how to stop a puppy from biting?
My dogs are two-year-old border collies, and they love to play biting. They also nip at other people and other dogs when excited. So I knew I needed a quick and easy solution to stop their enthusiasm. And fast! Below is how to stop my dog from biting when excited. Mostly this undesirable behavior will remain in your adult dog, if you don’t train your young puppy.
Why Your Puppy is Nipping?
Your new puppy might be nipping for different reasons depending on the time of day or how they’re feeling. Knowing the why of your puppy bite will help you decide how to respond to it at that moment. Here are a few reasons your puppy might be nipping:
- Your young dog may want to play! In this instance, redirect to an appropriate dog toy.
- They want to chase something that’s moving. I like redirecting nipping to a toy like a bully stick in this instance to provide an outlet for this natural dog instinct.
- They might be hungry. Some puppies get nippier before mealtime getting hangry, isn’t limited to just us people!
- Your puppy is tired. Who doesn’t get a little cranky when they’re tired? Your puppy might need a nap in their crate or a safe, quiet spot like their puppy zone if they’re excessively nipping behavior.
- They want your attention. Once a puppy learns that biting works to get your attention (whether it’s “good” or “bad” attention), they’re likely to try it all the time. Work on teaching your puppy that an alternative behavior, such as sitting, works even better to get your focus and engagement.
- Your puppy is bored and looking for something to do. Puppies love exploring their world with their mouth. Provide enticing chews and toys to keep their brain busy.
- Your puppy is overstimulated. There might be lots of activity around your pup, and they don’t know what to do with all that excitement. Redirection is a great option here, or placing them in their puppy zone with an interactive toy can do wonders for helping them calm down.
- Their gums hurt from teething discomfort. Give your puppy a soothing toy made specifically for puppy teething. Puppy teeth toys and other helpful tools for puppy nipping behavior are a good idea.
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Stop rewarding them with treats.
The first step in stopping my dog from biting when excited was to stop rewarding them with treats like cookies. You can switch his love from treats to a chew toy he could chase around, and he did okay. It was a desirable behavior. But it was still a problem because he would pursue the chew toy instead of the people, and then he would get disappointed when no one was biting him. As long as you keep him distracted and safe from harm, your puppy will not be excited about a human or any other animal.
Always stay on hand.
The second step on stopping my dog from biting behavior when excited is to always stay on hand. When your puppy is excited and ready to bite, he will have nothing to latch on to. So if you are away from the house, set up a distraction, such as a toy that he can chase around. If you are inside the house, give him your hand or any rough side you can touch, such as the wall, so he will focus on you and not on the toy or your hand.
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Teach him a few biting lessons.
If you want to learn how to stop your dog from biting when excited, the third step is to teach him a few biting lessons. You can use either a spray or a nozzle to train him to nip at his paws. Or you can use a “bark collar,” which does the same thing as a spray collar but with less irritation to your dog’s skin. Or you can teach him a basic “stop it” command.
Accept that he is going to bite.
The next step on stopping my dog from biting when excited is to accept that he is going to bite. Dogs are naturally packed animals, and they will bite one another if left to their own devices. As long as you acknowledge his tendency to nip at your hands and feet, and you reinforce those behaviors with some simple punishment (getting him in trouble with the yard), you will be well on your way to teaching your puppy the proper behavior. Some people use a “thumbstick,” while others use an alternative dog training tool: a squirt bottle filled with water or a squirt bottle full of air.
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Puppy training Opportunity.
There is a good opportunity to train politely and interact with your puppy as a pet owner before they begin to nip. Make sure you have small quantities of puppy kibble or treats in various areas of your home so that you’re always prepared to reward your puppy for their behavior that you appreciate. Dog treats are a great option to place the treat on their noses. After they have quit grabbing you, you can say “yes!” and throw the treat away to search for. Then you’ll have the opportunity to pick up a toy, chew, or another food to lure your dog to.
Is your puppy running towards you? Grab a treat and lure them into a seat. If they are too busy sniffing around for that treat, they aren’t biting you! Plus, they’re learning what to do in those situations.
Here’s a basic outline of what you can do about bite inhibition :
- The guest would enter the front door and immediately toss a treat like cookies to the dog behind her.
- After she ate that treat and turned back to approach the guest again, another treat would be tossed behind her.
- After a few repetitions, the guest would approach her and ask for a sit or a down. Reward with another treat and some attention for these appropriate behaviors.
Whenever a dog owner or a guest couldn’t practice this routine, she would be behind a barrier, on a leash, or in another area of the home.
Stop Play or Interaction.
If your puppy intends to put their teeth on your skin, there should be a consequence. One of the most effective consequences is what’s called negative punishment. For nipping, we take away what the puppy wants at that moment attention, play, and interaction. We do this to make the nipping decrease in frequency. The goal is for your puppy to learn that teeth on human skin mean no more fun. If they sometimes get more attention or play, it will be tough to learn the association we want.
Use Your Puppy Zone.
If your puppy does not stop biting behavior when you try to interrupt, it’s time for some settle-down time in their puppy zone. Calmly remove your pup from the situation, picking them up and placing them in their pen. Give them an appropriate chew to work on, or check to see if it’s time to eat. Many puppies get increasingly mouthy when they are hungry or tired.
We don’t want them to view the pen as punishment, which is why it’s important to give them an appropriate activity in their pen. Putting them in their puppy zone for a few minutes helps prevent any nipping from occurring. It also helps them learn about the association that nipping at you means you go away.
The sixth step on how to stop my dog from biting when excited is probably the simplest. It involves simply remaining calm when your canine bites you. If you have ever had a dog that nips at you while you’re walking, then you know how annoying this can be. But when your dog bites when you are calm and relaxed, he gets the message that biting isn’t fun and that you’re not putting him first.
So in summary, the best solution for how to teach your puppy not to bite when excited is to use a combination of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. If he’s excited, treat him with attention, praise, and treats. If he’s upset, get him away from the puppy. Reward your pet with his favorite treat when he stays calm. Eventually, your puppy will learn that biting is not fun, and he’ll stop it when he’s excited or upset.