Friday, October 26, 2007

Stop my eight week old Labrador from nipping - part II

This is the second part of a two part e-mail from Jenny.

To read part one visit: Stop my eight week old Labrador from nipping - part I

Reader's E-mail - Jenny Writes:

Thanks Fay for this i will let you know if this works. My local pet store told me that Ben (that is his name) is too young for Kong toys, is this correct? He is 10 weeks old.

He has also started to take an interest in the wall paper, he only licks it at the moment but i am concerned that he will start to bite the wall, is there anything i can do to nip this in the bud.

Apart from this he is adorable and very good. He is almost toilet trained, sits and gives his paw on command and loves to retrieve his toys. Now i am beginning to get him use to the lead, by walking him around the garden. He has his last injection on Saturday and microchiped, I have decided to have him castratred when he is 6 months old, this is on the advise of the vet. Can't wait to start walking him.


All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Jenny,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

Thank you for all the wonderful photos of Ben. He is so so adorable!!

In regards to the Kong toys, my Labradors both started with Kong toys, the day they were brought home (nine weeks), and I haven't had a problem with them. As a matter of fact, on the Kong website itself, it list Kong products for puppies in the seven through twelve week age.
Here is the link to the Kong website and a booklet on the site called Growing Up with Kong.

Just remember to supervise Ben's use of Kong toys until you are confident they can be used safely without supervision. Make sure you also provide the appropriate size toy for him and to inspect the toys daily for any broken or loose pieces. Any worn or damaged toys should be replaced immediately.

I have noticed with my two Labrador girls, as I am sure many other Labrador Retriever owners have, that they chew through toys quickly, that's why I buy the extra hard, and for power chewers Kong products.

There could be a couple of different reasons Ben is licking the wall paper. Ben could be lacking something in his diet (vitamins/nutrients). You want to make sure that you feed him a good, nutritious dog food (your veterinarian can recommend one to you) and that he is having normal stool production. If you do decide to change Ben's dog food, make sure you do it gradually so it doesn't upset his digestive system (mix some of the new dog food into some of the old dog food for a couple of weeks).

There is also a possibility that Ben could also have some sort of anxiety problems - phobias, separation anxiety, and obsessive compulsive behaviors. Possibly a cry for more attention, pent-up energy and/or boredom.

Our Labrador Retrievers need plenty of exercise and play time. Long walks, runs and plenty of play time everyday, may help to cut down some of the problem. When you do catch Ben licking continually you can try to provide a distraction (play toys, balls, etc.). Once again, I recommend the Kong chew toys filled with treats, which can provide him with plenty of challenge, and distraction. The Kong toys are excellent for providing physical exercise as well as mental exercise.

If Ben continues licking the wall paper and starts licking other things continually (floor, doors, etc.), you may want to consult with your veterinarian to make sure that no medical condition exists. You might also want to ask for a recommendation for animal behaviorist in your area or you can find one by visiting Animal Behavior Society website at

Having Ben neutered is a great decision as well as having him microchiped. Sounds as though Ben is doing quite well with his training.

Hope this provides some more help to you Jen. Please keep me up to date on how Ben is doing and if you have any other questions, now or in the future, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail.

Take care of yourself and Ben,


To see the wonderful photos of Ben visit: Ben 11/18/07

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