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We have a 4 month old labrador st bernard puppy we've had him for about a month now. And he is just such a biter! (not nips) whenever he gets at us he's drawn blood. We have now taken him to doggy daycare weekly in hope that he learns bite inhibition. With us we've tried yelp method which just riles him up even more. The time outs aren't working because as soon as we enter after a while he'll just start up again. Our trainer told us to get him tired. The problem is, he gets really "vicious"/"excited" then he goes after our pants. He won't let go and starts growling, lunging, showing teeth at us. He's torn at our clothes and bit us with small puncture wounds already. When we see that he's about to go after our legs we say no bite! and try to move away but he won't listen and will just get at us.
When he gets all riled up we try to calm him down but its just no use because he's constantly going at us and lunging at us.

when we go out say to the mall or petstore and vet he'll just get so excited and start jumping and get bitey with other people just ends up hard to control. How do we deal with overexcitement?

In the mornings we take him out for a walk around our condominium area for about 30 mins, and at night. During the day I work with him in short bout of playtime and training sessions in the condo if he won't go at us. Basically its us taking him for a walk just worried that he'll lunge and bite us. Usually the walks just end up with me dragging him home with with clamped down on my pants or legs.

I would really like your opinion on this because asides from this issue he is a really good puppy. :( I'm just at a loss already.

So I want to know to deal with this issue? Many people have said this is a "dominant" issue. And that I should be the "pack leader" *rollseyes* but they do not give specifics. We've done methods such as he must sit whenever we go somewhere and needs our permission to get out, have meals and etc. Which he's doing good at.

Vets and some friends have told me to hit him on the head or snout. Which I do NOT want to do!
 

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So I want to know to deal with this issue? Many people have said this is a "dominant" issue. And that I should be the "pack leader" *rollseyes* but they do not give specifics. We've done methods such as he must sit whenever we go somewhere and needs our permission to get out, have meals and etc. Which he's doing good at.

Vets and some friends have told me to hit him on the head or snout. Which I do NOT want to do!
Hi Remi,

You've come to the right place. Your intuition is absolutely right. The advice you've been getting - to be a pack leader and hit your dog - is not going to solve your problems.

I'd recommend following this trainer (kikopup). She's got excellent videos on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU

Since you've already gotten some success with having him "work" for his meals and getting out, you can use that to your advantage by rewarding him for calm, non-biting behavior. Rather than set down his meals in a food bowl, you can dole out his kibble as treats throughout the day as he begins to figure out that behaving well = food
 

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Hi Remi,

You've come to the right place. Your intuition is absolutely right. The advice you've been getting - to be a pack leader and hit your dog - is not going to solve your problems.

I'd recommend following this trainer (kikopup). She's got excellent videos on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU

Since you've already gotten some success with having him "work" for his meals and getting out, you can use that to your advantage by rewarding him for calm, non-biting behavior. Rather than set down his meals in a food bowl, you can dole out his kibble as treats throughout the day as he begins to figure out that behaving well = food

Yes, we've been doingn those exercises but still the behavior is persisting.
 

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If I were you... I'd step up the exercise in the mornings. If anything, I like to really front-load on the morning exercise because if you're smart you can poop them out for pretty much the whole workday, with the help of some 'maintenance' exercise in the evenings.

My suggestion would be a to take him to a nice, quiet park in the neighbourhood. There shouldn't be a terribly huge crowd in the morning and those that do turn up are probably relatively good dog owners if they're dedicated enough to pack the coffee in to a travel mug and go exercise the dog.

You can get him a harness and a drag line if you feel that recall might be an issue but IMO this is the perfect age to start taking your recall outdoors because the pup is still at a stage where they are fairly clingy, like to stick close to mom and dad and come with enthusiasm when you call. It's a good time to pick up which of these behaviours you'd like to simply maintain in your adult dog.

I basically had the same issue as you when I was asked by my neighbour to walk their 5 month old lab. She was too riled up to learn anything and too riled up to even walk properly. I tried taking her to the park on a leash just to sniff around but she wound up getting so hyped as soon as she stepped on the grass and saw that big open space that she just started running back and forth, hitting the end of the leash and flipping herself bum over head each time. Took her to my backyard, taught her a working recall (which as a puppy who loves running toward cheering people) she picked up pretty fast. Then the next morning I all but herded her down to the park and let her drag her leash around, zooming all across the field and getting it all out.

Although her recall would become shaky at times in her teen months, she was no problem off leash as a puppy. Once she had gotten an hour to run around the park like a maniac, falling down and getting up and lunging after tennis balls the discouragement of biting and jumping really stuck with her. She got some good opportunities to socialize with people and dogs on familiar territory (the park is for all purposes her backyard by now) and met lots of friendly, patient people and dogs who helped her practice her manners. Every day we got to practice manners around people and dogs, from how to leave them alone when they did not want to be bothered, waiting for my go-ahead before going up to greet people and greeting politely when that happened. It was work and a lot of training... but we were exercising as we went! Now at 11 months she is quite far ahead of the curve as far as manners and off-leash etiquette go and can even be trusted to hang out with small, elderly dogs without pestering them or trying to play with them.

I think that this is worth a try for you, especially given his age. I think it is more than possible for you to take him to the park and just throw a tennis ball or a toy and give him a good run around. It's a great way to train and socialize the puppy while letting off his steam in a way that isn't as 'high contact' as playing in the house.
 

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With my own puppy, I've had to simply stop and completely ignore him when he goes to bite my feet and ankles (make yourself as boring as possible).

Have you worked on loose leash walking with your pup? The reason I ask is you can work on rewarding your pup for walking calmly next to you (or as calmly as possible).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With my own puppy, I've had to simply stop and completely ignore him when he goes to bite my feet and ankles (make yourself as boring as possible).

Have you worked on loose leash walking with your pup? The reason I ask is you can work on rewarding your pup for walking calmly next to you (or as calmly as possible).
Ignoring him is quite impossible when he's going at us, because he bites so HARD when he does it. We've actually tried that and we just ended up all bloodied. :O

loose leash walking he does great. It's for some reason he just ends up going for our legs and thats it.
 

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Last fall, I had a rescue dog (long story, now rehomed) who nipped a lot when he was over-stimulated. He never drew blood, but at sixty pounds, he put holes into a couple of jackets and left marks on my arms.

I found that the nipping definitely got worse when he was overly stimulated and tired. Putting him on a schedule of alternate periods of rest and activity helped quite a bit as did some basic obedience training and using a crate for his sleep.

The nipping was always more of an issue during our late evening walks, and I learned how long of a walk was enough exercise and stimulation. Overdoing the walks in terms of time and distance would often lead to increased nippiness.

Because he was a big dog and I didn't want to get hurt, I also learned to outstretch my arm and hold him away from me on a short leash until he settled down. I never choked him, of course, but it really helped to prevent injury. And because he would try to bite through the nylon leash, I ended up using a chain leash.

In the end, he proved to be too much dog for me to handle and I found him another home, but the good news is that the nippiness got a lot better during the two months I had him.
 
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