"Isn’t she cute?" say the owners of the eight-week old fat yellow puppy as she jumps up to nibble on the neighbor’s sleeve. If you value your relationship with that neighbor puppy, you’ll just say "no." Puppies, like human babies, have a natural urge to explore the world with their mouths. Although it’s normal for puppies to use their mouths when they play with each other, it becomes a problem when this behavior carries over to their interactions with people. As the puppy gets older and his teeth get bigger, the same "play bite" that was cute now is painful and potentially dangerous. A little early training on your part can prevent big problems later, not to mention potential legal entanglements if your dog bites someone seriously.
When they are young, puppies learn "bite inhibition" from their mother and littermates. They learn how much pressure is too much from the reactions they get from the other dogs. Mom teaches her pup manners by yelping if he bites down too hard. As the owner of a new puppy, you must continue the lessons he began learning from Mom. You need to set boundaries, so your puppy knows what is and is not acceptable.
Puppies do need to chew, so be sure that your puppy has lots of acceptable chew toys, such as sturdy nylon bones. If your puppy starts chewing on you, however, make a hurt puppy noise to startle the pup and remove your hand slowly. You also may want to give a command such as "no bite" to help the pup associate his behavior with the correction. Most puppies want to please, so teaching even a persistent mouthy puppy is easy if you start early. Like everything else concerning dog training, consistency and patience pay off in the long run.