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Thread: Labrador Puppy

  1. #1

    Unhappy Labrador Puppy

    I am desperate to find out if anybody else is having the same issues I am having with my Lab pup. Our pup (Charlee) is 16 weeks old we got her when she was 8 weeks, I have 4 kids and at the beginning she missed her family very much and the first 2 weeks where very trying, with crying all the time. I am finding it very difficult to disipline her, she is still bitting the kids on the back of there legs and pulling on there clothes. I have tried everything water spray, smacking her on her nose (which I don't like doing) I am having strong second thoughts about keeping her. Can someone please, please give me some ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    It's usual for puppies to do all of those things. My experience has been that spraying them with water will just distract them for a second, and then they go back to doing the bad behaviour, it can even turn into a game since Labradors love water. I also don't believe in smacking on the nose but each to their own (just like raising kids). You will need to keep training her before she'll be fine around kids, especially young kids (I think it's a bit of a myth that Labradors and young kids will be best friends from the first moment you bring them home).

    Whenever she starts to bite, i'd push her back and say "no" firmly, not in an angry tone. I personally use my hand to make like a bite on their neck, just behind their head. I picked this up after watching Cesar Milan :P It's just like when another dog bites the other (not when fighting) to show who's dominant. I just do it firmly enough that they feel it, not enough to hurt them. Some dogs will yelp no matter how lightly you touch them though.

    Keep making sure that you never let her bite anything (or pull the kids clothes). Also as hard as it might be to do, when the dog starts biting, if the kids are playing with her get them to stop. Don't reward bad behaviours with attention. Even putting her in a crate (empty, not full of toys) until she's calm and not so excited can help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    It's a puppy.

    You have to take the fun out of it. And you have to give her something else to do instead. And you probably have to supervise her around the kids or keep her separate - eg crate train her and keep her in the crate when you're busy and cannot supervise her around the kids.

    I have tried everything water spray, smacking her on her nose (which I don't like doing)
    That is not everything.

    Water spray is good by way of distraction but then you have to give her something else to bite like a dog toy and quick. Same bait and switch technique when your child gets hold of something it should not have.

    Puppies teethe - they need to chew - so make sure there are plenty of toys around you can stuff in her mouth instead of small children.

    What will encourage her to bite -
    kids running
    kids squealinig
    kids running and squealing, when she bites them. Ie the kids are rewarding and encouraging the behaviour.
    Attention from mum eg when you yell at her or try to hit her. Puppy doesn't care what kind of attention - it's all good.

    What to do instead.
    Kids MUST Stand still, turn their back on the puppy, and be quiet and boring. As soon as the puppy lets go - kids can pat the dog and squeal "good dog". If it grabs hold - be boring. etc. But ideally make sure the puppy has something else in its mouth like a rope toy - before kids start running around squealing.

    And before you say you've tried everything
    read all this.
    Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily

    and these
    Australian Purebred & Crossbreed Dog Forum - Search Results

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    Lab puppies can be very boistourous and throw their weight around. We used to get quite a few coming with families to our dog club where we taught basic obedience.

    As well as the things everyone has suggested, have you started doing some very basic obedience training with her? Maybe even have a leash attached at the moment so you have better control of her if required.

    Pups are always hard work and if you put the effort in now it will pay didvidends in the long run. I found crate training to be very usefull too.

  5. #5


    You know it alarms me the amount of poeple saying their pups are crying for weeks after coming home from breeders.
    Puppies that are of the right age & have had socilization with people should not be crying for more than a day or 2 when you bring them home.
    For me the alarm bells start when I hear the pup is still crying after a week & most like this will have been raised in pens, with little to no human interaction & learnt to relie soley on littermates, mum & other pack members for comfort & to learn from. This all make for a troublesome pup who can be hard to train due to not really having the drive to please you.
    You have been given some great advice you should start following but I just had to add why I think we are hearing stories like yours more & more often.

  6. #6


    Thank you, thank you for all your replies. Miss Teaddict that is exactly what the problem is with spraying see loves water, we have a mini pool for her with a small amount of water in it and seeing you jumping and digging at the water is very entertaining. For all the other replies she is booked into obedience classes but because of the weather it has been postponed three times fingers crossed for next week. I will be making sure that I try your great ideas . Crazydog, I have had the same thoughts as you. I have had previous Labs and they do have a beautiful nauture but Charlee has just been hard work right from the beginning.
    After reading your replies I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanking you all again.
    Last edited by sarjane71; 01-13-2011 at 08:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I guess it's too late now but for your next puppy

    this might help.

    What is a responsible companion animal breeder? - RSPCA Australia knowledgebase

    Also very young puppies do not adapt instantly to being left outside all night (or any long period time) on their own. My dog is an inside dog but I would not want to try maknig a puppy an all outside dog before 3 to 6 months of age.

    Labradors are usually extremely easy to train because they love to please and to eat so much - but you've gotta put the time in. Even if it's in bursts of 5 treats (or pieces of kibble) and 30 seconds. There is heaps of stuff out there on the net on how to do it including on the dog star daily site - though they use "luring" more than I think helpful. Have a read of sites that talk about "free shaping" too. As when the dog is figuring out what it needs to do to get the treat and then being successful - because you've made it easy to guess right - it learns the fastest and remembers best.

    Say Yes Dog Training

    Clicker Training

  8. #8


    make her tied with the rope and give her the food at there let her recognize all of your family member and then she will be used to .

  9. #9


    When outside with her call her away from the kids and give her rewards when she comes to you. She will learn that commands are important to her and keep training her and when she does the right thing give her a reward. This does work

  10. #10


    Have you tried to swap the bitting of the kids by offering up a treat.
    This might distrack her from the bitting.
    I am not saying to reward her for doing it but be close enough to offer up a reward as soon as you see the dogs attention going towards the kids.
    And I also agree with making the kids turn around when the pup is on the bite.
    Our grandies, well the oldest one does this and Murphy leaves her. So this is a working one here.
    But I have to say when the kids are here more time now than not we have the girls inside and Murphy out. I know this isn't right. But we are so sick of telling the little bugger off.
    He loves kids so much but his muscular size well outweights the girls.
    So as soon as he has grown up a little more we will try to mix to 2 again.

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