Don’t be alarmed if your puppy starts taking a liking to gnawing on you. He is not being malicious; he is just being a normal puppy. Young dogs, just like human infants, go through a teething process where biting, chewing and gnawing help relieve the pain in the gums and also helps with learning the skills to chew and eat. For puppies, biting and chewing are part of play time.
While the biting is part of puppy nature, you can take some steps to control it. Because you are his master, it is up to you to train him on what is good and bad in regards to his teething and biting problem. For the most part, puppies are adorable, cuddly animals and are not being mean or realizing that they could be hurting you with their teeth. To them, they are playing and showing affection. However, in a tiny percentage, there may be something that could cause them to bite.
Before he becomes too old, your dog must learn to hinder that tendency to bite. This should happen at or before four months of age. If your puppy stayed with its mum, he would have learned it from her. But many times, as soon as puppies are weaned, they are separated from her and therefore don’t learn the natural way to stop biting.
One of the key ways to train your puppy not to bite is to integrate him with other dogs and puppies. That natural progression to stop biting from their mom could likely be picked up if he were around other dogs. Puppies nip and bite each other while playing. Believe it or not, your puppy will soon learn that he doesn’t like getting bit from others during play. This alone eventually teaches them to stop. In this respect, you cannot teach him about the biting. He can only learn it through the socialization with other puppies.
Integrating your puppy with other dogs also teaches him that they are not scary creatures. Besides, with other dogs, your puppy can be himself – rambunctious and playful. It’s a perfect way for him to burn up some energy so he will be calmer for you when he goes home with you. Besides, if your puppy has plenty of playtime with other dogs, you will notice a dramatic decrease in the gnawing and biting on you and other members of your family.
It is when you do not socialize your puppy with other dogs and animals that the biting can start or continue to become a problem. Dogs bite for two reasons – they are scared or they feel they must act forceful to get someone or something away from them. Typically, if a dog has not been around other dogs or animals, they are more likely to be biters. However, if you take the time and effort to socialize him early, you will eventually be able to curb that teeth action down.
The bottom line is that active exposure to other puppies and dogs will help your own puppy grow out of his biting stage with you and your family. In addition, ensure that there is respect and trust in your owner-puppy relationship. That means, when you reprimand, you do not yell at your puppy. You also do not hit, slap, kick or anything else physical. You use a firm, authoritative voice and always maintain consistency with reprimands and rewards. And always, always show affection for your dog. Knowing he is loved is half the battle for your puppy to learn not to bite.