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Stopping a Nipping/Biting Puppy

Aug 18, 2007
It is not unusual for puppies to nip and bite. It is part of their nature. They are mouthing. They do this to let you know they want something and also to play. When your puppy first does this, see if he needs anything. He could just be hungry or thirsty. It's possible he needs to go out, or is just tired or wants some love. Decide if your puppy needs something before reacting to the nipping. Then there are things to do to help curb the habit in puppies below 16 weeks.

1. If you have decided your puppy is just nipping and biting to do it, you should isolate him, or put him in a crate with his favorite bone. There is no punishing or scolding to be done. Just patiently pick the puppy up, and put him in their favorite area with something to chew on.

2. If you puppy licks you, say the word 'kisses' and praise him for this action. You can encourage licking, rather than biting, by putting some butter on your hand for him to lick.

3. If the puppy bites or nips for attention, you must take away that attention. Don't react loudly to the bite. Just ignore it.

4. Is the puppy gets more force in those bites, you should sound like he has wounded you making a "Ep, Ep!" sound. Then look directly into his eyes for a few seconds. Next go back to what you were doing and ignore him. If it continues, there are sprays with flavors such as bitter apple you can put on, that will make the dog regret having nipped. You can also keep your puppy on a leash and jerk it to the side when he bites. If all else fails, you may have to isolate him until he calms down.

After 16 weeks if your puppy is still nipping, you need to stop it. You must communicate it is not allowed. Here are some tips:

1. Don't play rough games. Games like tug-of-way, chasing, and wrestling may be giving your dog the wrong message and letting the puppy think it's ok to bite down to challenge you.

2. Any nip is a bad nip. No matter where the puppy nips and whether it hurts or not, you need to make it clear that nipping is unacceptable.

3. Use a deterrent. There are mouth sprays or bitter apple flavored sprays you can put on to make sure your puppy gets a bad taste when nipping. Or you can use a squirt gun to deter the biting. Just make sure you do not look at the puppy while spraying him, because that could be taken as a confrontation instead of a correction.

4. Keep your puppy on a leash. This way when he nips, you have the leash to use to direct his mouth away from biting you. If you do not have a teaching lead for your dog, you can instead put a short lead onto a buckle collar.

5. When the puppy nips, use the leash to pull him away from biting. You can also use the sprays on that area. Again, remember not to stare at the pup while you do this.

6. If the biting continues, you should ask yourself if you are doing something wrong in the training. Are you snapping the leash or just pulling it? Snapping it is corrective. Pulling it is playful. Do you look convincing when you stare at him? If he is not taking you seriously, you may need to be sterner in training until you gain his respect.
About the Author
Jane Saeman is proud of her dogs and wants to talk with others who are as well.
A whole world awaits other dog lovers.
Find out how cute the dog in your life is at my website which is at http://www.PicturesOfMyDogs.com
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