Learning how to train a puppy to stop biting is vital in raising a responsible, well mannered, and positively oriented dog.
The goal is to instill good habits in the to be an adult.
Although, many dog lovers may see “puppy bite” as an infant character which can be changed as they grow into adults.
They fail to realize that, its while dogs are in their puppy stage that they can be trained to suit the owner’s taste or choice.
If this can be corrected while they’re puppies, then it’s been added advantage to the owner.
Factors responsible for puppy bites
In learning how to train a puppy to stop biting, Let’s look at the main factors or causes puppies to bite.
There are 7 main reasons why puppies bite, include;
Prey Drive/Wild Instincts
We shall be explaining the above points very clearly with solutions, so that, you understand vividly what we are trying to say.
1. Puppy training initialization. Let’s look a the first factor- BAD-UPBRINGING.
The holy book says; Train up a child the way he should go and when he’s old, he will not depart from it- the same principle applies to raise a puppy. The way you train a puppy is the same way he’ll end up when he grows up. You can’t spoil your pup and expect him to be well behaved. Remember, ” the way you dress your bed, same way you lay on it. Upbringing matters a lot in molding puppies to be the dog you’ll love them to be. The earlier you train a puppy not to bite, the better.
Let’s look at the next factor responsible for puppy bites
2. PUPPY POSSESSIVENESS
When we talk about possessiveness, we are talking basically about, property protection which includes- shoes, furniture, food, territory or even a human being.
Teach Your Puppy to obey the following commands; Stop and wait. These are very important in learning how to train a puppy to stop biting. When you see them eating up furniture, clothes, shoes, etc you use the command- Stop. That way, they automatically know biting furniture, shoes, clothes, and even humans are what you don’t like!
For puppies that bite fingers when rubbed or patted. Teach them that “Their Teeth Don’t Belong on Human Skin” by using”stop” or by Substituting/replacing a toy or chew bone when they try to bite your fingers or toes.
Encourage good forms of play, such as fetch and tug-of-war, etc also, discourage aggressive plays such as wrestling and rough play with your hands.
Next point is;
Provide plenty of opportunities for your puppy to play with other puppies. Ensure the puppies they are playing with our friendly, vaccinated puppies. Playing and socializing with other dogs help to eliminate the aggressive characteristics of your dogs.
Use a time-out procedure, just like the one described above-but change the rules a little. Instead of giving your puppy time-outs for hard biting, start to give him time-outs every time you feel his teeth touch your skin.
The instant you feel your puppy’s teeth touch you, give a high sound. This will bring to his/her notice that, such acts bring about pains as soon as you yelp, immediately walk away from him/her. Ignore him for 20seconds to 1 minute.
Please, do not leave him/her in an area bored/idle with things he might end up destroying or things that might hurt him. After the brief walkout in him/her, return to the room and calmly resume whatever you were doing with your puppy.- This will send a serious message to him/her.
Do not wave your hand, fingers or toes in your puppy’s face: this is one mistake dog love owners make.- when we do this, we are calling for”playful bites”
Do not slap the sides of his face or put your hands in his mouth to entice/cause him to play. Doing all these things can actually encourage your puppy to bite your hands, fingers, and feet.
Avoid pulling your hands or feet out/away from your puppy when he or she bites. This will encourage him to jump forward and grab at you.
When Does Mouthing Become Aggression?
Most puppy mouthing is normal behavior. However, some puppies bite out of fear or frustration, and this type of biting can signal problems with future aggression.
2. Puppy “Temperament/tantrum”
Puppies sometimes have degrees of temperaments. Usually, these temperaments can be seen as puppy tantrum. Tantrum is an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration. It usually happens when you make a puppy do something he doesn’t like. It can also happen when to play heightens or when puppies become overly excited or happy.
If you’re with your puppy and it starts exhibiting tantrum. Do not hit him. Instead, be very calm and cool and hold him firmly without straggling, until he stops struggling.
After he’s calmed down for a while or a few seconds, let him go. Then make plans to contact a qualified trainer or professional for assistance.
3. PUPPY POSSESSIVENESS:
This is one very common cause of dog bites. Protection of property is a very common issue when we say “property” we are talking of anything from toy, food, territory or even a human being.
You can always train a puppy, not to bite.- all you have to do is start training early to minimize this kind of possessive behavior. And how do you train a puppy not to bite? By teaching the “Leave it” command works well in preventing toy aggression. Another way to train a puppy not to bite is by stopping Food aggression; This can be avoided by teaching your dog to wait while you put their food down. Teach them to sit down and then remove their food and then put it back. You can also occasionally put in food in their bowl, bit by bit.
3. PUPPY FEAR.
This is another cause dog bites. Fear is mostly targeted towards unfamiliar faces such as veterinarians, neighbors, friends, distant relations who do not visit regularly or rarely come around.
Avoid taking them by surprise. Socialization is important so that the young puppy can be exposed to many different people, animals and situations, thereby, minimizing the risk of developing fear.
Never approach an unfamiliar puppy and teach your children to do the same. Also, endeavour not to disturb a sleeping puppy.
4. PUPPY PAIN.
This can cause puppy bites. Here, there is no need to train a puppy not to bite. The truth is this- Pain can cause the friendliest puppy to bite. It can cause a calm puppy to become “radical”. If your dog has an injury, fracture, sore or any chronic injury, instruct your children, friends, distance relations to stay away from the sore areas and be gentle handling the puppy. If your puppy becomes very uncomfortable for no reason to consider the pain as a possible cause and pay a veterinarian a visit for a physical check-up.
5. PUPPY PREY DRIVE.
This is can cause puppy bites. Although, it is not common but it is good to be informed so as to be aware of it. This drive can/is sometimes triggered by running around a puppy. Socialization is key. Walk them through places where they can see cyclists, drivers, skaters, people running, etc. That way, they are not going to be taken by surprise whenever they see someone running, skating, etc.
This is one vital cause of dog bites. Although it is often neglected, it is good we know it. When a puppy is stressed out, it could lead to bites. Its good to you take them out for a walk and make them participate in exciting games. But watch out for the signs of being stressed out. Give them some break.- to avoid a bite.
7. Finally, PUPPY HUNGER.
They say “A hungry man is an angry man”. The same applies to dogs(puppies). A hungry puppy is an angry dog. You need to make sure your puppies are given a good and balanced diet. Needless say much here. All I’ll say is feed your dog appropriately.