How to Train a Husky Puppy to Stop Biting

Medium
2-12 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

The Husky is a powerful, intelligent breed that has a strong trait towards self-reliance. The Husky likes to think for himself, which can be problematic for an owner, especially if the dog's train of thought is towards roaming or escape. However, self-reliance has other implications for a dog that is prone to biting. He may decide he wants something and be happy to nip in order to get it. 

It's therefore essential to teach a Husky pup how to limit his biting habit when he is still young. When by default he draws away from his teeth making contact with human skin, this means if an accident happened, such as a child treading on the dog's paw, his instant reaction is to stop himself from biting rather than act how he might otherwise. 

Defining Tasks

Teaching a Husky not to bite is NOT about punishment. While it might be tempting to slap or hit the puppy, this is liable to backfire. At best, he may be inhibited about biting you, however, he doesn't generalize the lesson to other people. This means he's still likely to bite the child who steps on his paw. However, in a worst-case scenario, a strong-minded dog like a Husky may decide to match violence with violence and he may become aggressive as a consequence. 

Instead, by understanding dog behavior and how his littermates would react to a bite, you can communicate with the dog in a way he understands in order to correct bad behavior and teach self-restraint.

Getting Started

Teaching a pup not to bite depends on excellent timing and how you react, rather than needing special tools. It's also important that all family members also know how to react, so the pup is sent a consistent message. 

It's also helpful to have: 

  • Tug toys or a ball to encourage play
  • Treats to reward good behavior
  • A room to withdraw to when the pup gets too rough

The Bite Inhibition Method

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Step
1
Why do puppies bite?
The first step to stopping biting is to understand the puppy's motivation. A very young pup is unlikely to be being aggressive, instead, he's just doing what puppies do. (Not that this makes it OK!) In a litter of healthy pups there will be rough and tumble, which includes biting. As part of the learning process, when a pup bites too hard, the other pup will screech and possibly end the game. This is valuable insight for the biting pup, as he learns that biting too hard ends the fun.
Step
2
Bite inhibition in a litter
Let's look at how pups learn to be gentle in a litter. We've already said how they screech and squeal when bitten too hard. This makes the biting pup back off. The game then resumes once the bitten pup has regained confidence in the other one. Since pups want to play, the nipping puppy will be keen to avoid another interruption to the game and be careful to have a softer mouth next time. This process is known as learning bite inhibition and is a valuable tool for stopping a pup from nipping people.
Step
3
Play act being a puppy
Communicate with your Husky pup in a way he understands, by acting the same way a littermate would. If he gets too rough and nips your hand, then immediately let your hand go limp and at the same time squeal and look hurt. Nurse your hand as if dreadfully injured and perhaps even force out a few fake tears. The pup should then and take stock.
Step
4
Nipping means no game
Stop the game until the pup has calmed down and looks repentant! Only once he is calm can the game start again.
Step
5
Walk away if necessary
If the pup doesn't get the message and keeps nipping, say a short sharp "No", get up and walk away. Key here is withdrawing attention so that the puppy realizes that being overly rough stops the fun. Next time he'll try to inhibit himself from biting.
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

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Step
1
Don't: Smack or shout
Punishing the puppy for biting serves little purpose. He may stop biting you, but only because he is fearful of you. He won't generalize this lesson to other people, and could continue to pose a risk to them. Instead, pursue other methods that teach the dog self-control.
Step
2
Do: Act up
It's important the Husky pup learns early on that human skin is fragile and his teeth should never contact it. This means acting up when the pup even lightly nips, so that he receives a message that people are very fragile and must be treated with care.
Step
3
Don't: Use your hands as toys
Avoid games that involve the pup chasing your hands or a finger. This makes the hand into a toy, which in the pup's mind makes it fair game for nipping. Instead, use toys such as balls or tuggers, which don't involve direct contact with human skin.
Step
4
Do: Let your hand go limp
When the pup nips your hand, let the hand go limp (rather than pulling it sharply away.) Rapid movement will trigger chasing instincts in the pup, which make him excited. Whereas a limp hand sends a strong signal that it's 'broken' and can't be played with.
Step
5
Do: Seek professional help
If you in any way feel out of your depth with a pup that bites excessively, then do seek the help of a qualified animal behaviorist or dog trainer that uses reward-based methods. A young puppy is still learning. Act swiftly so that this golden opportunity to get him on the right path doesn't slip through your fingers.
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The Withdraw Attention Method

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Step
1
Understand the idea
Pups don't bite out of malice, but because they are overexcited and get carried away. They also thrive on attention and love to play games. When you understand this it helps to prevent biting. Simply withdrawing attention or getting the pup to calm down gives you another two options when it comes to stopping a puppy biting.
Step
2
Let the pup know he's wrong
If you've squealed and the pup didn't back down, then it's time for a short but sharp "No" or "Uh-oh". This is to mark the bad behavior (biting) so the dog understands why the game stopped.
Step
3
Ignore the pup
Now end the game and ignore the pup. Try folding your arms and turning your back. Wait for the pup to calm down before resuming play.
Step
4
Leave the room
If the pup keeps jumping on you and trying to nip, then quietly get up and leave the room. Again, this ends the game, which is the last thing that the pup wants. Only return when he has calmed down.
Step
5
Restart the game
Return to the game but as soon as the pup shows signs of nipping, say "No" and get ready to fold your arms. The pup will most likely realize what's about to happen and calm himself down in order that the game continues.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ace
Siberian Husky
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Ace
Siberian Husky
2 Months

I have tried the various way that have been told online to stop a puppy from nippng but these things dont seem to work in him instead when he nips I have used the withdraw attention he goes to bite a toy,the furniture or his puppy pad and just never seems to clam down and i have been trying different things although I still dont see a difference in his behaviour.So what else would you suggest ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amar, If Ace is stopping biting you when you redirect his attention, and is biting his own toys instead, that is great at this age. A young puppy will not stop mouthing completely. It is natural for puppies to mouth. That is how they learn, communicate, relieve soreness from teething, let out anxiety, and relieve boredom. The goal is to teach a puppy WHAT to mouth, not to stop the mouthing. Check out the article that I have linked below and teach the "Leave It" method. Once he understands that command, if he does not stop biting you when you tell him to "Leave It", use the "Pressure" method to enforce the command. That should help him learn to stop biting you. Expect it to take time though. He is young. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite For the chewing of objects, stuff several large classic Kong toys with food and a bit of peanut butter. Feed him his meals in the Kongs, especially while he is crated. I highly recommend crate training him and giving him a food stuffed Kong while he is in the crate any time that you cannot supervise him. The crate is also a good place for him to go when he is too excited. Young puppies need to sleep a lot, and he might actually be overtired when he is getting a bit crazy. Give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate to make the crate pleasant and help him calm down. For objects that he tends to chew again and again, like furniture, purchase "Bitter Apple" or "Bitter Mellon" spray and spray that on the object to deter him. Occasionally a pup likes the bitter taste. It is rare, but if it happens, then try using white vinegar, but be careful that whatever you are spraying it on won't be ruined with the vinegar. Right now and for the next three months he will be teething. If you are diligent about teaching him what is acceptable and unacceptable to chew, then he should grow out of it the heavy chewing phase with time. The biggest goal is to prevent it from becoming a long term habit. /you can do that by teaching him to chew his own toys, supervising him, or confining him whenever you cannot supervise him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Riley
Siberian Husky
6 Months
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Riley
Siberian Husky
6 Months

How to make him stop biting

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, I suggest teaching the Leave It and Out commands. Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Big Show
Siberian Husky
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Big Show
Siberian Husky
3 Months

How do I make my puppy release his bite on my clothes, so he will not rip it apart?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karmela Joy, He needs to be taught a "Drop It" command. 1. Grab a couple of his toys - choose long ones. 2. Get him excited about the toy and encourage him to put it in his mouth. 3. While he is holding the toy, gently grab the other end of it, so that he can't run off with it --Don't pull it out of his mouth though, just hold onto the other end of it. 4. Command him to "Drop It" and hold a treat against his nose. 5. When he drops the toy to eat the treat, praise him. 6. After he finishes the treats, tell him to "Take It" and encourage him to bite the toy again. 7. Repeat the training with various toys and objects until he will immediately drop the toy when you say "Drop It". 8. When he can do the command consistently, command "Drop It" and touch his nose with a finger from an empty hand while the treat is in your other hand behind your back. When he drops the toy, thinking you have a treat, then praise him and give him the treat from your other hand that was behind your back. 9. Practice the command while the treat is hidden behind your back until he will consistently drop objects when he cannot see a treat. 10. When your pup gets good at this command, then when he drops an object that he should no have, praise him and give him one of his own toys to bite instead. Occasionally surprise him with a treat, but have toys be the typical exchange. To deal with the biting in the first place, teach the "Leave It" command and practice it with clothing articles when he learns how to leave treats alone. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Leave It" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Yordi
Huskey
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Yordi
Huskey
11 Months

He bite everything in my house specially fFurniture

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erika, Check out the article that I have linked below. There are several different ways to address chewing, depending on the details on what he is chewing and why. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Navi
Husky
3 Months
0 found helpful
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Navi
Husky
3 Months

None of the stop biting tips seem to work, if I try yelping she bites harder thinking I’m playing, if I try letting my hand go limp she bites so hard she breaks the skin and I can’t leave it there because it hurts so much, if I try to walk away and not five her attention she chases me and bites me feet, ankles, backs of my knees, whatever she can grab. If I crate her to calm down she comes straight out and bites again aleven when calm, there zero soft mouthing and 100% hard nipping, what else can I try?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kerry, Check out this article instead and try the "Leave It" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Expect this to take time though. It is normal and natural for puppies to bite at this age. They go through a teething phase while young, it biting is how they naturally communicate with and play with other puppies, so they have to learn through practice with people not to interact that way with people. I also suggest enrolling in a puppy kindergarten class that has time for puppies to play together off-leash, while the trainer helps owners moderate the class and calm puppies back down if they start to get too rough or overwhelmed. This play can help them learn how to control their mouths better, in addition to improving socialization, obedience, familiarity with people, and tolerance to being touched - if you join a class that takes time to handle puppies while giving them treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kilo
Siberian kilo
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kilo
Siberian kilo
10 Months

My dog is way too mouthy and keeps biting down on my legs hands feet arms etc. pretty much where ever he can. How can I stop this from happening?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Danielle, First, teach the Leave It command from the article linked below. Use Leave It to communicate to him that he needs to stop. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Second, teach Out - which means leave the area, and use that command when he is simply too excited. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Third, work on commands that increase calmness, respect and focus so that he is more respectful and has more boundaries in general - which can help him listen to your Leave It and Out commands when he needs to calm down. 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 Dog Training Do’s https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Biboy
Husky x Japanese Spitz
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Biboy
Husky x Japanese Spitz
3 Months

What can I do to stop him from biting everything even us?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Junino, Check out the article linked below and use the Leave It method. It will take a bit for him to learn the Leave It command so you can also use the Bite Inhibition method to help the puppy biting while he learns Leave It. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite For the chewing on objects, check out the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kleo
Siberian Husky
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Kleo
Siberian Husky
8 Weeks

My Buddy Kleo is almost 2 months old now and the problem is he’s biting us like hell! Rven if we walk in the house normally he tried grab our toes and like if we try to play with him all he does is bite our hands and that too damn hard! And is it okay if i give my 2 months old pup toys like tug rope and balls or something?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kartik, Check out the article linked below. First, use the Bite Inhibition method to teach gentleness. Second, while you are using the Bite Inhibition method also be teaching the Leave It command, so that you can use the Leave It command to stop all of the biting once he gets good at that command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite As far as toys you can certainly give balls - just make sure that they are not too small to get stuck in her mouth or choke on as she grows. Tug Toys are fine for pups that aren't overly dominant, but work on teaching a "Drop It" command so that she will let go when you tell her to, and make sure that she is not eating pieces of it - rubber tug toys like Kong handled toys are typically safer than rope toys that can be swallowed. Only give her toys that could potentially be eaten or broken while you are playing with her. When you leave her alone, give her durable chew toys, such as Kongs, and put the less durable toys away. Also, as she gets older her jaws will get stronger between 4-8 months of age and she will be able to destroy toys better. Keep an eye out for her destroying and trying to eat any less durable toys. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Everest
Siberian Husky
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Everest
Siberian Husky
2 Months

Is it possible to train such a young puppy to stop biting people?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, It is but it will probably take about 2 months worth of consistent practice before pup will stop biting altogether, now is a really great time to begin though because you want pup to learn to stop by 5 months of age - when their jaws get stronger and biting can cause more damage. 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 Also work on teaching pup Out - which means leave the area. This is an especially great command to use when puppy is biting other people in your home, such as young 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 as part of the weekly class. 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 look 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. This age is a fantastic time to start! Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Willow
Siberian Husky
13 Weeks
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Willow
Siberian Husky
13 Weeks

Love all the advice for getting husky pups to stop biting myself and family along with objects but what about with other dogs? We have a 3 year old female lab. At first we were scared our lab would be possibly aggressive and didn’t want her to hurt the new addition to our family As she hadn’t been around dogs since her litter mates. There was one instance were our fears were confirmed and our lab nipped our pup and Willow started yelping and ran behind the chair and we segregated our lab and comforted our puppy and there hasn’t been an instance since with our lab-I think she felt horrible. Our husky now though thinks our lab is a chew toy or something and always goes for her ears or top of her head. It’s so bad that she has lost most of the fur growing on the top of her head and ears and the fur is so thin she looks almost bald and you can see all scratches/bite marks on her. Our lab is just complacent and tries to run away if they are out in the yard. If they are inside sometimes “no” works otherwise you have to be closer to them and I snap my fingers with a “no” and she will briefly stop, but it’s a constant battle. There are plenty of toys around-tennis balls, rope toys with raw hides/hoofs, bones etc. I just don’t know if there are any suggestions on how to get her from choosing our lab as a chew toy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, First, depending on what's safe and accessible where you live with social distancing, if you can, enroll pup in a puppy class that has time for off-leash play with other puppies. Puppies learn how to control the pressure of their mouths primarily by playing with other puppies - and that is different than with adult dogs. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Whether a puppy class is an option or not, also work on teaching pup the Out command and once pup knows that command well, use the section from the article on "How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior" to enforce pup leaving your other dog alone for your older dog - so that they don't have to enforce it themselves. Manage pup through tethering them to yourself and using a crate or exercise pen at times where you can't enforce pup's polite behavior. Out - which leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Also, teach pup the Leave It command and practice pup's self-control in general using that command: Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Stuff hollow durable chew toys with pup's meal kibble - to let pup work for their food, to help keep pup entertained and be more interested in toys. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Koda
Labrador Husky
10 Weeks
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Koda
Labrador Husky
10 Weeks

Hello! We adopted our puppy from a rescue organization. He is a Labrador retriever husky mix. He is BEYOND the nipping and literally does not stop biting. Nothing we are doing seems to help, hand going limp and loud yelping to show he hurt us, going in the crate, firmly saying no. Walking away. He will jump up and bit, or bite the back of my leg. I can’t sit on the couch he jumps up and bites. Try to pet him.. he bites. I’m getting very frustrated as I have 3 young children who are becoming scared to go near him in fear of him biting them. Please help!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
85 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. Koda is a beautiful pup. This is definitely a problem that must be resolved right away because yes, you do not want your little ones to be afraid of him - and for Koda to take advantage of the situation. You are trying all of the right methods, and that is why I think you should contact a local trainer to work with you and Koda (and make sure the rest of the family is on board to help and practice). I think it is the only way. Take a look at this excellent site, with free downloads about common puppy issues, including biting. They also offer skype training. https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ As well, take a look here; there are a few tips including the time out method. https://wagwalking.com/training/not-bite-2. Lastly, this breed of dog will need a lot of exercise. I would start with lengthy playtimes in the fresh air to wear Koda out and burn off some of the extra energy that may be leading to biting. Good luck and have fun with your pup!

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Caesar
Husky
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Caesar
Husky
10 Weeks

Biting! I can’t seem to get him to stop!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
87 Dog owners recommended

Hello! He is adorable! I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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