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Puppies are adorable, tiny little creatures. Who doesn’t dream of having a lapful of excited, wiggling puppies to cuddle? I know I’ve dreamt about that very exact thing at least once in my lifetime. Who wouldn’t? Tiny, baby dogs are basically a pocketful of sunshine for most everybody. Dog lovers know that puppies can brighten up an entire day sometimes. I’ve personally had some really exhausting and stressful days get instantly reversed by a puppy cuddle that I really needed. One thing that puppies do a lot, however, is bite. Yes – most puppies haven’t learned bite inhibition just yet so sometimes when they do bite, it hurts! That’s why it’s important to learn the best way to get a puppy to stop biting.
Often, people ignore puppy bites because hey, they’re small dogs. Babies, essentially. They’re harmless, right? The gummy biting doesn’t do much except help them to teeth and explore their new world around them. That is, of course, until their sharp teeth start coming in and the harmless biting becomes painful. I know I’ve had those painful bites before, and they can be really rough to deal with. At this point, ignoring the biting has led to the puppy thinking that it’s acceptable behavior, so it then becomes necessary to train them otherwise.
That’s why I’m here today to help you figure out the best way to get a puppy to stop biting. There are many different methods, so you have to try them to find the one that works the best for your individual pup. Not all dogs respond the same way, after all. Are you ready to train your puppy to behave better? Let’s get to it!
Tips for Training Your Puppy
Training your puppy might be a daunting, overwhelming task – especially if you have never had a pup in the past. Dogs are a lot of responsibility after all, which makes it an even scarier and more overwhelming thought. Don’t worry though, because not only will I help you to find the best way to get a puppy to stop biting, but I will also give you some tips and tricks to boot. Let’s start with the tips before we jump straight into training your puppy not to bite.
Socialize Your Puppy!
Once of the biggest and most important things for you to do when it comes to raising a well adjusted pup is making sure that he or she is well-socialized. This means allowing them enough time outdoors, meeting new people, and also meeting new animals. This way, you know for sure that your dog won’t freak out when you take them outside, or when you bring them to places where you know they’ll be seeing new people and new animals. If you make sure your new puppy is well socialized, you’ll be able to take them anywhere without having any worries that they will misbehave. It can be a bit of a bother and a hassle at first to get the socialization done to begin with, but the best part is you only really need to go through this training period once for most dogs!
Vaccinate Your Dog
Puppies are small, delicate little things. They can be so boisterous and rambunctious, however, that you could probably even forget that you’re dealing with what is essentially a small baby dog. As a result they won’t have the same immune system as adult dogs have. They’re exceptionally susceptible to the many different viruses, bacteria, and diseases that can ultimately prove fatal to them. This is worsened by the fact that dogs basically explore the world with their snouts and their mouths. They have no hands, and so their version of getting a “feel” for something is by using their mouth!
As someone who has personally lost a dog in the past due to canine parvo virus, I cannot adequately express how important it is to make sure your puppies get all of their inoculations. This way, when you take them out to socialize, you have the peace of mind knowing that your pup will be less likely to get sick. It is really painful watching your little puppy losing their battle to the parvo virus – they go through so much pain and suffering to the point where you just wish that it would all be over as soon as possible.
Use Only Positive Reinforcement
Another thing that I can tell you when it comes to taking care of a new puppy and raising it well is the fact that you should strive to use only positive reinforcement in terms of giving the puppy feedback on their actions. Doing this makes sure that your puppy acts because they know this is how you want them to act and they want to please you. Negative reinforcement such as punishing unwanted behavior can result in your puppy growing to fear you and acting out of fear instead of love. Wouldn’t you rather have your puppy act because they want to make you happy, instead of doing things with their tail between their legs because they are afraid of you?
The Best way to get a puppy to stop biting
Now that we have discussed some tips and tricks when it comes to raising a well-adjusted puppy that is easier to train, it is time for us to now discuss the best way to get a puppy to stop biting. Yes, there are many different ways in which you could do this. You can choose something that could work for you specifically. It’s really all about figuring out what makes your dog act how or do what you want them to do. We know that puppy biting can be very irritating and at times, painful. This is why I’m here to give you different methods that you can try to help you nip the nibbling in the bud.
Remember that it is completely natural for a puppy to want to chew on things because first off all, they are teething, and 2nd they are curious little puppies that want to explore the world. Of course, as dogs mature we do not want them to continue this behavior because it can cause some problems – especially if your dog gets a little overexcited. Are you ready to talk about the best way to get a puppy to stop biting? Let’s go then.
As we all know, it is completely normal for puppies to mouth things – they will do this as they teeth, as they play with other animals, as they play with their toys, and even as they play with you. It’s completely standard behavior that is 100% within their nature , which is why you should avoid punishing them for doing something that is basically coded into their very existence. However, if the mouthing escalates into full on biting, you can do something about it. You can give your dog a stern talking to and some negative signals (signals, not punishment) to let them know that their behavior and actions are not acceptable.
Training a puppy in bite inhibition is important. After all, training a puppy to stop biting can take some time – which means that in the meantime your puppy will still be biting and chewing on things. This includes your flesh, and it can get really painful if your puppy is biting away with their sharp little teeth. Bite inhibition basically shows them the art of play biting which means that even though they’re nibbling away at you they won’t be biting down really hard.
How to train your puppy with bite inhibition
Puppies and adult dogs actually help train other puppies in bite inhibition by basically making a small yelp or sound of pain if they are bitten too hard. Taking this into consideration, you yourself can teach your puppy not to bite too hard by simply making a yelp or sound of pain when they bite a little too hard. However, make sure that you don’t pull yourself away as you yelp because your puppy has an instinct to chase that might become triggered.
Instead of pulling away when you make a noise of pain, simply go limp. Wait for the puppy to release you, and then ignore them for maybe 10 or 20 seconds. Then, and only then, should you resume playing with them again. This teaches them that if they bite too hard playing stops!
A quick tip is that if you don’t like making a yelping noise, you can instead make a loud ouch or ow sound.
Redirecting the Biting
Redirection is considered as the best way to get a puppy to stop biting – or at least it’s considered as one of them. Once you’ve mastered bite inhibition, you can then begin to teach your puppy that he shouldn’t be biting on human skin at all. To accomplish this, you can use the method of redirection. Basically, if your puppy attempts to mouth and bite at you, pull away immediately. You must do this before your dog actually makes any contact. Instead, offer him a treat or one of his favorite toys – wave it around to get his attention if you must.
Sometimes, a puppy mouths and bites because they have the urge to do so. If offering your puppy a treat or a toy doesn’t satisfy this urge of theirs, you can also choose to play games such as tug of war or fetch. Remember, however, that it is important not to let your dog bite and tug on the rope too hard because this can lead to aggression problems. Also, consider teaching your puppy a drop it or leave it command so that you can take something away from your puppy without them getting aggressive about it.
Distract Your Pup
Puppies will mouth not just people – they will also bite or nibble on things that are found in their surroundings. To make this less of a problem, you can choose to make your home slightly more “puppy-proof”. You can then provide your lovely little pet different options when it comes to safe but interesting chew toys. This way, your puppy is more likely to choose to nibble on these toys instead of something else around the room.
You can also offer some mental stimulation and distraction by purchasing some toys where you can hide some treats. For example, the Kong series of toys allows your puppy to stay interested because they want to get at the treats hidden inside. By giving your puppy such a toy, you can then make it less likely that they will choose to nibble on your skin instead.
Of course, I can also recommend another best way to get a puppy to stop biting – arranging times for play with other puppies and dogs. This period of socialization allows your little pooch enough time with other dogs to realize appropriate biting behavior.
Biting Deterrent Products
Sometimes, the methods stated above are simply not enough to get your puppy to stop chewing your skin. Therefore, you get people who say that the best way to get a puppy to stop biting is by using a deterrent product. This is true to an extent. After all, if you use a product that basically signals to a dog that biting and chewing equals a bad taste or sensation, they become less likely to chew and nibble on things.
Some products that help in deterring your puppy’s nibbling are bitter-tasting products. For example: bitter cherry, bitter apple, and other products designed to be bitter usually deter puppies from licking and biting. However, to make this product more effective, you must first make them realize that they don’t like the taste and the smell of the product!
To do this, you should put some of it on tissue, or maybe on a cotton ball. Then, put it in your dog’s mouth. Your pup should basically spit it out instantly. Once he does, pick up the cotton ball and bring it to his nose so he can smell it and realize that they don’t like the taste or smell of the bitter. And then, you have to make sure that your puppy does not have any access to their water for at least an hour after they taste the bitter. It might seem a little cruel, but the fact is if you let your puppy just wash the taste away with water immediately, the bitter becomes ineffective and they won’t be bothered by it anymore.
Some puppies are just more nippy than others – this is true. I’ve had a puppy in the past that was so perfectly well behaved that they literally didn’t want to mouth at me at all. But then we get the puppies that think everything is a toy and a new thing for them to explore with their tongue and their teeth. If you have a puppy like the above, I hope that you were able to figure out the best way to get a puppy to stop biting from what I have written above. Best of luck training your new family addition!