If you think your puppy would win the award for the worst biter on the planet, you have more competition than you think.
In fact, every dog that has ever been alive has had a biting streak as a puppy. From 3 to 6 months of age, your puppy’s mouth is going through some serious reconstruction. Read on to learn how to train your puppy not to bite in 4 easy steps.
Imagine having to grow two sets of teeth and lose one in the process, all within the span of a few months. It has got to be agonizing. Luckily, you can rest assured that there is nothing wrong with your teething puppy. Here are a few tips that you can start using right now in teaching him or her how to develop into a more sophisticated, non-biting adult and stop puppy biting fast!
Step One – Observe Puppy Play
According to the world’s leading dog trainer, Cesar Millan, puppies begin to learn consequences naturally when they play with other dogs. When puppies play, they like to mouth or gnaw on one another. If you pay close attention, you can see how they test each other’s limits by yelping when a bite becomes painful. When the puppy on the receiving end yelps back, the one doing the biting will release by instinct. This is how puppies begin to learn that when they’re too rough, play stops and when they are gentle, play continues.
Step Two-Channel Your Inner Puppy
Millan says that we can use this puppy play behavior to inhibit their desire to bite humans as well. Next time your pup bites your finger too hard, let out your best “puppy yelp” imitation and allow your fingers, arm, and shoulder to go completely limp. It is crucial that you do this instead of pulling away from the bite because when you yank your hand away, it triggers a puppy’s instinct to chase your throbbing thumb as if it were prey trying to escape.
Step Three – Repeat 3 Times, Then Time-Out
Once they let go, ignore them for 10-20 seconds and then resume and repeat the cycle for a maximum of three strikes. At this point, it’s best to give both of you a break with a 10-minute puppy time-out. Afterward, you can try playing again, but make sure you stick to the above steps. Eventually, you’ll start to see a big change in their obedience level and playtime will become more fun for everyone involved. Doing this reinforces to them again, that they only get to keep playing when they bite softly.
Step Four – Divert Their Attention
In addition to puppy-proofing your home and keeping anything that is not a toy out of reach, you should also provide your fur baby with plenty of toys to satisfy their urge to chew. Toys that you can hide treats in, such as the Kong Wobbler, give them a healthy dose of stimulation that will keep them entertained for hours. You can find toys designed for each stage of the teething process, which is important because their mouths and teeth are quickly changing week by week. Remember to socialize your furry friend with other puppies and dogs whenever possible as well, as long as you’re there to supervise.
These tips will go a long way to help you train your puppy not to bite.