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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Just got a choco lab pup 2 weeks ago (he is about 10 weeks now and 21 pounds). He is the sweetest thing on earth.......99% of the time. But when he is rilled up, like playing in the yard, he jumps and bites (pretty viciously) drawing blood. Now he is even biting as soon as I come home. I am not sure if this is normal, I tried to draw him away with toys but it dosen't seem to work. He goes stright for my hands and feet. When he lays on his side and I pet him, he is snapping at me too. He is my first ever pup. Do you have any advice?

Thank you
 

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He is not sweet, he is a Lab and he's waiting for you to turn your back, so that he can turn into a little furry piranha and see how you taste.

You will have to socialize him with lots of people, and after shots with lots of dogs. But for now, you need to teach him Bite inhibition, see the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here.

Get him a Kong and a hard rubber bone to chew. Labs need to chew. They also like to swim, and play with their water, and drink from the faucet.
And start training him.... 4 weeks ago :) He can learn anything you can teach him... Mine knows how to count and how to read !

See: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

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

Immediately after you yelp (in this case), you should notice that the second nip is a bit gentler... not enough, but a bit.

Dogs 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 significant Bite Inhibition. SHe may still nip, but it will be softer and she 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. For example, I used the Yelp method to shape an energetic Tug with very well-defined rules, yelping when my dog broke the rules.
 

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Hi Hanksimon,

Thank you for your reply. I tried the yelp method (or should I say still trying) in fact it is more like a very painful scream at this point. It is not working at all, I honesly think he kind of enjoys it and shakes his head more during the bite when I say aaaahh. My arm is all chewed up with rather deep gashes, I am kind of at the end of my rope here. May be I should get some professional help, like a dog trainer or something.
 

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You tried the yelp, but have you stepped things up to steps 3, 4 and 5? These were the biggies for us. The refusal of contact. For example you say you get nips (bites) when you come home. Be ready for it, and be completely prepared to walk in, say hi, get nipped, yelp, probably get nipped again, then just turn around and go back out....maybe even get back in your car (so long as your puppy is in a safe place to be unattended! if necessary tether to a doorknob or something where there is nothing dangerous). If its in your yard, and your dog is on leash, attach the leash to something (and again, be sure she is safe where she gets tied) and walk away a few steps out of leash range, keep your back turned and after a couple of seconds/minutes return and play again. Nip again, repeat.
Not to say you didn't read hansimon's whole post, but I'll admit, I read The Bite Stops Here, and only got the point of "yelping" from it the first read. It didn't work, she thought I was playing....then I reread, and got more advice. The removing attention made a BIG difference. Giving an appropriate chew toy (even while refusing attention) helped too.
Good luck. It doesn't sound like you need a professional here, just (unfortunately) patience and literally a thicker skin (yeah, mine drew blood sometimes too!).
 

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I agree with Greater Swiss, the walking away and stopping all play really helped with my puppy and she was basically the devil. The yelping didn't seem to help matters but when all play stopped and she was ignored, it's like she began to twig that perhaps gnawing my arm was not the way to go.
 

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When you Yelp (or say Ouch! or Oops) you are communicating that something is wrong. The puppy should startle to see what is wrong. If the puppy doesn't startle a little, the message isn't coming across, so your 2x4 has to be larger :) .... So next time you Yelp and turn your back. That should get his attention. If he bites again, Yelp and leave. However, if he comes around and barks, that's an apology... and he's starting to understand.

With a Lab, the Yelp may need to be a little sharper. I usually recommend making the same sound as when you step on his paw. But, my Lab doesn't care if I step on his paw :) On the other hand, someone else did trip and step on their pup, and when the pup shrieked that person realized that she needed to shriek louder ... and it worked. But I don't recommend actually stepping on the pup! Also, if you get mad at the Lab and throw him against the wall, that is a bad move.... I tried that with mine... and he just thought I was playing ... so he came back and bit me again:)

Also, your pup won't stop nipping on the first day or two, but he should bite more softly, maybe stop drawing blood. You might ask a friend to read The Bite Stops here, as well as my steps and then to watch you and give feedback ...
 

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I do things differently in that I don't go through stages mentioned above. I'm pretty clear in that you bite me and I WILL NOT PLAY with you at all. Period and all the fun toys get taken away also. So if I get bitten the dog gets ignored for a minute. If I have to leave the room or put the dog in a crate or ex-pen for time out I would... by throwing a treat or toy inside the ex-pen or crate and letting the dog go in after the treat. Never by picking the little shark up. And I would absolutely increase that time out time with a persistent biter. If a minute doesn't work I'd add time. Once the pup understands that a bite means no play then I step it up to teeth on my skin = no play,. I mean even teeth accidentally contacting my skin= no play.

I also don't yelp loudly or shriek loudly when the pup bites. I might say ouch. But I know folks that do shriek and think that louder the better. SO whatever works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi All,

Thank you so much for your feedback and support. To answer some of your questions, yes I am doing the "walk away" (for little over 2 weeks), it just hasn't worked. I think it is getting worst. Yesterday was the worst. I come home and I play a bit of fetch with the little guy, for about 10 minutes in the yard. He was actaully perfect, no biting, jumping on me or anything. I praise him, give him treats and went inside. I relax a bit (10-15min) and when I came out, right away he just went after me, jumping and biting (pretty bad) into my hands. I yelp (trust me I didn't have to fake it) and walk away and he is just went after my ankle (again pretty bad). Then about 10-15 min later he comes inside and he is a total sweetheart, licks my feet, lays on it and goes to sleep. I am just puzzled and frustrated.

So my question now is, does anyone know any good proffessional trainer in north of Philadelphia PA area? I would much appreciate it :)
 

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Hi All,

Thank you so much for your feedback and support. To answer some of your questions, yes I am doing the "walk away" (for little over 2 weeks), it just hasn't worked. I think it is getting worst. Yesterday was the worst. I come home and I play a bit of fetch with the little guy, for about 10 minutes in the yard. He was actaully perfect, no biting, jumping on me or anything. I praise him, give him treats and went inside. I relax a bit (10-15min) and when I came out, right away he just went after me, jumping and biting (pretty bad) into my hands. I yelp (trust me I didn't have to fake it) and walk away and he is just went after my ankle (again pretty bad). Then about 10-15 min later he comes inside and he is a total sweetheart, licks my feet, lays on it and goes to sleep. I am just puzzled and frustrated.

So my question now is, does anyone know any good proffessional trainer in north of Philadelphia PA area? I would much appreciate it :)
You might want to get in touch with Finkie_Mom (profile or web site). She's DF member and trainer in the northern suburbs. I haven't worked with her, but from her posts here and several email conversations I've had with her, I wouldn't hesitate to use her.
 

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Hi All,

Thank you so much for your feedback and support. To answer some of your questions, yes I am doing the "walk away" (for little over 2 weeks), it just hasn't worked. I think it is getting worst. Yesterday was the worst. I come home and I play a bit of fetch with the little guy, for about 10 minutes in the yard. He was actaully perfect, no biting, jumping on me or anything. I praise him, give him treats and went inside. I relax a bit (10-15min) and when I came out, right away he just went after me, jumping and biting (pretty bad) into my hands. I yelp (trust me I didn't have to fake it) and walk away and he is just went after my ankle (again pretty bad). Then about 10-15 min later he comes inside and he is a total sweetheart, licks my feet, lays on it and goes to sleep. I am just puzzled and frustrated.

So my question now is, does anyone know any good proffessional trainer in north of Philadelphia PA area? I would much appreciate it :)
I'm thinking of your last example. You got home, played with him for 10 minutes, he was great, you went inside, came back out 10-15 minutes later, and he was back to biting.

To me, that sounds like he was bored alone all day without you, then the 10 minutes you played with him didn't satisfy him, so he kind of went nuts when you came back out. PLUS, you left him (like the walk away part of "The Bite Stops Here") even though he was doing great. And, when you came back out, and he started biting, you left again. So from his perspective, you left when he behaved, and you left when he didn't, this could give him mixed signals.


The licking when he comes back in is like an apology, so he IS learning that you don't like it, at least.
 

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Ok I don't want to jinx it, but today is probably the best day in two weeks. I honestly think that yesterday he must have felt really bad after the bites. Today we played together, cuddled, I pet him he hasn't really bit me hard at all, just a little nip here and there and I did the fake (really fake this time :)) yelp and left him for few min and came back and played again. I really think it is getting through to him.

I honestly felt a lot better pouring my heart out here, knowing that there are people who are going through what I am going through. I can't thank you guys enough. I will keep you guys updated.
 

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Lab pups are all mouth; it's what they were bred for. I don't think my Lab stopped biting until she was over a year old, but then we didn't know what we were doing. With careful training you should be able to get him to keep his mouth to himself sooner than that. . .but don't expect too much too soon.
 
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