A little nipping or biting may not hurt when a dog is still young. However, these “pesky” behaviors can become dangerous as the young dog matures. To train a puppy not to bite, it is important to understand a little of their “pack mentality.”
Teaching Your Puppy Not To Bite
Puppies, like all young animals, are born with natural expectations of how to interact with their environment. These innate behaviors, such as play-biting, allow young dogs to figure out what is socially acceptable and what is not tolerated. It is important to train puppies from a young age that they need to behave respectfully. A little nipping or biting may not hurt when a dog is still young. However, these “pesky” behaviors can become dangerous as the young dog matures.
To train a puppy not to bite, it is important to understand a little of their “pack mentality.” Do not allow a young dog to walk through doorways first, before a human. This reinforces the puppy’s efforts at dominance. Also, when walking outside, do not allow for excessive pulling or yanking on the leash. A puppy should learn to “heel” from an early age.
Here are two excellent techniques an owner can use if a puppy is biting:
- Yelp and Back Away – Young dogs like to play. It teaches important social skills and establishes a hierarchy of dominance. The levels of dominance they create in these early years act as guidelines for behavior during adult years. Whenever a puppy bites, loudly yelp, “Ouch!” and glare at the young pup. Then, move away from the dog entirely. After a few minutes, when the puppy has calmed down, come back to play with an acceptable toy.
- Shake-Down – This technique is only necessary if yelping is not effective. When the puppy bites, yelp, “Ouch!” then pinch the skin behind the puppy’s neck. This is the location a puppy’s mother would grab. Give the young dog a firm shake, but do not be violent. Simultaneously say something such as, “No bite!” In the future, work on progressing towards purely verbal discipline, without the shake.
Don't give up on your puppy. Repetition and consistency are important elements in teaching your puppy what is acceptable behavior. A few doggie treats to reward the correct behavior is always a good strategy too!
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