Puppies are known for biting and nipping. Maltipoo pups are no exceptions. Since they bear the playful traits of Malteses, knowing how to train a Maltipoo puppy to stop biting is a must. This way, you can raise a well-rounded teacup dog.
Aggression is one of the most difficult issues to deal with when raising a dog. But with the right technique, you can correct it as early as possible. Habits like biting, nipping, and bared teeth are just some of the signs.
What causes teacup Maltipoos to bite?
Puppy Maltipoos are naturally playful. Biting and nipping might be their way of letting you know that they want to play. Also, during playtime, your pup may get too excited which will lead to an unintended bite.
Take note that biting isn’t always a sign of aggression. For puppies below 6 months of age, biting is likely due to teething. The discomfort of falling and growing teeth is only eased through chewing and nibbling on something – including your foot.
Another reason is an undiagnosed condition. All puppies, not just Maltipoos, feel vulnerable when they are in pain. If your Maltipoo bites after you try to pet, it might be a sign that the pooch is ailing. If you suspect that this is the case, seek the help of a veterinarian right away.
Lastly, the bite can be due to improper hierarchy. Your Maltipoo sees itself as the leader of the pack. Although Maltipoos aren’t herders, they can still nip to show you that they can lord over.
All of these causes can be fixed. You just have to identify the actual cause.
How to stop the biting
First, rule out any health problems that could be behind the incessant biting. If it proved to be a behavioral issue, here are some tips that I personally tried on my doggos:
1. Show that biting hurts
Yelping after a bite will let the dog know that you got hurt. Some Maltipoos are sensitive enough to pick up this stimulus. However, each puppy is different from the other. For example, my dog gets even more excited when I yelp when he bites. Chances are the doggo will come back with an even painful nibbling.
In this case, you’d have to try another method.
2. Use a toy to divert the biting into something positive
If biting is something your pup doesn’t outgrow, you can use playtime to correct the behavior. You should be the one to initiate the play. Once your doggo is onboard, praise it or give some treats if the pooch is gentle. If the doggo bites you, yelp and stop the play right away.
Come back and restart the playtime after a few minutes. Follow the same rules. Remember, your dog should never initiate or control the game in any way.
This will let the dog realize that there are consequences to each action. Do this repeatedly until your pooch learns how to let go of the toy when commanded to do so.
3. Keep your dog busy
One reason why Maltipoos bites is their excessive energy. A short playtime with your teacup doggo should be enough to drain the excess energy. Take note that teacup Maltipoos aren’t supposed to exercise too much due to their small size.
It will also help to have some chew toys lying around. This way, your dog will have something else to nibble.
4. Teach some commands
Basic commands like “Leave it!”, “Stop!”, and “Sit!” are good for starters. This will prep your Maltipoo for basic obedience training which will eventually stop the biting.
Also, the simple act of saying the command is enough to distract your pooch from biting. If you’re consistent, they will soon react necessarily upon hearing the verbal cues. Knowing how to train a Maltipoo puppy to stop biting includes a lot of patience and practice.
5. Give treats properly
Treats give us the upper hand on our dogs. Almost all canines will yield to any command when they know that there’s a prize. Still, you wouldn’t want to use it as a bribe for good behavior.
Choose an extra tasty treat that your doggo haven’t tasted before. I personally recommend the Wellness Natural Grain-Free Puppy Training Treats. Just break a piece in half to suit your teacup pooch.
When your pet follows a command, give a treat. If it bites or shows resentment, leave and don’t give any of the treats.
Make the dog consider the treat as a golden prize.
For more tips, here’s Kathy Santo, a professional dog trainer:
What not to do
*Never hurt or punish your pup!
Remember, responsible owners don’t hurt their dogs when it does something wrong. Unlike humans, your doggo won’t understand why you punish them. It can actually lead to worse cases of aggression.
Also, your pup might think that you’re being playful. The pooch may come back with a big bite. Pet training and studies among dogs have proven that violence isn’t the answer to behavioral problems.
*Don’t be selective when you reprimand
The problem with some owners is that they are inconsistent with their cues. Maltipoos are smart dogs, but they can easily develop bad habits if you don’t set the rules straight.
Also, it’s difficult to establish your authority if you’re selective of circumstances. Your dog may think that it can get away with biting.
The key here is consistency. When your dog bites or does something hurtful, you should always impose the consequences – not just when you’re in the mood to do so.
Do you need the help of a professional trainer?
If you can’t handle the biting, you can tap the help of a professional trainer. Although you have a teacup dog, the pooch can be a handful.
A local SPCA can refer you to trainers. Also, you can also consult with your dog’s veterinarian who might know a dog training school.
Take note, though, that professional training can cost a lot. Some trainers will charge $50 per hour or more if you chose a big school.
Teacup Maltipoos are sweethearts. But if they start biting out of nowhere, you should know how to train a Maltipoo puppy to stop biting. This will prevent future behavioral problems and the possibility of aggression.