Biting Puppies: Help For New Puppy Parents

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by pippa@labforumHQ, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Karissa Baez

    Karissa Baez Registered Users

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    Hi I'm new also and I have a 11 week old yellow lab. He is the sweetest puppy most of the time. Sleeps great in his crate, very little accidents now. But his biting is crazy. He won't lay or relax with us he is constantly biting. My kids are scared cause he chases them and bites them. He is starting to draw blood now. He has got maybe a littlw better with me only bites when really excited. But I don't know what to do with my kids. He has to stay separated from them. Will this pass? Should I be doing something different to help him learn?
     
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Have a read at old the old threads related to biting, all have the same experience as you. Yes, it will pass, generally gets easier after about 4 months when their teeth drop out. It's a normal developmental stage and they come through it. I don't know how old your kids are, but I kept mine away from our pup until it settled. I had twin boys age 6. It was not worth it for them to become fearful. It made no difference to their long term relationship. They are like triplets now. Hang in there.
     
  3. GaBoo

    GaBoo Registered Users

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    My puppy is nearly 7 months old. He jumps on everyone and grabs their clothing. He has torn so many clothes that I am nearly put of jeans and tops.
    He shows no signs of stopping. I have tried positive reinforcement by giving him treats when I tell him 'off' and he gets off but it just isn't helping.
    He has chewed up everything I have. I try to give him exercise as weather permits and play fetch and tug of war every day.
    I'm looking forward to spring so we can spend more time outside. I cannot sit without him jumping on me, biting me, etc.
    I'm at my wits end. My family is saying to give him away. I don't want to but I am losing my sanity.
    Has anyone found something to help with this? Will he ever get better?
     
  4. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Hello, 7 months is a boisterous age. It is quite hard. Sounds like he wants to play. What exercise is he getting, a good run about would burn off some energy. Also lots of training exhausts them just as much, sit, stay, wait. Have you thought about obedience classes ? They were brilliant for my pup at that age. You both learn lots around others going through the same situation. They are very supportive.
     
  5. Sam'sMom

    Sam'sMom Registered Users

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    I am new to this forum, and have posted a similar problem with my 8 month old Lab. He is a much better puppy indoors now and even stays four on the floor when my daughters come to visit and stays fairly calm. My issue is now out of doors either during a walk and then zoomies he suddenly turns and starts biting my arms and lunging. He is crazy with strangers and wants to jump up on them, which is disconcerting for them, understandably. If you find a way to stop either of our problems, please post it. My husband was ready to rehome Sam after seeing the bruising on my arms, but I read that it was 'normal?' behavior for a Lab. pup at this age. Never had a dog like this before. He is smart though, and loves us and we he.
     
  6. Colorado

    Colorado Registered Users

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    Hi to Sam's mom. I have been there. This is "Colorado"-- I posted on this site 2 years ago when my lab Rocky was the same way. Even at 14 months old- we were hiking in the snow - and he jumped on me and bit me. He bit me all the time- drawing blood- when he was a puppy and adolescent. He would just turn around and jump on me. It was really frustrating trying to understand him, and disheartening also. At the time, I would give him a stick, a ball, anything to divert his mouth, and yes, I would scold him. It was REALLY hard. We upped his exercise- lots of retrieving a ball in water, hiking. And we would make him sit/down/stay to calm him and work on his patience. I avoided having him greet strangers outside- I would move out of their periphery and make him sit or walk quickly away because it was just too much. And guess what worked the best. A little maturity! He continues to get a lot of exercise either running or ball chasing or swimming or backpacking. At 2yo he is a great dog. He is SWEET, loving, and sleeps with 2 cats by his side. My 5yo granddaughter lays on him. He likes to lay on her coloring books when she is on the carpet, and she just pushes him away. He doesn't bite. I thought he would never change, but slowly, slowly, he is just getting more mature. When I walk him it is pretty much a heel with a loose leash by my side. I make him sit at all street crossings. It is just a lot better. I think you are at the hardest time for adolescence, so if you are able to hang in there, do so.
     
  7. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Hi, I have a 12 week old puppy. She will sometimes bite when being stroked and we stop give her a minute then try again(re enforcing good behaviour)
    But at times she will go over to the children (even if they aren’t paying attention to her) and try and bite them/ pull their clothes. They jump and move away. What’s best to navigate this? Thanks , Rhian
     
  8. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Rhian. Moving away from pup when she does something they don't like, is actually a great choice by your kids. Can I ask how old your children are? If they're under about 5 or 6 years old then we suggest you directly supervise any interactions, so you can 'rescue' them (or pup) as soon as needed. And keep play sessions to just a few minutes before popping a baby gate between kids and pup to give everyone a break!

    If they're older, they can learn more about how to move calmly around pup, remove themselves when she bites, redirect her to a toy, etc.

    The older they are the easier this will be - but this is a hard phase for kids, who didn't expect you to bring a crocodile home instead of a cuddly puppy!

    This bitey phase will pass though. I suggest reading through all the comments on this post to see the advice others have shared in the past - hopefully it will give you faith that there is light at the tunnel! :)
     
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  9. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Hi, thank you for the reply. They are 7, 6 and 4. They are great and I’ve taught them to ‘freeze’ if she pulls their clothes so that it doesn’t become a game. We have a play pen for her so she goes in there with a chew toy if she gets too much- yes, they are never left unsupervised.
    She’s 13 weeks now it has improved but we’re struggling with now is if she gets too excited (zoomies) during a walk or if the children are playing outside and she’s on her lead she will turn and go for my legs. I hold her away but not sure if this is correct. I gave her her own ball yesterday which seemed to help but want to nip it in the bud as it does hurt! Many thanks
     
  10. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Rhian. It sounds like you're making great progress. Hang on in there - it will keep getting better! Walking on a loose leash is a difficult skill for a 13 week old puppy even without distractions, so I would try to keep leash walking for when the kids aren't around, for now, until she gets a bit more able to ignore them! :)
     
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  11. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Thank you. It’s more towards the end of a walk she will probably be overstimulated or tired and then she will turn and bite (my legs) or will jump and bite at coats. Is this just frustration? I do try and time the walks as to not do too much but can be hard. I take a toy with me to re direct and she will hold that then instead.
     
  12. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Redirecting with a toy is a great strategy! It sounds like maybe just ending your walks 5 minutes earlier might be helpful? At this age we recommend no more than 15 minutes of formal exercise like leash walking, per day. I wonder if maybe you're creeping a little over that?

    It can also help to vary your routes and walk lengths so that pup can't predict when the walk is about to end :)
     
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  13. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Thank you again! I’ve cut the walks down and over the past few days I’ve noticed a change. If she does try to jump/bite it’s mainly now at the treat bag if I see her getting overstimulated on the way home I throw a treat in front of us and ask her to ‘find it’ to try and redirect her attention, I hope this is ok and she doesn’t see it as a reward? she did get a bit excited (zoomed) once we came in today and tried to nip but stopped when I said but then she needed to go out to poop- not sure if this is connected? Thanks for all the advice
     
  14. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi! This sounds like a great improvement, well done! I would try to pre-empt the overstimulation and get the treat hunting game going before she gets over bouncy - just so the treat throwing doesn't reinforce the bouncing :).

    And indoor zoomies are very normal at this age - and popping her outside to run it off is a great solution, so the timing of the toilet trip sounds fine to me! :)
     
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  15. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Hi, thank you for your reply. She’s 16 weeks now and we are seeing improvement with the walks. We’re keeping them to around 20 minutes.
    She is still jumping and biting- is this to be expected at this age? It’s also tough trying to get her to calm down/ do nothing. In the evening especially she will zoom or look for things to do. I give her something to chew in her pen(which is in the front room so she is still with us) but would be nice for to be able to sit with us. Is this something that will come with time? Many thanks
     
  16. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    I wanted to add, she did growl at my son today too. I went to brush my teeth so she was in her pen. He has starting at her, holding her gaze and she growled(I heard her) and he said she showed her teeth. He looked away (ignoring her). I’ve told him he shouldn’t stare at her either but she’s only 16 weeks. Is this aggressive behaviour?
     
  17. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Rhian. Sometimes overexcitement on walks can be due to an unmet need for stimulation at another time of day. Do you want to talk us through her typical daily routine, and we'll see if we can suggest any tweaks? :)
     
  18. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    We’re generally up at 6:30, out to toilet but of time outside. Some training (sit, place etc) she then goes in her playpen whilst we get ready with a snuffle mat. Out again and then in crate (7:40) my mum pops down around 10 to take her for a walk etc then back in crate. Dinner and out again maybe play, sit together. Crate, afternoon then walk, training etc and a lickmat. Then it’s evening
     
  19. Sammie@labforumHQ

    Sammie@labforumHQ Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Rhian. Thanks for this ❤️. This does look like it might be adding up to quite a lot of crate time. We suggest a total crate time of 3 hours during the day at 4-6 months old. And no more than 2 continuous hours. Many pups this age will need even less time in the crate. If you're not sure how much crate time she's getting, it can be helpful to have a stopwatch on the side near the crate. Start it each time she goes in (with the door shut), and stop it when she gets out. And make a rule for yourself that once it hits 3 hours, that's your limit for the day.

    (Day time for this purpose would start when the first member of the house gets up, and end once everyone is back in bed that night. Crate time when the household is asleep doesn't count towards your total )

    Another helpful rule of thumb can be to aim to 'match' her crate time with the same amount of interactive time with her, and also the same amount of time relaxing in her safe zone without your direct attention, but with room for her to move around, and stimulate herself (something like your playpen and snuffle mat time, but with more like a whole room's worth of space. If you stick to this matching rule it keeps the crate to a maximum of 1/3 of her day.

    So after her walk etc with your mum, you might aim to do 30 minutes with her loose around the house, in the kitchen for example, but without much of your attention. Then a bathroom trip, then 30 mins in the crate, before you let her out for a play with you or some training. Then time amusing herself outside the crate.... and repeat :)
     
  20. Rhian Jones

    Rhian Jones Registered Users

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    Thank you. The reason she goes in her pen is because when she’s out (especially in the morning) she runs and jumps at the children or tries to pull their clothes which then in turn she sometimes catches their skin. It’s hard to manage and get ready. Do you have any suggestions for that?
     

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