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and biting is a normal part of being a puppy but is clearly unacceptable
in an adult dog. Puppies must be TAUGHT that it is unacceptable to mouth
and bit human hands or clothing, in other words they must be taught bite
outlined below is appropriate for puppies (up to about 18 weeks, with
their first set of teeth) that have not yet learned to inhibit their playful
program, it is important that EVERYONE who interacts with your dog, (e.g.
ALL family members and ALL other people) follows the same rules. Children
should be closely supervised to ensure that they are following the rules
too. Your dog must learn that he should not mouth or bite ANYONE.
is broken down into three stages:
No painful bites.
· No pressure with teeth.
· No mouthing at all.
that EVERYONE who interacts with your dog follows the rules and that everyone
is aware what stage has been reached. It may be helpful to put a sign
up indicating what stage you are at so that everyone can be consistent
with your dog.
develop bite inhibition through interaction with their litter mates. When
a puppy bites another puppy too hard, the second puppy will yelp and discontinue
playing. In this way the first puppy learns not to bite so hard.
painful bites. In the same way you as humans must act like fellow littermate
and let your dog know when he has bitten you to hard. You should yelp
in order to startle your dog and then walk away from your dog and ignore
him for about a minute. Ignore means no looking at your dog, no speaking
to your dog and no touching your dog! If necessary you can leave the room
for that minute (a time out) so that he has no chance of play
biting you while you are ignoring him.
in their general sensitivity and it is important that you startle your
dog APPROPRIATELY when he bites. If when you yelp your dog immediately
comes back to bite you again then you are not startling your dog enough:
Try a louder yelp or try shouting ouch. Similarly make sure
that you do not startle your dog too much. If your dog runs away and hides
when you yelp then you are most likely yelping too loudly: next time try
a quieter yelp.
pressure with teeth (gentle mouthing only). Once your dog has learned
that painful bites are unacceptable, you can progress to training your
dog that any pressure of his teeth against your skin is unacceptable.
Use the same procedure of yelping and then ignoring for about a minute.
mouthing at all. Once your dog has learned that he should not exert any
pressure with his teeth against your skin you can progress to training
your dog that ANY mouthing at all is unacceptable.
your dog (his nose or any other part of him) in response to his mouthing
or play biting! Not only is this unnecessary but also it will likely encourage
him to continue biting you, either in play or in self-defense.
Do not forget
to provide appropriate chew toys and bones for your dog and praise him
for chewing on these. In this way your dog will learn not only what is
UNACCEPTABLE but also what is ACCEPTABLE in terms of using his mouth.
You may find
it helpful to use a taste deterrent (available from pet shops) on your
hands or clothing while you are going through this program. First make
sure that the product is actually distasteful to your dog. (Some dogs
like the taste of taste deterrents; cheap whiskey or Bitter Apple seem
to work the best).
dog has successfully completed all stages of bite inhibition you will
want ensure that your dog CONTINUES to have good bite inhibition throughout
life. Therefore it is a good idea to handle his mouth daily (open it and
touch his teeth and tongue) and reward him for being gentle.
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