Teaching your puppy to stop biting is critical to a happy, less damaged home. But this can be very challenging because puppies naturally want to nip at pretty much everything. It takes consistent correction, patience, and lots of love. But don’t give up hope. You can do this. We’ll list ten things you can do to get your puppy to stop biting.
10 Ways to Help Your Puppy to Stop Biting
Here are ten methods that will help discourage your puppy from biting. Most of all: remember to be patient—your puppy is learning, and it takes time.
1. Teach Your Puppy that Playtime Ends When They Bite
During playtime with your puppy, you’ll want to be aware of two things:
- Don’t roughhouse with your puppy because it encourages biting and losing control. Puppies are still learning how to interact and when they get too excited or aggressive, it will often end in biting.
- If they begin to bite, end the playtime by signaling no response. You’ll want to stop the play, turn to ignore your pup, and tuck your hands away to signal playtime is over. When your puppy doesn’t get the response they want, they will stop biting—resume play when they stop biting.
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2. Teach Bite Inhibition
Teaching your puppy bite inhibition is very important because it helps them learn control and when they have bitten too hard. Puppies often nip one another when playing. If one puppy bites hard, the other puppy will yelp to signal that the bite was too hard.
When your puppy bites, you should yelp by exclaiming a high-pitched, “Ouch!” Then you need to stop the play or attention so that your dog learns that this is unacceptable behavior. If your pup releases the bite and backs off, reward them with verbal praise.
3. Give Your Puppy an Appropriate Chew Toy
You need to have at least one chew toy on hand so that you can direct your puppy’s teeth toward the toy instead of the couch or your shoe. You may need to try a couple of different toys to find a chew toy your puppy will prefer over your couch. Watch your puppy for chewing cues and offer the toy when they start nipping because it will help them determine what is appropriate to chew.
If your puppy rejects the toy and continues to nip at you or other items, you need to stop the play session and remove them from the desired chew object.
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4. Put Your Puppy In Time Out
If your puppy struggles to stop biting, they need to have some cool-down time in their crate. You’ll need to be very careful when using this method because you don’t want to make the crate a punishment. You’ll need to stay calm and not yell or react. Simply let them know that it’s time for a break in a calm voice.
5. Use Chew Deterrent Products and Puppy Proof Your Home
Puppies can’t chew things that aren’t available. Puppies will play with and chew anything at their level, so it’s essential to remove anything you don’t want your puppy to chew. When puppy proofing your house, you should:
- Keep trash cans in covered, secured areas.
- Cover your electrical cords, cables, and chargers.
- Put away purses and bags.
- Make sure medications and supplements are in cabinets and not on nightstands.
- Keep poisonous houseplants out of reach.
- Create a quiet space for your puppy crate.
- Keep household cleaners out of reach and stowed away.
Then for things you can’t keep out of reach, like your couch or coffee table, use chew deterrent products like Bitter Apple or No Chew Spray. These products work wonders without driving you nuts as well.
6. Divert Your Puppy to Another Activity
Puppies have short attention spans and hop from one activity to another. They also don’t always know how to communicate their needs. Sometimes puppies bite when they are:
- Need a Potty Break
It’s important to pay attention to their routine so that you can divert them to more constructive activity, such as a nap, potty break, or snack time. But before you redirect them, help them to understand that biting is an undesirable behavior by giving a verbal cue.
7. Burn Off the Energy Through Exercise
Sometimes puppies bite or chew to burn energy. If you notice this, engage them in physical or mental activities, such as:
- Play a game.
- Take them outside to run in the yard.
- Take them for a walk.
Their urge to bite will subside as they expend energy. And then they’ll be ready for a snooze, so then you can get something done.
8. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a proven method for training happy, well-behaved dogs. You should always have training treats on hand to reward good behavior and make sure to praise your puppy when they stop biting.
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9. Enroll Your Puppy in a Behavior Class
If you have a particularly aggressive puppy or if they are struggling to stop chewing, you may want to enroll them in a puppy behavior class. Dog trainers can teach you and your pup effective methods to discourage biting. Plus, a puppy class helps your pup socialize with other puppies and people.
Treats plus constructive time with you make puppy class a great time to bond with your puppy while learning valuable behavioral skills. Research and talk to other pet parents to find out where good trainers are in your area.
10. Never Hurt Your Puppy to Stop the Biting
While it might be tempting to react by physically punishing your dog for teaching them to stop biting (especially if the bite hurts), don’t do it. Hurting your puppy only reinforces fear and aggression. No one wins in this situation. If you’re at your wit’s end, talk to a trainer or your vet for other techniques.
Be Patient When Training Your Puppy to Stop Biting
Puppies are adorable…but also a ton of work. You can do this. We believe in you. Remember, patience is essential when training your puppy to stop biting. Love that little pup and use several of these techniques to discourage biting and chewing. If nothing seems to work, get help from a trainer or your veterinarian.
All Paws Express loves dogs and specializes in pet relocation and transportation. We want to help pet parents provide the best care for their dogs. And we can also help you navigate the intricacies of pet travel regulations for a safe and hassle-free trip with your pet.
Headed on vacation and need to bring your puppy? Learn more about how we can make pet travel seamless for you and your puppy.
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