Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Our Labrador Retriever puppy nips us

Subject:8 week old Labrador Retriever puppy nips us

From: Kathleen (USA)

Labrador Retriever name: N/A

Reader's E-mail - Kathleen Writes:


We just adopted a 8 week old lab puppy. He is beautiful, really catching on to housebreaking, but he really likes to nip us. What is the proper way to stop this?


All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Kathleen,

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 visiting All About Labradors and for your e-mail.

Happy to hear your Labrador Retriever is catching on to his housebreaking. As far as nipping goes, I have an article posted to the All About Labradors blog that I will list here for you.

If your Labrador puppy does have a habit of biting, nipping, or “mouthing” you or your loved ones, try some or all of the following to help correct its behavior.

1. Teach your Labrador Retriever puppy that biting hurts. When he does bite, let out a sharp “no” or “ouch” while maintaining eye contact with him. It will teach him that his play is to rough, and you will not continue to play until he is gentler.

2. Close Your Mouth – gently hold your Labrador Retriever’s mouth shut while stating “no”.

3. Time Out – while maintaining eye contact with your pup, state “no”, or “ouch”, and then get up and move away, stopping interaction with your Labrador. You can also place him in his crate, if you do use one for training. By walking away, or placing him in his crate, you teach him that he will lose his playmate if he continues to nip and bite.

4. Rough Housing – Do you let your Labrador puppy grab your hands in its mouth while playing? Then when he bites your hand to hard, you scold him and state “no”. You’re encouraging him one minute and scolding him the next. What your doing is completely confusing your poor little Labrador puppy.

5. Teach your Lab pup the “off” command.

Helpful Tips:

Make sure your Labrador puppy gets plenty of play time and exercise daily. These are great distractions and may help reduce your puppies biting.

Be consistent with whatever methods you use to help break the nipping and biting habit. Make sure family members are consistent also.

Have plenty of chew toys for your Labrador puppy. Kong toys are wonderful, just make sure you choose the right size for your puppy and discard when pieces start to break off.

Always reinforce your Labs good behavior. Whenever he plays nicely or licks you without biting and nipping, shower him with love and praise.

Watch the tone of your voice with the “no” and “ouch” commands. They should always be sharp and to the point.

A Word of Caution:

If you have small young children, never leave your Labrador Retriever puppy alone with them until he has learned biting and nipping are unacceptable.

Games like tug-of-war and rough housing encourage your Labrador puppy to bite. Waiting until he is fully trained in the “off” command until introducing these games.

If for some reason your Lab puppy becomes more aggressive when he bites, or your training methods don’t seem to be working, seek help from your veterinarian or professional trainer.

Apply one or more of the above training procedures, be consistent with your training, and shower your Labrador Retriever puppy with praise for doing good, and you’ll be on your way to nipping your Labradors biting habit in the bud.

I am also listing a link to another article that will be very useful with your new Labrador Retriever puppy. The article is called Establishing the Alpha Position and deals with letting your Labrador Retriever know who the boss is:


I hope this is of help for you, remember if you don't understand anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

One last thing, what is your Labrador Retrievers name?

Good luck with your training and keep us up to date with how it's going.


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