Q:

How do you teach a puppy not to bite?

A:

Quick Answer

The basic process of teaching a puppy not to bite involves making the puppy aware that biting hurts humans through the use of sound and limited physical exertion. Behavior modification can include several different approaches.

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Full Answer

Most puppies learn how to control their biting from their mother and the other puppies in their litter. When one puppy bites another, the one bitten yelps or makes a sound of distress. This notifies the puppy doing the biting that its actions caused the other puppy pain. Over time, the puppies learn what actions hurt others and what actions are acceptable during play. If a puppy is not able to spend its early weeks with other puppies or its mother, it is possible to replicate this process.

To mimic the conditioning the puppy's litter mates would provide, owners can yelp when the puppy bites them. The puppy needs to know that when it bites someone, it causes pain. If a puppy continues to bite even after the owner makes sounds, ignoring the puppy until it calms down and returns to normal behavior is effective.

It is important that only adults teach puppies not to bite, as children are very likely to be hurt by, or inadvertently hurt, the puppy.

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