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I have a 3 year old puggle who plays well but likes to bite gently, mostly on my wrists. He doesn't bear down, just grabs hold. Is this normal? what can I do?

asked 2016-04-28 00:19:29 -0500

He is not aggressive when doing this. Just playful but I worry that someone might take this as aggressive behavior. He does this only with me, not my wife or others, so far.

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I have read that if you pull away quickly, the dog will think you are playing and do it again for fun. You are to correct him while he is doing it with a stern voice "No!" and he should release. I hope that this helps...Best of luck!

Marralee S.'s profile imageMarralee S. ( 2016-04-29 21:42:14 -0500 )edit

7 Answers

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answered 2016-04-30 02:28:52 -0500

Maybe let out a loud Yelp, and replace your had with a toy, praising the pup when he plays with it

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answered 2016-05-06 09:54:45 -0500

This is very common, especially if he's just holding. This is how he'd play with his littermates and mother, so he's just socializing with you. Puppies pay attention to your emotional state, and are motivated to please their caregivers (dog or human). If you let out a loud "ouch!" and clutch your hand to your chest like you've been seriously injured, the puppy will start to see his action as harmful. After demonstrating you've been hurt, offer an open (flat) hand to the puppy (palm just in front of his nose), and say some command for licking, like "kisses," in a very gentle voice. He will pick up on the cue, even before he's learned the command, and lick your palm. At that point, give really warm praise, verbal and physical (scratching the ears, whatever he seems to like a lot). Do this each time he mouths you. He'll learn very quickly what is expected.

Now, this doesn't address the fact that puppies do need to teethe. Just like little kids, puppies lose their teeth. While those teeth are loose, they are painful. If you can give the puppy something to teethe on, that would be really helpful. Try freezing cucumbers or carrots (same thing you'd give a teething baby). An antler or other super-hard chew toy won't give the puppy a good way to wiggle his teeth loose, and might be less satisfying. So cold items they can get the tip of a tooth stuck in are probably best. Rope toys are good, too, but some puppies will eat these, so it just depends on your pup's habits.

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answered 2016-05-10 00:49:09 -0500

I previously worked for a dog trainer and his advice for dealing with play bites was to let out a short yelp. The dogs generally aren't trying to hurt you and may not realize that they did, so by yelping, you're speaking their language to let them know that they've hurt you. It's worked great with my dogs and they generally stop immediately and start licking. It feels a little silly, but whatever works.

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answered 2016-05-02 22:31:54 -0500

Yes, this behavior is very common in dogs. It is part of their personality, some dogs nibble some don't. There are ways to correct this behavior if you don't want it to continue. The ASPCA has a wonderful guide at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/mouthing-nipping-and-play-biting-adult-dogs (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-car...). Hope this helps.

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answered 2019-04-09 00:12:20 -0500

A one-time fix (I've only ever had to apply this technique once), is to apply gentle pressure onto the pet's inner lip using their own teeth as a pressure-gauge. This will not hurt them, only teach them that their teeth are capable of causing discomfort if not used cautiously.

Do NOT use too much pressure so as to cause your pet to yelp, just gently but with some pressure take your thumb and lightly press the upper lip of pet into upper canine tooth and hold for a second. It is uncomfortable but harmless.

NEVER train a dog when frustrated, angry, fearful, nor with negative expectation.

Human brain vs. Doggy brain--Remember, animals think & process things differently than us, so try to always expect animals to behave as animals, not as humans. They will "adopt" behavior preferable to us when taught with patience and praise and when they feel happy and safe.

Try to familiarize yourself with toxic people foods and dog foods to never feed your pet, and read up on training techniques as you and your pet bond. This behavioral aid is great on older dogs as well as puppies. Have fun!

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answered 2019-01-06 19:23:24 -0500

Some dogs are ‘mouthy’ and lucky for you, your dog knows how fragile humans are, hence the gentle pressure. It’s called bite inhibition (rather than bite prohibition), and it’s something all dogs should learn. If it bothers you, or he accidentally applies too much pressure, usually an ‘Ouch!’ or a yelp while removing yourself (stand up and/or turn your back on him) will stop him. Offer a toy for him to grab instead of your wrist. I had a ‘mouthy’ dog (lost him to cancer 1-1/2 years ago), and he learned bite inhibition as a puppy. We’d wrestle and play and he’d slobber all over me, but if he got too rambunctious and grabbed a sleeve/arm/gloved hand too hard, a simple ‘ow’ made him let go immediately. Then he’d apologize with a few licks, and we’d change the game to something else like fetch or tug.

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answered 2016-05-15 08:24:40 -0500

Yes this is very normal as long as he doesn't go from a gentle bite to a hard or aggressive bite. If you don't like his behavior then whenever you are playing with him and he starts to nibble on you let go or stop whatever you are doing and see what his reaction is. Then when he stops nibbling you can start playing with him again.

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