3 month old Lab Mix won't stop biting, no clue what else to try!

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

Haven, SDiT

Professional- Catcher
Barked: Thu Jan 17, '13 7:09pm PST 
I just got my 3 month old lab mix today, and she is eventually going to be trained as a service dog for me. She bites like crazy and really HARD too. I have tried NO and NO, that's bad, holding her muzzle shut for a few seconds, getting her to go to her bed (she just barks and keeps trying to bite me)... nothing is working. She has plenty of toys and plenty of things to chew on (like Greenies or whatever they're called). I hate to use a muzzle on her, but I bought one today... unfortunately for me, I got home to find that the muzzle is too small for her, and I can't exchange it til tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have bites all over my hands and a few on my arms and this is getting painful and exhausting...

blue/brown eyed- girl!
Barked: Thu Jan 17, '13 7:29pm PST 
You just brought her home today??? She is NOT going to learn to stop biting you after one day!!! This is what puppies do.....they mouth and explore the world with their mouth, when they are with their litter mates they bite each other, that is how they interact....it is our job to show them when and what the proper time and things are to bite......not to stop the biting but to redirect.
Instead of holding her mouth shut, (which in my opinion will not work and I would bark at you if you held my mouth shut also) when she bites you say off and give her one of her toys to show her what to bite and what is allowed. You will of course have to teach her the "off" command. Teach this by holding treats in your closed fist hand and let her sniff and lick your hand which she may do for a long, but use the cue "off" and when she pulls away from your hand even for a second give her a treat promptly and tell her good girl or click or whatever method you are using. That way when she learns what the off word is, and is biting your hand say it and give her something she can chew on. I have had Lexus, a 6 month old Husky pup for about 3 or 4 weeks now, and she was biting like crazy at first for a while, but after working on this she has improved greatly.....not perfect, but keep in mind they are 'children' and need to be reminded and kept up on training every day.

i wiggle my- entire body
Barked: Thu Jan 17, '13 7:54pm PST 
I agree with Mika...when she starts biting give her a toy and if she continues to bite turn your back to her and ignore her. She will eventually learn that biting equals no attention at all. you can also let out a yelp like her littermates would do when biting to hard. She isn't going to learn not to bite in one day. be consitent with her she will learn. good luck with your new little one.

Haven, SDiT

Professional- Catcher
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 12:25pm PST 
I wasn't expecting her to stop biting in one day. That would be impossible. I was just looking for advice to get her to stop biting as soon as possible, since I have tons of bites all over my hands and arms, and she also keeps biting my elbows really hard, so I wanted to be able to teach her to not bite fast (within reason, obviously she's not going to learn in a few days).

I had already tried giving her a toy to chew on instead, which was only working maybe 5% o the time, but hadn't tried to tell her off first and then give her the toy... maybe that will make a difference. I also tried the yelping thing tons of times to no avail, she just keeps biting hard. I'll try the toy and off thing, and also ignoring her, hopefully that will help. Thanks for the advice! smile

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 12:53pm PST 
Have you tried isolating her or yourself when she bites?

When she bites walk into the nearest room and close the door for 10-20 seconds and then come out. She bites, you go back in and do the same thing.

I did this with Moose who would bite my pants, legs and arms when he got hopped up at night. Doing the yelp thing only amped him up more and distracting him with toys only helped for 5 seconds until he realized my pants were way more fun to tug on.

Most times I'd walk into my bathroom with him still attached to my pants and very gently close the door until he let go. I never closed the door on his muzzle. Just on my pant leg.
I did that for a week or two and the biting disappeared.

With my other dog, I put him in the bathroom when he'd play tug with things he wasn't supposed to. I only had to do that 4 or 5 times and the behavior disappeared.

I didn't yell or say anything when I did this. I figured I was just taking away the thing he liked the most....me.
Of course anytime he played with any toy, he got praised like crazy.

Edward - Sweet to the- core
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 6:16pm PST 
I'm a big believer in dogs teaching themselves bit inhibition. I have two puppies right now (about 8 months old). I brought the first one home at 8 weeks and he was a big time biter. And he bit hard - drawing blood many times. I tried everything and nothing worked to get him to stop. Two weeks later I brought second puppy home two weeks later. The second puppy was about 4.5 months old and had stayed with a large litter (8) up until then. He didn't bite at all. When they first played together puppy #1 would get too rough with the biting and puppy #2 quickly taught him this was not acceptable. Within 24 hours puppy #1 stopped biting almost 100% and when he did bite it was a very soft grab, no biting down. Puppy #1 was by far the largest puppy in his litter and left too soon IMHO and just hadn't learned from his peers how to play nicely as puppy #2 had.
So if you can take the puppy for playdates or daycare to learn socialized (important for a service dog anyway) it might help this a lot. Probably quicker than you could do it using other methods. Good luck!
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 7:37pm PST 
Who told you she was a lab mix? I can't see any lab there but I sure can see GSD. Looks like her ears will eventually stand, and I can see it in her face and coat.

GSDs can be unholy terrors. laugh out loud All the suggestions are good but Moose' s particularly.If she gets rowdy, plop her in her play pen or crate in another room to cool off a few minutes..Then rinse and repeat.

You might be doing this over and over again, but trust me, puppies do learn.

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 8:42pm PST 
I was thinking the same thing as Jackson. She looks way more German Shepherd than Lab to me.

As far as using a toy as distraction, make sure you're not trying to force her to take the toy. Rather, make the toy prey-like by making it "run" away from her. Chasing a toy is much more exciting to most dogs than being given a toy. Toys with squeakers can be extra inciting.

TNT comes in- small packages
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 9:47pm PST 
Garnet and Blaze only bite in play but it can be a bit of a pain in the rear end when they dont stop biting. When they get too mouthy I will stop playing with them and crate them for a little while. I am glad that they are only 9.6 pounds and 11 pounds because it makes it easier to manage the biting part. I will be glad when they grow out of the chewy stage although they dont get to chew on toys because their sire will steal all the toys that we get for them. I would suggest trying the time out where when your pup wont stop biting you remove him/her to their crate for a little while.