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Video:Train a Dog Not to Nip

with Andrea Arden

Most puppies nip as a form of play or learning. See how to end this habit early with proper training.See Transcript

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Transcript:Train a Dog Not to Nip

Hi, I'm Andrea Arden, here at Andrea Arden dog training in New York City here for about.com. And today I'm going to show you how to teach a puppy not to nip.

Why Do Puppies Nip?

You're talking about nipping. You're probably talking about a puppy or an adolescent dog because with an adult dog it usually becomes more biting behavior. So for puppy play nipping, the way that you resolve the issue is by using careful management until the issue is resolved. It's a very normal, natural and necessary thing for puppies to nip and play. It's a way that they investigate by using their mouths. So, it's important in a period of time to be able to nip so they can learn not to do it.

Stop Nipping Early

And what that means is that for the first few weeks you have your puppy, it's important that you keep them on a leash at all times when you're playing with them, so that you have a way of giving them a very gentle but effective time out. And the time is where when the puppy nips you – you don't say anything other than maybe ouch if it hurts. But you use your hand to hold the puppy away from you at arm's length, using a leash. So what happens is after many repetitions of that the puppy starts to build a learning muscle of understanding that nipping in play with people unlike with dogs, results in the play ending.

Dog Nips and Playing

You can come play with me, but when you touch me with your teeth the play ends and I give you a little time out. And you are just goofy. So, we got a little nip there. So, we're just going to hold the puppy gently away and just going to hold the puppy gently away. And just wait. This little time out gives the puppy a chance to just think that essentially the thing we know most puppies want, which is coming close to you – you can see this puppy wants to interact and play with me – is something that you lose when you nip. And you not only don't get to interact with people but you also don't get to run around and enjoy the environment or to play with the toys that might be there.

Puppy Nipping and Time Outs

So, what usually ends up happening within one play session of about 3 to 5 minutes. You might have to give 5 to 10 time outs. But, you'll find with a week or two that your puppy will start to have what is called a light bulb moment and starts to understand that nipping you means nothing good happens – in fact, all the good stuff goes away.

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