Even though everything your new puppy does seems cute to you, their mad lunges for your face are not behaviors you want to encourage. This behavior can accidentally injure someone. Luckily, you can break your puppy from this behavior. Read on to find out how.
How To Stop A Puppy From Lunging At Your Face?
Puppies lunge at faces because it’s their natural way of communicating. This habit can lead to injuries, so it’s wise to train them out of it. Break this habit by training your dog to complete distraction techniques. With patience and time, your puppy will become a well-trained, non-lunging dog!
- 1 How To Stop A Puppy From Lunging At Your Face?
- 2 Puppy Lunging And Biting At Face?
- 3 Dog Snaps At My Face When Excited?
- 4 How To Stop Puppy Lunging At My Face?
- 5 Why Is My Puppy Lunging At My Face?
- 6 How To Stop My Puppy From Lunging At Strangers?
- 7 Why Does My Puppy Want To Attack My Face?
- 8 How Do I Stop My Puppy From Going To My Face?
- 9 Why Do Puppies Try To Nip At Your Face?
- 10 References
Puppy Lunging And Biting At Face?
Puppies are energetic little fluffs of fur that we all love and adore. Well, until you notice they seem intent to take your face off.
Why does it seem like your puppy is always lunging and biting at your face?
It’s a natural behavior, actually! If you watch how puppies interact with their siblings and mothers, you’ll notice that puppies do a lot of nipping and even seem to bite at their mom’s face.
Dogs can’t communicate with each other like humans, so nipping is a way to play with their littermates or ask their mom for food, for instance.
Why are they lunging and biting at you?
For the same reasons! They want you to know that they’re hungry or excited or bored. And it’s kind of cute in the beginning. At this stage, many pet owners actually encourage the behaviors.
You may pull away quickly, thinking that your puppy will get the hint and stop. This motion does the opposite; your pup thinks you’re playing with them.
Likewise, negative attention such as scolding may have the opposite effect. Your puppy takes this to mean that they can get a reaction out of you if they lunge and nip.
This problem often outlasts its cuteness factor, however.
Jumping and biting lasts into adulthood if encouraged. Even if your dog is fairly small, strangers could see your dog’s jumping and nipping as aggressive behavior. Your dog may even hurt someone.
To avoid any trouble, training your dog out of these behaviors will be better in the long run. The good news is that you can break this habit easily! Read on to see how to stop your puppy from jumping and biting.
One important note: If you are having trouble breaking your dog of this habit or the biting seems aggressive, consult with a certified trainer to help you.
Dog Snaps At My Face When Excited?
Does your dog snap at your face when they’re excited?
Usually, this is a sign that your dog was not trained out of nipping as a puppy.
A dog snapping at your face is not very pleasant, whether they’re a toy breed or a large breed! Your dog may inadvertently injure you or others out of excitement.
The good news is that training is possible for adult dogs! You may find that it takes a little more patience, however.
Before learning techniques to stop the snapping, take stock of how your dog is biting. If you notice their tail isn’t wagging or they’re wrinkling their snout to show their teeth, the biting may be a sign of aggression.
A certified trainer can help a dog with aggressive tendencies more effectively and safely than you can. Speak to one as soon as possible.
It’s more likely, however, that your dog is attempting to play with you! They are looking to play or get some love, and they know that snapping at you will get them what they want.
The fact is you have probably unconsciously encouraged this behavior. Many pet owners aren’t adequately informed about how their actions affect the behaviors of their pets.
Answering your dog’s snaps with attention in any way – negative or positive – is enough to reinforce the behavior!
Do not acknowledge your dog’s snapping. Leave the room, if necessary.
The next section goes into more detail about breaking your dog of undesirable behaviors. Read on to find out how experts train dogs away from jumping and biting.
How To Stop Puppy Lunging At My Face?
If you don’t train your puppy not to jump, it could mean trouble for you later on.
Large breeds may accidentally injure a stranger or someone you know by jumping. Both smaller and larger breeds alike may be perceived as aggressive by people unfamiliar or afraid of dogs.
To avoid this, train your puppy to stop lunging. It is an essential aspect of having a well-adjusted, well-trained adult dog.
The first step to breaking this habit is to ignore your puppy when they jump at you. When your dog lunges, do not scold your dog or give a negative reaction. Simply remove yourself from the situation.
When your pup calms down, walk back into the room. This requires a lot of patience and consistency.
To speed up this process, begin working on a distraction behavior for your pup. A distraction behavior is one that your puppy cannot do while jumping.
A common, easy command is sit. Not only is this command useful for your dog to know, but it is also a terrific tool for getting your dog to stop lunging! Make sure to give your puppy lots of recognition and treats for successfully completing the behavior.
Armed with the sit command, you can more quickly break your puppy from lunging.
Watch for what situations trigger your puppy to jump. Is it when you come home? Is it when you have food?
Start putting you and your puppy into more situations where the behavior occurs. This gives you an opportunity for you to practice consistency and calmness and your dog an opportunity to practice their new command.
When your puppy tries to lunge, stay calm. Command them in an even voice to sit. Once your puppy has sat, then reward your dog with affection and treats!
Eventually, your puppy will understand that jumping does not get them food or attention while sitting gets them both. It replaces a potentially harmful behavior with a more desirable one.
Why Is My Puppy Lunging At My Face?
Puppies mainly lunge because they want your attention. Think about it – you’re their number one playmate!
To train your puppy out of lunging, it is helpful to understand why your puppy jumps and what steps beyond training you can use to stop it.
It should go without saying that puppies have the most energy. If your puppy is a breed known for being high energy, it’s probably even worse!
Lots of pet owners fall into the trap of being too sedentary, especially if they are new to owning pets or have only owned older, lower-energy dogs before having a puppy.
Although you should still train your dog away from undesirable behaviors like jumping, increasing their exercise may make a huge difference in the amount of lunging they do!
Pet owners often find it helpful to observe their puppy and notice when the lunging behavior seems to increase. There may be specific times throughout the day when your pup has natural spikes of energy that need to be addressed.
If you only take your dog out to let them use the restroom, try increasing the amount of time you spend outside with them during that bathroom break.
Time their bathroom break for those spikes of energy so you can allow them to play, do their business, and get worn out before going inside for (hopefully) a nap!
How To Stop My Puppy From Lunging At Strangers?
Since jumping is natural for puppies, it is natural that they will jump on a stranger at some point.
However, a stranger may be upset at your puppy or take it as an act of aggression. To avoid trouble, you want to make sure that your puppy does not jump on strangers.
Since puppies have no prior training, you will need to keep them on a leash and away from strangers. Do this by taking them to places where you can ensure space between your pup and a stranger, like a park.
Stopping your puppy from lunging at strangers is similar to getting them to stop lunging at you!
Many trainers recommend teaching your puppy a distraction behavior such as teaching them to hit their nose against your palm. People prefer this behavior because it allows puppies to get out their natural energy before being allowed to greet a stranger.
To train your puppy for this behavior, start training them in a calm, private setting. Begin by introducing your hand close to their nose. When your puppy sniffs your hand, reward them with treats and pets. Begin moving further away and reward your pup every time they come to sniff your hand.
When your puppy seems confident sniffing your palm and/or sitting, slowly begin to introduce them to strangers. Introduce your puppy while they are on a leash, so you have more control.
With time and persistence, your puppy will understand what is acceptable and what is not.
Why Does My Puppy Want To Attack My Face?
More than likely, your puppy is not trying to attack your face – as much as it may seem like it!
Puppies have a limited way of communicating with us. Unlike toddlers, they will never grasp human language enough to tell you what they want.
Instead, your puppy will go with their natural communication method of jumping. Jumping is your pup’s way of telling you they are hungry or bored or just want to go outside!
However, if your dog is injuring you or doesn’t respond to your attempts to train them, consider talking with a dog trainer who can help you safely break your puppy of the behavior.
How Do I Stop My Puppy From Going To My Face?
A nipping puppy may be adorable until they start trying to bite at your nose or ears.
Many experts suggest first teaching a puppy how to gently bite. The intention behind this is to help your puppy understand that human skin is sensitive.
If a puppy or dog trained in “bite inhibition” is put into a situation where they bite someone out of fear or anxiety, trainers believe they bite more softly and are less likely to break the skin.
To teach your puppy bite inhibition, begin by allowing your puppy to playfully nip at your hands. While this may seem counterintuitive, the purpose is two-fold.
First, it sets a boundary for your puppy that you can enforce. Any time your pup attempts to go for your face, ignore them. Leave the room and come back after they have calmed.
Second, offering your hands allows your puppy to test nipping your skin while playing. When your puppy bites too hard, let out a yelp similar to a puppy’s yelp. This lets your pup know they bit too hard!
Reward your puppy when they respond to your yelp. However, take a break of about 30 seconds before returning to play. This is important to teach your pup that they can only play if they are gentle.
Repeat this process until your puppy applies only a small amount of pressure when they mouth your hand.
This method has the added benefit of giving your puppy extra attention! This helps exhaust their energy and decrease jumping or lunging behaviors.
As always, if your puppy is lunging aggressively at your face, seek help. Observe your pup’s body language.
Is their body stiff? Is their tail wagging or not? Are they snapping hard? All of these point to aggression. Consult a trained behaviorist to safely help you.
Why Do Puppies Try To Nip At Your Face?
Puppies like to nip because their mouth helps them explore their environment. Through biting, they can figure out what something tastes like, how firm it is, and so on.
Puppies also nip to communicate. Pups often bite at their mother’s face to ask them for food or to express affection.
However, puppies are prone to throwing tantrums – yes, like toddlers!
The tantrums result from many different circumstances. For instance, if they get overly excited while playing, then your attempts to reel them in will be met with angry nipping. You may also be the victim of a tantrum if you scare your pup!
The difference between tantrums and playful nipping is aggression. The bites are often harder and meant to hurt in some way.
If you notice a temper tantrum, your dog may scrunch up their nuzzle and show their teeth. This is to intimidate and let you know they mean business.
The most important thing to do in this scenario is to stay calm. Do not show that the bites hurt, as this could cause your puppy to continue, and do not squeeze or drop your dog. Simply hold them until the aggression stops.
These behaviors are red flags for future aggression, unfortunately. Your puppy can still be trained out of it, but it is recommended that you consult with a professional to help you with this task.