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Old 19-08-2010, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default puppy really snappy and bitey

Hello everyone, this is my first post so please be kind, I have been lingering for a while and I know you are all a friendly lot. My problem is we have a ten week old chocolate girl (molly), and she is so bitey and snappy, in the past few days I have been in tears because of her. We previously had a black lab girl (Meg) who was nearly 12, but we sadly lost her about a month ago, we were devastated she was the most lovely, kind, well natured dog you could ever meet, I miss her every minute of the day, she was my best friend . Meg was never like this ever.

Molly our new pup is so, can I say it demonic, she dives at me and just shreds me to pieces, I am afraid to let my brothers children near her, because she draws blood almost every bite. We have tried a firm no, the vet said just get her by the scruff of the neck, but this seems to make her worse and as soon as we let go she flies right back at us, we have also tried yellping loudly this only entices her more also :? . We have tried a little time out in her crate, but nothing seems to help. She hates been told no to anything and really takes it upon herself to retaliate, I think she plots revenge. Does anybody have any advice for me and also is this natural, it seems so aggresive. Hope you can help me because I am really worried as to what she may turn into or is it just a pup thing?
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Poor you, Julie. Can't offer any advice but am sure someone with lots more experience will be along soon.
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Julie have you read this sticky yet?


There is loads of very good advice on it about biting puppies. :wink:
Kate, Diesel and Harry-bo
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think its a pup thing. You are understandably upset about losing Meg but Lab pups are like crocodiles. The key for us was consistency, if he played too rough he got ignored completely for 5 minutes. The sticky is a good place to start.
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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She hates been told no to anything and really takes it upon herself to retaliate, I think she plots revenge.
She is only 10 weeks old, so only a baby. That is like saying a 12-18 months old child can plan, plot and seek revenge, which is just not possible really :wink: .

Just because your last Lab wasn't like this as a pup, doesn't mean this pup will grow up to be aggressive and evil. It just means she plays harder and needs more time to learn Bite Inhibition than your last pup.

My last really Crocodile-like pup is now a wonderful working Guide Dog. You would never have thought she would have turned out that way, had you seen her when she was very young, as she was like a Tasmanian Devil at times and we were all full of holes and bite marks.

You need to be consistant with your methods, rather than keep chopping and changing. As just like teaching a child to read, you will need to go over and over and over the same thing, before it all finally sinks in. You will get there though....we all do in the end :wink: .
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Aoife is 11 weeks and can get mouthy, sometimes she responds to a "no" but if not I always keep a toy at hand so I can distract her with it. The key (and it is tough to do this) is to not make a fuss when she snaps - to her this is puppy play and by making a fuss she thinks the game is on. With Aoife, I say a firm no and if that doesnt work I ignore her but guide her to the other, more interesting toy by waving it around/squeaking it, etc. This way she learns that humans hands arent any fun and her toys are a lot more interesting to play with!

It is a puppy thing and from what I have learnt, Labs do it a lot but she will get better. Does she have plenty of puppy chews/nylabones/kongs?
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Old 19-08-2010, 08:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cocoa is also 10 months old and arrived as a little crocodile. She lunges at my hubby and I and grabs our trousers or dressing gown and the look in her eyes is just 'devil reincarnated'! :roll: :roll: :roll: :lol:

I think she gets wound up during the play and cannot calm down on her own. I was taught a little trick to teach her 'off' command. It goes like this: first the puppy needs to be quiet and alert by your feet. You offer little titbits by saying 'Take it!' one by one. After a few you keep a titibit in your clenched fist and let her smell it, but do not open the fist, so she cannot take it. Eventually, puppy turns her head away and precisely at this moment you open the fist and let the food drop on the floor, whilst saying a very firm "Off!". You have to vary the number of times you let her take the food before you offer it in the fist. Also, and it is very important, you drop the food and say "Off" EXACTLY once the pup's nose is taken away from your hand, so they link mouth off the hand - command "OFF" = reward... I hope I make it clear... This command should be taught for a couple of days before you start using it

We tried it with Cocoa since last Sunday and it seems she does get a message... not always, though, at which point I put her into the crate for good 10 mins and she comes out as good as gold.

oops, edit to say she is 10 weeks (not months)... still a real baby
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Old 19-08-2010, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Firstly so sorry to hear of Meg. she sounded wonderful.

Now to the little crocdile that is your puppy

I remember being at the end of my tether with Dylan and his biting cos like you say it hurts :evil: I remember panicking thinking I was going to have an aggressive labrador

A sharp yelp never worked with him either as it just seemed to make him more excited and therefore worse BUT I found distraction with a toy worked well and persevered with that.

You'll get lots of good ideas on here and be able to use what suits Molly the best.

It definitely is a puppy thing with some being worse than others but they do get there in the end.

Dylan is now the most gentle gorgeous boy you could ever wish to meet and Molly will be the same.

Good luck

Love from Dylan and Sue
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Old 19-08-2010, 09:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Incidentally, if Cocoa playbites me during a game, I also offer her a toy instead, but if she is in a playful mood, when I am doing my business and she decides that I am (or my hubby) a fair game, then I use "off!" command. I do not want to offer any toys at this moment, so she does not think I can drop everything every time she wants. I wish I could!

I am not sure if this is the current wisdom, but I am also open to suggestions
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Old 19-08-2010, 09:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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awww poor you. I went through EXACTLY the same thing. We lost our last lab who chewed as a pup and occasionally his teeth hurt if he accidentally caught you but he never behaved like a crocodile, never snapped at us and turned into the most gentle boy who the children could maul and he would just sit with a patient look on his face.

Anyway we lost him and a few months later enter Lola, the cutest little bundle at 7 weeks. By 7.5 weeks she was jumping to bite, barking and snapping. Had moments of pure demon horribleness, chasing to bite. Yelping like a puppy would wind her to a frenzy. Putting her in the crate would just put off the next attack until I let her out. I longed for a cuddly little pup and was sure I had a 'wrong 'un'. Anyway I stuck to a sharp NO and just removing her and very very slowly the demon calmed a little and she would have some quieter ties interspersed with some hideous evil biting. She is now 8 months and the most gentle soft mouthed little girl imaginable. My 3 young children crawl all over her and I can honestly say I have grown to love her as much as my old boy, though I still miss him every day.

personally I wouldn't keep the children away, Lola learnt to be gentle with the children way before she learnt to be gentle with me and children seem to be more natural. My 20 month old would just push her away and funnily enough when she got a whole arm in her mouth she'd almost stop and think whoops I only wanted to play.

Have you ever watched pupppies play? Its the most vicious thing around, teeth bared, lots of nipping, biting etc they need to learn where and when that is acceptable. Lola plays with next doors 4 month old pup and he hangs off her lips by his teeth :roll: and she seems to think this is fun.

Hang on in there, keep being consistent, your pup isn't a devil it just hasn't learnt yet. I did really despair of gentle lovely cuddles but I now have the most loving sweet dog
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