Probably one of the best ways to pass time is to play with your puppy. Its cute playful ways and clever thinking will make any puppy lover swoon. But it’s all fun and games—until you get bit. I can’t explain the startling moment where my puppy unexpectedly nipped me. She had such small teeth and the bite stung—a lot. A proper training regime prevents the innocent bite from turning into a habit. You wouldn’t want your puppy to hurt your children, would you? Nope, didn’t think so.
Is it Normal?
Don’t worry, you didn’t get the naughtiest puppy of the litter. If your puppy bites, know that it’s completely within its nature.
But when you see the habit forming you must stop it before it worsens. Your expensive rugs and shoes are at risk if you don’t train your puppy that biting is not okay.
And the only time you need to seek the help of the professional is when your puppy bites out of aggression. So you should be able to handle this yourself if you catch it early enough.
Teach Your Puppy Bite Inhibition
Puppies learn bite inhibition when they play with one another. This teaches them how to control their mouths without hurting other puppies during play.
As silly as it may seem you need to play the role of the other puppies if you only have one at home with you.
It’s quite easy.
When you play with your puppy and he bites a little too hard, give off a yelp. If you prefer to play the human, say in a high-pitched voice, “OW!” or “That hurts!”
Your high pitched voice will startle the pup. The key is to do this repeatedly. I thought doing it a couple times in one playful session would do the trick, but it didn’t. So keep at it.
Remember to praise your puppy with a treat or verbally each time he backs off from biting. Good rewards reinforce good behavior.
Playtime Is Over
What do you do when children are naughty? You take the fun away. This teaches them that actions have consequences.
A puppy’s mind is not that different. You must reinforce the idea that playtime is over when biting starts. Since a puppy can’t exactly understand you, you’ll need to communicate through your actions.
You can do the old school approach of tucking your hands under your armpits. This withdrawal approach signals to your puppy that he did something wrong. Think of the thought process “I bit him and now master is not giving me attention.”
Substitute the Toy
It’s okay for your puppy to bite & chew, but only his toys and chew treats. Keep a toy within arm’s reach when you play with your puppy. Be prepared to have toys scattered around the house.
When he starts to nibble your fingers surprise it with the toy. The distraction causes him to mouth the toy instead of you. Always use the same toys because your puppy will get attached to them. It’ll seek out the toys rather than your personal belongings.
With time your pup will think “Teeth on toys, and not on skin”.
Prevent the Pounce
Puppies love movement and want to play with anything that moves. So be prepared for your ankles and feet will be hunted.
When you see your puppy doing the pounce movement, stop walking. It’ll kill the mood and your puppy won’t want to pounce them anymore.
If you must keep moving, hold a valuable toy next to you. It helps your puppy learn to walk nicely next to your feet and ankles.
Conclusion: Remember that it takes time for your puppy to ditch the bad habit of biting. Puppies have just entered the world with a developing mind, so it takes time and patience. In the end, it will all pay off.
* This is a collaborative post