While it’s normal for pug puppies to bite at times, you want to train them not to as early as possible. As your pug gets older, it will become harder to get them to unlearn a biting habit. Here is what you need to know about getting your pug not to bite.
Understand Why Your Pug Puppy Is Biting
Pug puppies bite for several reasons. Biting is particularly common in the teething stage. In addition, many pug puppies don’t realize that their bites can hurt, as they are just trying to play. However, it is critical to teach them to separate playing from biting.
Your pug may be trying to get your attention. That is why simply ignoring your pug puppy when it bites you may not be effective. Finally, pugs may bite or nip at you if they are scared.
Help It Develop Bite Inhibition
When your pug puppy bites you, try the inhibition method to stop it from continuing this behavior. First, let out a big yelp or squeal, as another pug puppy would do.
When a puppy bites its siblings while playing with them, the other pups will let out a squeal or yelp when they are hurt. That signals to the biting puppy to stop its behavior. If you don’t make a yelp or a similar sound, it will never know it is hurting you.
In addition to a yelp, you can consider giving the dog a firm “no” or “stop” command. At the same time, it might be useful to use a unique command that it won’t hear in everyday conversation, as that can just end up confusing it. You might want to say “no” in another language, for example.
Then, ignore the pup for a while. Stand up and go to another room, if necessary. Avoid the urge to interact with your pup for several minutes. That way, it will learn that biting is not the way to get attention.
Simply yelping without leaving the room might not work, because your dog might mistake your yelp for playful behavior. It’s the combination of both that is so effective.
Teach It That Biting Does Not Equal Playing
Besides using the inhibition method, it’s critical to ensure your dog understands that when it bites, the game is over. If your puppy bites, you need to stop engaging with it right away. Stop the game, and don’t start it again for a while.
Remember, your dog’s perception of what is considered playing may differ from yours. If you try to push it away after it bites, your pup might think you are still playing with it. That is why it is crucial to remove yourself from the situation and let the pup sit alone for a while.
Make Sure It Has a Toy to Teethe or Chew On
If your puppy is teething, know that the biting will not last forever. However, providing it with a chewy toy to teethe on can help reduce the biting and nipping throughout this stage. It should learn that while it’s acceptable to bite on a toy, it is not okay to bite a human.
Provide Some Positive Reinforcement
When teaching your dog bite inhibition, reward it when it stops biting. Give it a treat, but make sure it sits first, behaves nicely, and eats from your hand gently, without biting your fingers.
You may also use positive verbal reinforcement. Talk to your dog sweetly, compliment it, and tell it “good dog” when it obeys your command to stop biting or is simply being calm and gentle in general.
Too many pup owners focus on discouraging poor behaviors like biting without giving positive feedback when their dog behaves well.
Get Your Pug Used to Humans
Pug puppies, especially rescue puppies, might not be comfortable around humans. They may get fearful and aggressive, even when around children. If that is causing your dog to bite, you need to slowly get it used to being around humans. Have patience! This process can take some time, so don’t rush it.
Furthermore, try to get your pug puppy used to having your hands around its mouth without it feeling a need to bite it. Again, do this slowly, and only if your pug is ready.
Get Your Pug Used to Other Dogs
Similarly, your pug might bite if it is not comfortable around other dogs. Such behavior might be even more common at feeding time, especially if your pug feels threatened by the other dogs and thinks they will steal its food. It is crucial to make sure it is comfortable being around and socializing with other dogs.
Consider Neutering Your Dog
If your pup is aggressive and bites often, neutering might help. Typically, you can neuter a dog after just a couple of months, provided it is healthy. You should ask your vet if you are not sure if your puppy is ready.
Take the Pup to a Vet
On some occasions, excessive biting may be a symptom of health problems. For example, some dogs might bite when they are in pain. If your pup doesn’t respond to the usual methods of getting a dog to stop biting, consider getting it checked out by the vet.
Avoid These Mistakes
Here are some things that you should not use to teach your dog not to bite. They are either ineffective or end up having an adverse effect:
- Don’t encourage biting in any way. Don’t give your dog your hand to bite on as an alternative to biting your child.
- Don’t hit your dog or physically hurt it in any way. Animal abuse is not okay, and it doesn’t even work. Pug puppies are just not smart enough to know why you are hitting them. It can hurt them emotionally and make them more aggressive.
- Don’t bite the pup back. That’s just ridiculous, despite some people believing it works. On the contrary, if your puppy is biting you playfully, biting it back will encourage that behavior.
Final Thoughts – How To Train A Pug Puppy Not To Bite
For the most part, a biting pug pup is not something to worry too much about. It’s normal for a puppy to bite, and it will usually grow out of it as it grows older. Nevertheless, it is still critical to ensure it understands that biting is unacceptable so it doesn’t become an ingrained habit.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.