The two most common complaints I get with puppy owners are 1) puppy biting/nipping and 2) potty training. . . . Sadly, two of the easiest things to get under control in a matter of weeks when done properly. Because of these two issues being so common they are also the most researched topics with the most advice given, which means you will get differing opinions abound.
I'm just going to discuss the nipping/biting/mouthing issue in this post because to date I get more recurring complaints about this problem more than any other. Here are the facts about it and if carried out as I suggest, this problem will go away quickly.
Below is a list of things you want to do in order to teach your puppy that biting is inappropriate.
When your pup places his teeth on you, whether gently or not-so-gently immediately yell, (very loudly) “OWWWW!”, and then take the puppy and place him in his crate. Do this as calmly as possible. Simply take him to his crate, put him in, shut the door and walk away. You may also toss a blanket or sheet over the crate. (Watch out that puppy doesn't pull the blanket into the crate!)
Teach your pup early on that their teeth should not ever be not hands, feet, clothing. Only play with your dog with a toy in your hand and encourage him to take the toy. Should he redirect his teeth to your hand, or something else inappropriate, end play immediately by doing the yelling and then take puppy to the crate.
Provide lots of good chews and redirect when you can. Also freezing items helps too, including feeding frozen food. You can put yogurt on the food, cover each morsel of kibble, then put it in the freezer. Feed frozen.
Keep puppy occupied with filled Kongs®. I don't mean peanut butter or biscuits but actually filling this with the puppy's meal and feeding it that way. Here are a few Kong® Recipes. Also try the new Kong® Wobbler.
- Mix plain yogurt, bananas, chopped apples & dog kibble. Stir together. Place in the Kong. Freeze & serve.
- Plug the small hole of the Kong with cheese. Then fill with white rice, chicken broth & dog kibble. Freeze & serve.
- Mix a can of Merrick's Working Dog Stew with finely chopped green beans. Fill Kong with mix. Cap it off with cream cheese. Freeze & serve.
- Mash up a banana (or a raw egg), frozen blueberries & mix in dog kibble. Stir together. Fill Kong with mix. Freeze & serve.
- Plug the small hole of the Kong with cream cheese. Now pour chicken broth in about half way. Drop a few pieces of kibble, peas, carrots, & shredded cheese into the broth. Freeze & serve.
The key is keeping the puppy mentally stimulated but not to over-stimulate. Keep puppy's teeth on appropriate objects and get some training started ASAP if you haven't had some already! Every puppy needs training, don't delay!