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If you are like most Newfie owners, it is easy to pick you out in a crowd. How is this possible? Is it because you like to share stories about your gentle giant or can't seem to stop showing the latest photos? Maybe, but in many cases, it's simply because of the number of bites and scratches on your hands and arms. There is nothing quite like having a new puppy at home, but if you want to survive the process intact, you will need to invest a significant amount of time training your pup not to bite.
So, here's the reality: puppies bite. It's what they do, in fact, your Newfie pup will bite just about anything he can get his mouth around, and often quite painfully. This is a very normal behavior and one you should expect if you plan to bring a puppy into your home. The most important thing to keep in mind is that in training your pup not to bite you should be focusing on teaching this type of behavior is not acceptable rather than simply trying to prevent it. This is exactly how he would learn to control his biting in the wild by his den mother.
The good news is that unlike many other forms of training, teaching your Newf to stop biting doesn't require a seemingly endless list of supplies. You will need a pack of your favorite treats, a quiet place to work, and plenty of both time and patience to make it happen. Remember that working in short training sessions is going to be far more effective than trying to work in longer sessions. You need to keep in mind that puppies have a very short attention span, you need to work within these parameters for the best results.
The Placement Method
It starts with play
In a quiet room in your house, initiate play with your Newfie and let him enjoy himself all the way up to the point at which he nips at you.
When he nips
The moment he nips you, stop play and slide your hand under his body.
From this position, you should be able to pick your pup up without getting nipped. Be sure you are holding him in such a manner as to ensure he can’t reach around and bite you.
Until he relaxes
Keep holding the pup this way until he calms down. He is going to fuss and squirm a bit, but given time he will eventually stop.
When he settles
Once he settles, put him back down and repeat the process. The rest is all about repeat, repeat, repeat. The big thing is the time it takes him to settle should start getting shorter and shorter until he no longer feels the need to bite.
The Here, Not Here Method
One of the biggest reasons puppies bite is they have become overexcited during play. But, at the same time, they also have many other reasons for biting, so be sure you know why he is biting before you start to work on training him not too.
When he chomps down
When your pup bites you during play, your first reaction should be to yelp like another puppy to let him know it hurts.
The next step is to turn away from your Newfie and completely ignore him. Give him time to settle back down and then re-initiate play.
If he can't settle down
If your pup has become too excited, go ahead and leave the room, putting up a gate in the doorway to keep him locked inside. Give him a few minutes to settle back down.
And in we go
At this point, you should be able to go back in and try again. Keep working with Newt as it will be much easier to train him as a pup than it will be if you wait until he is an adult.
The Rattle Can Method
Start by making a rattle
Start out by using an empty soda can and a few coins or marbles to create a rattle.
Engage in playtime with your pup, one that he loves and that gets him really excited. When he nips you, shake the rattle, making lots of noise. At the same time tell him, "No" or "No bite!" in a firm voice.
Take a hike
After this, turn and without another word or action, walk away from the pup.
What if he follows?
If Newt tries to follow you and nip at your heels, shake the rattle, say "NO!" and keep walking.
Peace in the valley
Be sure you give Newt time to calm down. When he does, be sure to give him a treat and plenty of praise, then resume training again until he finally gets the message and stops trying to bite you. At the same time, you should give him a few chew toys to choose from, this will also help.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021