Puppies nip and bite for a variety of reasons and for the most part, this is normal behavior. Puppies use their mouths a lot when playing with one another, it’s a way for them to understand and explore their world. It’s important to discourage nipping when your puppy is still young because if you don’t, you may have a biting dog on your hands and that’s not nearly as cute as a nipping puppy. Also, their needle-sharp teeth can be painful.
There a lots of proven training methods to help correct your puppy’s behavioral problems. Before I get into the specific techniques you can use to stop your puppy from biting, always keep these general dog behavior training rules in mind:
- Puppy socialization and bite inhibition training go hand in hand.
- Never slap or hit your puppy in the face. This does not work! Your puppy will just think you are playing or could become afraid of you. This may even lead to some much bigger problems than simple puppy nipping.
- The general rule to stop puppy biting problems is to always encourage acceptable behavior and always discourage unacceptable behavior. To learn more about this fundamental rule of dog obedience training (including how to stop biting problems) visit Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.
- While you are trying to stop your puppies from biting, never play tug of war, wrestling or chase type games with them. This only encourages the biting and nipping.
- Whichever method you choose to train your puppy the golden rule is be consistent. This means that you and anyone else who comes into contact with your puppy must enforce your chosen strategy every time your pup takes a nip.
- If you don’t clearly communicate to your dog that the biting is unacceptable, he will not know he is doing anything wrong. It’s up to you to show him what is acceptable behavior, don’t just expect your puppy to know this! (You are really taking on the role of his littermates for this task).
- Another (extreme) reason puppies can bite is if they are trying to assert their dominance over you. If this is the case with your puppy, it must be stopped immediately. When you have a dominant puppy his biting will only be the beginning of many behavioral problems. To learn how to establish your position as the dominant one or leader in your owner-dog relationship