Playing with a puppy is the world’s greatest antidepressant. Who doesn’t love those cute puppy eyes and playful pounces? But one thing that we could all live without is the constant biting. Those little milk teeth can hurt! However, if you aren’t careful, these bad habits will continue into adulthood. And a mouthy dog can be harmful for multiple reasons. So let’s talk about how to stop your puppy dog from biting.
Can A Dog That Bites Be Trained Not To Bite?
Before we talk about how to stop your puppy dog from biting, we should discuss if it’s possible. And we believe that in most cases, you can train any dog not to bite. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind during the training process.
- Puppies have a natural bite inhibition where they need to learn how to control their bite force. They learn this through play with their litter mates and parents. However, since you are raising the puppy, it’s your job to teach it to them.
- Never hit your dog as punishment. Dogs don’t understand disciplines like these, and it could lead to more aggression and behavioral issues.
- Don’t bite your dog back. There is an old myth that if you bite your dog on the ear, they will stop and behave. However, this is a bad idea for many reasons. Your dog could become aggressive or try to bite you in the face if they are scared. So it’s best not to do this.
- Don’t put your dog into time out in their kennel. If you have a puppy, chances are you are still trying to crate train at this time. So if you start using the kennel as punishment, you might undo all of your progress. Time outs are a great tool, and we will tell you how to do it correctly later.
- And finally, be consistent no matter what method you choose. It doesn’t matter if you have a puppy or adult dogs; they all learn through consistency.
How To Stop Your Puppy Dog From Biting
So now that we know what not to do, let’s look at practical ways to stop your puppy dog from biting. These methods are all trainer approved and will get you results fast. Just remember to stay consistent and try a technique for a week before giving up.
The best trick to training your stop puppy biting is a sharp and loud noise like “OW.” It’s so simple, but it works for many reasons. The first reason is that it gives a shock factor to your puppy that makes them stop immediately. They might even try to look at you to figure out what’s wrong.
The second reason why saying “ow” works so well is that dogs do this as well. When puppies rough play, if one bites too hard, the other will yelp. So you can use this natural behavior to your advantage. After a few times of you yelping, your puppy will soon get the picture.
Another effective way to stop painful biting is to stop playing with your dog. Our dogs love attention, and when that attention stops, they want to fix it. This technique works best when you yell “OW” and then stop playing with your dog.
Ignore your dog for 10-15 minutes until they calm down. Once your dog is calm and not jumping on you, you can play with them again. And with any more hard bites, repeat the process. After a few tries of this, your puppy will catch on. But you have to be consistent every time you play with them.
Offer A Toy
If ignoring and displaying pain doesn’t phase your dog, you might need a distraction. Every time your puppy bites you, give them a rope toy instead. Offering toys lets your dog know biting you isn’t acceptable, but playing with toys is. Teething toys are also beneficial if you think your dog is suffering from sore gums.
You might even consider training your dog to only rough play with toys rather than your hands. To do this, any time your dog puts their teeth on you, stop play and offer the toy instead. If they continue to nibble at your hands, stop playing with them until they calm down. Then once they are calm, pick up your preferred toy and initiate play again.
Another excellent tool for puppy owners is to enact a timeout. To do this, the best idea is to find a place where your dog can’t get into anything dangerous. A safe place or playpen with no toys and nothing they can get into is best for this. When your dog bites you and doesn’t redirect when given a toy, put them in timeout for 10 minutes. After they have calmed down, you can try playing again and repeat the steps.
Timeouts work better than simply ignoring your puppy because it removes them from the situation. And if your puppy tends to get more excited when you snub them, this should get their attention. The physical separation from people and toys will make your dog think about what they’ve done. And with a few times repeating the process, they will catch on quickly.
Just remember not to use your kennel as a timeout. Once your dog associates the kennel as negative space, then it can make everyday use impractical. Your puppy will think every time they go in the kennel that they are in trouble. And if you use the crate when you are away, this could lead to separation anxiety.
What Age Does A Puppy Stop Biting?
The puppy phase can be challenging to navigate. And if you have a nibbling puppy, you might wonder when it will come to an end. The good news is that mouthiness usually stops around 8-10 months old. But you do have to be consistent with training to prevent these harmful habits from coming up again.
How Do I Train My Dog Not To Bite When Excited?
Sometimes when a dog gets excited, they have misplaced energy. And as we all know, dogs get excited over everything. So if your dog has a lot of energy, we recommend exercising more.
Now we know what you are thinking, exercise can’t be the answer to all your problems. But you will be surprised to know that many common behavioral issues are related to lack of exercise. So the key to stopping dogs from biting might be going for long walks.
And the beauty of it is that you can do this in any situation where your dog might get over-excited. Just take your dog for a walk beforehand, and implement some of the training techniques already mentioned.
How Do I Get My Puppy To Stop Biting My Hands And Feet?
If your puppy is nipping at your hands and feet, they might be herding you. And it’s a prevalent problem in dogs with the instinct to herd. You know this is what they are doing when they only do it when you walk or run around. And it can be difficult to stop something that your dogs are bred to do.
However, it’s not impossible. The best way to get your dog to stop herding you and the family is to stop moving. Your dog is biting at your feet to keep you moving, and if you aren’t complying, they stop. You can even try offering your dog a toy instead. But don’t give your dog any attention or move again until they stop nipping at you.
What To Do With A Dog That Bites People?
A common problem people might have is a defensive dog. These dogs don’t like strangers and might lash out. Whether this results from improper socialization or rescue with a bad past, it can be an issue. If you have a dog with this type of aggression, you don’t want to put them in situations where others could get hurt.
Whenever you have to be in public, you should take extra precautions like gentle leaders and muzzles. If your dog has a bite history, you should never leave them alone in the yard to prevent accidents. And in situations like company, you should crate train your dog with positive reinforcement to keep everyone safe.
Can Dogs That Bite Be Rehabilitated?
Can dogs with aggressive behaviors learn not to bite? This question depends on the dog and the situation. But there are plenty of successful programs out there for dogs who fit into this category. With the right behavioral therapist, dogs who have been abused, trained for fighting, and even mental problems have had happy endings. But since these situations are so fragile, we recommend only doing it with a licensed trainer specialized in this field.
Do Dogs Feel Guilty After They Bite?
Sometimes all of this training might have you wondering if your dog feels bad for hurting you. And the truth is that your dogs absolutely do. That’s why training methods such as ignoring or saying “ow” work so well. Even in situations where your dog intentionally bites, they do have guilt afterward. That’s why we need to handle all biting situations delicately.
Will A Dog Who Bites Once Bite Again?
And finally, the last concern with dog owners with a bite history is if they should expect it again. While not every dog will bite again, an important thing to remember is that all dogs CAN bite. So when you have a dog with a bite record, it’s safer to expect it and work on it consistently. If you let your guard down, it could lead to an accident. And we don’t want that for you or your dog.
Now You’re All Prepped
While biting is a natural instinct for dogs, it doesn’t mean you have to allow it. With these tips on how to stop your puppy dog from biting, you will have a fun and pain-free playtime soon.