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Dog Training/puppy biting


I have a 3 1/2 month old miniature schnauzer mix that I have had for about 4 weeks. I adopted him from a shelter and was told he was surrendered to them when he was 3 1/2 weeks old.

He bites hard, frequently breaking the skin. I've read that when puppies are removed from the litter too early that this can be a problem.

I believe in positive training. I reward him when he licks instead of bites, and remove myself from sight  when he wants to bite. I try offering a chew toy instead, but he isn't interested.

I had hoped to be further along by now and would welcome your suggestions.

Dixie, find an appropriate doggie playmate for him. Ideally, this would be an adult dog with tolerance for puppies and who will correct when he bites too hard.

You're doing the right thing by leaving when he bites too hard. Teaching bite inhibition at this age is critical, but it will certainly be a challenge if he was really removed from the litter that young. Check out this excellent article on the subject:

Let me know if you have any questions.  Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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