Oh yeah, they are cute, but they also love to bite! Yes, we are talking about that adorable new puppy you have just added to the family. It is natural for a dog to bite, but you will have to break this habit while they are young. If not, you are going to end up with a house full of chewed up clothing, slippers, and the occasional nip on the finger. Keep everyone in the house happy and train your puppy to stop biting.
• Biting does not necessarily mean the dog is too aggressive. This is a very natural occurrence for dogs removed from their mother when they are too young. A mother dog will generally address this issue on her on, so the lesson may have never been learned. What mom doesn’t teach, the brothers and sisters will by biting back harder.
• Buy the dog some chew toys to focus on. This is not a cure for the problem, but you are going to need to have something the dog can chew without getting into trouble. These toys will become part of the training and reward process.
• When the puppy nips you, a family member, or does some redecorating to your furniture or clothing, immediately address the issue. Remember, the sense of time does not exist here, so finding a chewed shoe and disciplining later serves no purpose. Establish a sound or word the dog can associate with wrongdoing. A loud “ouch” or “no” will suffice. Tone means everything, so it cannot be playful in any way. Also, know that mother dogs will often discipline the puppy and then leave it alone when it bites. This is something you should duplicate. After repetition, the puppy will realize it is doing something wrong and begin to adjust its behavior.
• When you catch the dog in the act of chewing on clothing or furniture, address the issue right then and there, but give the dog an alternative. This is where the chew toys come in. When you see the puppy chewing, tell it to “stop” and “sit down.” Use a stern tone and show the dog the item and say, “no!”
• Now, when you give the dog the chew toy and they play with that, pat them on the head and tell them they are a good dog. Again, repetition will embed the fact into the puppy’s memory that chewing on the dog toy gets them a pat on the head, while chewing on your slippers or nipping a hand gets them into trouble.