How to Train a Puppy to Stop Biting Other Dogs

Easy
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Training your puppy when you bring him home with you is generally the number one task on any new dog owner’s list. From obedience to house training to preventing separation anxiety, there are tons of issues to tackle during his journey through puppyhood, and managing them all at once is not always easy. There are bound to be things here and there that fall through the cracks,

One of the issues that puppy owners come across often is the painful nipping that comes along with some rough play. Puppies have sharp little teeth that can cause some discomfort for other dogs if they’re uncertain of their own strength. Socialization with other dogs is important for puppies to develop good manners, but dealing with a nippy puppy can be a chore all on its own for both the owner and the other dogs in the area.

Defining Tasks

Biting and nipping is natural puppy behavior and it is common for a puppy to not have manners when it comes to interacting with other dogs. Puppies learn manners from their mother and littermates and sometimes, the provided role models are not quite what we’d hope. Puppies can also pick up bad habits from their environment, whether it was accidentally reinforced or not. Despite this, your puppy should learn the appropriate behavior as soon as possible, starting from when you first bring him home, and should be reinforced for at least three to six weeks in order to assure that the better, more appropriate habit is established.

Positive reinforcement for the appropriate behavior and interrupting bad manners are both tools to utilize during this training, as it can keep a small problem from developing into a much larger one later on.

Getting Started

Before your training begins, make sure your puppy is fully vaccinated. Puppies shouldn’t interact with other dogs outside of their litter until they’ve received all of their vaccinations in order for them to stay happy and healthy.

Once that is done, invest in a few chew toys and other items that are good and healthy for your puppy’s teeth. Treats and snacks that are made to be a little tough and chewy are ideal, but remember not to get anything too hard, or this could damage the teeth! Use these items often for downtime, play time, and rewards.

The Socialization Method

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Step
1
Wait to bring your puppy home
Ideally, your puppy should be kept with his mother and littermates until at least eight weeks of age. This is where he will develop some of his bite inhibition and manners.
Step
2
Start socialization as early as possible
Once your puppy is home and vaccinated, begin exposing him to plenty of other dogs and people.
Step
3
Use good role models
Focus on meetings with dogs that are calm and well behaved, as they can help teach your pup good manners and how to properly use his teeth without causing harm.
Step
4
Have continuous play dates
Have play dates as often as possible! The more exposure your puppy gets to other dogs, the better.
Step
5
Avoid dog parks early on
Dog parks are notorious for being free-for-alls where both good and bad influences are likely to mix. Avoid bringing your puppy to a dog park where you aren’t sure of the sorts of confrontations he may come across. Biting at a cranky park visitor can result in some extremely dangerous circumstances.
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The Bite Inhibition Method

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Step
1
Watch for inappropriate behavior
Keep an eye on your puppy as she plays and interacts with other dogs. Supervise each and every time to prevent any incidents from happening without you knowing.
Step
2
Stop play when necessary
If she begins to bite and nip excessively or inappropriately, put a stop to play time as soon as you see the behavior.
Step
3
Separate
Take your pup and place her in a separate area, away from the other dog for a few moments. This will help teach her that as soon as she starts biting, playtime is over.
Step
4
Reintroduce when possible
Once she has calmed down some, bring your puppy back to the play area to continue to interact.
Step
5
Repeat often to offset bad behavior
Continue to separate your puppy whenever she exhibits bad manners with her teeth. Eventually, she will realize that not using her mouth will get her what she wants: continuing to play and interact with the other dog.
Recommend training method?

The Redirection Method

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Step
1
Offer plenty of alternatives
Set out plenty of toys and other things for your puppy use his teeth on other than the other dog.
Step
2
Rotate options out
Take out and put new toys into the area often so your puppy always has something exciting to explore.
Step
3
Reward for appropriate use
Toss in some treats on occasion when you notice your pup behaving appropriately.
Step
4
Prevent instead of interrupt
Keep hands and fingers away from your puppy’s mouth and teeth to discourage biting. This can translate over to his behavior with other dogs and he may be less likely to use his teeth.
Step
5
Use ‘leave it’ to your advantage
Use obedience training to teach your pup to ‘leave it’ when you don’t want him to bite something or someone. Reward him for focusing his attention on you instead of the thing he wants to bite.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
WEEZER
Poodle
7 Years
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WEEZER
Poodle
7 Years

bites a large dog that is in our home
very aggressive when someone is at the door and will bite them if they come in

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Barbra, For this I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, and comes well recommended by their previous clients, and can come to your home and work with the dogs there directly. There may be specific issue that need to be evaluated and addressed like resource guarding or possessiveness of people. You also want the trainer to be someone who works with a team of trainers so that there are multiple people who can safely and knowledgeably practice desensitizing pup to strangers coming over. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator on Youtube to learn more about aggression in general. Part of the training will probably involve building pup's respect and trust for you, as well as working on self-control, calming skills through obedience commands. Working on things like Place, Heel, Down-Stay, and the methods from the article linked below. Working, Obedience and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roxy
Greyhound Mix
1 Year
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Roxy
Greyhound Mix
1 Year

We recently adopted roxy and we already have a much smaller dog in the home. Whenever they are around each other Roxy will play pounce very aggressively and nip at the other dogs throat. Our smaller dog is scared to be anywhere are Roxy, what can we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lily, I would work on teaching Roxy Leave It and Out - which means leave the area, and both dogs Place, and have them practice Place in the same room to help them get used to each other more calmly. Once Roxy knows Leave It and Out, use those commands to tell pup to give your other dog space, so your other dog can warm up to them with less stress. When you can't supervise the dogs together, I would crate train them and have them in separate crates or rooms right now while they are adjusting. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s 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 Once they are comfortable with each other, your smaller dog may decide they want to play, but let the smaller dog be the one to initiate it first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reesie
cocker spanial dachsund mix
13 Weeks
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Reesie
cocker spanial dachsund mix
13 Weeks

I have a 4 year old pomeranian shitzu mix. the 13 week puppy is very possessive of all the toys and will not let other dog have any. Puppy is also biting at 4 year old dogs feet causing her to yelp

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cynthia, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed (like puppy when they are stealing toys or biting your other dog). Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior, found in the article below also, and use that method to enforce Out when you puppy is pestering the older dog, once you have taught puppy Reesie what Out means, by following the How to Teach a Dog Out section. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also recommend teaching Reesie the Leave It command. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Is pup simply taking all the toys to their bed, and gathering them up, or is pup acting aggressive toward your older dog whenever they walk past while puppy has a toy? I would work on teaching pup the Drop It command, trading pup toys for treats or better toys, so that they generally trust you around toys, and you being the one to enforce household rules by returning toys puppy takes to your older dog, and making puppy leave the room and the toys whenever they try to guard around your older dog. Reward pup for tolerating your older dog being near while they have a toy, for leaving it when you tell them when they wanted to take your older dog's toy, and for minding their own business when your older dog is chewing a toy, also. Drop It: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
Labrottie
4 Months
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Lucy
Labrottie
4 Months

When my Mom and I bring our 4 month old puppy to the park, she somtimes bites at the extra skin at the back of their necks and shakes it back and forth and though she isn't doing anything harmful, it looks very agressive to the owners of the dogs. She often keeps on targeting this older dog (maybe about 2-3 years old?) and often does this to her and the other dogs owners had to pull her off more than once even though their dog enjoyed it and kept on coming back for more. What should I do to completly stop her from doing this without armful methods like shock collars?

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

Hello, I don't recommend at all that you look to shock collar training. What Lucy needs is direction as to what is proper behavior. Good for you for attending to it while she is young. Don't let her target the other dog - Lucy needs to learn it's not acceptable, and it is not fair either to ruin the other dog's park time. So yes, work specifically to break her of the habit. The combo of dog you have likes to work and has a keen mind, so I suggest enrolling her in puppy classes as soon as the age allows it (often 5 months). Doing so will socialize her properly to start. She'll also learn basic commands essential to obedience. Start at home now with the Leave It Method as described here, so that you can instruct Lucy to "leave it" when she goes after other dogs: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. All of the methods described here are effective as well: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-be-obedient, and finally, https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-rottweiler-puppy-to-not-be-aggressive. Good luck!

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bertie
Pug
4 Months
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bertie
Pug
4 Months

Hi my puppy won't stop biting my older dog of 4 years I believe he is just playing in his own eyes but he constantly goes for my dogs legs and we don't know what to do anymore... Do you have any advice to help us? Thankyou

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lyle, I recommend teaching pup Leave It and Out. Work up to pup being able to leave moving things alone like the Leave It method outlines. Teach pup Out using the How to Train Out section in the article below, then use the section of Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior to enforce puppy leaving your older dog alone on your older dog's behalf - calmly getting between puppy (when they aren't fighting) and your older dog, and using your body to herd pup away from your older dog, and block them from going back to them, until pup disengages and walks away from your older dog. 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Basil
English Cocker Spaniel
6 Months
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Basil
English Cocker Spaniel
6 Months

We're noticing that Basil can get a bit rough with other dogs at the park during play. I don't think that it's an aggression thing usually, but he seems to like to bite or try to grab hold of other dogs faces. Sometimes it results in the yelping of the other dog. Basil is *usually* the smaller of the two, and I think that it is something that he's learned from other dogs, but I don't want the behaviour to continue especially as he matures. We live in a metropolitan area and Basil has had lots of socialization (albeit not official puppy socialization classes). Any tips on how to nip this in the bud?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I recommend having your own training play dates with a friend's dog who gets along well with your pup and is patient. Practice the training and playing in a private fenced in yard (not at the dog park when anyone else is there because it's unsafe to practice this there). Allow the dogs to play and periodically call them apart. When they get to you, practice a few commands with treats to calm pups down and re-focus them on their owners. Call them to you and your friend separately so they aren't next to each other while getting treats. If pups won't come while playing, attach a long training leash to a padded back clip harness in an area where there aren't a lot of trees or things it could snag on. Hold the the of the leash loosely or calmly pick it up, then call pups to you apart both, away from each other, to pause their play. If they don't come, calmly reel them in to their owners using the long training leash that's attached to the padded harness. Do this on a padded harness not collars, to protect pups' necks better. Watch how aroused they are getting and give breaks when they start to get overly rough. Also, know that the dog park tends to get dogs very aroused and often leads to some unwanted behaviors for certain dogs. If you find this to be the case with pup often, you may want to look for other ways to socialize pup, like groups in your city that do dog walks and hikes together, one on one play dates with friend's dogs, canine sports, dog walks with friends, or obedience classes or obedience practice with friends and their dogs. Local dog clubs can be a good resource. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lil Red
Toy Chiweenie
12 Weeks
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Lil Red
Toy Chiweenie
12 Weeks

He bites my other two dogs and barks at them and they are very sweet calm chihuahuas. She's making them miserable especially the older one. We are trying to train her to use traing pads like our other two but she's just not getting it! She's very headstrong and we are at our breaking point! Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelli, For the biting, I recommend teaching pup the Leave It command. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also recommend teaching pup Out - which means leave the area, and using the section on how to use out to deal with pushy behavior, and you enforce Out on behalf of the older dogs so they don't have to deal with pup. This helps pup learn respect for them as an extension of pup respecting you, and takes the pressure off the older dogs to handle things. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ For the pee pad training, I recommend following the Crate Training or Exercise Pen method from the article linked below. If pup tends to pee next to the pad instead of on it, even with the exercise pen method, then follow the crate training method for a couple of weeks until pup has learned to target the pad, then you can switch to the exercise pen method for the convenience of that method if you prefer to use that instead of the crate training method over the next couple months. Exercise pen method or crate training method - these methods can be used with pee pads, disposable real grass pads, or litter boxes, not just with litter boxes. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Finally, when you aren't supervising pup with the older dogs, I also recommend confining pup to an exercise pen or crate with a dog food stuffed chew toy, to give the older dogs a break and keep pup out of trouble, like chewing. The Surprise method can be used to teach pup to handle some alone time. When you are home, you can also tether pup to yourself with a hands free leash (add a carabiner to a normal leash for a cheap option), to keep pup closer to you and not bothering the older dogs as needed too. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Milo
Cavashon
4 Months
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Milo
Cavashon
4 Months

My puppy is biting my 8 year old who is a bichone frise who is named Fluffy. I have been trying for 3 months but they hate each other. What should I do?(Milo bites fluffy and Yesterday Milo bit fluffy so hard he started bleeding, every time they are around each other fluffy growls and Milo bites him!)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Parthvi, For the biting, I recommend teaching pup the Leave It command. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also recommend teaching pup Out - which means leave the area, and using the section on how to use out to deal with pushy behavior, and you enforce Out on behalf of the older dog so they don't have to deal with pup. This helps pup learn respect for them as an extension of pup respecting you, and takes the pressure off the older dog to handle things. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Also, when you aren't supervising pup with the older dog, I also recommend confining pup to an exercise pen or crate with a dog food stuffed chew toy, to give the older dog a break and keep pup out of trouble, like chewing. The Surprise method can be used to teach pup to handle some alone time. When you are home, you can also tether pup to yourself with a hands free leash (add a carabiner to a normal leash for a cheap option), to keep pup closer to you and not bothering the older dog as needed too. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ Finally, when puppy first enters the room or you catch Fluffy being calm, tolerant, or friendly toward Milo, give Fluffy a treat to associate Milo's presence with good things. Do this without Milo seeing you give it to Fluffy because you don't want Milo running over to you and Fluffy and causing another fight over the food or Milo's behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Winnie
Bedlington Terrier
4 Months
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Question
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Winnie
Bedlington Terrier
4 Months

Winnie is bedlington terrier x whippet

-When Winnie is in a particularly crazy mood she bites especially hard, should we stop her from playing with our older dog when she is in this mood? (older dog is same breed, 5 years old)
-We would like to encourage Winnie to spend more time in her crate, at the moment she much prefers older dogs beds and the sofa (we are family that likes to have our dogs on the sofa to relax with us). Should we feed her her meals in the crate? I feel as if she will continue to prefer the other dog beds/sofa
-At the moment she sleeps through the night (mostly) in her crate with someone else in the room, should she be sleeping in a room alone?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, When she gets to worked pup playing and is biting hard, I recommend interrupting the play, having her preform a couple commands to earn treats and calm down, then once calm, if your older dog still wants to play, you can allow them to resume. I also recommend seeing if there are other puppies your dog can play with in your area, such as friends' puppies, a play group, or class. Puppies tend to learn how to control the pressure of their mouths and take breaks as needed best from other puppies and the feedback they give during play. The Out and Leave It commands are good commands to teach to manage biting. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Feeding meals in the crate is a good start. I also suggest practicing the Surprise method, especially the dog food stuffed kong in the crate, from the article I have linked below. Many dogs also come to enjoy their crates more naturally once they get older and settle down more. I find that most dogs don't prefer to be in the crate rather than other places until they are past a year in many cases, but being in the crate with a chew toy now can help pup learn to settle in there and be calmer in general. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ Whether she sleep in your room or not depends a lot on what you want her to do long term. If she will be sleeping apart from you as an adult, I recommend practicing her being in another room now - that can also make travel and boarding easier for pup later if they are used to sleeping away from you. Generally, there is not a problem with pup sleeping in the crate in your room though if you prefer that. It simply means that pup will likely be used to sleeping on a dog bed in your room, instead of in another room, as an adult - so just make sure that's the arrangement that you prefer. Personally, one of my own dogs was crated and then slept on a dog bed in my own room most of their life, the dog who came after that was crated in another room and sleeps in the den because of our current family dynamics - its whatever you find you prefer and being consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gon
Labrador Retriever
4 Months
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Gon
Labrador Retriever
4 Months

Gon won’t stop biting and nipping his brother who is 10 months old and a boxer. Which is making the boxer think this type of behavior is ok and has never done this before. No isn’t working I need help training or advice to help train the puppy this behavior isn’t ok please!

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

Hello. Dogs often learn to ignore the word no because we use it for everything. You can try teaching your dog leave it. Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone/not go after/not get into. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Tokyo
Golden Retriever
4 Months
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Tokyo
Golden Retriever
4 Months

I got my puppy from a breeder when she was 5 to 6 weeks old. We don't believe she is a purebreed due to her appearance. Hence, we are a little troubled with her behavior with our other adult dog who is a pure british labrador.

Our challenge is that, Tokyo (the golden retriever) is biting us very hard and even worse, she is biting my other dog, Rocky (British Lab) where the poor guy yelps and even got injured once. He does not growl at her nor barks. Only cries if the bite is painful and hard.

How can we stop this behaviour of biting my other dog and even us? We have plenty of chewing toys and treats in place.

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

Hello. Here is information on 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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Juju
pitbull
1 Year
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Juju
pitbull
1 Year

If my dog is one year old and still nips should I avoid bringing her to dog parks until she is properly trained?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cole, I recommend waiting. Its normal for dogs to gently put their mouths on each other while wrestling during play, but if a dog is nipping and pinching or hurting the other dogs skin that can make the other dog scared or very defensive, and either encourage more bad behavior from your dog - if the other dog runs away and yours starts chasing and bullying, or lead to a fight when another dog doesn't appreciate the nipping. I would pursue other means of socializing however; see if there is a dog walking or hiking group, a canine sports class, obedience class, or simply practicing obedience with other friends and their friendly dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Riley
Dachshund
7 Months
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Riley
Dachshund
7 Months

I brought my puppy (7months) to see another puppy who was 9 weeks and she got a little aggressive towards the little puppy. Am I doing something wrong?

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

Hello! No you aren't doing anything wrong. Your dog just may need some additional socializing. Because socialization is a bit of a process, I am including a link to an article for you to read. https://www.rover.com/blog/how-to-socialize-dog/

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Millie
Mutt
16 Weeks
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Millie
Mutt
16 Weeks

hello, I recently got a new puppy and she is constantly biting my other older dog. My older dog will hide behind me after a while of playing because millie likes to grab the skin around her neck. She will enjoy playing in the beginning but then after a while she is done but the puppy is not done. I have tried the leave it command and she will do it when she is not playing but will not when she is playing. Millie has also started to bite us also.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Faith, Check out the article linked below. For pup biting you, starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, continue working on "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method I have linked below specifically. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make her 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. 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 (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 when pup bites your other dog. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught on behalf of your other dog, so your older dog doesn't have to themselves. 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. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. 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, she 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 her calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. 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. Crate training pup and using and exercise pen and a hands free leash at times are good ways to give your older dog a break from her also. You can give her a dog food stuffed chew toy in the crate to work on while your older dog has a break. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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