As puppies grow, they want to explore their new world. They do this with all of their senses. This also includes their mouth. Puppies, like infants and toddlers, learn about their world by placing objects in their mouths. And as with babies, they teethe for about 6 months, which usually causes minor discomfort. Chewing not only helps teething, but also makes their mouths feel better.
As a puppy starts biting on you and your clothes or furniture, that’s when it can be a bit painful. Somehow you have to stop this problem or they will grow up thinking it is ok to bite people and tear up your things.
There are several reasons why your puppy bites.
· They are playing
· They are “alpha”.
· They are hungry
· They are exploring
· They are excited
· They are scared or angry
· They have “herding” tendencies
· They are teething
Even though these are valid reasons for puppies to bite or chew, you cannot let this get out of control by just letting them eat up everything in their path and in your house! A puppy that is not given boundaries about biting or chewing can grow up causing all sorts of problems. You want to make sure your puppy bites and chews only on toys which have been approved by you. That way you will save your house and clothes and possibly even their life.
There are a lot of proven methods to get your puppy to stop biting and chewing. Before I get into these methods, keep these behavioral rules in mind:
· Never hit or slap your puppy in the face. This will just cause your puppy to think you are playing or worse will become afraid of you. This could also cause other problems besides simple puppy nipping later on.
· Puppy socialization and puppy biting suppression go together.
· The general rule of thumb to stop puppy biting problems is to always encourage positive and acceptable behavior and discourage unacceptable behavior.
· As you are trying to train your puppy to not bite, don’t play tug of war games or any kind of game which will encourage biting and chewing.
· Consistency is the key. This means that anyone else who comes into contact with your puppy must enforce the same rules as you when it comes to nipping or biting and chewing.
· If you don’t show your puppy that biting and nipping is unacceptable, they won’t just magically know this. It’s up to you to show them what is acceptable and what is not.
It’s important to not get upset and to stay assertive. If they are causing puncture wounds or becoming more aggressive, it might be time to get some professional help. You want to stop this behavior early on.
One good technique to stop your puppy from biting you is to get their attention on a toy. Puppies love toys, and a lot of times they are biting you because they think you are a toy also. This is a great way to show an untrained puppy that it’s ok to bite on a toy but not you. It’s also is a good technique to use when they get over excited and are losing control. Taking their mind off of what they are focusing usually biting your hand or leg, helps calm them down.
Another technique which might work is using a spray bottle full of water in it. Some experts say you should actually hide it when you spray them because they could get wise to it and it will no longer work. It’s not always easy to do this, and your puppy could see this coming from you and decide you are playing a game and attack the squirt bottle. Then this won’t work anymore.
You can also shake a can. Get an empty clean soda can and put about ten pennies in it. Tape the mouth of the can shut. When your puppy starts biting you, shake the can, give the verbal command “NO” and shake the can and drop it next to them. This will reinforce the verbal command and your puppy should stop. When they do stop, praise them and give them a chew toy to chew on.
One of the absolute best ways to teach your puppy not to bite is using a time out Place them in an empty room with nothing whatsoever to play with. Nobody should give your puppy any attention during the time out..30 seconds to 1 minute is usually sufficient in getting their attention..
Sometimes this might not be a long enough time and you might have to go longer. It all depends upon the age of your puppy, temperament and normal behavior. Remember that the key is patience and consistency. It may take some time, but using these techniques will help you train your puppy to become a well behaved pet and member of your household.