How to Stop Puppy Mouthing and Biting
Puppies learn about the world through sensory experience, and a large part of their exploration is done with their mouth. Bite inhibition is an important skill for puppies to develop and one they would normally learn from their mothers and siblings. When puppies play and one puppy bites another puppy too hard, that puppy will yelp and immediately stop playing. The puppy that did the biting quickly learns that if she plays too rough it means an end to the fun.
When your puppy bites, give out a yelp like a puppy would and immediately stop playing. Your pup will likely stop too, even if just for a second, and you can praise and reward her for it. It will take a lot of repetition and consistency since mouthiness is a normal and instinctual puppy behavior, but eventually she will learn that mouthiness is not a desired behavior, but that gentle play is acceptable and invited. If you’re not getting much success with that strategy you can amp it up by putting a stop to the playtime altogether. After you yelp, get up and walk away, wait for your pup to be calm and then return after a minute or two to resume playing. In addition to the above technique, you can also offer your puppy alternatives to exercise her natural urge to chew – rope toys, kongs, squeaky toys, whatever her personal preference is.