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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone...looking for some guidance here. Sam is just over 4 months old now. When we brought him home, he had a short-lived problem with what I soon learned by name to be "resource guarding". He was pretty nippy if you tried to take a toy or rawhide from him. He outgrew that pretty fast and now has no problem if we take something from him. (thanks to all that advised on that issue).

Now, Sam is settled in and pretty comfortable with the family. Loves to play,run,fetch....very good natured. I don't think any one of us get over aggresive in playing...mostly take him outside and throw his toys....chase him a bit when he refuses to return them and so on...no one plays rough.

About once or twice a day, he will get so wound up he will start nipping at you when you are just passing through a room. Sometimes, he'll jump up and bite me & when I push him down and tell him no...he just bites me somewhere else. It turns into a huge battle. I try to back him off & he thinks it's a game. I keep shoving him down but he keeps coming back. He will do this to my daughters (13 & 14) until they are yelling for help to stop him. We are trying to raise Sam without physical punishment for anything...but this is making it hard. He went after my husband tonight and kept at him after repeatedly being told to stop. He finally in the end jumped and tore a huge hole in hubby's jacket & hubby got ticked and grabbed him by the scruff and forced him down.I just don't want this to be a constant battle. I know Sam is just playing and thinks it's all a game.

Any ideas on how we can stop this?
 

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Sam is sweet. He has the mischievous look in his eyes. :)

Kassa used to nip when she got over excited.

My brother has a 5 month Dalmation. She is very well behaved and excersised. As soon as the girls 11 and 13 come home Tilly gets over excited and runs around nipping. Nipped me while i was sitting on the chair. I was walking down the hall, didn't see her coming and she nipped the back of my leg. I turned and tried to grab her collar. She went nuts. I said NO BITE backed away and we all calmed down. Tilly did too.

We make her go to her bed and the girls have to sit down to let Tilly calm down.
If the girls start yelling, laughing and playing Tilly gets over excited and out of control so everyone has to calm down then Tilly does.

 

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Sounds a lot like Sam. So far, calmness has no effect. I usually will get a hold of his collar to try to hold him off, but at this point he will lock onto my arm to get me to let go. The girls have learned to just stop and take it until I can rescue them because the more they try to get away or squeal...the more fun it is to him!
 

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I think a lot of this is could be an invitation to "play with me!!! Please!! "

If so, up the amount of vigorous exercise -- the rule of thumb is 5 minutes for each month of age, up to 60 minutes. But some pups need more; my Puff, for instance, needed 2 periods a day of that amount to be civil.

Then when enough exercise has been accomplished, try substituting and distracting into some other activity. I find channeling the drive more useful than trying to train her to control her desire for play and stimulation.

I put a few kibbles into a one gallon plastic milk bottle (or 2 liter soda bottle) and crimped the mouth slightly with pliers so the kibble wouldn't come out too quickly and let Puff chase and bat those around. She got better and better at extracting the kibble so I had to crimp the mouth more and more. You do have to keep an eye on the mouth to make sure there aren't any shards of plastic about to be chewed off and ingested.

There also are some balls at pet stores that do much the same thing but Puff preferred the home made toys made from plastic bottles. However, the store toys would probably be safer on your dog for your daughters to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips Bob. I will try upping the exercise time. The plastic bottle is a good idea too, Sam loves to get an empty bottle and chase it around the house-never thought about adding a little bonus to make it more fun:). I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.
 

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Our Ellie was REALLY bad with this too. If you do a search under my name you can read about my experiences and the wonderful replies I got. I can tell you I was at my wits end with her, but it does get better. She is 10 months now and such a sweet heart. She still mouthes a little if she gets overexcited, or we get on the floor in her face, but she is a million times better.

I agree with Bob Pr. regarding the exercise. When she got overexcited and would just lunge at me and constantly bite, sometimes the only thing I could do was grab her by the scruff to keep her at arms length and walk her over to the door. If I was outside I'd hold her out and slip inside if that makes sense. Or, if you can get into another room and isolate her for a few minutes that is good. I tried the ignoring thing, which does work sometimes, but its hard to do that when they keep biting.

Another thing that has helped us tremendously is doggie daycare. She is so well socialized and comes home just exhausted. I love it!

Good luck and hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the encouragement sblab. Sammy does get so out of control at times, all I can do is hold him back by the scruff and sometimes that doesn't work. I'm already working on more exercise time and something to occupy....but in the mean time, I'll have to remember the trick of sticking him in another room or out the door for minute to calm down.

Tonight.....after quite a bit of play/exercise in the back yard, he came in very wound up and excited and started in with the biting. I was able to get him to SIT and STAY after a few nips...has never worked before to stop him but did tonight. Progress anyway.
 

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I don't know, this might be frowned upon by others here...but what we did was when he started to bite on our hands or clothes we'd hold his snout firm and say "NO BITE!". After a week or so doing this..he started to get the picture. We knew he understood when sometimes he'd get carried away and bite us and we'd grab him and say "NO BITE" and then he'd very gingerly lick us afterwards. Now, we don't have any problem at all and haven't had for several months. Although, he tends to lick alot now!
 

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hi soozr. we have had the same problem, but thank god it is starting to wane as the days and weeks go by. we started to realize that when sadie gets wound up and starts nipping uncontrollably, it was not so much that she needs more exercise (we give her plenty of exercise and play), or that she has agressive tendancies (she is generally playful and gentle), but rather, she wants attention. she gets tired and she wants to sleep, but she hasnt figured out how to just go over to her bed and lay down. she is looking for help. she is looking for us to let her know that its ok to go to sleep--she wont miss anything. the way she wants us to show her is to let her cuddle up. so, as i described in the thread linked below, if she is acting crazy/biting/nipping, and one of us sits down on the floor, she immediately calms down and curls up in our lap and chills out and soon falls asleep. this may just be sadie, but its worth trying, just to determine if your pup is having the same problem. now that we know that this is the cause of the problem with sadie, we are trying to teach her to relax and go lay in her crate in the evening. now, when she flips out, one of us will get a treat and go over to her crate kneel next to it and tell her to "go lay down". usually, once she's seen that i have a treat in my hand, she become fixated on that and she stop biting/nipping and obsesses over the treat, which makes it possible to coax her into crate, and petting her for a minute or two usually completes the cool down process and she get the treat. this doesnt always work as flawlessly as i just described, but we are getting better with time. once she is calm and in her crate, she almost immediately crashes and sleeps soundly, with the crate door open. once in a while, if she just refuses to calm down, one of us will sit on the floor and let her curl up and calm down (i know, i know, we shouldnt be giving in to her, but its the only thing that we know for sure works right away), then we put her in her crate and she will curl up in there and crash. the key is to initiate whatever you decide to do to cool him down right away. if sam is anything like sadie, you can tell immedaitely that he is going into overdrive. the minute you see him get that crazy twinkle in his eye, try to cool him down. if you let him bite a few times, and youre pulling away and he gets more worked up, its tougher to get him to relax. at least thats what ive found. good luck.

http://www.justlabradors.com/forum/index.php/topic,60765.0.html
 

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I would say that because he keeps receiving attention even if it's negative he has no reason to stop. He probably enjoys the attention and is getting what he wants. Most puppies go through the nipping stage. When he's not in his crate I would set up a gate to keep him confined to one room. Use a room of course where the family is. If everyone is watching TV at night use the family room. If everyone is gathered in the kitchen use that room etc. As soon as he starts the behavior don't say anything. Just ignore him and walk away. Having the gate up allows you to do that w/o him being able to follow. You don't have to leave the room long, just long enough to make your point. He will soon learn that when he starts nipping it means that the fun is over with and that he gets ignored. He won't like that and will learn to stop. Just make sure that if you use this method everyone in your family is following the rules consistently otherwise you will just confuse him.
 

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I'm finding that it comes and goes with Blue, she has been nippy the last few days and before that really good, almost no nipping at all and she would play with her toys no problem.
 
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