Biting Puppies: Help For New Puppy Parents

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

  1. Debbie

    Debbie Registered Users

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    Hi, Buddy is now close to 7 months. My vet recommended a trainer who specializes in large breed dogs. She is nationally known in the US and has extensive experience. Fortunately she lives by me. We had 4 private lessons and we are now in group classes. I will say it was expensive but, I wouldn’t have been able to keep him otherwise. She helped us immeasurably. He has some very difficult traits. At close to 7 months he certainly isn’t perfect yet, but is doing much better and our life with him has improved greatly. I truly believe had someone else chosen him he could have been dumped at the pound. We have had to put an enormous amount of money and time into him. I love him dearly and hope he continues to improve as he matures.
     
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  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi @Debbie

    Can you say what things you learnt from the trainer? Just curious.
     
  3. Adamf

    Adamf Registered Users

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    Jade, thanks for the reply.
    I'm not eager to do either thing but we are kind of desperate and I'm feeling our options are limited. I don't want to lock the dog away from people. I know he is just playing. I don't want to lock him in the crate to calm down because I don't want him to perceive his crate as a punishment - we are having good success with house breaking using the create method. I don't want to leave the room every time the dog gets bitey. We can't function like that.

    Of the two methods I posted above, the idea of spritzing him with water pistol doesn't seem terribly cruel. Admittedly, I'm not an expert on this stuff and that's why I'm here asking the question. Are there negative ramifications to squirting your dog with water to train him not to bite, or can this work?
     
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  4. Debbie

    Debbie Registered Users

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    We were taught exercises to do with him at home to calm him down. He was an adrenaline junkie. He could not control himself much of the time and would go from 0-60 in seconds. He paced often and wanted to engage in rough play almost constantly. She had us put him on a leash and put it under our feet so he had to lay at our feet. We had to do this in 30 minute incriminates. 1-2x daily. It was hard for him at first. But in about 2 weeks we saw a huge improvement. We were also taught how to do “place” with him when he became difficult. In about a week that was doing that well. The transformation was amazing. I believe he is happier now too. He no longer paces and looks for constant attention. He rests normally now and entertains himself by chewing on his bones. Puppies get the zoomies sometimes and putting him on place, keeps it from escalating.
     
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  5. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thanks @Debbie it always interesting to hear about what works for a specific owner.
     
  6. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    I understand completely. The bitey thing especially can get very frustrating. I'm not an expert dog trainer by any means . There are a couple of people here that could help you. Hopefully they'll see this post.
    @Michael A Brooks @Jo Laurens
     
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  7. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi @Adamf
    Thanks to @Jade for pointing out your queries.

    3a. Ignore this trainer. I would openly criticize him if he performed that stupid stunt in front of me. It's just cuel, and will probably end up teaching the dog to be aggressive.
    3b. I would not use a spray. Some dogs will not treat it as a punishment. Remember the dog determines what is a reward or aversive, not us.

    The real problem from a training perspective with both proposals is that it is always better to teach the dog what we want her to do and positively reward that behaviour. The proposed methods do not show the dog what is permitted, they just punish the dog leaving the dog with little or no idea why their handler issued a punishment. Such behaviour is just cruel and sadistic.

    When your dog attempts to bite you, redirect her mouth onto a toy or tug toy. When she grabs the toy or tug play with her. Engage with the toy. Make it come alive. How to do this in practical terms? Each and every member of the family carries a tug toy whenever you are interacting near or with the dog.
     
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  8. Harley Sue

    Harley Sue Registered Users

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  9. Harley Sue

    Harley Sue Registered Users

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    Glad to hear things are improving! I understand what you mean about someone else putting the pup in a shelter. I feel my fur shark would have been placed in a shelter as well. The biting is finally improving, but the first 5 weeks or so were horrid! Thank you, and best of luck to you!
     
  10. P & J Love Bentley

    P & J Love Bentley Registered Users

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    My Bentley is 12 weeks old and I feel as if I'm on a trampoline most of the time! He's after my shoes (while I'm in them) and I spend the better part of the day jumping up and down trying to escape... it hurts! I finally bought steel toed shoes (mens work boots), this seems to work for both of us. This way, I can remain calm as he bites at my toes until I can distract him with a toy or a bone. For the most part, he's a sweet pup... I did notice that just like any other baby, there are certain times of the day that are worse that others. We are always looking at the clock and are hyper aware of his "zoomie" times of the day. Thanks to everyone for all the incredible words of advice! you are all amazing and so informative. -Jan
     
  11. Mjberger

    Mjberger Registered Users

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    I'm so glad that I found this forum. Our pup Daisy is 12 weeks old. Shes been biting, jumping and barking. It seems to be worse with my fiance. We just started with a trainer, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.
     
  12. WillowA

    WillowA Registered Users

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    We bought our 8 week old Labrador puppy Willow home and she stayed by my feet and slept alot.
    We put her to bed in her basket in the kitchen with puppy pads by the back door where she did a poop we didn't teach her this.
    She did wee on the floor so the next day I took her every hour to the pads and said wee wee.
    The next day she just went on the pads herself.
    She is amazing and only 9 weeks old.
    When the crocodile comes out to play we stick one of her toys in her mouth she let's us stroke and cuddle her and doesn't bite.
    She sits when told to.
    She is with me all day and is free to come and go in the living room and kitchen.
    If I leave the room she goes to lie on her blanket if I shut her in the kitchen when I go upstairs she either lies in her basket or sits quiet by the gate.
    She sleeps through the night.
    I feel we are so lucky she is so chilled out.
     
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  13. Supermom

    Supermom Registered Users

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    Gosh! reading this thread, I don’t feel lonely, overwhelmed and about to loose it anymore. We have had Maximus (10 wks) for a month now. The day I feel things are getting better, something else falls apart. Sleeping got better when we moved the crate to our bedroom.. now biting is very intense, including chewing on the furniture. And of course the zoomies..and now he growls at us when we try to correct him, gently or by diversion. I feel like I have aged 5 years in a month.. and am ranting online about it
     
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  14. Supermom

    Supermom Registered Users

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    No kidding! You are lucky and hope it stays that way.
     
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  15. Sheree Edwards

    Sheree Edwards Registered Users

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    We have a 8 year old dog and they like to bite at each other. I am worried that one of them will get hurt. What should I do?
     
  16. DebR

    DebR Registered Users

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  17. DebR

    DebR Registered Users

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    Hi everyone, I am new member today! I have 12 week old choc lab who is loving then after I sit with her she attacks my hands and when I get up she bites my leg, and growling! I have a few cuts on my hands so thank you for this information on biting pups! She sleeps all night since we got her a month ago, and I keep a ball handy and she likes that game, I read another article that the biting gets worse, I call her shark pup! Debbie
     
  18. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Hi Debbie, and welcome. Glad you found the information helpful, hang on in there and let us know how you get on :)
     
  19. Buddy

    Buddy Registered Users

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    Buddy is 16weeks now and I thought the biting would have improved by now, as a little pup squealing ouch and ignoring him worked a treat but by 11weeks that hen turned into a game for him to bite even harder! We then tried the distracting and using toys in place of us but he’d go crazy trying to reach us above the toy and most recently been attempting time out when he bites by either removing him briefly or us from him.
    He’s so smart with learning everything else really quickly that I can’t help but think we are doing something wrong that he’s not learnt not to bite us yet!
    What age do they really slow down with the biting ir will he botnstop if he’s not taught properly ?
     
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  20. Becca_B

    Becca_B Registered Users

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    I have a 10 week old pup who is amazing for a puppy, but we are really struggling with her biting us.

    We try to persuade her to take a toy instead but she’s not interested.

    A lot of it is attacks on our arms and legs, she lunges at them and clamps on. I wear boots to protect my feet which makes it easier to freeze and wait for her to let go. I’ve then tried to click and treat when she stops. But when she’s got hold of my leg or arm through my clothes it really hurts and it’s not easy to wait.

    Are there any recommendations for how to stay calm or any suggestions for protecting our arms and legs? My next idea is one of those body suits they use for police dog training!
     

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