Dog bitting, nipping, etc.

Posted by Falkon102
Jan 18, 2008

This is my first dog, I have a nine week Labrador Retriever. He started great at home, he sits, sleeps in a big kennel we have. He often ignores me, and when I command him to sit he does, but when I praise him he just starts bitting looking for a treat. Also, he bites me whenever he gets the chance and only eats half of what he is supposed to. I think... either he's bored of the food we got him or he's afraid of it (because he smells it and prepare for "attack", and run away from it after he smells it). Please alittle help.
Posted by debbieG
Jan 18, 2008

He bites you at every chance? Can you explain a little bit more of what you mean? Does he just run in the room and bite you for instance?
When you say he is looking for a treat is this because you have started training him with food rewards, so therefore he is looking for the treat all the time?

What do you feed him on and how many times a day? Lots of questions but it may help me understand more and will give someone who can help you a little more a bit more knowledge of your problem.

Kaiser (my boxer) went off his food at 9 weeks then again at about 15 weeks until i started feeding him a better quality food and dropped him to two feeds a day. Im sure someone will be able to give you more info soon.

Whats his name?
Posted by Falkon102
Jan 19, 2008

Sorry about that, my dog's name is Zulthan. And he bites me whenever I'm close to him, most of the time I know its nipping, but then he bites me seriously (hard) I get worry because he bites my wrists and when I move, he bites harder.

I started training him with food rewards and he responds quite well. He always looks for those treats, that's why he bites me... looking for treats and some times he ignores me because he's distracted smelling it. Gladly he just started to eat his food again (I changed his plate... he was afraid of it for whatever reason, I think). At least for today, and he seems to have started to handle two times a day.

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 19, 2008
Hello falcon102!

You puppy must be very cute but it will be even cuter if he stops biting you, won't it?

Since you said he is your fist dog, I am going to write about very basics so please ignore if you already knew about those.

First of all I am glad that you have started training your dog. However, there is more important things than sit, stay, etc. that your dog needs to learn - it is a socialization with people and other dogs. It is a very critical period now for the socialization because if he doesn't get enough of it now, he may develop some unfavorable behaviors when he gets older, such as being afraid of people, other dogs, new sounds, smells, car rides, vacuum cleaners, etc.

Please make occasions that your puppy can meet with as many people, including kids, and let him play with other puppies too. Since your dog is only 6 weeks old, he might not have finished all the course of vaccinations so you can't really take him to parks, etc. 6 weeks seems to me a bit young to be separated from his mother and siblings but it can't be helped now.

You said your puppy is nipping and biting but I think he is just playing with you. Puppies' teeth are tiny and sharp so I know they hurt you. He would probably not hurt dogs because they don't have bare skin like us. However he needs to learn that he shouldn't hurt people. What you can do is to make a loud noise like "OUCH!" as you look into his eyes when it hurts you and stop playing with him for a while. You will have to repeat this so that he will learn that he gets to play only when he does not put his teeth on your skin.

As for the treats, please make sure you cut up treats into very very tiny pieces. I cut my treats smaller than my pinky finger nail. Don't hold treats in your hand but put them in a training pouch or put them on a kitchen counter so that he can not get to them. This will help with his sniffing the treats and getting distracted. Those are rewards so he will get to eat when he does things right.

When you actually give a piece of treat to him, put it in your fist and extend in front of him with a little opening between fingers as you say "Gentle". If he tries to get it by biting your fingers, don't give it to him. If he tries to take it with his tongue, release it. It might take a while for him to learn it but he will get there.

Puppies are changing everyday so don't get discouraged if he gets better and then goes back where he was before. It is a long way but I am sure he will grow to be very nice obedient dog if you keep working on him.

Good luck and let us know his progress
Posted by Falkon102
Jan 21, 2008
Thank you very much!

I'll try those things. By the way the pup is 9 weeks old.

Socialization... I didn't know that was the first thin to learn...

Well, I'll tell you about his progress. THANKS!