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I have read the bite stops here as I have read I should. I am having issues with my 5 1/2 month old puppy. I don't know if I would say he "bites". He never breaks the skin or even leave a mark. It pinches sometimes. Everyone I encounter says he is still young and that labs are just mouthier then other dogs. I have even been told more then once that they have labs that bit until they were at least 2 years old. I can't wait that long. I have told him "no biting" and stuck a toyin his mouth every time or whimpered (which only excites him more). It seems like by sticking a toy in his mouth he figures when he bites we will play. That is not the message I want to send. So is this something I should just ride out? I don't think I can do that.
 

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Our Chi mix just turned six months and is still a bit mouthy at times. She's slowly but surely learning that it isn't the thing to do. Sometimes she'll start to be mouthy, realize what she's doing and stop all by herself with me trying to distract or having to say "leave it".
 

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I've read that they're supposed to stop around 4-5 months, but yes I've read that labs are the mother of all mouthers. Have you tried the time out in the bathroom? Play with him in the bathroom, when he nips or mouths (I've got bruises from my pup's nipping) leave the bathroom, close the door, wait for a few minutes, then do it again. He'll eventually get the idea that when he mouths you, you leave him. Make sure the bathroom is uber boring, no toys, toilet lid down, nothing to chew on that sort of thing.
 

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[ You can skip to the end for the answer :) ]
Lab puppies are not "Mothers..," they're SOBs! They are the cutest puppies in the world, b/c if they weren't, then we'd realize that they are really furry piranhas that learned how to walk on land. Not only is their goal to make a Happy Meal out of your hand... but they're never satisfied, and after you feed them your right hand, they'll whine b/c you didn't offer the left..... Mine is a Lab-GSD :)

In addition, a 5 mos puppy is probably teething, getting in the last of his adult teeth, so his mouth is sore. Crunching and munching on you makes his mouth feel better. He needs a hard rubber bone as well as as well stuffed and frozen Kong (or two) to chew on.

A Lab will need something to chew for the rest of his life. My 11 yo Lab no long chews on the corner of the house, but he can still tear apart a hard rubber bone... but he's so relaxed after 30 min. of chewing... it's like smoking a pack of cigarettes for him ... hmmmm, I wonder???

Do not ever leave your puppy where he can get into mischief... that IS what Lab puppies do! If you put them into a boring room, and they haven't been exercised, they may re-arrange the house....

Are you sure you want a Lab puppy... maybe there's still time to exchange him for a nice calm alligator...
Now after all that tirade, I will adopt another puppy just like the monster that you see in my avatar. Once you understand the method and start communicating with him, he should stop the majority of nipping in less than a month. He will have 'accidents' and he will get excited and forget, giving you a little nip. Mine still does at 11 yo. But, you can yelp at him, or he will self-correct. Be aware of the apology! It is an important communication that you acknowledge it.

I know you've tried the Bite Stops Here. But it sounds like you have some success, b/c he did not draw blood, perhaps not sticking with it long enough. Mine drew blood with every playful nip, until he was about 4 mos. Then, re-started while he was teething, stopping just before I got him fixed at 6 mos. Read this and note the 3 days and the apology....

Rather than Yelp, you may also try Ouch! or Oops! I personally use a yelp, and still use it when mine needs a brief reminder.

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get him to stop biting when he wants to play):
1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound sharp, about like what the pup does when you step on its paw... don't step on his paw for a sample :). When you yelp (don't whine), the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. He'll bite.
2. When he bites the second time, Yelp. When he stops, praise and pet. He'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When he bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If he comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. This is important. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
4. When he bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing him in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving him. Then, return and interact. (He's still hungry...)
5. When he nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

(You can modify these steps somewhat, but try to understand the intent of the two-way communication, before you modify. And this is a communication. You're working with a surprisingly intelligent, thinking individual.)

Pups need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice signficant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method.

If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication. I currently use the yelp when my dog plays tug, then runs with the toy, when he fetches and keeps it out of reach or when he takes a treat too quickly....

On Monday, Let us know what happens.
 
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