Don’t you just hate it when your Labrador gets too mouthy? Labrador biting and nipping behavior is often seen as an expression of its playfulness. However, this habit may turn bad with the potential of causing injury to you. Here are some tips on how to stop your Labrador from biting and nipping.
What Causes Labrador Biting and Nipping Behavior
Most puppies tend to be mouthy, and there is a reason for that. Puppies chew hands, shoes, and toys because their teeth are starting to come out. This phase, a natural corollary of their growth, makes their gums really itchy leading to Labrador biting and nipping behavior.
When their adult teeth start to come out, Labrador Retriever puppies chew on random things – shoes, toys, your clothing, and even your hands or feet. Labrador puppies bite and nip on random things in an attempt to make the pain and discomfort of teething go away.
A Labrador puppy may start his teething stage at 3 to 4 months of age. This phase usually lasts up to until they are about 6 to 8 months old. Young puppies may nip and bite as a game. These games can be a bit rowdy. With too much biting and playfulness, puppies may unintentionally hurt their littermates – resulting in sudden cries while puppies playing with together. So, if you hear a puppy squealing, then it is time to call them out.
Biting, Nipping, Chewing Behavioral Problems in Labradors
It is perfectly understandable why a Labrador puppy nips and bites when he is teething. But if Labrador biting and nipping behavior continues well past his teething stage, then it could be because he developed it as a habit. Sometimes owners can be very loving, affectionate, and lenient toward their Labs. They end up leaving or unintentionally encouraging unwanted behaviors like nipping and biting.
An untrained Labrador Retriever is more likely to bite strangers, household visitors, and random objects. This unwanted behavior should be corrected, managed, and controlled as soon as possible.
How To Stop Labrador Biting and Nipping
To stop your Labrador from biting, you must first recognize the reason behind this behavior.
Stop Your Labrador Biting and Nipping When Teething
If your Labrador is teething then, this habit can be easily stopped with exercise and chewable toys. Ensure your puppy gets adequate exercise to burn his energy. Keeping your Labrador pup active calms his brain, making him less likely to bite, nip, and do destructive behaviors. Get your Labrador puppy lots of toys to chew as well, so he won’t try to nip your hand or other things when he needs to relieve the discomfort caused by teething. Letting your Labrador puppy chew wet towels and fruits also helps.
Say No Without Punishing Your Labrador Puppy
Let your Labrador know that biting and nipping is not acceptable behavior. Say him no firmly but avoid punishing him. When your Lab bites you, pull your hand away and shout “no.” Then, walk away from your Lab and ignore him even when he runs after you. By doing this, your Labrador puppy should understand and associate your refusal to play with unwanted biting.
Practice makes perfect, and consistency is key in dog training. So be patient and never resort to slapping or hurting your dog as punishment.
Put Your Thumb Under Your Labrador’s Tongue
If a simple “no” does not work, then you can try putting your thumb under your Lab’s mouth whenever he bites. To do this, start by playing with your Lab and let him play with your hand. As soon as he starts biting, say “no” and put your thumb inside your Lab’s mouth, under the tongue. Put your forefinger firmly but gently beneath your Lab’s chin. That way, your Labrador cannot continue to bite you since this is an uncomfortable situation for him. Instead, your Lab will most likely get your fingers out of his mouth. Repeat this until your Labrador realizes you do not want him to bite or nip.
Pinch Your Puppy’s Neck
If the second tip still does not work, then another method is to pinch your Labrador’s neck gently. Start by playing with your Lab and when he starts biting again, say “no”. Immediately pull your hand and pinch your Lab in the neck – but not too tightly. This way, your Lab should associate pinching with “no.”
Remember, consistency is key in dog training. You will need to be your dog’s leader and repeat the method you prefer several times before you succeed.
Reward Your Labrador
Labradors are very smart and they most likely to understand what you mean by “no” without any issue. If your Labrador stops biting whenever you say “no,” do not forget to give him with a treat. A reward is the best way to convey your Labrador what he should or should not do. If this method succeeds, you can replace the treats with pats on the head or belly rubs.