Breaking puppy biting

Discussion in 'Dog Training: Principle and Practice' started by MCMS0139, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. MCMS0139

    MCMS0139 Registered Users

    Sep 18, 2019

    First post for me and reaching out regarding our 6 month old rescue lab Mia. I've been reading things both here and other corners of the internet and what I am hearing most often is that lab puppy biting usually tends to be a bigger problem with the breed and that with some it simply is a phase they need to outgrow. I don't believe that myself but I am writing here since we really haven't had any luck getting consistent results.

    The greater concern for me outside the biting alone is her tendency to curl up her lips and get the hair on her neck and back up when she really gets going in these moods. Her actual biting is never very hard and has never even really broke skin but our concern is that if something isn't done to start breaking her from getting to that point it could progress to a point where she makes a mistake with a greater consequence.

    One of the stranger issues in this whole scenario is that she tends to have these episodes less when she is one on one with my wife or myself. The incidents occur more when we are in the same space together with her. Now first thought would be are we ignoring her in those cases but we make sure to make her a part in whatever we are doing in those situations and try to keep her from feeling ignored. We've tried a long list of techniques and some work for a time but it usually comes back:

    1) snap her into training mode
    2) bitter apple spray on our hands
    3) taking her outside for exercise or a walk
    4) taking her outside to see if she it trying to communicate she needs to potty
    5) replace our hands with toys
    6) standing up and walking away from her and ignoring her if necessary
    7) crate time out
    8) giving her a chew treat once she stops biting when commanded
    9) picking her up to distract her

    We've contemplated seeking some in house training assistance but we figured we would start here. We appreciate any input we are given on this situation with our baby.
  2. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

    Jun 3, 2019
    South Wales UK
    We could have written this and I have written a few similar things on here myself. We get somewhere for a few days or week then it re emerges. It’s tough. She is 8 months next week and it’s still an issue for us, much much less than it was but she can still hurt. I had to work on certain situations , such as greetings as she would jump and bite then and worked on rewarding the right behaviour at that point. That got us so far. We had a behaviourist yesterday and suggested a few things that rung true. She tried to explain what REAL calm looks like and how we can be really really low key not to excite her. Also ignoring the biting AND rewarding the calm with attention. Now it made me reflect that her stopping the behaviour is NOT the same as calm behaviour, and of course it isn’t I know that really but perhaps we were too quick to re engage with her . Also she told us she is nervous and highly strung and not a typical lab .... I don’t know about that from reading this forum, she might be I just don’t know anymore! But to reduce the escalation of her biting I also need to reduce the amount of commands I give her . Tonight in training class with different dog behaviourist and trainer she highlighted that I’m giving Gwenni too many commands and I need her to work out a little more what I behaviours I want and to reward that. Helps Gwenni make better decisions rather than just listening to commands. So I’m going to try and work with all of that, let’s see.....

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