How to Potty Train a Mastiff Puppy

Medium
3-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Potty training a Mastiff puppy is not much different than potty training any other puppy. You're going to need to show your puppy where he should be eliminating and reward him for recognizing it and then doing so. Mastiffs are eager to please. So your Mastiff puppy is eager to learn from you. Approach potty training with enthusiasm and high energy so it's a task he's happy to do. 

Having a large Mastiff in your house also means potentially having large amounts of urine in your home. Potty training him early on through positive reinforcement and reminders while building this new habit will be imperative to keep a clean house and having a well-trained dog. 

Defining Tasks

Your Mastiff puppy will love the idea of going outside to go potty because he gets to get some exercise while he's out there. End this outdoor time rewarding him with a little bit of play time so he can burn off some of that excess energy he has. Potty training your Mastiff puppy will take some time and commitment. But most of all, potty training is about repetition and knowing the right times to show your Mastiff where he should be going potty. Potty training your Mastiff is certainly easier if you can be home a lot during the day, especially during these early times in your relationship with your Mastiff. House training may take up to 6 months to perfect, but you can start expecting your Mastiff puppy to begin learning as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age.

Getting Started

Potty training your Mastiff puppy will require lots of tasty treats to keep him motivated and remind him to make good choices when he needs to go. You will also need to be cognizant of his schedule and the signs, and cues he gives to let you know he needs to go potty. If it all possible, having someone around during the day certainly helps. If not, keep in mind a puppy can typically only hold his bladder for about 1 hour for every month he is old. So your 4-month-old Mastiff could probably hold it for about 4 hours if you're out of the house. You can also teach your Mastiff puppy to tell you he needs to go potty using a bell or a knock on the door. Make potty training fun and rewarding. 

The Potty Yard Method

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Same place each time
Train your Mastiff puppy to go potty in the same spot each time he needs to go. This protects your yard from urine stains and poop all over the place. Choose those space wisely within your yard. Keep it free from distractions and family play areas.
Step
2
Know Your Mastiff
Your Mastiff puppy is a player. He will want to play more than worry about going potty. This is true for when he’s inside as well as outside. Keep him focused during training and be sure to stop his playtime while inside in order to go outside. He should be able to hold his bladder for an hour for every month of age.
Step
3
Outside
When it’s time to go potty, take your Mastiff puppy to the same place each time. Stop him during play time to go, pay attention to signals that he needs to go such as slowing down and sniffing or circling during play. Also, be sure to take him outside five to ten minutes after his meals and upon waking.
Step
4
No play
Do not let your Mastiff puppy play when he is outside in his potty area. Stand quietly nearby. When you speak to him, use encouraging words he’ll recognize later as his cue to go such ag ‘go potty.’ Keep your Mastiff puppy in that area until he goes.
Step
5
Reward
Once your Mastiff puppy goes potty, give him a treat. Be sure to only treat your puppy when he uses the area you’d like him to use. Otherwise, he may use other areas without learning he has a special place to go.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat this often. Your Mastiff puppy will need to go potty several times throughout the day and night. Be sure you are setting him up for success by taking him outside often instead of only catching him in the act.
Recommend training method?

The Potty Bell Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Introduce a bell
Sit on the floor with your Mastiff puppy and show him the bell he will be using to tell you he needs to go potty. Let him sniff it and make it ring. Each time the bell rings, give your Mastiff puppy a treat. Play with the bell for a bit, letting him get used to the sound it makes.
Step
2
Hang a bell
Hang a bell near the door your Mastiff puppy will most often use to go outside to go potty. Hang the bell at a level for him to touch it with his nose or ring it with his paw. Be prepared to move this bell higher as he grows if you’d like him to ring it with his nose.
Step
3
Ring the bell
Encourage your Mastiff puppy to ring the bell as it hangs in its special spot. You may need to touch the bell or place a treat next to the bell to get his attention and get him to ring the bell. Practice this for a while and give your puppy a treat each time he causes the bell to ring.
Step
4
Before outside
Pay attention to your puppy and the signs he may need to go outside. He might be sniffing or circling if he is ready to go. Anytime he wakes from sleep and within ten minutes of eating, he should be ready to head outside. Before you take your Mastiff puppy out to go potty, make him ring the bell. If he’s been circling and may have an accident, you might want to help him ring it the first few times.
Step
5
Outside
Once your Mastiff rings the bell, take him outside to go potty.
Step
6
Reward
Once your pup goes potty, be sure to give him a reward. This is the same reward you were giving him for ringing the bell earlier.
Step
7
Practice
Encourage your Mastiff puppy to ring the bell anytime he needs to go outside. While he is potty training, be sure you are taking him out often enough, so he does not have an accident in the house. Be patient and take your Mastiff puppy outside with lots of time to spare so there is time to ring the bell. With lots of practice, your Mastiff will eventually know when he needs to go outside on his own and let you know by ringing the bell.
Recommend training method?

The Potty, Reward, Repeat Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Morning
As soon as your Mastiff puppy wakes for the day, take him outside to go potty.
Step
2
Reward
Always give your pup a treat for going potty. Cheer and tell him what a good boy he is each time he makes it outside to go.
Step
3
One hour
Your Mastiff puppy shouldn’t have to go potty for about one hour for every month he’s been alive. So if he is four months old, he might be able to hold it for about four hours. This isn’t always true, especially if your puppy us under three months old, so be sure you are taking him out often to have a chance to go while outside rather than having accidents inside.
Step
4
Meals
Between five and ten minutes after eating a meal, your Mastiff puppy will need to go outside. Pay close attention to him after meals and keep taking him out to go. Be sure to reward him once he goes.
Step
5
Sleep
Whether your Mastiff puppy is taking a nap or sleeping during the night, he’ll need to go potty as soon as he wakes up. Be sure to take him out once he is awake, so he has the chance to go without having an accident.
Step
6
Repeat
Be sure you are taking your puppy out each time you notice him sniffing around your home, especially while playing, after sleep and after meals, and on regular intervals. Ultimately, potty training your Mastiff will be about how dedicated you are to watching the time and keeping a close eye on your Mastiff. Be patient, but know it may take several weeks for him to tell you on his own he needs to go.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Kia
Mastweiler
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kia
Mastweiler
6 Months

I've "inherited" a 6 month old mastweiler from the neighbors. She got to be too much dog for them and I'm known as the neighborhood dog whisperer so they they approached me and asked me if they could rehome her with me. I agreed. I'm currently strapped for funds but need to get on her training ASAP. She is slightly food aggressive with the other dogs 2 dogs I own, but not with me. She also has a tendency to chew up things that do not belong to her (i.e. cords, my shoes, my glasses). Almost all of my things are now put away in bins or drawers but eventually i'd like to be able to leave my things out and not have to worry about her chewing them up. She is also quickly becoming alpha over the pack but recognizes me as the pack leader because whoever controls the food, usually controls the pack. I've started some obedience training but don't have her full attention. Her former partner (a male bully) lives next door and is always jumping the fence to come over and try to hump her. I'm going to get her fixed when I get back on my feet but that will be another 2-3 months. I'm afraid she will probably go into heat before then so that will be an issue I have to contend with as well. Potty training has also been an issue because she was an outdoor dog before but now lives mostly indoors with me and my other 2 dogs and hasn't learned to hold it yet. There are so many issues that I'm not exactly sure where to begin with her and I'm also not very familiar with her breed as I've mostly had shepherds (german/anatolian) and mixed lab breeds. She's a great dog over all and fit into the pack immediately and she listens about 75% of the time. She's very stubborn like the anatolians I've had in the past. Where do I begin. I really don't want to go the ecollar route as was suggested by the vet.

I know she has a very gentle side because she's also already made friends with 1 of my kittens and 1 of my tom cats and also the other neighbors kittens.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would start by feeding pup meals in a separate crate with the door closed away from the other dogs, to reduce competing at mealtimes. I would also proactively work on desensitizing her to the other dogs' presence while eating. This needs to be done in a way that builds trust and doesn't increase stress around feed, so pup doesn't feel defensive while eating. Generally, this involves pairing the presence of another dog with something really fantastic, while pup is eating something small and boring. She only gets the reward when the other dog passes by. I would do this with enough space between dogs to keep everyone calm, only one other dog in the room with you at a time with her, and with her back tied securely with a leash long enough to be slack, but still able to prevent her from lunging at your dog if she gets tense. For the potty training, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Not all dogs require remote collar training. You may find she does well enough with the structure and boundaries you provide without that. I only recommend using the e-collar to give consistency to previously taught commands, so it's as gentle, clear, and consistent as possible, not in place other other obedience practice. So either way you will be working on obedience commands first. If you do find it's needed to give the extra consistency and reliability you need, check out trainers like James Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training, and Thomas Davis from America's Canine Educator, on Youtube. I prefer the way they train with e-collar better than some methods, because they use a lot of foundational obedience work first, also use positive reinforcement, and use the lowest level stimulation the dog will respond to. Even without the use of e-collars you may find both trainers good resources for training her. They also do training not involving e-collars. As far as the neighbor's dog, when she goes into heat I would only allow her outside with your supervision and on leash. Don't leave her out there. You may have to coordinate with your neighbors when the dog's are let potty if they will work with you. See if there are specific hours, or thirty minute windows you can take her potty where they will guarantee he won't be out, like 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 10pm, since he is the one jumping the fence. Ideally the fence would either be reinforced, or an electric fence would be install two feet inside the neighbors' regular fence, to deter pup from attempting a jump or climb, so pup couldn't get out of the fence. Since that's their dog and property, they would need to be willing to do so though. https://easypetfence.com/products/6-cat-fence-post-with-extender-and-sleeve?currency=USD&variant=37536085322&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjw_JuGBhBkEiwA1xmbRWJ9lnSKmprMq7Sc6xSFebSvvZRVFsPuA3Cbu7_hvaxYO08QMx0KuhoCDCcQAvD_BwE https://www.wayfair.com/Amagabeli--3-ft.-H-x-50-ft.-W-Metal-Fence-Panel-JW009-L3361-K~AADA1014.html?refid=GX444197841525-AADA1014&device=c&ptid=954515584442&network=g&targetid=pla-954515584442&channel=GooglePLA&ireid=127342160&fdid=1817&gclid=CjwKCAjw_JuGBhBkEiwA1xmbRdwcr-HyLyg_hILIquBIEARyj-UUsGlJtLGCEUP96rJ7drswwGnUFRoCpg8QAvD_BwE For the chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ It sounds like she is in good hands. There may be a long training road ahead, but I want to encourage you that you sound experienced, willing to learn, and up to the challenge, so I wish you the absolute best in training her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Boomer
French Mastiff
6 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Boomer
French Mastiff
6 Months

Boomer will still go both poop and pee in the house. This isn't in one certain area either. I have set timers for every 20-30 minutes at a time. If he goes when I take him out I will set it for another 30 minutes. If he doesn't go I will set it for another 10. I have tried watching him more often than not, taken him out randomly. He gets a treat every time he does go potty outside. As he is going I repeat "good potty" when peeing, he gets the treat right then and after pooing. I pet his head and say good boy. I just don't know what else to do. He knows it is bad when he goes in the house because when I catch him I yell "bad potty" then take him to the door and say "potty outside and make him go out. He knows he did a bad thing because he will scower down or try to hide under the table. I'm at a loss and feel like he will never stop going in the house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, I highly recommend crate training pup and following the crate training method from the article I have linked below, strictly. That method will help him learn to hold it inside - via a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean, will help stop the accidents from happening at all - pup doesn't go potty outside, they go to the crate for one hour, before you try taking them outside again, and will help with extending the time pup practices holding it for - without going past what their body can do at this age. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You are already doing many of the right things, but some dogs are a bit harder to train than others and need something more structured. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Flea
pitbull mastiff mix
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Flea
pitbull mastiff mix
7 Weeks

Im really bad at potty training and would like to know the easiest method to potty training a pit mastiff puppy. also is it normal for him to have diahriaha since he is eating puppy food.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! What a cute puppy!! I am sending info on potty training. Also, to answer your question, loose stools are fairly normal at this age, but if it doesn't clear up in about 2 weeks, I would have a chat with your vet. It could be a number of things causing this... food allergies, intolerances, infection, or even worms. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior.

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Question
Stella
Dogue de Bordeaux
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Stella
Dogue de Bordeaux
11 Weeks

Stella only goes potty inside on puppy training pads

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! She is really cute! Here is some information that will help you with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior.

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Question
Bruno
Tibetian Mastiff
1 Month
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bruno
Tibetian Mastiff
1 Month

He tries to bite when ever i okay with him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kashif, Work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Use the "Yelp" method from the article linked below; however, At the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method in the article I have linked below. As soon as pup is good at the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the Ouch method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Know that it is completely normal and healthy for puppies to by mouthy at this age - it's how they learn many social things. Puppies naturally bite us like they would other puppies. They have to be gently taught how to be gentle with their mouths. This is partially developmental too. Don't expect instant results. Keep practicing though and you should see gradual progress. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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