Puppies of any breed can bite because it is their natural instinct. It is also part of the teething process and simply that they don’t know any better. So, if you have a lab that bites regularly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Knowing how to properly train them is keep. Training your lab not to bite is important, as is knowing why they do so in the first place. Here is your guide to your lab and how to get them to knock it off.
Why Does My Lab Bite Me So Much?
You may notice that your Labrador puppy is biting a bit more than you anticipated. You knew that, as a puppy, they are prone to biting. This is mostly due to the fact that they are teething and just need to chew on something to ease their discomfort.
Part of training your lab not to bite means having a better understanding for why they are doing it in the first place. They also bite a lot because they use their mouths to better gather information and explore their environment.
When they move out of their puppy teeth and into adult teeth, they tend to stop biting. This partially has to do with a greater confidence in their surroundings but also being away from the pain and discomfort that comes with teething.
As puppies, they learn how hard they can bite something, how that feels, what it tastes like, and whether or not they can bite it again. They keep track of this information for when they come across other objects.
This is actually an important part of the process for helping them become properly socialized. That said, those bites can definitely have negative implications, so they bear watching.
How to Get Your Lab Puppy to Stop Biting?
The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can stop your lab puppy from biting. It is important to know why they bite in the first place, as covered above, and whether they are being playful or aggressive.
For the most part, they are being playful. Which means that you need to know how to play with them in order to get them to stop biting.
How to Play with Your Lab?
A lot of the times, owners will let their lab play with their hands. The first thing to do is to establish that your hands nor feet are play things. When they attempt to bite you, say a firm “no!” This should give them the idea that your hands and feet are not meant to be bit.
It takes time, but this is an effective measure. Also, try to keep them from getting too excited as they can lose their sense a bit. Make sure that you break the game when they start to get a little too over the top.
Now, before you can train them not to bite, you need to get them in control of their bite. Controlling the strength of the bite is known as bite inhibition and it is crucial to getting them to stop biting altogether.
Training your lab not to bite means getting them to know to be careful when they do bite. They learn this while playing with their mother and littermates early. Even then, they can bring them with them later on in life.
They basically need to learn not to bite or there will be some “punishment” that comes with it. You can do this by giving them no attention for a few minutes. They might just be too excited and unaware of how strong their bite is.
Another great tactic is to redirect their energy and biting. If they nip at your fingers and hands, make sure that you substitute toys for your hands quickly. You can also implement treats, with the goal being that you want them to recognize what they should be biting versus what they shouldn’t be.
Make sure that you have toys or treats on the ready. The minute they go to bite, replace your hand with one of those things. It may take some time, but your pup will realize fairly quickly that there is a positive reaction if they bite one of those other things rather than your hands. Before long, they won’t even go to bite you but rather look for treats or toys that they can bite instead. It is one of the most consistent methods of training out there.
When Do Lab Puppies Stop Biting?
Lab puppies can stop biting relatively early. So long as they have proper training, both with the breeder and when they come home with you, they should stop right around the 7 month old mark. By that time, they should have all of their teeth, and teething is one of the major reasons that they bite.
There are still other reasons why your puppy may bite even after the teething phase. Sometimes they just have higher energy levels and can get rambunctious. When that is the case, you need to be able to divert their energy so that they no longer bite.
Puppies are known to nip and bite. It is part of how they learn about things but also mainly about teething. They chew and bite on things when they are looking for reprieve from the pain that comes with teething.
They should grow out of the biting when they stop teething, though it is not necessarily a guarantee. At the end of the day, it comes down to working with your lab puppy to help curb their biting. Whether because of teething or something else, it takes a little bit of time and patience to make that happen.