How to stop a dog from mouthing and/or biting people:
- If your dog is biting too hard. Make a yelping sound or “Ouch” and stop all play and interactions.
- Don’t talk to your dog, don’t pull your hand away.
- Let your hand go limp and ignore the dog. We call it the victim’s hand.
- Your dog will get bored because you are not interacting with him and will stop. Only then can you resume play and interactions.
- This way your dog knows that when he puts that much pressure into a bite, the human no longer wants to plays.
How to get out of a mouthing or biting interaction with your dog?
Many people do not like it when their dog or puppy bites or mouths on them during play or the everyday interactions. It is perfectly acceptable for you to now allow your dog or puppy bite. If your dog or puppy puts his mouth or teeth on you, make a yelping sound and stop interacting with your dog or puppy. Your puppy will begin to make a connection that every time he bites/mouths the play stops. If he wants the play to continue he needs to stop this unwanted behavior that. Do not pull your hand away! If you do, your dog or puppy will think that you are playing tug with him or her, which can cause injury to you. Your dog should get bored with your limp hand and move on to something else. You can also give your dog or puppy something appropriate to chew on like a toy.
Here are some additional tips from the ASPCA:
- Give your dog a chew toy or dog-friendly bone instead.
- Encourage other types of play like tug-of-war
- Teach your dog impulse control by practicing stay and sit and wait.
- Provide stimulating and new toys that you rotate through to make sure your dog is not bored.
- Provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to socialize and play with other dogs.
- Do not hesitate to give your dog a time out if needed. Simply, without talking, put your dog in a crate or in their quite area of the home.
- Avoid waving your fingers and your hand around and making lots of noise as this could excite your dog and make him think you are playing.
- DO NOT discourage your dog to play with you. Mouthing is a totally natural form of play with dogs and at WDMD we simply allow mouthing as long as the dog is not biting down.
- DO NOT hit your dog because this can make them afraid of you and could cause some of them to bite even harder. You do not want to do anything that will ruin your relationship with your dog.
Because mouthing issues can be challenging to work with, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.