Raising a puppy not to bite is easy if you understand why they bite. Puppies grow up with their litter mates playing games that involve both biting and chasing. While these might seem like innocent games, they mimic adult survival techniques of the wild dog. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years with these instincts and you will not change them, but you can prevent yourself becoming their prey!
Historically, puppies needed to learn how to chase and bite so they could catch a meal, and they may have needed to out run a predator themselves in order to survive. Puppies will chase and bite each other, changing roles often. In the past, both chasing and biting games as puppies lead to survival as adults.
If a puppy bites and pulls a litter mate to the ground and the one on the ground feels the game has become too rough, he will growl, get up and leave. Game over.
When playing with us it is natural for your puppy to use his mouth just as he would with his litter mates. This is because he considers us part of his pack, but he still needs to learn when enough is enough. You will not get this through to him by hitting your puppy or yelling at him. These are forms of aggression and will only make him afraid of you. Avoid acts of aggression towards your puppy; even raising your voice to him may cause anxiety and this stress leads to aggression back. It’s acceptable to make a short sharp hissing noise or even a low ‘grrr’ just as you get up and walk away, but do not use his name or say any words. The feeling of disapproval is conveyed to the puppy in your tone.
When your pup’s play becomes biting, you or any member of your family involved in the game with your puppy must growl at him, get up and walk away, game over. Perhaps you saw your puppy’s mother giving a him a growl when he bit too hard on her ear or paw, just before she got up and walked away. That’s how she says game over, and you can mimic this with your pup. This is a language he understands. When your puppy has gone to lay down quietly and is relaxed, then call him over to restart the game but remember, when the biting starts, you convey “game over”.
This method of teaching your pup not to bite is not just a good way of letting him know when he’s crossed the line, but it also teaches him that he has sharp teeth that can hurt. For more information on how to properly train and take good care of your pet, you may check these reviews @redlinetribe.
To minimize biting as your pup grows, every member of your family needs to learn to be a member of your pack with higher status than your canine youngster. A pack leader leads by quiet calm example, and is firm, fair and consistent. If your pup has good leadership, he will grow into a well adjusted family member that is a great playmate for everyone in your household.