It’s without a doubt the most common mistake I see people making when they’re trying to learn how to get a puppy to stop biting.
And after reading this, I hope you’ll start to look at advice on training your puppy in a different way. It is really very important that you look at things through the eyes of your puppy.
When that is done — that is when you will begin to understand what it really is that makes them tick.
Let’s look at it this way…
Right now, there are probably millions of pups that are being “trained” by their owners to gently gnaw on their fingers and hands. Yep, what we’re teaching them to do right now we expect them to not do later!
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Crazy, huh? And yet, that is the standard way you will see a lot of people teaching how to stop puppy biting. You teach your puppy to gnaw (or “mouth”) gently, and then start telling them they’re doing it too hard!
Next, we teach them not to bite fingers anymore and if they do, then they’re going to be in a lot of trouble! Sound a little confusing and complicated? That’s because it is!
Don’t think that you’re alone if you’ve been doing this or have been taught this way previously — most people are, so you aren’t alone. But the great thing is, there is a much easier way to go about this…
The big change you need to make from what you’ve always been taught about how to get your puppy to stop biting is to make sure that you are teaching them the correct way from the absolute beginning.
This is not only easier on you but also your dog! Why? Well, it’s simple. It’s much easier for them to understand things when their rules and boundaries aren’t changing based on ages that they don’t really understand anyways.
How to train a puppy not to bite
Here are the steps you should be following, in a way that I hope will be easy to understand:
- Always provide your puppy with chew toys or safe things to chew on
- Always train your puppy that biting on your fingers or hands is not okay, even when they are very young
- If your puppy attempts to gnaw or bite on you, calmly redirect their attention to a chew toy
- If they continue to bite, calmly place them on the floor then let out a little ‘ouch’ or ‘yelp’ noise that let them know that hurts, then move away
- If they’re still biting, calmly take them and put them in their crate or a timeout area for a few minutes
Now that’s not so tough, is it? And take it from me, this is by far the easiest and most effective method you’ll come across. I picked it up from a fantastic trainer named Dan on his dog obedience site, The Online Dog Trainer. He has a wonderful free video series you can start watching here.
Training a puppy not to bite: what to remember
- When your puppy is still very young — say, about 8 weeks old — you should give them more chances if they bite or “mouth” on you before you put them in timeout. Around 5 months, however, you should not tolerate biting and should take them right to their crate or timeout area.
- When you call your puppy to you, make sure you have something for them to chew on. Not doing this only sets them up for failure. You and I may give affection through our hands but puppies will want to use their mouths more. Make sure you’ve got something to take their attention!
- Finally, when your puppy begins gnawing on you and won’t take their chew toy, stay calm and place them on the floor. Let out a little ‘ouch’ or ‘yelp’ but do not get angry and yell at them. This only gets them more excited.
Understanding just what it is that makes your puppy tick is key to developing an incredible lifelong relationship with them. Once you see things from their perspective, you’ll see how your actions affect their behavior.
Doggy Dan’s site has more than 250 videos, including a whole section on puppy biting, that will help you see things from your young dog’s point of view. He’s even got a series where he takes you week-by-week through the raising of his puppy Moses from the age of 8 weeks old.
If you’d like to help your puppy in a kind, gentle way that will set you up for a lifelong amazing relationship, take a look at Dan’s site by clicking here.