How To Stop A Puppy From Biting
If your puppy has any sort of problem with biting, then it can sometimes be a big challenge to manage to control them. Puppy biting, better known as nipping typically starts out as playful from your pup but it must be controlled fast if you do not want this to grow into a larger problem.
Biting for a young puppy is a phase that is natural and typically essential that they go through. This helps them when they are beginning to start teething which is explained in our why do dogs chew article.
More than likely, your puppy just loves to sink their teeth into everything around your house when they start this teething stage. Not only your couch, but your feet, arms and hands as well. If it gets bad, you may start to seem them as less of a cute puppy and more of a demon.
There is great news, though, puppies can be trained to not bite nearly as often and this process is not very hard to follow through with. If you start your puppy education for bite inhibition sooner rather than later, it will be easier for all parties (including your dog).
How To Stop Puppy Biting Problems
If you want to train your puppy to stop his or her biting problems, you first need to have some behavior training rules in your head. After you read these, then we can get into some of the training methods to correct your puppy’s behavior.
- Bite inhibition training, as well as puppy socialization, work together. This is important.
- Do not think about hitting your puppy, ever! This will never work and it will make your puppy very afraid of you which leads to problems. Think about it, would you listen to someone who was attacking you? I did not think so.
- When training, the best rule to keep your puppy biting problems at bay is to always encourage good behavior first, and also discourage bad behavior. Once your dog learns right from wrong when you praise them, they will learn quickly. If you want to learn a bit more about dog training that includes how to stop biting problems, you can check out this great guide.
- If you want to stop your pup from biting, never start wrestling, chasing, or playing tug with them. This is the best way to encourage this nipping behavior which is counter-productive.
- Always be consistent in your training and do not jump from method to method. If anyone else comes in contact with your dog, tell them they must use the same strategy with each nip your dog makes.
- Do not just expect your dog to know that biting is not acceptable behavior. You will need to clearly let them know that this is the case. If you do not, there is no way that they will know.
- It is rare, but sometimes the reason that puppies bite is that they are attempting to display dominance. If this is what is actually happening, you must put a stop to this as soon as possible. Dominant dogs biting can cause many other problems and it is best to show you are the leader in the relationship between you and your dog. To learn how to do this, read this.
Proven Techniques To Stop Your Puppy From Biting
The first goal in this process is to teach your puppy how to control the force of their bite. The littermates of your puppy should start to teach them this and it will be up to you to continue to teach them when you bring your new dog home with you. You want to make sure that if your dog does bite someone (hopefully this does not happen), that there will not be much damage from the bite. After you have made sure to give feedback on the strength of their bite to your puppy, then you can start to get rid of the biting behavior.
Related to the second method listed below
- If the biting problem is caught early on, it can be very easy to fix. Instead of biting you, give them a bone or a toy every time they nip. If you have a young puppy, this is typically all that you will need to do to get rid of the bad behavior. Once your puppy begins to bite your hand, say “No” and replace your hand with a nice chew toy. If your dog is in the middle of teething, you may notice an ice cube works and makes them feel better.
- My favorite method is the one that I use at my home and it is probably the most popular method that is out there. This method involves making your puppy think that he is really hurting you each time he nips at your skin. What makes this work so well is this is exactly how it works when they nip at other dogs they want to play with. If a puppy bites and nips at another, the puppy that is getting bitten will cry and yelp out. The dog learns that if they want to play, then they should not bite. Each time your dog bites you, yell OUCH!. You want to startle the dog when you say it and pull away from them. Then you should refuse to play with your puppy while they learn their lesson. Very quickly your pup will know that if he bites, you will not play with him, which is something that they do not want at all.
- Teach your puppy the Leave it command. This method typically works best with puppies that are older.
- If you have a dog with a base case of biting, then this is a technique I have seen used with some success. When they bite, say NO and then put your thumb in their mouth under their tongue and hold up their chin. Hold it for a few seconds because this is uncomfortable to the puppy. They then learn without getting hurt that they should not bite.
- This is another technique for doggies who have a very bad biting problem. Put on a pair of gloves and put a terrible tasting spray or substance on them. This should be something that your dog does not like. Here is an example of an anti-biting spray. Using this, as soon as your dog bites you, they will learn that it tastes terrible! The negative association with biting to your dog makes them hesitant to do so. There are going to be some dogs that notice that if you take the gloves off, the taste is no longer there, but generally this method works well.
- Some people disagree with this kind of technique but it is very powerful for older puppies who are older than 6 months old. Put a choke collar on your puppy and each them that they bite you, give it a sharp tug. This will give your dog the discomfort that is associated with biting. This should only be used in the most extreme cases though and many trainers do not agree with this. Personally, I have never had to go this far and it is far better to educate your little pup before trying to give punishment.
These are some other techniques that I have seen mentioned but never tried for how to stop a puppy from biting. You may try them if you wish, let us know how they work in the comments if you do.
- Use a spritz bottle and spray the dog every time they start nipping at you.
- Fill up a water bottle with rocks. When your puppy bites, say NO and shake the bottle. Puppies do not like this sound.
There is a chance that you have a very aggressive puppy and are not sure why some of these methods are not working. If this is the case, go get advice from someone with experience as an animal behaviorist or a very good dog trainer.
You want to make sure that you are consistent with a single method and give your puppy very clear feedback. This helps them learn and is beneficial for you and your pup to stick to one method.
If you are interested in controlling your dog properly at all times, then you may want to do some obedience training on your own. I have found no better training system than this one out there so check it out by clicking this link.