When a dog is young, he has a very short time to learn a large set of skills that will prepare him for life as a dog. Puppies learn these social skills through play.
They play with one another, and they play with adult dogs. All of it looks like fun and games, but in reality the puppy is learning valuable skills that will stay with them the rest of their lives.
What is bite inhibition?
Typically dogs grow up in their litter with other puppies to play with. As they grow, they are learning social rules. Some older dogs may help educate the puppies as well, but they get most of their daily playtime and learning from other puppies.
One thing puppies need to learn is bite inhibition. Bite inhibition is when a dog bites another dog or a person, most likely in play, and when they hear the other dog or person yelp in pain, they release. It is vitally important that a puppy learn this social cue otherwise as adult dogs, they will be unlikely to react when they bite someone and they yelp.
How do you teach your dog bite inhibition?
Since people tend to remove puppies from their litters and sell them off around 6-8 weeks of age, it’s important for the new owner to continue the dogs socialization. The way to teach a puppy bite inhibition is to initiate play with the puppy.
When the puppy bite your hand, which he will quite readily do, you must give a high pitched yelp. If the puppy releases your hand and looks at you, that’s when you give them praise. You want to reward the puppy releasing you when you yelp.
If you continue to do this and are consistent in your rewards, the puppy will have no trouble learning bite inhibition.