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Jumping up and biting-help!

(39 Posts)
Happymm Mon 06-Jun-11 09:57:59

Right, had puppy for 5days. Coming up to 9wks old lab. She's lovely. Doing well in her crate at night 10.30-6.30, also goes in there in the day for rest. Eating better. Doing well(ish) with house training. Now she's a bit more sure of herself, when she's got her mad moment on she keeps jumping up and snapping/biting. Caught DS(5) on the facesad Have told them to stand up, tuck hands in and fold arms ignoring her, but she keeps on, or bites ankles instead. Help! DD (7) can cope but DS1and DS2(2) not, and getting frightened sad

misschenko Mon 06-Jun-11 11:30:17

I think you need to keep the younger ones out of reach of the pup until the crocodile stage is over, it lasted about 6 weeks with my lab. He was worse when he got tired, young puppies need a lot of sleep. Mine never fell asleep on his own he used to keep going, getting more hyper till I put him in his crate, not easy to get him in there when in a snappy mood. I covered the crate, gave him a treat and he'd settle down and sleep straight away for an hour or so and was calmer when he woke up.

Kingsroadie Mon 06-Jun-11 12:07:07

Happy - once again am in the same situation as you! We have had our pup for 9 days now so not much more and he was quite good over the weekend but today has been jumping more and biting my daughter (18 months). Am a bit fed up with him this morning tbh so I feel your pain! I yelp for her and look at him sternly and lift her up and walk away if he doesn't stop. I really thought he was getting it this weekend but today he is worse again (which I think was because he got overtired this morning and I just put him in his crate and he is fast asleep already with no fuss - think he may be like my daughter and misschenko's puppy by the sounds of it- he very rarely conks out by himself)

Am also choosing today to crack crate training (this morning he yelped a lot at 6 am so I got up, took him out, no fuss, he did a poo then put him back in and ignored his yelps. He eventually shut up I think and I went back to sleep and got him up at 7:15ish.) Then he was barking loads when I put him in to go and shower etc. Again I just ignored for ages and he shut up but started again so when we came down I ignored him til he finally stopped. Arggghhhhh!

So sorry not much advice but just sharing the pain and our experience...

Spamspamspam Mon 06-Jun-11 12:27:54

Happymmm from my experience puppy was a lot better when I got her sleep and play routine sorted out. She was more hyper in the beginning but now at 14 weeks she is a lot calmer as I ensure she has plenty of rest throughout the day, everyone in our house knows that when she is in crate she is to be left alone to sleep. She generally has playtime once or twice day in the garden and a walk in the afternoon and this seems enough for her at the moment, all other times she is sleeping or resting - we don't play with her indoors either. We didn't do this deliberately, but now thinking about it we have allways played with her when we have taken her out for wee/poo! We also taught her "down" which mean't four paws on the floor, and she now generally greets us with paws on the floor and we ensure she greets visitors and people out of the house with all 4 paws on the floor. If she is getting manic in the garden we usually have to say Maggie Down and Sit and she knows not to jump up.

She gets manic over certain things, one being the kids on the trampoline and one being my daughters bike - absolutely barks her head off and goes crazy and then gets jumpy and nippy so when daughter wants to go on one of these I bring Maggie in to keep the excitement levels down.

I have had to teach my daughter and her friends how to play with the puppy as well as winding her up will not help them, none of them like it when she gets overexcited and runs after them so they have had to learn to throw things away from them and Maggie will bring it back, not dangle her toys in her face because she will jump up to get it etc etc

I have also yelped really loudly and really overexaggerated a couple of times, I made a huge song and dance about it and she is definately more careful. She used to love a cuddle and licking our face and ears and would get a bit nippy but on one occasion I really went to town on the fact that I was hurt, didn't shout at her but made a fuss about how sore I was and she realised very quickly!

Happymm Mon 06-Jun-11 12:56:28

Kings roadie-am with you in not liking my pup too much today. I just shouted at her, as she just ran in to the play room and bit My 2yr old on his eye! He was happily playing trains on the floor, so not doing anything untoward, or even playing with her, she just ran in and bit him sad She is currently quaking under the kitchen table. Waiting till I calm down a bit before approaching her.
Should I crate her more regularly. She has been having some sleeps by my feet when I've been on the sofa, or in the study MNing working.

misschenko Mon 06-Jun-11 13:50:30

This is normal behaviour for a 9 wk old puppy, biting is her way of trying to get your toddler to play with her. When you're not able to watch constantly to stop her running up and biting your children you need to put her in crate or use safety gate or puppy pen. My neighbour's 3 yr old had a chunk of his lip bitten off by a 10 wk old puppy, child was eating a biscuit, pup in a playful snappy mood, parents watching tv. Not the dog's fault but it got the blame.

Happymm Mon 06-Jun-11 14:01:21

Unfortunately misschenko, I was watching. There was no food involved, she had been playing outside the patio doors, ran in and bit him, right in front of me with no warning. I get that it's normal behaviour, and know it's not her fault, but would really like to know how to tackle it and stop her doing it rather than crating her up all the time-not sure that'll help her learn not too IYSWIM?

misschenko Mon 06-Jun-11 14:18:37

Happymm, the Labrador Forum has loads of information, well worth having a look at labrador puppies DO bite and hard to I found the bit about the need for puppies to practice biting in order to learn bite inhibition fascinating, although better for them to practice on older children and adults than 2 yr olds smile

Spamspamspam Mon 06-Jun-11 14:48:34

So sorry your son was bitten sad is he okay?

Is there anyway you can you separate the puppy from the children for the time being. I must say playing with trains on the floor would look exciting for my puppy and she would try and join in. Do you have any baby gates that you could put on the playroom?

We have a rule here that any toys on the floor is Maggie's, if someone leaves something that she finds fun, she will take it and leg it around the house looking very pleased with herself smile

We also tend to keep her in the kitchen/diner and garden for most of the time, mainly for housetraining, she is allowed in the lounges in the evening but when we know she is calm mode. If my daughter has friends round I keep the puppy downstairs so they can play in peace and I can watch what's going on, at least then I know puppy isn't chewing anything she shouldn't and secondly I don't want puppy getting excited by their dollies or toys and trying to join in their play. We make sure she gets proper play time out in the garden with us and this seems to stop her wanting to play with everything in the house including children!

Happymm Mon 06-Jun-11 16:30:48

Thanks for the linky miss (had to change that as iPad wanted to put thanks for the kinky!). it's a big learning curve for us all I think- no matter how much you plan/research something always happens-bit like having children I guess wink

we've made friends now, and she has been a bit gentler this pm. She had a big sleep in her crate whilst I did school run etc, which may have helped.

DS OK but very nervy now and keeps running away from her which obviously she thinks is another great game, so trying to make him stand still instead.

Great idea Spam-have done that immediately-should've thought of that myself! Have gated off the playroom so they can play in peace. Had previously been using it for rabbit protection, but the rabbit has come off best in their altercations at the cage front with dog giving in and showing the rabbit her tummy grin She only stamped her back feet-dog is a sook.

Kingsroadie Mon 06-Jun-11 17:53:19

Happy - he is being better this avo and seems to be getting the hang of not barking as much in the crate (or that he doesn't get attention if he does it). Fingers crossed anyway! He was fast asleep when we got back from 40 mins at the supermarket and didn't even wake up until we had been back about 5 mins so clearly wasn't beside himself with fear/upset! grin

He actually is beginning to get better with biting. With me if he is sitting on my lap/next to me and starts nipping I say ouch and he has got a lot gentler already. I think it's that you not only need to teach them not to bite but to also have a soft mouth. This was on another thread - can't remember who posted it The Bite Stops Here - Ian Dunbar Thanks for that link Spam - will have a look too (even though ours isn't a lab).

We have ours in our kitchen diner which is gated off from the sitting room but my daughter wants to be with me/us mostly so her toys are all down here as that's where we usually spend all our time when in the house. I find that the puppy launches himself at her a lot more when she is on the floor and at his level - he does this with me if I lie down (which sounds as though your son was). No excuse just that we tend to see it more then too. Hope he is okay... !

Happymm Mon 06-Jun-11 20:14:02

Have done the same. She'll have the run of the kitchen/diner, utility room where her crate is and the garden. Thank goodness it's the summer and can leave doors open! Agree this may help the house training! Boys happier to have their room safe. She's now curled up on my feet in the sitting room smile Tomorrow is another day...x

walkersmum Tue 07-Jun-11 07:28:53

Also, speak to the breeder should be able to help. Puppies play bite in the litter and need to learn the difference.

I always send a training hints and tips with puppies when they go to a new home. Different things work with different puppies.
Recomend book by Gwen Bailey as well.

Happymm Tue 07-Jun-11 21:41:45

Thanks walker, I do have that book, but not far into yet-as have been reading crate training book, Labrador book, clicker training book, and breeders tips!grin

NunTheWiser Wed 08-Jun-11 13:08:17

It's a (horrible) stage that they go through and it does get better. When the pup nips you, make a very high pitched, loud "OW!" noise which imitates what their siblings would do if play got too rough. If it persists, get up and walk away from the dog putting some kind of barrier between you - a door etc. They soon learn that play and company only happen when they keep their fangs to themselves.
WRT the children, I think it's much more tricky. Kids get very loud and squeaky when they play which gets puppies wound up and nippy. I found that having a playpen separate from the crate which I could put UnWiseDog in with some of her favourite toys and treats was a godsend. The best toys and treats stayed in there so she associated it with fun, but it kept her out of the kids way when she was getting too manic and also stopped the kids bothering her when she needed a bit of down time. Don't use it as punishment but a bit of time out for both sides! grin It will all settle down. Labs are great!!! HTH.

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 08-Jun-11 15:25:15

Agree with NunTheWiser's method. Do remember that your puppy is mouthing, not biting. The difference is in the intent. Puppies mouth when the play, it is up to us humans to teach them that it hurts, by yelping and stopping interaction for a few seconds. They will soon learn that human skin is delicate and must be treated kindly.

misschenko Wed 08-Jun-11 15:46:27

The worst bit of the biting stage with my lab was when he attacked the clothes we were wearing as it was impossible to prise him off. Not easy to walk away or do time out with pup hanging off the leg of your jeans.

Happymm Wed 08-Jun-11 16:21:52

That's one of the problems we have Miss! How do you prise them off?

misschenko Wed 08-Jun-11 17:19:51

Not always possible to prise him off without ripping clothes, I remember once edging towards the fridge with pup attached to new pair of smart trousers - I offered him a piece of cheddar and he let go instantly. What I could have tried, but didn't think of it until he'd gone past the biting stage, was to have emergency stashes of tasty treats in strategic places.

Kingsroadie Wed 08-Jun-11 17:23:35

Do they just grow out of it then? I am also doing all the things mentioned on this thread! Good idea re pieces of cheese.

misschenko Wed 08-Jun-11 17:35:01

Kingsroadie, this stage only lasted a couple of weeks. If you do give him a treat when he's biting clothes probably best to show him the treat and give a command, like get off or sit, then you're rewarding him for obeying you rather than for chewing your clothes

Happymm Wed 08-Jun-11 17:38:09

Good ideas here! Have noticed also that our pup always is a lot more manic and bitty after having a poo for some reason-maybe a load off her mindgrin

Kingsroadie Wed 08-Jun-11 17:46:28

Misschenko - do you think they grow out of it by themselves or do I need to make a big effort? (Tbh I usually do say "ouch" and walk away etc) Will try the "off" thing as he has been learning that too. Thank you!

misschenko Wed 08-Jun-11 17:58:20

I'm no expert - first ever dog - but I think they have to go through the biting and chewing and hyper excitable stage. You just have to find a way to live with it and not reward them with lots of fuss and attention until they've gone through this part of their development. Like toddler tantrums...

Happymm Wed 08-Jun-11 18:08:35

Do you think I should always carry treats or just have them placed everywhere?

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