Puppies are adorable, and the best part about owning pets is playing with them. However, this can lead to a lot of puppy biting. If you own a puppy, you’ll need to learn how to stop this from happening — you don’t want your pup to grow up with any bad habits.
The following are some of the most effective training tips in which you can teach puppies not to bite:
1) Don’t Chase
Control is key. Soon as your puppy comes out of the crate, attach a short leash to its blaze (it helps slide easily around the house). So, when your puppy makes poor choices, immediately take control and stop it.
If your puppy bites you on an elevated surface like the couch, get it on the ground and force it to sit. Addressing the problem at the same eye level as your dog won’t indicate that you’re the one in charge.
Don’t chase your puppy around the house. It'll think of it as a fun game and repeat that behavior.
2) Bite Inhibition Training
Puppies first start biting with other puppies or their mum, which is part of their learning process. When a puppy bites too hard, its littermate will make crying noises or stop playing. That response will alarm your puppy to limit their biting pressure.
The sensitivity of the human skin, however, differs from dogs. So, when you find yourself in a situation where your puppy is chewing your hands a little too rough, it’s crucial to draw attention that it hurts with a brief scream.
If yelping doesn’t stop the biting, try withdrawing from the puppy. You should tell it off and walk away slowly; quickly removing your limbs will only encourage nipping, as the puppy will think of it as a game and find it rewarding.
3) Chewing Toys Are Your Best Friend
Chewing and biting are natural for dogs; we don't want to discourage them entirely. Instead, you want to train your dog to understand that teeth don’t belong on the skin.
So, next time your puppy feels like pouncing on you and mouthing your toes, redirect their attention with a chewing toy.
Even if your puppy has a great variety of toys, soon it’ll become boring, and your dog will lose interest. They may find your moving toes more tempting; in that case, distract them with a flirt pole. A flirt pole will exhaust your dog, and you will hardly break a sweat.
4) Be Aware of Dog Zoomies
There’s a particular time when your puppy is hyperactive and extra crazy throughout the day. These are the times when they are most likely prone to nipping and biting. Be armed by putting your puppy on a leash.
You can also weather the storm by engaging your puppy with physical activity a few hours before the “witching hour.” That will exude your puppy's energy, and there isn’t as much need for them to go ripping and chewing around the house.
5) Initiate Playtime to Your Terms
Playtime happens on your terms. There will be times when your puppy is wild and wants to play, and your initial thought would be to grab their favorite toy and start playing. Unfortunately, that sends the wrong message, and you're telling your puppy that nipping means playtime.
You should address the bad behavior first. Make your puppy sit and calm it down before starting playtime.
If you don’t have time, you should put your puppy in the crate and let it chill until you are free to play. You should never be forceful when putting your dog in the crate; instead, use treats to entice your puppy to go to the crate on its own.
6) Handling Exercises
A commonplace where your puppy starts doing a lot of nipping is when you handle various body parts like wiping its paws, clipping its toes, and looking in its mouth.
Train your puppy to allow you to handle them by rewarding them each time you check their body parts. That will prepare your dog to stay calm the next time you need to check on its body.
Be gentle, and don’t start body handling your dog when it’s energized and in a playing mood.
7) Don’t Be Frustrated
Dog breeds differ in personality. Medium to large dogs are easier to train and more submissive than small dogs. That can be frustrating if your dog isn’t yielding to your orders, but don’t be discouraged—that'll make it harder to communicate with your dog.
Instead, take a time out when your puppy proceeds in bad behavior and the situation is overwhelming you. Then, after your puppy has calmed down, regroup and start training it again.
8) Positive Reinforcement
When training your dog, use rewards such as treats or playtime with other puppies so it repeats that behavior. Even if your puppy’s behavior is ordinary and calm, you should treat it once in a while to reinforce good behavior.
Never yell, hit, show negative emotions, or harshly discipline your puppy. That’ll not speed the learning process, stress your dog, and give them anxiety. Even worse, your puppy may become fearful of you and bite out of defensiveness or aggression.
Also, don’t use the crate for punishment — they serve as a comfort space for naps or a safe area when you’re not home. Using it for punishment will confuse your puppy.
9) Get Your Dog to Class
If your dog isn’t responding to your training and the situation is too difficult for you to handle, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or an animal behavior specialist.