Does your dog bite or nip you?

It is especially common in puppies and the more active breeds.  Dogs instinctively nip at motion, especially when they are all wound up.  Sometimes it can be difficult to train them out of this behavior (especially herding breeds), but it is a pretty important thing for them to learn to become socially acceptable, especially if they are around children.  So here is how to get a dog to stop biting:

Dog BiteBefore we can teach the dog how to not do something, we have to get them to do it.  It is usually pretty easy to incite this behavior in dogs and puppies just by playing with your hands and waving them around in front of the dog.  Most dogs will automatically start going after them, and get more and more wound up as you play.  Do this until they bite you harder than  you deem acceptable, and when they do give a dog-like howl or noise and stop playing with them.  Dogs, especially puppies, really have no idea how hard they are biting, or how sensitive you are to it.  When dogs are young and play with the other puppies of their litter, they will learn how hard is too hard amongst themselves when one of them nips the other too hard.  This is the natural learning for dogs to use their mouths appropriately.  Your dog will modify its behavior as it sees how hard is too hard.  If you jerk back in pain and they try to lick you or comfort you, praise them or give them a treat.  Repeat this process until your dog learns how hard is too hard, it shouldn’t take too long.  Keep this up until they do not nip or bite hard, or do not bite at all,  whichever you prefer.  If your dog does not respond well to your yelps, try making them sit and giving them a time out (as well as using the word “no”).  If you continue to give your puppy consistent feedback like this, you can teach them what you want them to do!