(c) Jenny Hawthorn

So your pup’s a biter. GREAT!!

That means you have a normal puppy☺. Pups use their mouths to explore the world around them. What we need to do is teach them what is acceptable to us and what is not.

When puppies bite you the initial reaction should be a high pitched squeal - listen to puppies playing and you will hear how they squeal when another pup hurts them. This noise almost always causes the biting pup to STOP. Then you must praise your pup for not biting. Your pup is learning bite inhibition .... it needs to be told what is too hard as it simply does not know. Puppy needs to be told in doggy language rather than human language as it is also not very good at human language.

This squeal is doggy language.

If puppy still persists and acts over excited (which it may be .. just like human kids, pups get over excited, over stimulated and over tired .. all of which can make them act like brats), the idea is to sit down to pup’s level (or bring pup up to yours on a chair) hold it firmly by your side, using your arm and elbow to keep it in place and firmly (but not harshly) hold pup’s muzzle until it quietens. It is important that you stay quiet, calm and basically IGNORE the pup during this. It is NOT a struggle or a fight. If you cannot do that move to the next step. If you CAN (and it is a very good technique), then when the pup eventually quietens, calmly let it go (you do not need to talk to puppy  .. just relax and let it go). A little while later QUIETLY praise the sweet calm pup. If it reverts to obnoxious behaviour repeat the step or move to the next step.

When all else fails or your temper feels frayed  .... time out is the answer. Put pup in a time out place (crate, bathroom .. somewhere safe and unstimulating) and close your ears to any complaints. When the pup is calm, QUIETLY open the door. Again you don't need to say anything but do remember to praise the pup when it is being calm and nice.

Just remember that this will pass .. and hopefully you will end up with a wonderful dog!

Use your "Back" key to return to the newsletter

Return to the Home Page