Puppy biting is a very common issue that many dog owners experience. Puppy biting can be experienced with both purebred and mixed breed puppies.
It is normal for puppies to want to play rough. As dogs, we came from the wild, so we have instincts to chase and bite things.
The trouble starts when they begin to associate their toys, other pets, people, and other situations as opportunities to play bite.
When a puppy bites as part of their play, it is because they are not able to understand that what they are biting is not another dog or cat. They also do not realize how hard they are biting due to their young age and smaller teeth.
General puppy behavior issues can be hard to diagnose. It is important to know how to distinguish between normal puppy behavior and behavior issues. If you suspect your puppy has a behavior issue, reach out to a professional for help.
Second, try giving them toys
If your puppy has a bunch of toys, they will be more inclined to play with them than you. Puppies love to chew on things, so give them a bone or a toy and let them play.
This helps them learn how to play with toys and what kind of play is appropriate. For instance, if they chew on you, you tell them no and give them a toy to chew on instead.
They learn the difference between playing with toys and playing with people. This also helps burn off some of that energy they have.
By giving your puppy several toys, you are helping develop their socialization skills as well. When they grow up and go to dog park, they will know how to play with other dogs’ toys instead of attacking them. It’s very important to socialize puppies at this stage for this reason.
Give your puppy several different types of toys so they can learn how to interact with them.
Third, stop reacting to the biting
This is the hardest part and requires a lot of patience. When your puppy bites you, do not react in any way. Do not yell, do not push the puppy away, do not give a correction-do nothing.
Reacting will teach the puppy that biting makes a difference in his world. He will learn that when he bites you, you move away or respond in some way.
This is called a consequence and it is a very good one-it shows that his action of biting made a difference.
By refusing to react to the biting, you are preventing this consequence from happening. It may seem hard at first but it will help greatly with the long term training.
Train your puppy to sit and stay before dropping him off at daycare or with friends so he has time to learn how to be calm by himself.
Fourth, teach them not to bite you
Once a dog has been taught how to play, has been socialized, has had adequate rest and eating habits, you can move on to the next step: biting.
Dogs need to learn what is and what is not appropriate to bite. This includes what surfaces they are allowed to bite (for example, toys and other dogs, but not people) and what parts of their body they are allowed to bite (for example, their paws, but not their tail).
Again, it is important at this stage that the dog has had sufficient playtime and taken part in enough fun games so that there is something worthwhile to bite. If a dog is tired or does not want to play, then they will probably not feel like biting them.
General tips for teaching your dog not to bite include reminding them who wins the game by using the word “no” and taking away the toy they were biting after a few seconds.
Fifth, get professional help
If at home tips don’t work, you should go to a professional who can help you. Find a dog trainer, a veterinary behaviorist, or a certified applied animal behaviorist.
Trainers are people who have experience helping people train dogs, but are not necessarily experts in dog psychology or behavior. Veterinary behaviorists are experts in animal behavior and psychology. Certified applied animal behaviorists have studied animal behavior and have at least one degree in Psychology.
All of these professionals can help you learn how to handle your situation and put an end to the biting.
Trainers, behavioralists, and certified applied animal behavioralists all cost money, but it is worth it to stop the biting once and for all. Getting professional help is worth the money, so don’t think that it is just a waste of time or money.
Sixth, look into dog trainers
Dog trainers are invaluable resources for new dog owners. Trainers offer lessons on house training, walking with a leash, and tricks.
Most trainings occur in dog trainer schools, through private lessons, or in classes at parks or off-leash areas. Parks are a great place to teach your dog new things as there is lots of space and distractions.
Many cities offer puppy training classes that cover the basics. These are a great way to meet other puppy parents and learn from experienced trainers. Most puppies pass these with flying colors!
If you feel like you need more one-on-one help, then look for private trainers that fit your schedule. Many offer discounts for repeat customers, so keep that in mind when deciding on who to hire.
Finally, consider using bitter spray on your skin
If you cant get your dog to stop biting your hands, arms, or any other part of your body, try using a product called Doggy Wax on your skin.
It comes in a can just like hair wax and is designed for dogs. It is made of coconut oil and beeswax, so it has a slight smell of honey.
Just rub it into your skin and if your dog tries to bite you there will be a taste that he or she wont like. This will help break the habit!
Blog posts are not the authority on health, so make sure to check with your veterinarian if this solution is right for you and your puppy.