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New Puppy Guide - Biting

 

Mouthing doesn't stop overnight!
By teaching your puppy that there are unrewarding consequences to his biting, it should gradually become less hard and then stop altogether within a four to six week period. However, children need to learn to be calm and to stop moving if your puppy is becoming overexcited - otherwise your puppy may think that biting is fun!

It's important to play games with your new puppy, but playing rough and tumble should not be encouraged. Rough games like this teach the puppy that it's OK to bite humans' clothes, hair or skin - which is clearly inappropriate. Playing tug games with toys, training games and hide and seek are far safer and just as enjoyable for everyone.

You have probably already realised that your puppy has very small, very sharp, teeth - and they hurt! Most puppies try to chew anything and everything - including us. This is normal behaviour, but it needs to be stopped as part of your puppy's social education.

Mouthing teaches a puppy about what is alive and what isn't. Just like a toddler, your puppy will want to put objects into his mouth and will bite them, to see what response there is as a result. If your puppy bites on a toy or a stick, nothing happens, but if he bites you, you need to make it clear that it hurt!
puppy mouthing
Puppies playing together will bite each other's legs and tails - all in fun. However, if one bites a bit too hard, the playmate will let out a big yelp. This tells the other puppy that he bit too hard and that he needs to be more careful next time.

In order to teach your puppy to moderate the strength of his bite, you need to let him know that biting hurts. Every time that he tries to put his mouth on you, stand perfectly still, and give a big yelp then fold your arms, and turn away.

If your puppy stops and calms down, you can go back to playing with him. However, if your puppy is overexcited and carries on trying to mouth you, say “Wrong', then immediately get up and walk out of the room, or pop your puppy behind a baby gate - effectively isolating him for a few moments. You will need to be consistent and repeat this behaviour every time your puppy puts his teeth on you.

 

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