Biting 5 month old. Please help! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Biting 5 month old. Please help!


Ziggy is 5 months and his front teeth are all his adult ones now. His biting is getting worse and he's showing signs of aggression. I have had goldens before and have never encountered anything like this.

We cannot sit in the same room as him, eat or stand and cook or sit on the couch without him continuously nipping at us. I have many bruises and he is breaking the skin. Just now while eating my dinner he got my back and leg.

When we say "ahp!" loudly like the trainer instructed us to, Ziggy barks and nips at us harder. I am at my wit's end and cringe when he's around because I'm expecting to get bitten. His adult teeth are causing harm and it will only get more dangerous if not corrected.

He is an otherwise loving boy, he is affectionate, loves to kiss and has a lot of energy. I love my boy but I can't keep letting him hurt me.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
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He sounds like he needs more exercise and also some time out space, in a crate, behind a puppy gate or in a puppy pen.

Also keeps lots of toys handy and physically put them in his mouth and encourage him to play with them instead of nipping. You can also try teaching him to lick you instead of bite. Put peanut butter on your hand, when he licks say "good kiss", practice that and the idea is when he starts to bite you say "Kiss" and he will learn to lick instead of bite.

Take a look through the puppy under a year section of the board, you will find literally hundreds of threads about this very problem with lots of good advice, as well as sympathetic victims of the exact same biting problem with puppies his age, older and younger.

If the trainer you are working with isn't helping, find another one.

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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 07:22 PM
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Biting 5 month old. Please help!

Vinnie was the same way. I could not just sit with him without him chewing on me. There were times it literally brought me to tears. When he got like that, I put him in time out until he calmed down. I also rattled a penny can and that would make him stop momentarily. Finally at about 5 1/2 months it stopped for the most part. He still nibbles but not as much and not as hard.
What seems like aggressiveness can also just be play mode.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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When we got Scamp at 10 weeks we had several weeks of insane landshark moments! With no warning. My pajamas have holes husband who is on blood thinners had blood running down his hands and arms every day. We both looked like we'd shoved our way thru a barbed wire fence. it was dreadful at times.

He's now just turned 5 months old ( yesterday)....all his 2nd front teeth and many of his middle back ones are in too....ouch! Most of the uncontrollable puppy crazies are gone but once in a while he will make a sneak attack out of nowhere. Our trainer suggested redirecting him right away and to do it firmly by telling him to do a command that he knows to do instantly.

So now when he does that and really seems like he's gotten himself out of control, I tell him in no uncertain terms to might not happen the first time but I don't have to say it too many times til he does. You can almost see his thought processes shifting and I praise the sit and offer a cookie. By that point his mindset is elsewhere and the attack is forgotten.

I really believe it only happens when he has energy overload and we've not done enough to burn it off but it's a bit disconcerting when it happens and I can well understand your need to nip ( no pun intended) that in the bud before he gets any bigger.

Good luck, Penny
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:24 AM
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At 5-6 months our Bella was the same. They get called land sharks for a season!
we found the rattling pennies in a pop can as per Vinnie'smom, & a Firm NO, when she attempted to nip worked best for us.
Certainly keep plently of chew toys, & pizzles (dried beef penis), & antler on hand when he needs to chew.

Mike D (Bella's dad)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:48 AM
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How much exercise is Ziggy getting - mental and physical? Honestly? (I am truly not trying to give you a hard time, I have walked in similar shoes and want to help) He sounds like the type who one or two 20 minute walks every day will not be quite enough.
Do you have time to do 2 or three 5 to 10 minute training sessions most days?
Is he an only dog? If so, I would work very hard, use trainer or friends and neighbors to network, to find a nice young dog about the same size to arrange playdates with a couple times a week. I am not the most experienced person on this forum, but I feel very strongly that in the average household (this includes mine) it can be very difficult to get a young, growing working breed the proper amount of exercise. I can take my collie on a brisk 3 mile walk in about 35 minutes or so. I am ready to hit the couch (we have hills in my area) and we will run into my dad walking his lab on the way home. Mack is seriously like a kite flying at the end of a string he is so excited - I haven't even scratched the surface of his energy level. He is just getting warmed up. I really think they need a good 30 minutes of hard play almost every day to get their heart rates up. The easiest way to get this is rough housing with another energetic young dog. As mentioned by someone, does he have something special to chew every day? That is a great way to get out some excess energy. I save a bully stick for most evenings when I'm trying to watch t.v.

I would use baby gates (as mentioned above) and have him drag a short leash around the house (cut a cheap one off to about 2.5 feet and use it to control him when he starts an episode.

Also, try using the search feature at the top of the page and look up the terms "teaching self control" , "calming signals' "calming techniques" "calming command" and "teenage Puppy" for some ideas and to know you're not alone. Does he like to retrieve? Have you taught him to play games in the house like "find the bumper" or "find the person" where you hide something he loves and then he has to go find it? This is a terrific diversion if you will work with him on it a bit you may be surprised at how much he enjoys it.

Does your trainer have a lot of experience with labs or goldens? I think retrievers are a special case and even if you like your trainer it might be good to find a new set of eyes, different opinion to help with this issue. He clearly is a different case than your previous dogs, just like kids are different. It sounds like he is going to require different management skills and rules and it's going to be more work for a while. I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:48 AM
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He is NOT agressive. Tayla was the same way and none of our friends with Goldens had ever experienced this (or so they said). I found so much help and information on here. Check out jumping and biting posts or many of my prior posts. It does get better, at different ages for different dogs. Tayla mostly stoped just shy of 1 years although if she gets excited she still will do it, I'm just better at control than I used to be. I had bruises all over me for almost 8 months. Broke skin lots of times. Came home from walks crying more than once.

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