I know there are a lot of Puppy owners out there that struggle with solving puppy biting problem!
Unfortunately, they can’t solve it- because they have been given wrong advise.
Most puppies have to bite on something. There teeth might be about to change, or in general, they are just bored.
Now it comes to our attention that there really are people out there that give the advise to “distract” the nipping puppy by giving him treats or his favorite toy!
And to no surprise, the puppy’s behavior is not manipulated in the right direction- most of the times, the nipping even gets worse!
Think about it from the dog’s perspective of associating things?
Here he is biting and nipping pants and ankles, and the treat or toy appears? – Great! Let me do more of it- so he learns.
In addition his name is shouted and the “No” is screamed!
Since we know that cues (commands) are learned most effectively by being displayed right before a behavior occurs or while it is performed, he is going to associate “No” and his name with exactly that- biting and nipping!
A marker needs to be conditioned. A marker such as the clicker, that identifies the correct behavior. Only then, the puppy will be able to understand that stop biting or not even attempting to bite, is the correct behavior by being specifically reinforced for it.
Behaviors that are reinforced will be growing (NOT biting). There is more time spent doing the behavior- here for less time is available to perform wrong behaviors. There is only 24 hour a day!
More good behaviors occur because of positive reinforcement, less time to do bad behaviors.
That is an excellent start.
We know that some behaviors are self reinforcing, meaning that biting is so totally reinforcing in itself. Plus it some times is hard to totally ignore. After going through many phases of positively reinforcing the correct behavior.
After a good amount of preparation, there is nothing wrong to punish the wrong behavior- behavior stops- and then heavily reinforcing the right behavior again.