That seems to be working, but I don't want to punish him the wrong way and have him still be aggressive. So how should I train my puppy?
By Erin from Hemet, CA
Don't give him a biting substitute (the toy) teach him not to bite, period. It's not mean to shut his mouth and say "no bite" - Say "No Bite" not just "no" so he knows specifically what not to do. If he stops only to try again, repeat the process and then turn your back to him for about ten seconds. It really breaks their hearts to be ignored and they will find a way (learn what you are trying to teach) to make you happy. He really just wants to please you, but you have to be clear about what is and isn't acceptable. If you are consistent, he will learn that biting is not acceptable.
I highly recommend you find a local branch/chapter of the American Kennel Club and ask about their "Puppy Classes". A good chapter will accept all pure breeds, mixes and mutts and will be a great opportunity for you to bond with your puppy and begin the process of socializing him with other dogs and people.
From your posts, you sound very eager to be a wonderful pet parent, but you do seem a little nervous about it. The staff (most are volunteers) at local kennel clubs will be a great support system for you. There are plenty of people on this site with lots of information and advice to share with you so keep coming back when you need help, but there's nothing like actually meeting, mixing and mingling with other fur pets and their skin parents. Good Luck! (11/30/2010)
Thank you so much! This really helps, and I will keep coming back with questions. (11/30/2010)
You have a very cute little puppy!
I agree, teach him "no bite!", say it firmly and set him away from you as you do. If he stops, fine, if he comes back and bites again, repeat it,if he does it again, stop playing with him for awhile, he'll get the picture eventually. You may have to hold his muzzle as you tell him no if he keeps pulling his head away and coming back at you. We did this with our dog and she thought she was so smart when she figured it out, she'd stop biting, but very gently take our hand into her mouth and hold it as if to say "see, I'm not biting!"!
Don't give him a 'bite substitute', but he definitely needs something to chew on. Puppies go through teething just like babies and their mouths hurt. They will chew and bite to relieve it and sometimes seem desperate. My dog had 2 favorite toys that were virtually indestructible! Her 'binky'(puppy pacifier) and a piece of bone-shaped black rubber that looked like tire tread. She chewed and chewed and chewed.
Also, when my mom was raising her German Shepard, we learned that with breeds that could have a tendency to be aggressive , you should never encourage games like tug-of-war , 'keep-away'(where you hold a toy out of reach for them to try to get) or anything else that turns it into a struggle/control issue between you and the dog. (12/01/2010)
Kudos to "lyonpridej" for mentioning something I forgot to mention. A puppy definitely needs chew toys but a chew toy should not be used as a "bite substitute." Sorry I didn't say so, too, but I agree that your pup is a cutie pie! (12/01/2010)
Watch the dog whisperer. It might sound silly,but, you will learn a lot. I have 2 pit girls, one 4 months and one 3 months. My girls are the sweetest. (12/27/2010)
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