Stop Puppy Biting Problems
Want to know how to stop puppy biting problems before they get out of control? Biting puppies are one of the biggest frustrations new dog owners face. Excessive biting on the part of a new puppy often leaves people feeling like they're in over their heads. The good news is that there are a few simple ways to eliminate most early problem behaviors without too many hassles, and biting is one of them.
How To Stop Puppy Biting
So, you've picked out your new puppy, bought all the necessary gear and equipment for her - and all she seems to want to do is bite your hands and ankles raw.
Understand first of all that biting is completely natural in puppies. In the dog world, this is how puppies play with each other. Your puppy isn't trying to hurt you - it's just a game to her. You need to make her understand that this is not an acceptable game to play with humans.
There are a few key points to keep in mind when you're trying to reduce biting.
Make sure the puppy plays more with humans than other dogs. Too many rough games with other dogs will mean your puppy never really learns how to "behave like a person." You need to teach the pup acceptable human-dog games like Fetch - games that don't involve biting.
Discipline your dog the way her mother would. Let me introduce the muzzle hold or muzzle grip.
The Muzzle Grip
The muzzle grip is a training technique based on the way dogs and wolves discipline their puppies and keep them in line in the wild. You simply wrap your hand around the puppy's mouth, hold it firmly shut for a few seconds, look the puppy in the eyes and firmly say "No."
The muzzle grip is an excellent way to deal with biting because it's based on the puppy's natural programming. The idea is not to hurt the puppy - don't squeeze the muzzle, simply hold it shut.
If you find that the muzzle grip isn't changing the puppy's behavior, try extending the period of time you apply the grip for.
You can see a photo of how the muzzle grip is applied in my training ebook.
How To Use Chew Toys To Stop Puppy Biting Problems
Another big factor in dealing with biting problems in puppies is making sure your pup has enough to chew on. There is a huge range of different chew toys and chewable foods on the market these days. Experiment and see which ones your puppy likes best. Jack Russell puppies seem to have a taste for dried pig's ear. Sounds a little nasty, I know, but trust me - they love them.
Nylon chew toys are also very effective. They are almost indesctructible for a puppy and they don't contain small parts for your puppy to swallow.
Often you will want to play games with your puppy, but it becomes difficult because of the biting. When your puppy bites you, first apply the muzzle grip. After that, put something more appropriate into the puppies teeth - for instance, his nylon chew toy. You are conditioning him to understand that he's not allowed to chew on people, but he is allowed to chew on the objects you give to him. Try not to react too much when the puppy bites - puppies will repeat any behavior that gets a reaction, whether it's good or bad. If the biting continues after you apply the muzzle grip, simply get up and walk away. The puppy needs to understand that biting will result in a loss of attention and no more games.
For more tips on keeping your Jack Russell puppy under control, check out The Top Ten Jack Russell Training Mistakes, a free report I wrote to help owners avoid the pitfalls of training.
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