How to Train a Husky Puppy to Not Bite

How to Train a Husky Puppy to Not Bite
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon3-5 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Imagine this: you’re playing with your new Husky puppy when suddenly--Ouch! He sinks his little puppy teeth into your hand. Huskies are hunting dogs and as puppies, they are likely to instinctively begin practicing their skills, which include biting. If you have a young Husky, he is likely primed to bite as soon as he gets excited. This kind of behavior is especially a problem if you have young kids in the house. You shouldn’t be surprised if your puppy chases screaming or running kiddos around the house nipping at their heels.

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Defining Tasks

What starts as cute behavior in a very young, small puppy can become an issue as your Husky grows and gains his adult teeth. Training your Husky puppy to not bite is crucial to raising a well-behaved adult dog. It may be difficult at first to stop your young puppy from biting and nipping, especially during play time. But if you provide consistent positive reinforcement, you should be able to improve your Husky puppy’s manners within a few weeks.

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Getting Started

With this type of command, you need to train your puppy consistently as he is going about his everyday life. Whenever your Husky pup bites or nips you, you should stop the behavior and provide an alternative or reward him for stopping. Make sure everyone in your house follows the same rules so your puppy understands that biting a human is never okay. Depending on the method you choose, you will need treats, toys, or another alternative for him to chew on, such as a soft bone for puppies. Remember to use positive reinforcement. Reward your puppy when he behaves well rather than scolding him for biting.

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The No Bite Method

Most Recommended

5 Votes

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Most Recommended

5 Votes

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1

Choose a command word

With this method, you will choose a command to use to stop your Husky puppy from biting. You can use a variety of cues, such as “Uh-uh,” “Hey,” or “No bite.” Whatever you choose, be consistent. Always use the same command word for when you want your puppy to stop biting.

2

Wait for teeth

As soon as you feel your puppy’s teeth on you, use your command word and wait until you feel the pressure lessen. In the beginning, he doesn’t have to let go altogether. Once you feel him let up a little, reward him with praise and a treat.

3

Keep it up

Continue practicing with your command word and have everyone in your house do the same. You want your puppy to connect the command word with a treat. Soon, he should start looking for a treat as soon as he hears the command, which will make him let go.

4

Expect more from your pup

When your Husky starts to get the hang of the command word, hold off on the treat until he lets go of you entirely. Stop rewarding him if he only lessens the pressure, so he recognizes that the only way to get the reward is to stop biting.

5

Exchange treats for a toy

After a couple of weeks of consistent practice, start weaning your puppy off of treats as a reward. Replace them with praise and a toy instead so he learns that toys are okay to bite, while humans are not.

The Mama Dog Method

Effective

3 Votes

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Effective

3 Votes

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1

Look to nature

When Huskies stay with their mom, she has ways of training them to not bite inappropriately. To get the behavior she wants, Mama Husky will grab her pups by the muzzle or the scruff of neck. If your puppy won’t stop biting, you can look to Mama Dog for some tricks.

2

Gently grab your puppy's muzzle

When your puppy is biting you, gently place your hand around his muzzle. He should freeze or let go of you, as these instincts are part of his biology.

3

Apply firm but gentle pressure

Once your body is out of your Husky puppy’s mouth, place a very light pressure to his muzzle as a cue for your puppy to stop biting. This action mimics what his mother would do.

4

Use the scruff

If your puppy is still struggling to bite you, gently grab the loose skin behind his neck, known as the scruff, and hold. You shouldn’t shake your puppy or lift him up. Just hold his scruff until he freezes. Then cue your puppy to stop biting by applying gentle pressure to his muzzle.

5

Redirect his energy

Once your puppy calms down and stops trying to bite you, give him a toy or a bone to chew on instead. Biting is an important part of communication for your puppy and you shouldn’t expect him to stop altogether. Redirecting his energy is an important part of keeping your Husky puppy happy.

The Ouch! Method

Effective

0 Votes

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Effective

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1

Play with your puppy

The most common activity which will cause your Husky puppy to bite is playing. Keep in mind that for young Huskies, play time is about getting ready for hunting. Begin a training session by playing with your puppy.

2

Say "Ouch!"

Wait for your puppy to bite you and then say “ouch!” You should use a high-pitched voice when you do so and then move the part of your body away from him.

3

Replace your body with a better chew toy

You want to channel your Husky puppy’s instinct for biting into another more suitable object. A toy or a soft rope bone is a good choice and can help cue your puppy to the kind of thing that is acceptable to bite.

4

Keep practicing

Be consistent with your actions and keep practicing with your puppy. He may stop biting hard but continue nipping. Start saying “ouch” every time his teeth touch your skin.

5

Reward good behavior

Keep an eye on your puppy’s behavior and when you see him run for a toy while playing rather than biting you, reward him by saying “good dog” or giving him a treat. Remember, rewards for good behavior work much better than scolding for bad.

Written by Christina Gunning

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/26/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Kinu

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Husky

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Two Months

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Question

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I've tried everything on this page to get him to stop biting, but he seems to be getting more aggressive. Barking and nipping at our bodies and biting. We are not bad to him at all. We don't hit him. We don't scold him. The only word we do use is "No" and I am constantly saying he is a good doggie when I am petting him. I talk to him when I come home and ask how his day was. He looks up at me and barks. I give him water (we don't leave the water dish out because he will drink and then he will dig in his water bowl splashing water everywhere, but he does have a water bottle in his open crate).

Aug. 3, 2022

Kinu's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Honestly the issue is probably time. It takes a puppy about two months to learn to have control over their biting. It's not just the training but also dependent on pup's development. That doesn't mean training isn't important; it's extremely important, but try not to get discouraged if progress is gradual and not sudden. 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 Out command from the second article linked below to make him leave the area as a consequence. 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 in the long run. The Out 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 playing rough (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 Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use if pup bites kids, an older pet, or those who can't enforce the training for themselves. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. 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. Pup practicing controlling the pressure of their bite can lead to a dog who has good control to be gentle if they were to ever bite as an adult - any dog can bite in the wrong situation, like when scared, injured, or pushed too far. Good control is the difference between a dog sending someone to the hospital when they do and barely leaving a red mark on the skin without puncturing - so practice learning gentleness, even when training isn't instant, is super important. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 3, 2022

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Juice

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Husky/Pit

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8 Weeks

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Question

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He barks growls bites and stays hyper

July 12, 2022

Juice's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Micah, First, know that what you are experiencing is probably normal for your pup. Some puppies like to play loud and rough like how they would with littermates. They still need to be taught to adapt their play to people and be more gentle, but its likely normal at this age. A puppy class with time for moderated off leash can also help pup learn how to control the pressure of their bite and adapt their play style to the pup they are playing with and take turns being the wrestler vs wrestled, chaser vs one being chased, ect... For the barking, start by teaching pup the Quiet command and you can practice the desensitize method too if he is barking at something specific. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark For the biting, 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/ 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

July 12, 2022


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