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Posted: 5/22/2005 8:40:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 8:41:05 AM EDT by Glock31]
Last week my wife and I picked up a yellow lab puppy (male) from a local breeder. He was shy and apprehensive when we brought him home, but now he's come around and bursting with energy. During the day, I keep him inside in a "medium size" dog cage since that's what the breeder recommended for him and the yard isn't fenced.

My wife always stops by to let him out for a few minutes on her lunch break, but we can't play with him until the evening. After playing with him for about 15 minutes, he calms down a little, but he has a bad habit of trying to bite everything and everyone in sight. If you try to pet him, he will let you for a while but starts snapping at your hand if you pet him too long ( 45 sec- 1 min.).

I've only had him for a week and have never had a puppy before, so I don't know if this is normal for a 7 week old puppy. If he will grow out of it, I can deal with it, but I can't have a dog that bites people. The breeder seemed to be a little rough when he handled them, so it may be that he's just used to horseplaying.

Is there anything I can do to stop this behavior or is it just part of being a puppy? I've tried shoving him away and he just bounces right back more aggressively than before.

Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:46:32 AM EDT
Sounds pretty normal. Our dogs have al done the same thing,everytime we bring one home. They do it beacause theitr teeth are their hands and fimngers. Also just like babies they put evrything into their mouths. A good way to get him to stopm is to assert your roll as the Dominant male, since dogs run as a pack family, this should work. I don't support beating defenseless puppies but a good finger across the nose has always worked with all my dogs. Also try staring him down, once he gets older, if he looks away first you have become the alpha male.

Aren't puppy teeth friggin sharp though..........ouch.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:56:33 AM EDT
the puppy will probably outgrow it. i've got two lab puppies myself, one 14 months and the other 4 months. right now we're going thru everything we went thru with the first on the 4 month old. i also thought "will this ever stop?". i used to fantasize about my dog actually sitting still at my side while I watched TV. For a while I didn’t think it would happen. Now i've got one that will chill at my side while the other wreaks havoc.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 8:58:13 AM EDT
absolutely normal..part of the biting and gnawing process is due to teeth growing but also dominance ritual...

puppies like to play rough...if he chews to bad keep some raw hides around and replace your hand with a rawhide and let him go to town...on it.

when he gets too rambunctous ..roll him over on his back and shake him a little..and dotn be afraid to grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake him pretty strong and peg him to the ground to make a correction for not respecting you. kind of growl and huff when you get on him while you do this..

he get the drift real quick...

enjoy the pup...
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:01:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 9:03:02 AM EDT by sfax39]

Originally Posted By muddydog:
absolutely normal..part of the biting and gnawing process is due to teeth growing but also dominance ritual...

puppies like to play rough...if he chews to bad keep some raw hides around and replace your hand with a rawhide and let him go to town...on it.

when he gets too rambunctous ..roll him over on his back and shake him a little..and dotn be afraid to grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake him pretty strong and peg him to the ground to make a correction for not respecting you. kind of growl and huff when you get on him while you do this..

he get the drift real quick...

enjoy the pup...




1+ Textbook
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:02:07 AM EDT
I had the same problem with mine. What I would do if she tried to bite was coat my finger with something really sour, that way it generated negative feedback (bite human hand, get bad taste). Keep lots of rawhides and pigs ears on hand.

Post some pics
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:20:57 AM EDT
I have had 4 lab puppies. You can correct them to some extent but labs are labs- Age is the best medicine.

<­BR>





Although sometimes I wanted to use a Louisville Slugger. LOL
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:24:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:26:03 AM EDT
You should do what we did, get another puppy so they can chew on eachother!
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:32:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:38:55 AM EDT
I have a 2 year old black lab and a 9 month old Lab mix.... The absolute best thing you can do is buy him TONS of toys. I have two wicker baskets in my liveing room, both full of stuffed, rubber, and rope toys. Both my dogs have never chewed any of my furniture and they dont bite unless provoked in a playing manner. Keep them ocupied and they will leave your stuff alone. OH, and never give them old junk shoes. Once they have a smell of a shoe that you gave them, they will think all shoes that have the same smell are theres to chew.... Labs are super smart and very loveing but males are harder to train due to there natural dominance factor. They take a little more attention..
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:42:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 9:44:25 AM EDT by AshNH]

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Keep lots of rawhides and pigs ears on hand.


You've gotta watch it with the rawhides with small puppies though ... they tend to gulp down big chunks and can get them jammed in their digestive tract where they then absorb moisture and swell up ... A safer, healthier, and cheaper alternative is to keep a 10LB bag of carrots in the freezer and give them to him to chew on instead ... The cold is good on puppies teething (help numb them up) and the texture satisfies the need to tear something up. ended up being my dog's favorite snack, he'll take a carott over a piece of bacon now.

ETA: "Kongs" are great toys, they can chew on the for hours and not sdestroy them ... we've got the same one we bought when he was six months old 3 years latr ... best $7 we ever spent ... You can also occupy an energetic puppy for a long time, by putting peanut butter, treats or the aforementioned carotts inside, it takes them a long time to get the stuff out.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:43:30 AM EDT
Every time the puppy teeth (sharpest things on the planet) touch you, yell "OUCH" and pull your hand away. Be consistant and have everyone that comes in contact with the puppy do the same thing.

The dog will sooner or latter put the thought together:

"If I bite hands, they don't play with me."




Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:43:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 9:47:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Miss_Magnum:


Once a dog becomes a submissive urinator it is VERY difficult to try to boost their self-confidence enough to ever overcome the behaviour.



Equally hard to try and make a dog behave that didnt learn to as a puppy.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:08:13 AM EDT
Your puppy is full of energy but you are leaving him alone and locked in a cage for hours at a time. He needs to be free to go to the bathroom and run all day long. Even in a yard he needs to run and chase a ball etc......
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:11:48 AM EDT
It's a puppy don't worry about it. it's like a little kid touchiing/pickign up everything insight.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:20:26 AM EDT


My Lab pup was the same way. They love to rough house. They don't really bite, but "mouth" you. It's just that those damn needle teeth rip the hell out of you.

Just make sure you correct them when they go too far.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:34:26 AM EDT
I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I am a little "old school" when it comes to training my dogs. Next time that puppy bites you he should get a nice swift hand across the muzzle, while you say "NO" in a nice firm voice. I'm not saying to beat the crap out of your dog. Be firm and he will learn quickly that it is not OK to bite people, and what the word "NO" means. Keep plenty of chew toys around and let him know it is ok to chew those. I've had puppies stop mouthing people in one swat, others would take a couple.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:58:21 AM EDT
Thanks for all the advice. I've already been trying a few things mentioned so I'll just keep it up and hope for the best.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:00:51 AM EDT
We have two labs. The pin/scruff shake combo is good for some things, but I probably not the mouthy issue. As stated before, it's a retriever. That's what they do. Just pull them off of your hand/arm, tell 'em no, and be done with it. If it gets a little TOO rough, then you can bark "NO" at them. I'd save the pin/scruff shake for a REAL bite.

Don't get me wrong. Pin/scruff shake is VERY useful in putting the dog in their place. You're Alpha. That dog had BETTER be under you. There is nothing worse than a dog that doesn't know its' place in the pecking order. It's ALWAYS one rung down on the ladder from you. If he exerts "dominance" behavior toward you like humping (99% of the time it is DOMINANCE behavior, not sexual), grab the scruff, pin him down, and be the big dog.

That being said, he's gonna chew. Give him appropriate things to chew on (be prepared to replace worn toys) so that you'll minimize chew damage to your things. I said minimize, cause you're NOT going to avoid it. You'll lose something to that dog. That's just part of the game.

Pics? I love dogs.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:04:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 11:08:16 AM EDT by op_rod]

Originally Posted By sfax39:

Originally Posted By muddydog:
absolutely normal..part of the biting and gnawing process is due to teeth growing but also dominance ritual...

puppies like to play rough...if he chews to bad keep some raw hides around and replace your hand with a rawhide and let him go to town...on it.

when he gets too rambunctous ..roll him over on his back and shake him a little..and dotn be afraid to grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake him pretty strong and peg him to the ground to make a correction for not respecting you. kind of growl and huff when you get on him while you do this..

he get the drift real quick...

enjoy the pup...




1+ Textbook



And keep your shoes out of reach! I am not kidding!

Soon he will be welded to the couch unless he sees the shotgun, ignoring you and sighing deeply when you ask him to get up so you can sit down.

EDIT:

In case that sounded odd, I mean that labs associate the shotgun with a ride and birds. A lab that looks as mobile as a barnacle and will barely twitch when children are stuffing french fries up his nose suddenly becomes rocket dog when they see the goose gun come out.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:06:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
I had the same problem with mine. What I would do if she tried to bite was coat my finger with something really sour, that way it generated negative feedback (bite human hand, get bad taste). Keep lots of rawhides and pigs ears on hand.

Post some pics



I'll second that advice. I adopted my Lab mix at 1.5 and he liked to mouth hands, arms, and feet. Normal puppy behavior, but unacceptable to let it continue. I kept a small spray bottle with lemon juice in it. One of the lemon shaped squeezeies from the store would work just as well. Whenever Rock (the dog) mouthed or attempted to mouth me he got a little shot in the mouth.

He would back up while trying to scrape his tounge off on his front teeth. The lemon juice is harmless, just make sure it goes in the mouth and not the eyes or ears. Don't use the "bitter apple" style chewing preventative in this manner because it has alcohol in it. Bitter apple is fine for spraying on furniture because the alcohol evaporates, but don't spray it in your dog's mouth.

After a week and a half or two weeks the problem was solved. Good luck and post those puppy pics.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:09:03 AM EDT
One more thing I didn't see mentioned was Bitter Apple Spray. You can buy this at any pet store, it's a chew/bite deterrent ... Tastes nasty and the dogs don't like it. I've got a lot of audio equipment and was worried that my puppy would chew cables, so we sprayed everything undesirable with the stuff, and he never touched it ... If the puppy started getting mouthy, we'd put a little on our hands, and as soon as he got a finger in his mouth, he'd spend the next 15 minutes trying to wupe his tongue off.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:21:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AshNH:
One more thing I didn't see mentioned was Bitter Apple Spray. You can buy this at any pet store, it's a chew/bite deterrent ... Tastes nasty and the dogs don't like it. I've got a lot of audio equipment and was worried that my puppy would chew cables, so we sprayed everything undesirable with the stuff, and he never touched it ... If the puppy started getting mouthy, we'd put a little on our hands, and as soon as he got a finger in his mouth, he'd spend the next 15 minutes trying to wupe his tongue off.



Be careful with the Bitter Apple. Like I said earlier - it has isopropyl alcohol in it. Not good for the puppy if he gets a taste before the alcohol has evaporated.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 11:22:56 AM EDT
Very normal.
Everytime he bites, grab his mouth and don't let him open it for about 10 seconds.
He will figure it out fast.
My lab was quickly trained.
Great dogs. Have fun.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:39:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Very normal.
Everytime he bites, grab his mouth and don't let him open it for about 10 seconds.
He will figure it out fast.
My lab was quickly trained.
Great dogs. Have fun.



+1

You need to teach him what is and isn't acceptable to chew on.

My training technique was this:
Close his mouth and hold it shut while commanding "No Bite!"
If he continues to be defiant, pin him to the floor until he stops being defiant.
After correcting him, offer him a toy to chew on and praise him for chewing on the toy.

Now if I stick a finger in his mouth, he carefully tries to move his mouth away from my finger.

Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:51:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 1:53:19 PM EDT by slash-5]

QUESTION:

Hi I have a question regarding my 3 month old German Shepherd. I read some of your answers about a dog being 'mouthy' vs. being truly aggressive. My dog is mouthy and bites our pant legs and socks etc. However when we tell her 'no' a couple times she then barks at us, and when my husband tells her 'no' she barks at him and sometimes growls when he tries to correct her. Are we not correcting her enough or do you think this may be a temperament problem?

ANSWER:

Your dog identifies your pant legs and socks as PREY ITEMS. Read my web site articles on this subject. Get a puppy prong collar and leave a short line on it. Also put a lot of toys around for the pup to play with. When she bites you say NO! If she growls then correct her with a calm firm voice NO YOU WILL NOT DO THAT! Do not sound mad sound calm and firm many men have big problems with this (its testosterone problems I thing). As soon as you correct the puppy you immediately kick a toy away or get a toy to stimulate the biting into something that you want it to play with. This will change the pups attitude toward you and it will stop this behavior.

You should get my video titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months. It has 2 hours of good information and is not a lot of money.




www.leerburg.com/qabiting.htm#snap
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 1:57:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 2:02:54 PM EDT by HoustonHusker]
My Black Lab female grew out of it fairly quickly, but she was a royal PITA until then...I should've owned stock in PetsMart back then. She had a toy chest full of stuff to chew on and play with, and it paid off. She didn't destroy or chew anything not hers. Their demeanor around children is something to behold-they're the most tolerant, abuse-taking animals I've ever seen, and they get along with cats and other animals just great.

You will not believe just how great Labs are until you watch them grow up, and you may never want another breed again.

HH
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