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Hi
Many positive points with Ruaraidh. He is nearly 13 weeks old and his house training is fantastic. Also, has taken to his crate on a night time without issue. Puppy training went well and he is so bright and learning new things.

So the negative - BITING! We have tried yelping and this makes it worse, ignoring him and he goes wild.
Also, if he starts jumping up and trying to bite we say no and he goes ballistic- snapping at hands, legs etc. Barking and howling and wanting to bite us. Weve tried getting up and walking awayband ignoring him or placing him on the floor but he just gets more intense.

Have bought lots of chewy things, he has a split deer antler etc but he only wants to bite us.

We are covered in bites and scraches!
Is he in actual pain with his teeth?
Is this normal at this age?
Will he grow outvof this once his adult teeth come in?

HELP PLEASE 🙏
Alexandra
 

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Yes, perfectly normal, and yes, at 13 weeks old he will be teething. Is he in pain from the teething, maybe, maybe not.

The usual story is that the adult teeth push the puppy teeth out. But thats not strictly true. What happens is that at a certain point the roots of the puppy teeth start to atrophy until there is no root left to hold the tooth in place. At that point it drops out and shortly after the adult tooth appears. That is the ideal, and happens in most cases. But occasionally the adult tooth might be a little too advanced and collides with the puppy tooth while there is still a little root left holding it in place. In that case the adult tooth really does push the puppy tooth out. The timing is never far out, certainly not enough to cause any damage, but it can make the mouth a little tender.

I dont know if you have already read this, but I'll post it again here just in case you have not read it already.

I think it’s important that you understand whats happening. What you describe is so normal for Labrador puppies! Part of the problem is that they are so much a social breed, they love everybody and want to be with them. They want to play, and they want to involve their “human” in their game. And of course dogs cant play cards or computer games. Puppies are pre-programmed at birth to play “War Games.” This is equipping them for their future in the wild, catching their food and defending themselves and their pack. Puppies, and many other creatures in the wild will practise and hone their skills on each other. I’m so lucky in that I have a private wood that I can walk in and often in spring I’ve stood and watched Fox cubs playing these war games. They have no intention of hurting each other, just have a lovely game.

But then onto domestic dogs, and thats where things all go wrong. We take our puppy out of the nest and away from his siblings at around 8 weeks old, just about the time when the pups are beginning to get active, starting to think about things other than eating and sleeping. So his natural actions now would be to play his war games, but he has no siblings to play those games with! So effectively you are the surrogate sibling! In the wild this is where he would start to learn bite inhibition. As a baby he would have no idea that biting hurts! How could he? So he nips his sibling a bit hard, brother says, “Oye! Pack it in! If you are going to play rough I’m off!” In other words he walks off and leaves his brother. Brother soon works out that biting too hard hurts and finishes the game. Particularly if it’s him that gets bitten too hard! So the pups start to learn to control their biting.

This is where the theory of “Time out” came from. It’s us trying to replicate what would happen with puppies naturally in the wild. “That hurt! I’m not playing anymore!” So you stand up, turn your back on the pup, get your hands up high so there is nothing for the pup to take hold of. But you have probably noticed that things are worse in the evening. Just like children, they can lose a certain amount of self control when they get tired. All day you are busy so they spend a large part of the time sleeping, but in the evening, when you want to sit quiet, resting from the day they want to play. And as they get tired so the play gets rougher. I have always made a point of popping my pups into their crate at about 7pm for an hour, so they get use to having an hours sleep in the evening, and I get a chance to recharge my batteries. Interestingly this has built a habit which has continued for all of my dogs lives. Every evening they put themselves to bed and we all have a rest.

Why do they single out one particular person? Because they think that person is nice, so they want to play, and play in the only way they know. So really, much as you dont want it, it's really a compliment! Your puppy feels happy and confident with you.

I know puppies are hard work, and the alligators can make your hands really sore, but believe me, it does get better. Yes my dogs still love to involve me in their games, but it’s now lovely. Amy takes hold of my wrist so gently and leads me to where she wants to go, or Chloe will take hold of one finger to involve me in her war games, but oh so gently. Somehow you never notice things getting better because it is a slow change in pressure. But one day you realise your hands are no longer sore and you cant remember the last time you told him to pack it in. Given time they become the most wonderful of creatures.
 

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We used kongs a lot for ours when teething and chewing in general. Also raw carrots are great too. They had red kongs initially and quickly progressed to black Kongs. You can get each colour in different sizes, so if a strong chewer you can buy the smaller black Kong to match his bite radius and scale up to the bigger ones. They have stood the test of both our pups, who will be 1yr old next month. They were both bitey but using toys, carrots etc (cold from the fridge) it helped relieve the discomfort.

When feeding treats either drop on the ground or place them between fingers, palm side. Our hands and fingers were so sore initially as the boys would always engulf our hand when taking the treats.

When he starts to try and bite, grab a toy to distract him instead. I know it’s not easy but he (and you!) will get through it 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks ww
We used kongs a lot for ours when teething and chewing in general. Also raw carrots are great too. They had red kongs initially and quickly progressed to black Kongs. You can get each colour in different sizes, so if a strong chewer you can buy the smaller black Kong to match his bite radius and scale up to the bigger ones. They have stood the test of both our pups, who will be 1yr old next month. They were both bitey but using toys, carrots etc (cold from the fridge) it helped relieve the discomfort.

When feeding treats either drop on the ground or place them between fingers, palm side. Our hands and fingers were so sore initially as the boys would always engulf our hand when taking the treats.

When he starts to try and bite, grab a toy to distract him instead. I know it’s not easy but he (and you!) will get through it 😊
 
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