How to Train a Chow Chow Puppy to Not Bite

How to Train a Chow Chow Puppy to Not Bite
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-12 Months
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

The Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds known to man. They originated in China as a multi-purpose dog, useful in war, hunting, and at home. With their incredibly fluffy smooth or rough coats, thicker around the ruff to intensify their lion-like appearance, their blue tongue, and wrinkled face, the Chow Chow is one of the most distinctive looking of dogs. They are simultaneously cuddly and intimidating. Chows are reputed to be fiercely loyal and protective of their families, and so it is very important to carefully socialize and train your Chow to be polite with visitors. While all puppies are prone to being mouthy and it is important for all breeds to be taught mouth manners, this is exceptionally important for breeds like the Chow.

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Defining Tasks

Puppies, like human babies, explore the world with their mouths, and your Chow pup is no exception. Growing puppies also learn social rules and manners, and controlling their mouths is one of the most important of those rules. Your Chow puppy was taught about bite pressure from her mother and siblings, but she will need to learn an entirely new set of rules now that she is living in a human family. Even if you and your family are amused by your adorable Chow Chow pup's rambunctious play, you will be less happy when your Chow is big and her bites start to hurt. Teach bite inhibition and control now to prevent problems later on.

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Getting Started

While your puppy isn't biting you just because she has nothing else to chew on, having plenty of other things to chew on will help her redirect her desire to chew on you. Make sure you have plenty of good chew toys, balls, and tug toys for her to sink her teeth into. Puppies seek out diverse materials, textures, and sizes, so make sure you provide a variety for your Chow. 

Food is the great motivator when it comes to training puppies,  and even if your Chow Chow really wants to nibble on you, she will find restraint when presented with actual yummy food. Make sure you have plenty of good treats available, but be careful that you balance nutrients for your puppy's rapidly growing body.

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The Bite the Right Thing Method

Most Recommended

2 Votes

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Most Recommended

2 Votes

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1

Driven to bite

Chows are an ancient breed, largely used for protection, and some have a powerful bite and protection drive. If your puppy needs an outlet for her bite drive that isn't you, try bitework.

2

Bite the sleeve

Teach your Chow Chow to bite a bite sleeve by shaking it and making it enticing to her. Teach her now when a misstep won't matter as much that she is to bite the sleeve and not any other part of your body.

3

Earn the sleeve

When your Chow Chow bites the sleeve, let her have it for a time to reward her.

4

Name the bite

As your Chow Chow develops focus, give a command for the bite. Make sure it is nothing you would accidentally say. Train until your Chow is waiting patiently for the command to be said.

5

Control the bite

Practice having your Chow bite or not bite brave friends wearing the sleeve. With practice you will have control over when your Chow bites and when she doesn't.

The Ouch! That Hurts Method

Effective

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Effective

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1

Hands are fun

Play with your Chow puppy with your hands, allowing her to put them in her mouth but being careful not to pull back quickly and trigger her to hold on.

2

Ouch, too much!

As soon as your puppy nips too hard and causes you any discomfort, dramatically overplay how much it hurts, yelling "ow!", letting your hand go limp, and pulling back from play.

3

Time out

Remove yourself from play, closing a door between you and your puppy if necessary, for only twenty to thirty seconds.

4

Go back to play

Go back to playing with your Chow Chow with your hands. As soon as you are uncomfortable, go through the 'ouch' and time out routine again.

5

Puppy instigates play

Keep playing, allowing your puppy to draw you into play. If she presentes you with a toy, reward her and play with that. If she wants to play with your hands, be strict. She will soon likely choose to use toys.

The No Teeth on Flesh Method

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1

Constant toys

Always have diverse chew and tug toys available, preferably having one on your person or within reach at all times when you are with your Chow.

2

Play often

Instigate play with your Chow Chow often, inviting her to play tug or chase with toys.

3

React dramatically

If your puppy ever puts teeth on you, either accidentally or on purpose in the midst of play, yell "ouch!", go limp, and remove yourself from play for several seconds.

4

Offer a toy

Go back to your Chow, offering a toy playfully. Continue playing as long as she doesn't put teeth on you.

5

Test your Chow Chow

Test your Chow's understanding and comitment to not putting teeth on you by presenting your hands while playing tug, so that she has to be careful to grasp the toy instead of you.

By Coral Drake

Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Jesse

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Chow Chow

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2 Months

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Keeps trying to bite my leg

Nov. 21, 2021

Jesse's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies or older dogs may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Nov. 22, 2021

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Loki

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Chow Chow

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3 Months

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My puppy sits gives a paw stays lies down but he bites mostly our legs its really sore and hes drawing blood and we cant seem to stop him

Sept. 23, 2021

Loki's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jacqueline, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as 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 Bite Inhibition 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 I would also work on teaching the Out command, and then use the section from the article on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness, to enforce it when pup doesn't listen, especially around other animals or kids. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ 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. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Sept. 24, 2021


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