Golden Retriever puppies are undeniably cute, but, as with every puppy, they have some naughty tendencies!
One of the biggest issues you will have with Golden Retriever puppies is their need to bite everything!
Biting is pretty normal for puppies, but it is a bad behavior you will want to address quickly before it becomes a bigger problem.
If you have a Golden Retriever puppy who won’t stop biting, then you have come to the right place.
Below is my guide to help stop your golden pup from biting.
My Top Tips For Stopping Biting Behavior In Golden Pups
Biting is pretty normal for pups, especially when they are teething, but there does come a time when it becomes a problem.
Training your puppy not to bite can start pretty early on, and you can use a few different methods.
As a family who has had a lot of Goldens, we’ve tried and tested our fair share of methods over the years.
Below are some of my top tips to train your Golden pup to stop biting.
The ‘Bitter Taste’ Method
The first method you can use is the ‘Bitter Taste’ method.
This one involves using bitter spray to spray the things your pup bites the most.
Eventually, after tasting this spray enough, your puppy will associate biting with an unpleasant taste and stop doing it.
If you are going to use this method, just make sure to get a dog-friendly bitter spray. You can find them in pet stores and other related retailers.
The steps for the ‘Bitter Taste’ Method are as follows:
- Get to know your dog’s habits: See what they bite most and try to identify whether they are doing it for food or attention, etc. The more familiar you are with your puppy’s habits, the easier it will be to train them not to bite.
- Use the bitter spray: When you know your puppy’s habits, you can spray it onto the things they bite the most. This can include furniture, your shoes, or anything else you don’t want them to bite.
- Immediately say ‘no’ when your puppy bites: The previous steps will set you up to be ready for a bite, which means that you can say ‘no’ as soon as a bite happens. For a while, your puppy will bite things, but the combination of saying no and tasting the bitter spray will train them to stop.
- Be consistent in your approach: Despite the unpleasant taste, this method will not work overnight, and your pup will try again, so you will need to be consistent in the way you train your puppy. Keep using the spray and keep saying no for at least a month to see if your pup is making any progress.
The Toy Method
This method is all about distracting your pup from biting and redirecting them to a toy instead.
You will present them with a toy to play with whenever they bite and continue using the ‘no’ command.
Your golden pup will learn to use the toy to chew on whenever they want to bite, and it should stop them from biting you or other things you don’t want them to bite.
I find this particularly helpful when your pup tries to engage you in play biting.
The steps for the Toy Method are as follows:
- Get to know your dog’s habits: Exactly like the previous method, first, get to know your puppy’s habits. See if they are biting for attention or because they are hungry, and work out what they like to bite, etc. The more familiar you become with these habits, the better.
- Grab your puppy’s favorite toy: It can be any toy, but picking a toy your puppy is more familiar with just means they will take to the method a bit faster. You must keep this toy close by, especially when you think your puppy will likely bite.
- Initiate playtime: Your cue to initiate playtime is when your pup begins biting. They may ignore this a few times, but the more you initiate it when your pup bites, the faster they will retrain.
- Use the ‘no’ command: Even after initiating playtime, it is important that you still use the ‘no’ command on your pup. Whenever they start biting, use the no command to remind them that this is bad behavior.
- Repeat the process: Whatever method you use will take time, and the Toy Method is no exception. Repeat this process a few times when you train your pup so they can learn to go for their toy whenever they want to bite instinctively.
The Back Method
This method involves stopping playtime and essentially ignoring your puppy whenever they bite or practice bad behavior.
This can feel like a harsh tactic, but honestly, having tried it plenty, it’s probably one of my favorites.
It teaches your golden pup early on that bad behavior won’t get much attention, whereas good behavior will.
The steps for this method are as follows:
- Get to know your dog’s habits: Like the other methods, learn what instigates the bites, if they are trying to get attention, etc.
- Use the ‘no’ command: As soon as your pup starts biting, very firmly tell them ‘no.’
- Turn your back: After using the ‘no’ command, you want to turn so your back is facing your pup. Cross your arms over your chest and stay in that stance.
- Resume attention: As soon as your puppy has calmed down again, resume attention and playtime.
- Stick with it & repeat: This method can be hard on some owners, but the more you stick with it, the sooner it will sink in for your pup.
Things To Remember
I have a few more points that are important to bear in mind with a biting puppy:
- Biting and chewing are a normal part of puppyhood, but it’s important to train biting behavior out of your pup before it becomes a problem. Redirect chewing to appropriate items.
- Don’t engage in biting games with your pup, no matter how young they are – allowing them to nibble your fingers when they’re just 8 weeks old teaches them that this is okay to do as they grow into their adult teeth.
- As a rule, Golden Retrievers aren’t aggressive dogs, but any dog, when pushed, can bite. Monitor your dog’s behavior and look for signs of stress.
- Your Golden may be the friendliest pooch in the world, but don’t leave children and dogs alone and unsupervised. No one wants to be in a position where your golden retriever bites a child.
The Final Woof
Getting your golden pup to stop biting can be a challenge, but as you can see, you can try a few methods when you need it to stop.
Whether you use the ‘Bitter Taste’ method, the toy method, or the back method, each of these ways should teach your pup not to bite anymore.
My personal recommendation would be the back method – it’s proved to be effective with many of our family pups.