When you have cute little energy packs roaming around you and your house in the form of puppies, the thought “why my puppy is biting me aggressively?” must have gone through your mind at least once. It is pretty usual to chew, bite, or explore different places and objects when it comes to puppies. It is their sense of play, but they do not know that this style of play is not very favorable for others when they have razor-sharp teeth.
They tend to keep on using their mouth to bite their human friends, not knowing that it can hurt someone. Well, we can all agree that it seems cute at first, but as time goes by and those little faces grow bigger and bigger, it stops being fun. If you have encountered the same problem, then this article is here to help you on how to stop your puppy from biting and nipping in 2020.
What to Do About Puppy Mouthing
The ability of a dog to control force in its jaws when it is trying to use the mouth in actions such as biting or chewing is known as Bite Inhibition. A dog can bite fatally to the skin even when trying to play if not trained regarding bite inhibition. It is believed by behaviorists and dog trainers that a dog that understands the sensitivity of human skin is relatively less likely to cause a fatal bite to the skin as compared to the dog that is not trained in bite inhibition. The notion also stands for the cases which do not include dogs that are just trying to play, but also the dogs who might be frustrated or afraid for some reason and bite because of it.
Puppies learn the concept of bite inhibition through other puppies. Being the playful little buddies they are, puppies usually fight and wrestle with other puppies. During this playtime, if a puppy bites another puppy too harshly, the bitten one will call out the pain through a thin squeal or shriek. The fighting may stop momentarily, but this cry may let the biting puppy know to be careful next time. Enough of these interactions help them grow control over their biting force so that they do not hurt their fellow companion. Using techniques similar to these can help a puppy learn to control the intensity of a bite when playing with humans.
Understand the circumstances that are given above and try to play with your puppy. As you are playing with your cute little play-buddy, notice if it is biting you and especially when it is putting force into it. Call out as if you are in pain because of that bite and act like it. Hold your hand and depict it to be hurt. It can cause your puppy to stop interacting with you and fall back (If your voice and gestures are not helping the puppy understand, then talk and scold your pup lightly using generic words like “bad dog” etc.)
If your puppy is starting to get it according to you and avoiding to bite or if it is licking you, which they do as a gesture of love and affection, then try to reiterate these steps twice or thrice for the next quarter of an hour. Repeating this process enough times should fulfill the goal or improve the dog’s behavior. If even this does not work, start avoiding your puppies for a short period when he bites you. This concept is known as taking a time-out from your puppy.
After the puppy bites, act with the same gestures as before, but this time, stop playing and look elsewhere from your puppy. If the puppy still insists on playing, leave its side for a good 10 to 20 second period. After that period, return to your pet and start playing again and repeat the procedure. If you notice an improvement in the behavior, wait for him to bite hard again and apply the methods again. This is to ensure that the puppy is as gentle as it can be around humans. The above-given procedure is one of the best methods to stop puppy biting and is known to stop puppy biting fast.
Train Your Puppy To Be Gentle With Human Skin
1: Providing an alternative toy
Whenever you feel like your pup is trying to chew on your hand or skin, provide it with an alternative toy to fulfill that desire.
2: Give treats instantly
If your puppy is not a lazy one and in an active mood all the time, they tend to get pretty excited and try to mouth you when you pet or scratch them. As soon as you commit any of these acts, try to feed them treats instantly afterward. This will not promote them to jump at you the second you touch them and make them used to situations where you touch them and they do not get riled up.
3: Encourage contactless playing routines
Promote playing with each other without touching each other. You can play games such as fetch, rope-kipping, tug of war, etc. These games include certain items that need to be utilized and are loved by dogs. Have these items at hand all the time. As soon as the dog starts to mouth you, take out one of the items, and start playing. Doing this long enough will cause the dog to think that you will play with it as soon as it will get near you. Eventually, the dog will avoid mouthing you and get in the position to play.
4: Distract them with toys
Some puppies have an annoying habit of licking and biting people’s ankles and toes. If you see your dog coming for them again, it is best to have their favorite toy with you at all times because you will be able to stop them by showing that toy. Show the toy to the pup in such a way it makes it want it. Provide your puppy with that toy and start moving again. Repeat this maneuver time and again, until you notice that your pup is now getting used to your movement is not specifically interested in your feet and ankles.
5: Have a lot of toys
Dogs love toys. Providing several different toys to your puppy may favor you and keep away your pup from mouthing you. The puppy is most likely to play with its favorite toys rather than licking and biting you on different parts of your bodies.
6: Involve more puppies
One better way on how to stop your puppy from biting and nipping in 2020 and keeping him to stay away from you a little is by providing it the facility of interacting and playing with more puppies. When your puppy will socialize with different dogs and pups who are vaccinated so that your little one does not contract any disease, it is most likely that your puppy will play and get tired not having enough energy to rough house with you. Nowadays this goal is achievable through enrolling your puppies with other puppies in puppy classes under the direct supervision of experts. These classes will prove to be essential for the development of your pet and will help it learn new and different maneuvers. You can find a Certified Professional Dog Trainer near you and get your pup admitted as soon as possible.
7: Get stricter with rules
Now it is time to apply rules that are even stricter. You need to utilize the time-out method that is mentioned above but not triggering the time out on a bite but as soon as the teeth of your pup touch your skin. If the pet has been gentler after biting time-outs, this shall make the puppy more conscious of the sensitivity of human skin. As soon as you sense that your pup’s teeth touched your skin, use gestures as before through your voice and actions. Keep your distance, and do not pay attention to the puppy for a good 30 seconds or a minute. If the little one still follows you and continues to bite you or so much as touch its teeth on your skin, leave it in a room where you know it is safe and where the puppy will not harm any things, itself, or the furniture. Once you have left your pup in a room for a minute or so, walk back in the room and naturally start playing with it again.
8: Use a leash
You can also use leashes during a time-out phase. What you need to do is keep a leash on your dog at all times and let it drag the leash freely. Once it breaks the rule of biting or its teeth and your skin comes in contact, take the pup to a corner or a quiet place, and tie him. Ignore him and turn away for a brief moment in time and then let him free. Reiterate this again and again for effectiveness.
9: Using their sense of taste against them
Being the naughty little joy-packs that they are, sometimes time-outs are not enough to curb them of their habit of biting, gnawing, or mouthing their human companion. If the same is the case with you, you can utilize different taste deterrents and spray them on your body. Choose the specific parts where your dog likes to mouth you. Now, whenever your dog will bite you or mouth you at those places, they will taste a not so welcoming flavor. As soon as they let go, appreciate them well enough. Repeating this procedure for a couple of weeks should do the trick and minimize your dog’s tendency to bite or mouth you at different places.
10: Teaching them to be gentle is the priority
You need to understand the fact that distancing your dog from yourself is not the answer. You need to be understanding and very patient with this kind of behavior as sometimes it can be a little hard to deal with such habits. If you are not noticing any improvement in the behavior of your pet companion, do not be embarrassed, and feel free to contact Certified Professional Dog Trainer as it helps a lot when it comes to how to stop your puppy from biting and nipping in 2020.
1: Avoid showing your fingers and toes
Avoid showing your fingers and toes by waving them in front of your puppy’s face. Simple acts like these can encourage the feeling of mouthing your hands and feet in a puppy. Also, avoid slapping its cheeks. It also may yield you the same result.
2: Do not stop playing, teach them to be gentler
It is again emphasized that not playing at all is not the answer. Playing with your pet pup is fun and creates a sense of connection that is too beautiful not to have. You need to train your puppy to be delicate and gentle when it comes to you using teeth near you rather than discouraging them from having fun.
3: Consider your actions
When a dog is trying to bite or mouth your hand in a playful manner, retracting the hand swiftly might not be the best choice of action. The dog will consider it as a part of playing and will try to chase it down. Leaving your hand limping will cause the doggy to think that it is not fun to play with stationary and boring objects.
4: Do not use any type of aggression
If you think that slight aggression might be the answer, then you are in the wrong. Slapping or hitting your puppy might end up causing the dog to bite even forcefully as the dogs tend to be aggressive when playing. It can also cause real aggression as the dog might start getting afraid of you. So it is in your best interest to not to punish your dog in any way that includes hurting him in the slightest of manner. These punishments may include, hitting the dog on its head, nose, or shaking him vigorously, etc.
5: When Does Mouthing Become Aggression?
When a puppy tries to bite or mouth its companion, most of the time, it is in the sense of playful behavior. That does not necessarily mean that it is always the same case. Some dogs are afraid and unlike other puppies, they can also bite out of fear or self-defense. You need to figure out what type of behavior your puppy is portraying as it can cause aggression issues in the time to come.
6: Puppy “Temper Tantrums”
Different puppies portray different behaviors. Your little actions can cause a puppy to throw a tantrum if it so much does not agree with something that you are trying to do. There are different symptoms to detect if your puppy is throwing a temper tantrum. For example, if your puppy does not like you to hold him and gets frustrated, the body of the puppy might go stiff, after which, the puppy will depict its anger by showing the teeth or growling. That does not mean you have to stop what you are doing. Hold back for the little aggressor to calm down and as soon as he does, let him go. You do not want to be dominated by this behavior.
A bond of friendship is what you want to look for in your dog. If these episodes are repetitive, seek help, and get them sorted out.