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Discussion Starter #21
Sounds like you are getting on wonderfully well! You will find that a routine develops then like gets easier because you start to learn when you can relax and when you need to be aware.

You must decide the rules, whether you allow him on the sofa or not. Personally I do, but I'm on my own and if Chloe didn't use it then nobody would! But if you decide you dont want him on it then the easiest way is to make it difficult for him, put something on it so there is nowhere for him to get comfortable. OK, it makes the room look a bit of a jumble, but it's only until he gets the message so it's worth a jumble now to have what you want later. As to going under, block his access! I had to with Chloe, but they grow so fast that within a couple of weeks she was too big anyway so the problem was over. As to chewing, there are "Anti chew sprays" Bitter Apple and the like, but check on a piece out of sight first that there is no staining.

Sadly this is pretty much a Labrador thing. Maybe a puppy pen to limit his access to the children. (Particularly when he gets overtired and fractious?)

As above

Eating grass in it's self is harmless. Most dogs enjoy "Grazing" but a blade can get stuck in the throat and make them sick. So yes, discourage it, but dont worry over much. Old fallen fruit can be a problem, particularly in summer when the wasps are around. I had a lovely Victoria plum in the garden which my dogs loved!
We have agreed to not let him on the sofa. I think he wants to get on as thats where the kids go to be able to see him but out of his reach. He isn't actually able to jump up yet.

I need to find something to block under the sofa, but I don't have anything he doesn't pull out immediately.

He's also taken to jumping off the wooden decking onto the grass, which is 2 steps and it's not far but does make my wince when he lands. Obviously not encouraging that.

We have a big plum tree and an apple tree, we do get wasps and bees in Summer, so we'll have to watch that.
 

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Put something along the edge of the decking to stop him jumping off, a couple of decorative planter troughs or pots or you could be making trouble for yourself further down the line.

you could put temporary fencing around your trees when they’re fruiting. Believe me a puppy is going to bite on a wasp if there’s ever the possibility (been there, got the tee shirt). 🙄
 
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Believe me a puppy is going to bite on a wasp if there’s ever the possibility (been there, got the tee shirt).
Me too. I was on holiday when my Dalmatian did it. The way his face swelled up I cut the holiday and brought him home! By the time we got home it was too late to see my vet that day, and by the next day his face had gone down!! Damn dog! I could have strangled him! 😉
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Ok, a big issue we currently have is Max eating anything and everything when in the garden.

He digs holes and eats dirt, flowers, grass, leaves, old fruit - literally anything. It really worries us as he loves being in the garden and has really gained confidence. But we are worried he will eat something that could make him ill.

Any help or guidance would be appreciated?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yep, par for the course! Sorry but eyes like a hawk and calling off is the only way. They do lean eventually but until then it's hard work.
Thanks ! Hopefully part of an apple he managed to eat this morning doesn't cause him problems.
 

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Thanks ! Hopefully part of an apple he managed to eat this morning doesn't cause him problems.
They are rarely a problem, though too much can cause a gippy tummy. I remember the late Mary Roslin-Williams, (Mansergh Labradors) writing in the dog press about one of her dogs getting drunk eating rotten fermenting apples in her orchard. My neighbour has a Bramley cooking apple tree which overhangs my garden and my Labs love them when they drop.

As an interesting point, apple pips contain cyanide, but in such small quantities they they could never eat enough to harm themselves.
 

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I stopped taking the dogs to our orchard for a couple of months last summer after Ash threw up over 20 plum stones in one go. How he didn't give himself a blockage I don't know. The apples don't worry me but the plums and damsons certainly do.
 

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Ok, quick update. Everything is going very well except the biting, which is getting worse and becoming slightly concerning.

We all expected a puppy to bite and chew and the kids (6 & 2) have been amazing, they love him, are patient and have learnt the 'stand like a tree' tactic.

But his biting is now really bad and as he's getting bigger, the bite force is starting to hurt the kids.

We had someone come around to help us with some training and she said he was very bitey, she said some dogs get rid of energy by barking or running around a lot, but Max seems to do it by biting.

There are times when he is just 'attacking' us a won't stop trying to bite our feet, arms, face. It's becoming a struggle.

We've been told he should naturally stop biting at around 18-20 month and then in 2 weeks we can finally take him out for walks and this should help, but it seems to be getting worse and I don't like putting him in the crate all the time.

Fingers crossed he stops soon as he really is a lovely little dog (when he's tired at night and sitting on our laps).
 

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Yes puppies do bite and I've read that Labs tend to be extra bitey. The Labrador Site has a good section on puppy biting. Our Hailey was a very hard biter but has matured into a very gentle adult. So luckily puppy biting doesn't seem to relate to future behaviour. She does have a strong Retriever instinct but maybe that's a coincidence. Hang in there!!
 

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They are all different, but Labradors are bred to use their mouths, so they are more bitey than some other breeds, and individuals can be more bitey than others. I'm surprised you've had someone come round to help with the covid restrictions?

They do grow out of it and you can redirect them, but that is what a lot of Labrador pups are like, they simply have to put everything in their mouth.
 

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Yes I wasn't prepared for how bitey our Hailey was as a puppy as our first Lab was very laid back, in retrospect. Though she was a n much more powerful chewer-- thru all her beds, toys and bones!
 

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I do think that many first time Lab owners are not as prepared as they might be for how challenging Lab puppies can be. They just see how easygoing they are ad adults!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
They are all different, but Labradors are bred to use their mouths, so they are more bitey than some other breeds, and individuals can be more bitey than others. I'm surprised you've had someone come round to help with the covid restrictions?

They do grow out of it and you can redirect them, but that is what a lot of Labrador pups are like, they simply have to put everything in their mouth.
It was a socially distanced garden visit from someone very local.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I do think that many first time Lab owners are not as prepared as they might be for how challenging Lab puppies can be. They just see how easygoing they are ad adults!
My sister has had three black labs over the past 17 years and she had one that was bitey but not as much as Max seems to be.
 

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It's such a common problem. I've posted on so many people's threads that I saved the post for future use.

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.

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.

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.

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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Ok, quick update. Everything is going very well except the biting, which is getting worse and becoming slightly concerning.

We all expected a puppy to bite and chew and the kids (6 & 2) have been amazing, they love him, are patient and have learnt the 'stand like a tree' tactic.

But his biting is now really bad and as he's getting bigger, the bite force is starting to hurt the kids.

We had someone come around to help us with some training and she said he was very bitey, she said some dogs get rid of energy by barking or running around a lot, but Max seems to do it by biting.

There are times when he is just 'attacking' us a won't stop trying to bite our feet, arms, face. It's becoming a struggle.

We've been told he should naturally stop biting at around 18-20 month and then in 2 weeks we can finally take him out for walks and this should help, but it seems to be getting worse and I don't like putting him in the crate all the time.

Fingers crossed he stops soon as he really is a lovely little dog (when he's tired at night and sitting on our laps).
Hi there, first off, you've already had some great replies to this post and I agree with all the above.
We've had our golden girl Jas since she was 8 weeks, she's now 17 weeks. The puppy biting has been a real shock to the system for me and I have to admit to having shed a few tears when it's been at its worst. I've read and re read loads of threads on the forum ref biting and that always makes me feel happier because there are so many great tips and encouragement that things really will get better in time. Things that work for us - an old wooden rolling pin is her absolute best chew toy, she has now sharpened it into a pencil shape with those emerging teeth! Time out, safely in her crate when she is at her bitey worst, I usually pop her in there with a toy or small treat. Unwanted behaviour often is a sign of tiredness in these young pups so an opportunity to rest often helps. Short bursts of training......in the garden if possible, the change of scene and focusing on a more positive activity gives puppy something else to think about.
Also, try and agree a coping strategy with the rest of the family, sounds like you are probably doing that already. Our Jas seems to have improved on the biting front since we've joined forces in being firm but fair. Try not to be frightened of it, I think I was to start with, then I gave myself a talking to - it's really not personal, just an important but rather frustrating part of a lab pups development. Very good luck with it, he's a lovely little chap.
 
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