Puppies use their mouths to learn about their world. When communicating or playing with other dogs, they often jump and nip. However, when interacting with humans, this is unacceptable. Thus, puppy owners must teach their puppies the proper way to interact by ignoring unwanted behaviors and rewarding favorable ones.
Stop Puppy Biting
- Provide your puppy with lots of appropriate chew toys. If he starts to nip at you, put one of the toys in his mouth and praise him for biting the toy instead.
- If the puppy stops chewing on the toy and chews on your hand, say "ouch" or "no" in a loud voice. If he stops nipping at this time, praise and continue playing.
- If the puppy goes back to nipping, stand up and walk away, ignoring your puppy. When he calms down, return to petting or playing with him.
Don't hit your puppy or use other physical punishments when nipping. This may entice him to get even more aggressive, or it may scare him.
Stop Puppy Jumping on You
- Ignore all unwanted behavior. If you yell at your dog or push her off, you're still providing attention. Instead, walk past your dog like she isn't even there.
- As soon as she stops jumping, praise and give her attention. If she starts jumping again, immediately turn your back.
- If you are having problems ignoring this behavior, walk out of the room and do something else before greeting your dog. She should only receive attention when she is greeting calmly.
Stop Puppy Jumping on Visitors
- Leash your puppy when the visitors arrive.
- Instruct your puppy to sit when visitors arrive. If she does, allow your guests to greet her.
- If she starts jumping, move her away and ask your company to stop looking at her or talking to her.
- Wait until she sits again and let your company greet her again. Only allow her to say hello when she is sitting.
- If this is taking too long, invite your guests in your home and let them have a seat. You can chat while waiting for your dog to respond.
Be consistent when teaching your puppy not to bite and jump. Decide which behaviors you want to see from your puppy and reward those every time you see them. Ignore unwanted behaviors. If your puppy only gets attention when behaving properly, he will behave appropriately.
Sometimes puppies get so excited they will not be able to stop their bad behaviors. Utilize a timeout. Create a place where your puppy can go to calm down. Use a crate or an area gated off with a baby gate. Don't think of it as a punishment, just a calm place.
When your puppy keeps nipping or jumping and will not respond to commands, gently lead your puppy by the collar or with a short leash to this spot. Don't pick up your puppy as this can be rewarding. Ignore your puppy until she is calm and has stopped jumping or barking. If she comes out of the timeout, responding properly, reward her by playing with her. If not, put her back until she can be calm.