General Question

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Why does my puppy nibble my fingers?

Asked by Dr_Dredd (10533points) May 22nd, 2010

She’s an 8 month-old bichon frise. Usually she’s very calm and sweet and just licks my hands. However, when I come home from work, she gets very excited and starts nibbling as she greets me. I’ve tried saying “No!” in a firm voice, I’ve tried substituting a chew toy whenever she does it, and I’ve tried “time-outs.” How can I stop this?

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8 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Withdraw your hand and walk away.

xxii's avatar

I’ve never heard of this solution failing.

anartist's avatar

She is greeting/claiming/nursing.
follow @YARNLADY ‘s and @xxii ‘s advice

rooeytoo's avatar

The solutions suggested above will usually work especially if you repeat the process indefinitely. If you want to train the dog quickly, next time it bites grasp its muzzle in your hand and squeeze its lips against its canine teeth. Do it immediately and exert enough pressure so that the pup yips then release. I guarantee if you do that about 3 times, the dog will be trained. You will not injure its psyche, it will not become head shy, it will not hate you, it will simply stop biting. I have trained hundreds of dogs with that method and it always works.

marinelife's avatar

Yelp in a high-pitched way when the dog nibbles on your fingers. She will stop. Be consistent.

partyparty's avatar

Move your hand away from the dog and turn your back on her, or walk away.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Thanks, everyone. I’ll certainly have to give these a try. I’ve just always wondered why she does it, too.

xxii's avatar

Have you ever seen a litter of puppies play? They are constantly biting… ears, tails, paws, muzzles. Puppies bite to explore their world, to get attention, to play, to greet, to communicate. They just don’t realise it can really hurt, especially when those jaws get bigger.

In fact, when a pair of puppies is playing and one bites down too hard, the hurt puppy yelps and runs away, withdrawing attention and ending the game… this is the way littermates train each other in bite-inhibition in very much the same way detailed in the training link above, and one of the many reasons why socialisation with the litter (when younger) and then with other puppies and dogs is so important.

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