Dog Nipping and Biting

Learn how to curb your dog's nipping and biting problem.

By | Posted: Tue Jan 15 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Dog #2: Chocolate Labrador Retriever, male, 1 year
My chocolate lab, Roscoe, is a wonderful dog and wouldn't harm anything! But sometimes he comes up and just starts biting and nipping at any part of your body. He does this with family members-even strangers! It doesn't hurt, but sometimes he does get a litte rough. We've tried carrying around bones and treats, and when he starts we'll give him one. This doesn't always work, however. Any suggestions?

What a fun game for Roscoe! When things get boring, place your mouth on a human body part and watch the fun begin. Most labs are physically insensitive, and rough play can create unwanted behavior. Since labs have been bred to be extremely oral, this is a fairly common complaint.

Now, why fight it? Why not use this oral response to create better behavior. Begin by selecting a favorite toy. Throw the toy, tell him to take it, and reward lavishly when he does. Teach him to retrieve the toy on command. Every time he has the toy or retrieves it, lavish Roscoe with praise.

Use the toy as a reward when training-instruct Roscoe to "Come," "Sit" or "Down," and reward him by throwing or giving him the toy and lavishing praise. When he wants attention or attempts to mouth, tell him to retrieve his toy. Once the dog understands that mouthing will be ignored, but when he has the toy in his mouth he receives attention, his mouthing will dissipate.

Remain proactive in your training and direct your dog to the appropriate toy before he places his mouth on you. Teaching the "Leave it " command can be extremely useful here, too.

This breed needs to be exercised a lot both mentally and physically. Training is great for both you and your dog. Whether you read a book, watch a video or attend a class, the more you teach your dog the better relationship you will develop.

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janet   bethlehem, PA

3/4/2011 4:20:23 AM

Labs are one of my favorite type of dogs, training is very important for the puppies

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janet   bethlehem, PA

12/1/2010 4:39:50 AM

important information, thanks very much

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janet   bethlehem, PA

4/9/2010 4:12:05 AM

good article thanks

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