How to Train a Great Pyrenees Puppy to Not Bite

Medium
1-5 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Great Pyrenees puppies are incredibly cute and fluffy, and they love to play. When that play and roughhousing turns into biting, it can be hard to discipline them. If your puppy has started to develop a habit of biting during play or for attention, it's important to put a stop to it as soon as possible. Teaching your Great Pyrenees puppy to not bite is easy with some patience and consistency. 

When she was with her mom and littermates, they all taught her what was acceptable. If she played too hard with her brothers and sisters, they would yelp and stop playing with her. If she bit her mom for attention, her mom would push her away and pay attention to another puppy. Now that you're the leader, it's your job to show her that biting is not very fun and doesn't get her what she wants.

Defining Tasks

Training your Great Pyrenees puppy not to bite may look a little different than with other dogs. This breed is known for being smart, stubborn, and on their own schedules sometimes. Patience and firmness will be your biggest allies. When you give her a command, she may take 10 or 20 seconds to perform the activity, so make sure you wait it out and refocus her if she gets distracted.

When you're training your Great Pyrenees to not bite, you need to be firm and you need to show her that biting means the fun ends and she doesn't get attention. Never yell, scream at, or hit your puppy for biting. Though she will grow into a big dog, she'll always be sensitive and yelling at her could harm your relationship. The best thing you can do is spend time with her, be consistent with training, and strengthen your bond.

Getting Started

Training your Great Pyrenees puppy to not bite needs to start immediately, Take note of the times she does it--during play, trying to get attention, meal times, etc.--and be ready to prevent it. In addition, you can gather these items to help your training.

  • A favorite toy
  • Dog-safe bitter spray
  • Special treats
  • Lots of patience

With practice and patience, you will soon break her of the biting habit and you can get back to having fun together. Below are three methods you can try. Read through them and pick the best one for you and your puppy.

The Favorite Toy Method

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Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Find her favorite toy
Pick up a toy your puppy really likes and keep it with you.
Step
2
Start to play
Start to play and roughhouse with her, until right before she starts to bite
Step
3
Give her the toy
The minute she moves from wrestling to biting, say "no" and then give her the toy instead.
Step
4
Practice
Continue to practice with her favorite toy. If she continues to try and bite instead of taking the toy, you can end play time and try again later.
Step
5
Toys are more fun than biting
Eventually she should learn that toys are more fun than biting people and she'll keep her teeth to herself.
Recommend training method?

The Ignore Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Observe her behavior
Spend some time observing her behavior, taking note of when she starts to bite.
Step
2
Say "no"
Be aware of when she starts to bite you and tell her a firm "no." There is no need to shout.
Step
3
Turn your back
Turn your back with your hands folded over your chest so she can't reach them. Don't give her any attention until she settles down.
Step
4
Give her attention
When she settles and stops trying to get your attention, give her attention and positive praise for not biting.
Step
5
Repeat
When she bites again, immediately stop what you are doing and ignore her.
Step
6
Good behavior is more fun
Soon she'll realize that respectful behavior gets her the attention and fun she's looking for, and biting is no fun at all.
Recommend training method?

The Bad Taste Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Learn when she bites
Watch her for a few days and take note of when she starts to bite.
Step
2
Purchase dog-safe bitter spray
You can find bitter tasting dog spray in many pet stores. This is a deterrent for chewing furniture, but you're going to use it to stop her from chewing you.
Step
3
Spray on your hands
When you are going to play with her or engage in another activity where she is likely to bite, spray your hands with the bitter tasting spray.
Step
4
Say "no"
When she bites you, say a firm "no."
Step
5
Go back to playing
The bitter taste of your hand and the firm no might have her reeling, so be sure to go back to playing. It won't take too many bites before she learns that nibbling on you is not fun.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Katie Smith

Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Guardian
Great Pyrenees
2 Months
0 found helpful
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Guardian
Great Pyrenees
2 Months

Dog wants to chase my cats. How do I stop this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anngie, Check out the videos linked below for teaching calmness around cats. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the kitty in the same room. I recommend also back tying pup while they are on place - safely connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. Make sure what the leash is secured to, the leash itself, and pup's collar or harness are secure and not likely to break or slip off. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. You want pup to learn to stay due to obedience and self-control, and the leash just be back up for safety. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control themselves. 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/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bubba
Great Pyrenees
12 Weeks
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Question
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Bubba
Great Pyrenees
12 Weeks

Bubba is quite affectionate but he loves to play and often gets carried away and starts nipping or biting our hands legs or my husbands personal parts in his neither regions while he is walking. We understand that he is playing or teething but no matter how we try to correct him he is stubborn and thinks it is just part of the game. He also likes not get between our legs when we are walking and walk with us. When we stop he stops and stays there until we start walking again and he starts walking in the same place but he does step back every now and then to nip us in the butt. It is such strange behavior. What can we do to correct this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gerry, It sounds like pup needs to learn Leave It and Out. Pup might also benefit from being given something to hold in his mouth more often at this age during times of high excitement, including walks. Some puppies need somewhere to redirect their mouths, even though pup also needs to be taught not to bite even when there isn't something to grab. My own retriever at eight years of age goes to grab a toy whenever someone visits our home because that's her way of minding her manners and not mouthing when excited, which is something she taught herself as a puppy when the urge to bite was strong when excited. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - give space: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Turns method for heeling - to teach pup where to walk. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Polly
Great Pyrenees
5 Months
0 found helpful
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Polly
Great Pyrenees
5 Months

Biting and jumping up on people and biting

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dale, 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. For the jumping, Out and Leave It can help, but I would also practice the Step Toward method and the Leash method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mosey
Great Pyrenees
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Mosey
Great Pyrenees
4 Months

I’m older and at 4 months she is very strong. She is in a martingale collar and has a very strong pull. What I read doesn’t recommend harnesses or pinch collar to GPS. I’m looking for calm control without it being heavy handed.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melissa, I would spend a lot of time working on teaching pup to pay attention to you, so that ultimately pup has an off-leash heel (even though pup will be on leash). It you have a fenced in yard, I would start this with a loose leash in the fenced area and work up to the more distracting areas gradually. Check out the Turns method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For longer walks I would consider a gentle leader to keep you safe. Ultimately you want to work up to not needing any tools other than the martingale, but when you are walking pup before pup is fully trained, the gentle leader can be used. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ozzy
1/2 great pyr 1/4 anaotolian shep 1/4 german shep
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Ozzy
1/2 great pyr 1/4 anaotolian shep 1/4 german shep
9 Months

My dog is very rough and jumps on my family and I constantly. He is very stubborn and doesn't listen. He also barks constantly. He stays outside at night, and he barks constantly and it gets very annoying and frustrating. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1123 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madilyn, First, know that both Anatolian and Great Pyrenees are great to be livestock guarding dogs, who mainly guard the sheep from other predators at night. One of the ways they do that is by barking when there are predators nearby. Unless pup is guarding other animals on a farm outside at night, I recommend crate training pup and having them sleep in a crate inside at night to stop the barking. If pup isn't crate trained, I recommend doing the following to teach pup to quietly sleep in a crate. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. A night you will crate pup and correct whenever pup cries if he doesn't stop when you say Quiet calmly. Don't give treats at night though, practice during the day ahead of time with the treats to teach pup how to be quiet without keeping him up at night with the treats, so you can simply tell pup Quiet and correct at night as needed then. For the jumping and excitability, I recommend teaching these commands and using these methods to address that and help pup build self-control and his ability to calm himself. Also, be sure that pup is receiving not only physical exercise but also mental stimulation and social interaction during the day. . 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 Leash and Step Toward methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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