A Labrador puppy learns acceptable behaviour from trial and error, from its littermates and other puppies, and from its mother (if the puppy remains in the litter long enough). When a Labrador puppy leaves the litter and joins a new family, it learns about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour from its new owner. The Dog Breed Info website emphasises that any biting, no matter how cute or playful it may seem, should be discouraged in order to help your Labrador puppy realise that biting is not acceptable behaviour.
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Cry out when your Labrador puppy uses its mouth on you, even in play. A loud yelp teaches the dog that biting hurts.
Move away from your dog after it uses its mouth in play. Removing yourself from the situation takes the fun and play away from the puppy and reinforces the idea that biting or using its mouth was inappropriate.
Take your puppy to dog parks and other places where it can come into contact with other dogs in a safe and controlled environment. This socialisation provides invaluable lessons for your puppy about appropriate play and behaviour.
Provide chew toys for your dog. Puppies will bite and chew when they're teething, so provide appropriate toys for your puppy to chew to relieve the pain and discomfort of teething.
Tips and warnings
- Remain consistent when you're training your puppy not to bite. Never allow a dog to bite, even in play.
- Never hit a dog to discipline it for biting. Hitting your dog will teach it to fear you and not trust you, and your dog will be more likely to bite you in the future.
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