Tips to help stop your puppy biting.
Puppies are the cutest… until they chomp your finger. If your puppy is at this stage, you know the feeling… And your playful pup needs to learn to be less mouthy now before he’s big enough to do some real damage.
Mouthing is a normal behaviour in puppies. It often disappears by 4 or 5 months old. But, if your puppy keeps biting after that, it might be because you’ve rewarded his biting.
Many common corrections for biting are rewarding your puppy. Because they involve interactions with you, which is exactly what he wants! The best way to discourage biting is to stop any interaction with your puppy when he’s not careful with his mouth – like a time-out.
Use these 3 helpful tips to curb your pup’s biting habit…
- TAKE THE PUPPY AWAY FROM THE FUN 🐶
Here’s how to give your puppy a time-out:
– His time-out should last 30 to 60 seconds.
– Take your puppy to his crate or safe area. Make sure there are no toys in the space.
– Be unemotional … you’re not angry and he’s not in trouble.
– Release him after the allotted time and carry on.
If he does it again, simply repeat the time-out.
2. TAKE THE FUN AWAY FROM THE PUPPY 🐶
If your puppy isn’t careful with his teeth get up and leave the room immediately. And take all the toys with you.
He will learn that no one will play with him if he bites hard.
A challenge with this method is that he might chase you. Which could turn into a game.
So here’s a great way to set your puppy up:
- Tether him to a doorknob or stable piece of furniture.
- The tether should only be about 3 feet long.
- Sit with your puppy and either play with a toy or cuddle.
- If your puppy plays nice, the fun continues.
- If he bites hard say OUCH … and immediately move out of your puppy’s reach, taking the toy/treats with you.
- Ignore him for the 30-60 seconds.
- Once he’s quiet, return to interact with him again.
Every time he re-offends, repeat the time-out.
Make sure you ignore your puppy completely when he is on a time-out.
If he’s crying or barking, it means he doesn’t like the fact that the fun is over.
3. THE “ANYTHING BUT BITING” GAME 🐶
This game will teach your puppy to keep his teeth off skin and clothes. It will also teach your puppy to love when people handle him.
In this game, there’s no punishment for your puppy for not getting it right. And you can do it pretty much anywhere.
You’ll need many small treats (or your puppy’s dinner).
Here’s how to play:
Touch your puppy and hold for a few seconds. If he doesn’t put his teeth on you say “good” and give him a treat.
Now touch again a little differently … this time on the leg. Again … reward your puppy as long as he doesn’t put his teeth on you or your clothes.
Handle your puppy all over… his face, ears, front paws, back paws, tail, belly. Reward him each time he doesn’t use his teeth!
Be gentle, but gradually make it more difficult … and hold for longer.
You’re only looking for 2-3 seconds of “not biting.” Eventually, you’ll expect more than a minute and then … infinity!
In this game, if your puppy puts his teeth on you or your clothes … he doesn’t get a treat. But he is not in trouble.
If he does bite… say OUCH! and freeze. But don’t take your hand away.
When your puppy stops biting, take your hand off and try again.
The only consequence is no treats.
If you’re looking to correct your pup’s biting, here are some other tips…
🐾 For now, don’t play “wrestling” games that encourage your puppy to play bite.
🐾 Handle your pup with gentle, slow motions. Messing up his fur will encourage him to play-bite.
🐾 Teach others how to touch him.
Puppy biting can be frustrating… but it doesn’t have to be.
If you are consistent and patient, you’ll be able to teach your puppy that biting isn’t allowed in no time!