Puppy bites - How to get my puppy to stop biting!
New puppy owners often know the problem - the new dog already leaves painful marks on the hands of his humans with his small sharp and pointed teeth. These small biting attacks occur especially during play and are usually not meant maliciously, but still unpleasant. Learn now in this article why your puppy bites and what you can do about it.
My puppy bites - Why?
When romping and playing, the puppy not only bites the hands and legs, but also often grabs the clothes or heels of its owners and fellow humans. But why does the little puppy do this? To become aware of this question, you should take a look at playing young dogs and puppies.
You will usually quickly notice that romping around is not just a game for your little four-legged friend, but a vital social learning environment. Through play, your four-legged friend will learn to follow rules and also learn important physical skills. Snapping, nipping, biting and all other attempts at physical contact with the other person are normal.
Puppies look among themselves on such behavior? To hear the owners get a loud yowling and barking. With puppies, the rule is - "tit for tat". On a painful biter is therefore bitten back directly. The young puppies learn in this way what is allowed during romping and playing and what is rather inappropriate. In this learning phase the so-called bite inhibition develops - we will report on this in more detail at a later date.
Unfortunately, the skin of a human is much more sensitive than the thick fur of a dog, so the puppies have to learn quickly that caution is required here. Of course, owners can't now act on the above motto and bite the puppy in a body part because it has gone overboard with its behavior.
But what we can do is learn some important things from animal behavior among ourselves. There is always an immediate reaction to a particular behavior. This is of great importance in our dog training. No puppy will yelp 5 minutes later after being bitten by another dog. This is the only way puppies learn rules and boundaries of the other person.
What is bite inhibition and how do I train it?
Every little snapping of the puppy must be followed by a clear reaction of the owner. The wrong behavior should not be neglected under any circumstances, because the puppy can still hardly distinguish which kind of biting is okay and which is not. As soon as the puppy bites, you must act directly on it with a reaction. The most important goal for the future is to have a four-legged friend by your side who has learned extensively that human skin and clothing are off limits to him.
Biting should not be accepted in puppies
A safe and effective way to break your puppy's habit of biting is to leave him with his mommy dog and siblings for a long enough period of time. As a general rule, a puppy should never be separated from its mother and litter until it is at least eight to ten weeks old. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this time period cannot always be achieved, thus puppies are often separated from their mother and littermates far too early.
From this point on, the owner is responsible for the positive social behavior of the puppy. The owner must ensure that the puppy learns all of the important rules that it would ideally have learned from its canine mother.
One of the most important lessons a puppy must learn is to suppress the biting impulse. If a dog doesn't learn this in its younger years, you can assume 90 percent of the time that the four-legged friend will happily snap even as an adult. This habit is not only annoying, but also problematic - especially if he lives as a family dog with children. Therefore, it is immensely important that you break your puppy's biting habit from the very beginning.
Young children in particular can react unpredictably when a dog makes use of its sharp teeth. It is much worse, however, if strange children get to feel the sharp teeth of your four-legged friend while playing and romping. Of course you know what makes your dog tick and can judge him accordingly, but outsiders cannot.
What your puppy understands as exuberant playing and romping, strangers interpret quickly and carelessly as aggression. This situation can often end very sadly for the dog owner, and in the worst case scenario, your loved one will be taken away from you.
However, even a puppy that is well behaved by the dog mom, can develop an unconscious eagerness while playing. In this case, the puppy bites and snaps uncontrollably at everything that moves. This problem should be addressed consistently so that you can break your puppy's biting habit.
Tips and tricks to help puppies stop biting
Most puppies respond amazingly well and effectively to the imitated sound of a bitten quadruped. You shouldn't be shy here, just bark back. A little imitation yapping and growling can prevent future snapping. However, this is not always the case, because in the worst case scenario, this can cause your pup to get even more caught up in his feelings. The consequence of this is that your four-legged friend will only bite harder.
In this case, you should consider an alternative. At this point we can recommend the exchange of a bite object. With this learning training it is important that you do not let yourself bite, because the dog should bite into a carried object. Here you can use for example a small ball or a dog toy made of rubber. Thick sports socks with one or two knots in them are also ideal.
As soon as the puppy bites, you answer with a strict and persistent "No". It does not matter whether your puppy bites you or an unauthorized object. Thereupon you take the forbidden object or the respective body part away from him and offer him his exchange object. In this case it is for example the above mentioned ball. As soon as your puppy turns his full attention to this object, you must praise him extensively. With this praise you should not spare, exaggerate it gladly a little.
Furthermore,clicker training can also help your puppy break the biting habit. Some learning methods can effectively correct the annoying behavior. However, the puppy must first be accustomed to the fact that every click has positive consequences for him. For repeated clicking, give your puppy a treat. Next, you have to acknowledge every little positive behavior of your four-legged friend with a click. This is the only way your pet will get the impression that he has done something good. In order to be able to receive further rewards he must behave accordingly.
As soon as the dog has understood that the click sound stands for positive behaviour, apply this method to the biting behaviour as well. Say "no" clearly when your puppy bites. If he then responds appropriately, reward him with a click and a treat.
Basically, you can say that consistency and consistency, is all you need for a well behaved puppy. Every member of the family needs to follow the same method of dealing with the dog in order to break the puppy's biting habit. If everyone pulls together and stays consistent, the snapping and biting will end quickly. If your puppy bites, just follow the tips above and you will see that biting will be a thing of the past in no time.