Biting ...

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Deats, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. Deats

    Deats Registered Users

    Apr 25, 2022
    I've a 12-week old Silver Lab called Cosmo. Generally he's doing ... ok. Training is difficult but he's got basic commands down (when he feels like it).

    Our main issue is one of biting. I know all puppies go through this stage, but I am concerned about 2 things:

    1. When our 9-year old son is on the sofa, Cosmo will really go for him. He tries to get his feet or whatever he's holding, and the biting doesn't feel playful. Cosmo is not allowed on the sofa (note: he was, but we found he was being too bitey with everyone else so felt he was trying to take it over), so perhaps it is something to do with the fact that he see's our son as 'similar' to him, and therefore is jealous?

    2. Cosmo today tried to get up the stairs - I removed him (as he was stuck) and when I put him down he starting biting my legs hard and growling. I felt bad, but the only thing I could do was take him by the collar and put him in his pen. I know this is probably a bad thing to do, but simply walking away wasn't an option (it's hard when he's got hold of your leg!)

    So ... is this normal? Or at least can people relate? I am hoping once we can take him out for proper walks in a few days time this might help. But my wife and I are a little concerned that this feels more aggressive than it should? Maybe that's not the case ... so any advice, tips or just general reassurance would be great!

  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

    Oct 1, 2018
    Hi Deats and Cosmo, welcome to the forum :)

    It's amazing how much biting is within the boundaries of totally normal puppy behaviour - it's always a little bit more than you expect!

    Lots of biting and growling and over-the-top posturing is a normal part of puppy play. It's likely that Cosmo singles out your son because he views him as the most 'also playful'. It's hard for a 9 year old to restrain how they react too - if he has been yelling or trying to move quickly out of the way, Cosmo may have misinterpreted that as joining in with the game. It's unlikely that he feels jealous, but if he's seen you cuddling as a family on the sofa, it's also understandable that he may want to join in. After all, until not long ago he had his own mom and siblings to cuddle up to, and dogs are a social species - he may be missing that and keen to recreate it.

    Short time outs are a perfectly acceptable way of changing puppy behaviour. Losing access to you will eventually discourage a puppy from repeating something you don't want them to do. While he's so young, it helps to keep him within a single puppy safe zone at all times, and if he bites, take yourself out of the zone, rather than trying to manhandle him into it (that will only get harder as he gets bigger, and you've got a few weeks to go before his behaviour calms down!). And bear in mind that after 30 seconds in time out, he will no longer have any concept of how it relates to anything he was doing before.

    Finally, do take a look at this article on our main site for more tips: How To Calm An Over Excited Puppy

    I hope that helps, keep us up to date with how you get on!

Share This Page