Discouraging Your Puppy from Biting
As you may already know or will soon find out – young puppies have a tendency to bite or nip anything that crosses their path. This is completely normal during the teething stage; however, it’s up to you to get this bad habit under control quickly to avoid more serious problems in the future. And the sooner you start, the easier it will be.
Dogs bite as a way to assert dominance and hierarchy in their pack relationships. When you adopt a dog and bring it in to your family or home, you are now part of his her pack. Your puppy may nip or bite you to test your submission; in turn, you must teach him that you are in charge. One common method taught by trainers is using your hand to mimic a bite on the scruff of your puppy’s neck which sends the message that you are the leader of the pack.
Most puppies can be easily trained to control the force of their biting. This is called bite inhibition, or teaching your puppy to have a “soft mouth.” As soon as you notice your puppy nipping or biting you, firmly say “No!” and redirect his or her mouth to a toy or bone. If you are not clear in communicating to your dog that his behavior is unacceptable, he will not understand that he has done something wrong. It is your responsibility as the puppy owner, and ‘leader of the pack,’ to teach the acceptable behavior.
As with all methods of training, consistency remains most important. Give your puppy the feedback it needs to learn by praising and rewarding a soft mouth, and discouraging and correcting inappropriate biting or nipping.
With these basic tips, you should have no problem teaching your puppy acceptable behavior when it comes to nipping and biting. For more information and help training your puppy, contact an expert at Happiness Is Pets!