My lab pointer loves to nip and bite, she is a very playful dog but what she doesn’t realize is that her little nips and bites can do some damage to my skin and other peoples’ skin. Although nipping and biting is fun and harmless in a puppy or kitten, it isn’t when a full-grown dog with full-grown fangs does it. It is very important to keep your pet under control and train them when they are young so they know what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Worse yet, if your pet starts off believing that nipping and biting is okay it can turn into more aggressive behavior, so to stop the nipping and biting by following these steps.
One way to stop your pet’s constant nipping and biting is to provide them with enough toys that they can play with and put in their mouth. When my dogs were puppies I often let them bite or nip on my fingers, however, you don’t want to allow them to do this all the time because they’ll think your fingers are there for them to chew. Providing them with enough toys to nip and bite gets their mind off of your fingers. For dogs, rubber toys or rawhide bones are perfect for them to chew. For cats, a rag or play mouse is perfect for them to play with.
The next time your pet tries to nip or bite your fingers, let out a yelp similar to the sound of another animal. If your pet believes they have hurt you, they will realize that biting or nipping at your fingers is not a good thing to do. They may even lick your fingers. When your pet stops after your howl, make sure you give them a nice pat or a treat.
This next method always worked for me. A simple, loud, and firm “NO!” and ignoring them for a few minutes always seemed to do the trick. The firmness and seriousness of your voice will alert your pet to the fact that biting and nipping on you is not acceptable. And when you stop playing with them they feel ignored and eventually will associate your unhappiness with their nipping and biting. You can also grab their collar, look them firmly in the eye and shake them sharply letting them know who is the boss.
Another good way to stop your pet’s nipping and biting is to spray them with water every time they do it. Most pets hate to be sprayed with anything and after a few quick squirts they will get the message. Another trick is that most pets hate loud noises, so another way to stop the nipping and biting is to make loud sounds every time your pet tries to bite. Many pets nip or bite unfriendly hands so to prevent them from lashing out at unfamiliar hands try allowing strangers or your friends that don’t come around much to rub your pet. Finally, you can try the “sit” command, pets that understand this command are more likely to follow other instructions and behave appropriately.