Puppies are the absolute cutest! Ok, so are kittens, but right now we're talking about puppies <3
One of the main issues I hear from people who have puppies is that they don't know how to teach them that biting is inappropriate.
This is becoming more of a problem for people because of how early we are separating litters. Naturally, litter mates will help each other socialize and they will learn when it is appropriate to bite and at varying levels of strength.
The earlier you separate litter mates, the less time they have to learn these skills.
So, what do you do?
The best way to train your puppy not to bite is two fold:
- Act in a similar fashion that a litter mate would when learning biting and socialization skills, make a noise (OUCH!) and pull away. You don’t have to shout, but make sure it isn’t delayed so they can associate it with the biting.
- Give your dog an alternative for biting, be it a stuffed toy or a rope toy, even a dish towel with a knot in it. As soon as you start playing with your dog and they start mouthing, instead of playing with your hands, use a toy instead. If your dog just starts playing with you and bites, make sure to say OUCH! and immediately offer them a toy instead.
Any time your puppy bites at your hand or foot, make sure you do both of these things and be consistent about it.
Your puppy will learn that you are too sensitive to bite and that any biting play is appropriate with their toys.
Puppies are best kept with their mother and litter mates until at least 8 weeks of age, though if at all possible 10-12 weeks would be ideal.
When a puppy is with their mother and litter mates during the first 8-12 weeks of their life, they have the opportunity to learn how to play appropriately with other dogs, are taught manners and have the time to socialize and learn how to socialize.
Taking a puppy away from their mother and litter mates earlier leaves the dog deficient in all of these areas, including a noticed lack of confidence.
Do you have any other force free suggestions for tapering inappropriate biting or nippign by a puppy? Post a comment below!