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

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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.
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The Time Out Method

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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.
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The Replacement Method

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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.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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