Dog Training Made Easy – Play Biting

Carolyn: In this film of the series dog training made easy with dogs trust, we’re going to teach our dogs that teeth and skin just don’t mix.

Your dog has to learn that he should take treats gently from your hand and also that any games involving humans don’t get to toothy. But we’re lucky because dogs already know this. If you watch a puppy playing with his little mates when he’s still with his mom, if one puppy gets a little bitey, the one that’s been bitten will go, “Ouch!” And the game will stop completely.

So puppies learn very early that when teeth come out play finishes. So we need to teach them that it’s exactly the same thing with humans. And to help to show you how to teach this I’ve got Digby. Digby, come on. Come then. Hello. Good lad. Come here right now.

First of all take a treat, hold it in your hand and wrap your fingers around it. And no matter how much your dog tries to get at it, how much he tries to bite at your hand or pour at your hands you mustn’t let him have it. What you have to wait for is the minute that his nose comes away from your hand and that’s what you’re … Yeah, good. And that’s what your reward him for.

He needs to know, good boy, that he’s never ever going to get the treat by biting your hand. The only way he’s going to get it is to stop doing it and just to back away from the hand a bit. And go further this time. Good boy. Well done.

That way he knows that biting and grabbing a hand is never going to get him the treat. And incidentally that’s a really good way to give treats to a dog that you’ve never met before. Wrap the treat in your hands and then just open your fingers gently and let the dog have it.

When you’re playing with toys it’s the same thing. His teeth mustn’t ever touch your hand. And if they do you say, “Ouch!” In the same way as his little mates would and turn away from him. So if you feel his teeth on your hands at all you go, “Ouch!” Turn away and the game stops for a few seconds. Then go back and play again. But he has to remember not to use his teeth and to be more careful next time.

What’s really important is that everybody in the family practices this not just you. Anyone who plays with the dog has to teach him that teeth and hands don’t mix. Come on. Let’s go. Good boy.

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