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Old 10-19-2012, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Killeen, Texas
107 posts, read 159,129 times
Reputation: 144

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Hello all - My parents have a 8 week old male black lab/shepard mix who is in the biting stage. He is currently biting aggressivly, going after feet when they walk, biting the back of their legs through clothes. They've had puppies before and never had something this serious, any suggestions on how to stop the biting?

They've punished him everytime he's bitten, and it seems to not work, they've held his muzzle closed and said "No bite!" in a firm voice - they've pushed him away and ignored him. He also barks at them in a semi aggressive manner - they've pushed him down to the floor between the shoulders to show him that they were the dominant one.

They're not sure what else to do, and neither do I - has anyone else gone through this?
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:45 PM
 
16,195 posts, read 22,940,366 times
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What you do is YELP really loudly if he opens his mouth on you. That should do it. Dogs don't want to hurt us, and puppies learn not to bite their litter mates that way. Don't spank, or grab the muzzle. Just a shrill yelp, loud. If that doesn't work, try looking up other suggestions on Animal Planet....one of those animal shows may have a helpful tips section.
Also, make sure to have a couple of those nyla bones for him to cut his teeth on.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:13 PM
 
Location: AZ
741 posts, read 1,570,697 times
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At 8 weeks old I hardly think that a puppy is really capable of being punished and obeying a command...I suggest getting plenty of chew toys...
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:21 PM
ZSP
 
Location: Paradise
1,680 posts, read 4,740,896 times
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Eight week old puppies are not aggressive...all that nipping/biting and barking is play and what puppies do. Pushing a puppy to the floor and holding him there to "show him who's boss" is NOT a good thing to do either. It scares the pup and is an invitation to making a pup aggressive. Negative methods of training will not get the desired result...positive methods do.

I am not a behaviorist...I'm sure other posters will chime in but in the meantime, here's a link where you can read about positive reinforcement training.

Dogs: Positive Reinforcement Training : The Humane Society of the United States

and here's a link to Ian Dunbar's Bite Inhibition Training with tons of good info...and neither links use physical force you mentioned in your post.

Ian Dunbar On Bite Inhibition « The Official Natural Dog Training Website: News, Discussions, Advice, Training Tips and Techniques from Kevin Behan

I'm sorry, I'm just so put off by your post and knowing that people still use antiquated methods in trying to train puppies. It's so much easier to do it the right way and then your parents will have the puppy they want...one they love and who loves them back.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:24 AM
 
26,126 posts, read 29,312,358 times
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Puppies usually learn limitations from their mothers and playing with other dogs naturally. When I got a puppy as a playmate for my other dog, she really slashed her muzzel up, but she taught the puppy limitations eventually and the puppy also grew out of this stage.

I have a 3 year old dog and had another dog that when I played with it and would wave my hand around it's mouth it would go to nip at my hand and I would just say, "No biting" and they would continue playing without nipping.

Nipping at ankles and legs is a sign of herding too. One rule of thumb is that when you take a dog for a walk it should never walk in front of you or behind you, but right next to you. They should be walking the dog on a short, tight leash and teaching it to walk next to them to keep the dog from herding them.

The dog is teething as well, chew bones as suggested are extremely necessary and the puppy will grow out of this stage. Yelling at and punishing a dog for this in unfounded and kind of ridiculous. It's just a natural growing thing. If the puppy starts to nip at a person just say No and give them something they CAN chew on like a toy or bone.

Last edited by Thursday007; 10-20-2012 at 04:36 AM..
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:38 AM
 
1,180 posts, read 2,922,936 times
Reputation: 1787
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy'sWife View Post
Hello all - My parents have a 8 week old male black lab/shepard mix who is in the biting stage. He is currently biting aggressivly, going after feet when they walk, biting the back of their legs through clothes. They've had puppies before and never had something this serious, any suggestions on how to stop the biting?

They've punished him everytime he's bitten, and it seems to not work, they've held his muzzle closed and said "No bite!" in a firm voice - they've pushed him away and ignored him. He also barks at them in a semi aggressive manner - they've pushed him down to the floor between the shoulders to show him that they were the dominant one.

They're not sure what else to do, and neither do I - has anyone else gone through this?
You might get more answers in the dog forum but here goes.

He's a baby and punishment is not really appropriate at this age. He's also a lab and they are mouthy (think of the job they do). A book could be written but to keep this short I'm going to give you a few links that might help them. Please tell them to stop doing the Alpha roll. The Alpha dog never rolls another dog/puppy over. Doing so is just being a bully and could potentially harm their relationship with the pup. With an adult dog it could even be potentially dangerous. There are better ways including the use of marker training and nilif (nothing in life is free)

http://leerburg.com/ebooks/puppygroundwork.pdf

http://leerburg.com/pdf/socializepuppies.pdf

http://leerburg.com/pdf/Training%20P...0to%20Bite.pdf (This one is specific to puppy biting. Start at page 4)

Briefly the puppy is not being aggressive but is naturally treating your parents as pack/litter members. This is all it knows. The best thing at this young age is to redirect it to an appropriate chew toy (have one with you). The pup should be spending much of it's time in a crate or ex-pen right now for it's safety as well as your parents' sanity. Everything should be managed and scheduled. I think the above ebooks as well as other ebooks at the Leerburg site (Leerburg Dog Training | 16,000 pages of dog training information, 500 free dog training streaming videos, free eBooks, podcasts, by Ed Frawley and Michael Ellis) will be a great help to them.

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:55 AM
 
16,195 posts, read 22,940,366 times
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I disagree about having the pup in a crate "most" of its time. Take the lil guy outside, walk him, play w/ him let him sleep, napping or at night in the crate initially. If you have to be away, crate him while he is little and chewing on your furniture. Spend lots of quality time, the first few months they do chew alot, take my advice and that of others don't punish, redirect...Yelp when bitten....Let us know how things go. A lab is a retriever, they chew and want to play fetch, teach it tricks now, they are very food driven. Teaching them to watch you, to sit, to speak....so, so easy.. Teach you lil guy now, they love to please you and treat a bit. Mu bulldog loved impressing me, by the time she was 3 mths old she knew so many tricks and still loves to go through a routine, but it took time and teaching. Dogs are very smart start right away.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:06 AM
 
1,180 posts, read 2,922,936 times
Reputation: 1787
I probably should have been more detailed about crate/pen confining. I did not mean the pup should be confined for hours at a time (although they do sleep a great deal at this young age). I meant then pup should be confined except when carefully supervised during scheduled (EVERYTHING IS SCHEDULED) times for play, training, being tethered to the owner for bonding, etc. The pup should have no unsupervised freedom at this point.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Killeen, Texas
107 posts, read 159,129 times
Reputation: 144
Thanks everyone for your input - I sent all of the links and additional information to my parents. I will keep everyone posted on Wilson's progress :-)
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:00 PM
 
3,627 posts, read 13,881,371 times
Reputation: 2727
Shepherd mix?

REDIRECT-REDIRECT-REDIRECT-REDIRECT

Honestly always carry a rolled up towel, a furry toy, etc. Direct them to bite and tug on that not you. Honestly it works. It takes time.

Develop that into a game of tug (and, no playing tug with some rules will not make your dog agressive).....gone for a week but seriously.......
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