- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Biting - but not really?

August 2nd, 2007, 01:58 PM
I could really use some advice here. I am fostering a one year old female black lab for a local rescue group and am working really hard to make sure she has good manners before she goes to her forever home. The problem is when she gets excited (play time/new people) she moves as if to bite but kind of nips the air right in front of your hand (arm, leg, face) instead. Big teeth!

I've never had a dog do this and have no idea what to do about it. I tell her "NO" strongly and, if playing, stop playing with her. What else can I do? Is this normal and I just haven't had a puppy in so long I can't remember?

Any help would be much appreicated! I really want her to go to a good home because other than this and a little leash pulling she is about as perfect as they come!

August 3rd, 2007, 09:49 AM
Is it like she's snapping the air? Directed at you? (You say at your face?) I've seen this in our older dog Gracie, who is a super-dominant-dying-to-be-alpha female. She USED to do this when you gave her a command to do was almost like backtalk.

I don't know if this is the same thing as what you're experiencing, though. Is your lab girlie a dominant gal?

We worked through it by establishing our roles as alpha (NILFF and umbilical technique). She only does it playfully now...she's got a good sense of humour and does it to be knowingly "naughty"...

August 3rd, 2007, 12:32 PM
Yes, like snapping at air but directed at us. My husband was petting her today and started scratching/rubbing her hip and she bent around and snapped - no tail wag, no playfulness - but didn't touch him. It's so weird to me because I can't tell if that's just how she plays or if she is wanting to bite but won't

I'm going to be working with her a bunch this weekend so I'll try and see if doing the umbillical training helps (we already do NILFF).

August 3rd, 2007, 01:44 PM
Just so you know, it took us about 6 months to get her past this (and other) behaviour......

August 3rd, 2007, 04:34 PM
Sounds like my grrrrl Bridie. She is what I call an uber-alpha. :D She is extremely intelligent and "does not tolerate fools gladly" as the saying goes. Bridie needs to be absolutely exhausted at least once per day. This means chasing the ball or swiimming for an hour or more (plus the usual recreational walks) each and every day.

This cuts down on the "snarly face" big time. But when it happens, it's not to be tolerated. Bridie is smart enough to be ashamed. I hold her snout firmly, look her in the eye and tell her that her behaviour is not acceptable, that I am the Mummy here and she will accept "X treatment/ behaviour" from me or "x" (like "get off Mummy's bed") will happen.

This is a smart puppy who is learning dog v. person manipulation ~ it's up to you to out-trick him !

August 13th, 2007, 03:19 PM
what is NILFF?

August 13th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Nothing In Life Is Free = NILIF

basically making the dog work for all things... meals, attention, play time, etc...

August 13th, 2007, 07:49 PM
Dracko did this when he was younger, too, though he would usually grab on to a piece of clothing and rip it. I know I used to stop the playtime as soon as he started snapping or grabbed the clothing.

I agree with bendyfoot that it takes time. Won't correct overnight. Fortunately Dracko is so good now that he can "mouth" the cats and such and there has never in these years been an incident of him snapping or clamping down on anything. Well, anything he shouldn't. :thumbs up