Your puppy has very sharp teeth.
It knows how to use them, but not in a constructive manner (yet!).
If you have ever been bitten by a puppy, you understand how sharp their canines can be. Obviously, it is not the intention of the dog to hurt you. It may have started as a game that quickly turned to be a playtime with painful repercussions.
The following tips should help you learn how to stop your buddy from biting.
Why Do Puppies Bite?
It is helpful to have an understanding of the biting process of puppies. Mouthing items they encounter, just like human babies, is a way of exploring their world. As such, everything goes in a puppy’s mouth whether it is appropriate or dangerous. Similar to the way babies use their toes, fingers, feet, and hands to explore their world.
Playing tough is another attribute of puppies. With similar animals, it involves tumble and rough play involving a lot of biting and mouthing. Initially, this behavior does not hurt since the dogs do not have any teeth. Once their milk teeth come out, this can be harmful to people. However, other littermates are able to tolerate the pain. It may be due to their thick skins.
As they become stronger, the pain from bites penetrates their skin. This may be the reason you can hear squeals as they play. Biting may be used to ensure an excessively rough pup backs off. Sometimes, their mother tells them off when they bite too hard.
Is It Okay To Roughhouse?
Majority of dog owners enjoy roughhousing. It involves playing with their puppies in a very physical and energetic manner. Take note that the decision may not be as much fun when your puppy starts becoming an adult. It is also dangerous, especially for people with sensitive skin.
Such methods should not be practiced by children or the elderly. Some puppies find it difficult to turn off their energy. This happens even when the owner tells them the game is over, or they consider they both have had enough fun.
Dr Jo’s Rule
It is advisable to prevent puppies from biting humans. Instead, the biting should be directed to the toys for the dog.
It is essential to make sure this behavior is nipped as early as possible. The pup needs to know how to behave in the first days it starts living with you. This should be inclusive of teaching it how to play safely. Bite inhibition lessons will ensure the puppy knows how to have fun with other dogs and human beings.
Getting A Puppy Toy
A good method would be having sufficient sturdy and strong toys for the pet. These should be used every time you are playing with the dog. Such toys should be pushed into the pet’s mouth every time they start using their teeth.
Make A Sound
This is the common sound another dog makes when they are bitten by their fellow dogs. An effective method would be mimicking this sound when your puppy uses his teeth. Make sure you do this when your pup bites, even if the bite did not hurt. The squeal will make the dog back off for a few seconds, giving you time to withdraw.
At this point, it is important to avoid making any further signals. At the same time, make sure the game pauses or comes to an end. When you resume, having some of his toys handy is a great strategy.
Teach Basic Commands
Teach your small dog a few commands such as “stop” or “leave it”. Such commands are useful and prevent the dog from eating or mouthing items that are inappropriate. The best way would be doing this away from the heat of a game. Once the pup has mastered the meaning of the command, you can use it during a play session. In the first occasions, you use the command, reward it every other time the pup obeys the command.
Do Not Punish
Punishing a puppy may not always be the way to solve or prevent a behavior. In some cases, it gives them attention letting them be encouraged to continue with the bad behavior. Additionally, punishments reduce the bond between you and your dog. Research has shown that dogs punished verbally and/or physically are likely to respond with aggression.
Praise Your Dog
Remember to praise the puppy after playing well with you or other people. Praise will encourage the dog to continue with the same behavior. In the long run, it will teach the dog to play safely.