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Training Articles - Puppy Biting


Using their teeth during play with other dogs is normal for puppies, but they need to learn it is wrong to use their teeth when playing with people. An adult dog that is cornered, injured or frightened may bite, but if he has learned as a puppy to inhibit this bite then he is much less likely to do any damage. This is especially important if your dog will ever come in contact with children.

To avoid confusion and frustration it is best to teach a puppy to stop biting in 3 stages, each stage lasting about a week.

Week 1
Every time your puppy bites your hands hard enough for it to hurt you should yelp/shout ouch! and turn away as if you are nursing your wounds. Ignore him for at least 20 seconds before restarting the game or interaction.

Week 2
Continue as before, but this time yelp even if he bites you gently or if he tugs at clothing.

Week 3
Yelp and stop the game if he even brushes your skin or clothing with his mouth. If he touches your hand/clothing with his teeth whilst playing with a toy then end the game immediately and put the toy away for that session.


Still having problems?

This process doesn’t work for all puppies, if he has learned to bite to get your attention or if he is well over 14 weeks old then he may get more excited when you yelp.

If you have tried yelping for 2 weeks and things aren’t getting any better then you will need to give a calm, clear ‘no’ when he bites and then immediately pick him up and isolate him in another room or behind a baby gate for 2 minutes.

If he gets more excited when picked up then just leave the room quickly and close the door behind you. After 2 minutes he can join you again but don’t immediately start playing. Ignore him until he is sitting or lying down quietly before you reward him with play or praise.

Important!

Do not play rough and tumble games or wrestle with your pup. These games teach him it is fine to bite people when he is excited! Play with a toy instead, making sure he will ‘leave’ when asked.

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