I have noticed a lot of questions on here about puppy biting... that is not dominance. That is just continuation of litter behavior.
As far as puppies go, when they are biting ankles and drawing blood on hands and such, (especially Pits, I have so many puppy scars from excellent Pit puppies that went through their puppy stage and were not taught by mom about biting too hard), they are just doing what they did with their brothers and sisters in the litter.
Mom, as in the actual dog mom, should have bitten them and scolded them herself and hollered out loud when they bit her. But since most pups go home to their new mom, the human one, at around six weeks, they usually don't get the chance to learn this necessary skill. Always holler out when you are bitten by a puppy too hard.
When pups bite, they are not attacking even though their sharp puppy teeth draw blood often times. They need to never be played with in a hyper way, and when they get hyper, they need to be softly lifted off the floor, by their scruff or both of their fat cheeks, back legs on the floor only, and told quietly to STOP. Keep the position until they make an attempt to break eye contact and then pet them SOFTLY.
Puppies should not be left alone with young children for this reason, they can hurt them by playing too rough, and the child would not know how to deal with this hyper play. In a moment a pup's teeth can bite or scratch a child who cannot get out of the way fast enough.
One of the best things you can do for your puppy, is not to let it determine when it gets petted, but to teach it to sit, or lie down before you pet it. This helps to establish the correct relationship. It also gives the sweet dog or puppy something to think about and to be praised for.
Petting is fine but on your terms. If the pup or dog does not show dominance problems I would pet it anytime, but if it does have dominance problems, this link has a "no free lunch" approach that will work wonders, meaning the dog has to sit before he eats and back up from the door before he goes out.
Remember that too harsh of a correction can ruin a dog or puppy's spirit and drive.
By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN
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