We’ve all been there. You’re playing with your Pug, and they’re mouthing adorably at your fingers, but then you feel it: the teeth. Your precious little pup has turned into a vampire.
How do you stop it? What are the best tactics to prevent Pug biting, chewing, and gnawing on people and property? Why do Pugs bite in the first place, anyway?
Let’s dive into the world of Pugs and get some answers.
Do Pugs bite their owners?
Pugs have been known to bite their owners. It isn’t usually serious, and it doesn’t usually come from a place of hostility or aggression, but it happens.
Here are some signs that you might have a biter:
- They nip at you during playtime.
- They try to lunge and bite people or animals.
- You come home to destroyed objects such as chewed-up shoes or remotes.
Another sign of a biter or potential biter is if they use their mouth a lot in general. This is perfectly normal Pug behavior in moderate amounts; since dogs can’t pick up objects with their paws, sniffing and biting are how they explore the world. However, if you notice that your Pug puts everything in its mouth, it might have become a habit that you need to break.
Why is my Pug biting?
There are many reasons why a Pug might be biting and chewing on things, and you’ll need to do a little detective work to figure out the unique behavioral patterns of your pooch.
For example, do they bite things when they get angry or stressed? This is the equivalent of a toddler having a temper tantrum. You’ll need to train them out of expressing negative emotions through aggression.
Do they chew on things because they’re bored? This one can be harder to detect, but if you spend long hours outside of the home, it’s something to consider. It can also be compounded by things like separation anxiety where your Pug self-soothes by gnawing on objects with your scent.
Do they have any medical issues? Pugs are prone to health conditions such as canine hip dysplasia and Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). If they’re in pain, they might be teething on objects to distract themselves from it, or they might be nipping at you whenever you unknowingly aggravate their condition.
Last but not least, your Pug might simply have a habit of chewing on things. If you’ve never corrected their behavior before now, they might not realize that it’s wrong. They might even think that it’s a sign of love and affection if you’ve been roughhousing with them the same way that they roughhoused with their littermates!
How do I get my Pug to stop biting?
You don’t have to live with a biter. There are many tips and tricks to stop a Pug biting, and you can employ a little trial and error to figure out which ones work for you.
- Ignore them whenever they bite. If your Pug is biting to get attention, take the attention away. Only engage with them when they’re being soft and gentle again.
- Respond to bites with verbal commands like “no” or “stop.” You can also try whining in a high-pitched voice. This will simulate real-world puppy play where they back off when they realize that they’re hurting their litter mate.
- Buy them toys or teething objects. If you can’t or don’t want to stop the biting entirely, you can at least re-direct it towards more appropriate objects.
- Get them used to your hands being around their mouth. Some dogs respond instinctively to the perceived threat of a hand near their face and mouth. You can re-condition this response by slowly and incrementally petting them closer to their snouts. You can also deliver more treats by hand or palm!
- Utilize “bite inhibition.” This is a technique where you train your dog to moderate the strength of their bite. It’s another approach that can be used with a Pug who likes to gnaw and chew but needs to be trained to be safe about it.
Another option is enrolling in obedience courses such as the ones available at the Pupford Academy. They have a multitude of training modules that can help with biting, leash walking, crate training, and more.
Stop Your Pug From Biting Once and For All
Pug biting is a common issue, but it doesn’t have to be a serious one. With patience, dedication, and a lot of love, you can de-fang your vampire and turn them back into a sweet and snuggly pup. Good luck!