How to Prevent Puppy Biting:
During play with the puppy if the puppy bites, applies pressure with their teeth, then you stop petting them. This teaches the puppy that biting ends the interaction. (This is assuming we have a normal puppy and not a puppy that is resistant to human contact of a normal nature).
When petting the puppy and he is exploring and using his mouth, as soon as pressure is applied say ‘OUCH’. If the puppy stops then lure them into a sit using a nice treat and reward them
If ‘ouch’ does not do the job then you will have to create some false pain and associated noises. I recommend a high pitch yelp and pull back the hand. Remove yourself and stop interacting with the puppy. This is exactly what a puppy sibling would do if nipped too hard.
Return after 30 seconds and continue playing. Your puppy will learn very quickly that nips stop the game and fun ends.
Use the level, tone and pitch appropriate to get results, do not traumatize the puppy as this will make them hand shy.
Do not allow the puppy to play bite anything other than toys. They cannot differentiate between your hands, your cloths and your furniture
Playing with a puppy that has a soft mouth is an important part of their development; they need to train their mouths to have bite inhibition. If we scare or punish them into stopping any mouth contact at all then we have not done our jobs in teaching them and enabling them to develop good mouth control.
Teaching Puppy ‘leave’ and ‘take it’
When puppy is only mouthing then we can teach them an ‘off’ or ‘leave it’ command to remove their mouth from us completely. That way they can mouth when they play but we can stop them if necessary.
- Hand feed the puppy using a large soft chewy treats you can hold in your hand
- As puppy is nibbling, remove your hand, if puppy comes to get the treat say ‘off‘ and close your hand.
- When puppy backs away, sits down or stops, reinforce and reintroduce the treat, tell the puppy ‘take it’
This teaches the puppy that mouthing is ok if we allow it and it teaches them that if they “off or leave” they will gain access to the treat when we tell them they can ‘take it’
Consult your local DogSmith, they will be happy to work with you and your puppy. Enroll in the AKC Puppy Star Program or become a Puppy Pack Member.
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