How To Teach A Puppy Not To Bite


Fully one –third of all dogs do not even make it through the first year with their original owner. Irritating puppy behaviors often become intolerable habits when an owner does not address the behaviors early on.


This is a completely normal canine activity that often will not go away with age and can become harder and more painful to correct as adult teeth emerge. All puppies bite, mouth, and challenge each other and their humans, but some much more than others. It is up to the owner to define the boundaries of acceptable behavior to the pup as soon as possible. Often the behavior will not "wear off" and if one doesn't do something about it before the adult teeth come in, the dogs may be relinquished to another party - which means they will probably die

The rule:

 No teeth can touch the skin or clothing of a human! Train an incompatible behavior: When the pup licks, give it a name like "kisses" and encourage it with high-pitched praise. When the pup uses its teeth on you, make a loud abrupt and startling sound which is a mammalian 'interrupt'.


He will likely be so surprised that he will stop mouthing, momentarily at least. At the instant he is not mouthing; (as he stops) praise him as you do for licks. Timing is everything. You want to extinguish the mouthing and replace it with licking.

Your reactions are:

Licking - not biting, lots of gooey praise! Any teeth - make a large startling sound right in the puppies face!  At twelve weeks of age the puppy should learn this lesson in only a few days, if all individuals who interact with him practice it consistently.


 The reason for replacing the mouthing with something else (licking) is because one cannot simply suppress such strong innate behavior as mouthing. The mouthing may occur repetitively unless you 'train' an incompatible behavior. For example, you cannot lick and bite simultaneously without biting your tongue. Sometimes force methods such as squeezing muzzles backfire. The puppy may suppress behavior for awhile, but then it comes back full force at unexpected moments. 

Train the humans:

Bite – inhibition is much harder to achieve if even one person allows the puppy to bite! Restrict access to those people who can implement the training method correctly. Children, (nine –years or younger) are probably not capable of performing this procedure effectively and consistently.

The caretakers must be present with the younger kids and puppy, until the puppy has been bite inhibition trained by the adults!  When the behavior of others weakens your efforts the puppy can become confused! Inconsistency can build frustration avoidance behavior which can lead to aggression. 

Recruit puppy playmates:

It can also help if the pup has littermates or littermate substitutes to help him practice bite-inhibition as other pups are the best teachers of all. They will squeak and refuse to play if a pup's bite is too hard. However, do not expect all adult dogs to correct this behavior since many will allow a much harder bite before correcting the puppy, if they correct at all. Find a kindergarten puppy class. It is worth traveling for a good one. A good class would include off-leash puppy socialization in an enclosed area the easiest way of all if it works.                                                                                                                      

With some dogs, simply ignoring the undesired behavior and giving NO feedback, either positive or negative, will eventually cause the canine to drop that behavior. This process is known as extinction. This approach may take a long time and it may be difficult for some people to ignore puppy mouthing for the duration!


Best of Luck to you with training your New Puppy!
















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