It is important when you have your puppy to teach him to inhibit his bite. It teaches a 'soft mouth' how to use his mouth gently. Why do we need to teach bite inhibition? Accidents happen, we fall drunkly over the dog, trap his tail in the car door or stand on him when he gets underfoot and when in pain dogs bite and chances are if you have taught your dog good 'bite inhibition' then the damage will not be great. This does not make him a 'bad dog' it makes him a 'dog'
It's your job to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile, and if you teach your to inhibit his bite that training will carry on if he is ever put in a position where he feels the need to bite.
So how do you go about teaching this? There are four stages. The first two stages involve making the puppies bites more and more gentle. The second stage is stopping the biting altogether. The training must be done in this order.
- No painful bites please. Most puppies will stop biting with a high-pitched squeal from you. If they stop praise and continue the game. The puppies that get more excited by your squeal can be either tired, over stimulated or terriers!! If your puppy takes no notice of your yelp end the game and walk away from your puppy. Remove all your attention, get up and walk away, give your puppy time out from you - but do not punish either. Puppy biting is natural dog behaviour - it's a puppy being a puppy.
- Now we need to get rid of the pressure. You now want to teach your puppy to gum you to death! You need to set a precedence of how hard they can bite and you do this gradually. If he bites harder yelp! Gradually you need to set your puppy's limit softer and softer. Remember to do this step by step, as a big jump between pressures will confuse your dog.
- When you say stop you mean stop! Teach 'take it' and 'leave it' and 'drop it.' You need to be able to start and stop a game under control.
- You may never touch human skin or clothing with your teeth unless invited. This is just taking stage 3 one step further and having everything under your control.
None of these stages require any punishment greater than a 'time out' and withdrawal of attention. When you teach bite inhibition you need to put your hands in your dogs mouth all the time, get him used them being there, inspect his gums and his teeth - for your vets sake.
Original article from: http://www.apdt.co.uk