All dog owners will realize sooner or later that training their dog not to bite is crucial to preventing accidental injury – and it all starts when the dog is just a young puppy.
Puppies in a litter, generally, nip at each other constantly. They’re playing, pushing boundaries and learning their limits. If one puppy bites another too hard, the other will bite it back in return.
These are lessons for the puppy in knowing how far it can go when nipping and biting. However, when a puppy is raised in a home, it doesn’t get a chance to go through this process.
So, it tries nipping at the owner and family members. This is where training is required to show the puppy that nipping and biting is NOT ok. A puppy that’s taught bite inhibition when young, will be a lot less likely to bite when it’s older.
Tips you can use to stop your puppy from biting
A lot of times, the puppy is trying to see how much it can get away with. It’s also trying to establish dominance. As the owner, you’ll need to be the ‘alpha’ here.
Interrupt the biting behavior
If your puppy bites you or nips a little too hard, you should give a loud yelp in pain. Exaggerate the sound and make it loud enough to shock your puppy. A loud “OUCH!” will get the point across.
This will startle the puppy and it’ll realize it did something wrong. Immediately, place the puppy in the crate and stop communicating with it for a while.
Repeat this every time your puppy nips you. It will soon understand that biting will get it confined and you do not approve of such behavior.
Give your puppy something to chew on
Another technique you can use is to give your puppy a chew toy or bone to gnaw on if it’s trying to mouth your hand or nip at you. Dogs find chewing to be a calming process all through their life.
The more often your puppy is presented with a chew toy, the sooner it will realize that chewing and biting is reserved for toys and not to be done on humans. The puppy will understand that human skin is sensitive. This is instinctive… but it needs your guidance.
Do not let your puppy mouth your hands while playing with you. Any time its teeth comes in contact with your skin, you should place it in the crate and isolate it. This will make your puppy cautious about accidentally nipping/biting you.
Give your puppy sufficient physical activities
When bringing your puppy out to play, it’d be a good idea to let it socialize and play with other dogs. This will cause your puppy to expend its pent-up energy and it will be less aggressive.
Exercise is crucial for your puppy and this applies even when it’s a fully-grown dog. The more your dog exercises, the more ‘release’ it gets.
Dogs that bark incessantly, or pounce around the house or acting aggressively are usually not getting sufficient exercise. Ensure your puppy gets enough activity daily.
Do not use physical punishment
Do NOT hit your puppy if it bites you. Not only will this cause pain to the puppy, but might excite it more and make it bite you again – harder. You want to train your dog with love. Using physical punishment can create an aggressive dog in future.
Give the tips in this article a try and you’ll be amazed at how effective they are. As long as you isolate your dog when it nips at you, or tether it to somewhere isolated and leave it there for an hour – over time it will realize that you’re not tolerating any biting from it.
Your puppy will stop biting you and will be a pleasure to have around.
“Dogs will always be attracted to calm, assertive energy.” – Cesar Millan (Cesar Millan’s Short Guide to a Happy Dog: 98 Essential Tips and Techniques)