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Marylin Monroe once famously said, “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” Clearly, she never owned a Husky puppy!
I have been in the same boat as you and can safely say, it WILL get better if you just hang in there. I am about to spill some beans on some of the best techniques to teach your Husky puppy not to bite…
Why does my husky puppy bite me?
There are many reasons why your husky bites you. Simply put, it’s what they do. A puppy’s primary way of exploring and interacting with anything they come across is sniffing and taking it in their mouth to feel the texture of it. It’s how they socialize and learn about their environment.
Husky puppies also go through a phase called teething when their baby teeth start falling out and their permanent adult teeth start erupting. This process can be painful and frustrating for them and may make them want to bite into something constantly to soothe their gums. This is when puppy biting is usually at its worst.
Apart from that, they love to sink their teeth into anything they find as a way to play. Unfortunately, when it comes to our puppies, their favorite bone is in our arms!
Further reading: When do huskies stop teething?
Do Husky puppies bite more than other breeds?
Huskies are not only highly energetic dogs, but they also have a high prey drive. They don’t tire out easily even after several minutes of play, which means that they are likely to get over-excited and hyper during a play session and may end up play-biting their humans.
Since they have a strong prey drive, moving arms and legs and smaller kids may become a primary target of play biting.
Huskies also need massive amounts of physical and mental stimulation, without which they can get bored and frustrated. This is also one of the reasons why they may bite.
To answer the question, you may face as much (at times even more) puppy biting as any other energetic dog breed. It is not a Husky-exclusive thing.
How to train a husky puppy not to bite
There are several ways to tackle puppy biting. Every Husky may respond to a different technique depending on what motivates them.
Redirection simply means distracting a puppy from biting the human hand by involving something else that the puppy can bite on. This could be a toy, an edible chew, or anything else that the puppy loves to chew on.
It is impractical to expect your Husky puppy to completely stop biting. Redirection is one of the best ways to tackle this behavior as it allows your dog to still engage in the behavior on a desirable outlet.
2. Teach bite inhibition
Bite inhibition simply means teaching a pup to control bite pressure so that it doesn’t break human skin. Bite inhibition also teaches dogs to apply gentle corrections as they age. Eg, if a kid accidentally steps on a dog’s tail, a dog with no bite inhibition may end up biting and bruising the kid badly. However, a dog that knows bite inhibition may only quickly snap or gently give a bite correction to the kid without bruising.
3. Provide ample outlets
Chewing and biting is every puppy’s inherent need. Providing ample outlets will make sure that your puppy’s needs are being fulfilled. Desirable outlets include toys with a variety of surfaces such as rope toys, wood toys, rubber chews, cloth toys, and canine-friendly plastic toys.
Edible chews like bully sticks, yak milk chews, etc also count as excellent outlets that are also long-lasting. These outlets help tire out your Husky puppy’s jaw while enabling them to sink their teeth onto something apart from human skin.
Before investing in toys, read my guide to the best toys for huskies.
4. Ensure adequate amounts of exercise
Huskies were bred primarily because of their ability to run and sled tirelessly, several miles in the snow. They need intense amounts of exercise to be able to thrive in a family environment. Without it, they may become bored, depressed, and frustrated and may want to harness their energies in undesirable activities like destructive chewing and excessive biting and nipping.
Make sure to provide your Husky pup with ample amounts of outdoor exercises and indoor mental stimulation activities.
5. Know the worst times of the day and prepare accordingly
Puppies are likely to bite the most when they’re physically active and in a playful state of mind. Now, Husky puppies sleep over 10 hours a day and tend to be at their most active selves early in the morning and in the evening. This is when the biting will be at its worst.
Knowing your Husky puppy’s most active times of the day will prepare you and equip you to deal with the behavior much better.
Dog-to-dog socialization is an important aspect of a puppy’s life. However, choosing the right dogs to socialize with is equally important.
Make sure your Husky puppy socializes with dogs who are capable of giving gentle bite corrections when your puppy goes overboard with the bite-fest. This will help your puppy learn bite inhibition much faster.
Dogs learn best from other dogs, for obvious reasons! And humans learn best from our training guide about how to socialize a husky. 😉
7. Use the leash as a way to communicate
A leash is one of the most underrated training tools. Apart from being a walking tool, it is also an excellent tool to establish control and communicate with your puppy indoors.
Involving your hands to physically correct your nippy puppy will only put you at risk of being bitten even more. Use the leash to create distance and curb hyperactivity.
8. Positive reinforcement is key
Yelling “ow” or “stop” does work in terms of startling your puppy enough to let go of your arm. But once your puppy loosens his jaw grip, the most important thing to do is heavily reward your pup with verbal praise. This is an essential aspect of positive reinforcement training.
Correction must ALWAYS be followed up with positive reinforcement. This will help your Husky learn desirable behaviors that get him rewarded.
9. Time out, if nothing works
Time out is a form of training technique that attempts to change puppy behavior by isolating them immediately after the unwanted behavior occurs.
Examples of time out would be tethering your Husky puppy to something away from everybody or isolating them in a pen or a small room with no toys or food for a few minutes.
This may help your puppy calm down faster and also teach them that the result of biting isn’t always fun.
Why aversive techniques don’t work (even if it may look like they do)
Hitting your dog with a rolled-up newspaper, forceful lip curling, alpha roll, etc are aversive techniques that apply physical force on the dog to get a desirable outcome or stop undesirable behavior. Your Husky may respond to it to avoid being punished the next time, but such methods fail to teach the dog anything.
Puppy biting is a phase all puppies go through. Physical force may stop the behavior on the surface, but the need does not go away. This makes the pup look for other outlets to harness their frustration. This may invariably lead to destructive chewing, aggression, and eventually a scarred relationship between you and your dog.
Learn how to discipline a husky, without being a bully!
How long does the puppy-biting phase last?
Generally, puppy biting lasts as long as the pup is teething, ie, 5-6 months of age. However, it also depends on how you deal with the behavior. If your Husky puppy is getting ample outlets to harness their need to bite, the behavior will go away sooner than expected.
But, for whatever reason, if your Husky feels rewarded after biting the human skin, the behavior may last longer.
Your Husky pup is only doing what comes most naturally to him. Look at puppy biting as a non-skippable phase of your puppy’s life and not just an undesirable behavior.
Work with your dog, not against him. There is no quick fix to puppy biting.
Patience and consistency with training are key.
Got questions? Comment below.
Does your husky need more training? Read my ultimate training guide about how to train a husky.
Prefer a physical book? See my list of the best husky training books. 👈
Further reading: 👇
What is the best way to stop a husky puppy from biting?
One of the best ways to stop your husky puppy from biting is by teaching bite inhibition. This method involves teaching your puppy how to control the force of their bites by consistently redirecting them to chew toys and rewarding them for good behavior.
Should I consider getting professional help to train my husky?
Yes, if you are having difficulty training your husky puppy to stop biting, it might be helpful to seek the assistance of a professional trainer. They will teach you effective training methods and help you find the right approach for your pup.
How long will it take to train my husky puppy to stop biting?
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for your husky puppy to learn to stop biting and to develop good bite inhibition. Consistency and patience are key to success.
What types of toys should I give my husky puppy to chew on?
It’s important to offer your husky puppy a variety of chew toys to prevent them from becoming bored and looking for other things to bite. Some good options include hard rubber toys, nylon toys, and Kongs filled with treats.
Can my husky learn not to bite as an adult dog?
Yes, it is possible to train your husky not to bite even as an adult dog. However, it can be more difficult to change their behavior the older they get, so it’s important to start training as early as possible.
What should I do if my husky puppy continues to bite despite my attempts to train them?
If your husky puppy is still biting, don’t get discouraged. Try different training methods or consider seeking the help of a professional trainer who can assess your pup’s behavior and find the right approach for them.
Is it normal for husky puppies to bite and chew on things?
Yes, it is normal for husky puppies (and all young puppies) to bite and chew on things as it’s a part of their natural exploration and teething process. However, it’s important to train them early on what is appropriate to chew on to prevent destructive behavior in the future.
Apart from bite inhibition, what other training methods can I use to stop my husky puppy from biting?
Some other effective training methods include teaching your husky puppy the “Leave It” command, providing positive reinforcement for good behavior, and redirecting their attention to toys or other objects when they are tempted to bite.
Should I enroll my husky puppy in a puppy class to help with their biting behavior?
Yes, enrolling your husky puppy in a puppy class can be very helpful in teaching them proper behavior and socialization skills. Make sure to find a good, reputable class that focuses on positive reinforcement training methods.
What is the bite inhibition method and how does it work?
The bite inhibition method involves teaching your puppy how to control the force of their bites by consistently redirecting them to appropriate objects and rewarding good behavior. This teaches them the level of pressure that is acceptable when biting, and helps them develop good habits that will prevent biting as an adult.