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Hi! This is my first foray onto this website and how reassuring to see other people have lunging and biting issues with puppies but haven't found anyone having it so young as 11 weeks!! I have a black male lab pup and he is drawing blood almost every time he bites. Usually this is just random, he can be playing happily with a toy across the room and then just launches himself at me, he also does it when the phone rings, if I eat or read something so I guess its attention seeking? My husband works long hours so mainly he's at home from lunch time onwards with me (I have no kids) but he still does this to my husband too when he gets home. I am a really patient person and calm so its not like he's picking up bad vibes. However I am worried about inviting friends and family round to see him as he went for my Mum last week and my nieces are now quite frightened of him. My vet doesn't agree with puppy parties and neither does the breeder but is he too young for obedience classes and would they help? It is true, this behaviour day after day and bite after bite does get you down but how long til things settle down? 12mths?
 

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My pup is 11 weeks and also lunges and bites. We make a sharp Ouch sound and she usually stops, but we are lucky in that we have an older dog who pretty much sorts this out for us. If Elphie gets too excited and bitey we pick her up and hold her tight till she has calmed down. It works for us, and she mellows. I have bites and scratch marks on my arms and hands. She also lunges at feet. Do you have a crate for your dog? We use the crate for a bit of time out if things get too out of control.

Don't despair. :) Are you off to puppy training classes soon? If so the trainer may be able to suggest something. :) We are off to classes next week as Elphie will be 12 weeks.
 

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Oh believe me, my Amy was an Alligator at 7 weeks old!

If it's any consolation, he is not doing wrong, he's just doing what he feels like doing, and in his mind he is doing no harm. It is not aggression or anything like that.

Young puppies can be very hard work, and I doubt there are many people who, with a pup of that age, don’t start to think they've made the biggest mistake of their lives! But believe me, it does get better. That's why we forget about the hard work and in a few years go out and do it all again!

It is true, this behaviour day after day and bite after bite does get you down but how long til things settle down? 12mths?
A lot less! What you do at this point is time well spent. Yes, a certain amount is attention seeking. And like any unwanted behaviour must not succeed or he will learn that biting will gain him what he wants. Set a little time aside for gentle playing. Occupying the mind is possibly more tiring than anything else. But play in your time, not his. Sit stays, recalls even a few paces of heelwork off lead are all great games if done properly.

Regards, John
 

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Hi Harrysmum

Thought I'd post a reply, as we have managed to stamp out this annoying habit pretty quickly with our 13 week old!

Basically, Cody hasn't been too bad with the nipping / lunging thing (compared to other puppies that I've seen), but nevertheless, we still wanted to nip it in the bud.

For the first week or two, we tried the "Yelp!" when he bites, but he seemed to think it was a big game, so he done it even more. Very occasionally, if he caught me a bit too hard, I'd shout and stand up out of anger / frustration, but again, he thought this was a game.

For the last couple of weeks we've been going to puppy training with a well-respected APDT instructor, and she recommended the following:

Whenever puppy nips or bites, whether it be your hand, foot, clothing, hair etc, immediately get up (without saying anything) and walk out of the room and close the door. Stay out of the room for a minute or two and then calmly walk back in, without paying any attention whatsoever to the puppy. When YOU are ready, call him to you and initiate play time again, if he bites again, repeat the process. It's that simple. If he tries to initiate play immediately as soon as you re-enter the room, you must totally ignore him - it's only play time again when you say so.

I found it took three attempts at this before Cody realised that whenever he nips, he gets left on his own. You may have to repeat it each day for a week or so but I think you'll find he quickly starts to understand.

With Cody, if he's in a really playful mood, you can see that he's desperate to nip you but he knows he's not allowed, so he nips his own arm instead! Or he goes and gets one of his chew toys!

Give it a try, it seems to be working for me!

Steve
 

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Harvey is 9 weeks and bites like a little monster, doesn't draw blood though. I've been saying no sternly and ignoring him for about 20 seconds he tends to calm down after a while. I've also tried replacing my hand with a chew toy each time he does it.
 

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I have a 9 wk old pup at the moment who also bites...We have had her since 7 wks and the improvement is amazing....I don't have any more advice to offer...we tell her no when she bites, if she stops we continue to play with her and if not get up silently and ignore her. She to has started to decide that biting us is not the best idea and bites herself or her toys :roll: She is not perfect at it...she still bites when she gets herself very excited but I think if we persevere with her it will eventually stop altogether :)

Heather
 
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