How to Train a Corgi Puppy to Not Bite

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You love playing with your Corgi puppy. You let him nibble on your fingers as you scratch his ears. You encourage him to pounce on you hands during play time. Then one day, "ouch!" He bites down on your hand and this time, it hurts! Your puppy looks at you, confused, wondering why you stopped the fun game all of the sudden. As far as they know, this is what playtime should be like.

Defining Tasks

Nibbling and mouthing are normal behaviors for all puppies, especially for a herding animal like Corgis. However, as your Corgi puppy's adult teeth begin to grow in, a nip stops being so cute. It is important to train your Corgi puppy not to bite at an early age to prevent issues as they grow. You can't expect your pup to understand overnight that he shouldn't bite. After all,  biting things is the way puppies naturally understand their world and play fighting is the way they learn to become grown-up dogs. But, with consistent training, you can help your puppy distinguish between what they are and aren't allowed to bite.

Getting Started

Set aside time each day to train your Corgi puppy not to bite. You can use training treats to reward the behaviors you like, but do not use physical punishment to reprimand the behaviors you don't. Punishing your puppy physically will only teach him to be more aggressive. Instead, invest in a variety of toys that your puppy can bite instead, such as tug toys. If biting is very bad, you can try putting a product like Bitter Apple or Vick's VapoRub on your hands during training sessions.

The Yelping Method

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Start playing with your Corgi
Use a toy, not your hands, to encourage your puppy to start playing with you. Allow him to nibble on your fingers as you play.
Step
2
React when the bite is uncomfortable
As soon as your Corgi puppy bites down on your hand to the point where it causes discomfort, yelp loudly. A high-pitched noise is good because it mimics the sounds your pup's brothers and sisters would make during play fighting.
Step
3
Let your hand go limp
Don't try to pull your hand out of your puppy's mouth as this action will only encourage him to chase it down. Instead, let your hand go still or limp, so it is no longer fun to play with. Your puppy should let go when you yelp or once your hand is "boring."
Step
4
Reward him for letting go
When your puppy lets go of your hand, or even better, licks you as an apology, give him a treat. With puppies, you always want to reward good behaviors rather than punish bad ones.
Step
5
Start from the beginning
It will take several training sessions for your Corgi to realize what you are trying to teach him. Repeat this process three or four times during a session. Practicing every day will help your puppy understand that biting is not okay.
Recommend training method?

The Time Out Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Play with your pup
Start a game with your puppy using a toy and let him nibble or bite your fingers. Don't react until your puppy bites too hard.
Step
2
Yelp and walk away
When your Corgi puppy gets too excited and really bites down on your hand, say "ouch" or yelp and then walk away. If your puppy follows you and tries to keep biting your ankles, leave him alone in a puppy-proofed room.
Step
3
Put your puppy in time out
Don't start playing with your puppy again for at least 20 to 30 seconds. You want to teach him that biting ends the fun. His desire to keep playing will drive him to learn the rules to the game.
Step
4
Calmly return to the game and repeat
Without making a big fuss, start what you were doing again. Encourage your Corgi puppy to return to the game. When your puppy bites too hard, repeat the time-out process again.
Step
5
Add rules as needed
Once your puppy gets the hang of being gentle during play time, you can keep using this technique to stop him from even nibbling on you. Yelping and putting your puppy in time out any time his teeth touch your skin can encourage him to only bite his toys rather than you.
Recommend training method?

The Replacement Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Choose a toy you know your puppy loves
Start carrying around your puppy's favorite toy, or if not possible, have a sense of where it is in the house most of the time. For this method, you will need to be able to quickly offer an alternative to your pup's biting habits.
Step
2
Give your puppy something to bite
Some Corgis are more likely to nip at your heels than your fingers. Figure out what actions encourage your puppy to nip or bite and then create a controlled situation using those actions.
Step
3
Freeze!
As soon as your puppy starts to nip at your hands or feet, stop moving. In general, puppies grab at things that look like something worth chasing. This can be a pant leg or your fingers. By stopping the movement, the allure of whatever your puppy is chasing wears off.
Step
4
Offer an enticing replacement
Wave your puppy's favorite toy to encourage him to let go of whatever part of you he is biting. If you don't have the toy on you, just stay still until your puppy lets go on his own.
Step
5
Reward him for good behavior
If you were carrying the toy, let your puppy have it. If you weren't, go get it quickly and give it to him. You may also want to give him a treat when he lets go of you quickly. However, be careful with your rewards. Dogs, and puppies especially, don't have long memories. The reward should come as close to the action you want to encourage as possible so your Corgi puppy understands what behavior you want to see more of.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Christina Gunning

Published: 03/12/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Hobbes
Corgi
4 Months
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Question
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Hobbes
Corgi
4 Months

My corgi puppy wont stop biting. I've tried all the methods and nothing seems to be helping.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kellie, I would work on the Leave It method from the article I have linked below, as well as Out. Once pup has learned what Out means, then also practice the section on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If pup isn't already crate trained, I would crate train and teach Place as well, then give pup breaks in either of those locations with a dog food stuffed chew toy to keep them entertained, when they are having an especially hard time stopping the biting. Some puppies get worse when tired and need a "nap" time to help them calm back down. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Crate Introduction - the Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Toffee
Corgi
3 Weeks
0 found helpful
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Toffee
Corgi
3 Weeks

Toffee bites us when we grab her at the back or when we touch her occasionally. She also behaves differently in front of newcomers. for example, she potties in the right place when our friends come over to our place.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello, If you are using any methods that involve physical roughness with your hands, then I would switch to a different method. Also, 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. At three weeks old most puppies would still be with their littermates for another five weeks and would be learning how to control their mouths through play with others. It will take pup several weeks to learn how to be able to control her mouth, so know that it's normal and try to be patient while also working on the training. 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 she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make her leave the area as a consequence. 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 Out 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 playing (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 Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use. 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 as soon as pup is old enough to enroll later. 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. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. 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, she 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 her calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. 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. I don't know your situation and whether pup was abandoned by mom/bottle raised by you or another, or the breeder sold her to you that young. Depending on your situation I would also be working very closely with your vet to ensure pup's needs at this age are being met. Three weeks is generally still nursing age and a puppy will have to eat more often and won't be on solid food yet. Pup could need puppy milk replacement formula mixed with her food, called gruel, for a while, or be fed additional times throughout the day or night. I am not a vet, so I recommend speaking with your vet if you haven't done so already, or pup isn't being bottle fed by you already. If you did get pup from a breeder that let her go that early, know that most puppies aren't ready to leave their littermates and mom until 7-12 weeks, so most things you read about puppy training online will be for puppies that age and beyond. Puppies your pup's age will need additional care and patience. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Winston
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Winston
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
12 Weeks

Biting and nipping

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Darla, The biting is probably mostly normal puppy mouthing, but due to pup's breed, you may also have some herding behavior happening when pup nips while people are moving. I recommend working on the Leave It method and the Out command with pup to help pup learn self-control. I would also give pup a mental outlet for the herding through things like regular training practice, fetch, teaching pup jobs they can do, or toys like durable puzzle toys, dog food stuffed chew toys. While pup is learning Leave It and Out - which will take practice, you can immediately use the Bite Inhibition method, which will likely help somewhat until Leave It and Out can address the behavior a bit better in most cases. Bite - Leave It and Bite Inhibition methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If pup isn't already crate trained, I would also crate train pup, and when they are overly wound up they actually probably need a rest time with a dog food stuffed chew toy. Puppies can get kind of crazy when actually over-tired. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Free PDF E-book download, After You Get Your Puppy can also be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Corey
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Corey
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
4 Months

I need to know how to potty train him, and how to get him to stop nipping at my ankles and clothing.

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

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help 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. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies 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.

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Question
Scooby
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Scooby
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Weeks

He is very sassy. When I tell him no he barks back. He nibbles at my hands and ankles. He will have spurts of “crazy” moments where he jumps, barks, and bites. Please help!

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

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies 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.

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