How do I stop my puppy from biting me?
Even though these lil’ puppy nips can be cute at the beginning, their teeth only get stronger. The key is teaching them the difference between playing and biting.
Puppy nipping is a very common behavior that is easy to curb. You should always teach a puppy to have good bite inhibition (a.k.a. not bite things that are inappropriate), because it’s THE most important behavior for a dog to learn. Why? Because if you don’t teach them when they’re young, the behavior won’t stop–and no one wants an adult dog biting their hand, even in play.
To be fair, do you ever see a puppy that isn’t chewing on something? They’re all like “AHH, WHAT DO I DO WITH MY MOUF!”. Kind of like when humans don’t have a cell phone on them and they forget what to do with their hands. Puppies use their mouths to explore the world and learn, and also lose their baby teeth in the 3 to 5 month age range. Both of these reasons are why they’re chewing monsters when they’re young.
So what do I do instead?
There’s no way you’re going to get your puppy to stop chewing or biting. What you CAN do, is teach them that there are good chew toys, and bad chew toys. And by bad chew toys I mean people. People are bad chew toys. No offense. I’m sure you’re all delicious.
A good way to teach them biting isn’t appropriate is, even if they’re mouthing you a little, make a startled, loud noise like “OUCH!” or “That hurt!” and then disengage for a few minutes. They’ll quickly learn biting = no playing, which is no fun at all (and believe me, ALL puppies looooove having fun). It’s also not a great habit to let them mouth your body parts in general, even in play–instead, give them a toy to chew or tug on and make that into the BEST GAME EVER (all caps because dogs talk in all caps, don’t you think?).
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