5 Tips for Training Your Puppy Not to Bite

5 Tips for Training Your Puppy Not to Bite

Posted by Catherine Stewart, Doggies in Paradise on 30th January 2017

Puppies like
to bite, and WOW, their sharp little teeth can hurt! Dogs use their mouths for
playing, eating, and exploring, and young puppies haven’t quite learned how
much pressure is too much to use with humans. It’s important to understand why
puppies bite, and to never harm your puppy, reprimand him, or make him afraid
of doing what comes naturally. Usually,
puppies learn bite inhibition from their mothers and littermates. Using their
mouths and biting is their normal form of play. It’s our job as dog owners and
puppy parents to communicate clearly and teach our puppies what is acceptable.

In order to
teach your puppy not to bite humans, here are a few things to remember.

Be Vocal About Bites
When your
puppy’s teeth hurt you, be vocal about the discomfort and exclaim, “Ouch!” or “Ow!”
Be careful not to be too loud or angry, as you don’t want to scare your puppy,
but make sure to communicate the discomfort and your lack of wanting him to
continue this behavior.

Take a Time Out
As your pup
backs off from your exclamation of discomfort, move away from him for a short amount
of time. Eventually invite him to come sit or lie down near you. Letting your
puppy come close to you again will serve as his apology and will also help get
him in a calm state before continuing play.

Use Chew Sticks
If your puppy
doesn’t back off when you yelp, offer him a toy or chew stick instead of your
hand, arm, or pant leg. Continue to play with your pup with the toy in his
mouth. If he continues to drop the toy and bite you instead, get up and remove
yourself from the area for a few seconds or calmly lead your puppy to a safe
and secure place where he can have some time to calm down. (NOTE: I do not
suggest using your puppy’s crate for this purpose if you are trying to crate
train your pup.)

Keep Toys Handy
Have lots of
toys and appropriate chew items around so your puppy can use his teeth on
these. Be prepared to teach your pup which items are his and which items are
off limits.

Be Prepared
Best practice
for a new puppy parent is to review all these tips before you begin training or
a play session. Being confident and having a plan will help instill the behavior
you want in your puppy. Most importantly, be patient and don’t get frustrated.

With time and
patience, your puppy should connect the painful bite with your lack of
attention. Over many repetitions, he will start to understand what stops playtime.
Unless your puppy’s mouth has regular contact with a human hand, he could drift
back to a hard bite. To avoid this, practice hand feeding, Tellington TTouch mouth work, teeth brushing, and checking inside his mouth on a regular basis. All
of these tactics provide necessary reminders for him to be gentle. Good luck
training your new puppy, and have fun!

Catherine Stewart is a Certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner and Positive Reinforcement Trainer. She works with dogs from both Washington and British Columbia at her "Doggies in Paradise" facility by the sea. Catherine loves to go on adventures in the forest and the beach with her two dogs Riley and Clover. She also spends time exploring with her two Icelandic horses, Benni and Helgi. Learn more about Doggies in Paradise at http://www.doggiesinparadise.com/

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