Despite what you might have heard, puppy bites can hurt. Their small teeth are sharp enough to cause definite discomfort, if not the damage that adult dogs cause.
If you want to learn how to stop a puppy from biting, you must begin to train him that the mouthing behaviors that he may exhibit are unacceptable when directed towards a human beingor another puppy, for that matter.
There are proven techniques aimed at breaking puppies just like yours of this potentially dangerous antisocial habit. This post will discuss five steps you can take to ensure that this behavior does not continue.
How To Stop A Puppy From Biting
1. Body Language
Sometimes you dont have to say a word. Dogs can instinctively tell when youre upset with them. Sometimes the effective use of body language is sufficient, according to puppy expert Amy Shojai. She suggests the use of exaggerated body language and facial expressions can sometimes be all thats needed for your puppy to stand down.
When he sees a frown on your face for instance, and a soft, Oooohhhh! that may be enough to let your puppy know that his actions have hurt you. Body language can include something as simple as moving away from him very rapidly, with a hurt, in-pain expression on your face.
If the body language method doesnt work, talk to the dog in his own language, give a loud yelp to let him know hes put you in pain. After all, it is what the family he may have been part of did when he mouthed his siblings. Other members of the litter yelped at him. Your yelping may serve as a reminder for him of what his family may have already taught him.
If you end up having to use your words, try saying things to him like, No!, That hurt! or Dont Bite! Speak these words loudly and firmly. Use as much emotion as possible; your baby dog needs to know that you mean what you say.
your goal is to get your best friend to stop hurting you, and to play nicely with you and with other dogs or cats that may be around.
Also, you should teach him several prompts, such as Let go! or When I say stop, I need you to stop. This will give him cues to stop biting when you say so.
4. What to Do If Words Arent Enough
If yelping or saying a gentle ooohhh doesnt help, gently press into his mouth until you activate his gag reflex, and he will begin to let go of your hand, your foot, or any other part of your body on which he may be nibbling at the moment. Do this gently, or this technique may backfire, and you may become the victim of a vicious bite.
5. Assigning Consequences
If all of the above methods fail, and he still feels he can sink his teeth into your skin, assign him a Time Out. Send him off to a room and shut the door for awhile.
This is a powerful way of letting him know that he loses his privilege of playing with you if he cannot control what he does with his teeth. Thirty seconds to a minute is usually long enough to send the strong message that a bite is all that is needed to end any game you two may be playing together. He will be sent to his room to cool off and to think.
The conclusion he begins to reach is that my behavior can cause the fun to continue, or it will grind it to a screeching halt. Thus, as is true in the case of a child, that puppy learns to make better choices.
If you want to begin to see improvement in your dogs behavior, try giving him rewards. They can be specific treats, or words. Here are some examples:
- If theres a particular rubber teething toy he likes, toss it at him when you ask him to let go of you, and he does.
- If you dont have teething toys around, give him access to his favorite dog treats, including the ones that are bone-shaped,
that are advertised on television.
- Sometimes a pat on the head, or a rub on the stomach is all your puppy needs to know that you are pleased with the
choices he has made. Get to know your dog, and youll know whats best for him.
Conclusion of the Matter
Far from being cute or amusing, dog bites hurt. In fact, an injury from an adult canine can break bones and cause injuries and infections that could lead to death.
Its important that you teach these techniques while theyre young.
Do it in a gentle, yet firm way, even if you have to assign consequences.
Never hit your puppywhether it is with a switch, a piece of rolled up newspaper, or anything else.
A good spanking will not teach your dog anything. It may get him to resent you, and thwart your efforts to accomplish anything positive.