So.. You just got your first ever puppy in your life, and you are facing an issue – Your puppy has been so playful and non stop biting almost EVERYTHING! What should you do? Let us give you a few tips, continue reading to find out!
Nipping & biting, which often refers by the expert as “play biting” is normal among puppies. However, it’s irksome and often painful when your cuddly pup seems to be all teeth. Needless to say, this is not a behavior we human want it to continue, especially not into adulthood. Here are the steps to train your puppies.
1.Inhibit the Biting
When puppies play, they often use mouth to play with each other, which is totally normal. However, the mouthing can turn into a biting. When it does, it is time to teach them about bite inhibition.
Learning how to moderate the force of a bite is very important for all dogs, especially when they are still puppies. There may be time when they used biting to express their feeling such as when they are in pain or fearful. However, if they’ve learned bite inhibition, they understand that they shouldn’t bite down hard. One of the easiest way to teach them is through making high pitched sound “aw” so that they understand they are using too much force in biting. Beware though, because for some puppies, this actually gets them even more worked up and likely to bite. In this case, it is better to turn quietly around, walk away, or gently put the pup into their crate for a few minutes to calm down. If they do back off, be sure to reward your dog with a treat and some verbal praise!
2. Teach your puppy that biting means no more game time
If your puppy is the type that use bites while playing, you must immediately stop your playtime with them so that they know they are wrong. Besides, yelling and physically punishing your puppy is actually a good indication for them to stop what they are doing. Of course, physically punish does not mean brutally hit them, as that will be considered abusive! By constantly remind them through this negative reinforcement, they will eventually understand that biting will get them nothing.
3. Give your puppy an alternative item to chew
If your puppy likes biting a lot, always prepare a puppy chew toy at hand all the times, so that every time when they start their biting behaviour, you can substitute it to the toys. Doing this will let them know what are the things that they can bite on and what’s not. If they start nibbling at your fingers while playing, offer them the toy. However, if they chose to ignore the toys and continue to nip, stop playing with them immediately.
4. Prevent the pounce
If your puppy is pouncing on your legs or feet as you walk, a common playful puppy behavior, Poozie recommends holding a treat next to your leg as you walk, to help the puppy learn to walk nicely alongside you. Eventually, they will understand how to walk properly beside you.
5. Give them a time-out
Gently put your puppy in their crate to give them a chance to calm down and prevent them from biting. It’s very important to make sure that they don’t learn to associate the crate with punishment, so be calm. Once the pup calms down, you can let them out.
6. Help use up some energy through other activities
When the puppy keeps biting, even after you substitute a toy several times, its time to burn up some physical or mental energy. Take them in the garden and watch them run around so that they will recharge during their rest time! Doing this may even able to train them when to rest and when to play.
7. Reinforce behaviours that you desire
Most of the time puppies are calm and quiet. To make them understand the behaviour that you loved, give them a treat when they are calm to let them understand along with a pat and verbal praise such as “good dog”.
Mouthing and nipping are often seen in puppy but yet undesirable in dogs. Taking these few simple steps now will help prevent that bad behavior down the line, and help you to have a stress-free, life-long relationship with your furbabies!