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How to Stop Puppy Biting and Train Bite Inhibition

November 13, 2023 0 comments

All puppies are cute and fun whatever they do, but sometimes they do something that can be a little ouchy – they bite! It can be annoying and frustrating. Also, our pups can not only bite someone but also chew. For instance, many dog owners complain that their puppy has chewed up the couch. So, to stay calm and not let these actions spoil the boundary and relationships between you and your furry friend. It is important to pay appropriate attention to training session with your pup. Teach your puppy some good manners, and you can actually teach his or her how to stop biting. It's all about teaching them something called "bite inhibition." In this article, we're going to show you how to do just that, and it's going to be easy and fun for both you and your furry friend!

However, before we get started this puppy manners adventure, we need to understand that chewing and bitting are typical dog behaviors. Therefore, it's essential to provide our dogs with ample opportunities to engage in these actions in a safe and appropriate manner. To prevent your dog from chewing items you'd rather they avoid and to prevent bitting your fingers, toes and other body parts, it's important to establish clear guidelines on what they are allowed to chew.

How to Stop Puppy Biting

How to Stop a Puppy from Biting

One of the most helpful way is trying to teach your puppy bite inhibition.

Mastering the art of controlling the strength of their bite is a crucial skill for all dogs to learn. There might be situations when a dog, due to pain or fear, may place their mouth on a person or another being. However, if they've acquired bite inhibition, they comprehend that they shouldn't apply strong pressure. During playful interactions, puppies instinctively nibble on each other. If a puppy bites too hard during these interactions with its mother or littermates, the other dog often responds with a loud yelp, sending a clear message, "Ouch, that hurt!"

Depending on the individual dog, you can also instill this behavior by emitting a high-pitched "ow!" sound in response to their bite. However, it's important to be cautious, as for certain puppies, this may agitate them further and increase the likelihood of more biting. In such situations, it's a better strategy to quietly turn away, walk away, or gently place the puppy in their crate for a few minutes to help them calm down. If they do back off, don't forget to reward your dog with a treat and some verbal praise.

Additionally, some dog owners opt to use a bitter spray or e-collars to discourage puppies from chewing and biting on objects.

Why is my puppy bitting me?

Puppies have approximately 28 tiny, sharp teeth that often have a peculiar fascination with your fingers or toes. While dog trainers refer to it as "play biting," it can be bothersome and even painful when your adorable pup appears to be nothing but teeth. Nevertheless, this behavior is entirely typical during puppy teething, an essential stage of their development. The good news is that with a few straightforward steps, which we has described below, you can train your puppy to grow out of this behavior.

Additionally, bitting can be caused by the same reason as chewing. Dogs and puppies use their mouths for exploration and play, a behavior commonly referred to as "mouthing." This behavior is especially prominent when they are teething, which typically lasts until they reach around seven months of age. The challenge arises when they redirect their chewing towards us or our possessions. Chewing on inappropriate items can pose risks to their safety and may unintentionally harm us or damage our cherished belongings.

It's essential to understand that they don't realize they're doing anything wrong. Their instinct is to chew because it provides a pleasurable sensation. Additionally, they might resort to chewing as a coping mechanism to alleviate stress during challenging situations.

How to Stop Puppy Biting

After considering these facts, you might think about the other question

How long does puppy biting last?

The biting typically starts when puppies are around 2 to 3 weeks old and continues as they explore their environment and interact with their littermates. However, the intensity and frequency of puppy biting can vary from one dog to another.

Puppy biting is a crucial part of their development, as it helps them learn bite inhibition, which is the ability to control the force of their bite. This skill is important as it ensures they don't cause harm to humans or other dogs during play or when they're in pain or fear.

The duration of puppy biting largely depends on the breed and individual temperament of the dog. In general, most puppies begin to outgrow this behavior between 4 to 6 months of age. By this age, they have usually learned to control their bite force and have more adult-like teeth, which are less sharp. However, if your pup continues to bite when they are older than 6 months, you might consider consulting the vet, or dog trainer, or purchasing an electronic training collar, which is quite effective in training.

Proper training and socialization play a significant role in speeding up the process of reducing puppy biting. Encouraging positive play and teaching bite inhibition through redirection and positive reinforcement can help your puppy develop good bite control.

Remember that patience and consistency are key when dealing with puppy biting. It's an essential stage in their development, and with the right guidance, they will mature into well-behaved and gentle adult dogs. If you have concerns about your puppy's biting behavior, consult with a professional dog trainer or a veterinarian for additional guidance.

The ways to get a puppy to stop biting

Teach your puppy that biting results in the end of playtime.

If your puppy engages in biting during play, it should be clear that playtime immediately concludes, without any exceptions. Surprisingly, yelling at or physically reprimanding your puppy also serves as a form of reinforcement. It conveys to them that biting elicits a response from you, which falls under the category of positive punishment. This can potentially make them apprehensive about being handled. Instead, convey the message that biting yields no positive outcomes.

Offer your puppy an alternative object for chewing.

Keeping a puppy chew toy readily available is a wise practice, enabling you to predict biting tendencies and replace your hand or furniture with the toy. This approach effectively communicates to puppies what they are allowed to bite or chew. If they begin to nibble on your fingers or toes during playtime, present them with a toy as a suitable alternative.

Furthermore, if the nipping persists, terminate the play session right away. Alternatively, if you've been working on teaching your puppy to sit, you can redirect their attention by instructing them to sit and rewarding them with a toy.

Avoid the playful pounce

If your puppy is leaping at your legs or feet while you walk, a common playful puppy behavior, holding a high-value treat close to your leg as you walk. This approach helps the puppy learn to walk calmly alongside you, and it's the same technique used when teaching a puppy to walk on a leash.

Implement a time-out

Place your puppy gently in their crate to provide them with an opportunity to calm down and prevent further biting. It's crucial to ensure that they don't associate the crate with punishment, so maintain a calm demeanor. Once the puppy has settled, you can release them from the crate.

Offer some quiet time or a bathroom break

On occasion, a puppy that bites may actually be an overtired one. They may benefit from some time in a quiet space or in their crate for a nap. In other situations, they might need a bathroom break, or they may simply be hungry or thirsty.

Expend some of their energy

If your puppy continues to bite persistently, even after you've substituted a toy several times, they might simply need to release some of their excess physical or mental energy. Take them out to the yard and observe them as they engage in some running and playtime.

Reinforce desired behaviors

It's important to remember that when your puppy is calm and well-behaved, you should use positive reinforcement, such as saying "good dog," offering a small treat, or giving them a gentle pat. This will help them understand which behaviors are desirable and encourage them to continue behaving in that manner.

Never resort to physical punishment

Under no circumstances should you resort to hitting or using physical punishment on your dog. If your pet's biting behavior seems to be rooted in aggression, it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to explore appropriate strategies for managing and modifying such behavior.

We hope these pieces of advice were helpful to you!


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