Owning a Golden Retriever is a blessing, no question about that. However, some things can frustrate their owners. One of those things is those painful puppy bites. It’s important to understand that puppies don’t do this intentionally to hurt you, but because they still don’t know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In this article, we will go through the steps, methods, and techniques you can apply to stop your Golden Retriever puppy from biting.
What Is Acquired Bite Inhibition And How Do Puppies Learn It?
Golden Retriever puppy would learn about biting from its mother and siblings. The mother would instantly scold the puppy when biting is too rough. Thus teaching it the acceptable levels of bite. Puppies also learn about biting through play with their siblings. If the bite is too rough, the other puppy will alert it with a yelp and stop the play. This way, the puppy will learn acquired bite inhibition. This is the ability to control and modify the pressure of the bite.
If My Golden Retriever Puppy Learned ABI From Its Mother, Why Does It Keep Biting So Hard?
Well, your Golden’s mother learned her children to modify the strength of their bites to prevent injuries to other Goldens. However, human skin is not thick or protected enough, as is the case with Golden Retrievers. That’s why a puppy needs to learn new acceptable strength levels of bite. This is where you, as an owner, step in.
So, How To Stop My Golden Retriever Puppy From Biting?
There are various techniques owners use to train their Golden Retriever puppy that biting is unacceptable. Here are some of the most common and most successful.
The “Ouch” And The Stop The Play Technique
As we mentioned before, the puppy will learn from its sibling that the strength of the bite is not acceptable. The sibling will alert it with a yelp and stop the play immediately. This way, the puppy associates that level of bite with bad things. We, as owners, can also implement this technique. When your puppy bites you, you will respond with a loud “ouch”, and stop all the play and activity for a few minutes.
When You Bite, We Don’t Play Technique
Most important thing is that you learn from your Golden Retriever puppy that biting means immediate cessation of play and all fun activities. You will achieve this through these steps.
- As soon as your puppy bites you, respond with high pitched “No biting” and stop the play
- Start ignoring it, turn your back to the puppy, or place it in a crate
- Keep your puppy in a crate or ignore it until it calms down
- Repeat the technique and be consistent
The Shaking Can Technique
With this technique, your Golden Retriever puppy will learn that the word “No” is associated with unacceptable behavior, such as biting.
For this technique, you will need an empty soda can, few coins, and duct tape.
- Drop the coins into the can and seal the opening with duct tape.
- When a puppy bites you, respond with “No.” If it continues with biting, shake the can, and repeat “No.”
- The puppy will pay attention to the noise coming from the can and if it continues with biting, repeat the process.
- This way, your puppy will learn to associate can shake and noise with “No” and in the end with biting.
In a short time, your Golden Retriever puppy will start responding to the word “No” even without noise from can shaking.
These are the three most used and most successful techniques. There are also other techniques, like “Toy distraction technique” or “Bad taste technique,” but we don’t recommend them. The reason why we don’t recommend them is simple.
With the toy distraction technique, you will provide a chewing toy to your puppy every time it bites you. This can backfire as your puppy can learn to associate biting with the receiving of an award in the form of a toy.
As for the bad taste technique, you will apply anti-chew spray on your hands. Spray’s bitter taste will prevent the puppy from biting your hands. But it can also create aversion towards your hands, and you don’t want that.
You must be aware that this is a baby you are dealing with, and that baby needs time to learn. The most important thing is that you don’t lose patience and act rashly. Any form of physical punishment towards your puppy will only create additional problems. The best way to deal with your Golden Retriever puppy biting is patience and repetition. In the end, Goldens are highly-intelligent, and with just a bit of effort and dedication, this problem will become a thing of the past in no time.