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Your cute little Great Dane puppy is going to be a really large goofy Great Dane dog very soon. Teaching him not to bite now will set him up for good behavior in the years to come when he is a large dog. Great Danes can be intimidating to a lot of people, but they are incredible dogs. Your Great Dane is kind, gentle, sweet, and incredibly strong. Teach him now not to bite so he knows what is expected of him around friends and family when he becomes a giant dog.
Your Great Dane will protect your family in your home. It's built into his nature. He is a powerful, courageous dog. But he is also easy to train, loves to meet new people, will spend his time trying to please you, and he is incredibly patient. He will need to know, however, biting is not okay.
Training your Great Dane puppy not to bite will start with teaching him your expectations of being gentle. There will be appropriate times for your puppy to bite or chew. He needs to understand the difference between biting a person and chewing on a toy to ease any pressure on his teeth or to naturally release energy through puppy playtime.
When puppies play together, they typically end up biting one another. This is completely natural for them in group play together. You will need to show your Great Dane puppy alternatives to biting during playtime and how he should be spending his time playing with you and other family members or friends. Doing this kind of training will take some repetition, some toys he is allowed to chew on, and beginning basic obedience training so you can set the role of leader of his pack. Redirecting your Great Dane when he's biting will be key in reminding him of positive behaviors when he is making poor choices and biting.
Plan on having treats readily available to give to your puppy as you are training him when it's appropriate to bite and when it is not. Your puppy will need lots of chew toys, ropes, or tendons. Items he can tear into as he grows such as towels or blankets you can play tug-of-war with will help release this natural urge to chew and bite. Schedule some training sessions with your Great Dane pup and set him up to bite so you can redirect him and give him alternative behaviors.
The Sharp Cry Method
If your Great Dane puppy is biting you during playtime or even as you walk past him, try to play with him as his littermates did when he was with them. Spend a few minutes playing with a rope or other toy he loves.
When your puppy bites you, make a sharp cry or yelp as another puppy would when bitten. Your pup is used to this sound as a warning that playtime has gone too far.
When you yelp, your pup may stop playing and look at you for a moment. When he does, say a command you’d expect him to learn such as the word "gentle". Telling your Great Dane to be gentle is something you can tell him even when he’s bigger and is eating from your hands or playing with children or other dogs.
Keep it up
Keep challenging your pup to be gentle while playing. Each time he nips at you, even if it doesn’t hurt or is a gentle nip, yelp and give a sharp puppy-like cry to get his attention.
Eventually, you’ll want to start with positive behavior rewards. When you are playing together and you do not have to let him know he’s hurting you, give him a treat every now and again. When you have to tell him he’s biting, he does not earn a treat.
The Leader of the Pack Method
Start setting your place at the leader of the pack so your puppy listens well to you. Start by rewarding positive behaviors any time you see him doing something that shows a well-behaved pup and good choices.
To start with simple rewards, say your Great Dane’s name and any time he looks at you or acknowledges you when you speak, give him a treat.
Start training your pup some basic obedience commands. Start with 'sit' and then build his foundation of training with other simple commands like ‘down’ or ‘stay.’ Be sure to give him lots of rewards each time he is successful and follows through with the trick.
When you play with your Great Dane puppy, take the toy from him every so often and get his attention. When he gives you his attention, give him a treat. Be sure each time you play, you are teaching him to listen to you, as you are the leader of his pack.
House train your Great Dane as soon as you bring him home. It might take him a few weeks to catch on, but if you are the one showing your expectations and rewarding him, he will see you as his master.
Set the tone
When your puppy bites, be sure you are firm in telling him ‘no bite’ and ‘be gentle.’ Always reward him when he does well and redirect him when he needs to be redirected because of poor behaviors.
Spend lots of time training your Great Dane pup. He’s going to be a massive dog but with you as his master, he will obey and be a great friend to have. Practice letting him know his place in your pack and teach him not bite when playing or otherwise through various training methods and positive reinforcement.
The Distract Method
Engage with your Great Dane puppy, getting him to play. The more you play, the more likely he will nip and bite at you. He only means to do it playfully, but you know it hurts, so you need to give him something else to do instead.
Anytime your fingers are in his path while playing, distract him with a toy. Putting something like a toy rope that he is allowed to chew on in his mouth will give him something to do.
When your little guy bites, make a loud noise to distract him from you. You can yelp to get his attention or you can shake your keys or a jar of coins to get his attention. Make the noise loud.
Say his name
Stop while you are playing with your pup and say his name. Do this while he’s not biting to get his attention often. When he bites, say his name again, only louder and more firm.
If your little guy is biting you when you are together, get up and leave. It’s tough to sit with him and ignore him, but you can walk away, leaving him wondering why he no longer gets to play with you.
Any time you see your puppy biting someone, distract him with a loud noise, not letting him play with you, or by giving him something safe to chew on.
When you catch your pup playing nicely and not getting out of hand biting, reward him with more play time and some tasty treats. With time, rewarding him for positive behaviors will teach him your expectations and what he gets for meeting them.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
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