Puppy Training

Methods to Control Biting

  Puppy Biting ShoeCredit: sue_r_b freepimages.comPuppy biting could be thought of as a regular habit they inherit, as this is one of the first learned behaviors they have with their siblings during play, and of course, when deciding who will win the toy.
Biting is a common behavioral problem for puppies because the act of chewing is a  normal and instinctual habit, and young dogs use their mouths as a means to explore their new surroundings.[1]

Knowing this fact makes it imperative to control the puppy's instinct before it becomes dangerous.

However, every puppy owner must constantly remember that as their pet begins to age, this habit might present a major danger to themselves and others.  While it may be thought of as adorable while they are young puppies, as they mature, it is not so adorable any longer.  When still in the puppy phase to alter their biting habits, owners ought to begin teaching them that this is inappropriate.

Throughout the very early puppy phase, biting is discouraged from the mommy, as well as others in the pack.  This is also the time when the puppy being trained must be permitted to play with other young puppies.  Frequently, when there is one extremely aggressive pup, the other young puppies in the litter will certainly get after the rough one.  At a very young age their litter-mates will be the ones to initiate this contact.


PuppiesPlayBitingCredit: iStock_00000373487

Until your puppy has been fully immunized, I would not recommend socialization with puppies other than their siblings.

The puppy owner can begin training for biting habits early on while the young pup is at least 4 to 6 weeks old.  This is usually something that a breeder will do prior to relinquishing the puppies, which is usually at 8 weeks of age. [2]

These pointers will certainly provide an early benefit to you the new pet parent.

When they bite you, follow the tips provided, and you will be on your way to stopping this unwanted behavior.

  1.  The owner needs to let the puppy understand that it injures the owner.  The pet parent needs to state "no" or "ouch" and in a stern, and high-pitched voice (not a loud voice – just stern), in order to communicate to the puppy that it hurts.  This will general mimic the sound of a siblings "yelp" when play get to rough.  The puppy needs to understand that they have gone beyond their limitation, and be required to think of what has actually taken place.  A firm “Ouch” will stop the pup in his tracks and will cause him to think what he did to cause such a reaction.
  2. The owner ought to gradually move their hand away.  Do not do this too quickly.  Those sharp little canine teeth can cause additional damage if you pull away to fast.
  3. If the puppy bites once again, the spoken response needs to be duplicated.  The person training the pup ought to step away for a brief duration and ignore the puppy; this will give him time to figure out what he did, and what caused you to stop paying him any attention.  When this takes place, the young pup will certainly recognize that their habit was not valued, and that the outcome is the owner does not desire to be near them.
  4. As the owner it is time to redirect the puppy to what is the correct item to chew on.  The puppy must be offered an appropriate chew toy.
  5. When the chewing habit is directed to the toy and no biting happens to you, the puppy needs to be awarded a treat.  This will help to reinforce the appropriate behavior.
    When training puppies to stop biting, the owner must be consistent at all times, especially when it comes to the biting issue.  The puppy needs to understand that bites are not appropriate.  Consistency is the only way that this can be accomplished.
  6. The puppy needs to be signed up in an obedience course.  This provides communication with other canines as she or he ages.  The course will certainly teach limitations with other pet dogs and people, and further reinforce the no-bite rule that you have been teaching.  I will mention this again, you should not socialize your pup with others until your vet gives you the all clear and he or she has been properly immunized, unless these pups are their siblings.
  7. As the puppy ages and grows into a larger canine, he or she will certainly require plenty of routine workouts, and physical activity, such as walks and playing.  Teaching him to walk properly on a leash and learning to play fetch will keep his mind off biting your hands, or your family’s hands.
  8. As they grow you need to maintain a regular exercise schedule.  This guarantees that they get use to doing particular things in addition to enjoying themselves.  In your puppy’s mind he will begin to realize that there are activities that are much more fun than the constant biting.
  9. It is essential to keep kids safe by never ever leaving them on their own with a puppy.  While the puppy is still young and in his biting mode, your young children will not have the education of how to redirect the attention and this can cause the training to take a step backwards.  When a pup is young and gets conflicting messages when it comes to correcting behavior this makes for a confused puppy.
  10. The owner must not participate in aggressive habits with their puppy.  Those actions might affect biting to continue.  Tug of war and aggressive petting or aggressive belly rubs will cause you puppy to go right into the biting mode, as aggression will breed aggression.  In your puppy’s mind this rough play is telling him it is okay to play rough back.  This is not the outcome you want.
  11. The final choice is to get in touch with a dog trainer or your vet for support if your puppy continues to bite in spite of all the methods you have tried.
Puppy Chewing Appropriate Chew ToyCredit: MorgueFreePhoto

In Summary

During this biting phase, the puppy being trained needs to be permitted to play with some other young puppies.  This will begin to teach social manners.  Commonly when there is one extremely aggressive one in the pack, all the other young puppies will certainly get after the rough one, this generally happens when they are still with their litter-mates.  The owner should let the puppy understand that it injures them when they bite.  If he or she bites once more, the spoken response “OUCH” ought to be duplicated, and at this time the pet parent should walk away.  As the pet ages and grows into a adult dog, he or she will certainly require plenty of routine workouts, such as walking, appropriate play time, and general physical activity.

I hope these tips have helped you in dealing with your pet’s natural biting instinct, and that I have armed you with several tips on how to stop this unwanted behavior.

One additional tip you can use in extreme situations is lemon juice.  This is one that I have personally used successfully.  Putting lemon juice or rubbing a lemon on your hands will make them not so tasty.  Lemon juice is not a desirable taste that puppies appreciate.  Be aware if you have any cuts on your hands, this will sting, but will make your hands an unattractive chew toy to your puppy.

If you are still having problems, please feel free to leave a comment and I will be happy to answer your questions.