One essential aspect of puppy training is ending puppy biting. It’s a common behavior in young dogs, whether it’s gentle “mouthing” or nipping. However, it’s definitely a behavior that needs to stop if you want your puppy to grow up to be a well behaved adult.
There are many reasons a puppy might continue biting, despite your best efforts to make it cease. A puppy needs its mother for at least 8 weeks to grow healthy and strong, but it also needs its littermates for socialization. Puppies learn bite inhibition from their siblings. If your dog was separated from its siblings prior to 8 weeks of age, then that might be the cause of puppy biting.
Other questions a dog trainer might ask you: How much exercise does your puppy get? Have you taken them to a “puppy kindergarten” training class? Do you socialize them? Do they spend time playing with other dogs?
Nipping and mouthing is normal puppy behavior and a dog can be trained to stop. They could also simply outgrow if they are still very young. If you are willing to put some time and energy into puppy training your dog, and if you connect with the right resources, your dog’s behavior can improve.
If your puppy does not draw blood and their tail is wagging, it is possible that they think biting is a game. Just like children, dogs need structure, rules and boundaries. Puppies in particular have to be taught the “house rules” about what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Things like couch privileges, leash walking and how rough is too rough to play are all part of this process. We suggest teaching these behaviors using positive reinforcement. This puppy training method is both humane and effective. If you have difficulty doing this on your own, set up a consultation with a dog trainer.
If your puppy’s tail isn’t wagging when they bite, it’s possible that they are biting out of fear or aggression. You should also speak to a trainer if this is the case. There are even anxiety medications and calming products that may help in some situations.
Almost every dog can overcome their issues with the help of dedicated owners. Try and hang in there and always be proactive. You may need a mix of puppy training, socialization, behavior modification and medication to get your dog to a happy place, but almost every dog can get over their lot and fit into your life in harmony. We hope there is something useful in here that will help you. And know that you are not alone! Good luck!