It isn't surprising that so many dog owners complain that there new puppy is always putting their mouth on them. This can be in the form of nipping or licking. I like to think of it anytime my dog is paying too much attention with their mouth. So what is causing this? Besides dogs between the ages of 4 to 6 months, who are teething and are in need of ways to soothe their gums, it is most often caused by us! Yes, once again we are showing our cute, little friend too much attention. Think about it. Every time you get excited as your puppy approaches, you respond by bending down and reaching out to touch them. Your puppy is breaking down every little behavior that you do that leads to the next, which results in the attention. Therefore, if we over handle our puppies when they are excited it can lead to the play biting. If we get excited every time JOJo comes bounding up to us and we REINFORCE this attention by handling (petting) her, we can expect more and more of the same. Do you see the repetitive cycle?
What to do? Stop rewarding dogs for unearned attention. Be calm when interacting with your puppy. Reinforce (reward) calm behavior. Teach your puppy appropriate chew toys by playing with them and building drive with fetch games. Respond to nipping with a snappy "ET ET! or Ah Ah! corrective sound to interrupt the behavior and gain their attention. Re-direct puppies to appropriate chew toys from inappropriate ones e.g. your hands, pant legs, shoes, etc. Praise, praise, praise every time your dog OFFERS a calm behavior especially when they begin stopping themselves through the learning process.
It can be difficult raising a puppy, no matter how many dogs you've had before. Our patience level decreases over the years. Having the ability to recognize your frustration level rising and removing yourself from the situation is key. If you're experiencing difficult times in training your little friend and you think you're in over your head, seek a qualified dog trainer.