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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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.
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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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Zorro
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
10 Months
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Question
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Zorro
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
10 Months

Nips and bites my hands and feet persistently after I come home from work or sitting quietly. Less so (or not at all) during the mornings or weekends.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
493 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zorro, First, teach pup the Leave It and Out and Place commands. Once he understands those commands well from practice, use those commands to tell him to stop biting (Leave It), go away from you if the temptation is too strong (Out), or go settle down somewhere (Place). Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - meaning leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ If pup disobeys your Out command, use the section in the Out article on "how to use Out to deal with pushy behavior" to enforce that command. If pup disobeys Leave It, use a Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized unscented air (don't use citronella) to spray a small puff of air at his side as a consequence, then make him leave the area where you are. If pup disobeys Place, keep a drag leash on him during that part of the day while you are home so you can calmly pick up the end of the leash and move him to Place, insisting he stay there. He will likely try harder to get you excited and flustered to get your attention when you first enforce the rules - stay firm, calm, and very consistent with the rules. After a lot of insisting, being firm, and being consistent every time the behavior normally improves. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Walter
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
3 Months
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Question
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Walter
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
3 Months

My puppy gets very aggressive when I go to put his harness or seat belt on him. He barks loudly and bites at my arm. How do I discourage this behavior? I've tried using treats to distract him, but it doesn't really help. He also has started biting a lot while we play. I can't tell if it's just normal puppy mouthing/nibbling or actual biting. Please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
493 Dog owners recommended

Hello Abby, It sounds like he is protesting the harness, which is different than puppy mouthing. If not addressed that can lead to future issues as an adult when someone goes to touch him. Find some of his favorite things like treats, food, or toys. Toss the toys onto the harness so that he ends up touching it a lot while you play. Feed him his kibble sprinkled around the harness and seat belt clip, so that he touches them a lot while eating. When he is fine touching them, then feed him his meals one piece at a time, holding a piece of food against the harness. As soon as he touches the harness, give him the piece of food. Feed him his entire meals this way. When he quickly goes to touch the harness to get the food, then hold the food through the head hole of the harness, so that he has to reach in to get it. Practice that until he is comfortable reaching into it. Don't rush this and scare him by trying to throw the harness on him when he gets close. As he improves, gradually hold the piece of food a bit further away through the harness hole so that he has to reach his head further into the harness to get the food. Practice this under he puts his head all the way into the harness himself each time. When he will do that, feed him several pieces of food in a row while you pretend to buckle the harness with your other hand. Practice gently moving the buckles around while feeding treats, then taking the harness head piece off again. Do this until he is fine with having you put the harness over his head and mess with the buckles. When he gets to that point, buckle the harness, unbuckle it, then take it off again, while feeding treats the entire time. Finally, put the harness on him, buckle it, and clip the seat belt clip onto it while feeding treats. The key is to ease into the harness and break it into small steps so that you do not overwhelming him. You want to practice each step until he is comfortable with that step before adding the next step. Expect this to take a couple of weeks of practicing this at most meals. After he is used to the harness and buckle, I suggest continuing to hand feed him his meals, one piece at a time as often as you can as rewards for letting you touch him. Gently touch an area of his body and give a treat. Touch an ear - give a treat. Touch his mouth - give a treat. Do this with every area until he is tolerant of being touched all over. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Wilson
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
4 Months
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Question
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Wilson
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
4 Months

Our little guy will not stop nipping and biting myself and my 19 year old daughter. He’s her pup. We have had him since he was eight weeks old and this is been a continual battle that we cannot find a fix for. We’ve tried time outs, distractions, yelping. Nothing works. He just nips more. Clothing, hands, arms, whatever he can latch onto. And he’s super fast about it. He doesn’t bite my 26-year-old son nor my husband and will actually be submissive (lays ears back and licks) and listens to both of them if they tell them to stop behaviors. When my daughter and I try to tell him to stop doing something or distract him from biting us he escalates his behavior. He’s ripping my skin open with no end in sight and I’m completely frustrated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
493 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elaina, Check out the article linked below and follow the "Leave It" method to teach self-control. Once he knows that method (which will take a couple of weeks of frequent practice for him to likely begin fully understanding), then use the pressure method from the same article as disciple when you tell him to "Leave It" and he doesn't stop the biting. Teaching leave it has to come first for the pressure method to be as effective. Leave it and Pressure methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, teach Out by following the How to Teach the Out Command section of the article I have linked below. Once pup knows what Out means (it means leave the area), then follow the How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior of the article to enforce your Out Command when he isn't listening. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If things aren't beginning to improve over the next month, I suggest finding a well recommended balanced trainer who specializes in behavior issues and also has a lot of experience with puppies, to help you in person. Enrolling puppy in a puppy play group (some pet stores offer free ones) or puppy kindergarten class that has time for off-leash puppy play can also help pup learn how to use his mouth more gently - called bite inhibition and normally learned through play with other puppies. Finally, I suggest crate training. When pup gets really wild he is likely over tired and needs some calm time. Give him a dog-food stuffed hollow durable chew toy in a crate and let him rest for an hour - puppies tend to throw their own version of tantrums when overtired. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hi there, I have an 11 week old Corgi puppy that I have had for 2 weeks. I have heard nothing but great things about Corgis so I thought a Corgi is the best choice for me. He doesn't respond to any yelps or time outs, replacements, nothing when he bites. And let me tell you, I have met a lot of puppies in my life and never have I heard of one so unteachable as my Corgi. He will play with a toy for about 5 minutes then it's flesh he wants to bite! He goes for hands, arms, legs, feet anything! I will redirect him to the you or use a different one but he bites even harder onto my skin and starts growling and has no interest in letting go. I believe he is showing signs of aggression, what do you think?

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Question
Watts
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Watts
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Months

Bites when does not get his way. Draws blood. Tried all methods used with our other dogs. This one we love. He is our sons and we have him due to move.his friend watched him a month. All training out window

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
493 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vickie, At eight months of age you will want to deal with the mouthing differently than you would with a young puppy. First, work on teaching your dog a solid "Leave It" command following the "Leave It" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Once your dog is able to obey the leave it command during training sessions, then when your dog tries to mouth you in real life tell him "Leave It" and correct him if he disobeys. Check out this video link below. At 3:33 time on the video, the trainer mentions an older dog mouthing and correcting the dog. You will also see below that video the link to his YouTube channel where you can find specific videos on different ways and tools to correct with to learn how to correctly correct a dog effectively and safely. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRJJvy3IkIE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Duke
Corgi
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Duke
Corgi
10 Months

We rescued him about 2 months ago. We were told he had a slight nipping problem but it was playful. Well it has become more aggressive but anything you do, he thinks of it as a game. The problem is that we are expecting, and I worry for our baby that he may play and nip... but that our baby's skin is alot more sensitive than ours. We do have toys, and we play with him. We don't know what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
493 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chelsy, I suggest teaching pup a few commands to directly help with the biting, and a few other commands to help build pups inpulse control, calmness, and obedience before baby comes. Start with the Leave It command from the article I have linked below and the video below that. Leave it: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Check out the video linked below. https://youtu.be/EcwvUOf5oOg I also suggest practicing additional commands that work on impulse control, calmness, and building respect. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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