Nipping and Biting

 

Like babies, puppies really like exploring with their mouths. However, unlike babies, your puppy has sharp teeth.

It is up to you to teach your dog to be soft with their mouth. The safest and clearest way to do this is to have a golden rule that cannot be broken– absolutely no teeth on skin is acceptable at any time, whether in play or to get food.

Make sure actions have consequences. When you are playing with your puppy and you start to feel their teeth, or they tug at your clothes, stop playing and leave the puppy. If they have actually bitten you, make a noise (eg a small scream) and do not make eye contact. Bending down, pushing the puppy away and saying no, gives him a win on all three levels. He bit you and you rewarded him by touching him, making eye contact and speaking to him. It is really important to then give your puppy at least 10 seconds before interacting. After 10 seconds, go to your puppy with toy in hand and offer them the toy.