Don’t you just love little cute puppies? But those razor sharp teeth sure do hurt.
Its hard to know when your puppy is biting you whether its aggressive or not.
In this article you will learn how to stop this behavior. But first let me tell you how I came across these skills.
You see, puppy biting used to annoy me too. When I first started training dogs in a professional setting I started at Petsmart ( all of my professional dog out there dont judge me).
Petsmart wanted all the trainers to train their way, so I did. This meant no electronic collars, choke chains, or prong collars. It also meant advertising as positive only dog training.
One day while I was in the training area getting ready for a class, I was approached by a guy with a military background and a rottweiler. I cant remeber his name so we will just call him Joe. He explained that his puppy was 7 months old and everything was good.
His dog knew commands and walked well on the leash, but there was ONE problem. He explained “My puppy get too excited and starts playing rough and aggressively biting.
He went on to tell me how he went to a dog trainer when his dog was 13 weeks old. This problem was going on even back then and had not gotten better.
He then said “ my dog would bite my fingers and it would be annoying. The trainer told me to ignore it and it would go away, but that hasn’t work. Then I watched Youtube and this trainer up there said ‘scream and yelp as if I was one of my dog littlemates’. That worked initially, but not anymore”.
I understood his pain. I wanted to help this man. Something in him said he was genuine. So I told him to bring his rottweiler into the trainer area.
I decided to test his dog to see how aggressive the puppy biting was. So I started playing with a tug with his dog getting excited. Next thing I know his dog roughly jumped on me and I could feel his teeth touch my hand. It hurt, but I held it together out of fear of embarassment.
I learned my lesson.
I decided to try something I seen another trainer do. I took a spray bottle and filled it with water. Then I came back to the trianing area and played with the dog. When he jumped up and I felt his teeth I said NO!!! and squirt him with water.
His dog stopped and looked like he had been unpossessed. We worked on some more techniques and ideas to get this rottweiler to stop this behavior.
Now I will explain what we did
Discover the trigger to puppy biting
A trigger is what caused the dog to react in this way. It happens right before the puppy bites you.
In this case the trigger was play and prey movement. Some other usual triggers include:
Getting the dog excited using your voice
Movement ( prey based)
Nervous dogs might do it when they are uncomfortable
when your dog gets bored and doesn’t know what to do( We will talk about this later on)
Teach your dog that there are consequences for their actions
You want your dog to think before he bites. You have to create some type of hesistancy so that your puppy thinks twice. If there are no cesonsequences he will continue to bite.
What to do: When your dog bites you, say NO!!! and apply a midly unpleasant experience. You will know you did it right if you dog comes up to you to bite again but hesistates to do it.
You can use:
Spray bottle filled with water
Pet convincer- Tool filled with compressed air. Works like the Cesar MIlan PSSST.
Leash corrections when your dog is older.( Not a 12 week old puppy).
Bonker(rolled up towel)
DO NOT: Use coins in a water bottle or other noises as a bad experience. I do not recommend timeout either. As it is not very effective in the case of puppy biting.
Triggers:(excited voice, playing rough, movement)
Excitement can create a lot of behavior problems if it is not directed in the proper activities. In order to deal with a puppy biting problem it is important to remain calm. If you are calm you can’t be excited. Therefore, this elimante problems due to excitement.
What to do: Make your movement slow and uninteresting. Also your voice should be a low pitch and calm. Ignoring your dog along with teaching your dog about consequences can help a lot. Do this in the house. You can play with your dog outside.
Everything comes through you
Your dog needs should all come through you-Food, exercise, fun, discipline. If resource guarding is your problem then your dog does not respect you and your space. Guarding is nothing more than a dog claiming that space as their own. To stop this your dog is not allowed to have toys. But he is allowed to play with your toys. This simple mind shift can help you act different. You will start to take the toys away when you feel like it. They are your toys after all and not your dog’s toys.
What to do: You are now the source of everything. Take all your dog’s toys and don’t leave them around. If your dog is not playing with you then they aren’t playing at all at this point. Claim your space and do not allow your dog to just enter into it without your permission.
Keep in mind that none of these are isolated solutions. You must do them together to get the full benefit of stopping your puppy from biting.
Triggers: bored dogs who don’t know what to do with themselves.
It would be too much to go over here in detail but I do go over how to add structure in my program. This is the key with dogs that bite out of boredom. If we taught your dog consequences and how to be calm, then we have to teach them what to do with themselves to not get into trouble. We can’t expect our dogs to figure it out on their own. This is why we need a routine.
What to do: Pick a time to wake up, to feed your dog, to walk her, and to go to sleep. Perform these activities at the same time every day. In between these times is where training comes into play. Hiring a good dog trainer near you. With this you will be ahead of 75% of dog owners.
Behavior modification for aggressive puppy biting
Triggers: Nervous dog who feel threatened
If you have a nervous dog then you should look for a dog trainer who is educated in dog psychology. The biting will not go away until you get to the root of the problem. You can not simply correct these dogs and think the problem will go away. You need a behavior modification plan.
It is important to know that puppy biting will not go away on its own. You have to be active and not passive. Every breed and dog has a different temperament so follow these steps and I have no doubt in my mind that you should good.
To sum it up:
Discover the trigger
Teach your dog consequences
Have calm energy
Be the source of all things
Add structure to your dog’s life
Behavior modification if needed
Do all of these things simultaneously.
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Now how bad is your puppy biting?