When puppies are young, they like spending their time biting and chewing on things. Unfortunately, they’ll bite people the same way they bite on things.
Biting may seem quite cute when the puppies are young but it’s no longer cute when the puppies are a few months old and stronger.
When they are a few months old, their teeth are quite strong and they are bound to bite people way too hard or destroy furniture and clothes while at it.
Therefore, it is important to curb their mouthy behavior when they are still young.
How to stop a puppy from biting
It is important to help your puppy keep away from irritating mouthy behavior.
Curbing mouthy behavior can be done in various ways with some ways being better than others.
However, the most important thing is getting the puppy to learn that’s it’s wrong to bite people or other things around him especially furniture and clothing.
One of the most important thing is to teach him that people’s skins are sensitive and he needs to be very gentle when using his mouth on people’s skins.
One way on how to stop a puppy from biting is biting inhibition.
When we say biting inhibition, it refers to the ability of a dog to control the force he uses when biting.
A puppy that has no clue about biting inhibition will not recognize how sensitive people’s skins are. This results in the puppy biting too hard even when they are supposed to be playing.
Some behaviorists claim that puppies that have learned biting inhibition will bite gently as compared to those who haven’t learned about it.
Puppies also bite their siblings when playing but if you watch closely you’ll notice when they bite too hard, they will let out a wail.
When the biter hears the wail, he’s taken aback, stops playing for a moment then goes back to play.
According to Karen Pryor, if they can learn not to bite their fellow playmates, they are also capable of learning how not to bite people.
When playing with your puppy, you can let him mouth on your fingers and the better part of your hands.
Play until the puppy bites too hard then let out a loud shriek that should startle the puppy.
Let go of your hand and let it go limp. If this doesn’t startle the puppy, warn the puppy in a stern voice.
According to Jolanta Benal, who is a dog trainer, the puppy needs to know what he did is wrong. Repeat this for three times in a span of 15 minutes.
If yelping and warning the puppy doesn’t help, its time to try something else like time-outs.
After the time out, continue with the same game. By doing this, the puppy gets to know that pain means stopping the play while gentle means the play will go on.
How to make your puppy know that teeth are not for human skin
- One way on how to stop a puppy from biting is getting him a chew bone or a toy for him every time he tries to bite or gnaw on your fingers
- You should encourage plays that do not include any human contact like fetching something rather than wrestling or any rough play that needs you to use your hands. Tug-of-war is also a safe game for you and your puppy. While playing tug-of-war, make sure you have toys in your pockets or somewhere close so that when the urge to gnaw on your hands you give him a puppy, with time, he’ll start looking forward to the chewing toy.
- Puppies get the urge to gnaw on people’s fingers when they are being patted, stroked or scratched. If the puppy starts getting too excited and he wants to bite you, give him some treats straight from your hands. This is a way of getting the puppy used to touching without the need to gnaw at the fingers.
- If the puppy loves biting your ankles get his favorite tug toy and when he starts biting your ankles, whip out the toy and dangle it like a carrot. Stop moving and entice the puppy with the toy until he’s completely distracted from biting. Repeat this until the puppy stops biting your feet or ankles when you are moving around.
- Another way on how to stop a puppy from biting is by providing plenty of interesting toys to play with so that most of the times he’ll be distracted. By distracting him he’ll not have the time or the need to bite on you.
- You can also provide your puppy with lots of activities to keep him busy. He can play with other puppies and also well-vaccinated adult dogs. When he spends most of his time playing, by the time he gets back to the house, he’ll have less energy to want to play rough with you.
- According to Karen Pryor, puppies born without siblings/littermates miss out on important skills like playing with others. Therefore, when getting a puppy, it is important to ask the breeder if the puppy had littermates.
When to enroll him for mouthing lessons
If none of these techniques work then its time to find a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). With a CPDT, your puppy is bound to get private lessons that will help him learn about mouthing.
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You can also read our article on potty training your puppy.