10 Ways To Stop Puppy Biting

February 16th, 2012
By Eric Letendre

Did you know:

Some may argue this fact, but my research shows that puppy biting is the numero uno behavior problem.

So here are 10 ways to STOP puppy biting:

1. Physical Exercise - The only good puppy is a tired puppy. Most puppies have energy spurts that can drive you nuts. The best way to physically exercise a pup is to let them play with other puppies. If you have a dog daycare in your town, I highly recommend checking it out.

2. Mental Exercise - A great way to tire out a puppy is to do some mental activities. Simple obedience commands, tricks, toys and scent games can tire your pup out.

3. Keep a leash on the puppy - I was working with a nice couple once that adopted what seemed like a snapping turtle. This puppy was all mouth, chomping anything within a foot of his mouth. We used a leash to control the biting. We would attach the leash to the door so the pup was in the room but could not bite. A chew toy was provided and we would control the attention we gave to the pup.

4. Tug Games - Tug has gotten a bad rap over the past few years but it is a great game to play. When your pup starts to bite, substitute your hands with a tug toy.

5. Understand Unintentional Reinforcement - Ever notice how you get more and more frustrated when your pup starts biting you? You push him away, maybe you give a slight slap on the nose or do a scruff shake. Notice how he keeps coming back for more. This is unintentional reinforcement. You are making the behavior stronger by doing this. Puppies love rough play and this only encourages the biting.

6. Never slap or hit your puppy - This will only make your him fearful and may lead to an adult dog that is hand shy, a dog that gets nervous when a hand comes close to their face. Some dogs get so fearful they actually bite the hand.

7. No Rough Play - I once taught a puppy class and watched as a guy spent the entire class pushing his hand in his pup’s face. He would tease him with his hands and kept pushing his head from side to side. His puppy was like a shark when you got near him. Guess what the guy asked me at the end of the class? “How do I stop puppy biting?”

8. Teach Gentle Mouth - Ever give your pup a treat and he chomps down on your hand? Well, if you release the treat, your dog will continue to do the same thing every time you offer a treat. Every time you offer a treat, make sure your puppy takes the treat with a gentle mouth. When your his mouth comes close to your hand, loudly yell, “OUCH” and pull the treat away. Wait a second and offer it again. Repeat the process if you have to and only let him take the treat when he is gentle.

9. Be Patient - You have to understand that this behavior is normal, natural canine behavior. If you get frustrated or angry, it is better to give your puppy a time out than to lose your temper. A few minutes in the crate is better than losing your temper and taking it out on him.

10. Get Professional Help - Finding a puppy obedience class or online course like The Dog Training Inner Circle can help you.

So there you have it.

Every puppy is a little different and what does work with one may not work with another. You will probably have to use a few different techniques to overcome this problem.

Good luck!

Post By Eric Letendre (560 Posts)

Eric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States and has been training dogs for over 20 years, teaching regular, average, every-day owners all over the world how to get the training results they want as fast as possible. Eric is also the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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3 Responses to 10 Ways To Stop Puppy Biting

  1. Julez says:

    Does this technique work for an 11-month old dog?

  2. Hope Motte says:

    I have a Great Dane. I love this dog. He is 5 months old now, and still growing. my puppy is great. He sits and waits for his food, (we pray before he eats, while he stands there drooling) very good with that, he sits, lays,I got that soft thingie around his nose when we go walking, he is house trained, But I still have a problem with him getting over excited when someone comes over. He jumps up and down, opens his mouth, and is just a nusance, I have to put him in the bedroom. He gets excercise, and I play tug of war with him, making sure I always win, and he releases, then I put that special toy up. How do I handle guests. I run a business out of my home. Most people he likes, but some have come here that he growels and barks. Help. I have read about every thing you write and have watched your many videos. Showing the tricks etc, but not showing us how you teach them to do it.
    Thanks for your time and patience. I believe I have purchased your program 4 times as I get 4 emails from you each time.
    God Bless,

  3. Gunny says:

    Eric, I love this post. I usually only curate information about electronic dog items but also look for good training information for my readers. I will curate this article and send my readers to you page to read the entire article. I have to admit I rough house with puppies.

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About the author…

Eric LetendreEric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States. For more than 20 years, he has been developing dog training techniques that have worked for dog owners all over the world. Eric operates from a home office or a laptop while traveling and draws on his experience and passion for dog training to show others how to develop a dog that is truly “Man’s Best Friend”.

Eric is the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Hack Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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