Labrador Puppies: When Biting Gets Out of Hand!
When a Lab puppy bites your dog, it is very likely that they are showing signs of aggression. These behaviors include growling, snapping at you or other dogs, lunging at you and even biting you.
Some labs may not show any outward signs of aggression until they get older and have children around them. However, most labs will display some sort of behavior from day one to adulthood.
So what causes these behaviors?
The first thing to realize is that there are many different types of aggression. There are several reasons why a lab might bite. Some of these could be due to boredom, fear, frustration or just plain spitefulness. A few examples would be:
A young lab puppy may simply want attention or they may have been neglected and abused since birth. They may also feel threatened by another dog (or human) which makes them lash out at someone else instead of themselves.
Another reason could be due to a genetic predisposition towards aggression. Many breeds have certain traits that make them prone to aggression.
For example, pit bulls tend to be aggressive and they are often bred for fighting purposes. Other breeds such as the labrador retriever breed tend to be gentle and loving but still possess a strong sense of self preservation. This means that these types of dogs are less likely than others to become aggressive toward humans or other animals. It’s all about the breeding.
Labrador who tend to display more aggressive behavior are usually separated from the litter at a very young age. They need to be socialized a lot more than other dogs and should be exposed to as many new things as possible.
Some labs are simply born with an aggressive streak. This means that they may be more prone to show aggression even when they are facing other dogs or human beings.
These are just a few of the reasons why labs can act aggressively. It is very important that you are aware of these signs and do your best to curb these behaviors as they appear.
Ignoring or neglecting these signs can lead to something much worse down the road. If left unchecked, some of these labrador puppy biting aggressive types can become extremely dangerous when they get older.
Labrador Retriever Puppies: How to Socialize with Other Dogs
If left unchecked, some of these dog aggressive types can become extremely dangerous when they get older. This is why it is so important that you watch for signs of aggression in your labrador puppies and nip the problem in the bud.
Step 1: Watch for Aggressive Signs
When the signs of aggression begin to appear in your lab, you have to immediately put a stop to them. Aggression is a serious matter and you should never take the chance that your little friend will turn into a big lap dog killer.
So how do you know when they’re being aggressive?
First and foremost, all dogs can detect fear so it is in your best interest to not act afraid if your lab starts to growl at another dog or even a human being. This means you need to keep a cool head in these types of situations and do your best to remain calm.
If your lab continues to act out, it may be time to give him a time out. Place him in his crate and just simply ignore him.
If you have company over and your dog begins to act aggressively toward them, you need to take him away from the situation immediately. Take him to his cage and stay away from company for awhile.
If your dog is growling and showing his teeth then this means that he is ready to bite. You need to act quickly in these situations.
Don’t scream or yell at him since this will only anger him more and make the situation worse. Instead, you need to show him that his behavior is unacceptable by giving him a swift kick in the behind. Just make sure you aim for his hindquarters so you don’t get bit.
Step 2: Create a Firm Bond With Your Lab
In order to curb your lab’s aggressive behavior, you need to create a strong bond with your pet. If your dog knows that you are the leader and that you are stronger than him, he won’t try to challenge you.
Of course this doesn’t mean you should act aggressive towards your lab. It simply means that you have to be aware of your dog’s feelings and know how to handle him properly.
One thing you need to realize is that it is completely natural for a dog to display aggressive behavior. It is up to you, as the owner, to make sure this behavior is kept under wraps.
You have to show your lab that you won’t accept this type of behavior and he needs to learn that he is lower on the chain than you are.
If your lab begins to act aggressively toward you then it is because he isn’t afraid of you. This means that you have failed to create that hierarchy in the home.
In order to rectify this problem you need to make your dog afraid of you. This may sound a bit harsh but if you don’t follow these steps, your lab may display aggression toward other people as well and that could turn out to be a disaster.
So how do you make your lab afraid of you?
Well there are several ways that you can do this but it all boils down to the fact that you need to act more dominant than him. This can be accomplished a number of ways.
When your lab displays dominant behavior, you need to display aggressive behavior as well. This will let him know that you aren’t going to accept this type of behavior.
For example, if your lab begins barking out the window at something and then turns to look at you as if challenging you, you should bark back. If he begins walking toward you, stand your ground and stare him down. If he persists then you need to growl and show your teeth. Of course this may seem a bit ridiculous but it is important that you act in this way so that your dog knows that you aren’t going to be pushed around.
You need to make sure you are the only one feeding him and you should occasionally take his food away. Make sure you always wake up before him and take his favorite toy from him.
You should also be the one to give him attention and make sure he sleeps in a location lower than you, such as a basement or even a kennel.
If your lab starts walking towards you, stand your ground and stare him down. If he persists then you need to growl and show your teeth
Step 3: Teach Him to be Obedient
Just as important as keeping your dog in line is making sure that he knows how to follow your commands. If your lab is stubborn and headstrong then he is going to be a handful to handle.
In order to avoid this you should begin training him as soon as you get him home.
One of the first things you need to do is enroll him in a basic obedience class. Most local pet stores and such offer these classes at an affordable price.
These classes give you the basics on how to train your dog and ensure that he grows up to be well behaved and obedient. The sooner you get your dog into one of these classes, the better.
Training your dog to be obedient won’t be easy at times but as long as you establish yourself as the alpha in the relationship you should have no trouble. It just takes a lot of patience and commitment.
Step 4: Be Responsible
Finally, you need to accept the fact that you are now not just responsible for yourself but you are also going to be responsible for another life. This means that you can’t go out and get drunk every night and come home at whatever hour, you now need to think about somebody else.
If you do this then you are opening yourself up to a whole other world of possibilities. You will have a devoted friend for years to come and there isn’t anything better than that.So now you have the basics on what it takes to own a Labrador Retriever.
Just remember that you need to be responsible and have a bit of an understanding about dogs in general. When you do this, you won’t have any problems with your new best friend. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or even one of the staff at the local pet store about what you can do.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Which dogs bite? A case-control study of risk factors (KA Gershman, JJ Sacks, JC Wright – Pediatrics-English Edition, 1994 – researchgate.net)
- Labrador Retrievers for Dummies (J Walton, E Adamson – 2011 – books.google.com)
- Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Month by Month: Everything You Need to Know at Each Stage of Development (T Albert, D Eldredge, D Ironside, B Ironside – 2016 – books.google.com)
- Inappropriate behavior of potential guide dogs for the blind and coping behavior of human raisers (N Koda – Applied animal behaviour science, 2001 – Elsevier)
- Biting the hand that heals you: Encounters with problematic patients in a general veterinary practice (CR Sanders – Society & Animals, 1994 – brill.com)
- The Labrador Retriever (S Bolan – 2009 – books.google.com)
- A case series of biting dogs: characteristics of the dogs, their behaviour, and their victims (NC Guy, UA Luescher, SE Dohoo, E Spangler… – Applied Animal …, 2001 – Elsevier)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com)
- Breed differences in canine aggression (DL Duffy, Y Hsu, JA Serpell – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2008 – Elsevier)