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Four month old puppy behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Emraa, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Emraa

    Emraa PetForums Senior

    Jun 4, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Bella is a 4 month old Lab mix. She is my first pup and I just want to check that I am doing ok by her!

    She understands sit, stay, down, up, go on and leave (she will obey these comands first time 90% od the time). She plays fetch well, knows the names of three toys and will find one of these toys if I ask her to (although she is still very slow with this one!). She plays tug of war well and understands when I tell her to be gentle.

    She fully house trained and sleeps all night. She is used to being left alone for up to 4 hours (with the occasional yelp and bark in protest!)

    She comes when I call her name first time 90% of the time. She is hopeless on the lead and is terrified of traffic. She travels really well in the car, doesn't get sick or anxious.
    She is very friendly towards people and other dogs and is very submissive.

    She jumps up all the time and is now trying to nip occasionally as she does this. She does understand when I say Off but she will still do it again and again.
    Sometimes he lunges at people and tries to nip them - is this just normal puppy play of should I be concerned?

    How are we doing??

    I am surrouned by people telling me to do this and do that, and that Bella shouldn't be going that at her age etc....not great for the confidence!:confused:
  2. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

    Jul 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    seems to me your'e doing very well with the pup.

    re the jumping up

    you need to get all the family and visitors to act as one on this if you can.

    when she jumps up fold your arms and turn your back on her, ignore her completely.

    when she has all four feet on the floor then praise her and say hello.

    pups will soon pick up that jumping = no attention, and any attention even a stern no is attention to a pup.

    you could also try to put her on lead when you have visitors and make her sit before she gets a stoke of any kind.

    no eye contact or attention again until she does as you wish.

    she'll soon pick it up but be consistent and persistent.
  3. Cuddypuppy

    Cuddypuppy PetForums Member

    Jan 15, 2009
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    I think she sounds like she is doing really well. I will be happy if my pup is at the same stage when she reaches 4 months. She is 10 weeks at the moment.
  4. louise5031

    louise5031 Guest

    Hiya, just to reassure you re the jumping and biting, at four months this 100% NORMAL puppy behaviour, don't worry! She is just trying to play with everyone and everything :)

    The most important thing you can do for Bella at this age is to teach her bite inhibition. Basically, training her to stop biting needs to be a gradual process so that she learns how to bite very softly. Therefore in the future if she was ever to bite someone out of fear or pain, she would instinctly not cause much damage. To do this, you need to act like her littermates would act if they were bitten too hard - squeal! Make a loud squealing noise which will startle her, and then if she doesn't immediately return to biting, grab a toy or a treat and praise her for doing so. If she is all worked up in the hyper way that pups can get, and will not bite softly or keeps coming back for more, simply get up and leave the room for a few moments. Make sure everyone in your family follows the same simple rules so not to confuse her.

    Sometimes this will be difficult ie. if you have guests or you have something dangerous in the room that she may harm herself with. I'd recommend making a little safe time-out area. If she becomes hyper and will not stop lunging despite the squealing etc, without saying anything just pick her up and place her in time out. This isn't a punishment, its just a way of showing her that its time to calm down.

    Once she gets to the stage where she is mouthing, ie. just using her mouth gently on your hand but still doing this to demand attention, I would then start to say a firm "no". Repeat the process above and do not give in to her demands for attention. Remember though, when she is behaving and NOT mouthing, you must take it upon yourself to praise praise praise, and play lots of games to keep her stimulated.

    Have you got the Gwen Baily perfect puppy book? It is well worth the investment. My Zach (lab cross) is 15 months now and got over this phase by about 6 months, don't worry she will soon grow out of it. Sorry for writing an epic lol x
  5. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

    Oct 20, 2008
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    Good post :)

    It sounds like you're doing really well. What you describe is perfectly normal puppy behaviour but if you are relentlessly consistent it will stop.

    There is a sticky thread on the front page of the forum about nipping, or else Google for "The Bite Stops Here", read and digest.

    Keep up the good work :)
  6. Emraa

    Emraa PetForums Senior

    Jun 4, 2009
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    Thanks everyone, it is nice to hear that all the hard work is paying off.

  7. hobo99

    hobo99 PetForums VIP

    Aug 18, 2008
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    Hi, yes the gwen bailey book is very good :biggrin:

    I have a nearly new one you can have for the postage if you would like it. :)
    just let me know . su x :):
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