Bite Inhibition

Puppies usually learn to mouth because they are reinforced for it in some way, usually with attention, even if it is negative attention! Mouthing is a normal part of puppy development and it is our job to teach our dogs what is and isn’t acceptable.

Encouraging play fighting and wrestling games with your dog can send them mixed messages as this will often lead to mouthing behaviours. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of chew toys to channel the chewing, and encourage chewing and mouthing on appropriate toys.

If your puppy starts mouthing try swapping for an appropriate toy and then praise for chewing on that instead.

If this doesn’t work make sure you are not reinforcing the behaviour with attention or touch, turn away, avoid eye contact and don’t speak to or touch your puppy. Once the puppy has stopped mouthing she can be rewarded with calm praise and stroking, but repeat immediately if the mouthing begins again the process should be repeated.

The key to success with this is consistency, and making sure that everyone who comes into contact with your puppy follows this process.


Dogs usually learn to jump up for attention as puppies. No-one can resist fussing a puppy for jumping up at them, but this loses its appeal as the dog gets bigger and older. We have reinforced the jumping up behaviour!

Dogs should only gain attention if all four feet are on the floor. If they jump up at anyone, the person should stand up, fold their arms, look away and turn away. The second that they are back on the floor again they can be fussed.

If this is difficult for the children, you may have to put the dogs lead on to stop him or her from jumping all over them.