If you are living with a new puppy, there are many things that the two of you need to learn, and one of the most important lessons that your puppy is going to have from you is that it is unacceptable to bite! Dogs, just like humans, are creatures of habit, and if they form habits early on in life, you will find them much more difficult to break the longer that they get ingrained.
First, be aware that biting is a natural behavior for a puppy. A puppy that constantly bites and nips at you is not vicious; he is only exploring the world around him. He is mouthing things and learning about them, teething, and when he bites, he is also exercising his muscles and learning what kind of dexterity and strength that he has. Puppies who play with each other will play-bite at each other all day if they can.
While a puppy gnawing at you in the early stages is a natural phase, a puppy that continues to nip or bite, even playfully, can be a danger to himself and to others as an adult. Take some time to learn about puppy biting and what you can do to prevent it.
It is important to teach your puppy how to be aware of his force when biting and to control it. His or her siblings are the first in line to teach this and it is up to you to continue the process.
Techniques To Stop Your Puppy From Biting
1. If your young puppy is chewing on you and it hurts let him know this by wimpering and pretending to lick your wound. He or she will learn what their strength is and what is acceptable.
2. At the early stages, redirect your puppy’s biting to a chew toy or bone rather than your own flesh.
3. Do not punish your puppy unless you catch him in the act. Unless he is biting you when you reprimand him, he is not going to have any idea what is going on. Do not hit your dog, simply say “No Biting” in an calm but assertive voice without yelling. A calm energy from an owner equals a calmer dog. A puppy who gets hit is going to grow up easily startled and confused and you want to ensure that your puppy grows up healthy and happy. Hitting should never be an option!
4. For puppies with severe biting issues, apply a foul tasting substance that you can buy from your local pet store, onto a pair of gloves. When your dog bites you he will associate this unpleasant taste with biting.
5. You can learn a lot from adult dogs and how they deal with puppy biting. When a puppy bites it’s mother, the mother will utter a short sharp yelp. If the puppy persists, she will march off and refuse to play with the puppy for a while. You can take this precise technique and use it yourself. When your puppy becomes too energetic or stops paying attention to how hard he or she is biting, say “ow!” in a high pitched sharp voice. The idea is to startle the puppy into stopping. If the puppy starts up again, walk away and refuse to pay any attention to the puppy for a while. This will tell the puppy that too much biting will result in playtime being over.
When you are training your puppy not to bite, remember that you should not engage in games like tug of war with the puppy. This can be a confusing thing for a puppy to deal with, so just avoid games like this for the moment. Take your dog for daily walks so he or she can expend their energy, but avoid rough and tumble games for a bit.
Always encourage and reward your puppy when they demonstrate good behavior and discourage unacceptable behavior, showing both is equally important. Be consistant and never hit your dog. There are many ways to stop your puppy from biting, so take some time and really consider what techniques you want to use!