Training Your Puppy about Biting and
Biting and mouthing will usually start at about the time the puppy is
teething. In some cases, these behaviours are seen during play.
The puppy may playfully bite at their litter mates or the mother. This behaviour is somewhat of an instinct for
most dogs but even then it has to be stopped at the early stages.
If the puppy was in a litter, then the biting puppy will learn from the littermates that biting is not good.
The victims of the bite will usually let out high pitched cries; these cries will startle the puppy, causing
them to stop biting.
In order to properly train your puppy about biting and mouthing, you need
to understand the need of puppies to chew and experiment with their mouths. It is also necessary that you show the
puppy from the start that biting and mouthing is not good.
Give the puppy other acceptable things to sink their teeth into such as chew toys. To make them more enticing
for the puppy, you can buy those that are flavoured or you can apply some peanut butter on the toy. Any time the
puppy tries to bite at your hands or on the heel, just stop them and give them the chew toy.
Never encourage the puppy to bite, if the puppy bites at your hands then withdraw your hand and do not pay
attention to the puppy for some time. You can also withdraw your hand and offer the puppy his chew toy. If the
puppy stops biting you and instead takes the toy, praise the puppy verbally, and pet him.
Do not engage the puppy in any rough play as this will only encourage the puppy to bite. If the play becomes
rough, then stop playing and leave the puppy for some time to give him time to calm down.
Some behaviour you display could be taken by the puppy as a cue for play, while this behaviour may not be
deliberate; it is always wise to be careful when dealing with puppies. Such kind of behaviour may include, getting
your face too close to that of the puppy, or encouraging the puppy to grab things out of your hand.
As with any other form of training, if you intend to change this behaviour you have to be consistent. Let any
other people handling the puppy know what not to do with the puppy. This is necessary in order to make sure that
the puppy gets clear signals on what is right and what is not.
Some other extreme methods that have been applied to stop biting and mouthing behaviour in puppies include use
of choke collars. These collars are tugged any time the puppy bites you, they apply pressure to the neck causing
the puppy to stop.
Though this method is effective, it has been termed as an “extremist” way to train puppies. Besides the use of
choke collars in puppies is usually not advised because of the dangers they pose for the puppy.
You can always act as the injured victim and yell any time the puppy bites you. This lets the dog know that
he/she is hurting you and in some cases the puppy will stop
the biting behaviour.
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