Welcoming a pug puppy into your home is a joyous occasion filled with new adventures, playful antics, and adorable moments. However, those tiny teeth can occasionally transform your cuddly friend into a nippy partner.
To avoid your pug from biting you, you should: Squeal like a puppy when bitten (bite inhibition), don’t smack or react by playing back; use chew toys instead of hands, teach them to accept hands near mouth; train them not to bite over food, and more.
1. Don’t Smack Your Pug Puppy Who Bites
It’s crucial to understand that physical punishment like smacking is never the solution to reduce your pug puppy’s biting habit. It may lead the puppy to develop fear, anxiety, or even aggressive behavior towards humans.
Instead, aim for positive reinforcement techniques. When your pug puppy bites, respond calmly by redirecting their attention towards a toy or a treat. This way, your puppy learns the acceptable ways to interact with humans, building trust and fostering a healthy bond between you two.
Remember, patience and consistency are the keys to successful puppy training.
2. Squeal Like A Puppy
When your pug puppy bites, raising your voice to mimic a high-pitched puppy yelp can help. This is a form of communication puppies understand, as it’s similar to how they’d react if a littermate bites too hard during play.
The sudden yelp will startle the puppy and they’ll likely pause their nipping. Make sure to immediately praise and reward them for stopping, reinforcing that biting leads to an end in play, while gentler play continues.
3. Don’t React To Biting By Playing Back
Reacting to your puppy’s biting by playing back may inadvertently encourage the behavior. Understandably, it’s easy to mistake this biting for playful behavior. However, reciprocating with play can send mixed signals, reinforcing the biting habit.
Instead, in instances where your pug bites, maintain a calm demeanor and cease playtime. This way, your pup gradually learns that biting results in an unwanted halt in their fun, guiding them toward the desired behavior.
4. Train Your Pug Puppy With Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement training is a must when teaching your pug puppy to curb biting habits. Reward your puppy with a treat, praise, or petting when they exhibit the desired behavior like playing without biting.
Gradually, they’ll associate good manners with rewards, encouraging them to repeat the behavior. Remember, the key to successful training lies in consistently rewarding the desired behavior and ignoring or redirecting the undesired ones.
5. Teach Your Pug To Accept Your Hands Near Their Mouth
Teaching your pug to accept your hands near their mouth is an essential aspect of discouraging biting. Start by offering them a treat from your hand, gradually moving your hand closer to their mouth over time.
Always use gentle, soothing tones and praises whenever they let your hand near without biting. This practice will help the puppy associate your hands with positive experiences rather than toys to bite.
Eventually, your pug will understand that your hands mean affection and care, not a cue for a biting game. Remember, patience and consistency are crucial in this training process.
6. Train Your Pug Puppy To Not Bite Over Food
Food aggression can turn mealtimes into a stressful experience. It’s essential to train your pug puppy not to bite over food. Start by hand-feeding them, gradually introducing a bowl into your hand.
Next, put the food in the bowl while still holding it. Eventually, place the bowl on the ground, but remain close. This process teaches the puppy that your presence during meals is normal and that biting doesn’t get them their food any faster.
7. Put A Thumb Under The Puppy’s Tongue And A Finger Under The Chin
When your pug puppy bites, gently place your thumb underneath their tongue and a finger under their chin. This tactic distracts them, causing them to let go without causing any harm. Also, it helps the puppy understand that hands are not for biting.
Always remember, that this action should be gentle and should not cause any discomfort or harm to your puppy. Consistent practice with this trick can significantly help reduce biting behaviors.
8. Wear Gloves With A Nasty Tasting Substance
If the biting persists, consider wearing gloves dabbed with a safe yet distasteful substance like bitter apple spray. This harmless trick will make your hands taste unpleasant, deterring your puppy from biting.
Always ensure that the substance used is safe for canine consumption and does not harm their sense of taste permanently. Over time, your pug puppy will associate the unpleasant taste with biting and will likely cease the behavior.
9. Let Your Pug Know You Are In Charge
Establishing yourself as the pack leader is vital in discouraging biting behaviors. A pug puppy needs to understand that you’re in control, not them. One way to establish this is through controlled feeding, play, and training sessions.
Never let your puppy demand attention; instead, initiate play and attention on your terms. This assures your puppy that you’re the authority figure, helping to minimize biting as a form of dominance assertion.
10. Socialise Your Pug Puppy With Other Dogs
Socializing your pug puppy with other dogs is a valuable learning experience. It helps them understand canine communication, enabling them to learn bite inhibition from their peers.
When your pug puppy plays with other dogs, they’ll quickly realize that biting too hard ends the fun. Ensure these interactions are supervised and with vaccinated well-behaved dogs.
This will provide a safe and controlled environment for your pug to learn these crucial social cues.
11. Expose Your Puppy To Loud Noises And Fearful Situations
Exposing your pug puppy to a variety of sounds and situations can help desensitize them, reducing fearful or anxious reactions that can lead to biting. Start with gentle, controlled exposure to different noises and environments, ensuring your puppy feels safe throughout.
Gradually increase the intensity as they grow more comfortable. Always provide comfort and rewards during these experiences to reinforce positive associations.
Over time, this practice will help your pug react calmly to new experiences, reducing biting behaviors triggered by fear or anxiety.
12. Always Supervise Your Puppy When Young Children Are Present
It is important to remember that young children should always be supervised when interacting with the puppy. It is essential for children to learn how to properly interact with the pup, such as not pulling their ears or tail, and learning when it’s time for play vs. calming down.
Children should never engage in aggressive games like wrestling or tug of war. Always make sure both pup and children are supervised, providing gentle guidance on expectations from both parties.
Additionally, ensure the puppy has plenty of toys to choose from, so they have an acceptable outlet for their energy.
13. Use Chew Toys Instead Of Your Hands
Using chew toys instead of your hands for play is a smart strategy in curbing your pug puppy’s biting habits. Toys provide an appropriate outlet for your pug’s instinctual chewing and biting.
Whenever your pug attempts to bite your hand, redirect their attention to a chew toy, reinforcing that toys, not hands, are for biting and gnawing. This method not only helps control biting but also keeps your pup’s teeth healthy and strong.
Biting is a natural behavior for pug puppies, a part of their explorative and playful nature. However, with the right guidance and training, your little friend can learn the appropriate ways to interact, ensuring a harmonious and bite-free coexistence.
Remember, the key lies in consistent training, patience, and a lot of love. Each pug puppy is unique, so some techniques may work better than others.