Stop your Puppy Biting

>> 2/27/09

Biting, or mouthing as its called, is a natural thing for a puppy, not so for a grown dog. It's how they explore their world and how they decide what's good and what's not. When we were babies we chewed our fingers and teething rings, we were finding out about the things that we holding in our hands. As well as easing our gums from teething pain. It is the same for your puppy.

Puppy's will often nip at things, including hands and anything that's dangling, this isn't necessarily malicious, its perfectly normal and doesn't mean that you have a problem puppy. Mind you you probably won't want your puppy to nip because although it is natural and normal if its left unchecked it could turn into something bigger. If he bites young Tommy's fingers or a visitors leg you in trouble. So showing him its not an acceptable thing to do is a good idea.

When your puppy nips or bites give him a firm sharp NO And stare him in the eye. Don't stare for too long, just a second or two, you don't want to unnerve him. Then turn your back and ignore him for a while, until he does it again, then repeat the procedure. Make the No loud and say it in an angry voice.

Smacking him could make him aggressive toward you and others so please don't do it. He'll learn faster not to bite if you get cross with him.

Some people accuse puppy's and dogs of biting when they are not actually biting, for instance when we hold out a treat for him he might sometimes snatch at it to get it quicker and accidentally nip your fingers. Although this isn't aggressive biting it still hurts and needs to be stopped, if a child were to give the dog a treat and was bitten, I don't think the child will care that it was unintentional because it will hurt all the same.

I handle it this way.

I put my puppy or dog in the Sit, Stay position and hold a treat between my fingers but I curl my fingers back toward me and say “gently” while hold my arm straight out towards him this way the dog can't see anything and so sniffs at my hand, smells something good.

All the time I'm saying in a soft voice gently then I slowly uncurl my fingers and allow him to take the treat. If he snaps at it I snatch it back and say NO in a stern voice.

I keep trying until he GENTLY takes the treat from my hand and I praise him lavishly and repeat the process daily until he gets it. This has always worked for me. Don't over do the treats.

I find it also helps when he is getting excited, If I say Gently he seems to know to back off slightly and calm down.

What is your dog or puppy eating? It can have quite a major effect on a dogs behaviour and can cause too much excitement which can also lead to nipping your fingers. If you think his diet might not be the right diet for your dog, speak to your Vet or professional dog trainer for some advice.

Make sure your puppy has plenty of hard play toys, chewing on them will help to ease the pain of his teething and will strengthen his teeth.

I hope this helps you to stop your puppy nipping and biting.

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