How to Stop a Labrador Puppy's Aggressive Behavior

October 2, 2014 – 04:30 pm

Nipping may seem cute in a pup, but can turn into biting as an adult.Nipping may seem cute in a pup, but can turn into biting as an adult.

While Labrador retrievers are generally known for their gentle and friendly personalities, some Labs may show signs of aggression as puppies, especially in the form of mouthing. Without training to curb your pup's aggressive tendencies, a relatively harmless little Lab can quickly grow into a large and potentially dangerous adult.

Items you will need

  • Leash
  • Doggie life jacket
  • Dog toys
  • Chew toys
  • Dog treats
  • Taste deterrent spray

Step 1

Take your Lab pup out for a brisk walk or jog on a leash and play engaging games like fetch and hide-the-toy with your little furball. Tug-of-war games are discouraged for any dog with any hint of aggressive tendencies. Labradors are a high-energy breed that needs lots of exercise to burn off their extra energy. They love to swim, which may work well if you have a pool - but don't forget a doggie life jacket for safety.
A bored puppy who isn't properly exercised burns off this energy through destructive means, such as chewing on furniture - or your limbs - as part of his "play" behaviors. Labs are notorious for chewing on anything and everything around them. While this behavior is not necessarily aggressive to start with, it can lead to aggression when your dog reaches adulthood. If your Lab thinks that biting people or animals during play is okay as a pup, he'll continue to bite people as his jaws get stronger, a situation that can have serious consequences.

Step 2

Play with your Lab puppy using chew toys, not your fingers or hands. If your Lab nips your hand during play, loudly say "Ouch!" to startle your pup and immediately stop play and ignore him for 30 to 60 seconds, recommends the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Do this each time your dog nips or bites you until your dog learns that nipping leads to something unpleasant: an abrupt end to the fun and attention. Reward proper behavior that doesn't involve biting with a tasty treat and praise.

Step 3

Spray a taste deterrent on your hands or ankles, depending on which body parts are the target of your Labrador pup. These sprays taste bitter and unpleasant to your dog, and when biting or nipping at you results in this yucky taste, it will deter him from nipping at you in the future. Continue to spray your limbs and clothing for two weeks until your pup ceases his attempts to nip or bite you.


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