Is your sweet puppy literally biting the hand that feeds him? Don’t worry. It’s very common, and there are a few actions you can take to ensure you won’t end up with an adult dog who bites. You may think it’s kind of cute right now, but there’s nothing cute about being bit by an adult dog.
The first thing I think is really important is to keep in mind that you can cure your puppy of this habit without being cruel. Don’t even think about hitting, biting back or otherwise punishing your puppy when he bites. It will not work, and it’s the wrong way to build a trusting, positive relationship with your pet.
So what can you do? Spend a moment thinking about when your your puppy is biting you. Most likely it’s during play time. It’s perfectly natural for a puppy to bite during play. Have you ever watched a litter of puppies play with one another? If so, you know that they are constantly wrestling and, you guessed it, biting one another.
Your puppy loves playing with you. One technique you can try is the instant the puppy starts to bite you, stop playing, look away, pick up a book or magazine, essentially ignore the puppy. You are communicating to the puppy that you will not play if the puppy is biting. Once the puppy notices you aren’t playing, he will have stopped biting. Right when this occurs, pick the toy back up that you were playing with and resume play time. If puppy begins to bite again, repeat the steps. Typically after one to three cycles of this technique, the puppy will stop biting. If this does not occur, you should end the play session and try again later.
Be realistic in placing your blame. Have you thought in the past it is cute that your puppy is biting you with those tiny little puppy teeth? Have you laughed and smiled, and even encouraged the biting? Don’t feel bad; it’s very common for new puppy owners to end up encouraging behaviors that they will regret later on. Your puppy has to relearn your preferences, and this may take a little bit.
If you don’t have success after a week or two of trying to train puppy not bite, you can go to your library or Amazon and read up on puppy training techniques from one of the many books written specifically on this topic. You are not alone, thousands of puppy owners experience puppy biting training problems. Be persistent and be calm.
If you are still struggling to get the puppy biting behavior under control, consider seeking out the services of a professional dog trainer. There is almost certainly a dog trainer located near where your live. They have experience with the many breeds and personalities of puppies. They will offer ideas and solutions that you probably haven’t thought of.
Good luck. I hope you and your puppy have many years of happiness and joy. It may seem like a lot of work right now to train puppy not to bite, but it will pay off down the road when you have a happy, well-behaved adult dog that doesn’t bite.