When I first went to pick up my first PWD from a lady in NM about 14 years ago she had 4 or 5 puppies jumping up higher in the air then I could have imagined they would be able to jump. They all were snapping loudly at my hand reaching in to pet them. Virginia said meet my little alligators!
Welcome to the world of puppies. This is how they play with one another. You need to teach them how they are allowed to play with you and your family that are not their litter mates.

I don’t normally have any trouble with puppies biting me on a one on one or even on a two on one for training. Maybe because we are older and if a puppy runs out at me to grab on and pull on my pants I just stop. I squat down and say NO very firmly. If they don’t let go I tap their nose lightly and repeat NO again. The next time they run up to me and consider grabbing onto my pants when I stop, they stop, end of game.

My grandkids even at 2 year’s old used this method and always stayed in charge as the alpha dog. When they are here they can usually stay in control of any puppy. The exception is if an entire litter is ganging up on them. A fearless 3 year old laying inside a puppy pen with an entire litter yelling OUCH loudly when they bite him eventually gets them to stop biting and makes them realize you can not play this way with this human creature.

Also our puppies are always out running till they are tired. A tired puppy is a good puppy. This breed is the smartest in the world. They need and want to learn every. Keep them busy. Even just tossing some peanuts around the yard or treats that they need to smell out and hunt for is an exercise. Teach them a trick a day. They can easily do it. Show this puppy how much you wanted them and love to be with them doing new stuff daily. This breed is treat oriented. They will learn and do anything for a treat. Always have tiny treats handy.

Eventually the puppy will take on the personality of your household. If your kids are loud and rough the puppy will be like that. If you put them in a crate they will act wild when you let them out. There is no need to ever crate your puppy during the day. You can have a crate but leave the door open.

I begged one guy to return his puppy to me. He called after a week or so and said whenever I let the puppy out of the crate he jumps and bites and the kids run and scream. Having a puppy was never going to work for this family. They needed an older trained dog.

If you all are calm and patient the puppy will eventually become like that as well. You need to work with you kids to become the boss of the puppy if they are too gentle. If they run the puppy will run and bite after them. That’s what puppies all do. You have to teach them to run with you not at you. Hopefully it won’t take you a year. It is easier and faster to keep at it and stay firm.

Below are some additional biting training methods and you can google others as well. Find one that works the best for you. Read Vern’s book: Vern Foster has a great PWD book that is very helpful for new puppies.

If you don’t happen to have the toy handy, stop moving when shebitesand then, when she releases on her own, offer her the toy or a treat, and praise. The idea is to teach your dog that good things happen when bad behavior stops. Mouthing andnippingare natural behaviors forpuppiesbut unwanted in dogs.

Nipping nipping in the bud | Cesar’s Way

Cory below has good biting training meathods he uses on Golden Retriever puppies which Portuguese Water Dogs are very similiar being natural retrievers and webbed feet.

How To Stop My Golden Retriever Puppy From Biting

Dog-training expert and AKC Family Dog Training & Behavior columnist Kathy Santo offers the following tips on overcoming a common puppy problem: biting.

Puppies’ mouths are filled with about 28 teeny-tiny razors that seem to be attracted to your fingers or toes. Although an annoying behavior, this is something that’s completely normal for playful puppies.

Teach your puppy bite inhibition.Puppies naturally nip at each other while playing , and sometimes they don’t realize how hard they’re able to do this without hurting the other dog. If they bite too hard, another dog will likely make a loud yelp sound, warning the puppy, “Hey, that hurt!” You can teach your puppy this as well by making a loud, high-pitched “OW” sound if he bites you. Then, make sure to give your dog a treat or verbal praise for backing off.

Teach your puppy that biting means “game over.” If your puppy bites you while playing, that means playtime is over, with no exceptions. Yelling at or physically punishing your puppy, as strange as it sounds, is also a type of reward because it teaches him that biting gets some kind of response from you (this is called negative reinforcement). Instead, teach him that biting will get him nothing. Santo suggests turning around and tucking your hands into your armpits. “It’s actually a calming signal and a minor form of attention withdrawal,” she says.

Give your puppy an alternative item to chew.After teaching him that biting you is painful and will result in being ignored, let him know what is OK to bite or chew. If he starts nibbling at your fingers or toes while you’re playing with him, offer him a toy instead. Again, if he continues to nip you, stop the play session immediately.

Prevent the pounce. If your puppy is pouncing on your legs or feet as you walk, a common playful puppy behavior, Santo recommends holding a high-value treat next to your leg as you walk, helping the puppy learn to walk nicely alongside you. This same tactic is used when teaching a puppy to walk on a leash .

Never hit your dog or otherwise physically punish him. If your pet seems to be biting out of aggression (not during play), speak to a veterinarian about ways to manage that behavior.

Web MD suggests

Puppies spend a great deal of time playing, chewing and investigating objects. All of these normal activities involve puppies using their mouths and their needle-sharp teeth. When puppies play with people, they often bite, chew and mouth on people’s hands, limbs and clothing. This kind of behavior may seem cute when your eight weeks old, but it’s not nearly so endearing when he’s three or four months old-and getting bigger by the day!

What to Do About Puppy Mouthing

It’s important to help your puppy learn to curb his mouthy behavior. There are various ways, some better than others, to teach this lesson. The ultimate goal is to train your puppy to stop mouthing and biting people altogether. However, the first and most important objective is to teach him that people have very sensitive skin, so he must be very gentle when using his mouth.

Bite inhibition refers to a dogs’s ability to control the force of his mouthing. A puppy or dog who hasn’t learned bite inhibition with people doesn’t recognize the sensitivity of human skin, and so he bites too hard, even in play. Some behaviorists and trainers believe that a dog who has learned to use his mouth gently when interacting with people will be less likely to bite hard and break skin if he ever bites someone in a situation apart from play-like when he’s afraid or in pain.

Puppies usually learn bite inhibition during play with other puppies. If you watch a group of puppies playing, you’ll see plenty of chasing, pouncing and wrestling. Puppies also bite each other all over. Every now and then, a pup will bite his playmate too hard. The victim of the painful bite yelps and usually stops playing. The offender is often taken aback by the yelp and also stops playing for a moment. However, pretty soon, both playmates are back in the game. Through this kind of interaction, puppies learn to control the intensity of their bites so that no one gets hurt and the play can continue without interruption. If puppies can learn how to be gentle from each other, they can also learn the same lesson from people.

Pediatric Behavior Problems in Dogs

From Pet MD

Undesirable behavior exhibited by dogs between puppyhood and adolescence, such as destructive chewing, jumping on people, and play biting, is medically referred to as pediatric behavior problems. Though these behaviors may be perceived as a “normal” trait of a puppy, it is often not acceptable behavior for a pet. It is important to address this as early as possible with behavioral modification therapies while the puppy is still impressionable.

(Your PWD is a working dog and a natural retreiver so they are by nature more mouthy then say a Great Dane)
Genetics do play an important role and behavior of young pups is likely to be similar to those of their parents. Certain breeds inherit certain problems like unruly, activity problems in working breeds of dog. However, such behavioral problems have been found to be more common in urban areas where opportunities for exercise and play are limited.

Symptoms and Types

Destructive Chewing

Initially, the pup may chew and damage furniture and/or other household items in the presence of family member, but after being caught and punished, he may continue be destructive when no family member is around.


Play fighting may be started by a family member initially, but can further escalate or become spontaneous afterward. This is a problem because thedeciduous teethof puppies are still sharp and can cause injury if it bites the hands, legs, and/or clothing of family members. Growling and barking may also develop, but usually differ from the acts associated with fear or justified aggression.

Jumping on People

Jumping on people and placing paws on visitors and/or family members typically occurs during greetings and when she is excited, but may occur when the pup wants attention or something in the person’s hand.

Getting on Counters/Furniture

The pup may get on the counters or furniture to grab an object to chew or eat. He or she may also jump on furniture during play, to get attention, or to rest.


While many behavior problems in puppies are species-typical, there are some causes that can worsen behavioral issues — many of which are related to inadequate supervision, control, training, exercise, and/or the pup’s general environment. Specific factors that may lead to the categories listed above include:

Destructive chewing

  • Poor nutrition or inadequate food provisions
  • Presence of mice or other small mammals in the walls or flooring
  • Spilled food on carpet or furniture
  • Insufficient or uninteresting toys
  • Escape behavior

Play biting

  • Teasing and rough play (i.e., encouraging pup to bite)
  • (PWD’s do not do well being crated)
  • Long confinement periods, especially in small enclosures
  • Excited greetings by visitors or family members

Getting on Counters/Furniture

  • Insufficient or uninteresting toys
  • Desired foods or objects left on furniture
  • Uncomfortable floor surfaces or inadequate sleeping areas


(You need to try) various behavior modifications techniques like rewards and punishment. It is, however, never advisable to strike the pet, shake it by the scruff, thump its nose, role it on its back or squeeze its lips against its teeth to stopmouthingor biting. Such approaches are detrimental to existing behavioral problems and may aggravate the condition due to fear and aggression.

(In my opinion a tired puppy is a good puppy)

Vigorous exercise can also be extremely helpful for pups with these types of behavioral problems. Involving these puppies in healthy games like fetch/drop, for example, lets the pup know that the human is in control.

To Discourage Destructive Chewing

  • Experiment with various toys and look for those that interests your pet, especially those than have compartments for food
  • Keep forbidden objects out of reach
  • Close doors to deny access to forbidden areas
  • Interrupt any unacceptable chewing with a sharp “no”


  • Provide plenty of exercise and activity
  • Use toys to distract the pet during the act of playbiting
  • Leash andhaltercan be used to provide minimal restraint
  • Avoid games that encourage playbiting behavior
  • Put your puppy in puppy classes as early as possible
  • Take control of resources and train your pup to sit before receiving toys, food, attention, and food
  • Ignore any pushy social behavior like barking, whining, or pawing for attention

Jumping on People

  • Teach the pet to sit on command
  • Avoid games and play that may encourage it to jump on people
  • Gain your dog’s attention with a loud, sharp noise when it does jump
  • Head halter can also be used to provide minimal restraint

Getting on Counters/Furniture

  • Keep your counters and furniture free of any food or other objects that might get attention of the pup
  • Move dog to a confined area when it does misbehave
  • Provide interesting toys for mental stimulation, and a comfortable living space