Teaching Bite Inhibition

Dealing with Biting - Training the Companion Dog 2 – Behavior Problems

Bite-inhibition is a very important step-by-step process.  When you play active games with your dog, it’s important to enforce strict rules.  Otherwise, your dog’s our of control play will get them in trouble some day.

Puppy Biting - Training the Companion Dog 2 – Behavior Problems

Play like a puppy: when your pup bites you, yelp and stop playing with them for a moment to let them know you didn’t like it.

Rules for Mouthing - SIRIUS Puppy Training Classic

To train human bite inhibition, put your hand in their mouth and praise them until they bite hard enough that it hurts a little.  Yell “Ouch!” to let them know they’ve hurt you and they will relax their jaws, at which point you can resume praising them.

Puppy Biting - SIRIUS Puppy Training Classic

Puppy biting is a vital part of dog development.  Do not stop them from mouthing until you’ve trained them to have a gentle mouth.  Then they won’t get into trouble by hurting other people or dogs.

Play to Socialize - Training the Companion Dog 1 – Socialization & Training

Puppies learn very valuable social skills during their play sessions, with the most important being bite-inhibition.

Punishing Biting - Training the Companion Dog 2 – Behavior Problems

If your pup doesn’t get the message from a simple yelp, you should yell louder and put them on time-out by leaving the room.  Always take a moment to make up after a harsh reprimand by asking them to come and sit, then give them a treat.


Teaching Bite Inhibition

Please read this section extremely carefully. I shall repeat over and over: teaching bite inhibition is the most important aspect of your puppy's entire education.

Certainly puppy biting behavior must eventually be eliminated. We cannot have an adult dog playfully mauling family, friends, and strangers in the manner of a young puppy. However, it is essential that this be done gradually and progressively via a systematic two-step process: first, to inhibit the force of puppy bites and second, to lessen the frequency of puppy mouthing.

Ideally, the two phases should be taught in sequence, but with more active puppy biters you may wish to work on both stages at the same time. In either case, you must teach your puppy to bite or mouth gently before puppy biting behavior is eliminated altogether

Inhibiting the Force of Bites


Puppy Biting

Bite inhibition is the single most important lesson a dog must learn. Adult dogs have teeth and jaws that can hurt and harm. All animals must learn to inhibit use of their weapons against their own kind, but domestic animals must learn to be gentle with all animals, especially people. Domestic dogs must learn to inhibit their biting toward all animals, especially toward other dogs and people. The narrow time window for developing a "soft mouth" begins to close at four-and-a-half months of age, about the time when the adult canine teeth first show. Providing your puppy with an ideal forum to learn bite inhibition is the most pressing reason to enroll him in puppy classes before he is eighteen weeks old.

Bite inhibition does not mean stopping the puppy from biting altogether. On the contrary, puppies must bite in order to learn bite inhibition. Bite inhibition means, learning to inhibit the force of the bites, so they no longer hurt or cause damage.

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