How to Train Your Dog to Have Bite Inhibition

Cute tricolor Jack Russell Terrier puppies playing and biting

Every puppy's early schooling should place a strong emphasis on learning how to use its teeth. Despite the fact that mouthing and biting are typical puppy habits, it's crucial that dogs learn to use their mouths delicately.

Most of us react immediately to halt the activity when we feel the puppy's razor-sharp fangs cutting into us. Don't! You must first educate your puppy that when it does bite, it should do it softly and without applying excessive pressure before you can teach it not to bite. Bite inhibition is what is referred to as this, and it should be a component of your puppy's socialization routine. Although it is not very challenging to teach, the owner must be dedicated and consistent. Training is necessary and worthwhile since it will stop your dog from biting too firmly.

What Is Bite Inhibition?

A teaching technique called bite inhibition trains canines to bite without applying pressure, significantly lowering the possibility of a highly dangerous bite. Although bite inhibition doesn't totally stop people from biting, it does educate them to do it without really hurting someone.

Why Teach Bite Inhibition?

Every dog has the risk of biting. Dog owners must make every effort to properly train their pets in order to reduce the likelihood of dog attacks. Still, preparing for the worse is realistic. You don't want the adult dog to put a lot of pressure on you if your puppy grows up and bites someone. By teaching a puppy bite inhibition, you can prevent your dog from biting someone and sending them to the hospital. This is crucial for dog interactions as well since dogs that get along well employ bite inhibition to keep playtime safe. Unsocialized dogs may bite excessively during play, resulting in dog fights or other unpleasant interactions.

Teaching Softer Bites

Teaching your dog to use its mouth gently is the first step in teaching bite inhibition. The siblings of your puppy will have already begun this lesson if you allowed it to remain with the rest of the litter until it was at least 8 weeks old. The second dog generally yells or stops playing if a puppy nips them too hard. This signals to the dog that the bite was too forceful.

You may imitate your puppy's littermates when you're playing with it (even if they are not there). As long as it doesn't really damage you, let your dog to nip you a bit. Say "ouch" firmly when your puppy bites a bit too hard. You can shout "ouch" and then stand up and leave the game for a while if the dog keeps biting forcefully. Your dog will rapidly discover that if it wants to continue playing with you, it must use its mouth softly. The dog must be repeatedly and consistently trained in order to use its mouth delicately.

Begin Cutting Back on Biting

It's time to start limiting how frequently your puppy is permitted to nip and bite during play once it can softly use its mouth. Remember that the adorable tiny bundle of fur in front of you will soon grow into an adult, and neither you nor your friends or family want the puppy to use you as a chew toy.

Begin by training your dog to say "leave it." You may give your dog the order while holding some goodies in your hand, then wait until it takes a little backward step. When the dog retreats, immediately praise it and reward it with a goodie. Your dog may initially just remain calm and quiet for a little period of time while not aggressively attempting to grab the treat, so you must move fast to praise the restrained behavior. Practice this over numerous until your puppy obeys the command each time, at which point you can extend the interval between command and reward. You may now instruct your dog to "leave it" if it begins to mouth your hands. By doing this, you can gradually stop mouthing altogether, or at the very least limit it to to those situations where you start it while playing. Now you should have a dog that never opens its lips unless asked to play, and when it does, it does so extremely quietly. Once more, pups pick up new information through constant reinforcement. This is essential in order to ensure the success of training and biting inhibition activities.


Have lots of toys lying around the home for when the puppy is becoming playful and you want to divert the energy (and possibility for playful bites) away from you (or your kids). Present your dog with a toy and praise it for playing with it when it begins mouthing you or other household items that are forbidden. This is ideal for allowing the puppy to play and learn appropriate behavior. If you live with small children, keep an eye out for dog toys as opposed to cherished stuffed animals. They all appear the same to a puppy.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

It's a typical error to stop the puppy from biting by punishing it. This is not a long-term remedy, however it could serve as a fast repair. Punishment does not teach a puppy to control their biting. If the puppy (or dog) does bite at some point, they'll probably bite strongly rather than with the restraint you were attempting to teach them.

Make sure you (and all family members) are aware of the training style and know how to implement it. Work on bite inhibition in different situations, and continue to reinforce it daily.