Don’t punish your dog for biting! It doesn’t work.

Below are four ways to stop your dog biting without punishing him (e.g. by putting him in a crate). This tip was taken from the Dog Training Planner

Outcome: Stop your dog biting

Curbing play-biting/mouthing/nipping is the top priority for new puppy parents. Consistency and a positive, gentle approach allows us to quickly and effectively teach a puppy to make the right choices. The emphasis is on teaching the puppy the appropriate behaviours, instead of correcting them for making reasonable mistakes. Remember that puppies love to interact with their humans in all sorts of ways, and learn from every interaction that we have with them. As an alternative to using aversive punishment, this multi-faceted approach allows us to creatively connect with our dogs by employing positive reinforcement and harnessing a relationship that is based on trust & respect.

Puppy play biting is a completely normal, healthy and necessary for your puppies development. It’s the combination of teething and the curious mind of a young dog. The goal is to teach your dog not to use their teeth (bite) human skin.

Step 1: Never Punish Play Biting 

Punishing a dog for play biting only teaches him to stop biting people who punish them effectively, the bites just get redirected to other people (a big problem if your dog is going to be around young children).

Be proactive rather than reactive.

Being “proactive” means that you don’t have to wait for the dog to do something wrong in order to show them the correct, alternate behaviour. This is especially important when curbing play biting.

Step 2: Provide Suitable Teething Toys

Always have a couple of toys available for your dog to chew on such as: nylon bones and peanut butter stuffed kongs.

Step 3: Teach “Off”

This is a word that teaches your dog to stop or back off your hand. Grab a handful of delicious treats and allow your dog to sniff your closed fist. If this is your first time doing this, be prepared to outlast a very persistent puppy because it will sniff and lick for several seconds to try to get to the food. Tell your dog “Off” just once and wait until he back offs. Immediately rewarding him the second he backs off.  Do this several times and your puppy will respond to the “Off” cue very quickly.

Step 4: Teach Tug Properly

Get an appropriate toy to play tug with your dog, and have fun playing. The message this “tug playing” communicates to your dog is that toys are much more fun to play with then hands.