5 Steps to Stop Puppy Nipping…Training Your Puppy to ‘Leave It’

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 Puppies nip. Kids cry.That’s no fun for anyone.

Let’s make it better. Let’s stop the jumping up and the nipping and that will stop the crying 

Restore calm to your household and then you can stop yelling at the puppy, you’ll no longer have to wipe kids’ tears and  you can all have fun. 

Yelling  at your puppy doesn’t work! It’s just loud noise to her. She speaks no English (or any other human language).You have to train her what words mean.

What DO you want? You probably want her to stop jumping up. You probably want her to keep her mouth, teeth and paws off things and people.

Let’s train pup to do what you want. Then you can ask her to do it. Let’s train puppy to ‘leave it’. I use the word ‘off’. ‘Off’ means remove all of your body parts from “that object.” “That object” is anything that is, in any way, attached to the pup.

 “That object”  includes:

  • A person’s body, hands or feet
  • Clothing of all kinds  and all parts of clothing…hem, sleeves, pant legs
  • Food that is not hers, no matter where it might be
  • The couch , the chair  and the bed
  • Pup’s toys (we’ll also train pup to ‘take it’ so she can have the toy or treat)

  5  Steps to Stop Pup’s Nipping 

  1.  Say, “ouch”
  2. Turn away or walk away for 2-3 seconds
  3. Ask pup to ‘come’ and ‘sit
  4. Train pup to ‘leave it’ using ‘off
  5. Teach family & friends to say ‘off’ .We often forget that part.



Here’s how to train ‘off’:

  • With a treat in a closed fist
  • Put your fist very close to pup’s nose
  • Say nothing; just watch
  • The instant pup removes all body parts from your fist
  • Open your fist and say, “Take it.”
  • Repeat this 3 more times 

Then the next time you present your fist to pup,  just a second or two before you present your fist to pup, 

  • Say, “Pup (her name), ‘Off’.”
  • Present your closed fist
  • The instant she removes herself from your fist
  •  Open your fist and say, ‘take it’

Notice that now she removes herself from your closed fist much faster. She’s beginning to get the idea.

Repeat this 3 more times. Have several sessions of 3 repetitions throughout the day.Now, begin to use the word ‘off whenever pup is attached to something that is not hers.

A note of caution: Sometimes tiny teeth get caught in fabric. Watch for that and remove the fabric from her teeth if necessary. She can’t ‘off’  if she’s stuck.

If she goes back to the forbidden object after several repetitions of ‘off’, distract her with something she can have.

Now, let’s move on…

Next present a toy or treat in your open palm. Say, “Pup,’off’.” Be ready to close your fist but try not to do that. If she moves to take the treat, use a warning sound like “uh-uh”. Gradually increase her waiting time before you tell her to ‘take it’. 

 That’s it!

Progress to putting things on low tables or dropping them on the floor. Pick up the thing and give it to her so she ‘takes it’ from your hand, not from the forbidden surface. Delay giving her the ‘take it’ cue. Praise her for waiting. In fact praise your puppy whenever she does something you like. Puppies thrive on praise!

I offer Puppy Training Solutions. If you want to prevent problems with your puppy contact: Jude the Puppy Nanny. Send me an email: jude@judethepuppynanny.com with your puppy training challenge or to request a one-on-one Skype session. 

Training ‘off’ is Win-Win. Mom is happier. Kids are happier. Puppy is happier.Everyone has more fun.


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One Response to “5 Steps to Stop Puppy Nipping…Training Your Puppy to ‘Leave It’”

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