Behavior Problems

Help! My Labrador Bites!

Labrador biting and chewing comes in different varieties and can be symptoms of very different things.  If you have a puppy, it is possible that they are teething.  They may also be feeling playful.  If a puppy is not trained that mouthing, biting and chewing on people is not appropriate play they will continue into adulthood.  But, that does not necessarily mean that he or she is being aggressive.

Why Is He Biting?

Disciplining your Labrador is a part of pet ownership.

Labradors rarely have behavioral issues. But, when they do they are smart and loyal enough to easily discipline.

This breed was bred for using its mouth for hunting and have the natural instinct to put everything and anything in their mouth.  This is not the same thing as being “mean” or “bad.”  This is how humans bred them to behave and if we prefer that they not, we are responsible for redirecting those behaviors.

The first thing that you need to decide is which type of biting is being displayed.

Types of Biting:

  • Playful
  • Fear Biting
  • Territorial
  • Aggression

The last 3 are not to be taken lightly and will progress.  But, playfulness in puppies can quiet easily be stopped by a persistent owner.

Recognizing the signs quickly and intervening early are key factors in the success of stopping biting or aggression behaviors.    It can be a lifesaver for a dog, as well. Because if a dog does bite a human there is a good chance that he will end up euthanized.  This is scary, but true.

If they growl, snarly or seem to be displaying a threatening demeanor then they are not playing.  They need help from a professional trainer as soon as is possible


  1. Use a sharp tone and say “No Bite!”
  2. If the puppy continues to mouth or bite, grab the back of its collar with your hand and say “No Bite!” again.
  3. Use a gentle tug action that should startle the dog but not to hurt it or frighten it.
  4. Replace the object (or body part) with a toy or treat or some other “approved” item. something it should chew on. As soon as they begin to bite the new object, give praise and be very demonstrative about their behavior being good.

Training a dog not to bite or chew is sometimes challenging and many a pair of chewed up leather shoes have perished at a Labrador’s hands.  But, this is very normal dog behavior when they are too young to know better.  You owe them the training that they need so that they can replace unwanted behaviors with positive and acceptable ones.


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