If you’ve tried to break your dog’s nipping habit but still can’t seem to get it to stop, you may need to consider getting a professional trainer. Nipping is not only irritating, it can also become a dangerous behavior. Not only can it hurt the people in your household, but it can also harm other dogs.
The best way to teach a dog to stop nipping is to teach it alternative behaviors. Several methods are available, including environmental management, such as putting your dog on a leash before inviting guests. A muzzle is also a useful tool to use while training.
First, try using a treat as a reward. By putting a treat in front of your dog, it will associate the treat with the behavior and stay put when visitors come. Another way to teach your dog to stop nipping is to practice heeling and handing over the food reward. This will help your dog understand the value of walking calmly. In addition to using treats, you can also use the phrase “Leave it” or “Don’t Touch It” to redirect your pet’s attention away from your fingers and toes.
A yelling tone does not seem to work, but the opposite is true. By yelling at your puppy, it will only teach your pup that biting will get it attention. It will learn that this behavior is not acceptable and that you won’t tolerate it.
You can also use a bite deterrent, such as a soda can filled with pennies or a water bottle. Shaking the bottle will make a noise that your puppy won’t like, and it will likely stop your dog from biting you. However, you have to be consistent in training your pup to ignore your bites, as repeated spraying won’t break the habit.
To discourage your dog from mouthing, try using a spray with tabasco or bitter apple. The spray should be pet-safe and not harm your dog’s skin. Another good solution is using diluted lemon juice. It will deter your dog from chewing on your skin and provide outlets for his mouthing.
Another effective way to curb a puppy’s nipping is to give it a chew toy to play with. This will satisfy his natural instinct to gnaw. It will also distract him from the people around him. It is important to supervise the puppy when chewing toys. If you notice your puppy chewing on something, act like he’s scared. Using this technique will help your dog feel better and less likely to bite again.
If you’re having trouble preventing your puppy from biting, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer. Getting a dog trainer will help you train your dog without damaging your household. In addition to hiring a trainer, you can consult with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior for more information about humane training.