While having a puppy in the house sparks real joy in our hearts, there are times when our string of patience and anger management are tested. It’s when our pet dogs start to destroy everything just by their mouth and growing teeth. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to stop your puppy from biting.
Biting is perfectly natural for puppies. But you would want to manage it as soon as possible. This behavior may sound all fun and games for the dog, but it poses risks to you when these playful bites turn into painful ones as they grow older.
When not controlled at a young age, playtime with your dogs will not be as fun as you would imagine.
Why do puppies bite?
Puppies tend to bite on objects because it’s one of their natural behaviors. They use their teeth and mouth to communicate and play with other dogs. They also use their mouth to explore something new in their environment.
Dogs also tend to chew everything that they can see when they are teething. Chewing is your puppy’s way of relieving some tension in their gums.
It doesn’t sound dangerous at all, right?
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5 Tips on How to Stop Your Puppy from Biting
Like we’ve said, all the biting and chewing are just innocent playtime for your dogs. But they can unintentionally destroy things or, worse, hurt you if you don’t manage this behavior at an early age.
As you already know, puppies play with other pup mates through biting. But since they’re still young, they don’t know yet how to control it. And they often hurt each other unknowingly just by biting. When this happens, pups often let out little yelps to let their playmates know that their bites hurt.
You can imitate this behavior to stop your dogs from biting aggressively. When your puppy starts to bite you, you can let out a little scream or say ouch as a pup would do. After that, stop your playtime and ignore your dog for about 20 seconds.
Once they’ve calmed down, you can resume playing with your fur babies. But once this happens again, just repeat the process to teach them that they can’t bite you and that you’ll immediately stop playtime if they start to play rough.
Let Your Puppy Chew Appropriate Toys
When your pup starts to bite, the last thing that you’d want to do is to react harshly. Your bad reaction will only confuse them.
Distract your puppy with a chew toy instead!
Here are some of the best chew toys for your dog. You can pick from one of these toys and get the smallest version of it for your puppy. You can upgrade to larger sizes of the same toys as your puppy grows into an adult dog.
Once you’ve successfully redirected your pup’s attention to the chew toy and it starts playing with it alone, don’t forget to praise them. Pat them, shout “good boy” or give them a treat.
Whenever you see them biting and playing with appropriate chew toys, always praise your puppies. It will help them realize that there are only certain objects that they are allowed to bite or chew.
Walk Away From Your Puppy
Puppies are always overly excited about playtime, to the point that they can hurt you really bad. Sometimes the best thing to do about it is just walking away.
If they start biting you, or even when their mouth just touches your skin, leave them right away. The mechanics of this is just the same as the first technique. But instead of screaming, you walk away.
Repeat this every time they show signs of aggressiveness but always come back and play when they start to calm down. This method will also help them realize that playtime is not always about biting.
Stop Their “Herding Instincts”
Most breeds of dogs like the Australian Cattle dogs and Shetland Sheepdogs exhibit strong herding instincts. You’ll often notice this when they try to nip at your ankles. They do this because that’s what their instinct tells them to do to “keep the herd moving”.
If you observe this behavior in your dogs, just try to stand still. This will help them learn that when they nip at your ankles, the opposite of their original intention happens. Therefore discouraging that “instinct.”
Let Your Puppy Learn From Other Dogs
Sometimes, your pup just needs a mentor of its own kind. So it’s good to let them play with other dogs in your area so they can teach them acceptable behavior. In addition, playtime with other dogs will also help them spend their pent-up energy playing. So once your pup comes home, their energy to bite and chew is all gone.
You can also invite your friends and their older dogs to come over to your yard so that the older dog can act as a mentor for your pup. Or you can enroll your fur babies in a puppy class so they can learn with their playmates as early as possible.
Teaching your puppies not to bite aggressively is an integral part of puppy training. It’s equally important as their potty training.
As mentioned above, one of the major reasons why they bite relentlessly is because they’re teething. Their mouth and teeth are just some of the parts that you should observe in your dogs. Make sure that your dogs get the right dental care while he or she grows. (That’s right. Dogs need dentists, too. Check this article to know more why.)
But aside from teething, there are many other reasons for your pups’ chewing and biting behavior. Fortunately, there are also a ton of ways to manage them. Just follow the techniques mentioned above and make your playtime with your fur babies as pain-free as possible.
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