The biting habit is a normal behavior for most puppies. In a litter, puppies will play fight and occasionally nip or bite each other. However, they will also keep each other in line by punishing the puppy that plays too rough, by not letting the misbehaving puppy join in. This is why allowing time for puppy is very important, as your puppy will learn the negative social consequences of playing too rough.
It’s best to train your puppy to not bite humans as early as possible. Most puppies naturally learn to not bite too hard, or play too rough, within the first few months of their life – simply through experience and socialization with other puppies. But if your puppy hasn’t been socialized, you may have to teach it yourself. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to do.
Here’s what you need to do, step-by-step:
Step 1 – When your puppy nips you, say “ouch” loudly. This should shock your puppy, and make him realize that you have been hurt. You can also say “no” in a loud, stern voice. Simply repeat this process each time it happens, and your puppy should quickly learn to not bite you at all.
Step 2 – If your puppy persists with the biting behavior, you may need to make a bigger impression – to show that you’re serious about the behavior not being appropriate. After you have said “ouch”, ignore your puppy and do not give it any attention for a certain amount of time – 15 minutes should be enough time, in general. This is similar to how a litter of puppies would deal with the situation.
Step 3 – Consistency is important. Even if this process doesn’t work first time, stick with it. Eventually, your puppy will learn the association between biting and being ignored. This won’t be very rewarding for your puppy, so it will be compelled to stop biting you.
Something else to keep mind is that it’s a bad idea to leave your puppy unattended with a young child, especially if the puppy hasn’t yet learned to never bite a human.
Another thing to consider is that it can be harder to use this method with an older dog. This is because the reason which triggers the behavior is often very different. Many older dogs bite out of fear or insecurity. This may be because the dog has had a traumatic past, or is scared of you for some reason. In situations like this a calmative product like Feliway Comfort Zone with DAP can be helpful.
The first step in this situation is to identify the reasons why your older dog is biting. When your dog learns to not be threatened any more, it will have less need to defend itself with aggressive behavior.
Now you are armed with a simple step-by-step technique to stop your puppy from biting you or other people. While it may not be an instant cure, it will work if you remain consistent and apply the method each time this situation occurs.