Biting is a natural part of socialization among poodles as well as other breeds of dogs. When this biting is done correctly, puppies are able to play safely with one another with little risk of injury. However, when puppies don’t learn how to control their biting, they can become a danger to others and themselves.
Poodle puppies tend to bite more than their counterparts of other breeds. But, with adequate and consistent training, they can learn how to control their impulse to bite and the strength of their bite.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to train your puppy early and often. Inconsistent training from a young age will not properly establish the behavior you are trying to teach your puppy, and starting your dog’s training when they get older will make teaching them much more difficult.
Why is My Poodle Puppy Biting So Much?
Biting is a natural part of communication for dogs of all breeds. Even though biting is important for dogs to communicate with each other and humans, it must be done correctly in order for your dog to be able to function socially. Since poodles naturally bite more often, they require a little more guidance to control their biting habit.
Before you begin to address your puppy’s biting problem, you need to understand why your puppy is biting excessively. In order to do this, you have to monitor your puppy so you know what behavior is normal and what behavior is abnormal for your poodle.
Once you can recognize the pattern of your puppy’s day-to-day behavior, you can better diagnose what is causing your puppy to bite excessively.
Dogs have a limited amount of ways that they can express concerns or communicate with us. Biting or flashing their teeth are ways that they can express fear or anxiety. Usually anxiety or fear will display itself as the flashing of teeth to show that the puppy is able and ready to defend itself. If the object causing the fear is close enough to your puppy, it will likely try to bite it.
Puppies will also bite if they are experiencing pain. With their increased affinity for biting, you can definitely expect your poodle puppy to snap at you if they’re not feeling well.
Dogs of all ages use biting as a way to play with one another. For puppies, play fighting is a big part of their socialization within their litter, because it helps them learn how to play with other dogs when they grow older.
In order for your poodle puppy to be able to socialize with other dogs effectively, they have to be able to control the pressure of their bite.
Biting is a natural behavior for your puppy to engage in. But, if the excessive biting is accompanied by behavior that isn’t normal for your dog, there may be an underlying medical issue that your dog is trying to tell you about.
It is important that you pay attention to your puppy’s behavior over time so that you can best address the biting habit.
How to Deal with an Aggressive Poodle
Regardless of what method you use to train your poodle, if you want the best results out of your dog training, you have to start training your puppy from a young age. You have to start early and be consistent with the training until the desired behavior has been learned.
The biggest problem with puppies biting is that they don’t understand how hard is too hard of a bite. They often don’t intend to cause harm to whomever they’re interacting with, but they simply don’t know any better. Luckily, there are many different ways to address this habit.
Never Take a Puppy Under Eight-Weeks Old from its Mother
Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure it has enough time to spend with its mother and littermates. The first eight-weeks of a poodle’s life are crucial for learning social behavior. As the puppies grow and learn how to play with one another, they also learn how to play and socialize with others. Also, the mother is there to monitor interactions and reprimand bad behavior.
This way your puppy will learn how to socialize in a natural environment giving you less work to do down the line.
The Play Date Method
The easiest way to help your puppy learn how to control their biting around other dogs is to have them play with other dogs often.
If you brought your puppy home from a store or another home, you have to continue the process of socialization that they would have gotten from playing within their litter at home. You don’t have to buy another puppy or poodle to accomplish this. Spending the afternoon at a dog park or with a friend’s puppies will work just as well.
When your puppy plays with other dogs, if they bite their playmate too hard, the other dog will show some type of discomfort and stop playing. This response will cause your puppy to realize that they have done something wrong that caused the play to stop. Over time, your puppy will realize that in order to keep playtime going, they have to develop control over their bite.
Home Hand Training
If you don’t have other dogs in your area that your puppy can play with you are also a great socialization tool for your poodle.
When you are playing with your puppy, let them bite and nibble on your hand. When they bite too hard, react to the bite. You have to do so in a way that your puppy believes that they hurt you.
This can look like imitating a high-pitched yelp, swiftly removing your hand from their mouth, or moving away from the play area. Whatever you choose to do, you have to communicate to your puppy that the bite caused the play to end. Over time with consistent training, your puppy will learn how hard a bite is appropriate for play.
This method of puppy training is best used to socialize your dog with other people.
Whenever you have people over, have a toy handy to give to your puppy if they start biting your guest. This will teach them that biting is not only inappropriate to do to people but also only appropriate for toys at home.
Professional Puppy Training
If your poodle puppy is especially aggressive and no home training seems to work, your puppy may require professional dog training to control their aggression. Most major pet stores offer obedience training courses that you and your puppy can attend to correct the biting.
There are also boarding schools for dogs that you can drop your puppy off at and pick them up when they’ve learned to control their behavior. This is a perfect option for you if you have other commitments that prevent you from training your puppy on your own.
What if my Poodle is Older?
If you are considering buying an older poodle, all of the aforementioned training methods can be used for older dogs. It may be more difficult to train an older dog, but with the right amount of patience and consistency, any poodle can learn how to control their biting.
With older poodles, the focus of your home training should be to establish dominance over your poodle. Your dog must see you as the one in charge in order to help mitigate their biting. Ways that you can establish dominance with your dog include:
- Scheduling walking or feeding time
- Avoid playing games that encourage aggression or biting like tug-of-war
- Obedience classes
If your poodle is still behaving aggressively and biting excessively, seeking out a professional is the best course of action to address the problem. Someone who has studied dog behavior more in-depth would be better equipped to address the underlying cause of your poodle’s biting.
Working With Your Poodle Puppy
Be prepared to tackle your poodle’s biting when you bring them home. Whether it’s an adult or freshly separated from its litter, you will have to deal with some level of biting from your poodle. But, with a little patience and a lot of love, you and your poodle will be able to live and play together with no problem.