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Hi all,

I am the guy who posted a week ago about my lab biting the heck out of me. It is night and day now, he still "bites" but it is more a nibble (no more blood yaay!!) and I still do the yelp and walk away, and the "bites" are getting softer.

Now I have another problem, he is starting to (for lack of a better word) hump my legs, it is not very overt (yet). First, is this normal for a puppy this age to be even doing this? and is there a way to stop this. My vet said he can only be neutered at 6 months, so is there something I can do to stop him from doing that?

Your help is much appreciated.
 

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It's normal.
1. Stop the humping by Nothing in Life Is Free (NILIF), and by teaching a solid SIT!
2. The current hump isn't really sexual, it is puppy learning and play... leading to sex play ... when he's about 6 mos. So, now is a good time to stop it.
3. The dog will have a certain look in his eye before he humps, when you learn to recognize it, anticipate the humping and say Sit! Then, reward. Keep this up and he should stop trying in about two weeks. He will try again at 6 mos, but you'll already have the method down.

Nipping - Keep working on the nipping. You want teeth never to touch skin, especially with a Lab, who could do significant damage very quickly... however, Labs usually learn to have a soft mouth. A biting Lab is usually the exception, but you want to make sure that yours is Not that exception.

IN about a month, your Lab will start losing his baby teeth, his mouth will get sore, and he may be a bit more disobedient. Now is the time to continue the bite inhibition training that you've been doing, and repeat it again when he's 6 mos. I sometimes have to give a minor tune-up to my 11 yo Lab mix.

I suggest neutering at 6 mos. I think that's a good age for most Labs. However, as far as I know, it is possible to neuter pups at 8 weeks, just not recommended.
 

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Hi Hanksimon,

Thank you very much for your help. Today he is tried to hump again, but I am keeping up with the sit and reward. You say I have to do this for two weeks huh?!! I don't know if my leg can stand that long :) I do have the biting under control (I think). Believe me it was really bad a week or so ago. Who knew raising a pup is this much work, but when I look at his mug, I know it is worth it :)

One question about the neutering, is it strictly 6 months, or is there some sort of sign I should look for, I am guessing as any mammal we all mature at different age.
 

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Neutering isn't a magic bullet to stop humping behavior, there are plenty of neutered dogs I have known who have been god awful humpers because they were never trained that it was unacceptable. Giving him a firm "NO" and getting up and walking away, the same as you do for the biting, should help.
 

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Hi all,

I am the guy who posted a week ago about my lab biting the heck out of me. It is night and day now, he still "bites" but it is more a nibble (no more blood yaay!!) and I still do the yelp and walk away, and the "bites" are getting softer.

Now I have another problem, he is starting to (for lack of a better word) hump my legs, it is not very overt (yet). First, is this normal for a puppy this age to be even doing this? and is there a way to stop this. My vet said he can only be neutered at 6 months, so is there something I can do to stop him from doing that?

Your help is much appreciated.
You have to stop the humping immediately. You alrady have a couple of suggestions. Consider that this behavior is INTOLERABLE.

With the mouthing you have to be more careful. This is actually part of the learning process with retrievers. Lab puppies will constantly mouth their littermates and any handy adult Lab. This is the way that they learn the breed characteristic known as a "soft mouth". Labs ( and other retrievers) are bred to put things in their mouth and carry them. An adult Lab with a soft mouth can carry an egg without breaking it.

This is a challenge. How can you teach your Lab to be 'soft', and still teach him that putting his mouth on people is unacceptable.

There are a few ways to do it, but the following approach is as good as any and pretty simple.

Continue saying "OW!!" and walkng away whenver your pup mouths you. But add the folowing exercise every time (and do it at other times as well)

Hold a small piece of food in your fist. It’s important that your puppy is able to smell the food but not reach it. Offer it and let your puppy smell it. If he bites your fist or uses his teeth in any way, pull back and say “OW!” or just make a yelping noise. But if he only sniffs and licks your hand, praise him warmly, flip open your fist, and let him have the treat.

Once your puppy begins to learn what you want from him during this exercise, his soft-mouth tendencies should improve dramatically. After about a week or two of successfully completing this step, try offering the treat between your fingers instead of in your fist and repeat the same actions.

The important part of the second step is that they don’t succeed in getting the treat if they bite. This can be a bit more difficult when the treat is in between your fingers, especially with a puppy, because if the puppy bites quickly he'll end up with the food anyway despite your "OW!". Therefore, only move to this step when you’re confident in your puppy's abilities with your closed fist. If it seems to be not going so well, move back to the treat in the fist for a while. Depending on the age and temperament of your pup, it may take more or less time to get to the second step, so have patience.

As Hanksimon said, your pup is going to be teething soon, so keep that in mind while you are doing this training. It will become much easier when teething is over, but there is no reason not to start it now. Also, being a Lab, he will probably need refresher training from time-to-time even as an adult.

I consider this approach to be more reliable for retrievers than what is called "bite inhibition training" because you are making it clear that under NO circumstances is your dog allowed to put his mouth on a human, no matter how soft he is going to be about it, and yet you are still always rewarding a soft mouth.
 

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Six months is not mandatory. In fact, if you have a reason, two years is OK with a Lab. I got my Lab fixed at 6 mos... and the only change was that he couldn't sire pups ! :) ... Although he was still interested. He doesn't hump people, but will hump other dogs - but it is a play thing, not a sex thing.
Six months is recommended, because that is the beginning of sexual activity, so it's a good time to nip it in the bud :)

Something positive about the two weeks to 'stop' humping is that you'll learn to observe your pup and understand some of his expressions and gestures, to be able to anticipate other behaviors.

Lab pups are some of the most difficult to raise b/c they are intelligent, will eat anything, and never get tired. Happily, nature pressing some button, and they begin to mellow ~ 3 yo. My dog - the avatar picture - still runs with me off leash, still plays around, wrestling after work (mine, not his :) ), and still 'has never met a stranger.' To me, he still looks like he did when he was 3 yo. He just turned 11 yo. The only changes I see is that he walks a little more slowly in the morning, he doesn't see as sharply, and he sleeps more. But he doesn't hump me, and he doesn't bite me :)

Keep doing what has been working for Bite Inhibition.
 
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