Your puppy should not be displaying a biting or nipping problem once he reaches the age of 15 weeks or more. By that time you should have already administered proper training techniques and specific commands to get your puppy to stop his mouthing behavior. However, if this is still a problem or if you have adopted a puppy that’s a little older than 15 weeks and is new in the home, then the following tips can help you get your puppy to stop biting your hands and nipping at your fingers:
1. The first item on your checklist should be to immediately cease playing all puppy games that include roughhousing. I realize that part of the fun of having a new puppy is playing games like tug-of-war and wrestling, but unfortunately, if you’re faced with an animal that is still not over his mouthing period, you must sacrifice these types of activities. By playing these games, you are giving him the notion that he is allowed to roughhouse with you at any time he wants. And dogs to do this mostly through nipping and biting.
2. While it’s okay to allow some nipping from very young puppies, when your dog is older than 15 weeks, all forms of nipping should be totally discouraged. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little nibble on your hand that seems to be harmless, give your dog a direct command to stop doing that and pull your arm away quickly.
3. If need be, apply a type of “shock method” to get him to stop biting. Keep in mind that I am not referring to anything that is harmful to your dog. A spray bottle of water fits the bill perfectly. Anything that you can quickly spritz at his body or head when he nibbles is enough to deter him from wanting to bite ever again. Most of the time, this technique is all a pet owner will need in order to eradicate their dog’s mouthing issue.
4. Last but not least, use firm and disciplinary commands when needed. This goes for puppies of all ages. There is nothing wrong with immediately giving a loud and firm “No Bite!” command if you feel a sudden nibble at your hand. However, there are two things to keep in mind here: Do not yell so loud that it scares your puppy, and second, avoid staring at your puppy’s eyes for a long period of time because he will interpret this as a confrontation.
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