We all love petting and playing with puppies, but if you are wondering how to stop puppy biting, read on. We find them adorable, especially when they nip at fingers or toes. Remember that a playfully biting puppy may become a much more serious problem later on. By encouraging the puppy to bite, owners are, in fact, failing to teach their puppy the vital lessons it needs to learn about aggression.
Most puppies should learn to stop puppy biting by about eight weeks of age. This is usually true where the puppy has been raised with his litter mates for a full eight weeks. Puppies discover that biting a sibling (or in some cases, mom) results in a return bite or menacing growl. Unfortunately, many puppies today do not spend enough time with their mom or in their litter, so the behavior always goes unchecked and un corrected. This is the problem.
Stop Puppy Biting Early On
Puppies that are younger than eight weeks old, or that still have a tendency to bite after 8 weeks, need to be corrected by a competent leader. When done quickly and without anger or frustration, a swift finger poke or vocal command should prevent more serious issues from continuing to arise. Be consistent for the consistent results you seek. This is a lifetime journey, not a quick fix by a dog trainer. I say…get on that journey quicker and stay on it forever.
This does not mean you begin by punishing your puppy for biting. The worst thing you can do is to hit your puppy for any reason. A dog that has been hit by his owner is more likely to become a more angry and dangerous character as it grows older. Othertimes, the dog’s self esteem and joy in life is crushed out of it by a cruel trainer. It’s self worth replaced with a frightened shell of a being.
The best way to stop puppy biting is to encourage appropriate behavior while discouraging the bad behavior. Consider the sorts of games you play with your puppy. Do you really want to add to it’s confusion by engaging in any rough play that could lead your dog to bite? Games like tug of war, chase or wrestling should be eliminated or curbed.
Be Consistent with Your Training
Keep in mind, no matter how moody or pitiful your puppy seems, you’re doing this for his own good. Don’t throw up your hands in disappointment or succumb to those puppy sighs. If you stick with good training methods, both you and your learning puppy will be much better off for the long run of life.
Training Your New Best Friend
A good way to stop puppy biting is to sign up for a dog obedience or a socialization class. A good trainer will show you how to mimic a mother dog’s bite to show the puppy when a behavior is not allowed. This is a great technique to stop puppy biting. Puppy classes can be effective to develop your puppy’s social skills around other dogs.
Another good procedure to stop puppy biting in the beginning is redirection. If the puppy starts to go for a finger or toe, just say “no!”, then provide a chew toy or bone instead. Sometimes, a good “Yelp” from a dog owner will startle the puppy into not biting. Most puppies will speedily learn that if they need to chew, then find a chew toy, but not a loving finger.
Copy the Response of a Litter Mate
When your puppy bites, make a small, whimpering sound or a loud yelp like a puppy would. This is the same response he would get if his brothers and sisters were still around. The reply you make lets the puppy know that it’s hurt you in some way. Since this is not what the puppy wants to do, he’ll retreat. Make sure your sound is surprising enough that he lets go and moves away.
Now you have some clues as to how to stop puppy biting going forward. Training a puppy is one of the most vital aspects of integrating it into your home. By 10 weeks, your puppy should know that biting is not acceptable. If you manage this, it will make your years together much happier and greatly reduce the potential for any bad behavior on his part.