Nipping or biting is normal behavior for most puppies. It is especially common when learning their place in the family or going through the natural teething process. However, it must be prevented from developing into a bad habit or it may continue into your dog’s adulthood. An adult dog’s bite is a much more serious problem and should be handled in a very different way than that of a puppy. Dog bites can do much more harm to a person depending on the dog’s condition and size.
- Measure if your puppy’s bite is normal.
Puppies are constantly learning their place in their new family’s hierarchy. Biting or nipping is a great way for dogs to test boundaries. Their reaction to everything they bite tells them a lot about what is and what is acceptable in their world.
Puppies love to have fun and play. When human hands or fingers are accessible, they see them as large toys. Puppies use their mouths a lot when playing, so it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that their first reaction to a hand or finger during play would be to bite it.
Teething can be uncomfortable for a puppy. They try to relieve gum pain by putting something in their mouth and applying pressure. They may chew on a toy or something they find suitable to relax.
- Don’t let your puppy make biting a game.
Avoid playing games by waving their hands around their faces or on the ground in front of them, as well as games that encourage aggression, such as pulling ropes. These actions tempt puppies to use their mouths.
When your puppy bites, whether it’s during play or during the teething process, immediately take your hand or fingers out of the dog’s mouth and say “Aah” very loudly. “No!” or “Bad dog!” You may also shout, but it’s best to avoid saying anything directly to your puppy.
In general, whatever words come out of his mouth, your puppy is only interested in the fact that you are talking to him. This means you are paying attention to him, which can encourage him to pursue the behavior that caused him to have this reaction from you.
- Imitate the puppy’s reaction when his brother bit him.
When puppies are very young and still with their mothers and siblings, they learn how tough a pinch or bite is, by reaction. Although the mother occasionally scolds them physically, the usual response when a puppy bites her sibling too hard is to cry loudly and stop playing immediately.
During this process, they learn how much is too much and how much is too hard. You can use the same principle when teaching your puppy not to bite.
Tie your arms and turn away from your puppy ignoring him for 5-10 seconds. In some cases it may even be necessary to leave the room. This movement exhibited after a pinch or bite will allow your puppy to know that the fun stops and playtime is over when they bite you.
- Continue playing with your puppy after he calms down.
Show affection again. If the biting behavior continues, you’ll need to quit the whole game and leave the room if necessary and ignore your puppy again. He will realize that the puppy will not receive any attention when he exhibits this particular behavior.
If your puppy is teething, give him a suitable chewing toy to encourage good chewing and biting habits. This can help by showing him what’s right for him to chew even when he’s not teething. As with teaching your puppy any new behavior, you must always be consistent to get consistent results.
- When training your puppy, pay attention to your attitude and body language.
Your different attitudes or body language towards your puppy or dog may reinforce good or bad behavior. Looking at or talking to him while barking for his attention are examples of some actions that reinforce bad behavior. Showing interest and talking to him when he is calm and playing nicely are examples of actions that reinforce good behavior. Be aware of how you treat it and how you react to these actions. If you do this well, he will respect you and will love you very much. No matter how much your puppy or dog wants to bite you, he’ll even learn that it’s not a suitable chew toy.
- Before a dog bites it always gives a warning sign; Look out for these warning signs before your puppy bites.
Sometimes the signs are very subtle and can be overlooked by an unsuspecting person. Warning signs before a dog bite can last for months or even years. An example of this is when a dog tolerates a tough child for a while and eventually bites everyone by surprise.
Some subtle warning signs your dog might give before they bite include, but are not limited to, getting up and away from a person, turning their head away from a person, looking at you in a pleading way, or yawning when someone approaches him.
More pronounced warning signs include, but are not limited to, leaning back your ears, having hairs sewn along the neck or back, curling your lips while showing your teeth, direct eye contact, wheezing, and barking.
- Determine if your dog has some other reason for their bite.
There are many other reasons why dogs may need to bite. These may be protective tendencies, pain, hunting urges, maternal instincts or instincts related to reproduction.
Protective disposition triggers can be situations where your dog is trying to protect you, a water or lunch box, personal space, or a favorite toy or treat.
Painful bites can occur when the dog does not want to be touched for some reason.
Maybe he’s an old dog with painful arthritis, has a wound or injury he’s protecting, or someone passing by has stepped on him unconsciously.
Hunting impulse biting situations are often triggered by anything that starts a chase for your dog. This could be runners, cyclists, cars or animals passing by.
A new mother’s maternal instincts can sometimes be violent and powerful. Respect the space and behavior of a new mother and her offspring whenever a person’s involvement is required.
Dogs with a shepherd breed or background may tend to follow their natural instincts to herd humans or animals by biting and pinching their legs and ankles.
- Use desensitization and counterconditioning to teach your dog not to bite.
This gives you the chance to expose your dog to situations that might cause him fear, only at small levels that are likely to endure. During this exposure, you are tasked with keeping your dog in a happy mood. So instead of focusing on the situation and being fearful or reactive, it focuses on you and the special treat or toy you have for him. The general purpose of this method is to help your dog understand that he can have a positive mood even in awkward or scary situations.
Try to find a helper to work with you and your dog. When training your dog with a “new, unfamiliar person,” tell your assistant to ignore any fearful behavior your dog shows and instead look at you. To keep your dog’s mind on the good side of the situation, make sure you have delicious food ready to serve quickly and often with the stranger. If it gives your dog the rewards too slowly, it can give your dog enough time to decide it’s a scary situation again. Of course, remind your assistant not to act too quickly or threateningly or make loud noises so as not to scare the dog.
- Use behavioral change to teach your dog not to bite.
The second method is to train your dog to replace his fearful behaviors with something fun and more appropriate. This is called operant counterconditioning. The purpose of this type of training is to refocus your dog’s attention on you by following a basic command such as sitting at your feet, normal sitting or lying down. These are reward-based commands that will often result in a tasty treat or love and affection when they complete the task. This creates a positive relationship with a scary situation.
Remember to try to keep your dog happy throughout the training session. Finish the training and get your dog out of the situation after a 10-15 minute session or before the reward supplies run out.
- Use positive reinforcement with your dog.
Positive reinforcement is very helpful when training a puppy or dog, regardless of the desired behavior. Make sure to praise him when he chews on suitable toys and plays without biting you.
You can also give your dog a small, low-calorie reward when you do what you want.
It is also important to be consistent in any training. Make sure you know your dog’s hands, fingers and toes are always off-limits, and ask guests who come to your home to respect and obey these limits with your puppy or dog.
Author: Mr. Article
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