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For the most part, your Weimaraner is a well-behaved and loving dog. But when they get excited or scared, suddenly their teeth come out. Maybe it's just a little nip this time, but training your Weimaraner to not bite is crucial at any stage of life. A bite from a set of puppy teeth may be no big deal. But a fully grown Weimaraner has an impressive set of jaws, and you do not want to be on the receiving end of a serious bite.
In general, Weimaraners are loyal, loving dogs who just want to be part of your family. They are also known for trainability, meaning you can feel confident that, with some consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can teach your pup not to bite. Keep in mind that biting is a part of your dog's natural instincts, so you shouldn't expect a change in behavior overnight. If possible, it is best to start training your dog not to bite while they are still a puppy. However, adult dogs can learn to not bite as well.
When you start working with your Weimaraner on this behavior, you will need to be consistent about how you react to biting. Make sure everyone your pup interacts with follows the rules you have set for your dog as well. If one person lets your pup nibble on their fingers, it can interfere with your overall goal. For most of these methods, you only need a toy to use to play with your dog. However, for persistent biters, you may also need a spray bottle filled with water.
The Ouch! Method
Figure out what makes your pup bite
This method works best on young dogs who are still developing, though you can try it with an adult dog as well. To start out, figure out what prompts your Weimaraner to bite, so you can use the natural trigger for training purposes.
Play with your pup
Start a game with your Weimaraner using a toy. You should know now what makes your pup nip or bite, so during your game use that action to prompt your dog to use their teeth.
As soon as your pup nips at you, say "ouch!" in a loud, high-pitched voice. This sound should startle your Weimaraner into letting go of you, as it mimics the reaction of another dog to a bite.
Wait for a bit before restarting the game
Give your Weimaraner 30 seconds or so to calm down and then start playing with them again. Repeat the same steps as before to prompt your pup to bite and then respond immediately.
Keep practicing until biting stops
Continue to work with your Weimaraner until you can play together without them using their teeth on you at all. Have friends or other family members work with your pup as well so they can learn that biting people is never acceptable.
The Time Out Method
React when your dog bites you
Biting can occur at any time, though it often is prompted by excitement during play or fear. When your pup bites you, react strongly by yelping or saying "no" in a firm voice.
Ignore your dog
Turn away from your dog dramatically and cross your arms over your chest. If your dog continues to try to bite you, get up and leave the room.
Leave your pup in 'time out'
For at least 15 to 30 seconds, refuse to acknowledge your Weimaraner. Stick to a short period of time though, because your dog will quickly forget what you are mad at them about, especially if they are young.
Return to the previous activity
Whatever you were doing with your Weimaraner before, return to that activity. Go back to playing or petting them as if nothing happened.
Repeat as needed
Every time your dog bites or nips at you, repeat the same series of actions. Over time, your Weimaraner will realize that biting means the fun time is over, while playing gently keeps their human in the room.
The Startle Method
Try other methods first
For this technique, you will use a spray bottle or another device to startle your Weimaraner and interrupt their biting. Since this method involves a negative response, it is best to try other methods first and reserve this one for serious issues.
Play with your pup
For many dogs, play time is when biting occurs most often. When they get excited, many dogs cannot control themselves and will nip or bite at your hands. Start a game with your Weimaraner.
Startle your dog
As soon as you feel your Weimaraner's teeth on you, spray them with a water or use a device that makes a loud noise. This action should startle them into stopping their biting.
Start the game again
Return to your game and wait until you feel teeth again. Repeat the same action as before, making sure that your dog is currently in the act of biting when you do so. You want them to connect the action of biting to the negative reaction.
Repeat until you can phase out the startle
Try not to use the spray bottle or loud noise for very long. You don't want your Weimaraner to associate play time with a negative reaction. However, if biting persists, continue using the startling device until your pup learns that biting is a bad move.
By Christina Gunning
Published: 04/20/2018, edited: 01/08/2021