It’s pretty common for Great Dane puppies to bite and nibble while playing with their owners. This can be pretty adorable when they’re little but can become a dangerous problem if allowed to continue as they grow to massive size. If you’ve got a Great Dane that likes to bite, you need to teach him to stop as soon as possible. This guide will give you some ideas on how to break this habit in your dog.
How can you get your Great Dane puppy to stop biting? There are several methods of training your puppy to stop biting. Some include making a yelping noise whenever your dog bites mimic the reaction of another injured puppy, ensuring that your dog knows that you’re the boss, and giving the puppy safe alternatives can redirect their attention.
Great Danes are incredible dogs. With the proper care and training, your dog will make a great companion. They just need to be pointed in the right direction. There’s no reason why a Great Dane can’t be a gentle member of the family.
Why Great Dane Puppies Bite
To stop your puppy from biting, you first need to understand why puppies bite in the first place. Most of the time, puppies aren’t biting to be aggressive. If you respond with anger or fear, you’re only going to put a strain on the developing relationship between the two of you.
If you watch Great Dane littermates, you’ll notice that their play can frequently be rather rough. It’s not uncommon to see puppies lunge, bite, scratch, and nip at each other. If your puppy is doing these things to you, it’s because he or she sees you as a playmate.
While this is fantastic news that your Great Dane likes you and wants to play, their puppy teeth can be razor sharp! While it may sometimes feel like they’re biting to be mean or antagonize you, this is just simply how puppies play with each other.
I can assure you that this behavior is not malicious (the vast majority of the time).
As your dog’s adult teeth grow in, his mouth will be sensitive. Biting and gnawing can be a way for puppies to release the pressure they feel on their teeth.
Attempting to find relief from the pressure can lead to puppies biting harder than they otherwise would and causing harm. Provide your Great Dane with plenty of safe alternatives, for example, ropes, bones, and chew toys.
One mistake that many owners make is to only provide their Great Dane with hard chew toys. Because their teeth and gums will be sensitive, make sure to also give them some plush toys.
Sinking their teeth into a soft plush surface may provide some relief for their aching gums.
How to Train Your Puppy to Stop Biting
There are several methods of training your puppy to stop biting. They all involve interrupting the behavior in some fashion. Keep in mind that you can easily use several methods at a time to really drive the message home. However, the key will be consistent feedback on the behavior.
Don’t expect results overnight!
It takes time to break habits and for a puppy to grow to a maturity level where it can overcome instinctual behaviors. Be patient, and keep at it!
With that, let’s jump in and take a look at some of the methods that can be leveraged to handle Great Dane puppy biting.
Method #1 – The Sharp Cry Method
When littermate puppies are playing, and one of them goes too far and hurts another, the injured pup will yelp, hide the affected body part, and turn away. Playtime ends while the injured puppy recovers.
This method involves mimicking the response of an injured playmate to teach your dog that biting hurts.
- Get Bitten – When your dog bites, even if it’s soft or doesn’t hurt, you need to respond. As your puppy grows into an adult Great Dane, he or she may struggle to understand their newfound strength. Avoid problems down the road by discouraging all biting now.
- Yelp – Make a loud, sharp, high pitched yelp or squeal. You want to mimic the sound of a puppy as well as you can.
- Hide the Affected Body Part – If you were bitten, for example, on your hand, you would pull your hand close to you and turn away from your dog. Place your body between you and where you were bitten.
- Walk Away – Playtime is now over. Your Great Dane needs to learn that if they want to keep playing, they need to play nice. Walk away and wait some time before engaging with the dog again. Some owner’s instead of walking away will place the dog in a kennel or cage as a time out to show the dog that they are the ones in control.
- Be Consistent – Keep this up every time your puppy bites, and eventually, they’ll associate biting with causing harm and ending playtime. The negative association will prevent them from biting in the future.
Method #2 -The Distraction Method
Using distraction to direct your dog’s attention away from biting people and towards more acceptable alternatives, such as chew toys can be a great way to encourage better behaviors.
- Get Bitten – Once again, you need to respond every time your dog bites you. Consistency is key.
- Pull Away from the Bitten Body Part – You need to immediately pull away whenever your dog bites. The more immediate, the stronger the dog will build the association between the behavior and the response.
- Immediately Offer a Chew Toy – You’ll probably want to keep a toy, a bone, or a rope in hand while playing with your dog. That way, when he or she bites, you can immediately offer the alternative.
- Reward Successful Play Sessions – When you get through an entire play session with no biting incidents, offer a preferred treat as a reward.
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