If your Labrador puppy has been nipping or biting at you this post will show you some possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my Labrador bite at me? Possible causes are that it is teething, playing, excited, looking for attention or that you have inadvertently rewarded it for doing it.
Your Labrador could be doing it for a number of different reasons and it could be the result of a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador bites you
Below, I will show you a number of possible reasons why it does it and what would make them more likely to be the actual reason.
It is teething
The cause could be that it has started teething. This would be more likely if it has started biting you suddenly and if it has been biting or chewing on other things as well.
In this case, it would be important to train it to stop biting you using the tips below and to give it lots of toys to chew on.
You have been encouraging it
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it to bite you by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things that it wants when it bites you such as toys, treats or extra attention it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to avoid rewarding it when it bites.
It wants attention
It could also be the case that it does it for attention. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to stop rewarding it with attention when it starts biting and to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention again.
The cause could also be that it is excited and it is trying to show its excitement. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you come home.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Labrador puppy biting or nipping you.
When it started biting you
It would help to consider when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be because it is teething but it could also be the case that it realized that it gets rewards when it does it.
How aggressively it does it
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it aggressively. If it does do it aggressively, consider getting the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist in your area so that you can see how to get it to stop safely.
How to get it to stop biting you
Below are some things you can do to get it to nip or bite you less.
Positive reinforcement training
The first thing to do would be to train it to stop doing it using positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage good behaviors by rewarding them and avoid rewarding bad behaviors.
You can do this to get your Labrador to stop nipping or biting you:
- Stop giving your Labrador attention whenever it nips you by hiding your hands or temporarily leaving the room if necessary
- Start giving it attention again until it starts nipping and then stop giving it attention again.
- Repeat the above, rewarding with a treat it each time it doesn’t nip you when it normally would.
Alternatively, you would withdraw your hands, feet or ankles as soon as it shows signs of being about to nip. Each time it doesn’t nip when it normally would you would reward it with a treat.
You can watch the video below for more tips on how to get it to stop doing it.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
It is also important to avoid reinforcing bad behaviors by not rewarding them. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training and to try to redirect its focus when it seems like it is about to misbehave.
Give it things to chew on
In addition to the above, it would also help to give it other things to chew on. This would be especially important if it is teething since it will want to chew on things so that it can soothe its gums.
When training your Labrador, it is important to be consistent with the training. If you only train it once or twice it will not be likely that you will change its behavior noticeably. But, if you train it consistently, you can get much better results over the course of weeks.
If you are unable to get your Labrador to stop doing it or it has been doing it aggressively, consider getting help from a certified dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see how to train it to stop in a safe manner.