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I have a female 5 months old puppy, and she's been with us for 3 weeks now. Thing is, she's a pretty large dog already, and her biting hurts. At the beginning she bit rather gently when playing, but it got rougher.

I tried telling her no and stop playing with her, but problem is that she just follows, jumps and bites, so there's really no stop playing here. When I tell her no, sometimes she listens and relaxes, though most likely 2 minutes later she'll be biting again, and other times she ignores or starts barking.

With my girlfriend its even worse, she completely ignores her when she says no and continues biting.

Any ideas?

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When she bites, yelp AI in high-pitch voice, and turn your back to her. Walk away, and when she will run around you, keep on turning your back to her. That is a strong signal she'll understand (after a while at least).

This really should be obvious, but the mistake is common. The puppy biting is kind of cute, the little teeth not doing any damage and the play goes on. Many new dog owners wake up only after the bites become strong enough to hurt. The right way is not to let any biting at all, not even once. Teeth on skin should result in stopping the play at once and not start again until a good while later.

Next time she bites, yelp and take your hand away, turn your back and go to do something else. Wash your hands, make coffee, build a sandwich, such things that you'll have a desk or table in front of you so she'll not be able to jump up to you. Ignoring a dog can be hard, but it often works. Now, when she'll be calm again, then you notice her. That's her reward for calming down. Rewarding does not always mean giving a treat or playing or suchalike. Very often a reward can be something that you don't even think is a reward. In this case the best reward for calming down is that you turn to her and say hi :)

There are other ways too to get rid of biting, but don't mix different techniques. Choose one and then do it as long as you need to be sure it is either working or not working. I have "programmed" my dogs to react to the snapping of my fingers. Whatever they are doing at the moment, they stop it when I snap my fingers. Saying "No" is reserved for the real serious cases, and I have to say I don't even remember when was the last time I said No. Anyway, when you say No, do it every time the same way. Don't say "Noooo". Don't say "no no no!" Don't say "no?". Say it firmly, with low pitch voice, sharply. Say it like you mean it. - Sorry I'm drifting away from the subject here.

In short: Puppy is biting, you stop the play and Yelp as in pain, ignore her and then reward her with giving her your attention when she is cool again.

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  • Ok, thanks, I'll give it a try and let you know if it works (as in if turning my back on her will eventually get her to calm or if she just keeps on jumping and biting)... – tbkn23 Dec 11 '13 at 6:22
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    Spot on, this is how puppies learn their "biting inhibition". Whenever they'd suckle on their mother's teat and bite too hard, she would let out a high pitched yelp to let the puppy know it's too hard. Similarly, when litter mates are playing, if one bites too hard the other will yelp, indicating it was too hard. – mattytommo Dec 11 '13 at 13:10
  • I learned from experience that you have to be firm when teaching a puppy not to bite. Your puppy needs to associate your action with your reprimand. Here's a link to a great resource on how to deal with puppy biting (howtoteachadog.com/how-to-stop-puppy-biting) – roxie yap Jul 9 '15 at 7:20

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