For dogs, biting is a part of their nature. They do it to play when they're young, and need to be socialized into understanding that it is not acceptable behavior.Most of the time this comes naturally around other canines. The pup might bite his brothers or sisters, but around 5 to 6 weeks they will cry out in pain because with his growing size comes a more powerful jaw and teeth.This is important for humans to keep in mind because often, the playful bites of young pup might not hurt a person the way they would hurt another dog. Do not let them continue this behavior. Show them that it hurts and is unacceptable behavior now so that they will not continue as they get older, when they can do real damage.So what do you do if your dog has already picked up this bad habit? There are many methods to retraining behavior, and you might have to try more than one to find what works best for your pooch, but here are six training techniques:
1. Positive reinforcement
Rewarding good behavior is often the best way to promote the actions that you prefer. So in situations where he does bite, ignore the negative behavior. But when positive behavior is achieved, load on the treats and attention. The positive behavior will be associated with reward, and he will want to continue.
If the problem is a triggering event that is linked to the bad behavior, one way to combat this association is with counter conditioning. When the negative trigger is activated, play with your dog or give him a treat. Anything to turn the association into a positive.
Slowly incorporating the trigger into their every day life can cause it to lose its affect. The key is that the increments must be small enough to avoid a reaction, in this case, biting. If at any point the reaction occurs, drop down the stimuli to a lower amount until he is desensitized.
In contrast with the slow process of desensitization, immersion uses the opposite idea. Instead of slowly incorporating the trigger, the animal is put in the situation which causes the biggest reaction in an attempt to root out the fear. This should only be practiced under the supervision of a professional, and its best to try the other methods first.
Punishment is often used, but it is extremely important that any punishment follow certain protocol. It must be justified, be given at the exact moment of the act, be consistent for all misdemeanors, should be put in place at the beginning of training, and most importantly should in no way actually hurt your dog.