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How To Stop Puppy Biting

Puppies bite. It's their way of playing and learning. As pet owners we typically brush this off thinking it's cute. This is a mistake. If you don't know how to stop puppy biting you will be in for some big trouble later on. Your dog must be trained that putting their teeth on human skin is never appropriate.

how to stop puppy bitingBefore you learn how to stop puppy biting you first must understand why they bite. Puppies are excitable creatures that are always on the prowl to discover their new world, new objects within that world and the people in it. They sniff items of all sorts, paw at dot patterns on floor tiles, taste unfamiliar materials and eat any number of things.

This is a typical puppy. They are at an age where they investigate, experiment and discover. All these things contribute to his learning about life. It's how he finds and identifies food and how he will recognize his territory and his pack.

Again, this is all very cute to you now. Your newest family member is investigating his new home. It's a joy to watch as that adorable pet with friendly eyes goes from one thing to the next.

Biting is one of your puppies favorite activities. You've surely seen your pet bite for seemingly no reason, then keep on biting with gusto. They'll grab hold of your toes if you wiggle them, and they playfully take hold of your fingers and hands.

Just like in babies, biting can be part of teething in addition to a learning activities. Your puppy will want to bite to get relief. Those new teeth pushing through can hurt. But that same relief for your puppy can be destructive, not to mention painful. Bookcase shelves, furniture legs and even people legs can be at risk.

The good news is that it's not that difficult to cure your puppy of this habit, but it is easier to do the earlier you do it. Stop the biting now and you'll be rid of destructive behavior that could occur later on.

Before we talk about what to do, let's briefly discuss what you don't want to do.

1. You do not want to hit your puppy. He's simply too young to understand fully what is good and what is bad. He doesn't know what a slap means and will likely just see it as you playing with him.

2. We all love to play games like tug of war with our pets using things like an old sock. Don't do this either as it simply encourages biting and nipping.

3. We know our dogs are smart, but do not over-estimate his intelligence, especially at this young age. He must be trained what is right and what is wrong. He needs to learn how dogs and humans communicate. That means the responsibility is on you to give him a consistent message clearly until he does learn.

4. Here's a biggie. Make sure you remain the leader of your pet's pack. All dogs, especially as a young pup, will have a natural desire to be the boss. Biting is one method he will use to establish himself in this position. If you allow him to lead, you are simply encouraging him to continue his behavior.

So how do you stop your puppy from biting?

Take control of this early. We know that's easier said than done. Not because the job is difficult, but because your pet is full of contagious enthusiasm and energy. He's fun to be around. But if you want him to learn you have to be serious in following through with what you demand.

There are several effective techniques you can use.

1. Start by redirecting his playful biting. Give him something that is acceptable to chew on. This can be a toy or a rawhide bone or anything else he might like and might be beneficial

for his teeth. When he playfully bites you, tell him "No!" and give him the other item instead.

2. This next technique works well with adults or puppies. When he nips or bites you playfully, immediately make him think his bite is hurting you. Say "ouch" loudly, as soon as you feel his teeth. And be sure to do this every time he nips. The volume alone should irritate his sensitive ears. If you doubt the effectiveness of this, watch a litter of puppies. When two of them play, one of them will invariably let out a yelp when he's bitten. This lets the other pup know that it hurts, and his natural response will be to stop.

3. This next method is also very effective, but it must be done as soon as your puppy bites. Take hold of his lower jaw and say a firm "No." When doing this, you can either place your thumb between his front teeth and under his tongue. Hold his jaw with the rest of your hand. Or you can slide your thumb behind the two large bottom teeth and hold the jaw with your hand. It's definitely uncomfortable but it should not hurt. This is again a technique dogs use on each other to teach the lesson. Just make sure you hold on to the lower jaw for 10 to 15 seconds. Again, don't hold so tight as to cause pain. That's not what we're after here. We just want some discomfort.

4. Make him associate the biting with something negative. When he bites he should get an unpleasant and unexpected result. This can be an unpleasant taste like pepper. Do this a few times and it won't be long before he comes to the conclusion that biting is not a good idea.

5. We like this next technique for several different problems and it works well he. You need to keep a spray bottle of water handy and give him a spray when he bites or nips. Again, there's no pain here, but there is an unpleasant startling. This also works well with barking dogs.

6. The final technique is to use a noise maker. Just put a few coins or stones into a tin can or even a plastic water bottle. When he bites, shake the can to create a noise that is unpleasant. Before too long he'll connect his biting to the noise and will be glad to stop.

The key to all of this is to be consistent and persistent. The whole family needs to use the same method every time your puppy bites. It won't be long before he decides biting is not a good idea.

For more great information on how to stop puppy biting and many other great training tips we highly recommend you check out SitStayFetch. It truly is the best training guide available. You can get your copy here.