Dogs are some of the most loyal and sought-after pets in the United States—and all dogs start off as mouthy, nipping puppies. Unfortunately, with their undeniable cuteness, comes their tendency to bite. While mouthiness is often associated with play, it’s important to train your dog to be gentle with their mouths and avoid contact between their teeth and your hand, foot, or clothes.
When training a new puppy, you, your belongings, and your family are the most risk of receiving a bite. Luckily, there are lots of ways to train against it. Here are steps you can try to stop your dogs from over biting.
How to stop puppy biting and nipping
Exercise and play
Exercise is important to the development and health of every dog. No matter the breed, dogs are intended to be active and exercise. Just like children, when they get bored they become overactive and may be more likely to misbehave. Taking a long walk around the neighborhood helps your dog put their energy on something positive. An alternative to walking is taking them to a dog park. All dogs should get outside and exercise.
Moreover, it is important to keep toys around the house for your dog. This includes balls, ropes, bones and etc. Once you discover what kind of toys your dog likes; it is important to make sure they are always available for extra play time. As your puppy is teething, you can train them to chew on toys instead of your hand.
Train to be gentle
Training requires time and patience. From the start, avoid letting your puppy chew on your hands or arms. Immediately after your puppy bites you, it is important to let your dog know that biting is wrong. Stop play immediately and walk away. Your pet will soon associate biting with “no fun” and will direct their energy toward toys instead. Start this training as soon as you bring your puppy home. Establishing boundaries early on is just as important as loving them.
Socialize your dog
Other than play biting, dogs tend to bite out of fear and possessiveness. When your puppy is young, take time to socialize them and expose them to a variety of people and experiences. Kids, strangers, and new dogs can all be unpredictable and scary for your dog. Learn your dog’s warning signals, like bared teeth or low growling, and avoid putting them in stressful situations. Talk to your veterinarian or dog trainer if you need advice on managing fearful or possessive biting.
About the Author: Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ, writing on behalf of the Levin Firm. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.