One thing that puppies do is bite. They learn about the world around them using their sense of smell, touch, and taste. A dog might lick something to learn about it or chew and bite it. Puppies bite to learn and also to help relieve the irritation that can arouse from teething. When dogs and puppies play they use their mouth and paws.
If a puppy doesn’t know or hasn’t learned to not do when playing with people, you could end up with an adult dog that grabs and bites you. It doesn’t matter how cute your dog is as a baby and how little it hurts or just pinches. If he’s always trying to gnaw on something or someone it can become a problem. As his owner and guide as he grows up, you need to teach what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior using positive reinforcement, some dog language, and consistency.
Puppies want to gnaw on things so definitely make sure you have toys for him that he can chew on, carry around, and pull apart. If he’s bored of the ones that are currently on the floor, rotate them with some different ones. This is a good habit to get into as it always makes the toys “new” to him. When a puppy bites another puppy or dog he is usually reprimanded and taught to not do it with a loud yelp from the dog and sometimes a growl. This is a clear indicator that playtime is over. It may take a few yelps to get the message and sometimes the other dog will leave the area or walk away.
When you are training your puppy try to do the same sort of actions to teach your puppy that it is not ok to bite. Try yelping in a high-pitched tone and withdraw your hand or whatever part of your body your puppy has nipped. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate your yelping a bit to startle him. He might give you a look and stop. He might seem confused and still be wagging his tail in excitement and hold a play pose. Use this opportunity to give him his chew toy. It’ll reinforce that it is ok to chew and chomp down on the toy and not you.
If he persists, walk away. Ignore him and do not talk or touch him for a few minutes. Expect him to cry, try to follow you, and grab your pant leg to get your attention. If you have to, leave the room and close the door for a few minutes. He might scratch and whimper. When you come back into the room stay calm and try to not arouse his play behavior. He may still want to play and will try. If he does give him the chew toy. If he ignores the toy and goes for your hand or sleeve, repeat the yelping and walk away.
It is important that your dog sees you as the parent of the house. A dog that understands that you’re the one who leads and guides him will usually listen better, be easier to train, and understand that if you say playtime is over then it is over.