Zoomies + Play Biting = OUCH! Help!

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by StayCMarie B, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. StayCMarie B

    StayCMarie B Registered Users

    Aug 9, 2018
    Hi Everyone!

    This is my first post here.

    I have an 8 month old male black lab. He's a great pup - lovable, smart and cute! Over all, he is a REALLY good pup!

    BUT he is the mouthiest (both play biting AND barking) dog I've ever had.

    He gets the zoomies like most pups, but it's coupled with this leaping play biting where he tries to grab us. And he has jaws of steel! It's a really bad combination and I'm at my wits end. To make matters worse... we have two little nephews coming to stay with us in a couple weeks... I'm afraid he could actually hurt one of them.

    What can I do to actually CORRECT and stop this behavior for good? (the leaping bite/grab part) I can temporarily grab him and put him in his crate, but that isn't a FIX.


    Thank you so much!
  2. rweiske

    rweiske Registered Users

    Aug 16, 2018
    My 8 month old female goes through this too. When we are interacting with her and start to see her become over excited we ignore her. Usually she stops trying to grab us as soon as the fun on our end stops. If she does, we tell her no and redirect her to a toy.
    The hardest part, for my husband, is to calm down his wrestling with her. Our previous lab was much older when they met and so she didn't get as over zealous with the wrestling. Try to focus on activities that encourage a soft mouth when interacting with people.
  3. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Jun 15, 2013
    There are no quick fixes that do not risk significant fall out. Any 'fix' as in 'quick' would involve punishment and you could end up with an aggressive dog and make things a lot worse.

    I know that you might not be asking for a 'quick fix' but your overall post (with the 2 week deadline of children coming to stay) suggested you *might* be, so I mentioned it.

    8 months is pretty typical for boisterous Labrador behaviour. There is nothing particularly unusual in this. My own young girl was a horror for snapping and biting at that age.

    Here is the place to start: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/dog-calming/
  4. iconic1

    iconic1 Registered Users

    Oct 30, 2016
    What worked for us is ignoring and turning our backs. If our boy was biting we would yell, or yipe, very loud and ignore.
  5. Tank the Destroyer

    Tank the Destroyer Registered Users

    Aug 1, 2017
    Really late reply, but hopefully it will do some good. We dealt with this when our boy was an adolescent and it was awful and, for me, very emotional. Ignoring helps but is so challenging when you're in pain/being lunged at! Our guy needed additional help.

    We cut a leash to a foot/foot and a half and had him wear it in the house (when we were around to supervise!). If he got overexcited and started to bite, we could control his head by holding the leash away from us with a straight arm. When he stopped lunging/jumping we would speak calmly to him and have him sit/lay down to further calm him. Same thing out and about on walks when he was already leashed.

    Additionally, we Incorporated time outs. When this behavior occurred we would say "Uhuh. Time out." in a sharp voice and then either put him behind a gate/door or, if that was not possible, put ourselves on the other side of a gate/door.

    The above was combined with lots of bite inhibition training.

    It took a few months of consistently NOT rewarding this behavior (because yelling at or pushing him at this time is also hugely rewarding), but it did stop! He can still be a little mouthy now (my husband doesnt mind and therefore reinforces "love bites" ugh), but has a very soft mouth with humans. In the meantime, I would use your best judgement around kids or frail adults and consider separating them if he's showing any signs of over excitement. I would also keep a short training leash on him at all times when your nephews are around so you can quickly intervene.

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