Dog Training: Teaching Puppy Not to Jump or Bite
There are two behaviors that you need to learn how to control now that you have your new puppy. These two behaviors need to be dealt with at a young age to ensure they get off to a good start, and to ensure they don’t cause havoc when they get much bigger.
Biting and jumping up are easy issues to deal with at an early age than it is when they grow to be more stubborn. The odd nip and a little jump up from excitement may seem cute when they are young, but as they grow and get stronger, those little nips get a lot stronger and can cause a nasty injury.
These two behaviors also cause problems when your dog is interacting with children. Their skin is a lot more tender than your skin, and the kids are more likely to be pushed over from the puppy jumping up, then when they are jumping up at you to greet you.
How to stop a dog from jumping up on you
You have to keep in mind that for some breeds, the cute little puppy, which fits in your hand right now, will be almost half the size of an adult, if not bigger. Socialization with other dogs is an important skill for your puppy to master, it will help the puppy learn where the boundaries are. Socialization with people is equally as important, but people are likely to be less welcoming towards your dog when it is 80 -100 pounds and jumping up whilst they are trying to talk or having a hot drink.
When it comes to children, it’s a whole new ball game, the 100-pound dog will not only knock the child over, they could end up with a serious injury, such as banging their head when pushed over.
The issue being, people tend to get excited when they are greeted by a brand new puppy. They get just as excited as the puppy, they speak in a high pitched voice, give the puppy lots of attention, lots of cuddles, lots of pats on the head. Some will even roll around on the floor with them. When this occurs, it will have a negative effect on discouraging the puppy to jump up.
When it comes to stopping a dog from jumping up, the idea is to redirect the dog’s energy towards something that is more socially acceptable, such as asking for his paw or getting him to sit on command.
You will also find that you will not only need to train the puppy, but you will also need to teach people around you to not encourage them to jump up, and you will need to make sure they stick to it, no matter how tempting it gets.
Your puppy will most likely jump up when they are being greeted. So this is the time to divert that energy towards something other than jumping up.
To start, if the dog does jump up, don’t shout at them, take the dogs paws, place them on the floor and say firmly “down”. It will take them a while to figure out what is going on, but with consistency and praise, your dog will learn that this isn’t acceptable.
Now that the dog’s feet are firmly on the floor, give them lots of praise, but don’t let them jump back up. If they do, take their feet again and place them back on the floor. Rinse and repeat until they stop jumping up. It might take a while on the first few goes.
Once they get the hang of this, take a treat and ask them to sit. Take the treat put it near their nose and move it in line with their forehead, forcing them to lift their head. Doing this will naturally make the dog put their bum on the ground. Once their bum is on the ground, ask for their paw, by saying “paw”, and hold out your hand. When they put their paw in your hand, let it go, give them praise and give them the treat.
Diverting their attention and energy can be done by a few different methods. Above is probably the easiest method, but you could also ask them to roll over or crawl, but start with sitting, and work your way up to keep their interest.
Consistency is key here, as it is with all types of dog training, so be sure that the family member also knows the rules and how to deal with jumping up. Make sure they understand that jumping up is not allowed.
How to stop your puppy from biting
Biting is a natural thing for puppies to do, but they must learn that it isn’t acceptable to bite people. As I mentioned above, behaviors such as jumping and biting may seem cute and playful to begin with when they are puppies, but when they get bigger and much stronger, a bite from a strong dog could end up in court, or medical bills.
Stop it early on, to keep your family and members of the public safe when the dog is older and stronger.
To stop, this behavior, imitating what the puppies brother and sisters would do, is an effective method. When the puppy is with its brothers and sisters, they will quickly alert the puppy that what they did hurt and is not acceptable. They do this by yelping, and sometimes retaliating with a nip back to show the puppy that hurts and not a nice thing to do. The pup then learns over time that their sharp pointy teeth are for eating, not biting littermates or people.
When the pup is taken away from the litter at a young age, this behavior correction is not possible, and they are not taught that biting is unacceptable and will nip at your hands instead. This leaves it down to you to teach the puppy that this is not a nice thing for them to do. Although, if you can teach them early, it is quite an easy behavior to correct.
The quickest way of correcting this behavior is to imitate the other puppies in the litter. To do this, when the puppy bites you, you must yelp and pull your hand away. The yelp will make the dog aware that this is poor behavior and will learn that it isn’t acceptable. When practicing this will my Labrador puppy, it wouldn’t matter who put their hand near the dog’s mouth, old or young, she would turn her face away instantly.
Beside you taking on the full task of teaching the right way, the easiest method of teaching them it is not acceptable behavior to bite is to let them socialize as much as possible with other dogs, typically in a park or secure play area. If taking your puppy to the local dog park makes you nervous, most pet stores and vets hold puppy classes that people bring their puppies to allow them to all interact together, as they would within their litter. Puppy classes are a very safe way to give your puppy the much-needed interaction with other dogs of a similar size, removing the possibility of them coming in contact with an angry pit bull.
When puppies interact with dogs you don’t know, it can be quite nerve-racking, but be sure to talk to the owner of the other dog before you let them play, and be sure to stay close whilst they are playing to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Although you will need to leave them to get a little rough, make sure it is limited.
The benefits of allowing this interaction and a little rough play can really pay off when at a young age. A poorly socialized adult dog or a dog with no social skills, can become very dangerous and cause serious injury to other dogs, or even young children. This should be avoided at all costs and is easily remedied by interaction at a young age. Teaching puppies to be social by the age of three months should be the aim.
Socializing puppies with children is much more accepted by the parents than it is with larger, adult dogs. People will allow their children to play with puppies, and understandably reluctant on occasions to allow their children to play with big dogs that may hurt the child because of its strength. It is deemed a lot less threatening for children to be playing with puppies, than an adult pit bull or a German shepherd.
Socialization shouldn’t be restricted to children and puppies. Walking your dog on a leash along a busy street or in a town will expose them to loud noises, cars, bikes and other animals such as cats and birds. This will help them to be more social and less nervous when around other people. You must install this early on as it will get more difficult as they get older.
One thing that my dog would never get used to early on was hats. She would bark at anyone wearing a hat. As soon as the hat was taken off, she would be calm. This is another example of why you should expose them to as much as possible when they are young.
The example above could have easily amounted to a vicious bite of someone wearing a hat, simply because it made her nervous and on edge. Yet, I could walk her along a busy road without a lead and be confident that she would always be by my side.
Another reason for biting and chewing is because of teething issues. When pups are growing, their teeth can hurt and they will turn to chewing for relief. Providing your dog with chew toys, ropes, and hides will prevent boredom and more importantly prevent chewing. These toys and chews will also give the relief they need to cut their gums in the same way babies do.