Join us at Workfest for expert advice on kickstarting your career ×

Ideas for bitey lab puppy

(18 Posts)
aleto Mon 01-Sep-14 14:41:39

Hi, having a bit of a low day today. Our puppy is just over 9 weeks and up until today has had two bitey/lively sessions per day (usually up to an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening). I can cope with this and have been distracting with toys, giving him a kong, yelping when he bites too hard, turning our backs if it gets too much etc. The rest of the day he is normally fairly placid and happy to play and cuddle. Today his every waking hour has involved him trying to bite either our hands, faces or clothes. He's been out for a short walk (carry!) and he's been to the car to Pets At Home, we've also played with him, so it's not like he's bored. This is our first dog and I can feel myself losing confidence as I can't work out what to do with him! Is this normal behaviour or am I doing something wrong?

Bowlersarm Mon 01-Sep-14 14:47:14

It is normal behaviour, and it is a stage and will pass.

I just used to distract with a toy, or if getting really too much, pop him/her in a crate for half an hour so I could get a break from it.

NCISaddict Mon 01-Sep-14 15:03:33

Is he overtired/over stimulated? Our border collie used to get like this until we realised he needed time to nap. We had to crate him to get him to sleep as he would leap up the moment anyone moved otherwise. Once we got into a sleep routine the biting improved overnight.

aleto Mon 01-Sep-14 15:24:25

I did wonder if he was over-stimulated. He's currently having a long sleep so hopefully he'll wake up feeling less like taking chunks out of us!

WookieCookiee Mon 01-Sep-14 15:31:30

Our puppy was a shark until about 4-5 months, it was a lot better when he got all of his big teeth.
We were dressed in rags.
Get lots of chew toys.
It is not an easy stage but it does get better

punter Mon 01-Sep-14 17:10:32

It does get better honestly. The advice re needing a nap is so right, just like an over tired toddler they do not know what to with themselves. Used to give ours toilet roll insides ext just so he could use his chewing on those.

punter Mon 01-Sep-14 17:10:52

etc not ext!

AlpacaLypse Mon 01-Sep-14 17:17:41

He will grow out of it and you're doing all the right things.

The bad news is that he may not grow out of it for many months.

I'm dogsitting a pair of Flatcoat Retrievers at the moment, and the one who's just had her first birthday has, in the past three days, got through...

Three plastic jugs.
Twelve CDs. Just the cases though.
A roll of kitchen paper.
The paper I'd written all my notes about their feeding times on. (Luckily I'd made a copy).

She's also pulled down and smashed a plate from the back of the kitchen work top.

aleto Mon 01-Sep-14 17:22:58

I can cope with him biting objects, it's the biting of us that I find so hard. I know he is just playing, but when he snaps at my face it feels personal! I'm currently having timeout upstairs and letting DS deal with him.

Lilcamper Mon 01-Sep-14 17:50:48

He is a pup, it's what they do. This helps:

Biting is a normal puppy behaviour. Puppies investigate the world through their mouths. If it is within reach, it will probably be picked up and chewed! If it is exciting and moves fast it will definitely get bitten. Dogs play by using their mouths because they don’t have hands.

Puppies need to bite and they need to play. What he/she is doing is simply trying to elicit play. Play is by far the best way to bond with your pup and is a great way to reward him during training.

Use tug toys that he can bite. Old knotted towels or a favourite toy with string attached. Unwanted dressing gown cords are ideal. You need to encourage him to bite one end of the toy whilst you hold the other end. Then you can have a great game together without getting bitten.

Ensure your tug toys are long enough and soft enough for your puppy to happily bite. Your toy should touch the floor whilst you are holding the other end. This allows you to animate the toy and keep the game low to the ground and not encourage jumping up. It also puts distance between teeth and hands.

Keep these interactive toys out of your pups reach whilst they are not being played with. It will keep them more novel which means the pup is more likely to want to bite and play with them when given the opportunity. Plant toys around the house and garden (out of puppies reach) so you have them easily accessible and as much as possible, take the game outside.

Rotate chew items that you leave on the floor to also keep them interesting.

Do not play with your puppy unless you have a toy for him to grab. Don't let anyone in the house roughhouse with him or roll about on the floor with him.

Start by animating the toy on the floor and saying 'getit' every time your pup grabs the toy. You hold on to the toy and let him grab it and shake it. Let go of the toy sometimes so that puppy is encouraged to come back to you to get you to start the game again.

Also teach a word for letting go. To do this you simply stop the game by putting a finger in pup's collar and keeping hold of the toy, release the pressure on the toy so that it becomes boring. As soon as pup lets go say 'thank you' and immediately invite him to grab it again with a 'getit'. He will quickly learn to let go when you stop playing in order for the game to start again and eventually the word 'thankyou' (or your word of choice) will become his cue to let go.

Once your pup is getting the idea of the game then you can start to add in a 'sit' 'are you ready' before the 'getit' and before you know it you have a dog sitting and waiting patiently for the game to start.

littlewhitebag Mon 01-Sep-14 20:20:48

We were slightly terrified of our lab when she was a puppy but we persevered with training her and eventually the nipping/lunging stopped. Now at age 2 she is a placid and lovely pet and sometimes i can't believe she is the same dog.

Just have patience, keep training and you will be rewarded by a loyal and loving dog.

KiwiJude Mon 01-Sep-14 21:35:48

Oooh great info there thanks Lilcamper smile

Tootyfilou Tue 02-Sep-14 08:52:50

Their behaviour definately deteriorates when they are tired...just like a toddler!
We had an awful day on Sunday with our nearly 9week old Golden retriever pup. He had lots of interrupted sleeps due to visitors and his behaviour was awful. He is my fifth golden pup, and I already have a 4 yr old golden but it's amazing how much you forget about these very early days. Agree with everything other posters have said about substituting toys ... We froze half his dinner kibble in a kong yesterday and he really enjoyed it also kept him occupied for a while. It will get better make the most of a snugly pup, they grow SO quickly.

NCISaddict Tue 02-Sep-14 10:08:50

We also used to give ours cardboard boxes closed with a couple of treats inside. We got ours at the end of September so the Amazon deliveries per Christmas were great, lots of cardboard to shred.
We also used to give him empty plastic bottles which he would chase round at speed, obviously under supervision and checked regularly for damage.
He did have bones too as he's raw fed and they kept him occupied for ages, his baby teeth couldn't break bits off but boy did he chew them!

aleto Tue 02-Sep-14 11:20:37

Thank you for all your suggestions and much needed support! He's been so much calmer this morning which has made me feel a lot better. I'm guessing he was just over-stimulated/over tired.

Florin Tue 02-Sep-14 12:43:12

We have a 9 week working cocker spaniel and have exactly the same about 3 times a day. She becomes like a thing possessed! I am really looking forward to her growing out of it. It can really hurt luckily she doesn't really do it to our toddler just to my husband and I. We tend to use a length of chunky rope with knots in to play rug of war. I can also wave it round while still helping my toddler with something and keeps my hands out of the way of her mouth. If she sometimes goes completely loopy we give her a couple of minutes time out in our hallway which has her crate in if she wants to go in it and space to run with lots of toys including a filled kong which normally helps. It is tricky though.

ffallada Tue 02-Sep-14 12:52:41

I think if you get a puppy and don't threaten to take them to the dogs trust at some point while bleeding wearing ripped trousers / coat / shoes / shirt then you are doing something wrong! Like wookie said, never wear anything around your pup that you like. I still miss the coat my ddog chomped while I was wearing it (two years ago) sad
They really have little teeth like needles don't they?
I second NCIS, we used cardboard boxes with treats, tons of them. We ate eggs specifically to get the boxes to give to the dog.
Good luck

ffallada Tue 02-Sep-14 12:54:43

p.s. the only way we could stop our pup from biting our faces was by not putting our faces where the dog can get at them. As a life long floor-sitter it came as a shock that he now owned the floor.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now