Please help me my choclate lab is biting my adult son who is the dogs main care taker all over my sons arms hands and yet likes to sleep next to him. The puppy doesn't bite me any more because I yelp at a high pitch voice and look him straight in his eyes and hand him a toy. I only play with the dog for thirty min. A day due to my handicap.
My son has diabetes and had to go on antibiotics. His hand looks like he was fighting with jaws. Barry my son has tried everything; saying no bite, howling, holding his mouth clapping his hands but nothing works. He gives the dog plenty of toys but he doesn't play with the dog in the yard because he wants to get back into the house and work on the computer or play on the couch with the dog. Our yard is fenced in and I do think the pup needs to run off energy. My question is how can I let this dog go near anyone or continue to attach himself to my son when he won't stop biting . We had a chow ,bearded collie and a pug and none of them ever bit us. These dogs were our forever pets.
Is this dog workable or could she be nuts. Thank you for a reply.
Hi Sheri This is very normal puppy behavior, all puppies bite to some extent, but some breeds and some individual puppies are much worse (and more stubborn) about it than others. Labs are a very 'mouthy' breed (as are most retrievers and shepherd dogs - they work with their mouths).
As your puppy has learned not to bite you, he can most definitely learn not to bite your son... and this nipping and biting is not aggressive behavior but a normal canine interaction. The key is perseverance and consistent correction, unfortunately here this little one doesn't seem to respect your son in the same way he respects you and that's part of the problem.
Also, a puppy needs a lot of exercise (albeit in short 'spurts') and plenty of very sturdy chew toys to use up that excess energy and tension on. Daily training sessions (see my How To Train A Puppy also help to tire them out because it uses up a lot of mental energy.
My Puppy Biting page details all the correction methods for a puppy who is always nipping and mouthing. It does sound as though you've used most of them, and the only one you don't mention is the water spray bottle, but if he's an excitable pup that may or may not work. I'd say your best method is the muzzle-wrap (holding the muzzle closed for a few seconds while saying "no bite"), but your son will need to be very consistent about implementing it.
In this situation if he does the correction three times in a row and yet the pup still comes back biting, then he needs a 'time out' in his crate with a sturdy chew toy for company. 10 mins or so is enough to break the cycle. This needs to be done over and over again until your pup 'connects the dots'!
Puppies are creatures of habit and they learn by associating cause and effect, it just takes some longer than others to figure it all out. Labrador Retrievers are smart dogs and generally very eager to please, so given time, patience and consistency this biting behavior can be controlled.
However, given your son's diabetes and your disability, if this puppy is too much for you to handle it would probably be better to find him a new, loving, forever home before he's much older. It's easier for everyone if you do this when a puppy is young.
I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide.