New puppies love to explore – especially by putting everything in their mouths. And while that may seem cute at first, it can be a problem later if you don’t properly train your puppy.
Biting and mouthing is a common activity for many young puppies and dogs.
Puppies naturally bite and mouth each other when playing with siblings, and they extend this behavior to their human companions.
While other puppies have thick skin, however, humans do not, so it is important to teach your puppy what is appropriate, and what is not, when it comes to using those sharp teeth.
The first part of training the puppy is to inhibit the biting reflex.
Biting might be cute and harmless with a 5-pound puppy, but it is neither cute nor harmless when that dog has grown to adulthood.
Therefore, puppies should be taught to control the urge to bite before they reach the age of four months.
Puppies normally learn to inhibit their bite from their mothers and their littermates, but since they are taken away from their mothers so young, many never learn this important lesson. It is therefore up to the humans in the puppy’s life to teach this lesson.
One great way to inhibit the biting reflex is to allow the puppy to play and socialize with other puppies and socialized older dogs.
Puppies love to tumble, roll and play with each other, and when puppies play they bite each other constantly. This is the best way for puppies to learn to control themselves when they bite. If one puppy becomes too rough when playing, the rest of the group will punish him for that inappropriate behavior. Through this type of socialization, the puppy will learn to control his biting reflex.
Proper socialization has other benefits as well, including teaching the dog to not be fearful of other dogs, and to work off their excess energy. Puppies that are allowed to play with other puppies learn important socialization skills generally learn to become better members of their human family.
Puppies that get less socialization can be more destructive, more hyperactive and exhibit other problem behaviors.
Teaching your puppy to trust and respect you is a very effective way to prevent biting.
Gaining the trust and respect of your dog is the basis for all dog training, and for correcting problem behaviors.
It is important to never hit or slap the puppy, either during training or any other time. Physical punishment is the surest way to erode the trust and respect that must form the basis of an effective training program.
Reprimanding a dog will not stop him from biting – it will simply scare and confuse him.
Training a puppy not to bite is a vital part of any puppy training program.
Biting behaviors that are not corrected will only get worse, and what seemed like harmless behavior in a puppy can quickly escalate to dangerous, destructive behavior in an adult dog.
How To Stop Puppy Biting
Is your puppy’s biting getting out of control? Learn how to stop your puppy from biting on your hands and clothes. These simple exercises will stop this annoying and sometimes painful behavior, and teach your dog a very important lesson – how to develop a “soft” mouth. more…