Stop Puppy Biting The Way A Professional Dog Trainer Would

Stop Puppy Biting

Stop Puppy Biting

Different people’s idea of “aggression” in regard to how to stop puppy biting can vary quite a bit and that, of course, can change my suggestion on how to proceed.  If your puppy is 7 or 8 weeks old, you’ll want to just redirect the puppy biting behavior towards a toy or a chew bone. If your puppy is simply in an ultra rambunctious state, the first thing to do is to take him outside. This type of behavior frequently indicates that your puppy needs to eliminate. (And yes… even if you just took him out and he didn’t have to go!) If you’re sure that it’s not because he needs to eliminate and you instead feel that he’s just in a rambunctious state, then by all means: put him in the crate. Like I’ve said in my book: this is not punishment. The crate Is your dog’s “special place”… his private retreat.

Best Way To Stop Puppy From Biting

If your puppy is biting, sometimes what will work is if you quickly bend the lips around the teeth of the puppy and say “No.”… so that the puppy learns that if he bites you, the response is something that doesn’t feel good. Just beware that you do not let this turn into a game.

Stop Puppy Biting Fast

If your puppy is a bit older… approximately 12 to 16 weeks-old and you’re still having problems with puppy biting, you can use a small, light pinch collar and tab (a 3/4′ leash) (consult my book for the proper sizing, fitting and technique) and give a light (caution:light) tug on the leash. Your puppy is smart. He will not continue to do a behavior that does not feel good. This technique always works: Just use common sense, read your dog, and be careful not to over-correct. At the same time, make sure that your correction IS motivational. I.E., If the puppy keeps doing the behavior, that’s usually a good indication that your correction wasn’t motivational.

Most likely, depending on your puppy’s age, he’ll outgrow it even if you don’t do anything. But this also depends on the temperament and breed and how serious the puppy biting is.

If your puppy is possessive over a toy: Give it to him, then take it away again. Show him that any aggressive behavior will not get him what he wants. Reward him when he is calm. Do not reach for it quickly or act fearful. Pretend like it doesn’t bother you at all and that it’s not threatening. Pin him on his side and hold him there firmly, until he stops growling. When you let him up, move your hand away slowly. If he tries to nip you when you start to release him, then immediately pin him down and keep him there until he submits.

How To Stop Puppy Biting And Growling
Before It Starts

I advise against letting puppies interact too much with adult dogs: There may be a point where the adult dog has had enough, and then corrects the puppy. Some dogs can do this, just fine. But other dogs (especially dogs that allow puppies to bully them) will get to a point where they’ve “had enough” and then they snap… and it’s an over-correction, which is too much for the puppy (way too much) and that ends up coming back to haunt you later in the puppy’s life, in the form of dog aggression.

So, it’s best to keep the dogs separate at this point, when not supervising.

Stop Puppy Biting Furniture

I also advise against using a choke chain on the puppy. The pinch collar is far safer and far more effective. And you don’t need to use any force or muscle to get it to work. If everything else you’ve done to correct the puppy from biting you hasn’t worked, then get a small pinch collar and use it. But save the obedience training stuff for later, after the adult teeth come in (usually between 4-5 months of age). There’s more in the book, which I think you’ll find useful.

Lynn adds: Sometimes puppies do a lot of play-biting, and there is a big difference between true aggression and play in their body language. I don’t doubt that your puppy may be giving you trouble, and now really is the time to teach him that teeth-on-skin is unthinkable.  The caveat comes when the puppy decides to really push its boundaries and the play-biting “correction” is ineffective. If this is the case, it’s possible that you might have to use a properly-sized pinch collar, to correct for ONLY the biting, just to communicate clearly to the dog that it is unacceptable. We usually do NOT recommend pinch collars for young puppies, though.