The first ten week period of a newborn puppy’s life is the best time to teach a puppy that biting is not acceptable. And training your puppy to avoid an incidence of dog biting is crucial.
This is especially true because biting comes naturally to them and it is the easiest form of dog aggression that he can resort to in situations that induce fear, anxiety and aggression.
Additionally, such training is best done before strong adult teeth take the place of small nibbling ones. Curbing aggressive dog behavior among adult dogs is far more difficult than training puppies.
Tips for Training Your Puppy to Not Bite
While training puppies, always remember that physical punishment does not work. Punishment is tantamount to making the dog more resolute in his behavior and in such cases aggression is likely to become a permanent concern.
The approach that you take should clearly indicate to the puppy that you love him but hate the biting habit instead. At the same time you must assume leadership as the dog considers you as part of the pack. Unless he perceives you to be the leader he is likely to let go of aggressive dog behavior easily.
Dogs use their mouth to express themselves. A pup also uses his mouth and his tongue for communication. Encourage licking, although not a compatible dog behavior, by offering treats and praise.
Give licking a name so that he remembers the activity the next time. If the puppy uses his teeth on you, make an abrupt startling sound (e.g. OUCH) right in his face. His instincts will tell him that he has to stop. Isolate him for five minutes if you feel that the loud sound did not have an impact.
Pick him up after some time and see how he responds now. Continue this till the time you feel that the pup has got the idea of what is acceptable and what not.
By the time the pup is six weeks he should have understood that he can use his mouth on you but only for licking. If you have brought an older puppy, you might have to repeat this for some time since he may need more time to adjust to new faces and the new environment.
Expose the puppy to other dogs and humans. The reactions of other puppies and dogs when bitten are likely to make him understand that he should desist from biting. Exposure to humans will remove fear of strangers.
Training alone does not inhibit dog biting. It is also necessary that all those who interact with the dog adhere to certain norms that restrict dog biting.
Teaching Children and the Puppy
Children are prone to unpredictable behaviors. This, more than anything else, puts a dog on his defensive. Keep children away from the puppy till the time you are sure that he is trained.
It is wise to teach children the manner in which they should approach a puppy or a dog and what specific actions need to be avoided.
- Do not play aggressive or competitive games with the puppy.
- Define the areas that are out of bounds and consistently stick to it.
- Never tap on the head. Instead scratch below the chin.
Biting comes naturally to puppies. In a litter, they play by rolling over and biting each other even before they have developed their teeth.
A younger dog can cause more harm with his sharp teeth in spite of the fact that his lower jaw is week.
By the time he grows up his teeth may become duller but the strength in his jaws can inflict maximum damage. Teaching young puppies that no teeth can touch human skin or clothes always help in the long term.
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