Behavior: Stop the dog from biting – Part 1

A puppy that bites should be stopped from doing this at a young age. It seems cute and playful when a pup is nibbling on you, but it isn’t cute when that same dog still thinks it is OK to do this when it is an adult. I have seen people hit and yell at their pups for biting. To me, this is not an effective way to manage this. I know of some trainers that would tell you to ignore the nibble and instead find one of their toys, replace your arm(or whatever is being nibbled on) with the toy and then praise the pup for nibbling the toy instead.

From a purely behavioral standpoint, I advocate doing what the bitch does to punish a pup. Take a couple fingers and use them to pinch the pups upper lip against the pups teeth until they yelp. Once they yelp, let go. A bitch will nip her pup like that. I don’t suggest biting the pup, but pinching their lips with our fingers like that is an effective way to mimic this action.

Again, this is from a behavioral standpoint. In my opinion, whether you are training dogs or horses, training from a behavioral standpoint is the best way to go. First off, it uses natural behaviors and body language that the animals use on themselves. Secondly it is much more humane for the animal. when a pup is playing with its mother, gets a little out of hand and nips to hard you don’t see the mother beat her pup or even smack it really. The mother will growl, she will nip it back, things like that. She uses her behavior and her body language to teach the pup what is acceptable and what is not. Animals read our body language all the time. If we use that same language properly to communicate back to them then it will make for a much more well adjusted animal, and one that is much easier to train and to handle.

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