Stop your dog from play biting

by Brian DeMartino | January 21, 2022

Play biting from your puppy or adult dog as its called can hurt and become really annoying if you do not understand why it happens and especially if you do not know how to stop your dog from doing it. I have seen it ruin the relationship between owners, children, and family members with their dog to the point of not wanting to be around the dog at all. I just want to make it clear that in this article we are not discussing bites that come from aggressive behaviors. I will be posting future articles on that topic.

So why does your dog bite you?

In your dogs world and life using their mouth and teeth is perfectly normal and especially when it comes to playing with other dogs. It is what comes natural to them the same as when we use are hands to do things, using our hands just comes natural to us. So when you get a puppy she is going to start to play with your hands and fingers in the way that she knows is the right way for her to play, which is by using her mouth and play biting. To your puppy or adult dog there is nothing wrong with biting you to play as far as they are concerned.

Big mistake that dog owners make?

From being misinformed dog owners will show attention to their new puppy or adult dog and pet their dog when the dog is play mode. Once your dog starts nipping at your fingers or hands your natural response will be to pull your hand away and at the same time you will make some kind of discomfort sound like “ouch” and or get frustrated or upset. All of those things together is exactly what will cause her to continue to play bite your hand. WHY? Because the movement of your hand makes it more fun and interesting, like prey.

Let’s get on to how you stop the biting

Tug is one of the best ways stop the play biting

Since it is natural for your dog to use her mouth to play then you want to satisfy that need of biting, pulling, and shaking but with something besides your hand or arm. This is why tugs are so popular to use for our dogs training as reward, as fun to tug with us, and to fulfill their need to bite and chew when playing. (If your dog has guarding issues or does not want to bring the tug back to you to play with then it is best for you to hire a behaviorist to educate you on the right way to use the tug.) So at what age do you start using a tug? You can use one when you first get your puppy, but you want to get a very soft tug made for puppies out of a soft leather or other soft material and make sure that you are not pulling too hard on it because of the puppy teeth. You can go online and look up puppy tug kits and you will find ones made of a few different materials that are great for your puppy. The tug is used as a means of interacting with your dog during play in a way where your dog learns to bring the tug to you to tug on and then eventually learn to drop it until you use a release word for your dog to come get it again. The tug is not meant to just be left on the floor as a chew toy, little pieces can be chewed off and swallowed, so it is just out when you want to interact with your puppy or adult dog to play or if your dog starts play biting you.

The right kind of tugs are great at an early age

Tugs are a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog since it taps into your dogs natural drive and is a very positive reinforcing training tool. Tugs are used in professional dog training and sport and police dog training as reward after they are weened off of treats as reward. Tugs come in all different shapes and sizes but it is best to order good ones from online. Check out this website to get some great information about them and to purchase them, they are very reliable and sell great products.. https://leerburg.com/puppytug.htm

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