How To Stop A Puppy From Biting
All know what it’s like when a new puppy starts to play bite and nibble things. Their teeth are like little needles and can be quite sharp. Although we know in most cases they are not biting to cause pain intentionally it can still hurt. Puppies learn how much pressure to use when playing with their littermates. If they apply too much pressure during play the other pup will let them know. Then when they leave their litter they continue this behaviour with humans.
Play biting with young puppies completely normal, but the behaviour has to be managed in the right way, otherwise they will continue play biting into adulthood and things can get out of control. It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally make play biting acceptable when bringing up your puppy. The key is not to turn it into a game. Here are a few training tips to try if your puppies play biting is getting a little out of hand:
Ignore Play Biting
If your dog keeps trying to get attention from you by mouthing and chewing on your hands then the best thing you can do is totally ignore them. Don’t give them a reaction which might make them think it’s a game, such as laughing or stroking them. If your pup initiates any sort of game that involves play biting then do not join in, it’s important not to do this from day one.
If a puppy is being particularly mouthy then you can use toys as a distraction. Get them to use their mouth in a different way other than nibbling you. For example you could give them a soft toy or a chew to redirect their attention. Find out what their most is and use it to change their focus.
Simply Tell Them No
When your pup catches you with their teeth or chomps down a little too hard tell them ‘no’ and then completely ignore them. Even if they are just nibbling at your hands a little bit and it’s causing you no pain it’s important not to encourage them. Make sure they know that they have crossed the line and this behaviour is not acceptable.
Some puppies who get over excited and have too much energy can start excessive play biting. One thing that might help is if you check that they are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. If they become bored and restless these behaviours are likely to develop. Take your dog on sufficient walks and find ways to engage their mind.
Train your puppy well from the start and you will have a better chance at overcoming issues. If your puppy starts to play bite then another way to distract them is to do some obedience. This should snap them out of the behaviour and give them something else to focus on. Simply get them to do basic commands such as sit, down, stay and paw.