Puppies are cute, lovable and oh, so precious. Some of them nip and bite but since they are small and cuddly we excuse the behavior as “puppies being puppies.” The problem is that this behavior will become a stubborn part of your dog’s character if you don’t stop it in the early stages.
Puppies bite to exert dominance. They are genetically wired to fight for position. If this behavior is not met with a strong, firm response that isn’t harsh then they will pursue it. Most pups learn to stop biting while still with their birth litter. Their mother and siblings teach them that biting is unacceptable by giving them a sharp nip in return. When your 8 week old puppy is ready to go home with you it has already learned that biting will produce negative consequences. You’re goal is to establish the same environment in your home, where biting is not tolerated.
Your Puppy’s Early Days with You
If you take a puppy into your home before it is 8 weeks old then you’ve got to teach it some of the things it would normally learn in its litter. This will include training it not to nip or bite.
As you begin your doggy’s training remember these tips.
To begin with, a firm and calm hand is much more effective than yelling or violence. A dog that fears you will be anxious, aggressive or unresponsive. Use clear direction and plenty of praise instead. By rewarding good behavior and responding negatively to bad behavior you will cultivate the best learning environment for your furred friend.
It will also help your pooch if you do not confuse it with aggressive play. Be consistent with your expectation and reward obedience. Be a strong alpha leader and don’t let your dog get away with bad behavior. You will gain the trust of your dog and when you do you’ll find he or she will work hard to please you.
It is always a good idea to sign up for an obedience class. You’ll be a more confident leader and will learn how to train your canine. The dog will gain mastery over basic skills and will learn much from the class’s dog socialization. If possible, schedule times away from class to meet at a park with other owners and their dogs to continue the socialization process in which your dogs learn to get along with one another. And whatever you learn in the class practice at home with persistence.
If your dog bites you during this time give a short, sharp yelp and maybe give it a light pinch in return. Don’t do this with anger or violence but simply to let the dog know that you were hurt and to give it an educational dose of its own medicine.
Teaching a young puppy not to bite is the best way to ensure the problem will not return in later years. Begin the process as soon as you bring your dog into your home. This is only one aspect of the overall training you must provide your dog. Always keep in mind that a well-trained dog will not be aggressive but will be a happy and trusted asset to you its entire life.