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Being able to differentiate between play and aggression is essential to keeping your hands safe around a dog's mouth. Once you are sure that your dog's health is good and her behavior is play related, you can begin taking steps to decrease the mouthing.
If you or members of your family are in physical danger or are fearful of the puppy, seek the help of an experienced Certified Dog Trainer or Applied Animal Behaviorist immediately.
Next time the puppy plays, if she bites too hard and gets the same reaction, she begins to realize that her bites can actually hurt other puppies and people. In more extreme cases of correction, an adult dog will jump on a puppy and pin it down on its back to really teach her a lesson; in most cases, this should not be replicated by human owners unless under direction and supervision of an experienced trainer.
Due to this natural progression, puppies generally learn from adult dogs that biting is unacceptable before they are old enough to cause harm to other dogs or people. If you have children, it is important that the puppy understands not to bite them, but it may not be appropriate for the children to participate in the training. If you are clicker training the puppy, click as soon as he withdraws her mouth from your hand or lets up the pressure.
Consider enrolling your puppy in a puppy training class, where your dog can learn essential skills while having fun. If your puppy seems unsure about the chew toy, try putting a little tuna juice or peanut butter on it to make it more enticing. Small breed dogs can inflict damaging bites as well; do not neglect to train your small breed puppy just because she will always be small.
This version of How to Get Your Puppy to Stop Biting was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on April 13, 2015.
Dog Bite Prevention week is coming up, which means it’s a great time to think about biting dogs and how to get them to stop. Luckily, it is fairly easy to get a puppy to learn “bite inhibition” or to have a “soft mouth” – meaning if he does put his mouth on you, he won’t bite down hard. Anything that is big enough that your dog can have a hold of without also biting your hand is a good toy. A lot of puppies bite when you are trying to do anything restraining – toweling, nail clipping, brushing, putting on a collar or harness, etc.
If you find your puppy has a real issue with being touched (my youngest used to scream when I held him, now he is the dog in this video), get help from a certified professional dog trainer. Basically, you will start slowly, with your puppy in a situation where she is still calm enough to accept food and not bite. You don’t want to be bit and you don’t want him to find out that biting you gets you to drop and leave whatever you were taking from him. Feed him his meals from your hand (work on training for his meals!) so he sees you as someone you gives food and not as someone who may take it. Keep him separate from any other animals in the house during meal time, play time (if he toy guards), etc.


Kristina has owned everything from horses and goats to guinea pigs and birds and of course, dogs and cats. 10 Necklaces Dog Lovers Can’t Stop Talking About!17 CommentsA Dog Left His Toy Outside And A Fox Found It.
If her body and face look rigid and tense, she's growling or showing her teeth, the hair on her back is standing up or if the biting is fast and intense, her behavior may be motivated by aggression rather than play.
Allowing puppy biting to go unchecked can lead to behavioral problems in adult dogs; a cute nip in a 10-pound new puppy can turn into a serious bite in an 80-pound adolescent dog. Young puppies often do not know how hard they are biting, and so they bite playfully without understanding how it affects others.
Adult dogs tolerate the (sometimes naughty) behavior of young puppies reasonably well, but they become less tolerant as the puppy ages. When selecting a training technique for your puppy, keep in mind the amount of time you are able to spend on the training and the appropriateness of the training method for your situation. Jerking your hands back in pain, while certainly a natural response, may actually encourage your puppy to play harder and continue biting. If she starts to bite again, let out your yelp or stern rebuke and withdraw from playing again. When your puppy bites you, yelp loudly and remove your hand to signal that playing has stopped. If you begin communicating that hard bites are unacceptable, your puppy may try giving softer bites. This process can take quite a long time, particularly with puppies that have a high prey drive. Playing rough with your hands is plenty fun, but it might be giving your puppy the wrong idea. Before you start playing with your dog, spray a taste deterrent on areas of your body and clothes that you dog likes to play rough with.[7] When your dog starts biting you, stop all movement and wait for her to react to the taste deterrent. After two weeks, your puppy will likely have developed a strong distaste for your hands and ankles.
A well-exercised puppy (exercised to the point of being tired) will not be as rough when playing with you. It's sometimes tempting to want to physically punish your puppy by slapping, hitting, or waving your fingers in her face. You might not enjoy being bitten every time you go out to play with your puppy, but you do want to forge a real bond between you and your puppy, and playing is partly how you do this. Though an adult dog correction can look harsh to humans, adult dogs are quite adept at teaching puppies appropriate behavior. A puppy may start out with small bites or what seems like play, but if you let him keep doing it, eventually those bites will become serious and you will be faced with a decision no dog owner ever wants to have to make. Here are four times your puppy may bite, and what you should (and should not) do in these circumstances.


If you rough-house with your pup and use your hands to wrestle his belly, playfully push his face, etc., don’t act surprised when he bites those hands.
It can be helpful to tether your puppy to something he can’t move while working on this, so you can walk away and he can’t follow you. I know she's just playing, but it can hurt, and the more I try and get her to stop the more she does it because she thinks it's a game. For instance, if your canine mouths when greeting, find another activity she can engage in, such as playing with a toy like the Chase-It, a stuffed animal on the end of a fishing pole-like handle, which can help direct her energy toward a more appropriate outlet. Puppies usually learn that they're biting hard by playing with other puppies or adult dogs. She should be rewarded and encouraged to offer positive feedback that does not involve biting.
Encourage other forms of play that don't involve your puppy nipping at your fingers, hands, ankles, and toes. The problem is that these responses can do one of two things: they can encourage your puppy to continue playing rough, or they can encourage your puppy to act out with real aggression.
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However, you should work with a certified professional dog trainer to overcome these obstacles.
Although puppies are most likely to exhibit mouthy behavior, mouthing can continue into adulthood. Puppies will nip and bite each other playfully until one puppy or dog is nipped too hard and gives out a high-pitched yelp.
Stand up to stop playing with the puppy to further reinforce that her paper was not acceptable. Physical isolation from the pack sends a strong message to the puppy that she has acted incorrectly.[3] If the puppy bites you again, get up and leave for 20 seconds. Continue discouraging your puppy's next-hardest bites, and so on, until she can play with your hands gently and control the pressure of her bite. Teaching her the difference between right and wrong, not abandoning play altogether, will be best for both of you. Isolating the time and place your pooch is most likely to mouth will help focus your training energies to times when your pet is most likely to exhibit this behavior and will allow you to find an alternative behavior to substitute for the biting.
The victim will stop playing, and the puppy that bit the victim is taken aback and also stops playing momentarily. Kristina has written for the pet industry since 2009, writing about everything from training and behavior to DIY projects.



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