Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings! I have an 18 week old yellow lab male who is a bundle of energy! We are slowly getting the house training under control and it looks like the training we are doing is slowly seeping in. But where we are having issues is with my 9 year old son and the puppy. My son is very sweet, non-aggressive and has dyslexia and ADHD. He doesn't even have an "angry voice." He and the dog get along fairly well, but he is very intimidated by the dog and the puppy has taken a couple of painful nips out of him... Which makes him more afraid.

What can we do? My son just can't control the dog the way I do (240 lb. Alpha Male). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
Labs are notorious for nipping as puppies, it's a phase they grow out of. Your puppy is just trying to play with your son, and the only way he knows how is with his teeth. I would explain to your son that he's just a baby and isn't trying to hurt him. Also tell him to make a loud OUCH sound when the puppy bites. Sometimes you just have to explain dog behavior to kids so they understand :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
An 18-week-old lab is likely biting due to excitement or play, not aggression. Therefore, you don't need your son to try to "control the dog the way you do." Puppies bite and it's a pain in the butt (literally lol)!! There are a lot of different approaches to dealing with puppies biting, chewing, etc. Here is a sticky on it: http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html

A tired dog is a good dog. Does your lab get enough exercise? Lab puppies (all puppies) are a handful and need mental and physical stimulation. The more exercise he gets, the less likely he will be to be bouncing around and bowling over and nipping an intimated young boy.

On another note.... you'll find most people on this forum don't go for the alpha male/pack leader/control the dog mentality. It's not about controlling the dog or who is "alpha." It is about understanding your dog and what it needs/wants, and why he acts the way he does, so you can live happy lives together. :)

Great job on the house training!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
I have a nine year old son and a puppy who just got past the worst of the nippy stage. It was tough, but for several weeks they couldn't even play together WITH supervision because the puppy would try to play and would nip my son and daughter. For a while, while we worked on bite inhibition as described in "The Bite Stops Here" sticky, we just had to keep them separated. The crate, baby gates, exercise pen, and leashes were our best friends.

The good news? Now our puppy and kids can happily play together. We still supervise their time together, but they are the best friends we'd hoped they'd be. It just took time and patience to get there. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Just to be clear, I'm not heavy handed with the puppy. He just acts differently around me. He doesn't do to me what he tries with my son... I just think he and I have a better understanding. I do all of the feeding, the majority of the training and exercise. All things that I think I need to get my son more involved with.

I guess this is where I have the challenge. I understand the dog fairly well. My son doesn't and I think the disconnect is damaging their relationship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
It's definitely a great idea to get your son involved with feeding, training, and exercise. I think it will help teach your son the responsibility of being a great pet owner, and let them share time together where the puppy isn't riled up and chewing all over him. It may allow your son to feel more comfortable and relaxed around him.

The puppy probably acts different with your son because he's a kid. Kids move faster/suddenly, often move awkwardly. If your son is fearful, he may whimper or squeal or cower away from the dog, which can cause the puppy to be more nippy and playful. Like packetsmom said, give it time and try to work on the bite inhibition guidelines in the sticky above (or search for "puppy biting" posts here on the forum - there are lots! :) ) while reassuring your son with his puppy interactions. You'll get there! Labs are awesome dogs, but getting through their puppy stage (which can last 2-3 years) can be ROUGH!! Stick it out, it'll be worthwhile!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
Yeah just gonna -pop- slip this in here. Your husband isn't an 'alpha male' because dogs don't work on a system of dominance. Alpha theory, pack theory isn't real.

But likely your puppy is just playing too rough. Read the thread 'the bite stops here' in the 'first time dog owner' second. When he bites, hand him a toy (showing him what's appropriate to chew on) and if he continues, walk away for a moment. This will show him that when he gets too rough the fun stops and will give a moment to calm down. Never use your hands to remove him from you because that will make him think you are engaging in his game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
I was very concerned about fast moving boy and dog when we got Sassy. I insisted that boy carried a good sized dog toy with him if he wanted to run around. Worked well, Sassy was attracted to toy and not boy hands or feet. Granted she was a very sweet 11 month old dog who loved kids and was well past any puppy nipping but running kids are pretty exciting big toys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I was very concerned about fast moving boy and dog when we got Sassy. I insisted that boy carried a good sized dog toy with him if he wanted to run around. Worked well, Sassy was attracted to toy and not boy hands or feet. Granted she was a very sweet 11 month old dog who loved kids and was well past any puppy nipping but running kids are pretty exciting big toys.
That's a good idea! Even Kabota, who is really mellow and loves people and children in particular, can get really amped up about a running child. It's totally normal and why you always, always, always supervise dogs and kids. In my house, it's second nature that you call the kid or the dog with you when you go to another room, including the bathroom. You get used to it.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top