Posted by pzarazua
Apr 6, 2008
My 5 month old chocolate lab mix is a nipper and I'm about to tape his mouth shut.... He seems to think my 8 year old son is his litter mate, and likes to attack him. It ALWAYS ends with my son in tears because the dog bit him. I tell the dog no, have used a spray bottle, put him in time out, and NOTHING works.

I keep trying to explain to my son that "he" needs to stop they cycle, and that the dog reacts this way to him, due to how he plays with the dog. How do I break this cycle of unwanted behavior? I don't know how much longer I can take it. I have some serious scars on my arms from my nipper..... Never mind the potty training issues I am having :mad:

Posted by Todd
Apr 10, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the question

Nipping as i am sure you are aware of can be a very frustrating and time consuming problem to try and solve.

I think most of the problem is as you mentioned the puppy getting mixed messages. Your son is accidentally encouraging your pup to play roughly. Roughness and overexcitement eventually lead to nipping.

You can be as consistent with your punishment but your puppy is getting confused. It is very hard with children because getting them to say no as well as tell the puppy off.

Your pup needs to get consistently told off. The best way to do this is to set up a situation where your puppy may bite your hand.
Sit in a chair or sofa and leave your hand hanging over the arm of the chair.

If your puppy nips at your hand give him a very loud GRRRRR or AHHHHH and a squirt with a water pistol.
Then get up and leave the room for 10 minutes. Come back and sit down.

Again do the same thing. If the puppy nips it gets the same reprimand but make a sudden movement towards him to give him a fright.

If it comes to the stage where he still isn't learning he may need a little tap on the nose for a reprimand. But not too hard.

But i think the main thing is the puppy will learn quickly if it is getting the same message from everyone. If you can get your son to go stay with family or friends for a weekend you may be amazed at the progress you can make.

Good luck and please let me know how things are going and if i can help anymore.

Posted by pzarazua
Apr 10, 2008
Thanks Todd! Here's the thing.... I do use a water bottle, but that didn't work out so well. Our trainer said to add a little apple cider vinegar to the water, and it does help, as he will stop but goes back at it, and sometimes more fierce than before. I have tried a lot of things, and it just is so frustrating.... My son tells him "no" or "off". I end up resorting to time out for the dog. One way or another I WILL get this dog trained....

Oh, and he only listens well to my husband (who is rarely home). That is another issue I am working on....... OY!

Thanks again!