How to stop my puppy from biting and jumping?
To get a hyper puppy or dog to stop jumping up or biting at you, I recommend ignoring unwanted behavior and rewarding calm behavior.
But that’s easier said than done.
I’m reminded of that now that I have a “teenage” puppy who’s just plain crazy at times.
To get my attention, Remy tries to jump, bite or paw at me.
I know I need to ignore these kinds of behaviors, but it’s hard. I thought I’d write a post about it with my own advice to myself. And hopefully some of you could give me some ideas as well.
How to ignore a hyper dog or puppy that’s demanding attention
1. Use a firm “NO!”
I know we’re in this odd dog-training world where people actually say you shouldn’t tell a dog “no.”
The reasoning behind this is you don’t want to scare the dog, and some say you don’t need to use punishment to teach the dog good behavior.
Another problem with using “no” is the dog might view any attention as just that, attention – “Oh boy! She said no! She’s acknowledging me!”
So, a lot depends on the dog’s sensitivity and how serious you are. Telling Remy “no” works sometimes, and sometimes it just makes him more excited.
2. Stand up and turn your back to the dog or walk away.
Usually a dog is asking for your attention when she’s jumping on you, but she’s asking for attention in a rude way.
The advice many trainers will give is to just turn your back to the dog and ignore her, which is great advice.
However, some dogs – like Remy – will make this into a game. He loves to just run around me in circles jumping on me from whatever way I turn.
If your dog does this, one thing you can do is just stand tall and completely still with a straight face, ignoring her 100 percent. Then, either wait for her to calm down or simply turn your back to her and calmly walk away to focus your attention on something else. Like, stare at your phone or sit on a tall stool and pretend she doesn’t exist. Give her the cold shoulder, basically.
I notice this is my dog Ace’s method for ignoring Remy. When Remy becomes a pest, Ace stands completely still and does not acknowledge him. It works. You just have to follow through and mean it and ignore the pup for a minute or so. They usually get bored by then and move on. May 2018 Update: Ace has passed away.
3. Hand the dog a toy.
When my past foster dog Lana would bite at me for attention, one option was to hand her one of her toys and then ignore her.
For more training tips, see my ebook, “50 Dog Training Tips: Your Training Problems Solved Now.”
4. Say ‘ouch!’ when the dog bites you.
The idea with this method is to “yelp” in “pain” if your puppy bites you because this is what pups do when they’re wrestling and biting one another.
This method hasn’t worked well for me, because a lot of dogs think it’s a game. The high-pitched noise gets them excited.
However, it’s worth a shot because all dogs are different, and it’s important to follow up by completely ignoring the dog immediately afterwards.
I recommend standing up and walking away without saying anything and without looking at the dog as I said above.
You bite me. Fun is over.
The good news is you only need to ignore the dog for about 45 seconds (short attention spans). Just be prepared to walk away again if she bites when you return.
5. Use a leash for more control.
Since our foster dog Lana was not trained very well, I couldn’t tell her to stay on a dog bed. (She’s the black puppy you see in these pictures.) I could put her in her crate with a chew toy, but I wanted her to learn to be calm outside of her crate.
So, one option was to put her leash on her, have her lie down at my feet with a toy, and then step on the leash so she couldn’t get up. This is an option for when we’re doing something like watching TV. (It doesn’t work for my puppy Remy. He just chews the leash. Sigh.)
Other tips to help calm the dog or puppy
1. Provide the dog with plenty of exercise.
If a dog is annoying and “crazy,” it’s usually related to a lack of exercise. It’s just so much easier for the dog to settle down if she’s at least somewhat tired.
I know Lana needed more exercise. I only walked her for about 20 to 30 minutes per day. She needed more like 60 to 90 minutes. I walk my weimaraner Remy for an hour or more every day. He needs it!
2. Work on obedience training.
Dogs that have solid obedience skills have a higher level of self control in general, and they also have respect for their owners. If your dog doesn’t know the basics like sit, down, stay and come, then work on those for five minutes a day, a few times per day.
3. Feed the dog from Kong toys and other puzzle toys.
Instead, she got food during training sessions or in her Kong-type toys. This made her drain some of her mental and emotional energy, plus it gave her something to do and a reward for her “work.”
What ideas do the rest of you have?
I need them. I haven’t had a young dog around in a long time!