty thing as soon as I asked and didn't bite or growl at me.
 

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sorry I haven't looked at this thread since I posted the first response - I am glad you are having moments of success in the training and wanted to comment more to you. First, this forum and the people here are spectacular and the advice I have taken from everyone has been awesome so I want to try to give back a little to you. I never owned a lab either until 18 months ago and I wont lie, there were times I wanted to rip my hair out (hard to do since im bald lol) but the more you put in the more you will eventually get out. I say eventually because does the training really ever stop? There is always something new to do and train to do :) I know it is frustrating but I urge you to look at it as a fun activity - training is a bonding session that you get with your dog that is equal to nothing else! Your pup will eventually "get it" and learn. And that is when it feels SOOOO rewarding for your efforts.

I have a post out there in the puppy forums with a picture of my hand. My Jax and his little needle teeth OUCH! I swear my hand looked like a sponge. He was taken from his litter I feel a week early (6 1/2 weeks) and didnt learn bite inhibition from his siblings. That is a mistake I will never make again - I had no idea how important it was to stay with the litter for the full 8 weeks. So my fault equals my extra effort to train him. It took a while. He still "mouths" to this day but is slowly stopping that with reinforced training and some bitter lime spray on my hands and wrists :)

Overall I think you have the right techniques and information on this thread to get you to the goal you want to reach. Patience is your strongest ally in this no bite training. I would suggest a few more things from watching your video:
- when you say no bite, he actually stopped. At that point immediately say good boy and praise. Correct the bad behavior and when he backs up or stops reward. This trains the dog to understand not only what not to do but also what to do. In the video he did eventually get praised but far after the correction was done. He backed up shy'd away and was told No three more times then got pets. Timing is everything and I think without the proper timing the dog gets confused. For instance <bite> correct with no bite firm voice - <backs off> - good boy and praise.

Make sense?

Also, dont wiggle your toes in front of the dogs face when you are trying to teach him they are not chew toys. LOL I mean come on thats just forcing him to react to the toes! :)

My Jax used to love biting our pant legs and soles of our shoes too when we walked... he doesnt anymore.

I cant say it enough times, that you just have to continue what you are doing and be repetative and patient and it will fix itself. Trust in that. Its very rewarding to accomplish a training goal and realize your dog is SOOOOOO smart! The lab breed really is a quick learner and desperately wants to please you. You just have to establish you are both the alpha role and the dog is not. Then as training progresses you get to make new goals to train for.

I am currently training Jax to sit and stay when playing fetch and man I thought it was just never going to happen cuz i toss the frisbee or ball and he bolts after it but guess what... lots of time spent and patience, and the last 2 weeks he finally just "gets it" and he sits and stays and just stares at me until I give him the release command of "ok" before he goes and gets the toy. It is an incredibly great feeling - especially when the neighbors see and say "wow, how did you manage to train him like that" :)

One more thing- are you feeding grain free food? If not, please research the thousands of threads here about it. Grain free food has many benefits but one of particular interest to you may be how the grains turn to sugar and make a dog even more hyper than normal. Grain free is much better overall for your dog on so many levels. Anyhow, just curious

GOOD LUCK DONT LOSE FAITH and most importantly remember this is how you create your bond with your dog - that will never be broken!
 

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Very good point above about rewarding behavior. It is very important you reward behavior immediately, otherwise the puppy has no idea what he did right. I kept treats in my pockets constantly especially while potty training and I know that is why Maxx learned as quickly as he did. The "no bite" took longer but he was much more receptive to positive training than when I became short tempered or did not pay as close of attention. Patience, repetition and love = a well behaved and happy Lab!
 

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the first year we trained with treats and dont get me wrong - it definitely worked... the problem was, the darn stubborn dog would only listen 100% if he knew I had treats lol. If he knew I had treats he was literally as well trained as a show dog... if he knew i didnt, pfft flip a coin if he would obey or not.

The last 6 months we are not treat training and it is yeilding me even bigger results to be honest. However, even with saying that, i'd probably still treat train at the under 1 year old age just cuz its already challenging enough haha.
 

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I would tell him to get off the bed. He growled at me so I gave a more sterner command and pushed him. He got off so I praised him and often a treat. You would think what is wrong with her...treat for growling or biting.
I was praising for the good behaviour getting off the bed. It didn't take long before he got off the bed or other naughty thing as soon as I asked and didn't bite or growl at me.
Sounds to me your timing was spot on for this. He growled, you pushed him off, his feet hit the floor, THEN you treated. Sounds to me like you did not treat the growl at all, you treated what came after it, the feet hitting the floor. Theory has it that he should remember what he did immediately before the treat and that was his feet hit the floor. So what if you helped a bit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
When I got Kassa my neighbour said just as he thought his dog was doing well it went pear shape and he had to retrain her. By this time I really wondered why we had the silly idea of getting a pup. A trainer told me we often think they know what we want and stop the training when they don't know.


I am not saying do this as each dog and situation is different, but want to tell you what happened with us.


Sometimes things seem counter productive. Erns was untrained when I got him and misunderstood things so would bite or growl. I would tell him to get off the bed. He growled at me so I gave a more sterner command and pushed him. He got off so I praised him and often a treat. You would think what is wrong with her...treat for growling or biting.
I was praising for the good behaviour getting off the bed. It didn't take long before he got off the bed or other naughty thing as soon as I asked and didn't bite or growl at me.
~~~ If you say so... lol. that's just so hard for me to understand. I'm not saying your wrong, I'm saying I'm gonna try it and believe it when it works. :) You guys have all the experience with this. So far today has been decent. We've had to separate about 5 times today, but I do think he realizes something is changing because he has ALOT more moments of good behavior than bad. Earlier I was doing some "sit, stay, lay down" commands with treats. then when we were all done I was doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Pretty much that whole time he would follow me around then sit, then lay down. All while looking at me as if to say.. "do you see me? Do you see how good I'm being?" :) It was so cute. I stopped and petted and praised him with lots of "good boys!"

So speaking of praising/rewarding good behavior... what exactly does that mean? Does that mean play time? pet time? treat time? telling him good boy? all of the above?
 

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Sounds to me your timing was spot on for this. He growled, you pushed him off, his feet hit the floor, THEN you treated. Sounds to me like you did not treat the growl at all, you treated what came after it, the feet hitting the floor. Theory has it that he should remember what he did immediately before the treat and that was his feet hit the floor. So what if you helped a bit. :)
Exactly. For me it was about timing and getting him to do what I wanted without a fight which happened so often.

I never set him or I up for failure. When I saw him on the bed where I knew a treat would work I got the treat first. Other times it was a spur of the moment bad behaviour so loads of praise. Erns was older and never been trained and ignored treats. He didn't know they mean rewards.

Jojuvan I didn't mean you to try this now, but thought it might help understand how treats and praise can get get the behaviour you want. Sounds like it is going well for you. Being consistent helped us.

If I am teaching them something and I see them do it when I an not working with them I give them over the top praise and pats. Soon they learn this is what I want and do it to please me. Labs love to please us and you will see the spark in his eye when he does. I love this when Erns gets so excited he has done something good.


High value treats for us are things they drool over. Meat, cheese, or other yummy food. Ordinary treats are their food which is what I use most of the time.
At first I treat every time they do the command. ie sit...treat. Then once they are getting it I don't give treats every time, but always praise.
Something like not running out the door is a high value treat and over the top praise. Erns to this day gets a a bit of his food if he stays on the mat when the door is open.


I never praise with play time unless they do something I want or I am playing as part of the training.

There are many ways to get behaviour you want and what works for one dog may not with another. Work out what suits you and your dog best. I like my dogs to do things because they want to, not because they are scared of me.

Sorry rambling.
 

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Just read today's posts and wanted to comment. You really should not be frustrated and upset with this puppy for being what he naturally is - an immature, high energy, untrained puppy. That's what he is. He is not a well trained adult dog who listens when you tell him to lie down. You have not yet made him into that dog. That's your job as his owner. Since you are a parent, I will frame it this way. Most parents don't expect nice table manners from a 9 month old baby. They are not mature enough, they are not trained/taught that behavior, they are just not ready yet as they are still a baby. Your puppy is still a baby. Turning him into an awesome adult dog is something that takes time, patience and dedication.

If he is a handful in the morning, you should get up earlier and take him for a walk before you feed him and get the kids going. (Or have your husband walk him) If you do this and this becomes the schedule/structure, you will have a puppy who is easier to manage. He needs an outlet for his energy. So if I was you, I would walk/feed/outside to poop, then crate him until everyone else is up and ready.

Ignoring him or separating him is fine when he is acting up but that can't be your only method of dealing with him. He really needs a lot of your attention. Having a puppy means you have to prioritize his needs, care and training even if it means you have to adjust your schedule and lose some of your "personal" time.

And please discard all of those notions about dominance you seem to have picked up. Many nice, normal dogs have been ruined by people who think that they need to dominate their dog before the dog tries to "dominate" them. Cesar Milan's techniques may have a place (very rarely) when dealing with really aggressive, dangerous dogs, but his methods imposed on a puppy or a normal adult dog will backfire and make real behavior problems for you. He is the worst thing to happen to the country's population of dogs and dog owners in the last 20 years.
 

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Reading your post has made me feel like we are not alone. We have a lab too. I call her psycho. She is almost 14 weeks old. She has been biting a lot. I have three kids and we all have bite marks all over us. I too when get up in morning she will come after me and bite me. My husband has more control. Yesterday I was just sitting on couch and she came up and bit my elbow. She also growls at me. She can be calm at times and very easy to train. We do crate train her. We have tried grabbing muzzle no bite ignoring her etc. some days are better than others. I looked forward forever to get my kids a cute puppy but we have a crazy puppy. I watched your video they act just alike.
 

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I agree with what everyone is saying. The dog isn't being dominant at all. He is just wanting to play. Lab babies require require a lot of exercise, training, time, and attention. I can see how it would be an immense amount to handle with having three children and one on the way.
 

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to answer your question on how to praise:

there are different ways and you can mix it up but typically what i mean by it is that happy higher voice we all have that says "good boy!" with pets and rubs. Thats praise. Dogs can tell your happy voice from your 'you are in trouble voice'. Every now and then if you want to toss them a treat sure go for it, just dont let it get over weight or expect one all the time.

Keep working hard and value those days where you are seeing the results! Sometimes with a pup its 1 step forward and 2 steps back but in the end, it will work. A month or two from now (if you put the time in) you will be posting about your disbelief of how it worked and you will be very happy to brag about your results! As well you should !
 

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We got a yellow lab puppy when he was about 9 weeks old. His name is Samson. He is now 15 weeks old and for the past 2 weeks he's been showing aggressive behavior, and it's been getting Worse! It seems whenever he wants attention, which is almost all the time, he'll come up to us and start barking.. if we don't respond right away he then starts nipping and barking. Then when we say NO! he goes into full on biting and growling and barking. This happens multiple times a day. I've researched the internet looking for ways to deal with this and have found many different suggestions.

We've tried hitting him on the nose, forcing him down to the ground and holding him there till he submits (which is a LONG drawn out process....), ignoring him (which just seems to make it worse because then he wants to bite more to get our attention), growling at him and saying NOOOOO! in a low voice, letting out a high pitched "OUCH!" (to mimic another puppy I suppose), and putting him in a bedroom with the door shut. NOTHING WORKS.

He sleeps in a certain bedroom each night, and he goes in the room each day when I'm at work (just 3 hours a day). This morning I went to put him in the bedroom and he jumped at me, growling, biting... the whole works.

I'm stunned that a sweet 15 week old puppy.. LAB puppy... would be capable of doing this and acting like this!!! We have 3 kids and one on the way so I REALLY need to get this under control ASAP. I've always had big dogs my whole life, German Shepards and Labs and I've NEVER encountered any of my other dogs to act like this. I'm not one to shy away from this behavior or be scared either... I always knew from day one that I (and my husband) are the "pack leaders" so to speak... but he doesn't seem to care.

He does this with everyone in the family, including the kids. PLEASE help, and tell me what to do to fix this!!!!!
Patience is the key word. I have a lab puppy too who is just turning 15 weeks. He does: did/doing the same. What I have found out is that when we respond to the bad behavior in any way it escalated. So what we do is as soon as he starts escalating we love him into his playpen where his crate is placed and move away. He tries to bite and resist and we just don’t make any noise and place him there. It’s been getting better.
Also, we learned is that he does not know how to self regulate yet so when we play high energy games like free run or tug. We have to stop before he gets over excited and back into the pen either treats and walk away. We use the word « enough » and give him treats or a chew toy in the pen before we go. It’s been better with hiccups. So patience is my mantra. Good luck to us.
 
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