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What is Puppy Bite Inhibition?

Puppy bite inhibition is a puppy’s ability to control the intensity of their bite and their ability to control when and when not to bite. Training a puppy not to bite is arguably the most important lesson they will ever learn.  The way you train your puppy will determine their entire future and the dog they will become. A dog’s character, temperament, and behavior habits are all formed during puppy-hood. For this reason, it is important to start training as early as possible.

Bite inhibition training is a sub category of behavior training.  Behavior training is really behavior modification training.  It is the process of adjusting a dog’s natural habits to mesh better with our lifestyle and the society in which we live. Dog’s are the most happy when we are happy. This is why you should convey a clear message to them all the time and let them know that biting a person is not acceptable.

Up to 8 weeks of age, puppies are normally still in their litter.  During nursing and play-fighting, they are corrected for biting too rough by their mother and siblings.  By the time a puppy makes it home, assuming they were properly socialized, they have a pretty good understanding of bite inhibition with other puppies and dogs.

For the most part, they teach themselves bite inhibition with other dogs during puppy-hood.  However, pet owners need to supplement their development by teaching them proper behavior towards people.

Generally speaking, dogs love to make people happy. They almost never do anything out of malice, so puppy biting is usually a misunderstanding.  When a dog does something that ends up hurting, we usually react with a few upset words and an angry tone.  When a canine is calm, they can interpret tones relatively easy. But if they are biting, they are probably too excited to be able to focus on tones.  In this case, the pitch and following actions are the most important parts.  When it comes to bite training, you have to react differently than what is natural to you.  Instead, you must react the way a dog would if they were bitten.

How to show your puppy that biting a person is unacceptable:

Make a loud, high-pitched yelp noise right when your puppy bites you.  Then stand up and face your back towards them. If they need some extra hints, walk into a room and close the door. Ending play time really gets the point across.  Once they are calm and stop biting, you can continue playing with them.  This way you’re not accidentally rewarding them for bad behavior. Let’s say your puppy bit you and you shouted, but kept on playing. They don’t even realize they did anything wrong. In fact, they think they did something right and will look forward to biting again.

It’s crucial to help puppies learn bite inhibition, so they grow up with the right values regarding biting. Puppies that receive little training on bite inhibition may grow to develop behavior problems.  Puppies that never learn to control their biting can continue into adulthood. An adult dog has a considerable amount of jaw strength and can seriously injure a person or animal. Unfortunately, in our society, a dog that bites a person can receive the death penalty regardless of whose fault it really is.

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