Labrador Retriever biting, other than into a good healthy dog bone, is stressful to both the owner and the dog. Most Lab owners will probably find themselves in the position of having to stop their dog biting at least once or twice, and it can be a worrying time figuring out why their lovable Labrador is doing it, and how it can be fixed. If this behaviour is not fixed quick smart your dog can become a menace to both your family and strangers alike. The sooner action is taken, the sooner the biting can be stopped so your Labrador does not become a danger to them self, and society.
How to Stop Your Labrador Retriever Biting as a Puppy
Just as with humans, the sooner the biting problem is tackled and nipped in the bud, the easier it will be to control. Ideally working on this issue when your Labrador is a puppy under six months of age should prevent a biting problem carrying over to Labrador adolescence or adulthood. A puppy is very amenable to training.
What you need to be aware of is knowing how to discern the difference between a puppies rough and tumble play, and dominance biting. The best approach is to assume that any and all puppy biting is not acceptable. Puppy biting is an inherited pack mentality characteristic, exhibiting itself through a puppy trying to take control of his brothers and sisters and become pack leader. So, this is where you need to intervene and prevent it becoming a habit.
Here are some suggestions you can utilise to stop your lab puppy biting:
- Assert yourself as the ‘pack-leader’ – the alpha position. Make it known that it’s not acceptable for your puppy to bite, by saying ‘no’ assertively every time your puppy bites, then move away for a time.
- Replace your hand that is being bitten with a soft toy for the puppy to play with
- Remember there is obedience school available to take your puppy and yourself to, or you could find a trainer to come to your home for some puppy training.
- Imitate the actions the puppy’s mother would use when your puppy bites the other puppies or you – give it a little nudge or make a yelping noise.
- It’s important to have eye contact with your puppy when you are using these gentle discipline methods
- Don’t leave your puppy unsupervised with small children while your puppy is being taught to stop biting. The little ones will not know how to control the puppy’s biting.
How to Stop Your Labrador Retriever Biting after the Puppy Stage
An owner who is unable to stop their puppy biting in the early months od their life will find that the biting problem doesn’t go away. That little puppy has now grown to the stage where they think they are running the show, are head of the family and has the means to play-bite to show it!
So how can you stop the biting at this stage of your Labradors life? It’s not too late, and if you employ a few strategies you can still ‘nip it’ in the bud.
- The first thing you can do is to stop playing rough & tumble with your dog, no games where your dog can try and dominate you and play bite- you. Take your dog for a walk instead, and don’t forget to use effective training methods to control your dog while out walking.
- Control your Lab around the house. Give it boundaries of where it can and can’t go.
- Use Crate training if you feel it may be required. Say no when your Lab bites you and sending them to the crate for ‘time-out’. Your intelligent Labrador will soon associate being separated from his best play mate and his biting.
- And, of course there’s obedience training classes – professional help to stop your beloved Labrador’s anti-social behaviour.
- Always remember when you are training your dog yourself, to be consistent with your commands and actions, and always give your Labrador praise and love for doing the right thing.
How to Stop Labrador Retriever Biting as they get Older
It’s imperative that you stop your Labrador biting as soon as possible. The consequences of not doing something about it can be heartbreaking for your dog, you and your family. Your Labrador, if left to continue biting, is at real risk of becoming a danger by attacking people.
Tackling the biting problem as a puppy is the best method, however if your Lab is still biting after a year old, the best thing to do is to seek professional help and get the problem sorted without delay. The consequences of neglecting to have your dogs biting problem remedied could very well be an aggressive, unpredictable and out of control dog.
Remember, you don’t have to tackle this problem alone if it seems too much for you to handle. A trained professional has the skills and knowledge to work with you and your dog to help stop your Labrador Retriever biting.