Puppies are adorable, and people often love to cuddle them. Don’t forget that it is also the teething age for these dogs, so you’d be prone to a few nips and bites here and there.
However, it’s vital to identify that your dog is not biting due to aggressiveness. An aggressive dog could be dangerous to others, and you should stop this behavior.
Whatever the reason, it’s crucial to stop puppy biting at an early stage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to train your puppy to stop biting.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Stop Puppy Biting
It’s essential to note that you shouldn’t be physically aggressive back to your dog to stop it from biting. Positive reinforcement is vital to train your puppy to stop biting in the best way.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to train your puppy to stop biting.
Step 1: Find Out Your Avoidance Strategy
You must make your puppy understand that it’s the end of playtime and attention once it starts biting. The best way to do this is to ignore your puppy rather than hitting or kicking it.
Set up a blocked-off area for you to go to if your puppy starts biting. Shutting the door or using a baby gate is the perfect way to be out of your puppy’s reach so you can easily ignore it.
Step 2: Imitate Your Puppy When Bitten
The details matter when it is time to put your plan into action. You would naturally try to be aggressive and harsh to your puppy as soon as you get bitten. However, you shouldn’t be doing this.
Nose tapping and running away are also not the best way to react here. Your puppy may associate biting with receiving attention, which is different from what you want.
The best thing to do is to let out a high-pitched yelp and walk away. Your puppy will understand that it has hurt you and that you won’t play with it.
Step 3: Use A Leash
Using a leash is also an excellent way to tell your puppy it shouldn’t be biting. It could become too aggressive, especially when learning to interact with others.
You can stop your puppy from biting others by pulling the leash when it becomes too aggressive.
Step 4: Ensure Training Is Consistent
Training a puppy should be consistent for your dog to grasp the concept you are trying to teach.
Behavioral training is effective if your dog receives the same treatment from everyone they regularly interact with.
You need to communicate the behavioral modification to everyone in the house and be particular about enforcing rules.
Step 5: Reinforce Positive Behaviors
Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to gradually stop your puppy from biting. Once you start implementing the above, you’ll notice fewer instances of biting.
Make sure to praise your puppy and reward it for this so that it will associate this with something positive. Your puppy will gradually avoid biting because it knows it will be rewarded for this behavior.
Step 6: Teach The “Leave It” Command
The ‘leave it’ command is also good to use here, indicating your puppy to stop whatever it’s doing.
Even a well-trained puppy could forget or get too excited during playtime and try to bite others. Once it hears the ‘leave it’ command, it will obey and stop whatever it is doing at the time.
Step 7: Repeat
Although you do all of the above, you may still not see results. When training a puppy, you’ve got to be consistent and disciplined.
Over time, these methods will help your puppy stop biting you.
Why Do Puppies Bite?
It is entirely normal for puppies to bite. Much like babies love to put everything in their mouths, puppies love to bite at anything you put in front of it.
However, biting could hurt you, especially when an adult does it. That’s why you must train a puppy to stop biting.
Here are the reasons why puppies love to bite.
It is one of the primary reasons that puppies love to bite. They want to explore everything around them, especially when new to this world.
Since puppies don’t have hands, they use their mouths to identify what’s in their surroundings. Through this, they identify the object’s weight and texture and if it tastes good.
Puppies lose their baby teeth and start growing adult ones between three and six months of age.
Puppies also experience pain and discomfort when teething, much like babies do. Giving puppies chew toys is an excellent way to tackle this problem.
Puppies tend to bite often in search of relief from the pain and discomfort that is caused due to teething.
Seeking Attention Or Play
Puppies can’t vocalize their needs, so they try to get your attention somehow. Biting is a common way in which puppies try to get your attention.
Therefore, your puppy might bite you during playtime just to let you know it’s there and wants you.
Frustration Or Fear
Puppies could also bite when they feel insecure, threatened, or upset. It’s another common reason that puppies bite others. It could also include being protective over particular things.
Another reason why puppies bite is to show that they are hungry. Your puppy may bite your hands or feet, trying to tell you it is hungry.
Puppies that don’t get enough exercise and those that suffer from neurological disorders also tend to get aggressive and bite. These issues must be addressed accordingly to stop your puppy from biting.
Are Some Breeds More Prone To Biting?
Any dog breed could be aggressive, although some are believed to be more so than others. Typically, anyone would fear an aggressive Mastiff than a Pomeranian.
Herding breeds, such as Australian shepherds, are genetically predisposed to nip or chase small animals like squirrels, especially when moving.
What Are The Other Ways To Prevent Puppy Biting?
Here are a few other ways in which you can prevent puppy biting.
Enroll In A Puppy Class
A good class will allow your puppy to socialize with other dogs. A few weeks into the class, you’ll see an improvement in your dog’s behavior, especially with its biting habits.
There are many puppy classes out there, but you should ensure the class you enroll your puppy in is one that lives up to your expectations.
Read this In-Home Dog Training Review to learn what you should look for in a puppy class. It will help you choose the best class for your puppy.
Give Alternative Items To Chew
Keep a chew toy in your hand so you can substitute your hand and furniture with this toy if you identify that your puppy is about to show such behavior.
Your puppy will chew on this toy instead of your hands, letting your puppy know that it is acceptable to chew.
Put Them In A Crate
Put your puppy in a crate to give it time to calm down and prevent it from biting you. It greatly helps in keeping yourself away from puppy bites.
However, it’s vital to ensure your puppy doesn’t learn to associate the crate with punishment or something to fear.
Once your puppy calms down, you can let it out of the crate.
Do Not Punish Your Dog
Hitting, physical harm, or any other punishment is a big ‘NO’ when dealing with puppy biting and aggression. Your actions will only make it more aggressive and bite harder.
If you feel your puppy is biting out of aggression, speak to your vet about it. A vet or dog trainer can advise you about managing this behavior.
Socialize With Other Dogs
Socializing is one of the best ways to calm down an aggressive puppy. The more your puppy socializes, the more it will learn how it should behave.
Your puppy will see what other puppies and dogs are doing and try to do things the same way. Taking your puppy for walks out in the park and letting it interact with other dogs in your neighborhood is an excellent way to do this.
Biting is natural and not something unusual to expect from your puppy. Puppies bite for various reasons like aggression, teething, hunger, etc.
Remember not to be harsh on your puppy and punish it for displaying such behavior. Instead, try to use positive reinforcement to tackle the issue well.
Socializing your puppy early is crucial for it to develop good behavior. The best way to do this is to enroll it in a puppy class or take it out for walks in the park.
Frequently Asked Questions
At What Age Do Puppies Naturally Stop Biting?
Puppies learn to calm down and stop biting when they are around seven months of age.
Why Do Puppies Bite So Much?
Puppies bite as a way of exploring their surroundings and due to teething, hunger, and aggressiveness.
How Do You Get Your Puppy To Stop Biting When Excited?
Give a high-pitched yelp to stop your puppy from biting when it’s excited.