Biting is a natural behavior in puppies. However, what’s natural for puppies isn’t always what’s safe for you, your family, and everyone else. Taking the initiative to train a puppy not to bite isn’t fun. It requires a lot of patience and consistency to achieve the desired results. Here are ways to train your pup to stop biting.
How to Train a Puppy Not to Bite
1. Teach your puppy bite inhibition
Biting inhibition is a learned response where a dog can control the force of its bite. Puppies usually learn bite inhibition during play with other puppies. If you watch your puppy playing with other puppies, you will see plenty of chasing, pouncing and wrestling. Through this kind of interaction, puppies learn to control the intensity of their bites.
2. Use teething toys
Toys are helpful for puppies that like to pounce on and bite feet while taking walks. Try redirecting and distracting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys. This allows your puppy to learn to control its bite.
Additionally, you should provide plenty of interesting and new toys so that your pup can play with them instead of gnawing on your cloth.
3. Never hit your puppy
Never hit or physically punish your puppy. If your puppy seems to be biting out of aggression, consult your veterinarian or dog trainer about ways of managing the behavior.
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4. Being consistent
Training your dog is not easy as it requires a lot of patience, practice, and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn the desired behavior. To be clear on boundaries, remain consistent in your signals and redirection.
5. Do not yelp or scream when your puppy bites
Yelping is more like saying “ouch! that hurts” hoping your puppy will stop biting. Unfortunately, that does not always work and sometimes it makes them bite even more.
Once your puppy bites, immediately stop playing with it. When it stops, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering treats or resume playing.
6. Do not run around trying to get away
Normally, when a puppy starts to bites the first instinct is to get away. But be careful how you decide to move away. Firstly, remain calm. Secondly do not flap your hands around the air, scream, or start to run away.
Once you do that your pup will view it as fun because dogs love to chase things and you’re bound to be bitten again. Don’t turn yourself into a dog toy. When your puppy bites, it’s best to remain calm to avoid stimulating it further.
7. Help keep your puppy active
When your puppy keeps biting, even after you provide a toy several times, then it needs to burn up more energy. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed, age, and size.
Check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. You can take them to the park or yard and watch it run around.
8. Offer quiet time
Sometimes a biting puppy is really tired, and they need some quiet space to take a nap. You may also find your pup may just be hungry or thirsty. Give them some ample time to rest.
9. Enroll in a puppy class
Enroll your pup in puppy classes to provide them with a chance to socialize with other dogs. However, if you haven’t been able to stabilize the behavior of your pup by the time they are six months old, it’s good to consult an experienced dog trainer.
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Your puppy is more likely to grow up well-behaved if you follow these tips. But if you still notice your puppy is biting and mouthing after using these ways, or you suspect your puppy is biting out of fear or aggression, then it is better to look for another alternative, such as consulting a professional dog trainer.