If you have a new puppy, you might be wondering how to get them to stop biting. Puppies bite for many reasons, such as teething, exploring, playing, or trying to get your attention.
Biting is a natural behavior for puppies, but it can also be annoying and painful for you. Here are some tips on how to get a puppy to stop biting.
- Provide appropriate chew toys. Puppies need to chew on something to relieve their sore gums and satisfy their urge to bite. Make sure you have plenty of safe and durable chew toys for your puppy, and rotate them regularly to keep them interested.
Avoid giving your puppy anything that resembles your clothes, shoes, or furniture, as this can confuse them and make them think it’s okay to bite those items.
- Redirect their attention. When your puppy bites you, make a loud yelp or say “ouch” to let them know it hurts. Then, quickly offer them a chew toy instead of your hand or arm.
Praise them when they take the toy and start chewing on it. This way, you teach your puppy that biting people is not acceptable, but biting toys is.
- Use positive reinforcement. Reward your puppy with treats, praise, or play when they behave well and don’t bite.
For example, if your puppy is calmly sitting next to you without nipping, give them a treat and say “good boy” or “good girl”.
This will reinforce their good behavior and make them want to repeat it.
- Ignore unwanted behavior. Sometimes, puppies bite to get attention or to initiate play. If your puppy bites you, don’t react by yelling, hitting, or pushing them away.
This can make them think that biting is a fun game or a way to get what they want. Instead, ignore them for a few seconds or turn away from them until they stop biting.
Then, resume your interaction with them when they are calm and gentle.
- Teach bite inhibition. Bite inhibition is the ability to control the force of one’s bite. Puppies learn this skill from their littermates and mother when they play with each other.
If a puppy bites too hard, the other puppy will yelp and stop playing, which teaches the biter that they need to be more gentle. You can also teach your puppy bite inhibition by gradually reducing the pressure of their bite until they learn to mouth softly or not at all.
To do this, you can follow these steps:
- When your puppy bites you lightly, praise them and continue playing.
- When your puppy bites you moderately, say “ouch” and stop playing for a few seconds.
- When your puppy bites you hard, say “no” and end the play session for a few minutes.
- Repeat this process until your puppy learns to bite softly or not at all.
Getting a puppy to stop biting can take some time and patience, but it’s worth it in the long run. By following these tips, you can help your puppy become a well-behaved and friendly companion.