Today we are going to talk about dogs who "mouth" or bite you or other people, and look at four quick solutions you can to stop this behavior starting today.
We actually want puppies to use their jaws, and that's because the only way they can develop the muscles around their jaw is by strengthening them by biting on toys and other wonderful chewy things.
But what we do not want is for puppies or dogs to bite us.
Your job is to teach your puppy the "rules of contact." What that means is, by the time your puppy is an adolescent dog, there should be no mouthing or biting on your arms or your pant legs, or anywhere associated with a person. So, your job is to teach your puppy acceptable places to put his mouth.
Your first job is to teach puppies how to bite softly, then step 2 is to teach them never to put their teeth on any person or any piece of clothing.
So let's take a look at four simple ways you can accomplish this (by the way, all of the techniques below are really easy to learn when you see exactly how it's done through video demonstrations. find these videos, so please keep reading all the way until the end) …
Also, just one note before continue – dogs who bite can be a very serious issue. What we're describing here is more of a "mouthing" behavior, not aggressive biting. If you have a dog with a biting problem or who has ever bitten anyone, it is your responsibility to seek qualified professional in-person one-on-one training to correct that behavior. I can not assume liability for the application or misapplication of any of the techniques described in this material.
Four Ways to Prevent Mouthing or Biting
# 1 Say "Ouch!"
If your puppy bites you, say in a low voice, "Ouch." Do not grab your hand away. Just leave your hand there and say "Ouch!"
Remember, the tone of your voice is important because a high-pitched or excited voice can stimulate a puppy and make them want to bite more! So, leave your hand there and say "Ouch!" For many dogs and puppies, this will be enough for him to stop.
# 2 Give a Good Alternative
After you've said "ouch" and the puppy opens his mouth, give him a chew toy, or a ball, or a bone – something that allows you to teach that this is an acceptable item to bite, but my hands or my arm are not.
# 3 Teach "Take It / Leave It"
If you can teach your dog the "Take It / Leave It" technique, you'll have a great tactic to use to teach your dog all sorts of positive behaviors.
To teach this to your dog, first open your hand with a treat in it and say "Take it."
Then, close your hand with a treat inside and, when your dog moves his nose away, say "Good leave it.
And then you can open your hand again, say "Take it," and let your dog take the treat.
You'll need to repeat the "Take It / Leave It" sequence a few times before your dog understands, but once he does you'll have a very effective solution for stopping biting. All you have to do when your dog bites your hand or your arm is tell him to "Leave it," and he'll stop.
# 4 Use a Squirt Bottle
Using a squirt bottle can be another way to snap your dog out of an unwanted behavior. If your dog is biting your hand or your arm, grab a squirt bottle with your free hand and squirt him right in his muzzle.
Not in his eyes, but right in his mouth. That's basically a reality check that tells the dog to stop what he's doing right now. Then, give him a redirection like "sit," "down" or have him do "doggie pushups." (More on this below if you do not know what doggie push ups are.)
Also, here's one final important reminder. Remember to pay attention to how other people in your house are treating your dog. Are they agitating the dog and playing tug of war, or playing rough? This kind of play can simplify your dog to bite. So if that's the case, than you're probably going to have to do some very important "people training" as well.