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Nipping & Mouthing Puppies

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How To Stop Your Puppy From Nipping & Mouthing

Fangs Aren't Fun!

What begins as playful behavior can end up being rather painful for the human on the receiving end. Puppies go through a teething process and a growing up period that involves mouthing activities.

Puppies Bite And Nip For These Main Reasons

  • Natural Instinct - A dog's ability to bite effectively is related to hunt for food and defend himself.
  • Herding - Dogs nip at heels to get people or animals (usually sheep) to move.
  • Normal Development - Just as babies and toddlers put everything in their mouth, puppies nip and bite to explore new objects and cut teeth.

Tips to Stop Nipping, Mouthing and Biting

There are several quick solutions that will enable you to avoid excessive nipping and biting from your puppy. The problem can be reduced by following these steps.

  • Keep chew-toys handy. When your puppy goes into a chewing mindset, give him the toy to work with. This does not solve the problem directly, but stops him from chewing on you.
  • Withdraw attention and physically move away when he is acting up. That sends the message that you do not like the way he is playing.
  • Spray items that he usually nips at with bitter sprays.
  • Do not engage in rough play with your dog. Establish an area in the house that the puppy can play in and only play there. Do not get involved in tug of war games or wrestling.
  • For teething dogs, cut up a towel, soak it in water, and then freeze the strips. This helps to relieve the discomfort.
  • Get him some friends. The best way for a puppy to learn bite inhibition is from another dog. Get him a chance to hang out and play with other friendly dogs.

Note: Not all puppy mouthiness is the result of playfulness or teething. Some dogs are born with a dominant temperament and will be mouthy as a way of asserting their will.

If your puppy is showing signs of dominant related mouthiness, then you should work on the relationship exercises to establish yourself as the leader of the pack. However, it is important to keep in mind that dogs are capable of causing considerable physical harm.

If your puppy shows signs of aggression early, then it is going to be a long term commitment to keeping him in line. A puppy that shows these issues is not well suited for a household with young children or other pets. If your dog exhibits unusual aggressiveness or mouthiness, consult your vet and a professional trainer.

Dogs That Nip Are Also Likely To...


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