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Dog Nipping - What is It and How Can You Stop It?

Dog nipping is usually exhibited by puppies but older dogs that have not been taught not to bite. As they grow up, puppies experiment with their mouths. They may bite your hands or clothes in a playful manner.

While this behaviour is not bad, it needs to be stopped at an early stage since it may become rougher as the dog grows older and may result in injury.

A dog that has spent enough time with the litter mates learns early enough to stop this behaviour. When such puppies bite or nip the ears of their litter mates, the other dog will yelp loudly and this will startle the nipper causing them to stop this behaviour.

If you have a dog that is fond of this behaviour here how to stop it

Mimic the sound a puppy makes when they are bitten too hard. If the puppy nips you then make a loud yelp and cease playing with the puppy. Leave the puppy alone for some time. This will help the puppy understand that the behaviour is not acceptable and make him stop.

- Puppies like to bite; when they are small teething will activate their chewing instinct. Give the puppy an alternative toy to chew.

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Divert the puppy’s attention from your hand or clothes by waving a chew toy. When this gets your puppy’s attention you may play tug for some time then give him the toy to chew. Praise him for accepting the toy.

- When training your dog to stop play-biting, it is essential that everyone around understands that they are not to encourage the behaviour. This send mixed signals to the puppy and the puppy is more likely than not to continue with the nipping habit.

Consistency is the key to achieving the desired result during training. Be consistent. Use a firm “no” when asking your puppy to stop. Lavish the puppy with praise for chewing on his toys.

Dogs should never be punished when they do something wrong. Using physical force is especially a NO-NO as it may cause the dog may not understand why he is being punished. It leads to development of stress in dogs as well as some forms of dog aggressive behaviour.

Dogs have an innate need to chew on things. Their mouth is very important to them just as hands are in humans. When trying to stop dog nipping it is essential that you understand this need. Some older dogs may express this behaviour since they were removed too early from their litter mates and thus do not know how to inhibit it.

In older dogs, stopping dog nipping is a bit harder than in pups. This is especially since these dogs may have gotten used to the behaviour. Some people also encourage rough play with their dogs which only encourages the dog to bite. You can use the same antics used for small pups, that is, if your dog bites your hand then let out a high pitched scream. This will surprise the dog and make him stop.

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