How To Stop Puppy Biting
If your puppy is younger than 16 weeks old and is constantly nipping at things it’s perfectly normal behavior as young pups mouth a lot. They like to mouth when playing and they also mouth to communicate their needs.
If your puppy starts mouthing ask yourself these questions:
Are they hungry or thirsty?
Do they need to go to the bathroom?
Are they sleepy?
Do they need to play?
Remember, puppies nip when they feel needy just as a baby cries when it needs attention. If your puppy does not stop nipping it could mean they want something. Maybe they need to go for a walk to stretch their and get a different change of scenery for a bit.
Here are some tips to use when training puppies not to bite:
If your puppy does not need anything but continues to nip or bite put them in their crate or isolate them and give them a favorite toy or bone. Be sure and not scold your them as you isolate them, just calmly and quietly place them puppy in their special area.
Whenever your puppy starts licking you say something like “Kisses” and give them ample praise. You can encourage further licking by applying a little butter to you hand.
Withhold your attention when your puppy nips or bites softly. Keep your hand still because if you try and withdraw your hand you send a signal that you are playing and they will bite harder.
If your puppy starts biting down hard quickly say “Ep, Ep” in a stern voice and glare into their eyes for a few seconds then resume your normal routine. If they keep nipping try putting something bitter on your hand to discourage them. You might also put them on a leash so you can tug the lead sharply to the side to get them to stop. If needed, place them in a quiet spot to cool off.
If you’re puppy is still nipping after 16 weeks you need to make an extra effort to discourage it. Although some biting will continue you need to make it clear that it is an unacceptable behavior.
Here are some more ideas for training puppies not to bite:
Stop all challenge games like wrestling, tug-of-war, chasing your dog around and teasing. When you do these types of activities you are sending your dog the wrong message. These games teach dogs to clamp down hard on any object whether it’s a leash, your shirt, etc. and challenge.
Discourage all forms of nipping no matter if it’s a bite on your arm nibbling on your fingers.
Try using mouth spray or a squirt gun on them. Never stare at them while you spray her or you will turn an unpleasant result into a confrontational interaction.
Leave a leash on your puppy so you have something to direct them with and can avoid any physical confrontation. If your dog is not wearing a teaching lead place a short lead onto their collar buckle.
If your puppy begins to mouth turn and use a lead or collar to snap their head from your body or spray the area they are nipping at with some spray. Don’t glare at them or they will see your actions as confrontational play.
If you are still unsuccessful in controlling the nipping and biting ask yourself these questions:
Do I look convincing?
Am I snapping or pulling which can encourage confrontational play?
Is my dog taking me seriously?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions you may need more puppy biting training before you teach them that this is unacceptable behavior.