My first post
My male golden is only 11 weeks. I know mouthing is completely normal at this stage. However, he sometimes bites my kids rather hard. Just hard enough to draw a speck of blood sometimes, but mostly just hard enough to scare them. My 6 year old is now afraid to be around him at all. She sits on top of the table or kitchen counter. My 8 year old still wants to play but she is obviously scared of getting bit while she is playing with him.
Part of me figures this a "just a stage" he will go through. The other part of me is scared this will turn into a bigger issue down the road. I want to make sure I am discouraging this at an early age. I have watched lots of videos and read several books. All have different advice but nothing seems to slow this guy down! Here is what I've been doing:
1. He is confined to our dining room and kitchen (tiled floor). With lots of chew toys. We started off by just trying to distract him with chew toys when he wanted to chew on us. It works for awhile but eventually he just want to mouth/bite when he is being petted.
2. Tried the "OUCH!" and "OFF" technique. Basically trying to teach bite inhibition. We would yell "ouch!" when he bit us and ignore him for a minute. We also tried "off!" and pushing his nose away. "Ouch" and "Off" seemed like a game to him. Almost gets him more intense!
3. The last thing I tried was something taught on the DVD titled "Retriever Fever". They teach, when the puppy has his mouth around you, grab around the top of the muzzle and squeeze his top lips into his teeth until it is obviously uncomfortable for the puppy. All the while saying "No, No, No!". I tried this yesterday. It seems as though he bites me less, but is acting the same around my 8yr old. My children are not going to do this to the puppy. They think it is mean. To be honest, I agree. I think it is mean too. My wife doesn't like it either.
I don't want my puppy to think his master is a mean bully, but I will continue if the end justifies the means.
4. Lastly, I have been starting some basic obedience training. Using the techniques by Michael Ellis in the DVD "The power of training dogs with food". He is learning sit, down, and stand very well. This doesn't discourage biting, but it is the start of some basic obedience. I intend to take him to puppy kindergarted as soon as I can after he gets his next vaccine.
Anyway, I'm hoping that I am just overly concerned about a "puppy stage". But, I'd like some advice on how to get through this stage.