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How To Stop Puppy Biting Problems

    There are a lot of proven training methods to help correct your puppy’s behavioural problems. Before I get into the specific techniques you can use to stop your puppy from biting, always keep these general dog behaviour training rules in mind:

    • Puppy socialisation and bite inhibition training go hand in hand.
    • Never slap or hit your puppy in the face. This does not work! Your puppy will just think you are playing or could become afraid of you. This may even lead to some much bigger problems than simple puppy nipping.
    • The general rule to stop puppy biting problems is to encourage and discourage acceptable behaviour. To learn more about this fundamental rule of dog obedience training (including how to stop biting problems), visit Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.
    • While you are trying to stop your puppies from biting, never play tug-of-war, wrestling, or chase-type games with them. This only encourages biting and nipping.
    • Whichever method you choose to train your puppy, the golden rule is consistency. This means that you and anyone else who comes into contact with your puppy must enforce your chosen strategy every time your pup takes a nip.
    • If you don’t clearly communicate to your dog that biting is unacceptable, he will not know he is doing anything wrong. It’s up to you to show him what is acceptable behaviour; don’t just expect your puppy to know this! (You are really taking on the role of his littermates for this task.)
    • Another (extreme) reason puppies can bite is if they are trying to assert their dominance over you. If this is the case with your puppy, it must be stopped immediately. When you have a dominant puppy, his biting will only be the beginning of many behavioural problems. Click here to learn how to establish your position as the dominant leader in your owner-dog relationship.

    Stop Your Puppy From Biting – Proven Techniques

    Your goal is to teach your puppy how to control the force of his/her biting. Your puppy’s littermates will initiate this process, and it is up to you to continue when your new puppy arrives home. This will ensure (not guarantee) that the damage will be minimised if your dog does bite someone in the future. Only when you have given your puppy sufficient feedback regarding the strength of his bite can you reduce the prevalence of the biting behaviour?

    1. If you catch the biting problem early on, it may be easy to rectify. Just try to redirect the biting from your flesh to a toy or chew bone. This method is often all you’ll need to do for very young puppies. As soon as your pup starts to bite your hands, just let out a firm “No!” and replace your fingers with the chew toy (or ice cube if your puppy is teething).
    2. This is probably the most popular method and my personal favourite. Make your puppy think he is hurting you each time he has a nip at you. This method replicates the way dogs sort out this biting amongst themselves. When puppies bite and nip each other, it only stops when one puppy yelps. We can use this natural way dogs learn by letting out an Ouch! or an Arrr! Every time one of our puppies bites. The trick is to startle your dog with your voice, pull away, and stop playing with your puppy for a while. Your pup will soon learn that his playmate (you) goes away when he starts to bite.
    3. Teach your puppy the obedience training command “Leave It!”. This method works great but is more suitable for older puppies.
    4. In bad-biting cases, as soon as your puppy latches onto your hand, say“No!” and quickly put your thumb inside his mouth under his tongue and your other finger under his chin. Hold it there for about 10 seconds (not too tightly). This will make your puppy uncomfortable, and he won’t be able to bite you.

    “Always Praise And Reward A Gentle Mouth And Ignore Or Withdraw From Inappropriate Nipping”

    1. Again, you can try this training technique if your puppy has a severe biting problem. Put on gloves and apply a foul-tasting substance to them (something your dog doesn’t like). Your dog will soon learn that it won’t be tasty if he bites you! This method produces a strong negative association with your dog every time he decides to bite you. Some dogs are smart enough to realise that when you take your foul-tasting gloves off, it is OK to sink their fangs into you again!
    2. This is a surefire technique to stop puppy-mouthing for older puppies (around six months). Put a pinch or choke collar on your puppy and give the lead a sharp tug each time he bites you. This correction will form an unpleasant association with your dog whenever he bites you. It won’t take him long to stop. Some trainers believe this method to be pretty extreme, and I agree that you would only need to call on it in scarce circumstances – I have never needed to go to this level. I believe educating your puppy is far more effective than inflicting punishment or trying to extinguish a behaviour altogether.

    How to stop a puppy from biting – these methods have been recommended to me, but I have never tried them myself:

    • Spray your puppy with water every time he starts nipping.
    • Fill up an empty can with rocks or coins. Each time your puppy starts biting, say No! And give the can a shake. Puppies hate this rattling noise.

    If you’re worried that you may have an overly aggressive puppy on your hands, please seek the advice of an experienced animal behaviourist or dog trainer.

    As I mentioned, the most crucial advice, regardless of your chosen training method, is to be consistent and provide clear feedback on what your puppy needs to learn.

    “This advice we are giving is not our own; it is copied from other sites; we are not vets; we are just sharing advice.”