Updated: Jan 7
Puppy biting is natural and a common concern of most new puppy parents – as this is how your puppy plays. Puppies have VERY sharp teeth, which can be quite painful if and when they get a hold of you and can even break the skin. For a healthy and happy canine companionship, your puppy needs to learn how to have a softer mouth… Here are a few of our TIPS & TRICKS:
Make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise, especially in the morning, coming out of the crate, and before bedtime.
Be ready with exciting canine chew toys to keep them busy when they are biting or use these as appropriately as redirecting tools when needed. When your puppy bites you while playing, simply walk away. They want your attention so teach them they only get it if they play nicely. Use timeouts as needed. Use exercise pens to create space barriers. You can climb out or in depending on the circumstance to separate yourself from your puppy until they calm down. A puppy tether can help create this separation as well.
Only give your puppy a treat when they lick it from your hand – never when using their teeth. Hold the treat firm and wait…they will figure it out. You can practice holding onto a treat in your fist waiting until your puppy leaves your fist alone (no pawing, biting, licking) then mark, “YES” and give them the food reward. Repeat but this time, count to (3) once they stop trying to get the treat before marking, “YES” and giving the food reward. Then work up to 5, 7, 10, 20 seconds of waiting patiently for the treat. When you do give the treat, they must lick it from your hand. If they use teeth, hold onto it until their tongue comes out.
If your puppy is frequently biting on your hands, feet, or pieces of clothing, you can teach them that this causes you pain. Puppies play with their teeth and they don't understand how painful and not appropriate this is when interacting with people. Wrapping your hand around their nose, you can grasp their lips and press them on their own teeth until they cry and you can say "no bite" so they start to realize what their teeth feel like when they nip at you.
Baxter and Bella has an entire lesson on Biting, Barking & Jumping inside our online puppy school, complete with video tutorials and written instructions. You can receive over 20% off with discount code Teddypuppies and can register here!