Dogs bite. Puppies bit a lot more. If you have puppies who bite too much you need to react and you need to help them understand that this is not acceptable. There are a few things you can do. The goal is to help your puppy understand that he is hurting you and that he needs to stop doing this. This is a rather simple process but it does take a lot of time.
Teach Puppies Bite Inhibition First
The first thing you have to do is to teach your puppy bite inhibition. For the lack of a better word, you will have to teach him that his biting hurts you. All puppies who bite too much must learn this as soon as possible.
When they are playing with other puppies and they bite too much, another puppy will scream. This means that he is in pain and the first puppy will know that. He will understand that he must not bite that strong. Yes, these bites do hurt. Puppies have 28 teeth that are razor sharp so you can imagine how much pain they can cause.
All you can do at this point is to scream loudly ‘’ow’’ or something similar. Basically, you will tell your puppy that you are in pain and he is hurting you. The same thing puppies do when another dog bites them too hard. The only problem here is that for some puppies this is interesting. They think you want to play harder so they will try to bite you harder!
Game Over Game
The next thing you can do is to teach him a game called game over. What this means is that as soon as your puppy bites you hard, you will leave. Tuck your hands under the armpits and walk away. There are no exceptions here and you must do this every single time when he bites you. Soon, your puppy will understand that this behavior is not acceptable and you will walk away and stop playing if he does this again.
Yelling at your puppy will not do you any good. Punishing will be an even worse thing you can do and these are actually mistakes you must avoid at all costs. When you keep your hands under your armpits, it is a calming move that doesn’t have a negative effect on your dog but can teach him to stop.
Other Things You Can Do
There are a few other things that are very effective and can help you. Here we will discuss all of them. It is important to add that you need to try all the things here in order to find the one that works best for your puppy. And below we will list 8 things you can do to stop this behavour. These are the most effective and actually mandatory.
1. Give your puppy a toy.
This is a very effective strategy. Your puppy will play and bite the toy so he is less likely to bite you afterward. There are special toys that are ideal for puppies when teething and later.
2. Perhaps your puppy is tired or he wants to sleep.
It is common that a puppy will bite more when he is tired or needs to go to the bathroom. Try both things and monitor the result. If you end up with a puppy that stops biting you after he had a nap, you know what to do.
3. Hold a treat high up and walk.
Some puppies will go next to you and try to bite your feet or your hand as you walk. They will focus attention on the treat and not on you. This is something you can do with all puppies due to the fact they consider this a great game. However, it is not a game and it can be painful.
4. You can also enroll your puppy in a puppy class.
This is great for socializing the puppy. He will understand and learn how to behave better. He will also use a lot of energy so it is less likely to bite you at home.
5. Sometimes you will have to put your puppy in the crate and allow him to calm down.
This is mandatory when your puppy is too excited. Some puppies will also get hiccups when they are too excited. A few minutes in the crate will help your puppy calm down and relax more.
6. In general, puppies have a lot of energy.
You need to react and help them use that energy if you want to have a calm puppy. What this means is that leaving a puppy alone for a big part of the day is a mistake. You need to walk him, play with him, and provide him with toys so he can play all by himself. If you have two or more puppies, you will see how much energy they have. When they use that energy, biting and playing rough with you is not common.
7. We must also add that you must never hit a puppy.
This has a negative impact on socialization and how your puppy grows. In fact, this is a huge problem and something you must avoid. Yelling is the same thing. Your puppy can develop anxiety due to this and you will need to cure it afterward.
8. Always reinforce any behavior that you like.
So, when he stops biting you, reward him. When he starts biting you, walk away. This is positive reinforcement and it is the only accepted training technique experts recommend.
The Final Word
All puppies who bite too much need to stop doing this as soon as possible. This is not something you have to live with and it is something you need to end. Try all these things as soon as you can and you will find that most of them do have an effect. Use them as long as your puppy needs it. Soon, you will have a puppy who doesn’t bite and you can play with him without ending up in pain.