How to Train a Dog Not to Bite

Dogs just love to chew, sniff, and play with things.  Dogs use their mouths a whole lot to interact with their world, and sometimes they just don’t realize how sharp their teeth are.  Dogs and especially puppies will sometimes chew on hands, articles of clothing, or just about anything that gets near them.  Although this can be adorable when they are a baby at 8 weeks old; when they are 6 months old and tearing up your couch you aren’t going to think it’s very cute then!  Because of this, it is important (and much easier) to stop chewing biting behaviors early on.

Training a Dog Not to BiteThe final goal of your training should be teaching your dog to stop biting and/or mouthing entirely, which is important to remember because you have to teach it very, very gradually.  You have to teach your dog that humans have very sensitive skin compared to dogs, they aren’t born knowing that.  Puppies will almost always start out biting far too hard, especially when they are excited.  Puppies learn how hard is too hard by playing with other puppies in their litter.  But even a puppy can take a much stronger bite than a human hand without feeling pain.   This is a good sign, though, because puppies can learn how hard is too hard for humans as well, they just need a good teacher to know the difference.

To train your dog, make it into a game.  Start to play with them until they start to bite.  When they do, make a yelp like a hurt dog, or say “ouch!” and pull back to show them that you are hurt by it.  This will make them stop, and they may even try to lick you where they bit.  Praise this and continue playing with them.  As you play this game, they will start to understand how hard is too hard.  Try not to get frustrated, as they may have relapses and bite harder sometimes for no reason.  If your dog is having a problem learning, it may be appropriate to stop for a longer time and give them a time out, before returning to play.  If you keep this up and stay consistent with it, you should be able to teach your dog not to bite at all in a few weeks.