Stop Puppy Biting
You have the most wonderful puppy. It is full of bounce and play, but will cuddle. It is also smart. You can teach it tricks in a few minutes. And it looks at you with loyal, loving eyes. But it doesn’t understand that it shouldn’t bite.
The problem is that your puppy didn’t come from a kennel where the adults were allowed to teach the puppy bite inhibition at 6 weeks. If this had been done, then your puppy would not have problems for the rest of its life. But not all puppies have a great beginning so we must step in and make up for the socializing it lost when it was a baby.
Puppy Development Stage
You need to next take into account the puppy’s development stage. If your puppy is 8 – 12 weeks then it is in a fear stage. You do not want to correct or punish harshly in this stage. If you do then your puppy will associate you with fear, and training will become more difficult. You will greatly reduce the chances of ever having ‘Reliable Responses’ when your puppy is off leash.
If your puppy is biting in this stage then just make a yelping noise. If the puppy stops then wait a few seconds and start playing or petting.
If your puppy doesn’t stop then gently restrain it, or hug it. Hold the puppy until it stops.
If the puppy becomes more aggressive then it is ‘over aroused’. It has had too much excitement, or it has too much freedom, and too little obedience/structure. In either of these cases just put the puppy away in a crate until it falls asleep. You can bring it out when it wakes up.
13weeks -8 months
Puppy teething starts any time within this period. Your puppy will ‘mouth’ or bite more often in this period. Its gums are painful. Biting relieves the pain. If you feel the biting is caused by teething then make a Ttowel or facecloth damp and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Chewing this will help releave the pain.
Another fear stage that messes up puppies is 6 months. Between 5-6 months the oxytocin (puppy chemical) is gone and your puppy is learning how to hunt, fight, and be independent. This is also the ‘flight’ fear stage. Your puppy learns to be leash reactive and hand shy very easily in this stage.
If your puppy is still biting at this stage then you have a more serious problem. Your puppy doesn’t have enough boundaries. It doesn’t have enough respect for you. Unfortunately, if you correct at this stage then you will increase the chances of creating more behavior problems than you are fixing.
With puppies at this stage who have not had any obedience training we suggest a private obedience course where you and the puppy work 1:1 with a trainer to fix the behavior problems causing the biting issue.
If your puppy has obedience training, and is social with other dogs, then we suggest that you play more with the puppy, give it more exercise, and less time in isolation or in the house. It is important that you are ‘engaged’ with your young dog. Do not just open the door and leave the dog outside for a couple of hours as this will make the problem worse.
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