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Hello everyone,

Background info:

I recently adopted a lab mix puppy from a rescue foster (2 weeks ago). We live in a home with 3 adults and my toddler niece. I've raised dogs in the past, and share-care two rescue dogs with my boyfriend at his home, and the new puppy is the only dog in my house. I'm currently a caretaker for my father, so I am almost always home. We have a gated grassy yard large enough for puppy fun and exercises. He stays in my room when he is not playing out in the yard. I have him potty trained, crate trained, and some obedience training. He is a WONDERFUL puppy in training and very quick to learn. He plenty of energy when he's in play mode.



My problem:

He also loves tearing up carpet, rugs, beds, and chewing on metal parts sticking out of his crate. Aside from the rugs, the rest aren't items I can actually remove completely. I spend all day and night trying to distract him with chew toys, but he always goes back. I've tried bitter spray also, but he'd slowly let it dry and lick some off, but go right back to it. He knows the "no" command very well now, but ignores it when he is on his chewing spree. Do puppy teeth itch/hurt when they are this young?

The main reason I'm desperately seeking help is explained below...

I can't get him to stop biting people. I am covered in bite and scratch marks. A few new ones appear every day. I never let him near the toddler anymore because he bites ears and fingers. It is almost as if he never learned bite inhibition with his 9 littermates. The moment I get down on the floor to play with him, he will bite me all over. My thighs, my arms, my hands, my ankles, my feet. He doesn't only bite me, everyone that gets on the ground to play with him gets 100 love bites.

I've tried what many articles suggested- to yelp and turn away/ignore him, and return periodically to try again. I've tried letting out different yelps and squeals. I've been trying that for two weeks, and I feel like when I do, he's biting me more, harder, and on more places of my exposed body.

I've tried distracting him with obedience training, but as soon as training is over, he goes right back to biting me.

When he starts ignoring the toys too and comes after me on another biting frenzy, the only thing I've been able to do is to crate him to calm him down. He goes right to sleep in there. But I definitely don't want to make that a habit because I want to actually spend time with my new puppy and play with him, even if just hanging out and petting him. I've cared for many dogs before, and the yelp/ignore has led to guilt and licks within a few days. I've never had it happen where it does NOT work at all and I'm walking out of the house like i got into a fight with 10 cats.

He does play with various chew toys throughout the day for about 10-20 minutes at a time. When he's in the yard, he just eats fallen flowers and sunbathe. I can only engage him to play indoors, but he's in his own world when he's outside. I'm afraid that bit of play indoors is his only real exercise right now, so I can't tire him out enough to no get bitey. I know he shouldn't go on walks for another few months be fully vaccinated and avoid injury. I don't know what else I can do to help him exercise. He bites less when he's tired.

I feel like not being able to play directly is affecting our bond also. He seems to play a lot more with people who allow him to bite. I need help!!

My questions:

Anyone have something similar happen? Does this behavior go away with teething? If I already tried yelp/ignore, obedience training distraction, and give him other toys to bite when he's biting, but it's not helping after 2 weeks, what might be going on? What else can I do about it?

My heart is breaking because I want to spend time with him without getting bit over and over.
 

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You have adopted a Lab, a very, very mouthy breed. For a 10 week old, that is completely normal. You can expect him to be mouthy for quite a few more months. There is no quick fix for mouthy pups! Even if he was with his littermate up until 8 weeks old, puppies play by nipping and roughhousing, and they don't know that they can't play like that with humans.

Often, yelping and squealing can get the puppy more excited. They know we're not dogs, so the yelps that their littermates let out to communicate their hurt are not the same as a person yelping. They often seem to think the high-pitched noise a human makes is an invitation for rougher play! It really does depend on the dog, so its important not to compare him to other puppies. He is an individual.

First, if puppy starts biting you, redirect to a toy. If he keeps biting, get up and walk away at once. Close a door, step over a baby gate, withdraw attention for a few minutes before trying again. This takes a ton of time. Expect him to be mouthy until 4-6 months of age, perhaps longer. It will get better, the bites will get lighter. It just takes a super long time for those dumb little puppies to get it, especially for this particular breed.

It's also normal for puppies to chew on rugs and carpet and everything they are not supposed to. They literally have no idea what is a toy and what is not, and it takes a long time for them to learn it. When you can't supervise 100%, crate, obviously (and what do you mean there are metal parts sticking out of it?), and when you can supervise, redirect, redirect, redirect and praise for using the correct toy. If he is just consistently going for inappropriate items, it's probably time for a time out and a nap in his crate. Let him sleep for a bit, and try again later.

At this point in his life, it is totally fine for him to be in the crate the vast majority of the day. He can't get into inappropriate items and create bad habits in his crate, and puppies sleep 90% of the day, anyway. Sometimes a puppy might not act out if they are just a little tired, but when they pass tired and get into OVERTIRED then they just lose their little brains, just like a human toddler. Crate time and a nap is often the best option. Anyways, 10-20 minutes of playing with toys is plenty for a puppy that young. If you can play and do stuff with him for that long, then crate him to nap, that is a perfectly fine solution that will instill a routine and boundaries in the dog, and help keep you sane!

Another option is an x-pen. I would put it on a hard floor, and put the pup in with some toys and things. That way, the pup doesn't have to be crated, but he can't get into anything inappropriate. People will often use those when they're cooking, watching tv, or doing something that they can't 100% watch the pup but they're in the same room. The pup can be part of your daily life, but he is also safe and can't destroy your house. The x-pen can be moved around as needed. Some people also but down pee pads, but if your pup likes to chew on things like that, you will just have to commit to frequent potty breaks while he's in there!

You're doing fine, really. It just takes time and patience!
 

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lol PUPPIES :doh: are mouthy i have a beagle mix milo definitely has retriever in him i got him at 12weeks he is 17 months now and mouth free redirect the mouth to something else and say no mouth whenever he puts his mouth on your hand you may what to say his name first like (milo no mouth ) or they might think ther name is no mouth :wink: you have to enforce that it is not acceptable and sorry to say it gets worse when they lose their baby teeth and start teething good luck you will soon be a puppy survivor
 

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Thank you both for the feedback so far. He seems to be getting better bit by bit, and my battle wounds are accumulating at a slower rate. I will try the suggested, and I am now somewhat mentally prepared for things to get worse. I just said farewell to my rugs today.
 

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You're pretty much describing the golden retriever puppy I got 12 years ago. Totally normal unfortunately and a reason why I don't think I ever want a retriever puppy again, lol.

Lots of crate time, redirection, ignoring when he nips (the yelp thing never worked for me. Just get up and walk away), and patience.
 

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I 100% agree with Lillith. My puppy was very mouthy until about 6-7 months of age when he had stopped teething. You just have to redirect, ignore and crate if the puppy is overly tired or overly stimulated.

It will pass. Try to keep in mind that your puppy wants to play with you and doesn't know the appropriate way to play. I know that mouthing can get frustrating (believe me, my puppy was 80 lbs at 5 months of age and was still biting me with needle teeth), but don't let your frustration get in the way of your relationship with your puppy. He's just a baby and he'll get it eventually. My dog now has the softest mouth of any dog I've ever met, and he was by far the mouthiest puppy I've ever met.

I always recommend this article to new puppy owners because I believe it provides some very relatable insights into what to expect (and not expect) when raising a puppy: https://denisefenzipetdogs.com/2015/08/30/its-a-puppy-not-a-problem/
 
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