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Discussion Starter #1
Posted once before about this – dog biting me!
He’s a 3-month old lab. I’m not worried about the mouthing/chewing/biting in general – but I DO want to curb it on me.
Did everything in Bite Stops Here, very little success. Here’s why:
He bites to tell me something. Food, water, bathroom, something. He rarely does it for “fun.” That means turning your back will get your heels nipped. Leaving the room will get the rug wet. Yelping like a wounded animal will get you bit again AND the rug wet.
How can I teach him that a BARK (or ANYTHING ELSE) would be so much better? It’s a problem at all times, but a bigger problem in the car, for instance…it’s hard to drive with those puppy fangs buried in your bicep because SOMEBODY needs a rest-area.
When he is PLAY biting – then all the other techniques work. I can shove another toy in his mouth, or yelp, or move away, many things work –this is how I know he is “playing” and not just thirsty.
Ideas? Thanks…
 

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Are you holding off on giving him whatever he wants until he is has stopped biting? Say he wants some food, he bites you, you ignore him, when he stops you tell him to sit, then reward the sit by giving him what he wanted in the first place. Therefore bite = nothing, sit = reward.

Also wrt the pee thing; he's still young, so rather than wait for the dog to ask you to go out, I would set a schedule that is often enough that he isn't having accidents in the house. At 3 months, it was about every 45 minutes for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the idea. He's doing great with the housebreaking - I am grateful he's actually aware enough to let me know. He's out hourly, sometimes more - he's had very, very few accidents inside. But nevertheless - sometimes the "bite" is more relentless - like a badger. If I waited for him to stop, I'd need stitches. I usually end up (after a few seconds) just picking him up (he stops briefly at this, then goes for the face) and carrying him to the bowl/water/door/bed, and then he'll stop. I have "thicker skin" so to speak, but Mommy's been bleeding more than once - can't have that!
 

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It's not waiting for him to stop as much as going through "normal" no bite procedures; stand up, turn away, or step over the dog gate, turn away - extract yourself from the biting. Wait 15 seconds, then turn back to the dog, ask for what you CAN reward, and reward THAT behavior. Right now by taking him mid-bite to whatever he wants, it's rewarding the bite.

Ugh I hated that lunging for the face stuff. Fortunately now it has pretty much completely extinguished itself aside from EXTREME SUPER EXCITEMENT situations.
 

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It’s a problem at all times, but a bigger problem in the car, for instance…it’s hard to drive with those puppy fangs buried in your bicep because SOMEBODY needs a rest-area.
For everyone's safety (his, yours, everyone on the road), all dogs should be safely restrained in a car. If you have the space, a crate is a good option. There are also several choices of dog car harnesses that are designed to attach to the seat belt or to the LATCH system (the child safety seat attachments). I like the Bergan car harness.

In an accident or a panic stop, an unrestrained dog is a dangerous projectile and of course, as you are learning, a biting puppy is a major distraction.
 

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Yelping, really? Does it say to do that here? Seems kind of silly considering squeaky toys do the same thing to encourage appropriate chewing/biting. My dogs learn "no teeth". When they are learning, if they push the point, snapping my teeth after I say "no teeth" seems to make the point.
 

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Yelping is how dogs communicate pain to each other. Have you ever stepped on your dogs foot? That high pitched yelp is what you are trying to emulate. It doesn't always work but I suspect many humans aren't very good at recreating that noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, all, again - don't get me wrong, it's all going quite well in general. He's an amazing pup, I was super-lucky at the shelter. I feared the car-comment would lead to bigger comments, but worry not - he rides in a crate, typically. But I was (secretly) referring to boating. Or in a golf cart. Or a four-wheeler. Or my 2-seater convertible with no room for a crate and barely a dog. I'm getting him used to just about anything I can find, and so far, so good! The bite-problem remains. I like the Hambonez idea - I will work on that immediately. Leave the bite. Reward the Sit/Lie/Shake. Provide the real desire (water, etc.). And before I get bashed for hiding the water, I don't - but he's too small to jump off the couch or willingly go down steps.

Off topic slightly, i have wondered about the yelping myself - I don't know if the dog gets the distinction between me yelping and the toy squeaking - it certainly doesn't deter destruction of the toy, right? But it IS a common piece of advice, here and elsewhere...
 

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Loud noises just got Hamilton more excited, so yelping for a bite did nothing. Doing a distractor noise ("eh! eh!") helps for feet and ankle biting. A deep gruff barky noise helped for general biting. Time helped all biting. He mostly just does it now when he's too worked up, or overtired.
 

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The Yelp is a loud surprising marker the the pup learns to associate with things he is doing, making people go away. You can also say Ouch! or Oops, depending on the dog. Yelp usually works very well with Labs.

Read the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here... and try it for about 3 days, before giving up. Also, the dog may playbow or bark, if you yelp... That is an apology! The pup is telling you that it was playing. Praise, get nipped again, and yelp.... then turn your back... then leave the room.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Already had some success with: Dog chomps me; I distract him with tasty treat; I ask dog to SIT/SHAKE; reward dog.
For BITE STOPS HERE: (3-days? I've been YELPing, OUCHing, and leaving the room for 6 weeks!)
a)For leaving room: The return greeting is a bite.
b)No amount of yelping, yelling OUCH or similar, barking, whatever - registers at all during these bites, and never has. I actually was wondering if he’s hearing impaired (he's not, ask the crinkly bags of treats).

There are some impossible situations that we MUST learn to manage. If I have shoes on, and jeans, and socks, it's just a good training opportunity. If I do note, then it's pain. Or, we are away from the yard and I am out of treats - he just chomps on the pant leg and I drag him home. If I pick him up, he will bury a fang in my hand. He will not be distracted by inanimate toys - only CERTAIN yummy treats work at all.

Actually, something that seems to work MOST TIMES is a rolled up paper – not to swat him, but for him to shred. He loves it!

An amusing suggestion I have seen here many times is Turn My Back and ignore him. This serves only to keep his tasty human snack in a stationary position. He can bite longer than I can stand still.

Now, this is not every day, all day - he is doing good overall - but I would prefer this nearly never happen - so we want to curtail it NOW before he's big enough to do some real damage. Being honest with myself though, there's not a playtime that he doesn't bite my hand TOO HARD at least once.

(Doing good, as in: Nearly never has indoor accidents; eats, sleeps, and eliminates on a great schedule; sleeps through the night; loves his box, and goes in it when he’s sleepy; does tons of great tricks already in various environments; walks well on leash; is afraid of nothing (thunder, etc.); and is just so doggone cute.)

One more thing - we start puppy classes next week, maybe we'll all learn something!
 

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Our trainer recommended if you can't get yourself inaccessible to the pup by stepping over a gate, then when you're playing, keep the pup tethered to something stationary so you can easily take a few step and get out of his reach. I'd be careful "distracting" with a treat after a bite. It sounds like you might be rewarding the bite with food. When Hamilton was in uber-vampire-piranha mode, we ALWAYS had a toy in our hand so that when that mouth opened, a toy went inside. Toys are for biting! Flesh is not! We also still praise like crazy when he licks hands. Licking is good. Biting is bad. (I'd actually prefer neither, but I'll take the less painful option any day!)
 

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A 3-month old nipping lab is not unusual. They're not doing it to be mean, and it can be hard for them to stop. It takes lots of patience and consistency to get through this stage. Leann was actually a nose/chin nipper as a young pup. You wouldn't know she was like that today, but it was a little tough at times. She did it playfully. It is harder to avoid because that's usually when your relaxed, or holding them that they do it.

For me, a lot of what Hambonez said in the last post worked, plus having toys of different shapes and textures and teaching them to be calm.

You mentioned that he responds well to you during play, but tends to nip when he wants something. Because he is young, he can't necessarily tell you what he wants with trained cues. You're going to have to kind of beat him to the "punch", so to speak.

If you want him to stop telling you what he wants via biting, you will have to get a general sense of what he wants before he knows he wants it. They are incredible creatures of habit, so I find that journaling their daily activities, when they eat, when they need to potty, when they're thirsty, etc is helpful in making it easier to pick up on other signals they are giving. Use the journal to understand when he typically needs something and watch for his other cues around that time. If you know he's thirsty around 11am, offer him water at 10:55. (you get the picture). By doing this, you reduce the possibility of him perpetuating the nipping for what he wants.

You will also want to go back to Hambnez's advice and teach him he must learn to be calm before he gets water, or a treat..... (obviously not so with going potty yet, but I hope you see what I mean. With you offering what he wants before he nips, you have a better chance of teaching him an alternate and calm behavior, like sit. Sit is an easy, calm command you can use to your advantage to teach him how to be calm and wait for what he wants. (just be sure to keep it short and sweet, they have very short attention spans at this age). It's never to early to start that lesson.

Offering him what he wants before he gets nippy, rewarding when calm and honing into his cues, should help. It could take another month or two before you see real improvement in his nipping habits, but you will get there.
 

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Already had some success with: Dog chomps me; I distract him with tasty treat; I ask dog to SIT/SHAKE; reward dog.
For BITE STOPS HERE: (3-days? I've been YELPing, OUCHing, and leaving the room for 6 weeks!)
a)For leaving room: The return greeting is a bite.
b)No amount of yelping, yelling OUCH or similar, barking, whatever - registers at all during these bites, and never has. I actually was wondering if he’s hearing impaired (he's not, ask the crinkly bags of treats).

There are some impossible situations that we MUST learn to manage. If I have shoes on, and jeans, and socks, it's just a good training opportunity. If I do note, then it's pain. Or, we are away from the yard and I am out of treats - he just chomps on the pant leg and I drag him home. If I pick him up, he will bury a fang in my hand. He will not be distracted by inanimate toys - only CERTAIN yummy treats work at all.

Actually, something that seems to work MOST TIMES is a rolled up paper – not to swat him, but for him to shred. He loves it!

An amusing suggestion I have seen here many times is Turn My Back and ignore him. This serves only to keep his tasty human snack in a stationary position. He can bite longer than I can stand still.

Now, this is not every day, all day - he is doing good overall - but I would prefer this nearly never happen - so we want to curtail it NOW before he's big enough to do some real damage. Being honest with myself though, there's not a playtime that he doesn't bite my hand TOO HARD at least once.

(Doing good, as in: Nearly never has indoor accidents; eats, sleeps, and eliminates on a great schedule; sleeps through the night; loves his box, and goes in it when he’s sleepy; does tons of great tricks already in various environments; walks well on leash; is afraid of nothing (thunder, etc.); and is just so doggone cute.)

One more thing - we start puppy classes next week, maybe we'll all learn something!
You will learn a lot in puppy class, but a few things jump out at me here.
1) When you're out of the yard or out of treats, keep him on leash and keep a long enough distance to prevent him from chomping on your pants or shoes.
2) A loud gasp used to work for Leann. Actually, most noises work for her, but a gasp will stop her in her tracks. My point being, try different things. You might stumble on a noise that actually works. My son makes a cricket sound and it distracts the puppies long enough to move them onto something else, or help them calm down. My guess is the yelp isn't registering as a painful yelp, but more like a playful yelp and just got him more excited.

I would talk to the trainer in advance to let her know what your pain points are (no pun intended). Most trainers are willing to tailor their advice to help you out. They want you to succeed. A good trainer will also have a number of tricks up their sleeve.
 

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may be he's teething...give him plenty of things to chew on...that's what we did. Whenever he bit us, we gave him an alternate thing(a chew toy) to bite..puppies are like kids. Sometimes distraction is the way to keep them from doing something wrong..
 

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What 3doglady said - experiment with different noises to mark the bite, then leave him in an area where he can't do damage (Lab not do damage :) )

If he were another dog, I would suggest that you DO swat him with a 2x4, but that just encourages a Lab to play more :) I don't expect a typical trainer to help, they'll assume play Bite Inhibition methods, also. If they suggest that, then you know to ask for their Master Trainer, who may see something that will help.
 
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