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How to Stop a Puppy From Biting in 5 Steps
Puppies are undoubtedly one of the cutest things in the world. The adorableness can fade quickly, however, once a puppy starts biting things, from your favorite house slippers to your hands. Fortunately there are a number of useful strategies on how to stop a puppy from biting. For most new pet owners, the idea of starting a training regimen can seem overwhelming. Be careful, however, it is important to learn how to stop a puppy from biting as soon as it becomes a problem – do not put it. What was once a cute and adorable puppy can quickly develop a sense of aggression and dominance, which can be very difficult to correct over time.
1. Determine the Cause
The first step in learning how to stop a puppy from biting is to determine what is causing this behavior. After all, nipping and biting is a perfectly normal phase for your puppy to go through. Just like babies, teething puppies will use chews to relieve discomfort. This, however, does not justify the nipping that results when the biting behavior worsens. Be sure to praise your puppy’s positive efforts and discourage bad behavior.
2. Avoid physical games – encourage exercise
During the early stages of puppyhood, it is important to avoid rough-housing or playing aggressive physical games with your puppy. This involves games that provoke aggression, such as wrestling, tug of war or chasing games. This type of physical play will only encourage your puppy to start nipping and biting with excitement and they can soon learn to associate biting with pleasure. Down the road, once your puppy learns that biting is not acceptable behavior, you can start incorporating physical play into playtime.
Promoting exercise, on the other hand, is an excellent way to reduce your puppy’s urge to bite. Aside from the obvious health benefits, exercise helps reduce boredom, which is a major cause of puppy biting.
3. Say “No!” and imitate
Here are some steps to take in your quest to learn how to prevent a puppy from biting:
- Whenever your puppy starts nipping or biting at you, give him a sharp “no!” or “ouch!” You can also imitate a dog’s yelp to make it easier for him.
- Remove your hand slowly from his mouth and replace it with a chew toy. Don’t shake your hand. It would only hurt you, and your dog might think that you are playing instead.
- If your puppy ignores your reaction and starts biting again, repeatedly say “no!” or “ouch!” or yelping, then leave the room. This will make him think that his bite will make him lose his mate. This is similar to what reaction he will get from another puppy if he was too rough.
- Continue this routine until you make it clear to your puppy that biting is painful and unacceptable. Make sure that when training your puppy never hit or apply harsh physical punishment. Aside from hurting your puppy, this can precipitate the onset of aggressive dog behavior as your puppy grows.
4. Reinforce Good Behavior
Every time your puppy plays well or licks you without giving in to the urge to bite, shower your puppy with lots of praise. This will reinforce good behavior and encourage your puppy to want to please you more.
5. Dog Obedience Training
It’s always a good idea to enroll your puppy in a dog obedience training class at around 6 months. Socializing with other dogs is an excellent way to teach your dog limits and boundaries while reinforcing positive behavior.
Above all, the main key to learning how to stop a puppy from biting is to be consistent with your training. Do not expect your dog to understand what you are trying to teach him in your first attempt. By following these simple steps, and with ongoing and consistent training, you can ensure your pup grows into a healthy, well-behaved dog.
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