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

Effective
0 Votes
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

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

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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Luna
Great Pyrenees
13 Weeks
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Question
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Luna
Great Pyrenees
13 Weeks

She has a biting problem. She bites when playing. She bites my grandchildren when they are around her just playing I'm sure and she bites my dachsund which is driving my other dog crazy. I've tried everything from telling her no bite to squeezing her lips to her own teeth as to biting herself. Nothing works so HELP ! What should I do to stop her from biting ? Thank you !!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lori, Check out the link to the article that I am including bellow. I recommend using both the "Leave It" method and the "Ouch!" method together from that article to address Luna's biting. The article is written for Australian Shepherd puppies but should work just as well for Great Pyrenees puppies too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-an-australian-shepherd-puppy-not-bite It is extremely normal for a three month old puppy to mouth things. It is part of the teething process, one way that they learn about the world, and one way that they communicate. Because she lives with people she needs to learn not to bite, but if you consistently use both the "Leave It" method and the "Ouch!" method, then the mouthing will usually improve with age also. Set up a calm area for her with chew toys stuffed with dog food in either an exercise pen, crate, or gated off. Whenever she gets too excited to calm back down let her have some time in that calm location to calm down while chewing on her own toys before you bring her back into the family's activities. You might also want to consider hiring a professional trainer to help you teach her better all around self-control and respect and social skills at this age, or join a puppy class that includes puppy topics such as mouthing and teaching self-control to the puppies. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Betty
Great Pyrenees
3 Months
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Betty
Great Pyrenees
3 Months

She always bites my daughter because she is the smallest, so how do I get her to stop?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shannon, Check out the article that I have linked below and work on teaching Betty the "Leave It" command from the "Leave It" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, when she gets too excited and mouthy around your daughter, get between your daughter and her, tell her to "Out", point to where you want her to go to, and firmly walk toward her (don't be afraid to bump into her a little if she doesn't move) - until she backs a few feet away from your daughter. Stand between your daughter and her until he stops trying to get around you and go back to your daughter. When she gives up, praise her, and walk a few feet away. If she tries to go back to your daughter to mouth her, repeat the "Out" command, point to where she should go, and walking toward her. Repeat this every time she tries to return until she stops trying to bother your daughter. When it is okay for her to go back over to your daughter, tell her "Okay!" and encourage her to go back while she is being calm. If she leaves when you tell her "Out" without you having to walk her out of the area or repeat the command, then you can also give her a treat or favorite chew toy when she is away from your daughter, as a reward for her obedience. By using the "Out" command and your body language walking toward her, you are telling her that your daughter is yours and she needs to respect her space. Her respect for your daughter is then an extension of her respect for you and not as dependent on your daughter being able to gain her respect on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ravt
Great Pyrenees
11 Weeks
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Ravt
Great Pyrenees
11 Weeks

Ravioli gets in these moods where he likes follow us through the house biting our legs and ankles. We have tried all methods and can’t get him to stop. No matter what we do, he thinks we are playing. If I stop walking and ignore him he, will just bite my legs. And draw blood! Please help. He is very smart, potty training was easy. Sit, down, stay, no problem. Help. Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Bite Inhibition" method, while also working on teaching him the "Leave It" command. Once he knows the Leave It command and you have practiced with clothing articles, you can start using Leave It, and if he disobeys, you can use the "Pressure" method to enforce your Leave It command. The order of what you teach first, second and third is import because if you go straight to the Pressure method without helping him understand self-control and what Leave It means, he will probably think you are wrestling when you discipline, and will fight back instead of listen. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When he gets in the feisty moods, have a crate or an exercise pen with a couple of wonderful chew toys inside, like dog food stuffed Kong's. Put him in the crate or exercise pen with the durable chew toys to calm down when he is overly excited. At this age puppies typically bite like that because they are overtired and need time to rest (sort of like a toddler getting wound up if you keep them up too late), or because they are trying to get your attention (so you want to end the game and remove attention by giving them something calm to do instead). Young puppies need calm times to do something relaxing like chew. This will take time and that is normal, but if you are consistent about the training and rules he should gradually improve as he matures and stops teething. Also, make sure that you are mentally stimulating him during other times of the day by teaching him new things or giving him toys that challenge him, like food stuffed Kong's, puzzle toys, or Kong wobble toys. Training sessions that challenge your pup a bit mentally and physically are great for puppies. Expect a puppy to only be able to focus for 10-30 minutes at a time (depending on the puppy), so shorter and more frequent sessions are best, or sessions fit into your daily routine as you go along. Best of luck, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ravioli
Great Pyrenees
4 Months
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Ravioli
Great Pyrenees
4 Months

I’ve tried ALL these methods. Ravioli then bites my legs, ankels pants, anything he can get his mouth on. I give him his toys and he still would rather chew me. His tail wagging the whole time. So I put him in his crate. After he calms down a will let him out. But he still does not get it. This dog seems to just love to use me as s chew toy and I’m feeling very defeated. I’m starting to use a loud firm no, and that still does t discourage him from biting . I tried a can with change in it to shake at him, but his tail still wags and he thinks I’m playing. . Help. Thank you in advance.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, Check out the "Leave It" method from the article that I have linked below. It sounds like he does think you are playing, teaching "Leave It" will help him understand what to do instead. AFTER he has learned what the Leave It command means, you can use the Pressure method from the article linked below to gently discipline him for disobeying your leave it command. You need to teach a good Leave It first though or else when you use the Pressure method he will just think that you are wrestling instead or understanding it as a consequence. Expect the training to take several weeks. Puppies learn control of their mouths gradually as they practice control with you over time. Very few puppies can control their mouths right away. As long as you are seeing gradual progress that is a good sign, so keep at it and be consistent. The "Leave It" method and then "Pressure" method of he disobeys: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Ugh I have the same problem with my puppy. Almost to the point of regretting getting her. I have never had this much trouble with a puppy before.

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Question
Cal
Great Pyrenees
6 Months
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Cal
Great Pyrenees
6 Months

Help! My pup Cal just bit my boyfriend and he has never bitten anyone before. He is six month old now. I’m at a lost for what I need to do now. My boyfriend says they were play fighting and all of a sudden Cal bit him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chanel, First of all it sounds like the bite wasn't all of the sudden, since it happened during roughhousing it was likely related to arousal, fear, or defense drive. When a dog gets really aroused, as the arousal escalates, things like adrenaline can increase too and if a dog doesn't know how to disengage or isn't allowed to take a break when they indicate they need one, then play can turn into fighting. This often happens at dog parks - play gets rougher and rougher, adrenaline and arousal goes up, then play turns into fighting. It also could have been a fear bite. Your pup may have been giving signals that he wanted to stop or get away and your boyfriend kept playing roughly and he bite in an attempt to stop your boyfriend. Finally, some dogs have a strong defense drive - when you apply pressure - such as tackling them, instead of the dog giving into the pressure and submitting or enjoying the game, the dog feels frustrated and pushes back - i.e. fights back. This is the drive encouraged in police dog and protection dog training. When an attacker threatens the dog, instead of the dog cowering, darting in and out aggressively, running away, or become illogical, the dog gives pressure back by rushing the attacker and holding them in place with a controlled bite. Defense drive is more complicated than just that, but it's genetic and if your dog has a strong defense drive he simply can't handle being tackled to the ground, but he shouldn't show signs of aggression when not being "attacked" if he is balanced. Maybe have your boyfriend read this and see if he can pinpoint what he thinks may have been going on. If it's fear, then I suggest working on handling exercises to help with the fearfulness - use meal kibble, one piece at a time at, daily for a while to reward him every time you and your boyfriend touch him. Feed him most of his meals this way when you can for a while. For example, touch his paw - give a treat. Touch his mouth - give a treat. Hold his collar - give a treat. gently wiggle his tail while giving a treat. Practice just touches first and pay attention to pup's body language - is he relaxed? When he is enjoying all of the touch and completely relaxed, then you can move onto more physical contact too, like gentle restraint, pets, very carefully opening mouth - always rewarding him for tolerance and not overwhelming him, to help desensitizing him to touch. Because of the bite, you may want to have a trainer help you with this until he is more accepting of touch. If it was related to arousal, then you need to be aware that he may lack a bit of impulse control. I would work on things to increase impulse control. Such as getting him a bit excited, then freezing and giving a command, then waiting until he obeys. Once he obeys and is calm, reward him, then tell him "Okay" and resume the game - this is a bit like red light, green light. The more you practice this, the quicker he should get at calming down and obeying the command so he can get his treat and resume playing. Also, work on commands that build impulse control like Place, crate manners and a structured heel. Be aware that he probably is a dog who shouldn't rough house and dog parks are probably not a good idea, but impulse control does still need to be built because he will need that for other situations too. 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/ Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo If the issue is defense drive, then that is genetic. You will need to work on a higher level of obedience and structure with him while he is still young so that he will listen well when older if he turns out to be protective or territorial as an adult - which is related to defense drive but not guaranteed to happen. Also, he needs to be trained with methods that avoid too much physical pressure - no alphas rolls! And he is a dog who shouldn't wrestle with you - play fetch, hide and seek come, agility, search games, and other less physical games instead. Defense drive isn't necessarily a bad thing, but dogs with strong defense drives just needs to be handled and trained a certain way to keep things in check. When in doubt its also always best to hire a trainer to help with aggression too. Not all trainers handle aggression, so look for someone who has a lot of experience with it, good reviews and a great track record of working with aggressive dogs. How severe the bite was is also telling...If the bite didn't break the skin, that was probably intention on your dog's part - he controlled it. If there were multiple bites or tearing that is more serious and shows less control. Of all the dogs I have had only one of them had the temperament to handle wrestling. Most would have felt defensive, fearful, or gotten too aroused - many dogs can't handle that type of play. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Link
Pyrenees Anatolian
10 Weeks
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Question
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Link
Pyrenees Anatolian
10 Weeks

I got Link about a week ago and when I first got him he was very timid when it came to play time. Now that he's warmed up to me, I've noticed that whenever we are playing he bites me. I assume it's not done with malicious intent but his little dagger teeth have drawn blood several times. I have tried to yelp similar to a dog and he stops but then he resumes. I then ignore him and he stops, but right whenever I resume playing he goes back to biting. I've also noticed that he only bites this hard with me and none of my roommates or my friends. Why might this be and how can I get him to stop? Thank you!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alexis, He is probably getting more aroused while playing with you and thus has less self-control at those times. Regardless of why, it is very normal at this age. That certainly doesn't make it fun for you however! Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method (which you are already essentially doing). 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 yelp 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 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. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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