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Hi all,

We have a 7-month old labrador(male). He is great! Well, most of the times. We have 2 issues with him
1) He had the nipping and biting habit when he was younger. We taught him not to do so..my husband and me kept telling him and so he has stopped biting/nipping us completely. But he loves to nip and mouth my kids(10 and 6). He doesn't bite them or hurt them, just mouths gently...I guess its his way of playing with the kids..but it bothers my 10-year-old. How do we stop this habit?

2) He gets super-excited whenever a guest comes over. He jumps on them. How do we train him to stay calm when someone comes over?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Have your children do what you did to get him to stop mouthing. The moment he puts his mouth on one of them, tell your children to go "OUCH" really loud and high pitched and then stand straight up, fold their arms, and ignore the puppy. If your kids like to put their hands in his mouth, get them to stop. Also sometimes swinging the arms around looks like play, which would tempt the puppy to mouth. Tell your children to always have a toy for him to put his mouth on so he learns that he can only mouth toys. Teaching him the "off" command can also help with both the mouthing and jumping on guests. As for the guests, have him on leash when they come over. Ask your guess to not give the puppy any eye contact, don't talk to him, and don't touch him, just ignore the dog completely. Tell your puppy to sit and wait for him to calm down, when he is finally calm give him permission to "Go say Hello" and let him sniff the guests. But the moment he starts getting excited and rears up, tell him "OFF" take a step back, and try and wait for him to be sitting calmly. Praise him, calmly, when he greets without jumping. It also helps if you tell you guest to be calm as well and don't make sudden movements. I hope this helps!
 

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Labs are bred to be 'mouthy' and want to carry things in their mouths. Totally normal for them to grab arms.

What you can do is make sure at this point the kids are not doing anything to excite him too much. If they're waving arms and getting excited, he's likely going to want to mouth them more.

Make sure he has lots of toys he can grab, and have the kids (and everyone else for a while) ignore him when he doesn't have a toy. To start out, have the toys on hand around the house and give him one then praise and pet and talk to him. If he drops the toy STOP right away and walk away from him. Keep doing that and soon he'll go grab a toy so you can 'see' him.

For guests, it would help to plan it, take him for a long walk so he's tired out, and then have his crate near where the guest will be. Right before the guest arrives, give him a stuffed frozen kong in his crate, and leave him crated the whole time the guest is there. Make sure the guest ignores him too. Then start letting him out sooner and sooner. Depends on the guest too, if they are coming in the door doing the 'oooohhhh doggywooggy puppymanhooozeagoodboy' thing then it's fair game for your dog to maul them with slobber.
 

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See the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here for mouthing.... It takes a few days to kick in. Let us know after 3 days.

For jumping, teach the dog to sit, and ask him to sit before he gets a chance to jump:
1. Find a friend that will help, ask the friend to come in and to ignore the dog and turn his back, when the dog jumps.
2. When the dog sits, ask the friend to give the dog a tiny treat and pet the dog, continuing to reinforce Sit.
3. After 5 min., ask the friend to leave, wait 5 min. then return. Repeat Step 1 & 2.
4. Repeat the process 3 or 4 times, until the dog gets used to the friend, and no longer jumps.
5. Repeat the next day; and repeat with a different friend.
6. The idea is to continue this until the dog gets used to friends coming over...
 

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My pup loves to jump. What I have been doing is clipping the leash on before opening the door and then telling her to sit. The leash allows me to open the door and greet the guest and still maintain control of her. While the guest comes in and removes their shoes and coat I stand back a bit and be a tree. She settles quickly at which time the guest is invited to pet her. As long as they take a moment to greet her and pet her she can be let off leash and never jumps on them again. She just gets over excited to greet them. I do this every single morning and evening too as my daycare child arrives and leaves. The last 2 mornings she has not even tried to jump but laid down at my feet as soon as I opened the door. It is starting to work. It has been a month of daily practice with this, and not complete but I am pleased with the progress.

The mouthing, I would teach my kids to give a firm "no" not a squeaky, shaky off etc. I often ask my kids if they are a person or a toy when I hear the squeaks escaping from them. Even my 4 yr old can be firm enough to make older pup stop, newer pup has only been here a few days and just learning. They firmly say "no" and then offer an actual chew toy.
 

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You've been given some good advice. I wanted to add that I have to coach my 8yo son not to talk to the dogs or in general, to walk normally, and keep his backpack on his back until he gets out of our puppies' range.

This isn't all the time, but the times when the pups are more excitable. As a kid, he just isn't as in-touch with the dogs' moods and how to manage them.

For example, yesterday when we got home from car pool the dogs were jumping around, wrestling with each other, so I asked my son to go straight to the kitchen w/o talking (even to me and his dad). But today, the dogs got up slowly, were pretty calm, after car pool so my son was his normal self and the dogs didn't overwhelm him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all very much...some of the methods we have already tried. But some are new..will definitely try and then let you all know the progress..
Thanks again.
 
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