How To Stop a Golden Retriever Puppy from Biting. A useful and helpful guide.
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Golden retriever puppies are known for their friendliness and gentleness. However, they can also react if at all they have been provoked. Like all puppies, as friendly as they are, sometimes they cannot hide their animalistic instincts. Puppies at a young age, up to 8 months may actually bite playfully.
However, what makes a Golden Retriever puppy bite? In this article, we going to look at some of the reasons why your golden retriever puppy is biting. Additionally, we will look at some of the methods that you can use to stop a Golden Retriever puppy from biting.
Factors contributing to a Golden Retriever puppy biting
Well, this is not easy to explain as biting is a huge part of your puppies’ growth. It is how he learns how everything works. And just like a human baby, puppies are also quite curious beings. This means that they want to figure out everything around the household. However, they do not understand what is acceptable and that which is not. This is where you come in. There are several reasons why Golden Retriever puppies may bite;
Should anything instill fear in your golden retriever puppy, chances are he will react. Well, as we do, dogs also have the fight or flight reflexes. Whenever you scare your puppy, he will retaliate by biting. We cannot forget to mention that the Golden Retriever dogs have in the past been used for hunting small animals.
This is an important thing to note, especially if you have children at home. Golden Retrievers do not like being startled, especially not in their sleep.
If you are, for instance, playing with your puppy in a rough manner, you may encounter biting. Well, this means that inflicting pain on your puppy might lead to biting. It does not matter whether he is injured or sick, your puppy is not going to exactly be able to deal with the pain well.
Therefore, it is important to play with him gently. Warn children not to hit or harm the puppy in any way.
To protect his territory
Now, when exposed to stressful situations, your Golden Retriever will defend himself and your home. As mentioned above, this breed has been previously used for hunting. If you have a guest over, your puppy might actually bite since he feels like his privacy is invaded. Now if the stranger is harsh and probably hits your puppy, your Retriever is going to defend himself by biting.
This is also why he is particular about his space. For instance, disturbing him while he sleeps on his bed will irritate him. As a result, he might nip at you.
Do not get me wrong when it comes to biting, it is a necessity for your puppy. It is the way he learns and strengthens his jaws. However, his teeth should not come into contact with your skin. If you do not control biting in these puppies, you might have to deal with issues of aggression as well as dominance.
Therefore, it is important for you to stop your Golden retriever puppy from biting. This is not going to be an easy thing to do but it should start immediately you see him nipping and biting. From the very first day, your Golden retriever comes home, do not encourage biting. Now if you have already noticed this behavior, it is time to stop it. Below, we are going to outline some of the most effective methods to stop biting and nipping in puppies.
10 tips to stop a Golden Retriever Puppy from biting
- Train puppy to be gentle
- Teach kids to play with the puppy
- Avoid puppy getting excited
- Provide chew toys
- Biting inhibition
- Use non-touch play
- Cease playing right away
- Put a leash on
- Teach the puppy to socialize
- Teach them commands
Train your puppy to be gentle
Everything that an adult dog does, he learned it from his puppyhood. This means these are some of the things that you have taught him. For instance, if you are used to playing roughly with your puppy, you might have issues trying to control your puppy. This is because your puppy will always play rough with you and with everyone else.
Since play will involve chasing, barking and even touch, your puppy will be tempted to bite on you or other people. Therefore, it is advisable to practice safe and gentle play with your puppy. This includes everyone else in your family. To train your puppy how to be gentle, you will have to be very patient. This is because he might not be able to grasp it all at the same time.
This process will begin with teaching him the ‘be gentle’ command. For instance, when your puppy is mouthing your hand, pause and look at him sternly. Then calmly tell him to be gentle with your hands. You will have to do this until he learns that mouthing is not acceptable.
Offer him a treat or praise each time he stops mouthing. Luckily for you, it won’t take long before he understands what you mean and thus you will be able to stop your Golden Retriever puppy from biting
Teach kids to play with your puppy
As much as dogs seem pretty friendly even with kids, we cannot forget the fact that we are still dealing with dogs. This means that he can attack and the problem is that it is very spontaneous. Your puppy is not aggressive but then again, he is going to defend himself. As we all know, children can be a little overwhelming, even for the dog.
For instance, when you leave your dog and child unsupervised, so many things could ensue and the puppy can bite your child. First of all, he might be trying to get your child to play and end pulling on them using his teeth. On the other hand, your child might not be interested in playing. In this scenario, should your child hit the Golden retriever puppy, he might retaliate by biting on your child.
In other cases, children will encourage your puppy to bite during play. Understand that dogs do not like to be startled or subjected to pain. Children normally have no idea about dog behavior, and so they can initiate play, hit or even frighten your puppy who will bite in return.
Spend some time with your puppy on a leash and teach your children how to play with him. In addition to this, you can have your dog lie down and encourage the kids to pet your puppy. This way, your dog will understand that he cannot attack your kids since they are up there with you in regards to authority.
Avoid having your puppy overexcited
If you have spent 30 minutes of your time playing with your puppy, you understand how excited they become. While this is perfectly normal and okay, sometimes your over-excited puppy might be tempted to bite. As harmless as it can be, it can be painful and a start to another vice. Therefore, it is important to provide play that will not be too overwhelming.
For instance, when you let him chase you, you might arouse his hunting instincts. Given that the Golden Retriever bred has been used for hunting, he will be too excited for this activity. As a result, once he catches you, he might be tempted to bite you, after all, that is how he knows he won.
In order to stop your Golden Retriever puppy from biting completely, refrain from overexciting play. If you notice that your puppy bites during play and no other times, consider toning it all down. Instead of having him chase you, get him a ball. This way, you can throw it and instruct him to fetch it.
When your puppy won’t settle, stop the play immediately and take him inside. This way, you will give him some time to relax and calm down. Refrain from overexciting play with your puppy if he tends to keep biting.
Provide chew toys
Even though we discourage puppy biting, we cannot be able to completely stop him. This is especially if your puppy is teething as he will constantly look for ways to itch his gums. This is where chew toys come in. Since your puppy had the natural need to mouth, you can get a chew toy for him. Not only will it help you curb mouthing but it is also going to be helpful for your puppy.
There are so many types of dog toys for this purpose. For instance, you can get the bone-shaped toys to keep him occupied and curious all day. You should, however, ensure that you keep them clean and that they are safe for your puppy. You do not want him peeling off tiny chips into his stomach which could lead to more serious health issues. Therefore, ensure that each toy is of required standards and harmless for your puppy.
Not only will you give your puppy the chance to exercise and strengthen his jaws but also stop him from biting. You can leave several of these in the house for him when you are away from home.
If you are looking to stop your puppy to completely stop biting and mouthing, you should highly consider teaching biting inhibition. Well, it is not going to be easy but when done correctly, it is one of the most effective ways to curb this habit. While it is not exactly uncommon for your Golden Retriever puppy to bite, you should never encourage the behavior.
Biting inhibition might involve different tactics of puppy training with the aim to stop him from biting. Now, it is common for a puppy to bite and mouth your hands and ankles during play. Once he does that, calmly produce a yelping sound. Do not yell or shout at him as he might actually now bite to hurt you. During this process, do not at any cost consider to pull away from his mouth, especially if he already has strong jaws and teeth.
This should let him know that he hurt you by biting. Luckily for you, puppies do not like to upset their masters and he will let go. Once he lets go, you can praise him or offer him a treat. This way, he is going to adopt good behavior as it is always rewarded.
This method works because biting inhibition is often taught by mothers. However, due to domestication, you may not be lucky to have a trained puppy. If he was growing up with his biological siblings, he would have already learned that.
Only engage in non-touch play
Once your Golden Retriever puppy starts mouthing and biting, it is time for you to rethink your play. How do you play with your puppy for him to bite you? Non-touch play means that your puppy will not come into contact with your skin. If he cannot reach your hands, he cannot bite you.
Well, how else can you play with your puppy? There are various types of play that you can engage your puppy in without having to touch, or chase. For instance, use toys that will excite your puppy during play. If he loves to chase, for instance, get a ball, or a bone-shaped toy and throw it. He will run, fetch and bring it to you.
The goal is to minimize the chances at which your puppy comes into contact with your hands or ankles. On this note, if your puppy still wants to bite, it is time to put him on a time out. Every time he bites on you, ignore him and walk away.
Stop the play immediately
This goes without saying. If you have tried all the methods to make your Golden Retriever puppy stop mouthing and biting, then this is an important point. You see, when you are playing your puppy will most likely come on to you and bite.
Each time he bites on you, he stops the play immediately. This is another form of inhibiting biting in puppies. You can stay for a few minutes before you resume play. This will allow him to catch a breath and relax from all the excitement coming from playing. When you get back to playing, do not be disappointed when he bites again. Instead, repeat the method until he learns that you do not appreciate his habit.
Once your puppy stops mouthing, once again, reward him to uphold good behavior.
Put him on a leash during play with other people
If your pup won’t stop biting you or even other people, have him on a leash. For instance, if you have guests over and you have not managed to stop your Golden Retriever puppy from biting, you must find a way to keep him from the guests. Putting him in another room might not be as helpful as he might engage in other behaviors like barking.
You should also make sure that he is on a leash when playing with children. In fact, it is advisable to always supervise play sessions between your kid and puppy. This way, you can be able to control him every time he is pulling to nip or bite at others.
Always keep him on a leash until you can be able to get rid of this behavior.
Get your puppy to socialize
Socializing is a good thing for us, and also for our dogs. In most households, you will only find one dog, which means that he does not have a companion. Well, as much as we are best friends with our puppies, we cannot underestimate the value of having him associate with other dogs.
Consider booking your dog into a puppy daycare where he will meet other puppies. This will not only aid with biting inhibition but also encourage friendliness in your puppy. He is going to be exposed to his own kind and will be able to pick up a few lessons. For instance, this is the best methodology to inhibit biting in puppies. He will have the opportunity to play with others and learn what is and what is not acceptable.
Teach him the ‘leave it’ command
This is an important command in any dog owner’s life. This is because it enables you to be able to control your dog, and especially when you want to redirect his attention. For instance, if you want to stop a Golden Retriever puppy from biting, you can use the words, ‘leave it alone’ to instruct him to stop. However, this is not an easy thing to do.
You will need such phrases because it is the only way you can find common ground with your puppy. When he is busy mouthing your hand, calmly instruct him to leave the hand alone. Well, chances are that he won’t obey your first command as he has no idea of what you are saying. However, repeat the phrase while looking at him, over and over until he releases. Once he releases your hand, offer him a treat or pet him for good behavior. Always practice this until he finally gets to understand that you hate it when he bites you.
In conclusion, spend a lot of time with your puppy. This way, you can always be aware whenever he picks up new habits such as mouthing and biting. In order to stop a Golden retriever puppy from biting, practice the above-discussed methods.
However, do not hit, yell or punish your puppy in any other way. This might actually breed to aggressiveness, knowing that these dogs were used to hunt in the past. Additionally, do not encourage any form of mouthing. Instead, get a few toys for your puppy to chew and play with. It is my hope that you will have your puppy back in good behavior soon. Good luck!