Help! My puppy wont stop biting me!

Hello! I have an 11 month old Lab/English Mastiff mix who will NOT stop biting me and my husband. He is a social, loving dog however when wanting attention or during play he goes straight to biting our hands or clothing. On walks, he sometimes jumps up and bites for no reason! He has gone to beginner puppy, advanced puppy and intermediate obedience school where he can confidently sit, stay, lay down, shake a paw, sit stay and we leave the room, he walks quite well beside us, I have had a trainer come and do a session in my home, we have tried pretty much every solution I can find online; saying OUCH, ignoring, time outs, spray bottle, bitter apple spray, coins in a jar…everything just makes him come back for more! Our obedience trainer suggested we try the scruff and pin technique that worked for awhile but now he is 95 pounds and I am no longer able to do that nor did I really ever enjoy it!
He goes for two 1 hour walks per day and plays with other dogs of all ages and sizes 2-3 times a week.
Im desperate for a solution! Its beginning to get very frustrating, we cant even sit down without him coming over and wanting attention through biting.
Any suggestions?!

When he bites your hand, grab his tongue and pinch.

Have you tried lightly thumping him on the nose and saying “NO BITE!” in your best Voice of Doom? Not enough to come anywhere near hurting him, but enough to be uncomfortable and let him know you are Not Happy. It’s the only thing that seemed to get through to my lab mix in her more rambunctious days–she was impervious to being ignored, being scolded in a normal tone of voice, being actively pushed away (she thought that was a grand game), and being sprayed. Now that she’s older she responds pretty readily to lesser forms of correction, so your guy may grow out of some of this.

It’s going to a long, hard slog though. Labs are mouthy, chewy dogs. All puppies are, but it’s stronger and lasts longer with them. Dolly was three before we had her mostly broken of chewing up any piece of plastic she happened to find laying around. Also, they’re smart, and smart dogs are often stubborn as shit about things they don’t want to learn. Chin up, though, they learn eventually if you can just outlast them. Good luck!

I don’t know if your puppy is too old for this technique, but it worked well with my dog. When she was a puppy and she would use her mouth, I would yelp just like a hurt dog. Just a quick high pitched yelp. That let her know that the force she was using was too hard. She now has the softest mouth and makes sure she plays with us very gently. Its really comic, because she’ll be making ferocious growling noises and yet her mouth is just barely making contact with my skin.

I suggest zero tolerance for biting. A firm squeeze over the bridge of the nose and an equally firm “NO”. If that doesn’t work, then doing “sit” and “stay” prior to any attention, making all interaction on your terms.

My mom’s puppy responded well to an airhorn.

I agree with cat lady. Consistency and how quickly you react are also important. If your dog does not sulk up or cower after some discipline you are not being too tough on him. Labs are tough dogs and smart dogs. I used to grab mine around the muzzle and tell him no bite. I would hold his muzzle for a few seconds and then give him a pet as long as he behaved.

I like the above mentioned techniques for getting the dog to knock it the hell off with the biting. Unfortunately, if your Lab-mix is anything like my Lab was, it’s going to be somewhat brain-dead until it gets about two years old. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to please you, doesn’t mean you haven’t taught it a particular behavior, but it does mean it’ll forget to do it when it gets overstimulated. Mine could come, sit, down-stay, and ‘drop it’ from either a verbal or hand command, but it only became reliable after she was about two or so.

Made for a very frustrating year, year and a half. Watch him like a hawk until he gets it, as biting the wrong thing will get him killed.

They sell some stuff at pet stores that is basically a can of compressed air and perhaps some kind of scent. You’re supposed to give it an immediate blast (though NOT in your dog’s face or nose) whenever they commit a bad behavior. It’s pretty effective from what I’ve seen, though I can’t speak for the long-term cost if you have a truly incorrigible dog.

If he’s doing it for attention give him none. Turn your face away and fold your arms, totally ignore him.

The over excitement is causing the bad behavior. Do something first to calm him down. Sit! Stay! At Ease, then pet him. Don’t pet him when he’s very excited.

Biters can be very hard to break. Especially as they get older.

Since this is asking for advice, I’m going to move it to IMHO.

NO pinching, “thumping,” squeezing or striking, please! You’re not trying to run a Dickensian orphanage, for God’s sake, you’re trying to communicate with a companion!

Use the same method by which puppies learn proper bite inhibition from their littermates: ** Dr. Ian Dunbar’s method of training bite inhibition.**

It’s all over the web, pick a site you like.

Read the original…but the short version is, let him mouth you, then yelp move away and ignore him.

Applied consistently, by all the humans in the house, this works and works dramatically well; in fact, it’s worked better and faster than any other advice I’ve ever gotten off the Internet. We took in uneducated semi-feral pit bull puppy who expressed herself with her teeth (at the late age of 6-7 months, when her bite strength was beginning to be intimidating). Dr. Dunbar’s method began working the first day, and she was perfect within a few days, and remains gentle to this day with little reinforcement.

Don’t whack your friend, teach him how to succeed in the human world.

Anything you physically do to deter him will be seen as play escalation.

When he is obnoxious, he gets ignored, period. Turn your back, fold your hands up, don’t react. If, because he’s huge, that’s too hard to do then he gets a time out. Put him in a room alone or tie him to something and ignore him for a few minutes.

If he raises a fuss when he’s put away or tied, continue to ignore until he settles down (even if that’s 10 seconds at first) When you go back to get him, just be calm and normal, and don’t make a fuss. You’re starting anew and whatever happened before doesn’t matter.

The BIG caveat here is that this will take time at first, so don’t start it until you have at least a day to play waiting games. Once he gets the idea (and he will) you can incorporate it into daily life but at the outset don’t try this on your way out the door to work or you’ll just confuse him.

The only way he gets attention is if he’s calm and quiet and paying attention to you.

Here’s an idea.

They sell stuff at pet stores. It’s called a muzzle. Put it on him. Give him love and attention, lots of it. Treat him normally.

Take it off. Give him love and attention, lots of it. Treat him normally. If (when!) he bites, sternly say NO! and put the muzzle back on him.


One thing to be mindful of, is that if the temperature is hot, he won’t be able to pant and cool off as efficiently.

First, there is a difference between mouthing and biting. Labs are breed to be mouthers.
I tolerated mouthing (to a point) with my dogs until I got a Chow. Then I went to zero-tolerance. I taught him and a couple dogs since by grabbing the snout, shaking it a bit and yelling NO when ever it happened. If we were playing or training, that stopped for a cpl minutes.
But I did that when they were young; 2-4 months. At 11 mos, you’ve got a harder job.
I don’t think you should ignore that in an 11 mo mastiff.
For jumping on you, put your knee into his chest and yell “no”.
I see he’s been to classes, but I don’t see where you have established being his alpha. You are his playmates (I think). I strongly suggest you take steps to become his alpha (at least the one that will train / enforce rules). Dogs want/need to know where they stand in the ‘pack’. I had heard it was an issue with male chows, so after I had him a cpl weeks, I put his food in his bowl and then sat on the floor between him and his food and ate a lunch meat sandwich. I did this a couple times, before starting training in earnest. Then I trained him to take commands from our 3 daughters.

Dominance in dogs is widely misunderstood and misapplied.

A dog without proper bite inhibition will still mouth his “alpha” because he doesn’t realize it hurts that alpha. Show him it hurts you, that it’s inappropriate. It’s pointless and even counterproductive to try to overawe him, or make him associate you with pain.

If Dr. Dunbar’s bite inhibition training doesn’t work, when consistently employed, feel free to try something else, of course, but try that first.

Nope, I’m trying to train a dog. I do that differently with an animal than I would a 19th century orphan.

Yeah, with the orphans you really just want to use the squirt bottle.

I was thinking shock collars, but that would be anachronistic.