It’s natural for puppies to bite and put everything in their mouths to explore their surroundings. It’s not dominance, and it’s not aggression. In fact, in most cases, it’s quite the opposite, it’s play.
If you observe a litter with their mom, you’ll frequently see pups biting each other and even biting mom. Any pup that bites too hard gets feedback – a screech from a littermate or a correction from mom, and fun time is over. Lesson learned for next time!
And so what does this have to do with your puppy biting you? Well, your puppy isn’t born knowing that your human skin is sensitive! Your puppy’s playfulness and the way he’s hard-wired to explore with his mouth are your opportunities to teach him that his teeth can hurt! Your Weimaraner puppy doesn’t have strong jaws when he’s little, but he is actually capable of learning to control of his jaws in a pretty precise way.
I’ve had very bitey young puppies and some that weren’t as bitey, and by far, the bitier the puppy, the better they learned to control their jaws as they get older. Bitey puppies just give you that many more opportunities to give them feedback. And teaching proper bite inhibition will also teach your Weim to be very careful about taking toys and treats from your hands.
Teaching this is easy! When your puppy bites, screech “OUCH!” and quit playing. The screech should not get more intense or louder the more frustrated you get; it should get more intense and loud depending on how hard he bites. Resume playing when he calms down and quits biting.
If he gets more wound up and an “OUCH!” is not enough, try turning your back on your puppy after you screech. And if that doesn’t work, up the ante with drama. “OUCH!” then stop playing, and then leave the room. Slam a door even. What better “punishment” than being ignored by their playmate! Leave him bewildered as to why his playmate left. With repetition and good timing, he will quickly figure out what made his playmate go away.
Remember, the harder the bite, the bigger the punishment. Do not let the level of your frustration determine the feedback you give!
The more you do this, the more bite inhibition will become a reflex. And the more this is ingrained in your Weim, the better the outcome when he accidentally hits skin when taking food or a toy from your hand, or in a panic situation when he might lash out due to pain or fear. So use those biting opportunities when they come up, and you’ll soon be like me and prefer them biting a lot when they are little.