In dealing with the problem of a nipping or mouthing dog/puppy, it is important to remember that it is a dog’s natural behaviour to nip. Hence it is unrealistic to expect such behaviour will be corrected within a few training sessions or totally eliminated overnight. However with consistency, patient and practice, such behaviour can be corrected over time.
Ways to curb nipping behaviour in a dog/puppy:
- Avoid rough games such as play-slapping, wrestling, tug-of-war, etc
- Avoid vigorous petting, especially around the face. Always pet the dog gently and keeps the hand slow.
- Avoid playing with the dog using your hands as he may treat your hands as his toys. Keep several toys and treats at hand for the dog to focus on.
- Give plenty of exercise, such as fetching games, hide-and-seek, etc to burn off the energy in him; especially before any petting or interaction as a tired dog or puppy is not likely to nip.
What to do when your dog/puppy nips you:
- Freeze immediately.
- After freezing, say ‘Off’ or ‘No’ in a sharp tone but not to yell or shout.
- At this time, the dog will take his mouth away, back away and/or look at you. At this point, praise him gently and calmly.
- If he resumes his nipping, walk away from him.
- After several minutes have passed, approach and resume the activity with him as long as he does NOT nip again.
Remember: Never allow or continue any activity with a nipping dog/puppy no matter how small he is or whether the bite hurts.
This method can be used when the dog does not stop his nipping when you freeze:
- Spray an ‘anti-chewing’ spray in the dog’s mouth once. The spray has a bitter taste and the dog will normally dislike such taste.
- Spray it on your hands, feet and clothes before interacting with the dog.
- Put the dog on a leash (use a chain-link leash if he tends to bite the leash) or head collar before interacting with him.
- Say ‘No’ when he nips and gently tug the leash.
- Hold the dog’s head away from your body until the dog calms down.
- Slowly put our hands or feet back toward the dog’s mouth. NO fast movement.
- Praise him gently when he only sniffs or nuzzles as this is appropriate greeting gestures of a dog.
And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!
You Can Do It!
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner
135 Bylands Building
Middle Road #02-24
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE 188975 SG