Playing with a puppy is fun but when it turns into painful biting and nipping, some puppy training is in order.
Chewing and mouthing comes natural to puppies. It helps them discover the world and satisfy their curiosity, as well as relieve teething discomfort. In their own baby way, they may also try to find their place in the family by seeing just how much they can get away with. In some cases, they may be simply seeking attention. However, puppy biting and nipping can be painful and annoying to pet owners, and also has the potential to develop into more aggressive behavior as the dog matures.
Avoid Rough Play
Prevention, of course, is best. Rough housing and rough play such as tug or chase games teach your puppy to compete with you. Better to encourage fetch games and casual obedience games that support Puppy’s cooperation with humans.
Ignore Unacceptable Behavior
If your puppy tries to engage in playful nipping, do as his littermates did. Give a sharp yelp, move away from him, and end all interactions. Don’t talk to him or look at him. Ignore him for a few minutes. He just wants to have fun and will eventually learn that when he starts biting, the fun stops. This is the way puppies learn manners within the litter.
Patience and Consistence
It’s important to be patient with relapses and never hit or slap your pup. This can create a fearful pup or an aggressive one. After all, puppies are babies, but with your gentle and consistent training, he will catch on. Try directing him into an acceptable behavior by rolling a ball for him to run after or retrieve and always reward good behavior.
Provide Chew Toys
Chew toys help to satisfy your puppy’s chewing instincts and relieve teething aches. Make sure he has plenty of chewys and that they are safe for puppies with no small parts or stuffing to choke on. Try placing a rope toy or a carrot in the freezer for your pup to chew on and soothe his achy gums. If you find him chewing on shoes or furniture, redirect his interest to his chew toys. It’s a good idea to rotate out the toys every few days to prevent boredom.
Provide Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great stress buster for puppies. Toss a ball for your pup in the backyard or take him on long walks to burn off that puppy energy. This also gives him the attention he needs from you so that nipping and mouthing will not seem nearly so interesting.
Enroll in Obedience Classes
Your puppy depends on you to mold him into a well behaved pet and a canine good citizen. At the age of 4 to 6 months, he is old enough to be enrolled in a puppy obedience class where he will learn socialization, basic manners, and commands.
With gentle and consistent training, your puppy can be an enjoyable member of the family for many years.