Want to stop puppy biting? Let me show you how you can stop puppy biting by teaching your puppy who’s in charge the way his mother would…
Biting, chewing, nipping, and mouthing is quite normal for any puppy. The puppy uses these behaviors to get to know his surroundings just like a human baby would use its hands.
Normally while playing with his mother and littermates, the puppy quickly and naturally learns that uninhibited biting is unacceptable and has negative consequences. If he stays with the litter that long, the puppy usually learns to tone down his biting between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks.
Since many puppies are already given to their owners when they are only 6 weeks old (something I don’t actually support, but that’s another matter), it’s now up to you to teach your puppy to stop biting.
Why You Should Stop Puppy Biting
When your puppy is still small, it may be fun to play rough with him and allow him to bite you.
Be careful though! If you teach your puppy that it’s ok to bite you, it will most likely create problems later on. For instance, when he plays with children he’ll continue with this behavior and may in the future seriously hurt a kid.
In the end, it’s the dog that has to suffer the consequences. This to me is grossly unfair if the dog has never been taught that he may not bite. A puppy isn’t born with the knowledge that his biting hurts. You must show him what’s unacceptable and stop the puppy biting while he’s still small.
So, how do you stop your puppy from biting? Let’s get started…
Steps to Stop Puppy Biting
To train your puppy to stop biting, do the following…
Step 1: When you’re playing with your puppy, never encourage him to bite your hands or feet. Don’t push them into his mouth to chew on. Rather use a toy that he can chew on when you’re playing with him. Encourage him to bite the toy and praise him if he does.
Step 2: When your puppy bites you, you can let out a loud “ouch” so as to startle him. Then stop playing immediately and walk away. This is what his siblings would do. A word of caution here…
… in dominant puppies, this may establish a feeling of superiority – “Hey, I can hurt you and you run away from ME!” This may lead to dominance problems later on.
I prefer to react like his mother would stop the puppy from biting. Instead of yelping “ouch”, I let out a deep and growled “NO”. This establishes you as the boss and not as an equal or inferior playmate. Again immediately stop playing and completely ignore the puppy for a minute.
Repeat this every time your puppy bites you. Give him the message that biting means no play. When you resume play, make sure he bites the toy and not you.
Step 3: If growling and withdrawing your attention after several attempts still doesn’t stop the puppy from biting, you may want to try the following: Again when the puppy bites you, growl “NO! and immediately give your puppy a firm scruff. Then stop playing for about a minute. The scruffing shouldn’t be violent or hurt the puppy. Remember that he’s still a baby.
I’m usually not in favor of this method to stop puppy biting unless it is demonstrated correctly by a dog trainer. Use it as a last resort.