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Biting lab puppy and daughter


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#1 tldowen

 

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        Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:35 PM

We have 2 lab puppies. A chocolate female (Coco) and a black male (Hershey). They are about 4 months old and are siblings. The female is not a problem, but the male nips at our 6 year old daughter at times. It seems to be when he gets overly excited. Today he sent her in crying when he bit her on the bottom. I don't think he is mad, I think he is playing. He and Coco play rough together and I wonder if that is just how he is playing. Are there certain behaviors that she need to aviod that might cause him to get so excited that he bites? I have read the different techniques people have suggested, but my daughter has a hard time doing these things herself. Does she have to be the one to do these things, or can we do them when we see this happening? Will Hershey make the connection? We chose labs because we had heard they were so good with children, now I am wondering. My husband is worried that if we don't get a handle on this, when Hershey grows up, he will really hurt her. Is this something he will grow out of, or will it just get worse? My husband is threatening to give him away and this is really upsetting our daughter. Are black labs more prone to this behavior? Thanks!

#2 suzanne & harley

 

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        Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:03 PM

I think you are right in that he isn't mad, he is just playing.
This isn't a lab thing. It's a puppy thing.
4 month old puppies (ANY breed) will still nip and bite in play. Lots of play growling too.
Especially when they get over excited.

Heck I didn't even get my baby till she was already 4 months old so I was just starting with her.
It took me a couple of months to completely teach her not to do it.

Leash correct your husband for being ready to just give that baby away!
The man can't have tried to train the pup long enough to give up yet.
This pup is so young that the length of time you guys have had him can still be counted in weeks!

Sorry..... I'm ranting.
You're the one who will read this. HE is the one who needs to hear it.
Maybe he has never raised a puppy before and doesn't realize they don't come acting like Lassie.
You have to teach them how. And it takes time.

What kinds of things have you tried so far?
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#3 tldowen

 

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        Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:29 PM

What have you been trying?


We tried having our daughter "yelp" when he starts to bite at her. We have tried to get her to say No in a stern voice (which is not easy for a 6 year old little girl to do), and give him a chew toy, however she doesn't do any of this consistantly because she is only just turned 6. She tends to get beside herself and starts getting upset and trying to get away. We were wondering if we could step in or would she have to be the one to break him from biting her?

#4 tldowen

 

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        Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:36 PM

Leash correct your husband for being ready to just give that baby away!
The man can't have tried to train the pup long enough to give up yet.
This pup is so young that the length of time you guys have had him can still be counted in weeks!


That is how I feel and I'm sure I can hold him off. The only other dog he had was bluetick coon hound and he was very laid back. I guess he thinks they are all supposed to be like that. I also thought it too soon to be giving up.

#5 suzanne & harley

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:08 AM

I too used the yelping. I would yelp and then stand up and turn my back on my dog.
I'm thinking a 6 year old isn't big enough to easily "remove" herself from play right after the yelp.
That would be hard for her cuz she is too small to be unreachable when she stands up.
If she runs out of the room it will seem to the dog like she is initiating a game of "chase me".

Offering an appropriate item to chew is perfect too.
You would be surprised how many people don't instinctively offer alternatives to their dog. They just spend all their time yelling no! LOL

I would certainly step in.
When I got Harley she was just about 4 months old. My granddaughter was 3. I closely supervised both of them
whenever they were interacting. Teaching the dog how to play correctly with the baby and teaching the baby how to
do the same. It was easier for me to be in the middle every single time though. I didn't have both of them at the same time 24/7

Sometimes it was really funny. Anastacia had a short list in her tiny little head of the things you could do with a pet. Must have gotten her internal list from littlest pet shop or my little ponies or something. The list consisted of brushing, putting them on the "string" (leash) and giving a treat. The dog would bite the brush and take it away from her every time. She bounced around at the end of the "string" and almost toppled the toddler. And she jumped and grabbed for the treats. Man...... my son in-law was freaking out! (not a dog person)

I was like "what do you expect? They are both babies".
It took a couple of months to get the puppy trained well enough to really let them play together.
I still get right in the middle though because Harley's big tail is right at 4 year old child eye level. OUCH
Plus my puppy (1 1/2 yr old now) still has a very poor concept of where her body is. She is always knocking stuff down with her butt!
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#6 Heather

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:43 AM

When Duke came here, he did this nipping also.. he would growl and try to tell the boys to knock it off.. I had to be right in the mix of things for the first couple of months, to make sure no one got nipped. He was trying to tell my kids to knock it off.. like pulling his tail.. or climbing on him.. he was sore from the neuter and nervous they would bump the area.. my situation is a bit different from yours.. however.. I would clamp his mouth closed everytime he nipped or acted like he was going to and told him sternly NO BITING. He got it.. now he only growls at them if they are bugging him.. the boys were told over and over and over.. if they get too close he will nip.. they still hug him and play.. but they will be more careful. If they hear him growl.. they know to back off and come to me now. Sadie my female lab was a mommy a couple times.. and she will roll right over and let them climb and crawl all over her.. I tell them she is ok to do that to but Duke doesn't like it. She lives for it.. and loves the love and petting.. he loves being hugged and loved.. just doesn't like being climbed on.

Something to try is to have your dog lay on the floor, and let your daughter pet his belly.. him rolling over on his back is a sign of submission as in she is more dominant than he is.. I would def be there for this.. maybe it will help him learn his role in the household and that he is lower than she is. Duke had no idea who came first.. and I had to show him the other kids.. (puppies like him in his eyes) were above him. I would do it many times.. before it sticks.. The more you train the dog.. and teach him words have meanings.. the smarter he will be. They learn pretty quickly. However you have about a year to go.. to get him ""perfect"" Telling your daughter to tell him NO is a good idea too.. if she can manage it. You might practice with her. Def don't run away from him if he nips. I wouldn't leave the dogs and her alone unattended at all EVER!!! If you can't be around with them.. crate them. It will help with potty training as well. They say never ever to fully and completely trust a dog.. specially a young one who is learning the ropes. Children can't protect themselves.. and this is the age where the dog is learning his role in a pack and is frisky.. he is trying to show u what he can do.. and needs to learn what is appropriate and what is not. Just some more ideas.. Suzanne's post was incredible.. lots of good valuable info there. Giving the dog something he likes to chew on is great... gives him an outlet for the energy he has.. and shows him what he can bite.. smile.gif Good luck.. hope we have helped and you will keep the dogs.. so neat that they are siblings.. bet they will have a wonderful life together!!
-- Greetings from, Heather, Duke & Minnie !!
"Learning for all animals is a lifetime commitment. Just as education for humans does not end with a high school diploma or a college degree, so the graduation certificate after eight weeks of training class does not end Flash's brush with scholarship. Dogs learn constantly, but they may not be learning the things you planned to teach."
Norma Bennett Woolf --from a Dog Trainer's Guide


#7 tldowen

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 02:35 PM

Thank you for all your advice. I guess I just needed to know if this is normal behavior. He nips at her, but he has never growled and his tail is always wagging when it happens. Are there certain things that she should not do when he bites her, like run or yell?

#8 ian

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 03:23 PM

i'm sorry, but teeth on humans is a big no no from the start and should remain that way.

My advice is hard but works. When the pup nips/bites you need to catch the pup within a 10 seconds of him doing the nip/bite and hold its mouth shut, pressing underneath its jaw (the pup may yelp or cry). You must then put the command in when pressing. Mine would be 'No Bite'. Then release. The pup will soon get the idea that this behavior isn't right.

You have to remember that the pup will grow into a big dog. It'll be best to nip it in the bud as early as possible.
If it looks like it works and it feels like it works
Then it works

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#9 tldowen

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 04:59 PM

My advice is hard but works. When the pup nips/bites you need to catch the pup within a 10 seconds of him doing the nip/bite and hold its mouth shut, pressing underneath its jaw (the pup may yelp or cry). You must then put the command in when pressing. Mine would be 'No Bite'. Then release. The pup will soon get the idea that this behavior isn't right.


Can I or my husband do this if he nips at my daughter, or does she have to do it for it to be effective?

#10 ian

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 05:11 PM

i would say that 'only' yourself and your husband do this. I should have mentioned that in my post.

let us know how you get on.

the thing is with the yealping at the pup is that you're putting him in a higher position in the pack than you realy want him.
If it looks like it works and it feels like it works
Then it works

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#11 Heather

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 08:26 PM

I agree 1000% with Ian on this. I would never use a Yelping noise in this type of situation. The dog may mistake it for prey sounds. You should be the one and your husband to do the reprimanding. YOU Are the alpha leaders in the pack..you and your husband. Your daughter may also tell him no sternly.. this will show that she is above him in the pack.. (but you should be around when she does) which is what you want. Dog's are always last..in the chain of command when living with humans and children. .. h
-- Greetings from, Heather, Duke & Minnie !!
"Learning for all animals is a lifetime commitment. Just as education for humans does not end with a high school diploma or a college degree, so the graduation certificate after eight weeks of training class does not end Flash's brush with scholarship. Dogs learn constantly, but they may not be learning the things you planned to teach."
Norma Bennett Woolf --from a Dog Trainer's Guide


#12 tldowen

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 08:53 PM

Thank you, that makes sense. We will give that a try.

#13 suzanne & harley

 

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        Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:46 PM

Oh dear, I certainly didn't mean to sound like I condoned letting puppies bite.
Grown labs are big and powerful. They grow fast.
All too quickly they can really hurt someone even if they are just playing.

Too many people don't teach dogs when they are puppies. teaching not to bite, not to jump and other things that aren't that big a deal when it's a little 10lb puppy. All too soon it is 70lbs of unmannered dog which can be dangerous even if not aggressive. Knocking kids over. Jumping on Gramma. Pulling you on leash.

Ian is spot on that teeth on people is a big no no.
And I totally agree with him that only you and hubby should do his method.
In my opinion though 10 seconds after would be too late.
As close to when the nip happens the better. Watch a puppy and count ten seconds.
An excited puppy on the move will have done 10 other things by then.
I used that same method on my first dog and it worked too.

BTW... "nip it in the bud" LOL !!!! Did you mean to make such an excellent pun Ian?
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#14 ian

 

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        Posted 28 June 2007 - 01:18 AM

wink.gif of course.
If it looks like it works and it feels like it works
Then it works

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#15 Gebby

 

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        Posted 05 July 2007 - 07:42 PM

We have recently adopted a 9 month old male Black Lab. He jump ups and and nips escpecially when he is playing with a chew toy. He wants me to play with him and nips at my hand when I try. I was wondering if I should hold his mouth shut when he does that. And what can I do to get him to not jump up on us? Other then those two things.....he is a gem.

Any input would be VERY helpful for we have a 6 year old daughter who is trying to get used to the dog and not be afraid of him.

Thank you


QUOTE (ian @ Jun 27 2007, 04:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i'm sorry, but teeth on humans is a big no no from the start and should remain that way.

My advice is hard but works. When the pup nips/bites you need to catch the pup within a 10 seconds of him doing the nip/bite and hold its mouth shut, pressing underneath its jaw (the pup may yelp or cry). You must then put the command in when pressing. Mine would be 'No Bite'. Then release. The pup will soon get the idea that this behavior isn't right.

You have to remember that the pup will grow into a big dog. It'll be best to nip it in the bud as early as possible.


#16 Heather

 

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        Posted 06 July 2007 - 08:32 AM

Jumping up is also a big no no. There are lots of places to find ideas. Here do a search or google it. Lots of people have gone through the same things, and have found ways to stop or eliminate bad behaviours in dogs. H
-- Greetings from, Heather, Duke & Minnie !!
"Learning for all animals is a lifetime commitment. Just as education for humans does not end with a high school diploma or a college degree, so the graduation certificate after eight weeks of training class does not end Flash's brush with scholarship. Dogs learn constantly, but they may not be learning the things you planned to teach."
Norma Bennett Woolf --from a Dog Trainer's Guide





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